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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

A
ActiveX
ADSL
ASCII
applet
attatchment

B
baud
bandwidth
Bcc
binary file
BinHex
bit
Bitmapped Image
bookmark
browser
byte

C
Cc
cache
CGI
client
communications program
computer virus
cookie

D
Dial-Up Networking
directory
domain
domain name
download
duplex

E
e-mail
e-mail address
encryption
ethernet
Eudora
executable file
external viewer application

F
FAQ
file compression
file permissions
finger
firewall
flame
floppy disk
FTP
FTP server

G
gateway
GIF
Graphical User Interface (GUI)

H
header
home page
host
host name
HTML
HTTP
HTTPS
hypertext

I
icon
initalization string
Internet
intranet
Internet Service Provider
image map
IP Address
IRC
ISDN

J
Java
JavaScript
JPEG

K
K56Flex

L
LAN
link
login
Linux
lynx
ListServ
lurk

M
MacBinary
MacTCP
mail server
MIME-Type
mirror
modem
MOV
MPG/MPEG
multimedia
MUD

N
net
network
Netscape
netiquette
newsgroups
news reader
newbie
nickname
node

O
object
object-oriented programming
Outlook Express

P
packet
page
parity
parse
password
ping
pixel
PKZIP/PKUNZIP
plugin
POP
port
port number
PPP
protocol

Q
QuickTime
query

R
Real Audio
router

S
scripts
search engine
server
secure server
shareware
shockwave
signature
SLIP
SMTP
S/MIME
SPAM
secure socket layer (SSL)
start/stop bit
surf

T
T1 Line
T3 Line
tags
TCP/IP
telnet
text file
thread

U
UDP
upload
URL
usenet
UUCP
uuencode/uudecode

V
viewer
virtual reality
VRML

W
WAV file
web page
webmaster
website
winsock
winzip
World Wide Web

X
X2
xDSL
Xon/Xoff
Xmodem

Y
Yahoo!

Z
zip/zip file
Zmodem

 

ActiveX

ActiveX is a Microsoft standard for computer program building blocks

known as objects. These objects bring with them the promise of making
web pages more interactive and enjoyable as well as feature rich.
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ADSL

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line - a technology that lets you

transmit data over phone lines faster - as much as 7 million bps -
in one direction than in the other
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ASCII

An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

This 7-bit code represents the most basic letters of the Roman alphabet,
numbers, and other characters used in computing. Computers cannot
understand human languages such as English. They speak a language
of their own called binary, which is made up of 0s and 1s.

Humans can communicate with computers using a set of characters
called ASCII. Each character in the ASCII set is made up of 7 bits of
information, which the computer sees as a combination of 0s and 1s.
This allows us to type alphabetical characters and numbers, which
look like English to us, but can be read, stored and manipulated by
computers. ASCII files are also called text files.

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applet

A small computer program written in the Java programming language.

You can download applets by using a web browser. Applets are
designed and must follow a strict set of rules that make it very difficult
to do any harm to your computer
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attatchment

A file of any type that is included with an electronic message. These

files can be pictures, text, movies, applets, or even programs.
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attatchment

A file of any type that is included with an electronic message. These files

can be pictures, text, movies, applets, or even programs.
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baud

The number of electrical symbols per second that a modem sends down

a phone line. Often used as a synonym for bps (bits per second), which
is incorrect.
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bandwidth

The maximum amount of data that can travel over a communications path

at any given time, usually measured in seconds. If you think of the
communications path as a pipe, then bandwidt is the width of the pipe
that determines how much data can flow through the pipe at once.
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Bcc

Blind Carbon Copy. Anyone you enter into the Bcc field of an email will

get a copy of the email without anyone else knowing it.
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binary file

A file which contains information that does not consist only of text. A

binary file may contain pictures, sound, movies, or any other form of
non-text data.
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BinHex

A file-encoding system used for the Macintosh platform.
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bit

The smallest unit of measure for computer data. Short for Binary Digit,

bits can be on or off (symbolized by 1 or 0) and are used in various
combinations to represent differnt kinds of information.
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Bitmapped Image

A bitmapped image is one made out of an array of dots rather than

continuous lines or areas.
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bookmark

The address (URL) of a web page that you may want to see frequently

without remembering or re-entering the URL everytime you wish to visit
that page again. In Netscape, your bookmarks are stored as a file while
in the Internet Explorer, your bookmarks are stored in a folder. You can
use any text editor to view or edit these bookmarks, or just use the option
under your bookmarks (sometimes called 'Favorites') that says 'Edit
Bookmarks'.
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browser

A software program that allows you to view and interact with various

kinds of Internet resources available on the World Wide Web. A browser
is commonly called a web browser.
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byte

A grop of eight bits. Computer memory is measured in bytes (for example,

you may have 16 megabyetes of memory in your system, or 16 million
bytes of physical memory)
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Cc

Carbon Copy, or courtesy copy. Any address you enter into a Cc field of

an email get a copy of that email. This is visiable to all recipients of that email.
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cache

When you download a web page, the data is cached, meaning it is stored

temporarily on your computer. The next time you want that page, instead of
requesting the file from the web server, your web browser just accesses
it from the cache. That way, the page loads quickly. But if the web page is
updated frequently, as may be the case with news, sports scores or
financial data, you won't get the most current information. By using the
Reload button on your browser, this timely data is updated by downloading
fresh data from the server.
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CGI

Common Gateway Interface . The interface program that enables an

Internet server to run external programs to perform a specific function.
Also referred to as Gateway or CGI "scripts," these programs generally
consist of a set of instructions written in a programming language like C
or PERL that process requests from a browser, execute a program and
format the results in HTML, so they can be displayed in the browser.
Gateway scripts are commonly used to add interactivity to a web page by
allowing users to do things like fill out and submit forms for processing
(as in an order form for an online catalog); query databases by submitting
search requests; and register or gain access to password-protected areas
of a site. CGI scripts are also used to implement a variety of tracking and
measurement systems on a website.
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client

A computer that uses the services of another computer, or a server. If you

dial in to another system, your computer becomes a client of that system. For
example, when you dial into KansasNet, your computer then becomes a client
machine under KansasNet.
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communications program

A program you run on your personal computer that enables you to call up and communicate with other computers. This type of program makes your computer pretend to be a terminal (hence the terms terminal program or terminal emulator.
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computer virus

A computer program created specifically to invade computers and networks and wreak havoc on them. The mischief caused can be very minor: it may cause a funny image or cryptic message to be displayed on your screen, or it can do some serious damage by altering or even destroying files. One of the most famous is the 'Good Times' virus, which has never been proven to exist. Common theory is that the mass amount of email that gets passed around about this virus is actually the virus itself causing millions of mailboxes to be infected with this warning. If you ever get this email, it is safe to read it, delete it and just ignore it.
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cookie

A cookie is a file sent to a web browser by a web server that is used to record one's activities on a website. For instance, when you buy items from a site and place them in a so-called virtual shopping cart, that information is stored in the cookie. When the browser requests additional files, the cookie information is sent back to the server. Cookies can remember other kinds of personal information --your password, so you don't have to re-enter it each time you visit the site; your preferences, so the next time you return to a site, you can be presented with customized information. Some people regard cookies as an invasion of privacy; others think they are a harmless way to make websites more personal.

