Cyber Glossary
Click a term or Scroll list


Address, Address Bar, Address Book, ADSL, ALT, Analog, AOL, Applet, Archie, ARPAnet, Artificial,  Intelligence, ASCII, Attachment, Bandwidth, BBS, Beta Software, Binary, BIOS, Bit, Bitmap, Bookmark, Boot, Browser, Bug, Byte, Cable, Case Sensitive, Cache, CD-ROM, Chat, Chatroom, CTRL, Cookie, Copy, CPU, Cursor, Cut, Cyberhood, Cyberspace, Data, Database, Digital Digital Divide, Discussion, Group, DHTML, Discussion, Group, Disk, Distance, Learning, DNS, Domain, Name, DOS, Download, Edit, E-Mail, Emoticons, Encryption, ESC, Ethernet, Extension, Extranet, E-zine, FAQ, Favorites, File, Filter, Finder, Finger, Firewall, Flame, Forum, Frames, Freeware, FTP, Gateway, Geek Speak, GIF, Gigabyte, Go, Gopher, Graphics, Guest Book, GUI, Hacker, Hacker Ethic, Hard Drive, Highlighted, Hit, HTML, HTTP, HTTPS, Home Page, Host, Hyperlink, Hypertext, Icon, ID, Index File, Information Superhighway, Input, Install, Interactive, Internaut, Internet, Intranet, ISP, IP Address, IRC, Java, Java Script, JPEG, Key Pal, Key Word, LAN, LISTSERV, Link, Log, Loop, Lurker, Mail, Mail Box, Main Frame, Megabite, MIDI, Modem, Mouse, Monitor, Monitored, MP3, Net, Net Speak, Netiquette, Netizen, Network, Newbie, Newsgroup, Newsie, Offline, Online, Open, OS / Operating, System, Output Password, PGP / Pretty Good Privacy, Ping, Pixel, Plug-in, POP, Port, Post, PPP, Prompt, Protocol, Proxy, Public Domain, Quick Time, RAM - Random Access Memory, ReadMe, Real Player, Real Time Chat, Remote Access, Restricted Access, Right Click, Robotics, ROM -Read, Only Memory, Router, Search Engine, Server, Set Up, Shareware, Shell Account, Site, SLIP, Slot, Smiley, SMTP, Snail Mail, Software, Streaming Audio / Streaming Video, SPAM, Supervised, Surf, TCP/IP, Telenet, Terminal, Text, Thread, Trojan, UNIX, Upload, URL, Usenet, User Name, Utility, Veronica, Video  Conferencing, Virtual  Community, Virtual Reality, Viruses, VRML, WAIS, WAV, Web, Webby, Web Designer, Web Developer, Web Page, Web Site, Web Speak, WHOIS, Worm, World Wide,  Web (WWW), WYSIWYG, XML, Zine



Address
When we say address on the internet we mean a web page's address. An address is the string of words and symbols you type in to reach a website.  It looks like this: http://www.qualitywebmasters.com/.  Another name for a web page address is URL. When you type a web page address you have to be careful, even if you miss one letter you may be taken to the wrong page or get an error message.
Back to Top

Address Bar
The address bar is the bar at the top of your internet browser where you type the web page address (URL).
Back to Top

Address Book
Your address book is a storage center in your e-mail client where you keep your friend's and family's e-mail addresses. You get to your address book by clicking the Addresses button when you are in your e-mail client.
Back to Top

ADSL
A technology that allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines (POTS). ADSL supports data rates of from 1.5 to 9 Mbps when receiving data (known as the downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data (known as the upstream rate). ADSL requires a special ADSL modem. It is not currently available to the general public except in trial areas, but many believe that it will be one of the more popular choices for access over the next few years.
Back to Top

ALT 
1. Usually seen with a dot after it (i.e., alt.), this is a type of newsgroup that discusses alternative topics. Some Internet providers ask that their users sign an agreement stating they are over 18 before providing access to the alt. newsgroups. 2. A key on the keyboard that makes it possible to perform certain computer tasks easily.
Back to Top

Analog
Relating to or being a device in which data are represented by variable measurable physical quantities.
Back to Top

AOL
A commercial online service provider (OSP) known for its all inclusive use of events, shopping, travel, etc., as well as
Internet access and some background.
Back to Top

