Glossary of Internet Terms

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56k Line
A digital phone-line connection (leased line) capable of carrying 56,000 bits-per-second, about 4 times as fast as a 14,400bps modem.

See Also: Bandwidth , T-1

(Advanced Digital Network) -- Usually refers to a 56Kbps leased-line.

Anonymous FTP

See Also: FTP

An Internet tool for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites.

See Also: FTP

(Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) -- The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60ıs and early 70ıs by the US Department of Defense.

See Also: Internet

(American Standard Code for Information Interchange) -- This is the standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the letters, numbers, punctuation, etc found on a keyboard. There are 128 standard ASCII codes.

A high-speed series of connections that forms a major artery for communication within a network.

See Also: Network

How much information you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second. Modems speeds are the most common limit on bandwidth for the home computer. 14.4kps is 14400 bits-per-second.

See Also: 56k Line , Bps , Bit , T-1

In common usage the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, buad is the measure of the number of shifts in the carrier cycle of a modem.

See Also: Bit , Modem

(Bulletin Board System) -- An individual computer system set up to allow visiting users to post messages or download files or chat with other users of the same system.

(BINary HEXadecimal) -- A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII, used in moving binary files by mail over the Internet.

See Also: ASCII

(Binary DigIT) -- The smallest representable portion of memory on a digital computer.

See Also: Bandwidth , Bps , Byte , Kilobyte , Megabyte

(Because Itıs There NETwork) -- A network of educational sites separate from the Internet, but e-mail is freely exchanged between BITNET and the Internet.

(Bits-Per-Second) -- A measurement of how fast data is moved over a connection. A 28.8 modem can move 28,800 bits per second.

See Also: Bandwidth , Bit

A client program (software) that is used to view documents on the World Wide Web.

See Also: Client , URL , WWW

(By The Way) -- Shorthand used in messages.

See Also: IMHO , TTFN

A set of Bits that represent a single character, typically 8.

A program used to interact with a Server. A Web Browser is a Client program that is meant to interact with an HTTP server such as the one found at www.wcnet.org.

See Also: Browser , Server

Cyberspace is the whole range of information resources available through computer networks.

Domain Name
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. Usually, all of the machines on a given Network will have the same thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names.



See Also: IP Number

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

See Also: Listserv , Maillist

A method of networking computers. Ethernet is the network of choice for just about any LAN application.

See Also: Bandwidth , LAN

(Frequently Asked Questions) -- FAQs are documents that list most common questions on a particular subject along with the answers. FAQs are maintained on a variety of subjects on many different computer systems. A WcNet FAQ is maintained by the Help Desk staff here on this system. The purpose of a FAQ is to provide a resource where answers to basic questions can be found.

(Fiber Distributed Data Interface) -- A standard for transmitting data on optical fiber cables at a rate about 10 times faster than Ethernet.

See Also: Bandwidth , Ethernet

A software tool for locating people on other Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal information.

Fire Wall
A system of hardware and software that separates a LAN into two or more parts or from the Internet for security purposes.

See Also: Network , LAN

A flame is any kind of derogatory comment delivered in a public forum. More specifically it is a personal attack delivered as a result of a degeneration of a legitimate discussion.

See Also: Flame War

Flame War
When a discussion in a public forum such as a newsgroup degenerates into a series of personal attacks delivered by the debators.

See Also: Flame

(File Transfer Protocol) -- The copy command of the Internet. This is a method whereby you can transfer files from a remote host to your computer at home. One application of this technology is the possibility of uploading Web pages to your public_html directory. Some Internet sites that have established archives of files for public access, these are called anonymous FTP servers. To access an anonymous FTP server you login with the user name anonymous and enter your email address as a password.

A gateway is a portal between dissimilar protocols that does the translation nessasary for communication across the gateway. As an example, Compuserve maintains a gateway between its in-house mail and the Internet mail system.

A technology that is used to make files available over the Internet. Gopher has been largely replaced by HTTP servers and the WWW (World Wide Web). There are still thousands of Gopher Servers on the Internet.

See Also: Client , Server , WWW

A computer on a network that supplies a service available to other computers on the network. Some host machines provide several services, such as WWW and USENET.

See Also: Node , Network

(HyperText Markup Language) -- The coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. HTML files are viewed by using a World Wide Web Client Program, such as Mosaic.

See Also: Client , Server , WWW

(HyperText Transport Protocol) -- The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. This is the basic building block of the World Wide Web (WWW).

