Useful Internet terms
(Advanced Digital Network) -- Usually refers to a 56Kbps
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) --
A method for moving data over regular phone lines. An ADSL
circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection,
and the wires coming into the subscribers premises
are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service.
An ADSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific
locations, similar to a leased line.
A commonly discussed configuration of ADSL would allow a
subscriber to receive data (download) at speeds of up to
1.544 megabits (not megabytes) per second, and to send (upload)
data at speeds of 128 kilobits per second. Thus the Asymmetric
part of the
Another commonly discussed configuration would be symmetrical:
384 Kilobits per second in both directions. In theory ADSL
allows download speeds of up to 9 megabits per second and
upload speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second.
ADSL is often discussed as an alternative to ISDN, allowing
higher speeds in cases where the connection is always to
the same place.
See Also: bit , bps , ISDN
A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page.
Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in
that they are not allowed to access certain resources
on the local computer, such as files and serial devices
(modems, printers, etc.), and are prohibited from communicating
with most other computers across a network. The current
rule is that an applet can only make an Internet connection
to the computer from which the applet was sent.
Also: HTML , Java
A tool (software) for finding files stored on anonymous
FTP sites. You need to know the exact file name or a substring
(Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) -- The precursor
to the Internet. Developed in the late 60s and early
70s by the US Department of Defense as an experiment
in wide-area-networking that would survive a nuclear war.
See Also: Internet
(American Standard Code for Information Interchange) --
This is the de facto world-wide standard for the code
numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and
lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There
are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented
by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111.
A high-speed line or series of connections that forms
a major pathway within a network. The term is relative
as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller
than many non-backbone lines in a large network.
How much stuff you can send through a connection. Usually
measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text
is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 15,000
bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would
require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending
Also: Bps , Bit , T-1
In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits
it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is
the number of times per second that the carrier signal
shifts value - for example a 1200 bit-per-second modem
actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud
(4 x 300 = 1200 bits per second).
Also: Bit , Modem
(Bulletin Board System) -- A computerized meeting and
announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions,
upload and download files, and make announcements without
the people being connected to the computer at the same
time. There are many thousands (millions?) of BBSs
around the world, most are very small, running on a single
IBM clone PC with 1 or 2 phone lines. Some are very large
and the line between a BBS and a system like CompuServe
gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly drawn.
(BINary HEXadecimal) -- A method for converting non-text
files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet
e-mail can only handle ASCII.
Also: ASCII , MIME , UUENCODE
(Binary DigIT) -- A single digit number in base-2, in
other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of
computerized data. Bandwidth is usually measured in bits-per-second.
See Also: Bandwidth , Bps , Byte , Kilobyte , Megabyte
(Because Its Time NETwork (or Because Its
There NETwork)) -- A network of educational sites separate
from the Internet, but e-mail is freely exchanged between
BITNET and the Internet. Listservs®, the most popular
form of e-mail discussion groups, originated on
BITNET. BITNET machines are usually mainframes
running the VMS operating system, and the network is probably
the only international network that is shrinking.
(Bits-Per-Second) -- A measurement of how fast data is
moved from one place to another. A 28.8 modem can move
28,800 bits per second.
Also: Bandwidth , Bit
A Client program (software) that is used to look at various
kinds of Internet resources.
See Also: Client , URL , WWW , Netscape , Mosaic , Home
Page (or Homepage)
(By The Way) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written
in an online forum.
See Also: IMHO , TTFN
A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually
there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending
on how the measurement is being made.
See Also: Bit
An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL connections.
See Also: Security Certificate , SSL
(Common Gateway Interface) -- A set of rules that describe
how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software
on the same machine, and how the other piece of software
(the CGI program) talks to the web server.
Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles
input and output according to the CGI standard.
Usually a CGI program is a small program that takes data
from a web server and does something with it, like putting
the content of a form into an e-mail message, or turning
the data into a database query.
You can often see that a CGI program is being used by
seeing cgi-bin in a URL, but not always.
Also: cgi-bin , Web
The most common name of a directory on a web server in
which CGI programs are stored.
The bin part of cgi-bin is a shorthand
version of binary, because once upon a time,
most programs were refered to as binaries.
In real life, most programs found in cgi-bin directories
are text files -- scripts that are executed by binaries
located elsewhere on the same machine.