Applet
A Java program that can be attached to a web page so that when a person views the web page, they automatically download and run the program. The programs have certain restrictions though, so they can't damage a person's computer or spread viruses.
Back to Top

Archie
A Gopher tool (software) for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites. You need to know the exact file name or a substring of it.
Back to Top

ARPANet
Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60’s and early 70’s by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking that would survive a nuclear war. Also: An experimental network designed to see how well distributed, non-centralized networks work; the basis for the later evolution of the Internet.
Back to Top

Artificial Intelligence
Computer hardware and software packages that try to emulate human intelligence in order to solve problems using reasoning and learning.
Back to Top

ASCII
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
(pro nounced: ass-key)
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. This is also used to describe files that are stored in clear text format. Some rather inventive individuals have developed what is known as ASCII art, a lowbrow art in a high tech medium, using only the ASCII character set to create images.
Back to Top

Attachment
A file that is attached, and sent with an email message. An attachment can be a picture, a sound, a movie, any type of file, including viruses, so be careful with attachments from people you don't know well.
Back to Top

Bandwidth
A measure of your Internet connection's capacity to transfer data. More->faster->better
Back to Top

BBS / Bulletin Board System or Service
A dial-up computerized meeting and announcement system for carrying on discussions, uploading and downloading files, and generally obtaining online information and services. BBS also refers to a congregation gathered electronically via a modem that allows the users to post messages. They began as informal communities but now include political, commercial, adult, etc., categories. There are many thousands of BBS’s around the world, most of which are very small, running on a single PC or Mac clone 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.
Back to Top

Beta Software
The pre-general release version of software. Be warned: if you decide to experiment with betas, expect an occasional software glitch or system crash.
Back to Top

Binary
Any downloadable file that doesn’t simply contain human-readable, ASCII text. Typically it refers to a runnable program available for downloading, but it can also refer to pictures, sounds, or movies, among others.
Back to Top

Binary Numbers
A numbering system with a base (radix) of 2, unlike the number system most of us use, which have bases of 10 (decimal numbers), 12 (measurement in feet and inches), and 60 (time). Binary numbers are preferred for computers for precision and economy. Building an electronic circuit that can detect the difference between two states (high current and low current, or 0 and 1) is easier and less expensive than building circuits that detect the difference among 10 states (0 through 9). The word bit derives from the phrase BInary digiT.
Back to Top

BIOS
Basic Input Output System is the part of the operating system that handles communication between the computer and all of its peripheral devices (keyboard, printer, mouse, etc.) usually encoded as ROM for protection.
Back to Top

Bit
The basic unit of information in a binary numbering system. The electronic circuitry in computers detect the difference between two states (high current and low current) and represents these two states as one of two numbers 1 or 0. This basic high/low, either/or, yes/no units of information are called bits. Eight bits comprise what is called an octet, sometimes referred to as a byte. The word bit derives from the phrase Binary digit.
Back to Top

Bitmap
Any picture you see on a Web page is a bitmap. Bitmaps come in many file formats such as GIF, JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PICT, PCX, and DIB (device independent bitmap). They can be read and edited by paint programs and image editors such as Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. As its name suggests, a bitmap is a map of dots or "pixels". If you zoom in on or try to scale up a bitmap, it will look blocky.
Back to Top

BMP or .bmp
A Microsoft Windows image format. The images you see when Windows starts up and closes, and the wallpaper that adorns your desktop, are all in BMP or bitmap format.
Back to Top

Bookmark
A quick and easy way to save the address of a web site that you like, so you can go back to it as often as you like, easily.
Back to Top

Boot
To start a computer; more frequently used as “re-boot”. When you shut down a system then restart, you are re-booting. It tends to clear out bugs that are hampering smooth computing.
Back to Top

Browser
A software aplication that allows you to navigate the world wide web. It translates the HTML, the language that web pages are written in, into the pages you see on your screen.
Back to Top

Bug
A programming error that causes a program or computer system to perform erratically, produce incorrect results, or crash. The term bug was coined when a real insect was discovered to have fouled up one of the circuits of the first electronic digital computer, the ENIAC. Not to be confused with a glitch, which refers to a hardware problem.
Back to Top

Byte
Abbreviation for binary term, a unit of storage capable of holding a single character. On almost all modern computers, a byte is equal to 8 bits. Large amounts of memory are indicated in terms of kilobytes (1,024 bytes), megabytes (1,048,576 bytes), and gigabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes). A disk that can hold 1.44 megabytes, for example, is capable of storing approximately 1.4 million characters, or about 3,000 pages of information.
Back to Top

