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In computing settings, "real time" always refers to data transactions initiated and completed as part of one operation. ...

Um, no, not exactly. It refers to operations that must be completed within a short time limit, before events external to the computer render them useless. For example, a computer that's steering a vehicle must determine which way to steer at a particular point before that point is actually reached; similarly, a computer displaying streaming video must input, process, and display the frames as fast as they are transmitted. That's real-time computing.
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I see the phrase or word-pair "real time" a lot. What does it mean? Does it mean the same today as it did, say, 10-15 years ago?

In the medical world, it generally refers to real-time electronic imaging, for example, ultrasound, portable flouroscopy. or real-time computed tomography imaging. This differs from traditional imaging techniques, such as X-ray, because you can see what is happening in the body while the imaging is being done and do not have to wait for a film to be developed, as you do with X-ray imaging. The great advantage of this, of course, is that certain kinds of surgery can be performed with real-time imaging, and that reduces the risk that the doctor will injure the patient.
Another use of "real-time" in medicine is electronic monitoring of the nervous system during spinal surgery, for example. This uses the real- time monitoring of spinal somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP), and allows the surgeon to see instantaneously whether a nerve is being damaged. As soon as the nerve is pinched, the SEP will reduce in response, and the surgeon can either see or be told to stop in order to avoid (more) damage (if the nerve isn't completely cut, it usually takes a bit of time to cause permanent damage).
A brand new "real-time" medical test will be reported in detail next month: "Real-Time Immuno-PCR, a novel method that detects ultra-low levels of proteins, has been applied for the detection of the AIDS virus. Specifically, it detects an inner protein of the virus known as p24, rather than detecting antibodies or viral nucleic acids." The point here is that it now takes a minimum of 12 days to detect the antibodies or viral nucleic acids that indicate HIV infection, but with this text, wich looks the p24 protein, an indicator of HIV, the test is essentially instantaneous.
http://www.news-medical.net/?id=2476

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Well, I think real time does have an important meaning, ... will still be protected by the program's real time protection.

Real time protection is protection that is protecting you all the time. As you do something, the system checks that thing to make sure it is safe, in real time. Of course this means your new fancy computer is really slow.

The trouble is that AV programs all provide real time protection and when they talk about disabling the email scanning feature they are talking about disabling real time protection.
AV program check for viruses at some or all of the following times: before downloading an email, while other software is downloading a file or email, when an attachment to email is saved or when a large email mailbox is saved, and when a user or a user program attempts to run a program All of them are real time. One can't check for a virus tomorrow that one executes today (even though Blimpy might suggest it.)
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Slow-motion photography and time-lapse photography have been around for

Absolutely. I have a picture of my grandfather in 1910 and another in
1920. He's still standing next to my grandmother. Talk about slowmotion.
a long time. MWCD11 dates "real time" to 1953, which leads me to think that it was first used in ... comments about the RHUD entry above) someone might have used "real time photography" in contrast to slow-motion or time-lapse photography.

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I see the phrase or word-pair "real time" a lot. ... the same today as it did, say, 10-15 years ago?

In the medical world, it generally refers to real-time electronic imaging, for example, ultrasound, portable flouroscopy. or real-time computed tomography ... infection, but with this text, wich looks the p24 protein, an indicator of HIV, the test is essentially instantaneous. http://www.news-medical.net/?id=2476

Real time has a precise definition in computing that even some professionals don't know exactly.
A system is said to be a real time one if
- There is a time constraint (at least one) and
- this constraint is met all the time.
for instance you could have a constraint such as
This computation must be completed not more than

5 milliseconds after that event occurred.If your program can guarantee that it will respect that constraint 100% of the time, and that's not 99.99% then it will be a hard real time system. You are
happy that flight control systems in planes
are hard real time systems;)
You sometimes have systems that respect that constraint but with a certain probability of failure. For some applications this is of no consequences. Such system are said to be soft real time systems.
Now, the concept has been strecthed and you often hear the term real time systems to depict systems that react rather quickly, as far as the user is concerned. For instance, this program will answer your questions in real time which means simply that it won't wait until next week to send the answers by post;)
Now, this is the definition in computing, but perhaps this is legitimate to use it differently in the general language. Make sure though that you don't make the mistake next time you are hacking the anti braking system of your car;)
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In computing settings, "real time" always refers to data transactions initiated and completed as part of one operation. ...

Um, no, not exactly. It refers to operations that must be completed within a short time limit, before events external ... computer displaying streaming video must input, process, and display the frames as fast as they are transmitted. That's real-time computing.

A late and very tall friend of mine who specialised in building very large robots liked to illustrate how large robots had more time to calculate how to recover their balance than small ones by falling over very slowly on conference platforms.

Chris Malcolm (Email Removed) +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205 IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK (http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/)
In computing settings, "real time" always refers to data transactions initiated and completed as part of one operation. ...

Um, no, not exactly. It refers to operations that must be completed within a short time limit, before events external ... computer displaying streaming video must input, process, and display the frames as fast as they are transmitted. That's real-time computing.

Um, no, not exactly ...
It refers to operations that must be completed within a short time limit

usually, but not necessarily ..
For example, a computer that's steering a vehicle must determine which way to steer at a particular point before that point is actually reached

good example - the computer program is constrained to operate within the external (real) world's time frame.
The example I was given as a junior programmer in the early 1970's was working the points (switches) in a gravity driven railway yard to sort groups of trucks running down inclines.
Failure to meet the timeframe in these cases results in disaster - computerised flight controls are the same ...
similarly, a computer displaying streaming video must input, process, and display the frames as fast as they are transmitted

I'm not sure that a computer program displaying streaming video is a realtime application, in fact I'm pretty sure it isn't - but one which was capturing a series of images from an external physical device would be.

In the display situation, you can run it again, and try for a better result. This is never the case with real time, because, well you can't have your time over again :-)

Jim
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reproducing at bacterial levels, almost as an
infectious plague envelops its host"
Neither am I ... as I understand it, streaming video buffers the data into discrete packets and sends these to the receiving device.

If one wanted to be a pedant, nothing is ever done in "real time" since there are always very tiny gaps between parts of the processing, but I'm happy enough with the constraint of "within a time frame that does not permit external events to substantially degrade the integrity of the data". Still, even that constraint seems to imply that scheduled backup procedures conducted outside of operating hours of an organisation are "real time" when they are clearly batched.

Often the term is used synonymously with "online" data processing.

Fran
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Real time for Dr Who would of course be something quite different. I especially enjoyed the discussion in the last episode of why the Tardis appears as an old-fashioned police box and why no-one notices it.

Ah. Just me then? I mean, already knowing that stuff and assuming that it was put in for new viewers?

David (who has had a model Tardis atop one of his speakers for a couple of decades).
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