See Also: CGI
A software program that is used to contact and obtain
data from a Server software program on another computer,
often across a great distance. Each Client program is
designed to work with one or more specific kinds of Server
programs, and each Server requires a specific kind of
Client. A Web Browser is a specific kind of Client.
See Also: Browser , Server
Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs
to one person or group physically located on an Internet-connected
network that belongs to another person or group. Usually
this is done because the server owner wants their machine
to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they
do not want the security risks of having the server on
thier own network.
See Also: Internet , Server , Network
The most common meaning of Cookie on the Internet
refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server
to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected
to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser
makes additional requests from the Server.
on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers settings,
the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may
save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.
might contain information such as login or registration
information, online shopping cart information,
user preferences, etc.
a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes
a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored
in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customize
what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular
are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount
of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser
software is closed down, at which time they may be saved
to disk if their expire time has not been
do not read your hard drive and send your life story to
the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information
about a user than would be possible without them.
Also: Browser , Server
Cyberpunk was originally a cultural sub-genre of science
fiction taking place in a not-so-distant, dystopian, over-industrialized
society. The term grew out of the work of William Gibson
and Bruce Sterling and has evolved into a cultural label
encompassing many different kinds of human, machine, and
punk attitudes. It includes clothing and lifestyle choices
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
The digital version of literati, it is a reference to
a vague cloud of people seen to be knowledgeable, hip,
or otherwise in-the-know in regards to the digital revolution.
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain
Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots.
The part on the left is the most specific, and the part
on the right is the most general. A given machine may
have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name
points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:
can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name
can refer to no more than one machine.
all of the machines on a given Network will have the same
thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names
(matisse.net in the examples above). It is also possible
for a Domain Name to exist but not be connected to an
actual machine. This is often done so that a group or
business can have an Internet e-mail address without having
to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some
real Internet machine must handle the mail on behalf of
the listed Domain Name.
Also: IP Number
(Electronic Mail) -- Messages, usually text, sent from
one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be
sent automatically to a large number of addresses (Mailing
Also: Listserv® , Maillist
A very common method of networking computers in a LAN.
Ethernet will handle about 10,000,000 bits-per-second
and can be used with almost any kind of computer.
Also: Bandwidth , LAN
(Frequently Asked Questions) -- FAQs are documents that
list and answer the most common questions on a particular
subject. There are hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse
as Pet Grooming and Cryptography. FAQs are usually written
by people who have tired of answering the same question
over and over.
(Fiber Distributed Data Interface) -- A standard for transmitting
data on optical fiber cables at a rate of around 100,000,000
bits-per-second (10 times as fast as Ethernet, about twice
as fast as T-3).
Also: Bandwidth , Ethernet , T-1 , T-3
An Internet software tool for locating people on other
Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give
access to non-personal information, but the most common
use is to see if a person has an account at a particular
Internet site. Many sites do not allow incoming Finger
requests, but many do.
A combination of hardware and software that separates
a LAN into two or more parts for security purposes.
Also: Network , LAN
Originally, flame meant to carry forth in a passionate
manner in the spirit of honorable debate. Flames most
often involved the use of flowery language and flaming
well was an art form. More recently flame has come to
refer to any kind of derogatory comment no matter how
witless or crude.
Also: Flame War
When an online discussion degenerates into a series of
personal attacks against the debators, rather than discussion
of their positions. A heated exchange.
(File Transfer Protocol) -- A very common method of moving
files between two Internet sites. FTP is a special way
to login to another Internet site for the purposes of
retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet
sites that have established publicly accessible repositories
of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging
in using the account name anonymous, thus these sites
are called anonymous ftp servers.
The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up
that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for
example Prodigy has a gateway that translates between
its internal, proprietary e-mail format and Internet e-mail
format. Another, sloppier meaning of gateway is to describe
any mechanism for providing access to another system,
e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.
(Graphic Interchange Format) -- A common format for image
files, especially suitable for images containing large
areas of the same color. GIF format files of simple images
are often smaller than the same file would be if stored
in JPEG format, but GIF format does not store photographic
images as well as JPEG.
1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who is measuring.
Also: Byte , Megabyte
A widely successful method of making menus of material
available over the Internet. Gopher is a Client and Server
style program, which requires that the user have a Gopher
Client program. Although Gopher spread rapidly across
the globe in only a couple of years, it has been largely
supplanted by Hypertext, also known as WWW (World Wide
Web). There are still thousands of Gopher Servers on the
Internet and we can expect they will remain for a while.