Most cookies have an expiration date and either reside in your computer's memory until you close your browser or they are saved to your hard drive. By the way, cookies cannot read information stored in your computer.

You can use a text editor to view cookie files. For Windows users of Navigator, the file is called cookies.txt and is located in the the same folder as Netscape. Mac users can find it in the Netscape folder in the System/Preferences folder. Explorer creates separate files for each cookie and stores them in folders named "Cookies" or "Temporary Internet Files."

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Dial-Up Networking

The PPP communications program that comes with all versions of Windows

95 and Windows 98. This allows you to get connected to the Internet and
view web pages, read email, chat online, read news, etc.
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directory

A system that your computer uses to organize files on the basis of specific

information. Directories can be organized hierarchically so that files appear
in a number of different ways, such as the order in which they were created;
alphabetically by name or by type, etc.
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domain

Part of the official name of a computer on the Internet.
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domain name

The unique name that identifies an Internet site. The Internet is made up of

hundreds of thousands of computers and networks, all with their own domain
name or unique address. Domain names always have two or more parts
separated by dots. A given server may have more than one domain name, but
a given domain name points to only one server.

For example, "whitehouse.gov" is the domain name belonging to the
Whitehouse computer system. Once a system administrator registers a
unique domain name, subaddresses can be assigned to the machines
and people on the local network. So the President's e-mail address is "president@whitehouse.gov," the Vice-President's is "vice-president@
whitehouse.gov," and so on. Each corresponds to a unique IP address.
The machine that serves up the Whitehouse web pages is called
www.whitehouse.gov.

Domain names typically consist of some form of the organization's name
and a suffix that describes the type of organization. For example, IBM has
registered the domain name "ibm.com"; Xerox corporation has registered
"xerox.com." Registration is on a first come, first served basis. The domain
name suffix is assigned based on the type of organization. For U.S. domains,
the suffixes are:

.com - corporations

.edu - educational institutions

.org - non-profit organizations

.mil - military organization

.net - network provider

.gov - government institution

In addition, non-U.S. sites have an additional extension that indicates the
country where the domain is located. For example:

.au - Australia

.dk - Denmark

.ge - Germany

.uk - United Kingdom

In the United States, domain names are assigned and indexed by the
InterNIC project (a joint project of the National Science Foundation, AT&T,
and Network Solutions, Inc.). Each of these addresses is actually an alias
of a numerical address (called an IP address). The IP number for the
Whitehouse for example, is 198.137.240.100. To access the Whitehouse
Internet site, you could use the IP number if you like, but most people prefer
to use the quasi-English domain name alias "whitehouse.gov."

There is much more information about domain names available at The InterNIC
Home Page. To learn the IP address and to contact names for a particular
domain name (such as whitehouse.gov), use the InterNIC WHOIS search form.
You can also use this form to see if anyone has registered a domain name
you may be considering.

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download

The method by which users access and save or "pull down" software or

other files to their own computers from a remote computer, usually via a
modem.
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duplex

The term used to describe how your modem sends information. Full duplex

means that your modem can send information in both directions (send and
recieve) at the same time, while half duplex means that the modem can only
do one at a time.
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e-mail

Short for electronic mail, e-mail consists of messages, often just text, sent

from one user to another via a network. E-mail can also be sent automatically
to a number of addresses.
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e-mail address

A computer mailing address to which electronic mail may be sent. Each

computer system handles e-mail addressing differently, but relies on
various protocols for exchanging mail with other, dissimilar systems.
On KansasNet, your email address is a combination of your username
and the domain. So, if your username on KansasNet is john, your email
address is john@kansas.net
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encryption

A way of coding the information in a file or e-mail message so that if it is

intercepted by a third party as it travels over a network it cannot be read.
Only the person or persons that have the right type of decoding software
can unscramble the message.
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ethernet

A fast local area network (LAN) that was developed by Xerox.
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Eudora

A very popular family of mail programs (Eudora Lite is freeware, Eudora

Pro is commercial) that run under both Macintosh and Windows operating
systems. You can view Eudora's web page at http://www.eudora.com
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executable file

Refers to a file that is a program. Executables in DOS and Windows usually

have an .exe or a .com extension and can usually be executed by double
clicking on them. In UNIX and Macintosh environments, executable files can
have any name.
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external viewer application

An additional piece of software that "helps" your browser interpret and

display specific file types that it doesn't have the built-in ability to do itself.
Such applications include shockwave, quicktime, and vivo movie viewer
to name a few.
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FAQ

An acronym for Frequently Asked Questions. FAQs are online documents

that list and answer the most common questions on a particular subject.
There are hundreds of FAQs on the internet, on subjects as diverse as
gardening and virtual reality.

A wonderful tradition on the Internet, the FAQ was developed by people
who got tired of answering the same questions over and over again. FAQs
are made available to newcomers who are urged to read them before asking
redundant questions in a Usenet newsgroup, on a BBS, or a mailing list. It is
essentially a tool to help you get up to speed before joining a conversation,
by providing you with a wealth of information about a particular subject.
Though FAQs are most commonly found on Usenet newsgroups, they
exist all over the Internet and frequently can be found at web sites, too.

