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| W | X | Y
(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) -- A method for moving data over
regular phone lines. An ADSL circuit is much faster than a regular
phone connection, and the wires coming into the subscribers premises
are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service. ADSL is
usually offered in sp
ADSL is often discussed as an alternative to ISDN, allowing
higher speeds in cases where the connection is always to the same
ADSL is available in 3 common speeds, 256k/64k, 512k/128k and 1.5m/256k.
Other speeds are available, but are not as common in Australia.
See Also: bit, bps , ISDN
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.
See Also: HTML, Java
A tool (software) for finding files stored on anonymous FTP
sites. You need to know the exact file name or a substring of it.
ARPANet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network):
The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60's and
early 70's by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking
that would survive a nuclear war.
See Also: Internet
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
-- This is the de facto world-wide standard for the code numbers used
by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters,
numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each
of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary nu mber: 0000000 through
A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway
within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network
will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large
See Also: Network
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. Full-motion
full-screen video would require roughly 10,000, 000 bits-per-second,
depending on compression.
See Also: 56k Line, Bps
, Bit, T-1
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).
See Also: Bit, Modem
BBS (Bulletin Board System)
-- A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people
to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements
without the people being connected to the computer at the same time.
There are many thousands (millions?) of BBS' s around the world, most
are very small, running on a single IBM clone PC with 1 or 2 phone
lines. Some are very large and the line between a BBS and a system
like CompuServe gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly
(BINary HEXadecimal) -- A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII)
into ASCII. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only
See Also: ASCII, MIME
(Binary DigIT) -- A single digit number in base-2, in other words,
either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. Bandwidth
is usually measured in bits-per-second.
See Also: Bandwidth, Bps
, Byte, Kilobyte ,
(Because It's Time NETwork (or Because It's There NETwork)) -- A network
of educational sites separate from the Internet, but e-mail is freely
exchanged between BITNET and the Internet. Listservs,
the most popular form of e-mail discussion groups, originated on BITNET.
BITNET machines are usual ly mainframes running the VMS operating
system, and the network is probably the only international network
that is shrinking.
(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
See Also: Bandwidth, Bit
A Client program (software) that is used to look at various
kinds of Internet resources.
See Also: Client, URL
, WWW, Netscape , Mosaic,
Home Page (or Homepage)
(By The Way) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online
See Also: IMHO, TTFN
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.
See Also: Bit
Authority An issuer of Security Certificates used in
See Also: Security Certificate
(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 i
t 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.
See Also: cgi-bin, Web
cgi-bin The most
common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI programs
The"bin" part of "cgi-bin" is a shorthand version of"binary", because
once upon a time, most programs were refered to as"binaries". In
real life, most programs found in cgi-bin directories are text files
-- scripts that are executed by binaries located elsewhere on the
See Also: CGI
: A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from
a Server software program on another computer, often across
a great distance. Each Client program is designed to work with
one or more specific kinds of Server programs, and each Server
requires a specific kind of Client. A Web Browser is
a specific kind of Client.
See Also: Browser, Server
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 r eq uests from the
Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browser's settings,
the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the
Cookie for either a short time or a long time.
Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information,
online"shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.
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 user's 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 impossible without them.
See Also: Browser, Server
Cyberpunk was originally a cultural sub-genre of science fiction taking
place in a not-so-distant, dystopian, over-industrialized society.
The term grew out of the work of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
and has evolved into a cultural label encompassi ng many different
kinds of human, machine, and punk attitudes. It includes clothing
and lifestyle choices as well.
See Also: Cyberspace
Term originated by author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer
the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range
of information resources available through computer networks.
The digital version of literati, it is a reference to a vague cloud
of people seen to be knowledgeable, hip, or otherwise in-the-know
in regards to the digital revolution.
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 but a given Domain Name
points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:
can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer
to no more than one machine.
Usually, all of the machines on a given Network will have the
same thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names (matisse.net
in the examples above). It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist
but not be connected to a n actual machine. This is often done so
that a group or business can have an Internet e-mail address without
having to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some real
Internet machine must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain
See Also: IP Number
(Electronic Mail) -- Messages, usually text, sent from one person
to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to
a large number of addresses (Mailing List).
