A Glossary of Internet Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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    A

    ADSL
    Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A digital line that uses the existing twisted pair copper telephone network to achieve speeds of up to 6 mbps up to 3.8 km, or 1.5 mbps up to 5.6 km.
    Anchor
    a synonym for hyperlink
    Applet
    A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in that they are not allowed to access certain resources on the local computer, such as files and serial devices (modems, printers, etc.), and are prohibited from communicating with most other computers across a network. The current rule is that an applet can only make an Internet connection to the computer from which the applet was sent.
    Archie
    an obsolete method of searching for files on anonymous FTP servers.
    ARPAnet
    Advanced Research Projects Agency - The experimental network, established in the 1970s, where the theories and software on which the Internet is based were tested.
    ASCII
    American Standard Code for Information Interchange The standard method for encoding characters as 8-bit sequences of binary numbers, allowing a maximum of 256 characters. Text files are customarily called "ASCII files".
    asymmetrical
    Providing differing bandwidth in different directions. 56k modems are asymmetrical: they offer a maximum speed of 56k for downloading, but only 28.8k or 33.6k for uploading.
    ATA
    Advanced Technology Attachment - a type of hard drive
    ATM
    Asycronous Transfer Mode: Ultra high speed line for use with speeds up to 400,000,000 baud.
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    B

    Backbone
    The Main interconnects linking the Internet together.
    Bandwidth
    How much stuff you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 15,000 bits in one second.
    Baud
    In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value - for example a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300 = 1200 bits per second).
    BBS
    Bulletin Board System - Computers access by remote users via modems for discussion, file downloads, and other BBS services.
    Binhex
    BINary HEXadecimal - A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only handle 7 bit (Low) ASCII.
    Bit
    Binary DigIT - A single digit number in base-2, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.
    Blue Screen of Death
    This is a name given to a crash of a Windows NT server or workstation. often called BSoD.
    Bookmark
    Web browsers give you an option of adding a URL to a "HotList" or by marking it with a "Bookmark".By doing this, you can store the linking information (the URL) to any Web pages you plan to revisit. That way, if you decide to go back to a Web site, its URL is already catalogued and at your fingertips for easy reference. (Spry Mosaic uses "HotLists", Netscape Navigator uses "Bookmarks" and Microsoft Internet Explorer uses "Favorites").
    Bps
    Bits-Per-Second - A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move 28,800 bits per second.
    BRI
    Basic Rate Interface. A consumer grade ISDN line consisting of 2 64k B (bearer) channels and one 16k D (delta controller) channel.
    Broadband
    Highspeed internet
    Browser
    A Client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources.
    BSoD
    see Blue Screen of Death
    BTW
    By The Way -- A shorthand appended to a message written in an online forum.
    Byte
    A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made.
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    C

