Internet Terms




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ACK - (acknowledgement)
A type of message sent to indicate that a block of data arrived at its
destination without error.

ADN - (Advanced Digital Network)
Usually refers to a 56Kbs leased-line

Address
There are three type of addresses in common use with the internet.
They are Email address, IP address, and MAC address. (See these
terms for their definitions).

ADSL - (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
A DSL line where the upload speed is different fom the download
speed. Usually the download speed is much greater.

Agent
In the client-server model, the part of the system that performs
information preperation on behalf of a client or server application.

Alias
A name, usually short and easy to remember, that is translated into
another name, usually long and difficult to remember.

Anonymous FTP
See "FTP".

Applet
A small Java program that can be embedded into 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 and prohibited from communicating with other
computers across a network. The common rule is that an applet can
only make an internet connection to the computer from which the
applet was sent.

Appletalk
A networking protocol developed by Apple Computer for communication
between Apple computer products and other computers.This protocol is
independent of the network layer on which it is run.

Application
A program that performs a function directly for a user. FTP, Email,
and Telnet are examples of network applications.

API - (Application Program Interface)
A set of calling conventions which define how a service is invoked
through a software package.

Archie
A tool for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites. You need to
know the exact file name or a substring of it. Archie has been replaced
by web-based search engines.

Archive Site
A machine that provides access to a collection of files across the
internet. An anonymous FTP archive site, for example, provides
access to this material via the FTP protocol.

ARP - (Address Resolution Protocol)
Used to dynamically discover the low level physical network hardware
address that corresponds to the high level IP address for a given host.
ARP is limited to physical network systems that support broadcast
packets that can be heard by all hosts on the network.

ARPANet - (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network)
The procurser to the internet. Developed in the late 60's and early 70's
by the Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area networking
to connect together computers that were each running differetn systems
so that people at one location could use computing resources from
another location.

ASCII - (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
This is the defacto world-wide standard for the code numbers used by
computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers,
punctuations, ect. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can
be represented by a 7 digit binary number 0000000 through 1111111.

ATM - (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
A method for the dynamic allocation of bandwidth using a fixed-size
packet called a cell. ATM is also known as "Fast Packet".

AUP - (Acceptable Use Policy)
Many Transit networks have policies which restrict the use to which the
network may be put. A well known example is NSFNET's AUP which
does not allow commercial use. Enforcement of AUP's vary with each
network.

Authentication
The verification of the identity of a person or process.

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B
BackBone
A high-speed line or a series of connections that forms a major pathway
within a network. The term is reletive as a backbone in a small network
will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone line in a large network.

Bandwidth
How much stuff you can send through a connection. Usually measured in
bits-per-second. A full page of English text is abot 16,000 bits. A fast
modem can move about 57,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen
videos would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on
compression.

Bang Path
A series of machine names used to direct electronic mail from one user
to another, typically by specifying an explicit UUCP path through which
the mail is to be routed.

Baseband
A transmission medium through which digital signals are sent without
complicated frequency shifting, In general, only one communication
channel is available at any given time.

Baud
In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send
or recieve 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
(4x300=1200 bits-per-second).

BBS - (Bulletin Board System)
A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people
to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make
announcements without the people being connected to the computer
at the same time. In the early 90's there were many thousands of BBS's
around the world, most are very small, running on a single IBM clone PC
with 1 or 2 phone lines. Some are very large and the line between a BBS
and a system like AOL gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly
drawn.

Big-Endian
A format for storage or transmission of binary data in which the most
significant bit comes first.

Binary
Information consisting entirely of ones and zeros. Also, commonly used to
refer to files that are not simply text file, like images.

BinHex - (Binary Hexadecimal)
A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is
needed because internet email can only handle ASCII.

BIT - (Binary Digit)
A single digit number in base-2. In other words, either a 1 or a 0. The
smallest unit of computerized data.