A good place to start locating FAQ's is thelist of all Usenet Newsgroup list of all Usenet Newsgroup
FAQ's
FAQ's or use this tool to search Usenet FAQ's

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file compression

A way of reducing the size of a file, or files, so that they don't take up a

lot of space on a server or hard drive and can travel faster over a network.
File compression is accomplished with software that uses mathematical
equations (algorithms) to condense repeated data into smaller codes. You
need another separate software program to decompress the data, and
restore it to its original form.
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file permissions

When you place files on a UNIX system you can assign the files various

levels of permission, specifying who can access them, and what type
of access they can have. The permission levels regarding who can access files are: "owner" (the person who created the files), "group" (i.e. a group of individuals specifically identified) or "global" (i.e. anyone). The type of access can be set to permit the users to "read" (look at the contents and copy them), "write" (edit or change the contents, rename and/or move the files), or "execute" (run a file as a UNIX program).
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finger

A small program that will display a limited amount of information about a user on a system (assuming that person's ISP supports it). Most common usage is to see if your account has email waiting for you, or to find a person's real name on a system.
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firewall

A combination hardware and software buffer that many companies or organizations have in place between their internal networks and the Internet. A firewall allows only specific kinds of messages from the Internet to flow in and out of the internal network.
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flame

Reacting to someone's newsgroup posting or e-mail in a hostile manner by publicly chastising the person or bombarding the person with nasty e-mail. Flaming may occur to users who ask stupid questions or who engage in behavior that violates what is considered proper online netiquette. A flame war occurs when two or more users flame each other in an escalating manner that threatens to continue unabated.
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floppy disk

Also called diskette. This is the magnetic storage medium used to store and transfer data, usually between personal computers that are not networked. This medium is portable and comes in a different range of sizes with 1.44M being the most common. Also referred to as a 3½" (three and a half inch) diskette.
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FTP

File Transfer Protocol - a very common method of transferring one or more files from one computer to another. FTP is a specific way to connect to another Internet site to retrieve and send files. FTP was developed in the early days of the Internet to copy files from computer to computer. With the advent of the World Wide Web, and web browser software, you no longer need to know arcane FTP commands to copy to and from other computers. In your browser, you can use FTP by typing the URL into the location box at the top of your screen. For example: ftp://name.of.site/directory/filename.zip will transfer filename.zip to your computer's hard disk. You can also use ftp://name.of.site/directory/ which will give you a listing of all the files available in that directory.

If you are using a web browser that doesn't have built-in FTP capability, or if you want to upload files to a remote computer, you will need to use an FTP client program to transfer files. To use FTP you need to know the name of the file, the computer where it resides, and the directory it's in. Most files are available via "anonymous FTP," which means you can log into the machine with the user name "anonymous" and use your e-mail address as your password.

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FTP server

A computer on the Internet that stores files for FTP as well as serving them to those machines that request them over the Internet.
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gateway

Hardware or software that bridges the gap between two otherwise incompatible applications or networks so that data can be transferred among different computers. This is common with e-mail that gets sent back and forth between Internet sites and commercial online services (like Prodigy and America Online) which have their own internal e-mail systems.
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GIF

Graphics Interchange Format. A pantented ytpe of graphics file originally defined by CompuServe and now used commonly by all programs and is widespread over the Internet. This format allows quick and easy compression of pictures which sparked it's original popularity (as well as the indecision as to how to pronounce it). Files of this type end in .gif.
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Graphical User Interface (GUI)

A GUI interface allows users to navigate and interact with information on their computer screen by using a mouse to "point," "click," and "drag" icons and other data around on the screen, instead of typing in words and phrases. The Windows and Macintosh operating systems are examples of GUI's. The World Wide Web is an example of a GUI designed to enhance navigation of the Internet, once done exclusively via terminal-based (i.e. typed command line) functions.
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header

The beginning (and usually unseen) part of an email that contains the To, From, address, subject, date, servers and other information that your mail programs, as well as all servers the email passes through, use to handle that email.
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home page

Also referred to as a web page. The starting point of a Web presentation and a sort of table of contents for what is at the website, offering direct links to the different parts of the site.
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host

Any computer directly connected to a network that acts as a repository for services (e.g. e-mail, Usenet newsgroups, ftp or World Wide Web) available for other computers on the network
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HTML


Hyper Text Markup Language - the language that is used to write pages for the World Wide Web. This text lets the end user define colors, fonts, pictures, placement of certian items, image maps, and more. HTML is made up of various tags which are used to tell the items that are included in the page how to react and where to sit. Some examples are:

HTML Tag What it does
<A> Indicates a hypertext link
<BR> Starts a new line within a paragraph
<Hn>...</Hn> Indicates different heading levels ranging in sizes from <H1> which is the smallest to <H6> which is the largest
<HR> Draws a horizontal line across the page
<LI> Indicates an item on a list (or line item)
<UL>...</UL> Indicates unordered list. These items are bulleted
<P> Indicates the beginning of a new paragraph
<TABLE>...</TABLE> With additional tags, this will set up a table (just like the one you are looking at).
<I>...</I> Indicates that text will be displayed in italics
<B>...</B> Indicates that the text will be bold
<IMG> Indicates a inline image



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HTTP

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol -- the method by which hypertext files are transferred across the Internet. Letâs examine these terms one at a time. "Hypertext" was coined by Ted Nelson in 1965 to mean "text which is not constrained to be linear." When used with the web, it is text that is linked to something else. When you click on a word and you are shown another page (or a sound file or a picture), you are using hypertext. Hypertext allows you to jump around between files, following your own interests and train of thought. World Wide Web pages written in HTML use hypertext to link to other documents.

Hypertext transfer is simply the tranfer of hypertext files from computer to computer. When you are reading a hypertext document, say, at the Library of Congress site, you can click on a link that takes you to the NASA page. Of course, you haven't actually gone anywhere. A document simply has been transferred from NASA's computer to your computer, across the Internet.

Now what on earth is protocol? In computerese, a protocol is a set of standards used by two computers to communicate and exchange information with each other. To put it all together, HyperText Transfer Protocol is the set of standards used by computers to transfer hypertext files (web pages) over the Internet.

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HTTPS

A variant of HTTP that encrypts any transferred data for security.
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hypertext

A system of writing and displaying text that enables the text to be linked in multiple ways, be available at several levels of detail, and contain links to related documents. The World Wide Web uses both hypertext and hypermedia, which adds other kinds of information, such as pictures, sound, and video.
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icon

A small image, usually a symbol, used to graphically represent a software program, file, or function on a computer screen. Icons make it easier to recognize and locate these things.
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initalization string

The message your communications software sends to your modem to get the correct settings relayed. All your modems initalization strings can be found in the manual that came with your modem, or if the modem is external, on the bottom of the modem.
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Internet

All of the computers in the world talking to each other
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intranet

You can think of an intranet as an internal Internet designed to be used within the confines of a company, university or organization. What distinguishes an intranet from the freely accessible Internet, is that intranets are private. Until recently most corporations relied on proprietary hardware and software systems to network its computers, a costly and time-consuming process made more difficult when offices are scattered around the world. Even under the best of conditions, sharing information among different hardware platforms, file formats and software is not an easy task. By using off-the-shelf Internet technology, intranets solve this problem, making internal communication and collaboration much simpler.

