I’ve been extremely fortunate most of my life to have experienced good health. Aside from the occasional cold or seasonal flu attack, very little has really ailed me. That all changed in June 2004, when I started a new job as marketing communications/PR manager for the largest records-management software company in the world. There I succumbed to a disease, brought on by my new boss, which often resulted in leaving work at the end of the day feeling uninformed and overwhelmed. His constant and excessive use of technological jargon and acronyms would leave me braindead, my energy zapped.
For me and many, this ailment, called Technology Attention Deficit Disorder (TADD), will remain incurable, thanks to those individuals who spend their days "acronyming" poor, defenseless victims like myself to death.
By nature, I tend to be an activist. I’m always willing to fight for a good cause or financially support the efforts of those who are looking to find a cure for any debilitating disease. As a result, I now have a vested interest in TADD and refuse to render myself helpless against its onset. In this article, I will explain some common technological terms and acronyms in an effort to slow down the spread of this disease in the records-management world.
I’m going to discuss some of the latest terms specifically related to communications that have crept in. I’ll explain words like PAN, LAN, WLAN, WAN, GPRS and GPS, along with their differences and significance to records-management operations. I can already see that glazed look coming over your eyes. It’s one of TADD’s dreaded symptoms that can leave you comatose. Quick, before it overtakes you, read on and let’s search for a cure together.
Personal Area Network (PAN)
I don’t know about you, but for me it seemed like forever that I wrestled with an octopus of cords coming out of the back of my laptop computer. So I truly appreciate the value now of what is called a personal area network. Put quite simply, PAN is the interconnection of information technology devices within the range of an individual person, typically 10 meters, wirelessly.
For example, a person traveling with a laptop, a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and a portable printer can interconnect them without having to plug in anything using some form of wireless technology. Typically this kind of PAN could also be interconnected without wires to the Internet or other networks.