BITNet - (Because It's Time Network)
A network of educational sites seperate from the internet, but email is
freely exchanged between BITNET and the internet. BITNET is probably
the only international network that is shrinking.

BLOG - (Web Log)
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of
updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a
"blogger". Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows
people with little or no technical background to update and maintain
the blog.

Bounce
The return of a piece of mail because of an error in its delivery.

BPS - (Bits-Per-Second)
A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another.
A 56K modem can move about 57,000 bits-per-second.

Bridge
A device which forwards traffic between network segments based on
datalink layer information. These segments would have a common
network layer address.

Broadband
A transmission medium capable of supporting a wide range of
frequencies. It can carry multiple signals by dividing the total capacity
of the medium into multiple, independent bandwidth channels, where
wach channel operates only on a specific range of frequencies.

Broadcast
A special type of multicast packet which all nodes on the network are
always willing to recieve.

Browser
A client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of
of internet resources, like web pages.

BTW - (By The Way)
A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online forum.

Byte
A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 bits
in a byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is
being made.

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C

CATP - (Caffeine Access Transfer Protocol)
Common method of moving caffeine across wide area networks
such as the Internet. CATP was first used at the Binary Cafe in
Cybertown and quickly spread world wide.

Certificate Authority
An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL connections.

CGI - (Common Gateway Interface)
A set of rules the describes how a web server communicates with another
piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software
talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it
handles input and output according to the CGI Standard.

CGI-BIN
The most common name of a directory on a web server in which CGI
programs are strored.

Checksum
A computed value which is dependent upon the contents of a packet.
The value is sent along with the packet when it is transmitted. The
receiving systems computes a new checksum based upon the
received data and compares this value with the one sent with the
packet.

Client
A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a server
software program on another computer, often across a great distance.
Each client program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds
of server programs, and each server requires a specific kind of client.
a web browser is a specific kind of client.

Circuit Switching
A communications paradigm in which a dedicated communication path
is established between two host, and on which all packets travel.

Co-Location
Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs to one person or
group 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 their own network.

Congestion
Congestion occurs when the offered load exceeds the capacity of a
data communication path.

Cookie
The most common meaning of cookie on the internet refers to a piece
of information sent by a web server to a web browser that the browser
software is expected to save and to send back to the server whenever
the browser makes additional requests from the server. Cookies might
contain information such as login or registration information, online
shopping cart information, user preferences, ect.

Core Gateway
Historically, one of a set of gateways operated by the Internet Networks
Operation Center. The core gateway system formed a central part of
internet routing in that all groups mst advertise paths to their networks
from a core gateway.

Cracker
A cracker is an individual who attempts to access computer systems
without authorization. These individuals are often malicious, as opposed
to hackers, and have many means at their disposal for breaking into
a system.

CSS - (Cascading Style Sheet)
A standard for specifying the appearance of text and other elements. CSS
was developed for use with HTML in web pages but is also used in other
situations, notably in applications built using XPFE. CSS is typically used
to provide a single library of styles that are used over and over throughout
a large number of related documents, as in a web site. A CSS file might
specify that all numbered list are to appear in italic. By changing that single
specification the look of a large number of documents can be easily
changed.

CWIS - (Campus Wide Information System)
A CWIS makes information and services publicly available on campus
via kiosks, and makes interactive computing available via kiosks,
interactive computing systems and campus networks.

Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk was originally a cultural sub-genre of science fiction taking
place in a not-so-distant, over-industrialized society. The term grew out of
the work of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and has evolved into a cultural
label encommassing many different kinds of human, machine, and punk
attitudes. It includes clothing and lifestyle choices as well.

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.

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D
DEK - (Data Encryption Key)
Used for the encryption of message text and for the computation
of message integrity checks.

DCE - (Distributed Computing Enviroment)
An architecture of standard programming interfaces, conventions,
and server functionalities for distributing applications transparently
accross networks of heterogeneous computers.