Intranets use TCP/IP to transmit information across the network, as well as HTML to create documents.Information is stored on one or more company servers and accessed by using a web browser, such as Navigator or Explorer. This self-contained, miniature Internet can have all the same features -- individual home pages, newsgroups, e-mail - but they are restricted to company employees and contractors.

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Internet Service Provider

Also called ISPs or access providers. The remote computer system to which you connect your personal computer and through which you connect to the Internet. ISPs that you access by modem and telephone line are often called dial-up services. In short, us :)
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image map

An image map is a graphic divided into regions or "hotspots." When a particular region is clicked, it calls up a web page that has been associated with that particular region. A typical example of an image map is a website that offers national information organized by state. Clicking on a state on a map of the United States calls up the appropriate page.
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IP address

A numeric code that uniquely identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Just as a street address identifies the location of your home or office, every computer or network on the Internet has a unique address, too. Internet addresses are assigned to you by an organization called InterNIC. You register your address with InterNIC as both a name (whitehouse.gov), which is referred to as the domain name, and a number (198.137.240.100), which is generally referred to as the IP address or IP number.

Because the numeric addresses are difficult to understand or remember, most people use names instead like whitehouse.gov or ibm.com. A software database program called Domain Name Service (DNS) tracks the names and translates them into their numerical equivalent so that the computers can understand what they are and find them. See Domain Name.

When you have a standard dial-up account with an Internet provider, you will either be assigned a "permanent" or "static" IP address (i.e. its always the same), or the system will use "dynamic" IP addressing, which assigns you an address everytime you log on. If you are an organization and want all of your employees' computers to have Internet access, you can apply to the InterNIC for a range of IP addresses. Most likely, the InterNIC will assign you a Class C address, which consists of 255 unique IP numbers for you to assign to your employees.

If you need more than 255 IP address, you can apply for a Class B address, which will give you over 65,000 unique IP addresses. Class A addresses are for very large companies. Both Class A and Class B addresses are very hard, if not impossible, to get. Usually, companies will get multiple Class C addresses. Actually, we're quickly running out of IP addresses. So the Internet Engineering Task Force, which standardized the IP protocol, is working on a solution, described in IP: Next Generation.

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IRC

Internet Relay Chat - a program that allows you to carry on "live" conversations with people all over the world by typing messages back and forth across the Internet. You can talk in groups or in private with only one person. IRC consists of "channels," which usually are devoted to specific topics. Anyone can create a "channel" and any message typed in a given channel is seen by all others in the channel.

There is no limit to the number of people who can chat on a particular channel. Because of this unique feature, IRC channels have served as unofficial "news" sites during times of crisis, such as the Gulf War and the 1994 southern California earthquake. Mostly, though, you will find the same thing as on the Net - people talking about things they are interested in, from Aardvarks to Zombies.

To run IRC, you need to have an account on a server that is running an IRC client. If you have a dial-up UNIX shell account or a direct connection to the Internet, chances are your system administrator has already installed the IRC client software. Log in and type IRC at the prompt. If nothing happens, you will have to ask your provider to install the IRC client.

IRC can be difficult to get the hang of at first, but once you get past the initial learning curve you may come to love it. How else can you talk to someone in Brazil for an hour without paying a dime in long-distance charges?

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ISDN

Integrated Services Digital Network. An acronym for Integrated Services Digital Network. ISDN lines are connections that use ordinary phone lines to transmit digital instead of analog signals, allowing data to be transmitted at a much faster rate than with a traditional modem.

ISDN converts audio signals - your voice for instance - into digital bits. Since bits can be transmitted very quickly, you can get much faster speed out of the same telephone line - four times faster than a 14.4 kbps modem. In addition, ISDN connections are made up of two different channels, allowing two simultaneous "conversations" so you can speak on one channel and send a fax or connect to the Internet over another channel. All of these transactions occur on the same twisted-pair phone line currently plugged into your telephone. To find out if you can get ISDN, contact your local phone company or call around to a few local Internet service providers.

ISDN is a powerful tool for Internet communications, but it is not available everywhere. Traditionally, it has been used in urban business zones and large corporate settings with special digital switching equipment, but residential ISDN service is expanding rapidly. If you are shopping for an Internet access provider that offers you ISDN, be sure to thoroughly evaluate the equipment costs. An ISDN line can offer you inexpensive, high-bandwidth connections, but you may have to buy special equipment (like routers and switchers) that allow ISDN to communicate with your internal networks.

Pacific Bell has put together a complete and surprisingly readable Online Guide to ISDN.

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Java

Java is an object-oriented programming language developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. to create executable content (i.e self-running applications) that can be easily distributed through networks like the Web. Developers use Java to create special programs called applets that can be incorporated in a web page to make it interactive. A Java-enabled web browser like Sun's HotJava is required to interpret and run the Java applets.

Like a gateway (CGI) script, Java is activated by a special HTML tag on a web page. But unlike gateway scripts, which require information that exists on the server to run applications or process input, Java enables developers to create content that can be delivered to and run by users on their computers. This software can support anything that programmers can dream up, from spreadsheets and tutorials to interactive games and animation.

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JavaScript

JavaScript is a platform-independent, event-driven, interpreted programming language developed by Netscape Communications Corp. and Sun Microsystems. Originally called LiveScript (and still called LiveWireTM by Netscape in its compiled, server-side incarnation), JavaScript is affiliated with Sun's object-oriented programming language JavaTM primarily as a marketing convenience. They interoperate well but are technically, functionally and behaviorally very different.

JavaScript is useful for adding interactivity to the World Wide Web because scripts can be embedded in HTML files (i.e., web pages) simply by enclosing code in a <SCRIPT> </SCRIPT> tag pair. All modern browsers can interpret Ja vaScript -- albeit with some irritating caveats. (More about them below.)

In principle, though, JavaScript is a fairly universal extension to HTML that can enhance the user experience through event handling and client-side execution, while extending a web developer's control over the client's browser.

