background

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background

1. Art
a. the plane or ground in a picture upon which all other planes or forms appear superimposed
b. the parts of a picture that appear most distant
2. Physics low-intensity radiation as, for example, from small amounts of radioisotopes in soil, air, building materials, etc.
3. Electronics
a. unwanted effects, such as noise, occurring in a measuring instrument, electronic device, etc.
b. (as modifier): background interference

background

[′bak‚grau̇nd]
(communications)
Picture white of the facsimile copy being scanned when the picture is black and white only.
Undesired printing in the recorded facsimile copy of the picture being transmitted, resulting in shading of the background area.
Noise heard during radio reception caused by atmospheric interference or the operation of the receiver at such high gain that inherent tube and circuit noises become noticeable.

background

(operating system)
A task running in the background (a background task) is detached from the terminal where it was started (and often running at a lower priority); opposite of foreground. This means that the task's input and output must be from/to files (or other processes).

Nowadays this term is primarily associated with Unix, but it appears to have been first used in this sense on OS/360.

Compare amp off, batch, slopsucker.

background

(jargon)
For a human to do a task "in the background" is to do it whenever foreground matters are not claiming your undivided attention, and "to background" something means to relegate it to a lower priority. "For now, we'll just print a list of nodes and links; I'm working on the graph-printing problem in the background." Note that this implies ongoing activity but at a reduced level or in spare time, in contrast to mainstream "back burner" (which connotes benign neglect until some future resumption of activity). Some people prefer to use the term for processing that they have queued up for their unconscious minds (often a fruitful tack to take upon encountering an obstacle in creative work).

background

(1) The non-interactive processing in the computer. See foreground/background.

(2) The base, or backdrop color. In order to distinguish any image on screen, whether text or graphics, there must be a contrasting background color.
References in classic literature ?
We were standing by then in the middle of the room with its vivid colours on a black background, with its multitude of winged figures with pale limbs, with hair like halos or flames, all strangely tense in their strained, decorative attitudes.
Never had he been at such an altitude of living, and he kept himself in the background, listening, observing, and pleasuring, replying in reticent monosyllables, saying, "Yes, miss," and "No, miss," to her, and "Yes, ma'am," and "No, ma'am," to her mother.
In the background a volcano crater was silhouetted against the stars.
There, in mid-air, shining softly out of the dark background of the trees, still hovered the starry apparition of the child.
How frequent and how vivid are his descriptions of the inanimate background of human life--buildings, interiors of rooms, and the rest?
The low rich purr of a Great Western express is not the worst background for conversation, and the journey passed pleasantly enough.
The marshes on the landward side were mauve with lavender blossom, In the distance, the red-tiled cottages nestled deep among a background of green trees and rising fields.
To their right was the village, separated from them only by one level stretch of meadowland; in the background, the hall.
To Konstantin Levin the country was the background of life, that is of pleasures, endeavors, labor.
Still the Cathedral Tower rises in the background, where it cannot be, and still no writhing figure is on the grim spike.
But even if he got over this obstacle, there was another waiting for him in the background.
Resume, Application, And Letter Tips For People With Hot And Not-So-Hot Backgrounds