See Also: Client , Server , WWW , Hypertext
As used in reference to the World Wide Web, hit
means a single request from a web browser for a single
item from a web server; thus in order for a web browser
to display a page that contains 3 graphics, 4 hits
would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one
for each of the 3 graphics.
are often used as a very rough measure of load on a server,
e.g. Our server has been getting 300,000 hits per
month. Because each hit can represent
anything from a request for a tiny document (or even a
request for a missing document) all the way to a request
that requires some significant extra processing (such
as a complex search request), the actual load on a machine
from 1 hit is almost impossible to define.
Page (or Homepage)
Several meanings. Originally, the web page that your browser
is set to use when it starts up. The more common meaning
refers to the main web page for a business, organization,
person or simply the main page out of a collection of
web pages, e.g. Check out so-and-sos new Home
sloppier use of the term refers to practically any web
page as a homepage, e.g. That web site
has 65 homepages and none of them are interesting.
Also: Browser , Web
Any computer on a network that is a repository for services
available to other computers on the network. It is quite
common to have one host machine provide several services,
such as WWW and USENET.
Also: Node , Network
(HyperText Markup Language) -- The coding language used
to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide
Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code,
where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate
how it should appear, additionally, in HTML you can specify
that a block of text, or a word, is linked to another
file on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed
using a World Wide Web Client Program, such as Netscape
Also: Client , Server , WWW
(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 (WWW).
Also: Client , Server , WWW
Generally, any text that contains links to other documents
- words or phrases in the document that can be chosen
by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved
(In My Humble Opinion) -- A shorthand appended to a comment
written in an online forum, IMHO indicates that the writer
is aware that they are expressing a debatable view, probably
on a subject already under discussion. One of may such
shorthands in common use online, especially in discussion
Also: TTFN , BTW
(Upper case I)
The vast collection of inter-connected networks that all
use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET
of the late 60s and early 70s. The Internet
now (July 1995) connects roughly 60,000 independent networks
into a vast global internet.
See Also: internet
internet (Lower case
Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you
have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
Also: Internet , Network
A private network inside a company or organization that
uses the same kinds of software that you would find on
the public Internet, but that is only for internal use.
the Internet has become more popular many of the tools
used on the Internet are being used in private networks,
for example, many companies have web servers that are
available only to employees.
that an Intranet may not actually be an internet -- it
may simply be a network.
Also: internet , Internet , Network
Number (Internet Protocol Number)
Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting
of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 184.108.40.206
machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number
- if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really
on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain
Names that are easier for people to remember.
Also: Domain Name , Internet , TCP/IP
(Internet Relay Chat) -- Basically a huge multi-user live
chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers
around the world which are linked to each other. Anyone
can create a channel and anything that anyone types in
a given channel is seen by all others in the channel.
Private channels can (and are) created for multi-person
(Integrated Services Digital Network) -- Basically a way
to move more data over existing regular phone lines. ISDN
is rapidly becoming available to much of the USA and in
most markets it is priced very comparably to standard
analog phone circuits. It can provide speeds of roughly
128,000 bits-per-second over regular phone lines. In practice,
most people will be limited to 56,000 or 64,000 bits-per-second.
(Internet Service Provider) -- An institution that provides
access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.
Java is a network-oriented programming language invented
by Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for
writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your
computer through the Internet and immediately run without
fear of viruses or other harm to your computer or files.
Using small Java programs (called "Applets"),
Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators,
and other fancy tricks.
can expect to see a huge variety of features added to
the Web using Java, since you can write a Java program
to do almost anything a regular computer program can do,
and then include that Java program in a Web page.
(Java Development Kit)
A software development package from Sun Microsystems that
implements the basic set of tools needed to write, test
and debug Java applications and applets
Also: Applet , Java
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
See Also: GIF
A thousand bytes. Actually, usually 1024 (2^10) bytes.
Also: Byte , Bit
(Local Area Network)
A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually
the same building or floor of a building.
Refers to a phone line that is rented for exclusive 24-hour,
7 -days-a-week use from your location to another location.
The highest speed data connections require a leased line.
Also: T-1 , T-3
The most common kind of maillist, "Listserv"
is a registered trademark of L-Soft international, Inc.
Listservs originated on BITNET but they are now common
on the Internet.