    CCITT
    International Consultative Committee on Telecommunications and Telegraphy - The CCITT acronym comes from the French Commite' Consultatif International de Telegraphique et Telephonique. An international standards body. Known as the ITU-T since March 1, 1993
    CDSL
    CONSUMER DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE - a 1 Megabaud version of HDSL that uses only one wire pair. and can work at reduced speed beyond the normal 5km limit of most DSL technologies.
    CERN
    The European Laboratory for Particle Physics. The originators of the HTTP and HTML concepts.
    CERT
    Computer Emergency Response Team A clearinghouse of information about network security.
    CGI
    Common Gateway Interface -- A set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the CGI program) talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard. Usually a CGI program is a small program that takes data from a web server and does something with it, like putting the content of a form into an e-mail message, or turning the data into a database query. You can often see that a CGI program is being used by seeing cgi-bin in a URL, but not always.
    cgi-bin
    A common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored.
    Channel
    Virtual area where IRC users communicate in real time. There are thousands of channels located on the Internet.
    CLEC
    Competative Local Exchange Carrier - telephone companies that compete with ILEC such as Bell Canada
    Client
    Any program you use to access a server; a computer application that requests support from another program (often called a server), which usually runs on a remote computer. For example, Netscape is a client that accesses programs (and web pages) from servers on the Internet.
    CO
    Central Office. (Bell Switching Station)
    COM port
    Communications Port. - A plug-in socket in back of the computer for hooking up devices such as modems.
    Communications software
    Also referred to as telecommunications software, this software allows one computer to connect with other computers across telephone lines (via modems) and share information. Communications software transmits instructions to your modem that directs it to make connections, transfer files, and carry out other procedures.
    Connect time The period
    during which a user is signed on, usually for a fee, to an online service, bulletin board system, host computer, or Internet service provider.
    Cookie
    The most common meaning of Cookie on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server. Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers settings, the Browser may accept, warn or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for a set period of time. Cookies can contain information such as login or registration information, user preferences, or data on if You have viewed this page before. When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customize what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular users requests. Cookies are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their expire time has not been reached. Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them.
    CRC
    Cyclic Redundancy Check - An error-checking procedure for data transmission. The sending device performs a complex calculation, generating a number based upon the data being transmitted, and sends that number to the receiving device. The receiving device performs the same calculation after transmission. If the results match, the transmission succeeds. If the numbers don't match, it means the message was received in an altered state, and the data may be incorrect.
    CSS
    Cascading Style Sheets - A relatively new feature added to HTML that gives both Web Designers and users more control over how pages are displayed. The term 'cascading' refers to the fact that multiple style sheets can be applied to the same web page, or that one sheet can be applied to many pages. CSS was developed by the W3C
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    D

    Dial-up
    As opposed to a dedicated or leased line ; a type of computer linkage using regular telephone lines, generally referring to the kind of connection one makes when using a terminal emulator and a regular modem.
    DNS
    Domain Name Server - A Server on the Net that turns Domain Names (that humans can understand) into IP addresses (that computers can understand).
    Domain Name
    The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name For example, the domain names:
    albedo.net
    mail.albedo.net
    juliet.albedo.net
    can all refer to the same machine, and each domain name can even refer to more than one machine.
    Download
    To receive a file sent from another computer via modem
    DS1
    A high-speed line capable of delivering 1.54 Mbps (1,540K) in both directions, and divided into 24 data-bearing channels. Commonly called a T1.
    DS1C
    A high-speed line capable of delivering 3.15 Mbps (3,150K) in both directions.
    DS2
    A high-speed line capable of delivering 6.31 Mbps (6,310K) in both directions.
    DS3
    A high-speed line capable of delivering 44.7 Mbps (44,700K) in both directions. Commonly called a T3
    DSVD
    Digital Simultaneous Voice and Data.
    Dumb Terminal
    A terminal that doesn't contain an internal microprocessor. It responds to simple control codes, and usually displays only characters and numerals.
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    E

    E-1
    Roughly the European equivelant of a T1 or a PRI, but with 30 data-bearing channels
    E-mail
    Electronic Mail - Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer.
    Ethernet
    A common method of networking computers in a LAN. Ethernet will handle 10Mbaud and can be used with almost any kind of computer.
    External Viewer
    a program used by Netscape or Internet Explorer cannot handle a particular file type internally. For example, .ps or postscript files. When You retrieve a .ps file it will pass the file to a postscript viewer and the viewer will display the file.
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    F

    FAQ
    A file that contains Frequently Asked Questions and answers
    FddI
    Fiber Distributed Data Interface - A standard for transmitting data on optical fiber cables at a rate of around 100M baud (10 times as fast as Ethernet, about twice as fast as T-3).
    Finger
    An obsolete Internet software tool for locating people on other Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular Internet site. Many sites dis-allow incoming Finger requests.
    Fire Wall
    A combination of hardware and software that separates a LAN into two or more parts for security purposes. Users inside a Fire Wall must use a Proxy server to access the outside net.
    Flame
    A sering email or newsgroup message in which the writer attacks another in overly an harsh, and often personal, manner. Often degrades into Flame Wars
    Flame War
    When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debators, rather than discussion of their positions.
    A heated exchange.
    FTP
    File Transfer Protocol - a method of transferring files to and from remote computers
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    G