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JPEG

Acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group, an industry committee that developed a compression standard for still images. JPEG refers to the graphics file format that uses this compression standard. You will find JPEG files on the World Wide Web with the file extension .JPG.
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K56Flex

The Rockwell International modem technology for downloading data at 53,000 bps. Competes with x2 technology from U.S. Robotics.
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LAN

Acronym for Local Area Network, it refers to a local network of computers that are located on the same floor or in the same building or nearby buildings.
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link

Generally refers to any highlighted words or phrases in a hypertext document that allow you to "jump" to another section of the same document or to another document on the World Wide Web.
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login

The account name used to access a computer system. It is the way people identify themself to their online service or Internet access provider. Also called User ID, User Name, or Account Name.
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Linux

A public-domain version of the UNIX operating system that runs on personal computers and is supported by a dedicated band of enthusiasts on the Internet.
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lynx

A type of browser designed to work with text-only Internet connections like dial-up UNIX shell accounts. Lynx requires VT100 terminal emulation, which most terminal programs support, and enables you to select and navigate links within Web documents.
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ListServ

A family of programs that automatically manages mailing lists, by distributing message posted to the list and adding and deleting members, for example, which spares the list owner the tedium of having to do these tasks manually. The names of mailing lists maintained by the LISTSERV often end with -L
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lurk

To read a Usenet newsgroup, mailing list, or chat group without posting any messages. The verb format of this is lurker. This is an accepted and even recommended practice - espically for those that are new to the Usenet newsgroup, mailing list or chat room so that they can get a feel for the topic of discussion before jumping in.
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MacBinary

A file-encoding system that's popular among Macintosh users and software manufacturers alike because of it's compression quality and capability.
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MacTCP

The Internet communications program that coes with System 7.5 put out by Apple Software.
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mail server

A computer on the Internet that provides mail services (relaying mail, posting mail to the correct user, and so on).
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MIME-Type

MIME stands for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension, a standard system for identifying the type of data contained in a file based on its extension. MIME is an Internet protocol that allows you to send binary files across the Internet as attachments to e-mail messages. This includes graphics, photos, sound and video files, and formatted text documents. MIME has to negotiate many different operating systems and types of software to perform this amazing feat. Its invention has been a major step forward in the exchange of non-text information over the Internet.

E-mail programs that allow you to send and receive these types of files are said to be MIME-compliant. Many of these programs now incorporate MIME and have made it practically invisible to the user. You are probably using MIME when you send e-mail with an "attachment" of a formatted file. If not, then your mail program is using something very similar called UUencoding and UUdecoding to achieve the same result.

The MIME FAQ contains all of the details you need to know about MIME.

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mirror

An FTP server that provides copies of the same files as another server. Used when an FTP site is so popular that the volume of users accessing it keeps others from getting through. A mirror site provides an alternate way to access the same files.
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modem

The term is short for Modulator/Demodulator. A device that allows remote computers to communicate, to transmit and receive data using telephone lines.
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MOV

A file extension found on the World Wide Web that denotes that the file is a movie or video in QuickTime format. If you wish to play the movie after you download the file, your computer must support the QuickTime format.
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MPG/MPEG

Acronym for Moving Pictures Experts Group, an industry committee that is developing a set of compression standards for moving images (i.e. film, video and animation) that can be downloaded and viewed on a computer.
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multimedia

Using more than one type of media simultaneously, like text with sound, moving or still images, music, etc.
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MUD

Multi-User Dungeon - started as a Dungeons and Dragons type of game that many people can play at one time; now it's an Internet subculture. For information on finding or joining a MUD, check out the rec.games.mud.announce newsgroup
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net

A network, or (when capitalized) the Internet. When these letters appear as the last part of a host name (as in www.kansasl.net), they indicate that the host computer is run by a networking organization, frequently an ISP, in the United States.
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network

Computers that are connected together. Those in the same or nearby buildings are called local area networks. Those that are farther away are called wide area networks (WAN). When you put all of these computers together, you get the Internet.
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Netscape

The maker of the popular web browsers Navigator and Communicator. These browsers come for all operating system platforms.
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netiquette

A form of online etiquette. This term refers to an informal code of conduct that governs what is generally considered to be the acceptable way for users to interact with one another online.
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newsgroups

Electronic discussion groups consisting of collections of related postings (also called articles) on a particular topic that are posted to a news server which then distributes them to other participating servers. There are thousands of newsgroups covering a wide range of subjects. You must subscribe to a newsgroup in order to participate in it or to track the discussion on an on-going basis. Unlike with a magazine or newspaper, subscribing to a newsgroup does not cost anything.

Newsgroups are found primarily on Usenet. Usenet is the collection of computers that participate in a global conferencing system that make newsgroups perhaps the largest distributed bulletin board system in the world. Newsgroups are one of the oldest and most widely used services on the Internet. There are more than 13,000 of them, with new ones coming online all the time. Not all newsgroups are carried by Usenet, and Usenet is carried by networks that are not on the Internet.

Various programs called newsreaders let you subscribe, read and post to newsgroups. Newsreaders usually are distributed with, or included in your web browser. With this browser, for example, the Quarterdeck Message Center is your newsreader.

Newsgroup topics cover the entire range of human interests, from Autos to Zaire. Some newsgroups are "moderated," which means that a person decides which postings will become part of the conversation. Most are unmoderated, which means that any posting sent to the list is automatically added to the group.

Before you post to a newsgroup, do yourself a big favor and read other postings carefully for a few days. Newsgroups are famous for "flames" (viscous haranguing for an innocent mistake or a breach of netiquette). Read the FAQ about the newsgroup if there is one. It is considered a major breach of netiquette to ask a question that is clearly answered in the FAQ. It is also considered a poor use of bandwidth to post a reply to millions of users saying "me too!" Replies of this sort can and should be directed to the sender directly by e-mail.

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news reader

A program that lets you read and respond to the messages in Usenet newsgroups.
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newbie

Someone that is new to the Internet (or a faction therein). For example, someone that joins an IRC chatroom for the first time would be a newbie to IRC (even if they've been on the Internet itself for years). This is not an insult and should not be taken as such of you receive this label.
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nickname

The name that you choose when you join a program or chat room that you refer to yourself as. This can (and should) be different than your user name or email address and is not something you are stuck with, unless you choose to keep it that is.
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node

An addressable point on a network. A node can connect a computer system, a terminal, or various peripheral devices to the network. Each node on a network has a distinct name. On the Internet, a node is a host computer with a unique domain name and address that has been assigned to it by InterNIC.
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object

Data and the computer programs that work with the data, all tied up with a ribbon (so to speak) so that other programs can use the objects without knowing what goes on inside the overall package.
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object-oriented programming

A programming technique that speeds the development of programs and makes them easier to maintain through the re-use of "objects" that have behaviors, characteristics, and relationships associated with them. The objects are organized into collections (also called class libraries) which are then available for building and maintaining applications. Each object is part of a "class" of objects, which are united via "inheritance" and share certain characteristics and relationships.
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Outlook Express

The latest Microsoft® e-mail and Usenet newsreading program. Can be obtained from http://www.microsoft.com
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packet

A packet is a chunk of information sent over a network. Packet-switching is the process by which a carrier breaks up data into these chunks or "packets." Each packet contains the address of origin, the address of its destination, and information about how to reunite with other related packets. This process allows packets from many different locations to co-mingle on the same lines and be sorted and directed to different routes by special machines along the way.
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page