See Also: WWW

A system of files linked together by a series of common links. The links can be scattered throughout the document or be gathered at the beginning or end of the document. This document and all HTML documents are examples of Hypertext documents.

(In My Humble Opinion) -- Shorthand used in Usenet newsgroups and other public online forums.

See Also: TTFN , BTW

(Upper case I) The huge collection of networks that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that spans the globe. The Internet is the infrastructure of the World Wide Web.

See Also: internet

(Lower case i) Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have created an internet.

See Also: Internet , Network

A private network that utilizes the same organization and protocols as the Internet, but is only for internal use. Note that an Intranet may not actually be an internet -- it may simply be a network.

See Also: internet , Internet , Network

IP Number
Called a dotted quad, this is an unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots. Every computer on the the Internet has an unique IP number. This IP number constitutes the address of the computer. The domain name of a computer is used to refrence its IP number when its services are accessed.

See Also: Domain Name , Internet

(Internet Relay Chat) -- A huge multi-user live chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers, such as DalNet and UnderNet. These networks are a collection of channels. Each channel is an opportunity for live online chat.

(Integrated Services Digital Network) -- A Phone line type service available to many private citizens that provides faster data transfer rates than conventional phone lines.

(Internet Service Provider) -- Any institution or organization that provides access to the Internet, usually for money. WcNet is an ISP.

See Also: Internet

Java is a new programming language, implemented by Sun Microsystems, that is designed to further the functionality of the World Wide Web. Java applets embedded in a web page are downloaded to a client browser where the applet is executed. These applets account for many of the fancy animations found on the web today.

1024 (210) bytes.

See Also: Byte , Bit

(Local Area Network) -- A computer network limited to an immediate geograpical location. Typically a LAN will span only a few hundred meters.

See Also: Ethernet

A high speed phone line used used for data transfers between two machines that typically stays connected 7 days a week 24 hours a day.

See Also: 56k Line , T-1 , T-3

A form of maillist. Listservs differ from newsgroups in that the messages that comprise the forum are delivered by E-mail and not by newservers.

See Also: E-mail , Maillist

As a Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. As a Verb: The act of entering into a computer system, e.g. Login to Wcnet and use Lynx.

See Also: Password

(or Mailing List) A system that allows people to send e-mail to one address,and have their message forwarded to all the recipients of the mailing list. This is one way to participate in an online group discussion.

A million bytes. A thousand kilobytes.

See Also: Byte , Bit , Kilobyte

(Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) -- The standard for attaching non-text files to standard Internet mail messages. Non-text files include graphics, spreadsheets, formatted word-processor documents, sound files, etc.

MIME Compliant means that the program can both send and receive files using the MIME standard.

See Also: Browser , Client , Server

(MOdulator, DEModulator) -- A device that allows two computers to exchange data over a standard phone line.

(Mud, Object Oriented) -- A multi-user role-playing environment.

See Also: MUD , MUSE

The first WWW browser that was available for the Macintosh, Windows, and UNIX using the same interface. Mosaic is probably responsible for the original rise in popularity of the Web.

See Also: Browser , Client , WWW

(Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension) -- A multi-user simulation environment. Some are purely for fun, others are used for serious software development, or education purposes. The most 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. MUDs have the potential to build an entire world, gradually and collectively.

See Also: MOO , MUSE

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

See Also: MOO , MUD

The etiquette of the Internet.

See Also: Internet

A citizen of the Internet, or a user of networked resources. A participant in the global electronic community.

See Also: Internet

A WWW Browser and the name of a company. Possibly the most popular and most capable of the web browsers. Netscape corporation also produces web server software.

See Also: Browser , Mosaic , Server , WWW

A network is a method for two or more computers to link together to share resources.

See Also: internet , Internet , Intranet

A discussion group found on USENET.

See Also: USENET

(Networked Information Center) -- In general, an office that handles information for a network. The office that handles information for the Internet is the InterNIC. This office offers services such as the registration of new domain names.

NNTP server
The USENET newsgroup server. The WcNet news server is nntp.wcnet.org.

See Also: Network , USENET

Any single computer connected to a network.

See Also: Network , Internet , internet

Packet Switching
The method used to move data around on the Internet. When a message or file is sent across the Internet it is broken up into a series of packets. Each packet is addressed and sent on its merry way. These packets are guided along their path by special computers whose job it is to keep the Internet running.