    Gateway
    The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example Prodigy has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary e-mail format and Internet e-mail format. Another, sloppier meaning of gateway is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another system, e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.
    GIF
    Graphics Interchange Format, an image file format invented by Compuserve
    Gigabyte
    1000 Megabytes
    Google
    A popular web search utility. Found at www.google.com
    To Google - to use google to search the internet. i.e. "Try googling it." or "I googled it"
    Gopher
    an obsolete text based distributed information system developed at the University of Minnesota
    predecesor to the world wide web (web without graphics)
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    H

    HDSL
    High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line. A digital line that uses the existing twisted pair copper telephone network to achieve speeds of up to 2.048 mbps up to 3.6 km. For more information visit Pairgain.
    History List
    A list of Document Titles and URLs Web Browsers keeps in memory that represents the visited URLs during a given session, In Netscape you can set the time the history list is kept.
    Home Page
    A top level document of a organization or a document that a user frequently visits. By default Netscape points to the home.netscape.com, however you can define anyone's home page as your home page.
    Host
    Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as WWW and USENET.
    Hotlist
    a user defined list of preferred URLs to a given World Wide Web document
    HTML
    HyperText Markup Language. - The rules that govern the way we create documents so that can be read by a WWW Browser. Most documents that are displayed by Mosaic are HTML documents. These documents are characterized by the .html or .htm file extension. For example: homepage.html or homepage.htm
    HTTP
    HyperText Transport Protocol - The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is the most common protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).
    Hyperlink
    A link in a given document to information within another document. These links are usually represented by highlighted words or images. The user also has the option to underline these hyperlinks.
    Hypermedia
    richly formatted documents containing a variety of information types, such as textual, image, movie, and audio. These information types are easily found through hyperlinks.
    Hypertext
    Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.
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    I

    ILEC
    Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier - a telephone company that was providing local service when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted. Compare with CLEC.
    IM
    Instant Messag(ing)(er)(es) - Messages sent instantly from computer to computer using a private chat room. Some common programs used to send IM's include AIM (AOL), YIM (Yahoo), MSM Messenger, and ICQ.
    In-line image
    a graphic image that is displayed with an html document.
    Internet
    The vast collection of inter-connected networks that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60's and early 70's. The Internet now (July 1995) connects roughly 75,000 independent networks into a vast global internet.
    Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have an internet
    An international computer network of networks that connect government, academic and business institutions.
    Intranet
    A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use. Note that an Intranet may not actually be an internet -- it may simply be a local network.
    IP Number
    Internet Protocol Number - Sometimes called a dotted quad, or IP Address. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 206.51.22.1
    Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.
    IRC
    Internet Relay Chat - A multi-user live chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the world which are linked to each other. Anyone can create a channel and anything that anyone types in a given channel is seen by all others in the channel. Private channels can (and are) created for multi-person conference calls.
    ISDN
    Integrated Services Digital Network - A digital phone service capable of speeds from 56K to 128 K. Provides two data channels, each with its own phone number, making simultaneous voice and data possible.
    ISP
    Internet Service Provider - A company that provides access to the Internet through modems, ISDN, T1s, etc.
    ITU
    International Telecommunications Union. An international standards body. Known as the CCITT prior to March 1, 1993.
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    J

    Java
    Java is a network-oriented programming language invented by Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to your computer or files. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks.
    JPEG
    Joint Photographic Expert Group, a method of storing an image in digital format
    also known as 'jpg'
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    K