Cable Modem
A modem attached to a coaxial cable television system. Cable modems can transmit data at 500 kilobytes a second, much faster than a typical computer modem that sends signals over telephone lines.
Back to Top

Cache
A copy of a web page or graphic or sound file that is stored on your computer's hard drive. The next time you request that file, the computer checks to make sure there have been no changes, then just reads from the hard drive. This speeds things up a great deal.
Back to Top

Case Sensitive
When it matters if letters are typed in uppercase or lowercase.
Back to Top

CD-ROM / Compact Disc - Read Only Memory
An optical storage technology that uses compact discs to store and play back data. CD-ROM technology was originally used for encyclopedias, dictionaries, and software libraries, but now they are often used in multimedia applications. One CD-ROM can hold about 600 megabytes, or the equivalent of 700 floppy disks CD-ROMs have become a favorite medium for installing programs, since they cost only slightly more to manufacture than floppy disks, and most major software applications come on at least five floppies. Don’t sound hopelessly out of touch with technology: use the term CD-ROM to refer to the technology or the discs, but not to the hardware you play the discs on. That’s a CD-ROM drive.
Back to Top

Chat
Real-time communication over the internet, using a chat application.
Back to Top

Chatroom
A site on a network where a number of users can type in messages to each other in real time, creating an online conversation.Back to Top

CTRL
A key on PC keyboards labeled Ctrl. You use the Control key in the same way that you use the Shift key -- keeping it pressed down while pressing another character. The result is a control key combination , which can have different meanings depending on which program is running. On Macintoshes, the Control key is called an Apple key or Command key.
Back to Top

Cookies
Bits of information about you, stored on your hard drive by websites, that enable these sites to remember you and your preferences.
Back to Top

Copy
(1) To copy a piece of data to a temporary location. In word processing, for example, copying refers to duplicating a section of a document and placing it in a buffer (sometimes called a clipboard). The term copy differs from cut, which refers to actually removing a section of a document and placing it in a buffer. After cutting or copying, you can move the contents of the buffer by pasting it somewhere else.
(2) In file management, the term copy refers to making a duplicate of a file.
(n) A duplicate of a piece of data, such as a file or a directory.
Back to Top

CPU / Central Processing Unit
Look for the most powerful microprocessor chip in your computer, and that’ll be the CPU. The Intel Pentium and Motorola 68040 chips, for example, handle the central management functions of a high-powered PC and Mac, respectively. Sometimes the term CPU is used to describe the whole box that contains the chip along with the motherboard, expansion cards, disk drives, power supply, and so on. Both uses are widespread, but only the first is really accurate.
Back to Top

Cursor
Depending on what application you're using, a cursor or pointer can appear as many things - an arrow, a blinking line or rectangle, a spinning black-and-white circle or globe, a hand, a watch, a trotting dog, a capital "I" - visual clues that tell you what the application you're running is doing.
Back to Top

Cut
To remove an object from a document and place it in a buffer. In word processing, for example, cut means to move a section of text from a document to a temporary buffer. This is one way to delete text. However, because the text is transferred to a buffer, it is not lost forever. You can copy the buffer somewhere else in the document or in another document, which is called pasting. To move a section of text from one place to another, therefore, you need to first cut it and then paste it. This is often called cut-and- paste.
Back to Top

Cyberhood
A virtual community where people can have fun, be entertained, learn things and explore the best of the Earth Internet.
Back to Top

Cyberspace
Where all media converge: audio and video, telephone and television, wire and satellite. The term "cyberspace" was first coined by sci-fi writer William Gibson in the early 1980s. Cyberspace, Internet, World Wide Web and Information Superhighway are all basically used interchangeably.
Back to Top

Data
In general, data is information, factual information such as text, numbers, sounds, images, anything that can be processed on a computer. Data also represents concepts, and sensations that are suitable for communicating, interpreting, or processing. As futurist Marshall Mcluhan said, "The electric light is pure information," meaning everything perceptible is data. The word data is plural; the singular form is datum, however data is commonly used to refer to both singular and plural.
Back to Top

Database
(1) A collection of information organized in such a way that a computer program can quickly select desired pieces of data. You can think of a database as an electronic filing system.