See Also: Listserv, Maillist
A very common method of networking computers in a LAN. Ethernet
will handle about 10,000,000 bits-per-second and can be used with
almost any kind of computer.
See Also: Bandwidth, LAN
(Frequently Asked Questions) -- FAQs are documents that list and answer
the most common questions on a particular subject. There are hundreds
of FAQs on subjects as diverse as Pet Grooming and Cryptography. FAQs
are usually written by people who have tired of answering the same
questi on over and over.
(Fiber Distributed Data Interface) -- A standard for transmitting
data on optical fiber cables at a rate of around 100,000,000 bits-per-second
(10 times as fast as Ethernet, about twice as fast as T-3).
See Also: Bandwidth, Ethernet
, T-1, T-3
An 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 do no t allow incoming Finger
requests, but many do.
A combination of hardware and software that separates a LAN
into two or more parts for security purposes.
See Also: Network, LAN
Originally, flame meant to carry forth in a passionate manner in the
spirit of honorable debate. Flames most often involved the use of
flowery language and flaming well was an art form. More recently flame
has come to refer to any kind of derogatory com ment no matter how
witless or crude.
See Also: Flame War
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.
See Also: Flame
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) -- A very common
method of moving files between two Internet sites. FTP is a special
way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of
retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that
have established publicly accessible r epositories of material that
can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name
anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous ftp servers.
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 meani ng of gateway is to
describe any mechanism for providing access to another system, e.g.
AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.
See Also: Byte, Gigabyte
A widely successful method of making menus of material available over
the Internet. Gopher is a Client and Server style program,
which requires that the user have a Gopher Client program.
Although Gopher spread rapidly across the gl obe in only a couple
of years, it has been largely supplanted by Hypertext, also known
as WWW (World Wide Web). There are still thousands of Gopher
Servers on the Internet and we can expect they will remain
for a while.
See Also: Client, Server
, WWW, Hypertext
As used in reference to the World Wide Web,"hit" means a single request
from a web browser for a single item from a web server;
thus in order for a web browser to display a page that contains 3
graphics, 4"hits" would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML
page, and one for each of the 3 graphics.
"hits" are often used as a very rough measure of load on a server,
e.g."Our server has been getting 300,000 hits per month." Because
each"hit" can represent anything from a request for a tiny document
(or even a request for a missing document) al l the way to a request
that requires some significant extra processing (such as a complex
search request), the actual load on a machine from 1 hit is almost
impossible to define.
Several meanings. Originally, the web page that your browser
is set to use when it starts up. The more common meaning refers to
the main web page for a business, organization, person or simply the
main page out of a collection of web pages , e.g."Check out so-and-so's
new Home Page."
Another sloppier use of the term refers to practically any web page
as a"homepage," e.g."That web site has 65 homepages and none of them
See Also: Browser, Web
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
See Also: Node, Network
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) -- The coding
language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the
World Wide Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting
code, where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate
how it should appear, additionally, in H TML you can specify that
a block of text, or a word, is linked to another file on the Internet.
HTML files are meant to be viewed using a World Wide Web Client
Program, such as Netscape or Mosaic.
See Also: Client, Server
(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 important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).
See Also: Client, Server
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.
(In My Humble Opinion) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written
in an online forum, IMHO indicates that the writer is aware that they
are expressing a debatable view, probably on a subject already under
discussion. One of may such shorthands in common use online, especially
i n discussion forums.
See Also: TTFN, BTW
(Upper case I) 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 60,000 independent network s in to a vast global internet.
See Also: internet
(Lower case i) Any time you connect 2 or more networks together,
you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
See Also: Internet, Network
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.
As the Internet has become more popular many of the tools used on
the Internet are being used in private networks, for example, many
companies have web servers that are available only to employees.
Note that an Intranet may not actually be an internet
-- it may simply be a network.