    K56flex
    Lucent and Rockwell's joint 56K protocol that makes Rockwell's K56Plus and Lucent's V.flex2 technologies interoperable
    K56Plus
    Rockwell's proprietary protocol for 56000 bps asynchronous communications. Merged with Lucent's V.flex to create K56flex.
    Kbps
    kilobits per second. KBps is kilobytes per second.
    Kilobyte
    A thousand bytes. Actually, usually 1024 (2^10) bytes.
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    L

    l33t sp35k
    'elite speak' a mode of internet 'speach' that is formed using numbers and odd combinations of letters. Generally difficult to interpret and not worth the effort of doing so.
    a method recently incorportated by spammers trying to get their spam through increasingly complex spam filters.
    LAN
    Local Area Network - A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building. Ethernet is one of the more common lan systems
    Leased-line
    Refers to a phone line that is rented for exclusive 24-hour, 7 -days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line.
    Listserv
    The most common kind of mail list, Listservs originated on BITNET but they are now common on the Internet.
    local loop
    The copper wires running between the telephone subscriber's home or business and the phone company switch.
    Login
    Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password).
    Verb: The act of entering into a computer system, e.g. Login to the WELL and then go to the GBN conference.
    Luser
    Derogitory term tech support personel use to describe many users. A Luser is basicly anyone who phones tech support without being infront of there computer with it turned on.
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    M

    MacTCP
    The necessary network software from Apple Computer that allows Macintoshes to interact with the other computers via TCP/IP
    Mailing list
    A (usually automated) system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the maillist. In this way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail access can participate in discussions together.
    malware
    malicious software - software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus.
    Mbps
    megabits per second. MBps would be megabytes per second.
    Megabyte
    A million Bytes. A thousand Kilobytes.
    MIME
    Multiple Internet Mail Extensions, a method of identifying files such that the first packet of information received by a client, contains information about the type of file the server has sent. For example text, audio, movie, postscript, word document, etc....
    Modem
    MOdulator, DEModulator - An interface connect to your computer to a phone line, and allow the computer to communicate with other computers through a phone system.
    MOO
    Mud, Object Oriented - One of several kinds of multi-user role-playing environments.
    Mosaic
    The first WWW browser that was available for the Macintosh, Windows, and UNIX all with the same interface. Mosaic really started the popularity of the Web. The source-code to Mosaic has been licensed by several companies and there are several other pieces of software as good or better than Mosaic, most notably, Netscape.
    MPEG
    Moving Pictures Experts Group, a method of storing movie files in digital format
    MUD
    Multi-User Dungeon - A (usually text-based) multi-user simulation environment. Real time, ongoing role playing gaming.
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    N

    n00b
    someone who is not a newbie but still behaves as one
    usually a deragatory term
    NCSA
    The National Center for Supercomputing Applications. NCSA is located at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
    Netiquette
    The etiquette on the Internet.
    Netizen
    Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the Internet, or someone who uses networked resources. The term connotes civic responsibility and participation.
    Netscape
    A WWW Browser and the name of a company. The Netscape (tm) browser was originally based on the Mosaic program developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Netscape has grown in features rapidly and is the most popular web browser.
    Network
    Any time you connect 2 or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network.
    Newbie
    someone is is a new user on an online service
    Newsgroup
    The name for discussion groups on USENET.
    NIC
    Networked Information Center - Any office that handles information for a network. The most famous of these on the Internet is the InterNIC, which is where new top level domain names an name servers are registered.
    NNTP
    Network News Transport Protocol - The protocol used by client and server software to carry USENET postings back and forth over a TCP/IP network. If you are using any of the more common software such as Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc. to participate in Newsgroups then you are using an NNTP connection.
    Node
    Any single computer connected to a network.
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    O

    OC-3
    A fiber optic line capable of 155 mbps. (155,000K).
    OC-48
    A fiber optic line capable of 2400 mbps (2,400,000K).
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    P