Traditional databases are organized by fields, records, and files. A field is a single piece of information; a record is one complete set of fields; and a file is a collection of records. For example, a telephone book is analogous to a file. It contains a list of records, each of which consists of three fields: name, address, and telephone number.
Back to Top

DHTML
The next generation of HTML, the language that describes how text and images are displayed on a Web page. Dynamic HTML, developed by Netscape and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), is based entirely on industry-standard HTML and Java. New features in Dynamic HTML, such as absolute positioning and layers, give web designers and developers much greater control over the look and feel of Web pages.
Back to Top

Digital
Expressed in binary digits or bits (see below) for use by a computer.
Back to Top

Digital
A form of representation in which distinct objects, or digits, are used to stand for something in the real world, so that counting and other operations can be performed precisely. Data represented digitally can be manipulated to produce a calculation, a sort, or some other computation. In digital electronic computers, two electrical states correspond to the 1’s and the 0’s of binary numbers, which are manipulated by computer programs.
Back to Top

Discussion Group
A group of people who exchange messages about particular topics. Often associated with newsgroups, they can also take the form of interactive message boards, thread message forums, and e-mailing lists. Discussion groups vary widely in their variety and format.
Back to Top

Disk
A round plate on which data can be encoded. There are two basic types of disks: magnetic disks and optical disks.

On magnetic disks, data is encoded as microscopic magnetized needles on the disk's surface. You can record and erase data on a magnetic disk any number of times, just as you can with a cassette tape. Magnetic disks come in a number of different forms:

  • floppy disk : A typical 5¼-inch floppy disk can hold 360K or 1.2MB (megabytes). 3½-inch floppies normally store 720K, 1.2MB or 1.44MB of data.
  • hard disk : Hard disks can store anywhere from 20MB to more than 10GB. Hard disks are also from 10 to 100 times faster than floppy disks.
  • removable cartridge : Removable cartridges are hard disks encased in a metal or plastic cartridge, so you can remove them just like a floppy disk. Removable cartridges are very fast, though usually not as fast as fixed hard disks.
Back to Top

Distance Learning
Education occurring away from the classroom or teacher. It can by through the mail or the Internet as computer assisted distance learning.
Back to Top

DNS / Domain Name System
A database system that translates an IP address into a domain name. For example, a numeric IP address like 207.219.116.4 is converted into netlingo.com. The DNS is a static, hierarchical name service and it uses TCP/IP hosts, and is housed on a number of servers on the Internet. Basically, it maintains this database for figuring out and finding (or resolving) host names and IP addresses. This allows users to specify remote computers by host names rather than numerical IP addresses.
Back to Top

Domain Name
A web address. For example, in http://www.fcgnetworks.net, fcgnetworks.net is the domain name.
Back to Top

DOS
Acronym for disk operating system. The term DOS can refer to any operating system, but it is most often used as a shorthand for MS-DOS (Microsoft disk operating system). Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers.
Back to Top

Download
To copy a computer program from a remote computer to your own, over the internet. The reverse process of upload.
Back to Top

Edit
To change data.
Back to Top

E-Mail
The most popular use of the Internet, email allows any Internet user to send a nearly instantaneous electronic message to anyone else on the Internet who has an email address.
Back to Top

Emoticons
Little pictures that look like faces made by typing keyboard characters to represent different emotions. Smile :-) or frown :-(
Back to Top

Encrypt
The process by which information or data is encoded so that it can safely be transmitted over the Internet without other people being able to read it.
Back to Top

ESC
Short for Escape key. For example, ESC-Q means press the Escape key and then the Q key .
Back to Top

EtherNet
A widespread networking scheme rated at 10 Mbs (megabits per second). It is most commonly known as "the hardware device in the office that is the LAN."
Back to Top

Extension
The end of a filename that tells you what kind of file it is. For example in the file readme.txt, .txt is the extension and it tells you that it is a text file.
Back to Top

Extranet
The connecting of two or more intranets. If you think of an intranet as a company's internal Web site which allows users inside the company to communicate and exchange information, now imagine connecting that virtual space with another company's intranet, thus allowing these two (or more) companies to share resources and communicate over the Internet in their own virtual space. This technology greatly enhances business to business communications. Companies like Netscape, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and VeriSign announced support for a core set of open standards for enabling external networks (extranets).
Back to Top