Digerati
The digital version of Literati, it is a reference to a vague cloud of
people seen to be knowledgable, hip, or otherwise in-the-know
in regards to the digital revolution.

Distributed Database
A collection of several different repositories that look like a single
database to the user. An example on the internet is the Domain
Name system.

Domain Name
The unique name that identifies an internet site. Domain names always
have two or more parts, seperated by a dot. 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 but a given domain
name points to only one machine.

Download
Transferring data (Usually a file) from another computer to your computer.

DSL - (Digital Subscriber Line)
A method of moving data over regular phone lines. A DSL circuit is much
faster than a regular phone connection, and the wires coming into the
subscribers premises are the same wires used for regular phone lines.
A DSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations,
similar to a leased line.

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E

Email - (Electronic Mail)
Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer.
Email can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses.

Encryption
Encryption is the manipulation of a packets data in order to prevent
anyone but the intended recipient from reading the data. There are
many types of data encryption, and they are the basis of network
security.

Ethernet
A very common method of networking computers on a LAN. There is
more than one type of ethernet. The standard type is 100-BaseT which
can handle about 10,000,000 bits-per-second and can be used with
almost any computer.

Extranet
An Intranet that is accesible to to computers that are not physically part
of a companies own private network, but that is not accesible to the
general public.

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F
FAQ - (Frequently Asked Questions)
FAQ's are documents that list and answer the most common questions
on a particular subject. FAQ's ar usually written by people who have
tired of answering the same questions over and over.

FDDI - (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 10-BaseTEthernet,
about twice as fast as T-3).

Finger
An internet software tool for looking people up 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. Most internet sites do not all
Finger requests, but some do.

File Transfer
The copying of a file from one computer to another over a computer
network.

Fire Wall
A combination of hardware and software that seperates a network
into two or more parts for security purposes.

Flame
Originally Flame meant to carry forth in a passionate manner in the spirit
of honable 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.

Flame War
When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks
against the debators, rather than discussion of their positions.

Fragment
A piece of a packet. When a router is forwarding an IP packet to a
network that has a maximum packet size smaller than the packet size,
it is forced to break up that packet into multiple fragments. These
fragments will be reassembled by the IP layer at the destination host.

Frame
A frame is a datalink layer packet which contains the header and trailer
information required by the physical medium. That is, network layer
packets are encapsulated to become frames.

FTP - (File Transfer Protocol)
A very common method of moving files between two internet sites. FTP
is a way to login to another internet site for the purpose of retrieving
and/or sending files. FTP was invented and in wide use before the
advent of the World Wide Web and originally was always used from
a text-only interface.

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G
Gateway
The technical meaning is a hardware or software setup that translates
between two dissimilar protocols. Another meaning of Gateway is to
describe any mechanism for providing access to another system.

GIF - (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 it is stored
in JPEG format, but GIF format does not store photographic images
as well as JPEG format.

Gigabyte
1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who s measuring.

Gopher
Invented at the University of Minnesota in 1993 just before the web,
gopher was a widely successful method of making menus of material
available over the internet. Gopher was designed to be much easier
to use than FTP, while still using a text-only interface.

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H
Hacker
A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the
internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks
in particular. The term is often misused in a perjorative context,
where Cracker would be the correct term.

Header
The portion of a packet, preceding the actual data, containing source
and destination addresses, end error checking and other fields. A
header is also the part of an electronic mail message that precedes
the body of a message and contains, among other things, the message
originator, date, and time.

Hit
As used in reference to the world wibe 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 three graphics, 4 Hits
would occur at the server, 1 for the HTML page and 3 for the graphics.

Homepage
Homepage has several Meanings. Orginally, 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.

Host
Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available
to other computer on the same network. It is quite common to have
one host machine provide several services, such as email and web.

HTML - (HyperText MarkUp Language)
The coding language used to create hypertext documents for use on
the world wibe 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.