    Password
    A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as fred. A good password might be:0Frt{62L
    PCM
    Pulse Code Modulation. A method of encoding an audio signal in digital format.
    PNG
    Portable Network Graphics - pronounced ping A graphics format, similiar to GIF. designed to replace GIF.
    PostScript
    A page description language developed by Adobe Systems
    Protocol
    A planned method of exchanging data over the Internet
    POP
    Point of Presence - A local dial in point for an Internet Service Provider.
    Post Office Protocol (pop3) refers to the way e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account you almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that you tell your e-mail software to use to get your mail.
    PPP
    Point to Point Protocol - The most common protocol used to allows computers to use a regular telephone line and a modem to make TCP/IP connection to the Internet.
    POTS
    Plain Old Telephone Service. Regular analog phone service, as opposed to ISDN, ADSL, and other digital phone services.
    PRI
    Primary Rate Interface. An industrial grade ISDN line. In Canada, The U. S. and Japan, a PRI consists of 23 64K bearer channels and a 64K delta (controller) channel. In Europe, a PRI consists of 30 bearer channels and a delta channel.
    PSTN
    Public Switched Telephone Network.
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    Q

    QuickTime
    a method of storing movie and audio files in a digital format. Developed by Apple Computers
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    R

    RBOC
    Regional Bell Operating Company.
    RFC
    Request for Comments, there are the agreed upon standards with which all methods of communicating over the Internet are define
    Router
    A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more Networks. Routers spend all their time looking at the destination addresses of the packets passing through them and deciding which route to send them on.
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    S

    SAN
    Storage Area Network - a high-speed subnetwork of shared machines that contain nothing but a disk, or disks for storing data.
    Security Certificate
    A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection. Security Certificates contain information about who it belongs to, who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other unique identification, valid dates, and an encrypted fingerprint that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate. In order for an SSL connection to be created both sides must have a valid Security Certificate.
    Server
    a computer that serves information and software to the Internet community.
    SGML
    Standard Generalized Markup Language, is an International standard, a encoding scheme for creating textual information. HTML is a subset of SGML
    Shareware
    Software that one may try out for free before deciding on purchasing it.
    Shell A user
    interface to the Internet using only character-based, command-line access to a Unix system.
    SLIP
    Serial Line Internet Protocol - A standard for using a regular telephone line (a serial line) and a modem to connect a computer as a real Internet site. SLIP is gradually being replaced by PPP.
    SMTP
    Simple Mail Transport Protocol - The main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet. SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact.
    SNMP
    Simple Network Management Protocol - A set of standards for communication with devices connected to a TCP/IP network. It is often used to communicate with Routers, hubs, and switches.
    Spam (or Spamming)
    Unsolicited Junk E-Mail. 90% of SPAM on the Internet comes from Cyber Promotions.
    An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn't ask for it.
    The term comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over.
    Spam is also a Canned food product made by Hormel
    Spyware
    software that gathers your information through your internet connection without your knowledge, usually for advertising purposes.
    SQL
    Structured Query Language - A specialized programming language for sending queries to databases. Most industrial-strength and many smaller database applications can be addressed using SQL. Each specific application will have its own version of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.
    SSH
    Secure Shell - a program to log onto another computer over a network, to execute commands on a remote machine, and move files from one machine to another.
    SSL
    Secure Sockets Layer - A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.
    Symmetrical
    providing equal speeds in both directions. Compare with asymmetrical.
    Sysop
    SYStem OPerator - Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system or network resource.
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    T

    T-1
    A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000 bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds. That is still not fast enough for full-screen, full-motion video, for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second. T-1 is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks to the Internet.
    In North America, a digital carrier for a DS1 digital signal.
    T-3
    A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second.
    In North America, a digital carrier for a DS3 digital signal.
    TCP/IP
    Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, a set of rules that establish the method with which data is transmitted over the Internet between two computers.
    Telnet
    The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another. The telnet command/program gets you to the login: prompt of another host.
    Terabyte
    1000 gigabytes.
    Terminal
    A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard and a display screen and some simple circuitry. Usually you will use terminal software in a personal computer - the software pretends to be (emulates) a physical terminal and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.
    Terminal Server
    A special purpose computer that has places to plug in many modems on one side, and a connection to a LAN or host machine on the other side. Thus the terminal server does the work of answering the calls and passes the connections on to the appropriate node. Most terminal servers can provide PPP services if connected to the Internet.
    TIFF
    Tag Image File Format, a file format used storing image files
    TTFN
    Ta Ta For Now - A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online forum.
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    U