See Also: internet, Internet
IP Number (Internet Protocol Number)
-- Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of
4 parts separated by dots, e.g.
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.
See Also: Domain Name, Internet
(Internet Relay Chat) -- Basically a huge 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
c hannel. Private channels can (and are) created for multi-person
(Integrated Services Digital Network) -- Basically a way to move more
data over existing regular phone lines. ISDN is rapidly becoming available
to much of the USA and in most markets it is priced very comparably
to standard analog phone circuits. It can provide speeds of roughly
128,000 bits -per-second over regular phone lines. In practice, most
people will be limited to 56,000 or 64,000 bits-per-second.
(Internet Service Provider) -- An institution that provides access
to the Internet in some form, usually for money.
See Also: Internet
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 t o your computer or files.
Using small Java programs (called"Applets"), Web pages can
include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy
We can expect to see a huge variety of features added to the Web using
Java, since you can write a Java program to do almost anything a regular
computer program can do, and then include that Java program in a Web
See Also: Applet
(Java Development Kit) -- A software development package from Sun
Microsystems that implements the basic set of tools needed to write,
test and debug Java applications and applets
See Also: Applet, Java
A thousand bytes. Actually, usually 1024 (2^10) bytes.
See Also: Byte, Bit
(Local Area Network) -- A computer network limited to the immediate
area, usually the same building or floor of a building.
See Also: Ethernet
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.
See Also: 56k Line, T-1
The most common kind of maillist, Listservs originated on BITNET
but they are now common on the Internet.
See Also: BITNET, E-mail
Noun or a verb. 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.
See Also: Password
Maillist (or 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 o f e-mail access can participate in discussions
A million bytes. A thousand kilobytes.
See Also: Byte, Bit ,
(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) -- The standard for attaching
non-text files to standard Internet mail messages. Non-text files
include graphics, spreadsheets, formatted word-processor documents,
sound files, etc.
An email program is said to be MIME Compliant if it can both send
and receive files using the MIME standard.
When non-text files are sent using the MIME standard they are converted
(encoded) into text - although the resulting text is not really readable.
Generally speaking the MIME standard is a way of specifying both the
type of file being sent (e.g. a Quicktime? video file), and the method
that should be used to turn it back into its original form.
Besides email software, the MIME standard is also universally used
by Web Servers to identify the files they are sending to Web
Clients, in this way new file formats can be accommodated simply
by updating the Browsers' list of pairs of MI ME -Types and appropriate
software for handling each type.
See Also: Browser, Client
, Server, Binhex ,
Generally speaking,"to mirror" is to maintain an exact copy of something.
Probably the most common use of the term on the Internet refers to"mirror
sites" which are web sites, or FTP sites that maintain
exact copies of material origina ted at another location, usually
in order to provide more widespread access to the resource.
Another common use of the term"mirror" refers to an arrangement where
information is written to more than one hard disk simultaneously,
so that if one disk fails, the computer keeps on working without losing
See Also: FTP, Web
(MOdulator, DEModulator) -- A device that you connect to your computer
and to a phone line, that allows the computer to talk to other computers
through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers what
a telephone does for humans.
(Mud, Object Oriented) -- One of several kinds of multi-user role-playing
environments, so far only text-based.
See Also: MUD, MUSE
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 oth er pieces of software
as good or better than Mosaic, most notably, Netscape.
See Also: Browser, Client
(Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension) -- A (usually text-based) multi-user
simulation environment. Some are purely for fun and flirting, others
are used for serious software development, or education purposes and
all that lies in between. A significant feature of most MUDs is that
users can cr eate things that stay after they leave and which other
users can interact with in their absence, thus allowing a world to
be built gradually and collectively.
See Also: MOO, MUSE
(Multi-User Simulated Environment) -- One kind of MUD - usually with
little or no violence.
See Also: MOO, MUD
The etiquette on the Internet.
See Also: Internet
Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the Internet,
or someone who uses networked resources. The term connotes civic responsibility
See Also: Internet
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 widely recognized as
the best and most popular web browser. Netscape corporation also produces
web server software.