HTTP - (HyperText Transfer 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.

Hub
A device connected to several other devices. In ARCnet, a hub is used
to connect several computers together. In a message handling service,
a hub is used for the transfer of messages across the network.

Hypertext
Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or
phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which
cause other documents to be retrieved and displayed.

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I

IETF - (Internet Engineering Task Force)
The IETF is a large group, open community of network designers,
operators, venders, and researchers whose purpose is to coordinate
the operation, management, and evolution of the internet, and to
resolve short-range and mid-range protocol and architectural issues.
It is a major source of proposals for protocol standards which are
submitted to the LAB for final approval.

IMAP - (Internet Message Access Protocol)
IMAP is gradually replacing POP as the main protocol used by email
clients in communicating with email servers. Using IMAP, an email
client program can not only retrieve email but can also manipulate
messages stored on a server, without having to actually retrieve the
messages. So, messages can be deleted, have their status changed,
multiple mail box can be managhed, ect.

IMHO - (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.

internet - (Lower Case "i")
Any time you connect two or more networks together, you have an internet,
as in inter-national or inter-state.

Internet - (Upper Case "i")
The vast collection of Inter-connected networks that are connected using
the TCP/IP protocols and that eviolved from the Arpanet of the late 60's
and early 70's.

Interoperability
The ability of software and hardware on multiple machines from multiple
vendors to communicate meaningfully.

Intranet
A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same
kinds of software that you would find on the public internet, but that is only
for internal use.

IP Number - (Internet Protocol Number)
Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of four
parts seperated by dots. Every machine that is on the internet has a
unique IP number.

IRC - (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.

ISDN - (Intergrated Services Digital Network)
Basically a way to move more data over existing regular phone lines. It
can provide speeds of rouhgly 128,00 bits-per-second over regular phone
lines. Unlike DSL, ISDN can be used to connect to many different locations,
one at a time, just like a regualr phone call, as long as the other location
also has ISDN.

ISP - (Internet Service Provider)
An institution that provides access to the interent in some form.

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J

Java
Java is a network-friendly programming language invented by Sun
Microsystems. Java is often used to build large, complex systems
that involve several different computers interacting accross networks.
Java is aldo becoming popular for creating programs that run in small
electronic devices, such as mobile telephones.

JavaScript
JavaScript is a programming language that is mostly used in web pages,
usually to add features that make the web page more interactive. When
JavaScript is included in an HTML file it relies on the browser to interpret
the JavaScript. When JavaScript is combined with Style Sheets (CSS)
and later versions of HTML, the result is often called DHTML.

JDK - (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.

JPEG - (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.

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K
Kermit
A popular file transfer protocol developed by Columbia University.
Because Kermit runs in most operating enviroments, it provides
an easy method of file transfer. Kermit is not the same as FTP.

Kilobyte
A Kilobyte is one thousand bytes.

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L

LAN - (Local Area Network)
A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same
building or floor of a building.

Layer
Communication networks for computers may be organized as a set
of more or less independent protocols, each in a different layer. The
lowest layer governs direct host-to-host communication between the
hardware at different hosts, the highest consists of user applications.

Leased Line
Refers to line such as a telephone line or fiber optic cable 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.

Linux
A widely used open source Unix-like operating system. Linux was first
released by its inventor Linus Torvalds in 1991. There are version of
Linux for almost every available type of computer hardware from desktop
machines to IBM mainframes. The inner workings of Linux are open and
available for anyone to examine and change as long as they make their
changes available to the public.

Little-Endian
A format for storage or transmission of binary data in which the least
significant byte comes first.

LLC - (Logical Link Control)
The upper portion of the datalink layer. The LLC sublayer presents a
uniform interface to the user of the datalink service, usually the network
layer. Beneath the LLC sublayer is the MAC sublayer.

Login
Noun: The account name used to gasin access to a computer system.
Verb: The act of connecting to a computer system by giving your creditials.