Also: BITNET , E-mail , Maillist
Noun or a verb. Noun: The account name used to gain access
to a computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password).
Verb: The act of entering into a computer system, e.g.
Login to the WELL and then go to the GBN conference.
See Also: Password
(or Mailing List)
A (usually automated) system that allows people to send
e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied
and sent to all of the other subscribers to the maillist.
In this way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail
access can participate in discussions together.
A million bytes. Actually, technically, 1024 kilobytes.
Also: Byte , Bit , Kilobyte
(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
The standard for attaching non-text files to standard
Internet mail messages. Non-text files include graphics,
spreadsheets, formatted word-processor documents, sound
An email program is said to be MIME Compliant if it can
both send and receive files using the MIME standard.
When non-text files are sent using the MIME standard they
are converted (encoded) into text - although the resulting
text is not really readable.
speaking the MIME standard is a way of specifying both
the type of file being sent (e.g. a Quicktime video
file), and the method that should be used to turn it back
into its original form.
email software, the MIME standard is also universally
used by Web Servers to identify the files they are sending
to Web Clients, in this way new file formats can be accommodated
simply by updating the Browsers list of pairs of
MIME-Types and appropriate software for handling each
Also: Browser , Client , Server , Binhex , UUENCODE
Generally speaking, to mirror is to maintain
an exact copy of something. Probably the most common use
of the term on the Internet refers to mirror sites
which are web sites, or FTP sites that maintain exact
copies of material originated at another location, usually
in order to provide more widespread access to the resource.
common use of the term mirror refers to an
arrangement where information is written to more than
one hard disk simultaneously, so that if one disk fails,
the computer keeps on working without losing anything.
Also: FTP , Web
A device that you connect to your computer and to a phone
line, that allows the computer to talk to other computers
through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers
what a telephone does for humans.
MOO (Mud, Object Oriented)
One of several kinds of multi-user role-playing environments,
so far only text-based.
Also: MUD , MUSE
The first WWW browser that was available for the Macintosh,
Windows, and UNIX all with the same interface. Mosaic
really started the popularity of the Web. The source-code
to Mosaic has been licensed by several companies and there
are several other pieces of software as good or better
than Mosaic, most notably, Netscape.
Also: Browser , Client , WWW
(Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension)
A (usually text-based) multi-user simulation environment.
Some are purely for fun and flirting, others are used
for serious software development, or education purposes
and all that lies in between. A significant feature of
most MUDs is that users can create things that stay after
they leave and which other users can interact with in
their absence, thus allowing a world to be built gradually
Also: MOO , MUSE
(Multi-User Simulated Environment)
One kind of MUD - usually with little or no violence.
Also: MOO , MUD
The etiquette on the Internet.
Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen
of the Internet, or someone who uses networked resources.
The term connotes civic responsibility and participation.
A WWW Browser and the name of a company. The Netscape
(tm) browser was originally based on the Mosaic program
developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
has grown in features rapidly and is widely recognized
as the best and most popular web browser. Netscape corporation
also produces web server software.
provided major improvements in speed and interface over
other browsers, and has also engendered debate by creating
new elements for the HTML language used by Web pages --
but the Netscape extensions to HTML are not universally
main author of Netscape, Mark Andreessen, was hired away
from the NCSA by Jim Clark, and they founded a company
called Mosaic Communications and soon changed the name
to Netscape Communications Corporation.
Also: Browser , Mosaic , Server , WWW
Any time you connect 2 or more computers together so that
they can share resources, you have a computer network.
Connect 2 or more networks together and you have an internet.
Also: internet , Internet , Intranet
The name for discussion groups on USENET.
(Networked Information Center)
Generally, any office that handles information for a network.
The most famous of these on the Internet is the InterNIC,
which is where new domain names are registered.
Another definition: NIC also refers to Network Interface
Card which plugs into a computer and adapts the network
interface to the appropriate standard. ISA, PCI, and PCMCIA
cards are all examples of NICs.
NNTP (Network News
The protocol used by client and server software to carry
USENET postings back and forth over a TCP/IPnetwork. If
you are using any of the more common software such as
Netscape, Nuntius, Internet Explorer, etc. to participate
in newsgroups then you are benefiting from an NNTP connection.
Also: Newsgroup , TCP/IP , USENET
Any single computer connected to a network.
