A Dummies Guide to Android Terminology & Lingo
This is a short guide to some of the terms that you may come across when discussing your Fascinate. Most of these terms apply to all Android phones. Much of the information contained in this post has been copied from a post at droidforums but I have attempted to change some of the information to make it more applicable to the Samsung Fascinate.
ADK: Android Development Kit, What people use to develop anything for the droid such as ROM's
AOSP: Android Open System Project, usually you will see this term when referring to a program or rom. This will mean that the program or rom was taken from Google and does not contain any modifications done by the phone Mfg. or the phone service provider. This is Android the way Google intended.
Baseband: In communications and signal processing, the baseband describes signals and systems whose range of the frequencies measured from close to 0 hertz to a cut-off frequency, a maximum bandwidth or highest signal frequency; it is sometimes used to describe frequencies starting close to zero. On the Fascinate this is used to describe which modem software is installed in your device.
CDMA: Code Division Multiple Access; refers to the technology used by the cellular phone company to communicate with your phone. Carriers in the US using CDMA Technology are Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, some other smaller companies. These phones do not contain a SIM card and are not compatible with the GSM network used by other phone companies. This technology was developed by Qualcomm and has been the dominant technology used in the US and Asia, while GSM is more widely used in other parts of the world.
Download Mode: State in which the droid phone can be flashed from Odin with an appropriate .sdk file that reprograms the phone into a specific ROM or update. This is typically a last resort when the recovery screen cannot be reached to make a much simpler and less risky solution
Boot Loop: simply means something is preventing the phone from completing it's boot cycle and is stuck between the boot animation and the unlock screen, creating a looped animation. This is often fixed by either reloading a Nandroid, or Reflashing a rom/kernel from Clockwork.
Brick or Bricked: Jargon for a completely unrecoverable device, (no more than a brick or paperweight)
Bug or Software Bug: an Error or flaw in software that produces a failure or unexpected/unwanted result. Typically created from incorrect code, this is why some ROMs are better and smoother running than others because certain developers have taken the time to input "perfect" code
Busybox: BusyBox is a single multicall binary that packages the functionality of most widely used standard UNIX tools, BusyBox provides a fairly complete environment for any small or embedded system.
ClockworkMod / Clockwork Recovery: A recovery program that is often used to apply updates, ROMs, or create a backup or restore a backup file
De-odex: Apk files have respective odexes that devs use to supposedly save space. Deodexing means you convert it back to a .dex file and put it back inside the apk. This allows you to easily replace files (not having to worry about odexes), but the main point was to deodex services.jar so that you can change all text to different colors (such as the clock color to white) and to deodex services.jar, you need to deodex everything.
Dev. or Developer: An individual that creates, or alters a file in such a manner as to advance the program
Flash or Flash Memory: a program technology that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed
GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications; the technology that some phone companies use to communicate with your cell phone. This technology is used by AT&T, T-Mobile, as well as some smaller carriers in the US. GSM phones contain a SIM card that contains the data that tells the carrier your phone number and other information, this allows you to switch GSM phones by simply switching the SIM card from one phone to another. This technology is primarily used in Europe, however, it is increasing in popularity in the US.
Kernel: The governor of the CPU usage and Battery output, one can upload certain Kernels to achieve greater performance speed of their device at the cost of some battery life. See this thread for more information on kernels.
Root: Common word associated with giving a user "super user" access to their phones programming and other various aspects that would normally not be possible, also known as "Jailbroken" for iPhone's
Nandroid or Nandroid Backup: A file typically created in the custom recovery program, such as Clockwork Recovery, that is a carbon copy of whatever state your phone is in before a drastic change is made.
Overclocking: Speeding up the CPU past the factory presets to achieve a faster and more responsive device
ROM: Read Only Memory, a program used to make changes to anything from the look of the home screen, to icons to custom boot animation. See this thread for more on Roms.
Shell or SSH: secure shell or ssh is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices
Stock: Simply means an un altered state, such as when you first purchase your phone from Verizon.
SU: "Super user", or root permissions
Theme: A set of icons, backgrounds and app trays that change the aesthetics of the overall look of the droid and its applications
TUN/TAP: Refers to a network TUNnel, operates within layer 3 packets, or ip packets. Packets sent by a system via a TUN/TAP device are delivered to a user-space program that attaches itself to the device. A user space program may also pass packets into a TUN/TAP device. In this case TUN/TAP device delivers (or "injects") these packets to the operating system's network stack thus emulating their reception from an external source.
Underclocking: Slowing down the CPU mainly to limit battery usage
.sbf: Summation Briefcase File
.apk or APK's: An .apk file extension denotes an Android Package (APK) file, an .apk file can be opened and inspected using common archive tools
.tar: Similar to a zip file, a tar file archives multiple files into one file
.tgz: TGZ files are commonly used as install packages for Slackware Linux.
These are some of the terms that you will encounter, if anyone notices that I have left out anything, please let me know and I will be happy to update this post as we see fit.
A special thanks to Sam Fisher at droidforums for starting this thread and for the work that was put into it. You can read the original thread here.