Netscape provided major improvements in speed and interface over other
browsers, and has also engendered debate by creating new elements
for the HTML language used by Web pages -- but the Netscape
extensions to HTML are not universally supported.
The main author of Netscape, Mark Andreessen, was hired away from
the NCSA by Jim Clark, and they founded a company called Mosaic Communications
and soon changed the name to Netscape Communications Corporation.
See Also: Browser, Mosaic
, Server, WWW
Any time you connect 2 or more computers together so that they can
share resources, you have a computer network. Connect 2 or more networks
together and you have an internet.
See Also: internet, Internet
The name for discussion groups on USENET.
See Also: USENET
(Networked Information Center) -- Generally, any office that handles
information for a network. The most famous of these on the Internet
is the InterNIC, which is where new domain names are registered.
Another definition: NIC also refers to Network Interface Card which
plugs into a computer and
adapts the network interface to the appropriate standard. ISA, PCI,
and PCMCIA cards are all examples of NICs.
(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, Nuntius, Internet
Explorer, etc. t o participate in newsgroups then you are benefiting
from an NNTP connection.
See Also: Newsgroup, TCP/IP
Any single computer connected to a network.
See Also: Network, Internet
The method used to move data around on the Internet. In packet
switching, all the data coming out of a machine is broken up into
chunks, each chunk has the address of where it came from and where
it is going. This enables chunks of data from many different sources
to co-mingle on the same lines, and be sorted and directed to different
routes by special machines along the way. This way many people can
use the same lines at the same time.
A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords contain
letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as virtue7.
A good password might be:
See Also: Login
Plug-in A (usually
small) piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of
software. Common examples are plug-ins for the Netscape® browser
and web server. Adobe Photoshop® also uses plug-ins.
The idea behind plug-in's is that a small piece of software is loaded
into memory by the larger program, adding a new feature, and that
users need only install the few plug-ins that they need, out of
a much larger pool of possibilities. Plug-ins are usu al ly created
by people other than the publishers of the software the plug-in
(Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol) -- Two commonly used
meanings: Point of Presence and Post Office Protocol. A Point of Presence
usually means a city or location where a network can be connected
to, often with dial up phone lines. So if an Internet company says
they will soon have a POP i n Belgrade, it means that they will soon
have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or a place where leased
lines can connect to their network. A second meaning, Post Office
Protocol refers to the way e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail
from a mail s erver. 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.
See Also: SLIP, PPP
meanings. First and most generally, a place where information goes
into or out of a computer, or both. E.g. the serial port on a personal
computer is where a modem would be connected.
On the Internet port often refers to a number that is part of a URL,
appearing after a colon (:) right after the domain name. Every
service on an Internet server listens on a particular port
number on that server. Most services have standard port numbers, e.g.
Web servers normally listen on port 80. Services can also listen on
non-standard ports, in which case the port number must be specified
in a URL when accessing the server, so you might see a URL of the
shows a gopher server running on a non-standard port (the standard
gopher port is 70).
Finally, port also refers to translating a piece of software to bring
it from one type of computer system to another, e.g. to translate
a Windows program so that is will run on a Macintosh.
See Also: Domain Name, Server
A single message entered into a network communications system.
E.g. A single message posted to a newsgroup or message board.
See Also: Newsgroup
(Point to Point Protocol) -- Most well known as a protocol that allows
a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem to make
TCP/IP connections and thus be really and truly on the Internet.
See Also: IP Number, Internet
, SLIP, TCP/IP
(Public Switched Telephone Network) -- The regular old-fashioned telephone
(Request For Comments) -- The name of the result and the process for
creating a standard on the Internet. New standards are proposed
and published on line, as a Request For Comments. The Internet Engineering
Task Force is a consensus-building body that facilitates discuss ion,
and eventually a new standard is established, but the reference number/name
for the standard retains the acronym RFC, e.g. the official standard
for e-mail is RFC 822.
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.
See Also: Network, Packet
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.