Also: Network , Internet , internet
The method used to move data around on the Internet. In
packet switching, all the data coming out of a machine
is broken up into chunks, each chunk has the address of
where it came from and where it is going. This enables
chunks of data from many different sources to co-mingle
on the same lines, and be sorted and directed to different
routes by special machines along the way. This way many
people can use the same lines at the same time.
A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords
contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations
such as virtue7.
A good password might be: Hot$1-6
A (usually small) piece of software that adds features
to a larger piece of software. Common examples are plug-ins
for the Netscape® browser and web server. Adobe Photoshop®
also uses plug-ins.
idea behind plug-ins is that a small piece of software
is loaded into memory by the larger program, adding a
new feature, and that users need only install the few
plug-ins that they need, out of a much larger pool of
possibilities. Plug-ins are usually created by people
other than the publishers of the software the plug-in
(Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol)
Two commonly used meanings: Point of Presence and Post
Office Protocol. A Point of Presence usually means a city
or location where a network can be connected to, often
with dial up phone lines. So if an Internet company says
they will soon have a POP in Belgrade, it means that they
will soon have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or
a place where leased lines can connect to their network.
A second meaning, Post Office Protocol refers to the way
e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server.
When you obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account you almost
always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account
that you tell your e-mail software to use to get your
Also: SLIP , PPP
3 meanings. First and most generally, a place where information
goes into or out of a computer, or both. E.g. the serial
port on a personal computer is where a modem would be
the Internet port often refers to a number that is part
of a URL, appearing after a colon (:) right after the
domain name. Every service on an Internet server listens
on a particular port number on that server. Most services
have standard port numbers, e.g. Web servers normally
listen on port 80. Services can also listen on non-standard
ports, in which case the port number must be specified
in a URL when accessing the server, so you might see a
URL of the form:
a gopher server running on a non-standard port (the standard
gopher port is 70).
Finally, port also refers to translating a piece of software
to bring it from one type of computer system to another,
e.g. to translate a Windows program so that is will run
on a Macintosh.
Also: Domain Name , Server , URL
Usually used as a marketing term to described a Web site
that is or is intended 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.
A Portal site may also offer email and other service to
entice people to use that site as their main "point
of entry" (hence "portal") to the Web.
A single message entered into a network communications
A single message posted to a newsgroup or message board.
(Point to Point Protocol)
Most well known as a protocol that allows a computer to
use a regular telephone line and a modem to make TCP/IP
connections and thus be really and truly on the Internet.
Also: IP Number , Internet , SLIP , TCP/IP
(Public Switched Telephone Network)
The regular old-fashioned telephone system.
The name of the result and the process for creating a
standard on the Internet. New standards are proposed and
published on line, as a Request For Comments. The Internet
Engineering Task Force is a consensus-building body that
facilitates discussion, and eventually a new standard
is established, but the reference number/name for the
standard retains the acronym RFC, e.g. the official standard
for e-mail is RFC 822.
A special-purpose computer (or software package) that
handles the connection between 2 or more networks. Routers
spend all their time looking at the destination addresses
of the packets passing through them and deciding which
route to send them on.
Also: Network , Packet Switching
A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that
is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.
Certificates contain information about who it belongs
to, who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other
unique identification, valid dates, and an encrypted fingerprint
that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate.
order for an SSL connection to be created both sides must
have a valid Security Certificate.
Also: Certificate Authority , SSL
A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific
kind of service to client software running on other computers.
The term can refer to a particular piece of software,
such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software
is running, e.g.Our mail server is down today, thats
why e-mail isnt getting out. A single server machine
could have several different server software packages
running on it, thus providing many different servers to
clients on the network.
Also: Client , Network
(Serial Line Internet Protocol)
A standard for using a regular telephone line (a serial
line) and a modem to connect a computer as a real Internet
site. SLIP is gradually being replaced by PPP.
Also: Internet , PPP
(Switched Multimegabit Data Service)
A new standard for very high-speed data transfer.
SMTP (Simple Mail
The main protocol used to send electronic mail on the
consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail
and a program receiving mail should interact.
all Internet email is sent and received by clients and
servers using SMTP, thus if one wanted to set up an email
server on the Internet one would look for email server
software that supports SMTP.
Also: Client , Server
(Simple Network Management Protocol)
A set of standards for communication with devices connected
to a TCP/IP network. Examples of these devices include
routers, hubs, and switches.
device is said to be SNMP compatible if it
can be monitored and/or controlled using SNMP messages.