A document or piece of information available via the World Wide Web. Each page can contain text, graphices, files, movies, music, and just about everything else.
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parity

A simple system for checking errors when data is transmitted from one computer to another. In your settings, you should say 'none'.
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parse

Parsing data refers to the process by which programming data input is broken into smaller, more distinct chunks of information that can be more easily interpreted and acted upon.
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password

A secret code used to keep things private. This code should be as hard as possible as it is your only safeguard against someone else having control over your account.
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ping

Packet INternet Groper - Ping is a basic Internet program that lets you verify that a particular Internet (IP) address exists and can accept requests. The verb ping means the act of using the ping utility or command. Ping is used diagnostically to ensure that a user's PC is properly connected to the Internet. If, for example, a user can't ping a host, then the user will be unable to use a browser or any other TCP/IP application with that host. Ping can also be used to learn the number form of the IP address from the symbolic domain name
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pixel

A pixel (short for picture element) is the smallest element that can be displayed on a video screen or computer monitor, and is often used as a unit of measurement for image size and resolution. The number of pixels (width and height) in an image defines its size and the number of pixels in an inch defines the resolution of the image.
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PKZIP/PKUNZIP

PKZIP is a software compression utility for the PC. It allows you to compress or "zip" a file or a number of files into one archive file in the ZIP file format. To decompress, or "unzip" the files, you use PKUNZIP, which comes as part of the PKZIP package. For Windows users, there is WinZip. Both PKZIP and WinZIP are available on many public FTP sites.
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plugin

A plug-in extends the capabilities of a web browser, such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer, allowing the browser to run multimedia files. The term "plug-in" is used in two ways on the Internet. The technical definition of a plug-in is a small add-on piece of software that conforms to Netscape Navigator standard. Other browsers however, including Microsoft Explorer, support many Netscape plug-ins. But Explorer actually uses a different software standard, called an ActiveX control, instead of plug-ins.
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POP

Post Office Protocol - a system by which a mail server on the Internet lets you pick up your mail and download it to your computer. Also known as POP-3
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port

1.Verb: To transfer or translate data or program files from one computer platform to another (i.e. from PC to Macintosh). Software programs usually have to be rewritten to be successfully ported.

2.Noun: Connector on the computer to which peripheral devices (like a printer or modem) are attached. Typically, these are serial ports, parallel ports, and modem ports.

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port number

An identifying number assigned to each program that is utilizing your Internet connection. These numbers are taken care of automatically by the programs themselves and therefore are of no real use to the end user.
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PPP

PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) is a communications protocol used to transmit network data over telephone lines. It allows you to connect your computer to the Internet itself, rather than logging on through an Internet Service Provider's host computer and using UNIX commands through a shell. This type of connection lets you communicate directly with other computers on the network using TCP/IP connections. It is part of the TCP/IP suite of programs necessary to connect to and use the Internet.

If you have a dial-up account with an Internet service provider, you are using either PPP or SLIP to make your connection to the Internet. PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) is rapidly replacing SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) as the more common standard. Where as SLIP is easy to install and to use, it does not provide error correction or certain negotiation features that are built into PPP.

Where do you get PPP? If you bought an Internet package, a PPP program would be part of the collection of software programs you received. Some Internet Service Providers will give you a disk with the appropriate software when you sign up for an account. Others will point you to a BBS where you can download the software yourself.

When you sign up with an Internet Service Provider, you will undoubtedly get instructions on how to configure your PPP file so that when you dial in with your modem you are automatically connected to the Internet.

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protocol

A protocol is the standard or set of rules that two computers use to communicate with each other. Also known as a communications protocol or network protocol, this is a set of standards that assures that different network products or programs can work together. Any product that uses a given protocol should work with any other product using the same protocol.

Protocols dictate the "whats" and the "hows" of the various systems on the Internet. The success of the Internet, its very existence, in fact, depends on people voluntarily agreeing to configure their hardware and software to the TCP/IP standard.

How do protocols work? Take FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as an example. When you contact a computer to download a file, the computers communicate with each other in a series of pre-agreed-upon rules. The "conversation" between the computers goes something like this: "I want that file," "here it comes," "didn't get it, please resend," "here it is again," "got it," "goodbye," "goodbye."

Internet protocols are constantly evolving. The standards are set by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The IETF is a large international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution and smooth operation of the Internet. It is open to any interested individual.

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QuickTime

A video/picture format that was created by Apple which has become very popular (almost a standard) on the Internet for movies. There is software that you can download for your computer as a standalone application, or as a plugin for your web browser.
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query

The process by which a web client requests specific information from a web server, based on a character string that is passed along. A query typically takes the form of a database search for a particular keyword or phrase. The keyword is entered into the search field of an Internet directory such as InfoSeek and then passed onto the web server.
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RealAudio

A very popular streaming audio application for the Internet. This program has recently stemmed into supporting video formats as well. This program will allow you to hear music, interviews, radio stations, and more over the Internet without clogging your connection. This software can be downloaded at http://www.rea.com.
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router

A piece of hardware or software that connects two or more networks. A router functions as a sorter and interpreter as it looks at addresses and passes bits of information to their proper destination. Software routers are sometimes referred to as gateways.
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scripts

A type of program that consists of a set of instructions for another application or utility to use.
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search engine

A search engine is a type of software that creates indexes of databases or Internet sites based on the titles of files, key words, or the full text of files. The search engine has an interface that allows you to type what you're looking for into a blank field. It then gives you a list of the results of the search. When you use a search engine on the Web, the results are presented to you in hypertext, which means you can click on any item in the list to get the actual file. If the file you select doesn't have what you're looking for, you can use the Back button on your browser to return to the list of search results and try something else.

Some browsers, like QMosaic, will let you bookmark the results of a search so you can refer to and use the list again. Of course, most search engines on the Web are very fast and powerful, so redoing a search doesn't really take a lot of time. In fact, because the Web changes constantly, with new information being added all the time, it probably makes more sense to do a new search rather than rely on the results of an older one.

The other nice feature about search engines on the web is that if you have a website or page of your own, you can register it. When you submit key information about your page or site, it gets added to the index. This is a very good (but often overlooked) way to get people to visit your site. And it doesn't cost a thing! You can register separately with each site or take advantage of a free service called Submit It! that lets you register with all search engines (or selected ones), in one simple step.