Lurking
No active participation on the part of the subscriber to a mailing list
or USENET newsgroup. A person who is lurking is just listening to the
discussion. Lurking is encouraged for beginners who need to get up
to speed on the history of the group.

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M
Mail Bridge
A mail gateway tha forwards electronic mail between two or more
networks while ensuring that the messages it forwards meet certain
administrative criteria. A mail bridge is simply a specialized form of
mail gateway that enforces an administrative policy with regard to
what mail it forwards.

Mail Server
A software program that distributes files or information in response
to requests sent via email. Mail servers have also been used in
Bitnet to provide FTP-like services.

Mailing List
A (usually automated) system that allows people to send email to
one address, where upon their message is copied and sent to all
of the other subscribers to the mailing list. In this way, people who
have many different kinds of email access can participate in
discussions together.

Martian
A humorous term applied to packets that turn up unexpectedly on the
wrong network because of bogus routing entries. Also used as a name
for a packet which has an altogether bogus internet address.

MAC - (Media Access Control)
The lower portion of the datalink layer. The MAC differs for various
physical media.

Megabyte
One million bytes or 1024 kilobytes.

MIME - (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
Originally a standard for defining the types of files attached to standard
internet mail messages. The MIME standard has come to be used in
many situations where one computer program needs to communicate
with another program about what kind of file is being sent.

Mirror
Generally speaking, "To mirror" is to maintain an exact copy of something.
Probable the most common use of the term on the internet refers to
"mirror sites" which are web sites, or FTP sites that maintain copies of
material originated at another location, usually in order to provide more
widespread access to the resource.

Modem
A device that connects a computer to a phone line or a telphone for a
computer. A modem allows a computer to talk to other computers through
the phone system.

Moderator
A person, or small group of people, who manage moderated mailing
lists and newsgroups. Moderators are responsible for determining
which email submissions are passed on to the list.

MOO - (Mud, Object Oriented)
One of several kinds of multi-user role-playing environments.

Mosiac
The first WWW browser that was available for the Macintosh, Windows,
and Unix all with the same interface. Mosiac really started the popularity
of the web.

MUD - (Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension)
A multi-user simulation environment. Some are purely for fun and flirting,
while others are used for serious software development, or educational
Purposes. A significent feature of most MUD's is that users can create
things that stay after they leave and which other users can interact within
their absence, thus allowing a world to be built gradually.

MUSE - (Multi-User Simulated Environment)
One kind of MUD, usually with very little or no violence.

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N

Netiquette
The etiquette on the internet.

Netizen
Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the internet, or
someone who uses networked resources.

Netscape
A WWW browser and the name of a company. The Netscape browser
was originally based on the Mosiac program.

Network
Any time you connect two or more computers together so that they can
share resources, you have a computer network.

Newsgroup
The name for discussion groups on USENET.

NFS - (Network File System)
A protocol developed by Sun Microsystems which allows a computer
system to access files over a network as if they were on its local disks.

NIC - (Network Information Center)
Generally, any office that handles information for a network. The most
famous of these on the internet was the InterNIC, which was where most
new domain names were registered until that process was decentralized
to a number of private companies.

NNTP - (Network News Transport Protocol)
The protocol used by client and server software to carry USENET postings
back and forth over a TCP/IP network. If you are using any of the more
common software such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, to participate
in newsgroups then you are benefiting from an NNTP connection.

NTP - (Network Time Protocol)
A protocol that assures acurate local timekeeping with reference to
radio and atomic clocks located on the internet. This protocol is
capable of synchronizing distributed clocks within milliseconds
over long periods of time.

Node
Any single computer connected to a network.

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O
Open Source Software
Open source software is is software for which the underlying programming
code is available to the users so that may read it, make changes to it,
and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes.
Their are many types of open source software, mainly differing in the
licensing terms under which altered copies of the source code must
be redistributed.