SNMP messages are known as PDUs - Protocol
that are SNMP compatible contain SNMP agent
software to receive, send, and act upon SNMP messages.
for managing devices via SNMP are available for every
kind of commonly used computer and are often bundled along
with the device they are designed to manage. Some SNMP
software is designed to handle a wide variety of devices.
Also: Network , Router
An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET
or other networked communications facility as if it was
a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same
message to a large number of people who didnt ask
for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python
skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over.
The term may also have come from someones low opinion
of the food product with the same name, which is generally
perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources.
(Spam is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation,
for its processed meat product.)
Mary spammed 50 USENET groups by posting the same message
Also: Maillist , USENET
(Structured Query Language)
A specialized programming language for sending queries
to databases. Most industrial-strength and many smaller
database applications can be addressed using SQL. Each
specific application will have its own version of SQL
implementing features unique to that application, but
all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.
SSL (Secure Sockets
A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable
encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.
used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between
web browsers and web servers. URLs that begin with
https indicate that an SSL connection will
provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication,
and Message Integrity.
an SSL connection each side of the connection must have
a Security Certificate, which each sides software
sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends
using information from both its own and the other sides
Certificate, ensuring that only the intended recipient
can de-crypt it, and that the other side can be sure the
data came from the place it claims to have come from,
and that the message has not been tampered with.
Also: Browser , Server , Security Certificate , URL
Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer
system or network resource. A System Administrator decides
how often backups and maintenance should be performed
and the System Operator performs those tasks.
A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000
bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1
line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds. That
is still not fast enough for full-screen, full-motion
video, for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second.
T-1 is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks
to the Internet.
Also: Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-3
A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000
bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do full-screen,
Also: Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-1
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet.
Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP
software is now available for every major kind of computer
operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer
must have TCP/IP software.
Also: IP Number , Internet , UNIX
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.
Also: Byte , Kilobyte
A device that allows you to send commands to a computer
somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard
and a display screen and some simple circuitry. Usually
you will use terminal software in a personal computer
- the software pretends to be (emulates) a physical terminal
and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere
A special purpose computer that has places to plug in
many modems on one side, and a connection to a LAN or
host machine on the other side. Thus the terminal server
does the work of answering the calls and passes the connections
on to the appropriate node. Most terminal servers can
provide PPP or SLIP services if connected to the Internet.
Also: LAN , Modem , Host , Node , PPP , SLIP
(User Datagram Protocol)
One of the protocols for data transfer that is part of
the TCP/IP suite of protocols. UDP is a stateless
protocol in that UDP makes no provision for acknowledgement
of packets received.
A computer operating system (the basic software running
on a computer, underneath things like word processors
and spreadsheets). UNIX is designed to be used by many
people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP
built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers
on the Internet.
URL (Uniform Resource
The standard way to give the address of any resource on
the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW).
A URL looks like this:
most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser
program, such as Netscape, or Lynx.
Also: Browser , WWW
A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments
passed among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all
USENET machines are on the Internet, maybe half. USENET
is completely decentralized, with over 10,000 discussion
areas, called newsgroups.
(Unix to Unix Encoding)
A method for converting files from Binary to ASCII (text)
so that they can be sent across the Internet via e-mail.
Also: Binhex , MIME
(Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to
Developed at the University of Nevada, Veronica is a constantly
updated database of the names of almost every menu item
on thousands of gopher servers. The Veronica database
can be searched from most major gopher menus.
(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.
typical example would be a company network where there
are two offices in different cities. Using the Internet
the two offices mereg their networks into one network,
but encrypt traffic that uses the Internet link.
Also: Internet, Network
(Wide Area Information Servers)
A commercial software package that allows the indexing
of huge quantities of information, and then making those
indices searchable across networks such as the Internet.
A prominent feature of WAIS is that the search results
are ranked (scored) according to how relevant the hits
are, and that subsequent searches can find more stuff
like that last batch and thus refine the search process.
WAN (Wide Area Network)
Any internet or network that covers an area larger than
a single building or campus.
Also: Internet , internet , LAN , Network
(World Wide Web)
Frequently used (incorrectly) when referring to "The
Internet", WWW has two major meanings - First, loosely
used: the whole constellation of resources that can be
accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP, telnet, USENET, WAIS
and some other tools. Second, the universe of hypertext
servers (HTTP servers) which are the servers that allow
text, graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed together.