What does “pull down” mean in video? ( with lots of my story on difficulty in living in a foreign country. :) )

There are always some fad words in technology fields.

Problems are that people in different group use or prefer different terminology.
For example, when I was in Korea, people always used “Group of Pictures” to mean the group of different types of frames in MPEG.  A group of ( I-frame followed by B or P frames ) is called “Group of Pictures”. Instead of using abbreviation we tended to use “Group of Pictures”. Probably it is because we are not English natives and depended on the most official terminology. However, I DO noticed GOP. But again, we used the pronunciation of “Gee-Oh-Pee”.

When I joined Harris Corp., there was one young engineer whose background was Electrical Engineering not Computer Science or Computer Science of Engineering. He pronounced a word, [GHAP], like 갑. I didn’t understand what he meant. But he thought that I didn’t have knowledge in MPEG. Finally I realized that he meant “Gee-Oh-Pee”. ( It seemed to me that people with CS/E background tend to call it “Gee-Oh-Pee” while people in video industry or EE call it “GHAP” here in U.S. It can be also different among schools and friends. )
Another case was our manager’s. Many CS students of my university in S.Korea just memorized “interframe” and “intraframe”. Because they didn’t realize the difference of “inter” and “intra”, and the two prefix looked similar, they tended to write wrong answer or interchanged answer for question regarding to those. In my case, because I read U.S. magazines even before I entered a university, and because those magazines were PC Magazine, Bytes, MacWorld, etc, I knew the difference of “inter” and “intra”, by expression like “intranet” and “internet”.

When “Internet” started to get popular in S.Korea in 1992 and 1993 ( until that time, it was called “PC Tong-Sin” era, i.e. PC Communication era, which is like to dial-in service providers’ tel number and used their BBS. ) Actually in University, people already had used “Internet” like “Hana-mang”, i.e. Hana-net, or something like that. 망(mang) is a web of strings and it means “net”. It’s like to call the Web as web. ( As you know, the web means interconnected structure of strings coming out from spiders.)  Anyway, whatever that is, people became familiar with the term “Internet” without really recognizing “Inter”net. So, in a “Network Communication” class, a professor spent long time how the IP, i.e Internet Protocol, allowed propagating packets from one type of network like X.25 to other type of network, or even ATM network. (The ATM is not acronym for Automated Teller Machine, but Asynchronous Transfer Mode.) However, I remember that he didn’t connect the concept of “Inter”net with “across”-different network. Well, people knew the definition of “inter” by looking up dictionary, but the definition was not easy to understand.

In my case, I always think again the meaning, “Inter” and “Intra”, before speak out any words starting with those. It is my habit to memorize those two always.

One day, I spoke to the manager, and my brain processed 3 things at the same time : One is English, the second is what I was talking about, and the third was the meaning of those words. Suddenly, my mouth spoke “Intraframe” while my brain said “interframe”, in email toward him. After clicking “send” button, I realized that I mentioned one word opposite to what I actually thought.

I lectured a lot in S.Korea.  If you are experienced in that, you will understand a situation like you write on a blackboard, while some students ask. Then you are answering to the first group of students, but a student ask something else.
It is not polite, but there are people like that. Yeah, it’s very annoying. Especially if you are friendly lecturer to students, the students have that tendency more. It’s because they think you as an easy person. Anyway, then when your mouth is trying to answer to the “new” student, but your brain is still thinking of the 1st answer to the 1st group. Your brain is finalizing it. Then, you have higher chance that you speak something which your brain didn’t mean to answer.

Recently, I got an interview from a company. Because I already booked flight schedule, and supposed to meet many people, I just got interviewed from different group of people in a series without taking rest. It started with “my philosophy toward development”, “why I think this is this and that is that”, etc. And it was finished and next group of people came in. One of the guy asked me about XOR and I easily explained it. However, because they kept asking me while I was writing and drawing on a black board, I tried to answer to their questions, and finally I said something right while wrote it wrongly on the black board.  You notice many professors do that while you were a college or high school student, right?
But he was somewhat mean.  Because I already answered correctly, he could say “You wrote wrongly over there”, but he asked me if I know “XOR” and asked me to draw XOR table. Well…. if he followed my explanation, it was quite apparent that it was not that I didn’t know that. He was somewhat weird. And from that time, my brain started to get tired quickly. and when he asked me about HEX, I answered in Binary ( partly because I wrote some logic manipulating binary  one day ago, and I didn’t finish it yet. So, my brain was still in that mode. ) From that point, he seemed to be suspicious of my skill s and knowledge. Actually what he asked to me was middle school level of knowledge. ( 6 years of Elementary school, 3 years of middle school and 3 years of high school. ) So, there was no chance that I didn’t know such thing.

One thing I am strongly suspicious here in U.S., is that people don’t seem to know that CS/E majors studies. Strangely, if it is not a company like Facebook, My Space, which are soley for writing codes, EE majored people tend to have hegemony. Just like S/W programmers who have background in CS/E tend to look down on others ( Yeah, I noticed many Korean programmers did so in Samsung Elec. ), EE-majored also have those problem. What is worse is that they seemed to be narrower in terms of the width of understanding others.

Because I read many different books and talked with different people, I easily understand or try to understand what others really want to mean, because I noticed that things were explained in different terminology in different books. People who read one book on a specific topic can only know the one terminology. But in my case, I realized that different people, different books call same thing differently and thus I’m always open to those possibilities.

So…….. Hew…. this became my diary! :)
OK. So, what about “pull down”? Does it sound “easy” to understand? Probably it is to English native speakers. “Pull down” sounds like soft, general phrase for something. But to me, it is not. “Pulling down”? Is something “pull” something “down” to have a bowl on a shelve above me? “Pull down” a blind? Does the “pull down” mean something like that?
It may sounds fun expression to native speakers, but to foreigners with different background, it can sounds more difficult than purely technical terms.

What I mean is… If I say, “My cap is open.”, what will you guess? It means “I’m upset.”
It is very funny expression in Korean among young people. Because when people get upset, body temperature tends to go up.” and we express such thing as “I got steamed.” (열받았다). It also means “I got upset.” By going to one more step, because a cap of a water pot is opened when water inside is boiling, there was new expression invented, “My cap is open” for meaning “I’m upset”. ( Water is boiled => get steamed => thus the cap is open. ) To people who are not Koreans, “My cap is open” is more difficult to understand than “I’m upset”, which is pure and direct expression. “Pull Down” sounds like “My cap is open” to me.

Well.. to understand what it is, it’s better to read document on it and try to relate “pull down” to the explanation.

Although living in a foreign country is tough, it gives me a chance to think about how people are different and how people are same. By thinking that, I can become more humble to the differences. When I was young, although I’m rather modest, I also get irritated when someone else behaved in abnormal way. But by living in a foreign country, I became more open to the differences.

( Look at how “being different” is treated or understood there in S. Korea. When workers of HanJin Heavy Industry shouted to the owner/CEOs of the company to keep their promise, people called the workers or the Korean actress who supported the workers, “the red”. Another article is here. )

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