- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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. 184.108.40.206.
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,
-- 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'.
"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
- 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
- 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
- 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: