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Address, E-Mail Back to Top
A computer mailing address where electronic mail is sent. On the Internet the address usually has the form "johnsmith@server.com".

Address, Internet Back to Top
Also called IP address. A numeric code that uniquely identifies a particular computer to the Internet (like a unique phone number). Because there are so many of these numbers, and numbers are hard to remember, most Internet servers use a Domain Name System (like a phone book) to translate names like "whitehouse.gov" into their appropriate IP address.

Anonymous FTP Back to Top
A special use of FTP that allows anonymous public access to specific files located on a server. This service is frequently used to provide information, white papers, computer software, etc... to the general public.

Archie Back to Top
An Internet service used to locate specific files that are available via anonymous FTP servers.

Article Back to Top
A message downloaded from a newsgroup. The content of the message can be text, graphics, sound, video, etc...

ASCII files Back to Top
Files consisting only of text in "human readable" format. Also called "plain text" files.

Backbone Back to Top
A very high speed line or series of connections that form the major pathway within a network.

Bandwidth Back to Top
The capacity for information transfer through a connection. The higher the bandwidth the larger the capacity.

Baud Back to Top
A measurement of data exchange speed, measured in bits per second. The higher the baud rate the faster the transmission.

BBS Back to Top
(Bulletin Board System). Specific servers within the Internet or smaller public access servers where you can post messages and announcements, upload & download files, and communicate with other users.

Binary Files Back to Top
A file not in "human readable" ASCII file format. Executable programs, graphic image files, audio & video files, and compressed files are all examples of binary files.

Browser Back to Top
Software that allows you to access information on the World Wide Web.

Byte Back to Top
A standard unit of data (8 bits). One character (for example, the letter "Z") can be stored in one byte of data.

Cache Back to Top
A buffer used for temporary storage. A CPU cache is a special area of memory located either in or physically close to the CPU. A drive controller cache is memory located on the controller card. This speeds up access to the data since the computer doesn't have to go back to main memory or the disk drive to retreive frequently accessed or recently accessed information. WWW browsers often cache graphics or web pages so that when you press the "BACK" button, the browser doesn't have to connect to the WWW server and download HTML files again.

Case-sensitive Back to Top
Making a distinction between upper and lower case letters. For example "HELLO" and "Hello" are two different words in a case-sensitive environment. Note: All UNIX machines are case sensitive, when you login to a UNIX machine you must remember to enter your login name and password in the proper case.

Client Back to Top
A program that requests information or services from a server. For example, a browser is a client program that requests HTML files from a server.

Compressed files Back to Top
Files that have been squeezed by a special compression program so that they take up less space than the original. Most compression algorithms look for repeated patterns in the data file and replace the pattern with a much shorter key. One of the most popular compression programs around is PKzip.

Cyberspace Back to Top
The total range of information and services that is available through computer networks.

DNS (Domain Name System) Back to Top
The directory service used to translate alphabetic names into IP addresses. For example the DNS server may translate "whitehouse.gov" into "123.456.789.123".

Download Back to Top
To transfer a file from a remote system to your local system.

DSL Back to Top
An abbreviation for Digital Subscriber Line. A technology that dramatically increases the digital capacity of ordinary telephone lines (the local loops) into the home or office. DSL speeds are very much tied to the distance between the customer and the telephone company's central office. The technology is geared to Internet access with its asymmetric versions (faster downstream than upstream) and short haul connections with symmetric versions (same rate coming and going).

E-Mail address Back to Top
See address, e-mail.

E-Mail Back to Top
Abbreviation for "Electronic Mail". A system which allows users to send and receive messages and files over a network. E-mail has many of the features of regular paper mail, plus the ability to broadcast mail to a list of addresses, respond to select pieces of e-mail, and forward the message or file to another user. E-mail addresses are the hottest thing to have on your business card, and like the FAX machine, e-mail will change the way we all communicate over the next several years. E-mail is significantly cheaper than regular mail.

Encryption Back to Top
A term for methods used to scramble data to keep that data secret.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Back to Top
Canned answers to common questions.

Finger Back to Top
A command used to display information about a user on a remote system.

Firewall Back to Top
A computer or electronic device that protects the security of an internal network from intruders on an external network. Firewalls monitor, intercept, and process network requests before passing them between the internal and external networks.

Flame Back to Top
A heated response (or set of responses) to a network news article or e-mail. Users of the Internet may be flamed because they post commercial messages in a non-commercial space, or because they're Internet neophites and place inappropriate messages or ask questions in the wrong place. Flaming results in a huge amount of e-mail, and tends to make it difficult to filter out important e-mail from the flames.

FTP (File Transfer Protocal) Back to Top
A protocal or method of transferring files between computer systems. The FTP protocal allows transfer between many differant types of computer systems. FTP software can transparently translate files as necessary to make up for the differences in the source and destination systems.

Gateway Back to Top
A computer or electronic device that translates information between two computer systems, networks, or application programs. For example, LANs generally use a gateway to connect to the Internet instead of connecting each individual computer on a LAN to the Internet. Another common use of gateways is to translate e-mail between two or more different e-mail systems.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) Back to Top
A compressed graphics file format commonly used to store images.

Gopher Back to Top
A menu-based method of searching for information on the Internet. Gopher interfaces use plain text that works on any type on monitor. Unlike HTML, gopher interfaces do not support links between documents, graphics, or special text effects that make documents more user friendly.

Homepage Back to Top
The first screen that you see when you enter a World Wide Web site. Usually this page has general information, grpahics, and links or menus used to navigate within the site.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) Back to Top
The set of special codes that change ordinary text files into hypertext documents for Web browsers. HTML codes create the special hypertext links, display graphic images, or create the special text effects that make World Wide Web sites user friendly.

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocal) Back to Top
The communications protocal used to transfer hypertext documents over a network.

Hypertext Back to Top
A system of interconnected documents where the user can "jump" from one location or document to another. This Web Site utilizes hypertext to let you move between pages, or in the case of this glossary to jump to the start of a specific section of letters.

Internet Address Back to Top
See address, Internet.

IPP (Internet Presence Provider) Back to Top
A business that provides consulting, software development, and web site design services that give your company a presence on the Internet.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Back to Top
A computerized way for people to congregate and exchange live messages over the Internet. You can think of IRC as a live multimedia conference call.

ISP (Internet Service Provider) Back to Top
A business that gives you physical access to the Internet, or connects your computers or network to the Internet. The difference between an ISP and an IPP is that the ISP provides physical connections, whereas the IPP provides services and software.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group) Back to Top
A graphics file format commonly used to store images.

K (Kilobyte) Back to Top
A standard unit of measurement used to express the amount of space that data takes up. A kilobyte is 1024 bytes.

LAN (Local Area Network) Back to Top
A small network of computers or computer equipment, usually in the same location, and usually connected by wire cabling. LANs can be connected to the Internet through gateways or firewalls.

Megabyte (MB) Back to Top
A standard unit of measurement used to express the amount of space that data takes up. A megabyte is 1024 Kilobytes.

MIME (Multiple Internet Mail Extensions) Back to Top
A standard system for identifying special data contained in a file based on its' file extension. MIME allows special files such as graphics, sound, video, or word processed text files to be transferred over the Internet via e-mail or newsgroups.

Modem (MOdulator + DEModulator) Back to Top
A device used to convert data to a form that can be transferred by telephone to another piece of data processing equipment, where a similar device reconverts it. Modems are bidirectional and can seemingly send and receive data at the same time.

MPEG (Moving Pictures Experts Group) Back to Top
A moving pictures file format. Used to store video clips, animation files, etc...

Netscape Navigator Back to Top
The premier Internet broswer used to access the World Wide Web, e-mail, newsgroups, FTP, and more. Go to http://www.netscape.com to download a free trial copy.

Newsgroup Back to Top
A collection of articles related to a specific topic. There are several thousand newsgroups available on the Internet with topics ranging from serious computer subjects to fluff about your favorite movie star. The newsgroups are the subject of the current censorship issue, because a small fraction of the newsgroups contain offensive or sexually explicit material.

POP server (Post Office Protocal) Back to Top
A server that holds your incoming e-mail until you read or download it.

PPP (Point to Point Protocal) Back to Top
A communication protocal used to connect computers to the Internet over a serial line (such as by modem over telephone lines).

Script Back to Top
A series of commands held in a special file. Usually a script is used to perform common tasks automatically - such as logging into a server, or picking up your mail.

SLIP (Serial Line Interface Protocal) Back to Top
A communication protocal used to connect computers to the Internet over a serial line (such as by modem over telephone lines). PPP is the preferred standard.

SMTP server (Simple Mail Transfer Protocal) Back to Top
A server that uses SMTP to send outbound messages or e-mail.

T-1 Back to Top
A very high bandwidth network path. Capable of carrying 1.544 megabits per second (approximately 48 times as fast as a 28.8K modem).

Tar Back to Top
A utility program which combines and compresses two or more files into one compacted file. Commonly used to backup UNIX systems.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocal/Internet Protocal) Back to Top
The standard basic protocal used on the Internet. It's used to communicate between computer equipment on a LAN or WAN, whereas the PPP or SLIP protocals are common for dial-up connections.

Telnet Back to Top
Generic term for programs used to login to remote computers over a nework. Telnet is a text-only application, and cannot transmit multimedia information like Web browsers can.

UNIX Back to Top
A muti-user multi-tasking operating system commonly used in engineering, scientific, or database environments, or as an Internet server. Unix is quite a bit more complicated for the layman computer user but offers great power and capabilities to the expert computer user or as a server in the environments mentioned above.

Upload Back to Top
Transfer a file from your local system to a remote system.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) Back to Top
Pronounced EARL. The address for a resource on the Internet. Usually used for locating Web Sites or for locating files on remote machines.

Usenet newsgroups Back to Top
The original collection of newsgroups developed for global distribution on the Intenet.

uudecode Back to Top
A utility that converts an ASCII file back to a binary file. In usenet newgroups it is common to convert binary files to a uuencoded version for easy transmission to a wide variety of systems.

uuencode Back to Top
A utility that converts a binary file to an ASCII file for transmission over the Internet.

Veronica Back to Top
A network utility used to search gophers.

WAN (Wide Area Network) Back to Top
A network that covers an area larger than a single site, usually physically far apart, and usually linking smaller LANs.

Webmaster Back to Top
The person responsable for maintaining a web site.

Website Back to Top
The collection of network services, primarily HTML documents, provided to the Web by a particular server. A web site can contain almost anything, and is generally the way a company presents itself to the Internet community.

whois Back to Top
A network "white pages" service that lists user information such as computer name, e-mail address, etc... Not all users can be found using whois, because individual servers may or may not allow whois access.

Winsock Back to Top
A network stack (a software interface) used to implement network functions within Microsoft Windows. A winsock driver of one kind or another is required to communicate over the Internet. Many browsers come packaged with a winsock driver as part of their standard offering.

WWW (World Wide Web) Back to Top
A hypertext based system that allows you to retrieve information from around the globe.

Yahoo Back to Top
A search engine used to locate a variety of information and services on the Internet. This is a good starting point if you're trying to find something. Go to http://www.yahoo.com.

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