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Terms

  • Access Number -- The telephone number your computer  uses to connect to the Internet or online service provider such as AOL or Prodigy.
  • Address -- The unique code assigned to the location of a file in storage on the Internet (or any network) such as 1999227.247.33 which is an IP address (Internet Protocol Address). or www.uscomputer.net/index.html which is the Dynamic Name Server (DNS) text based  internet "address" of our home page commonly called a URL.
  • Alt -- Type of newsgroup that discusses alternative-type topics.
  • Anonymous FTP -- Method for using FTP to log on to another computer and copy files where instead of using your real name you use the name anonymous and a password which can be your Email address or something else that is permitted by the computer you are connecting to.
  • Archie -- A system that assists you in finding individual files located elsewhere on the Internet. Archie finds the file, then the user must FTP or Telnet to retrieve the file.
  • ARPANET -- (Advanced Research Projects Administration Network) -- The precursor to the Internet. Developed in 1969 by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area networking that would survive a nuclear war or other major catastrophe..
  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) -- The 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.
  • Backbone -- A high-speed electronic communications route or series of connections that form a major pathway within a network.
  • Bandwidth -- How much "data" you can send through a connection with in a given time period. Usually measured in bits-per-second or bytes per second. A full page of English text is about 4000 bytes each made up of  7 or 8 or more bits..
  • Baud -- 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.
  • Binary File -- A file that contains information which is packed as 8 or more bits of  information instead of  7 bit  (ASCII) information. Examples would include a graphics file or a program (exe) file..
  • Bit (Binary DigIT) -- A single digit 0 or 1 representing number. This is the smallest unit of computerized data and forms the basis for binary arithmetic and boolean algebra..
  • Bitmap -- A picture comprised of lots of tiny dots, each of which can be turned off. These tiny bits are combined to create graphics. Bitmap is also a standard graphics file encoding method (.bmp), other standards include .gif, .jpg, tif and many more..
  • bps -- 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.  Confusion arises as sometimes used to refer to Bytes Per Second BPS or BPS. Bits per second normally is all lower case: bps.
  • Bps-- Bytes per second. See bps and Byte above. Bps normally refers to 10 or 11 bit Bytes.
  • Boolean Algebra --  an algebra based on binary numbers and rules of binary logic operations such as AND OR and NAND (not and) NOR (not or). Boolean Algebra forms the mathematical basis for all digital computers and digital devices.  Invented by George Boole in the 1800's..
  • Browser -- A client program (software) that is used to view various kinds of information on the Internet and World Wide Web or on a local network or Intranet.
  • Byte -- A series of bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 bits in a Byte. Personal Computer storage is often measured in bytes or millions of bytes (mega bytes)..
  • Cable Modem -- A special modem that connects you to the internet via your cable company at speeds up to 100 times faster than a conventional modem. Offered as an option by many Cable Companies.
  • Chat -- To talk in real-time to other network users who are at different locations and on separate computers. Using the internet you can chat to people  from any part of the world.
  • Client -- A software program that is located on the user's computer. The client software interacts with Server software programs on other computers to share information.
  • Cyberspace -- Term originated by author William Gibson in his novel "Neuromancer", the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the "electronic space" shared by all interconnected computers. So when you connect to the internet, you're in "cyberspace".
  • Directory -- An index structure on a computer storage device, often called a file folder which is used to organize files. An analogy would be a paper file folder in a filing cabinet which had an index listing the documents.
  • Disk Space -- The total amount of space on a disk which can be used to store programs and information. Free disk space is the amount that is not being presently used.
  • 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. (uscomputer.net  is a domain name.)
  • Download -- The acquisition of programs or data from a remote computer to another - usually from a server to a personal computer. When you download a file, you receive the file on your computer after instructing another computer to send it to you.
  • Drag and Drop -- A graphic interface that allows an object on the screen to be physically moved by the user by clicking a mouse or other pointing device on the item and 'dragging' it then 'dropping' it where desired..
  • E-mail -- Electronic mail messages that can be sent from one person to another via the Internet.
    Some E-mail programs can send and receive full color graphics within the E-mail. Most E- mail programs can also send graphics or other files as 'file attachments'.
  • Emoticon -- Also known as a 'smiley'. A combination of ASCII characters that suggests an emotion when read sideways; usually used within E- mial to convey emotions.
  • FAQ -- Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs are documents that list and answer the most common questions on a particular subject.
  • Flame -- A violent, sarcastic, or unnecessary expression of disapproval usually expressed in E mail..
  • FTP -- File Transfer Protocol - A protocol or  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.
  • Finger -- 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.
  • Firewall -- A security system for Network and Internet sites that protects the site from unwanted intrusions or only allows certain types of communications.
  • Gateway -- This is a hardware or software set-up that translates between two or more dissimilar communications standards or protocols and allows them to communicate with each other.
  • Gopher -- A method of making items and indexes  available over the Internet. Gopher is a text based Client and Server style program.
  • Hardware -- The physical and electronic components of a computer or computer accessories. Without instructions, commonly called  Software, computers cannot do anything.
  • Home Satellite Interface -- Hughes and other companies offer a product permitting you to connect to the internet at extremely high speeds via a home satellite device.
  • Home Page -- The central, primary Web page for an organization, person, etc. from which other pertinent pages are linked. www.uscomputer.net  is our home page.
