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Glossary


Abandonware
is a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no product support is available. Although such software is usually still under copyright, the owner may not be tracking or enforcing copyright violations.

Cartridge
is a removable memory card containing ROM designed to be connected to a consumer electronics device such as a home computer or video game console. ROM cartridges can be used to load software such as video games or other application programs.

Emulator
is software that enables one computer system (called the host) to behave like another computer system (called the guest). An emulator typically enables the host system to run software or use peripheral devices designed for the guest system.

Freeware
is computer software that is available for use at no monetary cost, which may have restrictions such as redistribution prohibited, and for which source code is not available. Freeware, although itself free of charge, may be intended to benefit its owner, e.g. by encouraging sales of a more capable version.

Gamepad
is a type of game controller held in two hands, where the fingers (especially thumbs) are used to provide input.

Joystick
is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling. Joysticks are often used to control video games, and usually have one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer. A popular variation of the joystick used on modern video game consoles is the analog stick. Joysticks are also used for controlling machines such as cranes, trucks, underwater unmanned vehicles, wheelchairs, surveillance cameras, and zero turning radius lawn mowers. Miniature finger-operated joysticks have been adopted as input devices for smaller electronic equipment such as mobile phones..

Paddle
is a game controller with a round wheel and one or more fire buttons, where the wheel is typically used to control movement of the player object along one axis of the video screen. A paddle controller rotates through a fixed arc (usually about 330 degrees); it has a stop at each end. 

ROM
is abbreviation for Read-Only Memory. It is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device. Read-only memory is useful for storing software that is rarely changed during the life of the system, sometimes known as firmware. In the eighties, videogames were often distributed as plug-in cartridges containing read-only memory. 

Shareware
is a type of proprietary software which is provided (initially) free of charge to users, who are allowed and encouraged to make and share copies of the program, which helps to distribute it. Shareware is often offered as a download from an Internet website or as a compact disc included with a magazine. There are many types of shareware, and while they may not require an initial up-front payment, all are intended to generate revenue in one way or another. Some limit use to personal non-commercial purposes only, with purchase of a license required for use in a business enterprise. The software itself may be limited in functionality or be time-limited. Or it may remind you that payment would be appreciated.

Video game console
is a device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game. The term 'video game console' is used to distinguish a console machine primarily designed for consumers to use for playing video games in contrast to arcade machines or home computers. It includes home video game consoles, handheld game consoles, microconsoles and dedicated consoles.

Video game
is an electronic game that involves human interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor.

 


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