E-zine
Sometimes referred to as just zine, it is an electronic publication or a magazine published in electronic form. Quite simply, an online magazine. There are dozens of e-zines published on a regular basis on the Internet. Topics range from science-fiction-inspired poetry to the angst of living in the digital age, and beyond.
Back to Top

FAQ
This is short for "Frequently Asked Questions"
A list of questions and answers related to a newsgroup, software, Web site, or whatever. FAQ lists prevent newsgroup discussions from being overrun by common user questions. Finding and Writing FAQs - By Infinite Ink Newsgroup FAQs - Easy to use look-up for FAQs found on USENET.
Back to Top

Favorites
What Internet Explorer calls Bookmarks. See bookmarks.
Back to Top

File
A collection of data or information that has a name, called the filename. Almost all information stored in a computer must be in a file. There are many different types of files: data files, text files , program files, directory files, and so on. Different types of files store different types of information. For example, program files store programs, whereas text files store text.
Back to Top

Filter

A program that accepts a certain type of data as input, transforms it in some manner, and then outputs the transformed data. For example, a program that sorts names is a filter because it accepts the names in unsorted order, sorts them, and then outputs the sorted names.
Back to Top

Finder
The desktop management and file management system for Apple Macintosh computers. In addition to managing files and disks, the Finder is responsible for managing the Clipboard and Scrapbook and all desktop icons and windows
Back to Top

Finger
A piece of software that lets you find out more information about an Internet user like their real name and if they are logged in at the present moment, usually if that user is on a UNIX or VAX system. It is also possible to finger someone from the World Wide Web. 
Back to Top

Firewall
An electronic boundary that limits access between networks that are linked together.
Back to Top

Flame
To insult a person online in a chat room, message board, discussion list, newsgroup, etc.
Back to Top

Frames
On some websites you may see sections that are divided into separate scrollable regions. These are frames.
Back to Top

Freeware
Copyrighted software available free of charge.
Back to Top

FTP
File Transfer Protocol. FTP is the most common method of transferring files over the internet. There are thousands of FTP archives on the internet, where users can download files and programs, usually for free. To FTP, your computer will need FTP client software.
Back to Top

Gateway
A computer system for exchanging information across incompatible networks that use different protocols. For example, many commercial services have e-mail gateways for sending messages to Internet addresses.
Back to Top

Geek Speak
A new subset of language which makes use of online jargon terms to describe and communicate a technology-related vocabulary, for example, NetLingo is a dictionary of geek speak.
Back to Top

GIF
Graphics Interchange Format - the most widely used graphic format on the web.
Back to Top

Gigabyte
Back to Top

Go
Refers to the Go button on the Netscape browser. This button keeps track of all of the sites you have visited during your current web surfing session.  Internet Explorer has a similar button called the History button. This button keeps a weekly log of the sites you visit and is not limited to the current surf.
Back to Top

Gopher
A program that lets you browse the Internet and find information using menus.
Back to Top

Graphics
Back to Top

Guestbook
Back to Top

GUI
Short for Graphic User Interface. (Pronounced as "gooey." This refers to the part of the computer that creates icons (graphics) and puts them on the screen on the computer screen to make it easy for you (the user,) to do things (interact) like click and type (interact).
Back to Top

Hacker
A computer enthusiast who enjoys learning everything about a computer system and, through clever programming, pushes the system to it's highest possible level of performance. Also known as crackers, these computer hobbyists are skilled programmers with the reputation of having a mischievous bent who break into secured computer systems.
Back to Top

Hacker Ethic
A set of moral principles common to the first generation hacker community. According to hacker ethic, all technical information should, in principle, be freely available to all. However, destroying, altering, or moving data in a way that could cause injury or expense to others is always unethical.
Back to Top

Hard Drive
Back to Top

Highlighted
Back to Top

Hit
The access of a file by a user on a server. Every element of a requested page (graphics, multimedia, etc.) including the HTML file itself is counted as a hit. For example, if a Web page contains five graphics, then accessing the page generates six hits. Hits used to be a method of determining the amount of traffic a Web site received, however, due to the fact that businesses needed to isolate the exact number of times a page was requested (in order to charge for advertising), this method was tossed aside in lieu counting the actual HTML page requests.
Back to Top

HTML
Hypertext Markup Language. The programming language used by web pages. Documents written in HTML are also said to be Hypertext documents. Common "tags" or codes, allow text formatting, images to be include d in a web page, or links.
Back to Top