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server

A computer that handles requests for data, electronic mail, file transfers, and other network services from other computers (i.e clients). See Host.
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secure server

A web server that passes information back and forth with your computer that is encrypted during transfer instead of put in clear text. This is mostly used for credit card transactions over the Internet so that if the transmission is intercepted or viewed by an unauthorized third party, they will not be able to decipher what the message actually means. An encrypted message looks like this:

hIwDuA8nGfma35UBA/wLMhQSNdqcUQpMpibtZ/qy7UwtuWHktm9WnK3zfP6q8lZI T0yWmp38a4m3xH+n76IdcwUwcQe0VsPKpvERt5l1rvYbuYEQMuRrudfl7dmsq1/1 ujnjVqbBFFZbVLmkzDjrsozOAqm+C+bqSSdQ5UXSxE46wrCMHjYat6L6HQbn+aYA AADG9mjtr4yKiyKRr6EzN3To2iO4VJGbaRwTPeOGvKhR2HTMHuChKGoLx5kr9KoS OmaKNWXY60luDxsy1WXaEo1Cb0eT/9yv0HorwI9wmzU3tTNvDOScqCX8vFWgM994 1Tn/a6+KIvHK5wETjB48vNxkqlNwW4P5QSfoOYSXzp8zflZ11uOwaH8fbnl5UmDW F2Ag+el6XSVaMaiSbH+IzXStU+VtiTGEmsmkc/LAudSfpUgBW735oNa337W2F56f pEnQtTbwvoGu =ilb1

(By the way, all that garble says is 'This is a test'. If you want to test it and know a thing or two about PGP, you can get the public key that created it here

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shareware

Software that is freely distributed for a small fee paid on an "honor system." You are not required to pay the fee to try the program, but if you like the software enough to use it, you are expected to send the fee directly to the creator.
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shockwave

Shockwave is a set of programs that allow Macromedia Director animation files to be played over the Internet with a web browser. Possible uses for this type of animation on the Web include online advertising, games, training, and animated logos.
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signature

Text automatically included at the bottom of an e-mail message or newsgroup posting to personalize it. This can be anything from a clever quote to some additional information about the sender, like their title, company name and additional e-mail addresses they may have. Netiquette suggests that signatures be four lines or fewer.
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SLIP

An acronym for Serial Line Internet Protocol. SLIP is a communications protocol that, like PPP, allows you to connect your computer to the Internet itself, using a telephone line. It is part of the TCP/IP suite of programs necessary to connect to and use the Internet.

If you have a dial-up account to an Internet service provider, you are using either PPP or SLIP to make your connection to the Internet. Although SLIP is easy to install and use, it does not provide the error correction or negotiation features that PPP has. For this reason, PPP is rapidly replacing SLIP as the more common standard.

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SMTP

An acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, SMTP is the protocol used for routing e-mail across the Internet.
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S/MIME

Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension - an extension to MIME that includes encryption
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SPAM

Originally just a canned sandwich filler product, now this term is also used to refer to the practice of blindly posting commercial messages or advertisements to a large number of unrelated and uninterested newsgroups.
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secure socket layer (SSL)

A protocol developed by Netscape Communications Corporation for securing data transmission in commercial transactions on the Internet. Using public-key cryptography, SSL provides server authentication, data encryption, and data integrity for client/server communications.
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start/stop bit

Ancient modems alternated between two tones. One tone represented 0 and the other represented 1, which covered the entire binary language. Silence was not an option: to a modem, silence meant the phone call had been cut off. So when a modem had nothing to say, it continuously transmitted the 1 tone to tell the other modem that it was in an idle state. When there was more data to send, the modem would send a single 0 bit to say there was real data on the way. The next eight bits the receiving modem heard were the real data. Then the line went back to idle for at least one more bit. The 0 just before the data is called the start bit. The 1 at the end is the stop bit.
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surf

To wander around the web aimlessly looking for interesting things
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T1 Line

A high-speed digital connection capable of transmitting data at a rate of approximately 1.5 million bits per second. A T1 line is typically used by small and medium-sized companies with heavy network traffic. It is large enough to send and receive very large text files, graphics, sounds, and databases instantaneously, and is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks to the Internet. Sometimes referred to as a leased line, a T1 is basically too large and too expensive for individual home use.
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T3 Line

A super high-speed connection capable of transmitting data at a rate of 45 million bits per second. This represents a bandwidth equal to about 672 regular voice-grade telephone lines, which is wide enough to transmit full-motion real-time video, and very large databases over a busy network. A T3 line is typically installed as a major networking artery for large corporations and universities with high volume network traffic. For example, the backbones of the major Internet service providers are comprised of T3 lines.
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tags

The set of descriptive formatting codes used in HTML documents that instruct a web browser how to display text and graphics on a web page. For example, to make text bold, the tag <B> is used at the beginning and end of the text.
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TCP/IP

Stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This is the language governing communications between all computers on the Internet. TCP/IP is a set of instructions that dictates how packets of information are sent across multiple networks. Also included is a built-in error-checking capability to ensure that data packets arrive at their final destination in the proper order.

IP, or Internet Protocol, is the specification that determines where packets are routed to, based on their destination address. TCP, or Transmission Control Protocol, makes sure that the packets arrive correctly at their destination address. If TCP determines that a packet was not received, it will try to resend the packet until it is received properly.

You must be running TCP/IP to have full Internet access. In Unix, TCP/IP is a part of the operating system. In the DOS and Windows world, the functionality of TCP/IP is handled by Winsock. This piece of software takes care of your TCP/IP configuration information. If you are using QMosaic, then QWinsock is your TCP/IP software. On a Mac, you would use Apple's TCP/IP.

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telnet

A software program that allows you to log in to other remote computers on the Internet to which you have access. Once you are logged into the remote system, you can download files, engage in conferencing, and perform the same commands as if you were directly connected by computer. You need an Internet account to be able to use a telnet program.
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text file

A file that contains only textual characters, with no special formatting, graphical information, sound clips, video, etc. Most computers, other than some IBM mainframes, store their text by using a system of codes named ASCII, so these files are also known as ASCII text files.
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thread

A series of related newsgroups, BBS, or e-mail messages on a given subject, including the original message and the subsequent replies.
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UDP

User Datagram Protocol - a system used for applications to send quick, one-shot messages to each other.
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upload

To move your files to another remote machine.
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URL

Uniform Resource Locator - a standardized way of naming network resources , used for linking pages together on the World Wide Web.
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usenet

Usenet refers to the collection of newsgroups (sometimes called the Big Eight hierarchies) and a set of agreed-upon rules for distributing and maintaining them. More than 13,000 newsgroups exist around the world and the majority of them are a part of Usenet. However, a fairly large number of alternative newsgroups have emerged outside of Usenet.

