- (Advanced Digital Network) -- Usually refers to a 56Kbps
- (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. An ADSL circuit must be configured to connect two
specific locations, similar to a leased line.
A commonly discussed configuration of ADSL would allow a subscriber to receive data
(download) at speeds of up to 1.544 megabits (not megabytes) per second, and to send
(upload) data at speeds of 128 kilobits per second. Thus the Asymmetric part
of the acronym.
Another commonly discussed configuration would be symmetrical: 384 Kilobits per second in
both directions. In theory ADSL allows download speeds of up to 9 megabits per second and
upload speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second.
ADSL is often discussed as an alternative to ISDN, allowing higher speeds in cases where
the connection is always to the same place.
Also: bit , bps , ISDN
- Anonymous FTP
- See: FTP
- 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.
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.
- (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) -- The
precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60s and early 70s by the US
Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking that would survive a
See Also: Internet
- (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 number:
0000000 through 1111111.
- 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 network.
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: 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
- (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 BBSs 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 drawn.
- (BINary HEXadecimal) -- A method for converting non-text
files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only handle
See Also: ASCII , MIME , UUENCODE
- (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 , Megabyte
- (Because Its Time NETwork (or Because Its
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 usually 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 second.
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 forum.
See Also: IMHO
- 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
See Also: Bit
- Certificate Authority
- An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL
See Also: Security Certificate , SSL
- (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
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
- The most common name of a directory on a web server in
which CGI programs are stored.
The bin part of cgi-bin is a shorthand version of
binary, because once upon a time, most programs were referred 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 same machine.
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
See Also: Browser ,
- Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs
to one person or group physically located on an Internet-connected network that belongs to
another person or group. Usually this is done because the server owner wants their machine
to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the security risks of
having the server on tier own network.
See Also: Internet , Server , Network
- 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 or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long
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 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.
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 encompassing 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.
- 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 but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the
can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one
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 an 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 Name.
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
See Also: Bandwidth
- (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 question 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 not allow incoming Finger requests, but many do.
- Fire Wall
- A combination of hardware and software that separates a
LAN into two or more parts for security purposes.
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 comment 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
See Also: Flame
- (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 repositories of material that can be obtained using
FTP, by logging in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites are called anonymous
- 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.
- (Graphic Interchange Format) -- A common format for image
files, especially suitable for images containing large areas of the same color. GIF format
files of simple images are often smaller than the same file would be if stored in JPEG
format, but GIF format does not store photographic images as well as JPEG.
See Also: JPEG
- 1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who is measuring.
See Also: Byte , Megabyte
- 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
globe 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.
Also: Client , Server , WWW
- 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
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) all 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.
- Home Page (or Homepage)
- 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-sos 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 home pages and none of them are
See Also: Browser
- 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.
See Also: Node , Network
- (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 HTML 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 , WWW
- 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 in discussion forums.
- (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
60s and early 70s. The Internet now (July 1995) connects roughly 60,000
independent networks into a vast global 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.
Also: internet , Internet , Network
- 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.
Also: Domain Name , Internet , TCP/IP
- (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 channel. Private channels can (and are) created for
multi-person conference calls.
- (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 to your computer or files. Using small Java programs (called
"Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and
other fancy tricks.
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 page.
- (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
- (Joint Photographic Experts Group) -- JPEG is most
commonly mentioned as a format for image files. JPEG format is preferred to the GIF format
for photographic images as opposed to line art or simple logo art.
See Also: GIF
- 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
- 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.
See Also: T-1 , T-3
- The most common kind of maillist, Listservs originated on
BITNET but they are now common on the Internet.
Also: BITNET , E-mail , Maillist
- 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
- (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
of e-mail access can participate in discussions together.
- A million bytes. Actually, technically, 1024 kilobytes.
See Also: Byte , Bit , Kilobyte
- (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 MIME-Types and
appropriate software for handling each type.
Also: Browser , Client , Server
, Binhex , UUENCODE
- 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 originated 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 anything.
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
- (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 other pieces of software as good or better than Mosaic, most
See Also: Browser
, Client , WWW
- (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 create 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.
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 and participation.
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 , Intranet
- 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
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. to participate in newsgroups then you are benefiting from an NNTP
See Also: Newsgroup
, TCP/IP , USENET
- Any single computer connected to a network.
See Also: Network , Internet
- Packet Switching
- 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
- 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-ins 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 usually
created by people other than the publishers of the software the plug-in works with.
- (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 in 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 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.
See Also: SLIP , PPP
- 3 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 form:
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
See Also: Domain
Name , Server , URL
- A single message entered into a network communications
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 system.
- (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 discussion, 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 Switching
- 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
See Also: Certificate Authority , SSL
- 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 is running, e.g.Our mail server is down today, thats why e-mail isnt
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 PPP.
See Also: Internet , PPP
- (Switched Multimegabit Data Service) -- A new standard for
very high-speed data transfer.
- (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 SMTP.
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 PDUs -
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
- Spam (or Spamming)
- 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 didnt 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 someones low opinion of the
food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free
waste 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 each.
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 that 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. URLs that begin with https indicate that an SSL connection will
SSL provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication, and Message Integrity.
In an SSL connection each side of the connection must have a Security Certificate, which
each sides software sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using
information from both its own and the other sides Certificate, ensuring that 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
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
- 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.
See Also: 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: Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-1
- (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 computer 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.
- 1000 gigabytes.
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 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 or SLIP services if connected to
See Also: LAN , Modem , Host , Node , PPP , SLIP
- (User Datagram Protocol) -- One of the protocols for data
transfer that is part of the TCP/IP suite of protocols. UDP is a stateless
protocol in that UDP makes no provision for acknowledgement of packets received.
See Also: TCP/IP
- 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,
See Also: Browser
- 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 via e-mail.
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 (scored) according to how relevant the hits are, and
that subsequent searches can find more stuff like that last batch and thus refine the
- (Wide Area Network) -- Any internet or network that covers
an area larger than a single building or campus.
Also: Internet , internet , LAN
- See: WWW
- (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 servers that allow text, graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed
See Also: Browser
, FTP , Gopher , HTTP , Telnet , URL , WAIS
The URL of this document is: http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html
which is where you can look for the latest, most complete version.
Permission is granted to use
this glossary, with credit to Internet Literacy Consultants, for non-commercial
educational purposes, provided that the content is not altered including the retention of
the copyright notice and this statement. ILC regards any use by a commercial entity as
"commercial use". For permission to use it in other ways or to suggest changes
and additions, please contact us by e-mail.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last update: 01/28/98
For more information contact Matisse Enzer