See Also: Certificate Authority
A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of
service to client software running on other computers. The
term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW
server, or to the machine on which the software i s running, e.g.Our
mail server is down today, that's why e-mail isn't getting out. A
single server machine could have several different server software
packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients
on the network.
See Also: Client, Network
(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
See Also: Internet, PPP
(Switched Multimegabit Data Service) -- A new standard for very high-speed
(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.
Almost all Internet email is sent and received by clients and
servers using SMTP, thus if one wanted to set up an email server
on the Internet one would look for email server software that supports
See Also: Client, Server
(Simple Network Management Protocol) -- A set of standards for communication
with devices connected to a TCP/IP network. Examples of these
devices include routers, hubs, and switches.
A device is said to be"SNMP compatible" if it can be monitored and/or
controlled using SNMP messages. SNMP messages are known as"PDU's"
- Protocol Data Units.
Devices that are SNMP compatible contain SNMP"agent" software to receive,
send, and act upon SNMP messages.
Software for managing devices via SNMP are available for every kind
of commonly used computer and are often bundled along with the device
they are designed to manage. Some SNMP software is designed to handle
a wide variety of devices.
See Also: Network, Router
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 probably comes from a famous
Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over.
The term may also have come from someone's low opinion of the food
product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic
content-free wa st e of resources. (Spam is a registered trademark
of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.)
E.g. Mary spammed 50 USENET groups by posting the same message to
See Also: Maillist, USENET
(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 tha t application, but all SQL-capable databases support
a common subset of SQL.
(Secure Sockets Layer) -- A protocol designed by Netscape Communications
to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.
SSL used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between web
browsers and web servers. URL's that begin with"https"
indicate that an SSL connection will be used.
SSL provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication, and Message
In an SSL connection each side of the connection must have a Security
Certificate, which each side's software sends to the other. Each
side then encrypts what it sends using information from both its own
and the other side's Certificate, ensuri ng t hat only the intended
recipient can de-crypt it, and that the other side can be sure the
data came from the place it claims to have come from, and that the
message has not been tampered with.
See Also: Browser, Server
, Security Certificate , URL
(System Operator) -- Anyone responsible for the physical operations
of a computer system or network resource. A System Administrator decides
how often backups and maintenance should be performed and the System
Operator performs those tasks.
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 vi deo, 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.
See Also: 56k Line, Bandwidth
, Bit, Byte, Ethernet
T-3 A leased-line
connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second.
This is more than enough to do full-screen, full-motion video.
See Also: 56k Line, Bandwidth
, Bit, Byte, Ethernet
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) -- This is the suite
of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed
for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available
for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on
the Internet, your compu ter must have TCP/IP software.
See Also: IP Number, Internet
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.
See Also: Byte, Kilobyte
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
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 t o the appropriate node.
Most terminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services
if connected to the Internet.
See Also: LAN, Modem,
Host, Node, PPP,
(Ta Ta For Now) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written in an
See Also: IMHO, BTW
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.
(Uniform Resource Locator) -- The standard way to give the address
of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web
(WWW). A URL looks like this:
The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser program,
such as Netscape, or Lynx.
See Also: Browser, WWW
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 10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups.
See Also: Newsgroup
(Unix to Unix Encoding) -- A method for converting files from Binary
to ASCII (text) so that they can be sent across the Internet
See Also: Binhex, MIME
(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.
See Also: Gopher
(Wide Area Information Servers) -- A commercial software package that
allows the indexing of huge quantities of information, and then making
those indices searchable across networks such as the Internet.
A prominent feature of WAIS is that the search results are ranked
(scor ed) according to how relevant the hits are, and that subsequent
searches can find more stuff like that last batch and thus refine
the search process.
(Wide Area Network) -- Any internet or network that
covers an area larger than a single building or campus.
See Also: Internet, internet,
(World Wide Web) -- Two meanings - First, loosely used: the whole
constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP,
HTTP, telnet, USENET, WAIS and some other tools. Second, the universe
of hypertext servers (HTTP servers) which are the server s
that allow text, graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed together.
See Also: Browser, FTP,
Gopher, HTTP, Telnet,