HTTP
Hypertext Transfer Protocol
The protocol that tells the server what to send to the client, so the client can view Web pages, FTP sites, or other areas of the net.
Back to Top

HTTPS
Back to Top

Home Page
The first or "front" page on a Web site that serves as the starting point for navigation. Where the site's information actually begins. Also known as the Welcome page. This should not be confused with a buffer page or splash page. One Word or Two when used to refer to something belonging to an individual, person or group of people (a company for instance), or when used to refer to a place you want someone to visit or does not yet exist, the one word version is used - for example: - "Have you seen our/my homepage?" or "I gotta get a homepage up!". When talking about a Home Page as a piece of a larger Web site with many pages, in navigational directions on the actual Web site or once you have actually arrived at this place as in: "From the Help Page go back to the Home Page" or "This is our Home Page", the two word version seems to be more applicable. You may also see it written instructionally as just simply "Home" instead of Home Page. Sometimes an Internet service provider will offer a certain amount of disk space on their server for an account to put up their own homepage.
Back to Top

Host
A computer that functions as the beginning and end point of data transfers. Most commonly known of as the place where your Web site resides. An Internet host has a unique Internet address (IP address) and a unique domain or host name.
Back to Top

Hyperlink
Programming that lets you jump from one site or source of information to another on a network, notably the World Wide Web.
Back to Top

Hypertext Document
A file that contains "links" to other files. Web pages are examples of hypertext documents. Hypertext documents use the programming language HTML.
Programming that lets you jump from one site or source of information to another on a network, notably the World Wide Web.
Back to Top

Icon
A picture on a web page that will take you to different places depending on what part of the image you click on.
Back to Top

ID
Back to Top

Index File
Can refer to a file or directory found on a server. The file usually contains information about the directory or Web site as well as access privileges required, dates, and even a list of other indexes (indices). This is usually the first place you check when you're looking for a file. A file called index.html is usually the starting point or home page for a Web site. A server is usually configured to display automatically the index.html or .htm file when a request for a certain directory comes to the server, therefore, the "default" page that comes up when you type in a URL like http://www.netlingo.com would be http://www.netlingo.com/index.html.
Back to Top

Information Superhighway
A reference to Cyberspace, the Internet or the World Wide Web.
Back to Top

Input
A device that provides a way of communicating with a computer. Examples include mouse, keyboard, joystick, microphone, scanner, modem.
Back to Top

Install
Back to Top

Interactive
Back to Top

Internaut
A Net Speak term used to describe a person who surfs cyberspace. Like an astronaut in outer space, an internaut is a cyberspace explorer.
Back to Top

Internet
Originally designed by the U.S. Defense Department so that a communication signal could widthstand a nuclear war and serve military institutions worldwide, the Internet, was first known as the ARPAnet. A system of linked computer networks, international in scope, that facilitates data communication services such as remote login, file transfer, electronic mail, and newsgroups. The Internet is a way of connecting existing computer networks that greatly extends the reach of each participating system.
Back to Top

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. As 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. Note that an "Intranet" may not actually be an Internet, it may simply be a network.
Back to Top

ISP
Internet Service Provider
A company that provides access to the Internet. Before you can connect to the Internet you must first establish an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). For a monthly fee, the service provider gives you a software package, username, password and an access phone number. Once you install the software on your computer and go through the registration process, you'll be able to surf the Web, send e-mail and browse the newsgroups.
Back to Top

IP Address
Internet Protocol address
A numeric address that is given to servers and users connected to the Internet. For servers it is translated into a domain name by a Domain Name Server aka the DNS. When you get "online" you are assigned an IP address by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). This IP address may be the same everytime you log on (this is called a static IP) or it can change and be assigned each time you connect based on what's available. Most Internet users prefer the static IP because this allows you to use software such as Internet Phone or CUSEEME more easily, which needs to know an IP address in order to connect to another user. If your IP is automatically assigned based on what's available then someone trying to "call" you with an Internet Phone program will not be able to connect unless you somehow identify what your current IP address is and transmit that information to them somehow, so they could then point to the current and correct address.
Back to Top