OSI Reference Model
A seven-layer structure designed to describe computer network
architectures and the way that data passes through them. This
model was developed by the ISO in 1978 to clearly define the
interfaces in multivender networks, and to provide users of those
networks with conceptual guidelines in the construction of such
networks.

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P
Packet
The unit of data sent across a network. Packet is a generic term
used to describe units of data at all levels of the protocol stack,
but is is most correctly used to describe application data units.

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 in
chuncks, 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
along different routes by special machines along the way. This way
many people can use the same lines at the same time.

Password
A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords
contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations.

PEM - (Privacy Enhanced Mail)
Internet email which provides confidentiality, authentication, and
message integrity using various encryption methods.

Ping
To check if a server is running. From the sound a sonar system makes
in movies when they are searching for a submarine.

Plug-in
A small piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software.

PNG - (Portable Network Graphics)
PNG is a graphics format specifically designed for use on the world
wide web. PNG enables compressions of images without any loss of
quality, including high-resolution images. Another important feature of
PNG is that anyone may create software that works with PNG images
without paying any fees.

POP - (Point Of Presence or Post Office Protocol)
A Point Of Presence usually means a location where a network can be
connected to, often with dial-up phone lines. Post Office Protocol refers
to a way that email clients gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain
an account from an Internet Service Provider, you almost always get a
POP account with it.

Port
Port has three meanings. First and most generally, a place where
information goes into or out of a computer. On the internet Port often
refers to a number that is part of a URL, appaering a a colon right after
the domain name. Every service on an internet server listen on a particular
port number on that server. Finally, Port also refers to translating a piece
of software to bring it from one type of computer system to another.

Portal
Usually used as a marketing term to describe a web site that is or is
intending to be the first place people see when using the web. Typically,
a portal site has a catalog of web sites, a search engine, or both.

Posting
A single message entered into a network communications system.

Postmaster
The person responsible for taking care of electronic mail problems,
answering queries about users, and other related work at a site.

PPP - (Point to Point Protocol)
The most common protocol used to connect home computers to the
internet over regular phone lines.

Prospero
A distributed file system which provides the user with the ability to
create multiple views of a single collection of files distributed over
the internet. Prospero provides a file naming system, and file access
is provided by existing access methods.

Protocol
A formal description of message formats and the rules two computers
must follow to exchange those messages. Protocols can describe low-
level details of machine-to-machine interfaces or high-level exchanges
between allocation programs.

Proxy Server
A proxy server sits between a client a the real server that a client is trying
to use. Client's are sometimes configured to use a proxy server, usually
an HTTP server. The client makes all of its requests from the proxy server,
which then makes requests from the real server and passes the results
back to the client. Proxy servers are commonly established on LAN's.

PSTN - (Public Switched Telephone Network)
The regular old-fashioned telephone system.

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Q
Queue
A backup of packets awaiting processing.

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R
Reassembly
The IP process in which a previously fragmented packet is
reassembled before being passed to the transport layer.

Remote Login
Operating on a remote computer, using a protocol over a computer
network, as though locally attached.

RFC - (Requests For Comments)
The name of the result and the process for creating a standard on
the internet. New standards are proposed and published on the
internet, as a requests for comments. The proposal is reviewed
by the Internet Engineering Task Force (www.ietf.orghttp://www.ietf.org), 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.

Route
The path that network traffic takes from its source to its destination.
Also, a possible path from a given host to another host or destination.

Router
A special-purpose computer or software package that handles the
connection between two or more Packet-Switched networks. Routers
spend all their time looking at the source and destination addresses
of the packets passing through them and deciding which route to
send them on.

Routing
The process of selecting the correct interface and next hop for a packet
being forwarded.

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S
SDSL - (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
A version of DSL where the upload and download speeds are the same.