    UNIX
    A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets). UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.
    URL
    Uniform Resource Locator, the address to a source of information. The URL contains four distinct parts, the protocol type, the machine name, the directory path and the file name. For example:http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/Mosaic/NCSAMosaicHome.html
    USENET
    A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments passed among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all USENET machines are on the Internet, maybe half. USENET is completely decentralized, with over 30,000 discussion areas, called Newsgroups
    UUENCODE
    Unix to Unix Encoding - A method for converting files from Binary to ASCII (text) so that they can be sent across the Internet via e-mail.
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    V

    V.32terbo
    AT&T's proprietary protocol for 19200 bps asynchronous communications.
    V.32bis
    The ITU standard for 14400 bps asynchronous communications.
    V.34
    The ITU standard for 28800 bps asynchronous communications.
    Veronica
    Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives - Developed at the University of Nevada, Veronica is a constantly updated database of the names of almost every menu item on thousands of Gopher servers. The Veronica database can be searched from most major gopher menus.
    V.FC
    Rockwell's proprietary protocol for 28800 bps asynchronous communications.
    V.flex2
    Lucent's proprietary protocol for 56000 bps Asycronous communications. Merged with Rockwell's K56Plus to create K56flex.
    Virus
    A program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer, usually without your knowledge, and runs against your wishes. Some can also replicate themselves, using your computer to spread to people in your address book. Their function depends on the programmer that made them.
    VoIP
    Voice over Internet Protocol - Hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet for telephone calls by sending voice data using IP rather than traditional telephone lines. An advantage of VoIP is that one does not pay extra for the call, much as one does not pay for sending emails over the Internet.
    VPN
    Virtual Private Network - a network that is constructed using public wires to connect nodes. There are a number of systems that enable you to create networks using the Internet as the medium for transporting data.
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    W

    W3C
    World Wide Web Consortium
    WAN
    Wide Area Network - Any internet or Network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.
    WAP
    Wireless Application Protocol - a secure specification that allows users to access information instantly using handheld wireless devices, such as cell phones, pages, and communicators.
    WAIS
    Wide Area Information Server, a database
    Wi-Fi
    Wireless Fidelity - wireless networks - ability to access the internet (usually with a laptop) from anywhere
    World Wide Web = WWW
    a distributed HyperText-based information system conceived at CERN to provide its user community an easy way to access global information
    Worm
    (1) a program that replicates itself over a computer network and normally performs malicious actions, such as using the computer's resources or shutting the system down. A type of virus.
    (2) write once, read many - technology that allows you to write data onto a disk only once. After that the data is permanent, but can be read any number of times. The disks can only be read by the same type of drive that wrote them. Usually used for archiving.
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    X

    x2
    U.S. Robotics' proprietary protocol for 56000 bps asyncronous communications.
    XBM
    X bit map, a simple image format. XBMs only appear in black and white and you will find them in-line in HTML documents
    Xenix Microsoft
    Corporation's version of the Unix operating system.
    Xmodem
    A popular file-transfer protocol developed in 1977 by Ward Christiansen. The protocol works by sending blocks of data in 128-byte blocks from PC to PC. Included with this data is an error-detection system called a checksum. When the data is received, the error detection system ensures that the entire message reached its destination. If not, the receiving computer sends a request for retransmission of the data. Compare with Ymodem, Zmodem
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    Y

    Ymodem
    A file-transfer protocol similar to the enhanced 1K version of Xmodem. Ymodem also allows multiple file transmission, performs cyclical redundancy checks ( CRC), and can reduce the file transfer size to compensate for a poor connection. Compare to Xmodem, Zmodem
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    Z

    Zmodem
    A file-transfer protocol that uses cyclical redundancy check (CRC) to detect errors. It is designed to transfer large files. Compare to Xmodem, Ymodem
If you have any suggestions for items we should add to our glossary, email the webmaster.

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