  • Host -- Any computer on a network such as the internet, that is a repository for services available to other computers on a network. The HOST "serves" (sends) documents and files to you and your computer.
  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) -- The coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. With HTML you can specify that a block of text, or a word, is "linked" to (hypertexed to) another file on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed using a World Wide Web Browser or Client program, such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape's Browser
  • HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) -- The method by which documents are transferred from the host computer or server to browses.
  • Hypertext -- Text that contains "links" to other documents on the network including the WWWeb.
  • Icon -- A small picture used to represent a program, object, or action.
  • Internet -- The vast collection of inter-connected computers and networks that are interconnected and use TCP/IP and related protocols and that evolved from ARPANET. When you connect to your Internet Service Provider, the provider then connects you to the internet. At that point you are part of the huge network commonly called the internet.
  • Internet Explorer -- Microsoft's  Web browser or client program. Used for accessing the internet by nearly half the people accessing the internet.
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) -- An organization such as Cybergate that provides access to the Internet.
  • IP Address -- The Internet protocol (IP) address is the address assigned to a server or host. This is a unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 165.113.245.2. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP address.
  • ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) -- A digital method or protocol to move data at faster rates over existing conventional phone lines. You can subscribe to ISDN at your telephone company but then you must use an Internet Service Provider who supports ISDN (allows you to connect with ISDN protocol). There is often an extra charge for ISDN.
  • Kilobyte -- Approximately a thousand bytes or actually  1024 (2^10) bytes.
  • LAN -- Local Area Network - A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or area of the building.
  • Link -- A connection; in internet terms a link usually refers to a hypertext link in a Web page that connects one page to another when you click on the link..
  • Internet Mail List (or Internet Mailing List) -- An 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 mail list.
  • Memory (RAM) --Random Access Memory.  The computer's temporary memory. This is usually erased when the computer is shut down.
  • Message -- Text or graphics based mail sent electronically by  e-mail or a posting to a newsgroup.
  • Modem (MOdulator, DEModulator) -- a device that you connect to your computer and to a phone line, that allows the computer to talk to other computers through the phone system.
  • Netscape -- The internet web browser (client) provided by Netscape Corporation. Netscape is used by more than 50% of the people accessing the world wide web.
  • Network -- Two or more computers that are linked together so that they can share resources.
  • Newsgroups -- The name for discussion groups located on Usenet, or, a distributed bulletin-board system about a specific subject.
  • Newsreader --  An application that lets you read the messages in Usenet newsgroups and respond (post) by placing your own reply or message in the newsgroup.
  • Node -- Any single computer or computer device connected to a network such that it can communicate with the network or the network can communicate with it. .
  • Page -- A document available via the Web. Information on the web is often organized organized by pages. The document you are viewing right now is a web page (html page).
  • Parity -- A method where additional bits are added to a byte to make the total number of bits odd, or even, or other encoding. An 8 bit byte might have 2 or 3 additional bits added which reflect the parity value.
  • Password -- A secret code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and should not be simple combinations such as "suzyque". A better (more secure) password might be 2s3Vjj.
  • POP Point of Presence -- A 'POP' is an Internet service provider's dial-up connection.  You connect to a POP if you log onto the internet via your telephone.
  • Port -- 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 data is sent sequentially such as a modem. Other products send data simultaneously over many wires. An example would be your printer which is connected to a Printer 'Port'.
  •  Internet "port"  refers to a code  number that is defined 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 number;. Web servers normally listen on port 80 or more infrequently 8080.
  • PPP -- Point to Point Protocol - a Dial-up Internet connection speaking in TCP/IP protocol, or a scheme for connecting computers over a phone line or network.  A protocol is a language for machines. If both machines speak the same language such as PPP then they understand each other.
  • Search Engine -- An application used to find information on a computer, a server or the entire Web.
  • Serial Port -- The outlet on your computer into which you can plug a device that communicates over 2 or 3 wires where the information is sent sequentially or serially one bit after the other..
  • Server (see Client) -- A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers.
  • Shareware -- Computer programs that can be easily downloaded that are available for you to use on a free trial basis. After the trial period, you can choose to pay for the services or the software may or may not continue functioning (expire).
  • SLIP -- Serial Line Internet Protocol - A software scheme for connecting a computer to the Internet via a serial line. -
  • Software --The individual steps or instructions which tell a computer what to do. When you buy a software package, you are purchasing a set of instructions that accomplish such task such as a game or accounting.
  • Spam -- An unsolicited and  inappropriate message that you send to multiple newsgroups or e-mail addresses.
  • TCP/IP -- Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol - The standard network communications protocol used to connect computers across the Internet.
  • Telnet -- A specific Protocol  used to login in a text based mode from one Computer or Internet site to another.
  • URL -- Uniform Resource Locator - The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW). A URL looks like this:
  • http://www.uscomputer.net
  • Usenet -- A world-wide system of discussion groups with comments passed among hundreds of thousands of machines. Usenet is composed of discussion groups, called newsgroups .
  • WWW World Wide Web -- An Internet system for world-wide communication including hypertext linking of multimedia documents, making  information easily accessible and independent of physical location

 

 

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