Packard Bell Electronics, Inc.


A leading US computer vendor.

As recently as 29 November 1995 the Wall Street Journal reported that the company was having financial difficulties and that one of its major suppliers of CPUs, Intel, was about to make a large cash loan, so as to prevent loss of a major customer. Packard Bell is a privately held company and the WSJ also reported that NEC has been rumored to have bought a large minority block of shares to help the company stay in business.

Its computers are sold in major retail outlets in the USA and are available as a bundled package: desktop or tower 486 CPU, single 3.5 inch floppy disk drive, CD-ROM, sound card, 14 inch colour monitor, and 4-8MB of RAM.

1995 end-of-year prices in Computer Currents magazine (a California Bay Area bi-monthly giveaway publication) are US$1500 (approx. 1000 pounds) for a 486 desktop, with 8MB RAM, 420MB hard disk drive, single 3.5 inch floppy drive, 14 inch colour monitor, 2-speed CD-ROM, and 16-bit sound card.

Headquarters: Sacramento, California, USA.

Last updated: 1996-01-02

packed decimal

binary coded decimal

Packed Encoding Rules

<protocol, standard>

(PER) ASN.1 encoding rules for producing a compact transfer syntax for data structures described in ASN.1, defined in 1994.

PER provides a much more compact encoding then BER. It tries to represents the data units using the minimum number of bits. The compactness requires that the decoder knows the complete abstract syntax of the data structure to be decoded, however.

Documents: ITU-T X.691, ISO 8825-2.

Last updated: 1998-05-19


The unit of data sent across a network. "Packet" is a generic term used to describe a unit of data at any layer of the OSI protocol stack, but it is most correctly used to describe application layer data units ("application protocol data unit", APDU).

See also datagram, frame.

Last updated: 1994-11-30

Packet Assembler/Disassembler

(PAD) Hardware or software device for splitting a data stream into discrete packets for transmission over some medium and then reforming the stream(s) at the receiver.

The term is most often used for interfaces to X.25 lines.

Last updated: 1995-01-31

packet driver


IBM PC local area network software that divides data into packets which it routes to the network. It also handles incoming data, reassembling the packets so that application programs can read the data as a continuous stream.

FTP Software created the specification for IBM PC packet drivers but Crynwr Software dominate the market and have done the vast majority of the implementations.

Packet drivers provide a simple, common programming interface that allows multiple applications to share a network interface at the data link layer. Packet drivers demultiplex incoming packets among the applications by using the network media's standard packet type or service access point field(s).

The packet driver provides calls to initiate access to a specific packet type, to end access to it, to send a packet, to get statistics on the network interface and to get information about the interface.

Protocol implementations that use the packet driver can coexist and can make use of one another's services, whereas multiple applications which do not use the driver do not coexist on one machine properly. Through use of the packet driver, a user could run TCP/IP, XNS and a proprietary protocol implementation such as DECnet, Banyan's, LifeNet's, Novell's or 3Com's without the difficulties associated with pre-empting the network interface.

Applications which use the packet driver can also run on new network hardware of the same class without being modified; only a new packet driver need be supplied.

There are several levels of packet driver. The first is the basic packet driver, which provides minimal functionality but should be simple to implement and which uses very few host resources. The basic driver provides operations to broadcast and receive packets. The second driver is the extended packet driver, which is a superset of the basic driver. The extended driver supports less commonly used functions of the network interface such as multicast, and also gathers statistics on use of the interface and makes these available to the application. The third level, the high-performance functions, support performance improvements and tuning.

Last updated: 1994-12-05

Packet in Plastic Grid Array

<integrated circuit>

(PPGA) The package used for Intel's Celeron Socket 370 CPU.


Last updated: 1999-06-24

Packet InterNet Groper


packet radio

<communications, radio>

The use of packet switched communications protocols in large networks (i.e not wireless LANs or Bluetooth) having wireless links to terminals at least. Packet radio is split into amateur packet radio (AX25) and General Packet Radio Service (GRPS).

Last updated: 2001-05-12

packet sniffer

<networking, tool, security>

A network monitoring utility program that captures data packets and decodes them using built-in knowledge of common protocols. Sniffers are used to help debug and monitor networking problems. A sniffer installed as malware might capture user names and passwords without the user's knowledge and transfer them to a criminal.

Last updated: 2022-12-07

packet sniffing

packet sniffer

packet switch

packet switching


packet switching

packet switching


A communications paradigm in which packets (messages or fragments of messages) are individually routed between nodes, with no previously established communication path. Packets are routed to their destination through the most expedient route (as determined by some routing algorithm). Not all packets travelling between the same two hosts, even those from a single message, will necessarily follow the same route.

The destination computer reassembles the packets into their appropriate sequence. Packet switching is used to optimise the use of the bandwidth available in a network and to minimise the latency. X.25 is an international standard packet switching network.

Also called connectionless. Opposite of circuit switched or connection-oriented. See also virtual circuit, wormhole routing.

Last updated: 1999-03-30

Packet Switch Node

(PSN) A dedicated computer whose purpose is to accept, route and forward packets in a packet-switched network.

Last updated: 1994-11-30

packet writing


A technique for writing CD-Rs and CD-RWs that is more efficient in both disk space used and the time it takes to write the CD.

Adaptec's DirectCD is a packet writing recorder for Windows 95 and Windows NT that uses the UDF version 1.5 file system.

[Is this true? How does it work?]

Last updated: 1999-09-01


<file format, tool>

A file format used on the Apple Macintosh to represent collections of Mac files, possibly Huffman compressed. Packing many small related files together before a MacBinary transfer or a translation to BinHex 4.0 is common practice.

Last updated: 1994-11-30

Nearby terms:

PACEPackard Bell Electronics, Inc.packed decimalPacked Encoding Rules

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