Search Engine
A (usually web based) system for searching for information on the web.
Some search engines work by automatically searching the contents of
other systems and creating a database of the results. other search
engines contain only materials aprroved for inclusion in a database,
and some combine the two approaches.

Security Certificate
A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the
SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.

Server
A computer or software package that provides a specific kindf 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.

Servlet
A small computer program designed to add capabilities to a larger piece
of server software. Common examples are Java servlets which are small
programs written in the Java language and which are added to a web
server. Typically a web server that uses Java servlets will have many of
them, each one of them designed to handle a very specific situation.

Signature
The three or four line message at the bootom of the piece of email or
USENET article which identifies the sender. Large signatures (over
five lines) are generally frowned upon.

SLIP - (Serial Line Internet Protocol)
A standard for using a regular telephone line and a modem to connect a
computer to an internet site. SLIP has largely been replaced by PPP.

SMDS - (Switched Multimegabit Data Service)
A standard for very high-speed data transfer.

SMTP - (Siimple Mail Transfer Protocol)
The main protocol used to send electronic mail from server to server
on the internet.

Snail Mail
A perjorative term referring to the normal paper postal service.

SNMP - (Simple Network Management Protocol)
A set of standards for communication with devices connected to a
TCP/IP network. Examples of these devices include Routers and hubs.

Spam
An inappropiate attempt to use a mailing list, USENET, or other networked
communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium by sending the
same message to a large number of people who did not ask for it. The term
probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word
Spam repeated over and over.

SQL - (Structured Query Language)
A specialized 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 slightly different version
of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-
capable databases support a common subset of SQL.

SSL - (Secure Socket Layer)
A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted,
authenticated communications across the internet.

Subnet
A portion of a network, which may ba a physically independent network
segment, which shares a network address with other portions of the
network and is distinguished by a subnet number.

SysOp - (System Operator)
Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system
or network rescource.

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T

T-1
A leased line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,00
bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line
could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds. T-1's are
commonly used to connect large LAN's to the internet.

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.

TCP/IP - (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol)
This is the suite of protocols the define the internet. Originally designed
for the Unix operating system. TCP/IP Software is now included with
every major kind of computer operationg system. To be truly on the
internet, Your computer must have TCP/IP software.

Telnet
The command and program used to login from one internet site to
another. The Telnet command/program gets you to the login prompt
of another host.

Terabyte
1000 Gigabytes.

Terminal
A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere
else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard and a display screen
and some simple circuitry. Usually you will use terminal software in a
personal computer - the software 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, an a connection to a LAN ot host machine on the other side.
Thus the terminal server does the work of answering the calls and passes
the connection on to the appropiate node.

TLD - (Top Level Domain)
The last (right-hand) part of a domain name. There are a large number of
top level domains such as .com .net .org .gov .edu .biz etc. and a collection
of TLD's corresponding to the standard two-letter country codes such as
.us .ca .jp etc.

Topology
A network topology shows the computers and the links between them.
A network layer must stay abreast of the current network topology to
be able to route packets to their final destination.

Transceiver
Tansmitter-reciever. The physical device that connects a host interface
to a local area network, such as ethernet.

Trojon Horse
A computer program that is either hidden inside another program or that
masquerades as something it is not in order to trick potential users into
running it. A Trojan Horse computer program may spread itself by sending
copies of itself from the host computer to other computers, but unlike a
virus, it will usually not infect other programs.

TTL - (Time To Live)
A field in the header which indicates how long a packet should be
allowed to survive befor being discarded.

Tunneling
Tunneling refers to encapsulation of protocol A within protocol B as
though it were a datalink layer. Tunneling is used to get data between
administative domains which use a protocol that is not upported by
the internet connecting those domains.

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U
UDP - (User Datagram Protocol)
One of the protocols for data transfer that is part of the TCP/IP suite
of protocols. UPD is a stateless prtotcol in that UPD makes no provision
for acknowledgement of packets recieved.