Usenet newsgroups are arranged hierarchically first by the name of the group, followed by the name of the subgroups. Each name in the hierarchy is separated by a period. For example, the discussion group about rose gardening is rec.gardens.roses. This means the conversation is in the general grouping of rec. (which stands for recreation), and a subgroup of recreation called gardens. In this particular case, an additional subgroup of gardens has been created for roses. Each additional subgroup in a hierarchy defines how narrow or specialized the discussion topic is. It's not uncommon to find newsgroups with several subgroups.

The Usenet Big Eight hierarchies are:

comp - computer science and related topics

news - information about the newsgroups

rec - hobbies and recreational activities

sci - scientific research and applications

soc - social issues, including politics

talk - debate on controversial topics

misc - anything that doesn't fit in the above categories

Not all newsgroups are part of Usenet. For example, the newsgroups with a prefix of alt. are not part of the core Usenet newsgroups, although they may look just like Usenet newsgroups to the average user. Another example of a non-Usenet newsgroup is the Clarinet news feed, which is a commercial information service that also looks like any other newsgroup to the end-user.

System administrators decide which newsgroups will be carried on their systems. Making newsgroups available to their users means dedicating hard-drive space for storage, so decisions have to be made about the allocation of those resources. Many administrators will not carry the "alt." groups. Some even refuse to carry any group with the word "sex" in the name. You have to check with your provider to find out what newsgroups they carry.

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UUCP

An acronym for UNIX to UNIX Copy Program. UUCP is a protocol for transferring files, news, and mail, and executing remote commands between machines.
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uuencode/uudecode

A software utility that converts a binary file (often a photo or a graphic) to an ASCII (text) file so it can be sent as an attachment to an e-mail message or downloaded from a newsgroup. Since e-mail messages must be text, not binary information, UUencode disguises non-text files as text so they can be included in a mail message. When the message is received, the recipient, or their e-mail program, runs UUdecode to convert it to the original file.
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viewer

A software application or tool designed to display a specific type of file (usually one that contains something other than text) that your web browser normally can't display on its own. There are viewers to display graphics files, and to play sound or video files. See External Viewer Application.
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virtual reality

Computer simulations of real-world "environments" that use 3-D graphics and external devices like a dataglove or helmet to allow users to interact with the simulation. Users move through virtual reality (VR) environments as though they were navigating in the real worlds -- walking through structures and interacting with objects in the environment.
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VRML

Virtual Reality Modeling Language - VRML is an open, platform-independent file format for 3-D graphics on the Web. It encodes computer-generated graphics in a way that makes them easily transported across the network. VRML requires a special web browser to display these graphics which simulate virtual reality 3-D "environments" or "worlds" through which the user can move and interact with objects. These 3-D "worlds" can contain objects that link to documents, other objects, or other 3-D worlds.
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WAV file

A popular way for sending sound files (.wav) around the Internet. As time goes on, however, these files are becoming less and less popular due to their vast size and are being replaced by file types that can compress the same quality of sound into smaller packages.
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web page

A web page is a document created with HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that is part of a group of hypertext documents or resources available on the World Wide Web. Collectively, these documents and resources form what is known as a website.

You can read HTML documents that reside somewhere on the Internet or on your local hard drive with a piece of software called a web browser. Web browsers read HTML documents and display them as formatted presentations, with any associated graphics, sound, and video, on a computer screen.

Web pages can contain hypertext links to other places within the same document, to other documents at the same web site, or to documents at other web sites. They also can contain fill-in forms, photos, large clickable images (image maps), sounds, and videos for downloading.

To post a web page or pages on the Internet, you must have an account with a provider who has a web server connected to the Internet, or a web server and Internet connection of your own.

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webmaster

A person in charge of maintaining a web site. This can include writing HTML files, setting up more complex programs, and responding to e-mail. Many sites encourage you to mail comments and questions about the site's web pages to the webmaster.
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website

The collection of network services, primarily HTML documents, that are linked together and that exist on the Web at a particular server. Exploring a website usually begins with the home page, which may lead you to more information about that site. A single server may support multiple websites.
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winsock

Short for Windows Sockets. This term describes a standard way for Windows programs to work with TCP/IP. You use it if you directly connect your Windows PC to the Internet, either with a permanent connection or with a modem by using SLIP or PPP.
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winzip

A file compression program that runs under the Windows operating system platform and can create, extract, and archive .zip files. This program can be downloaded from http://www.winzip.com.
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World Wide Web

The exact definition for the World Wide Web (popularly known as the Web) varies, depending on whom you ask. Three common descriptions are:

1.A collection of resources (Gopher, FTP, http, telnet, Usenet, WAIS and others) which can be accessed via a web browser.

2.A collection of hypertext files available on web servers.

3.A set of specifications (protocols) that allows the transmission of web pages over the Internet.

You can think of the Web as a worldwide collection of text and multimedia files and other network services interconnected via a system of hypertext documents. HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) was created in 1990, at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, as a means for sharing scientific data internationally, instantly, and inexpensively. With hypertext a word or phrase can contain a link to other text. To achieve this they developed a programming language called HTML, that allows you to easily link you to other pages or network services on the Web.

If you encounter a page with a word that is highlighted in some way (usually in a different color and underlined), you can click on that word and "go to" the page or resource to which connects. Of course, you are not actually "going" anywhere when you do this, but rather, you are summoning the file or resource that the link points to. This non-linear, non-hierarchical method of accessing information was a breakthrough in information sharing and quickly became the major source of traffic on the Internet.

The basic elements of the World Wide Web are:

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) - the set of standards used by computers to communicate and share files with each other.

URL's (Uniform Resource Locator) - the "address" of a resource (file or diretory) on the Web.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) - the programming "tags" added to text documents that turn them into hypertext documents.

The World Wide Web Consortium at CERN continues to be the premier source of information about the Web. For more background information link to the history of CERN involvement in the Web and the Internet.

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X2

U.S. Robotics modem technology for downloading data at 53,000 bps. Competes with K56Flex for the 56K market.
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xDSL

A family of methods for sending data at high speeds over existing phone wires.
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Xon/Xoff

One way for your computer to say, "Hey...Slow Down!" when data is flowing in too fast. The other form is called hardware flow control
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Xmodem

A protocol for sending files between computers. The second choice after Zmodem
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Yahoo!

A set of web pages that provide a subject-oriented guide to the World Wide Web. You can find their services at http://www.yahoo.com
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zip/zip file

An archive that has been compressed by using PKZIP, WinZip, or another compatable archiving program.
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Zmodem

A protocol for sending files between computers and the best one to use if you have access to it and must use this method of transfer.
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Last modified: April 17, 2007