A code used to insure the security and privacy of your account. Each Username has a password associated with it. Some rules apply to the form of a password. Currently, here at WcNet, a password must be 6 letters long and contain at least two of several classes of characters; upper case, lower case, numbers, or punctuation marks. A good password is a string of nonsense letters that have no meaning on thier own but is easy for you to remember. The first letter of a long movie title, or book.

See Also: Login

(Post Office Protocol)-- This is a protocol used for connection to the wcnet mail server. This protocol is utilized by Eudora, Netscape, and other E-mail programs. On the WcNet system your POP account is username@wcnet.org.

See Also: SLIP , PPP , e-mail

Most generally a port is a place where information flows in or out of a computer e.g. a com port where a modem is attached. A port can also refer to an Internet port specified in an URL e.g. gopher://blah.blah.com/:7000, meaning a gopher server at blah.blah.com listening on port 7000.

See Also: Domain Name , Server , URL

Entering a message into a communication system e.g. Posting a message to a newsgroup.

See Also: Newsgroup

(Point to Point Protocol) -- A protocol that allows a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem to make a network connection and thus be a node on the Internet. This type of connection is nessary to use Netscape, Eudora and many other programs.

See Also: IP Number , Internet , SLIP , TCP/IP

(Request For Comments) -- New standards are proposed and published on line, as a Request For Comments. The Internet Engineering Task Force facilitates discussion, and eventually produces a new standard, e.g. the official standard for e-mail is RFC 822.

A computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more networks. Routers spend all their time directing packets on their way across the Internet.

See Also: Network , Packet Switching

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., the mail server is down today, that's why e-mail isn't getting out. A single server machine could have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network.

See Also: Client , Network

(Serial Line Internet Protocol) -- A standard for using a regular telephone line (a serial line) and a modem to connect a computer as a real Internet site. SLIP is gradually being replaced by PPP.

See Also: Internet , PPP

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

SMTP server
(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) -- The method by which mail is accepted at wcnet and saved until you choose to download and read it. The SMTP server at wcnet is wcnet.org Your POP Account is username@wcnet.org. Both of these are necessary for configuring an e-mail client.

See Also: e-mail , PPP

Spam (or Spamming)
Sending copies of the same message to large numbers of newsgroups on the Internet. It especially refers to inappropriate messages aimed at generating responses. All of this puts a strain on Internet resources and is thus frowned upon by Internet users.

See Also: Maillist , USENET

(Systems Operator) -- Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system or network resource.

A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000 bits-per-second.

See Also: 56k Line , Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-3

A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second.

See Also: 56k Line , Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-1

(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) -- This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.

See Also: IP Number , Internet , UNIX , PPP , network

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.

A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard and a display screen and some simple circuitry. Usually you will use terminal software in a personal computer - the software pretends to be (emulates) a physical terminal and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.

Terminal Server
A special purpose computer that has places to plug in many modems on one side, and a connection to a LAN or host machine on the other side. Thus the terminal server does the work of answering the calls and passes the connections on to the appropriate node. The terminal server here at WcNet is Xyplex and it provides PPP connections.

See Also: LAN , Modem , Host , Node , PPP , SLIP

(Ta Ta For Now) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online forum.

See Also: IMHO , BTW

A computer operating system like Dos or MacOS. UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

(Uniform Resource Locator) -- The standard way to specify the address of any resource on the Internet in a web browser. A URL looks like this:

or telnet://wcnet.org
or news:new.newusers.questions

See Also: Browser , WWW

A world-wide system of discussion groups. Not all USENET machines are on the Internet, maybe half. USENET is completely decentralized, with over 10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups.

See Also: Newsgroup

(Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives) -- Developed at the University of Nevada, Veronica is a constantly updated database of the names of almost every menu item on thousands of gopher servers. The Veronica database can be searched from most major gopher menus.

See Also: Gopher

(Wide Area Information Servers) -- A commercial software package that allows the indexing of huge quantities of information and then making those indices searchable across networks such as the Internet. A prominent feature of WAIS is that the search results are ranked (scored) according to how relevant the hits are to your topic. Subsequent inquiries can refine the search process until you've discovered what you are looking for through the WAIS.

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

See Also: Internet , internet , LAN , Network

(World Wide Web) -- Two meanings - First, loosely used: the whole constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP, telnet, USENET, WAIS and 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.
See Also: Browser , FTP , Gopher , HTTP , Telnet , URL , WAIS

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