Unix
A computer operating system. Unix is designed to be used by many people
at the same time and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating
system for servers on the internet.

Upload
Transferring data from the computer you are using to another computer.
It is the opposite of download.

URI - (Uniform Resource Identifier)
And address for a resource on the internet. The first part of a URI is
called the Scheme. The most well know scheme is HTTP, but there
are many others. Each URI scheme has its own format for how a URI
should appear.

URL - (Uniform Resource Locator)
The term URL is basically synonymous wiht URI. URI has replaced URL
in technical specifications.

URN - (Uniform Resource Name)
A URI that is supposed to be available for a long time. For an address to
be a URN some institution is suppoesed to make a commitment to keep
the resource available at that address.

USENET
A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments passed
among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all USENET machines
are on the internet. USENET is completely decentralized, with over
10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups.

UUENCODE - (Unix to Unix Encoding)
A method for converting file from binary to ASCII so that they can be sent
across the internet via email.

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V
VERONICA - (Very Easy Rodent Oriented
Net-Wde Index to Computerized Archives)
Developed at the University of Nevada, Veronica was a constantly
updated database of the names of almost every menu item on
thousands of gopherservers. The Veronica database could be
searched from most major gophermenus. Veronica is now made
obsolete by web-based search engines.

Virtual Circuit
A network service which provides connection-oriented service
regardless of the underlying network structure.

Virus
A chunk of computer programming code that makes copies of itself
without any concious human intervention. some viruses do more than
simply replicate themselves, they might display messages, install
other software or files, delete software files, etc. A virus requires the
presence of some other program to replicate itself. Typically viruses
spread by attaching themselves to programs and in some cases files.

VPN - (Virtual Private Network)
Usually refers to a network in which some of the parts are connected
using the public internet, but the data sent across the internet is
encrypted, so the entire network is virtually private.

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W
WAIS - (Wide Area Information Servers)
A commercial software package that allows the indexing of huge
quantities of information, and making those indices searchable
across networks such as the internet. A prominent feature of WAIS
is that the search results are ranked according to how relavent the
hits are, and the subsequent searches can find more stuff like that
last batch and thus refine the search process.

WAN - (Wide Area Network)
Any internet or network that covers an area larger than a single
building or campus.

Web
Short for the world wide web.

Web Page
A document designed for viewing in a web browser. Typically
written in HTML.

Whois
An internet program which allows users to query a database of people
and other internet entities, such as domains, networks, and hosts, kept
at the DNN NIC. The information shows a persons or company's name,
address, phone number, and email address.

Worm
A worm is a virus that does not infect other programs. It makes copies
of itself, and infects additional computers but does not attach itself to
additional programs, however a worm might alter, install, or destroy
files and programs.

WWW - (World Wide Web)
World Wide Web is a term frequently used incorrectly when refering
to the internet. WWW has two major meanings. First, the whole
constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP,
HTTP, Telnet, USENET, WAIS, and some other tools. Second, the
universe of of hypertext servers more commly called web servers,
which are the servers that serve web pages to web browsers.

WYSIWYG
What You See Is What You Get

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X

XML - (eXtensible Markup Language)
A widely used system for defining data formats, XML provides a
very rich system to define complex documents and data structures
such as invoices, molucular data, news feeds, glossaries, inventory
descriptions, real estate properties, ect.

XPFE - (Cross Platform Front End)
A suite of technologies used to create applications that will work and
look the smae on different computer operating systems. The primary
technologies used in creating XPFE applications are JavaScript,
Cascading Style Sheets, and XUL.

XUL - eXtensible User-interface Language)
A markup language similar to HTML based on XML. XUL is used to
define what the user interface will look like for a particular piece of
software.

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Y
YP - (Yellow Pages)
A service used by Unix administrators to manage databases
distributed across a network. Also used as a term meaning
a World Wide Web virtual phone book for businesses.

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Z
Zone
A logical group of network devices.