IRC
Internet Relay Chat
IRC allows multiple users to "talk" to each other in real-time over the Internet. To use IRC, you need IRC client software, and you need to choose an IRC server. There are numerous available to everyone. You can talk with anyone who is on the same IRC network as you, even if they are on a different IRC server.  IRC is divided into channels. When you join a channel everything you type is visible to other people in the same channel, and everything they type is visible to you. Most channels have a topic, but the conversations on IRC tend to drift far from that topic.
Back to Top

Java
Java is a computer programming language. It has gained a lot of popularity because the same code can be used on many different operating systems. Another reason for Java's popularity is that Java applets can be placed on web pages. When someone views that web page, they automatically receive and run the Java applet.
Back to Top

Java Script
Not really related to Java at all, JavaScript can make a web page more dynamic.
Back to Top

JPEG
Joint Photographic Experts Group - The other standard for images on the web, along with GIF.
Back to Top

Key Pal
The online equivalent of a pen pal. A key pal is a person you correspond with using a keyboard via e-mail, versus using a pen to write handwritten letters. These e-mail messages are written back and forth between two or more people with some kind of regularity. If you correspond with someone frequently or on a regular basis it can be said that the two of you are "key pals".
Back to Top

Key Word
The word (or words) a user types in when presented with a search box upper right-hand On a search engine, for example, a keyword is the term or phrase that you type in to begin an online search. The term keyword also appears in a meta tag as part of the HTML code on a Web site. Keywords are the series of words which follow this tag, and often comprise a long list of terms in order to help the search engines readily identify and better index the Web site.
Back to Top

LAN
Local Area Network
A network that connects computers in a small pre-determined area (such as a room, a building, or a set of buildings), LAN's can also be connected to each other via telephone lines, and radio waves. Workstations and personal computers in an office are commonly connected to each other with a LAN. This allows them to have send/receive files and/or have access to the files and data. Each compter connected to a LAN is called a node.
Back to Top

LISTSERV
An automatic mailing list server developed by Eric Thomas for BITNET in 1986. When e-mail is addressed to a LISTSERV mailing list, it is automatically broadcast to everyone on the list. The result is similar to a newsgroup or forum, except that the messages are transmitted as e-mail and are therefore available only to individuals on the list. LISTSERV is currently a commercial product marketed by L-Soft International. Although LISTSERV refers to a specific mailing list server, the term is sometimes used incorrectly to refer to any mailing list server. Another popular mailing list server is Majordomo, which is freeware.
Back to Top

Link
also called hyperlinks, links are what allow you to jump from one web site to another, by clicking on highlighted text or images.
Back to Top

Log
A file that keeps record of a Web site's or a server's activity. The file which contains the information on how many "hits" a Web page is getting.
Back to Top

Loop
A program that is written to keep repeating the same actions, over and over. It can be set to loop forever, or for a set number of repetitions.
Back to Top

Lurker
A visitor to a newsgroup or online service who only reads other people posts but never posts his or her own messages, thus remaining anonymous.
Back to Top

Mail
Back to Top

Mail Box
The directory on a host computer where your e-mail message are stored. With some systems you can elect to keep saved messages either on the server or on your local computer as you prefer.
Back to Top

Main Frame
Back to Top

Megabite
A million bytes. A thousand kilobytes.
Back to Top

MIDI
Musical Instrument Digital Interface - One of the ways to reproduce music on the web.
Back to Top

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. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone does for humans. Generally there are 3 types of modems: external, PC Card and internal.
Back to Top

Mouse
Back to Top

Monitor
Back to Top

Monitored
Checked.
Back to Top

MP3
MPEG Third Layer or MPEG-1, audio layer 3
MP3 is widely recognized as the most popular format for storing music on the World Wide Web and other components of the Internet. MP3 is an open format for making large music files smaller without radically degrading their audio quality. It is considered an amazing new standard for digital audio compression because it is capable of compressing about 12:1 while still preserving sound quality. For example, an audio sample at CD Quality (44KHz, 16 bit, Stereo) takes up 172 bytes for every second with a standard Wave Audio file. Making use of Mpeg Layer 3 (MP3) compression each second takes only 16 bytes, when compressed at the standard bitrate of 128 kbits/sec. By compressing at lower bitrates, MP3s can be lowered to 12 bytes per second of audio with slight quality loss. For a standard Wave audio file to have a disk space / time ratio that small, you would have to reduce the quality to an 8 bit, Mono, 11KHz file. The only disadvantage to this format is that MP3 needs to be decoded while it is being played back. This is done with a player such as WinAmp, or Winplay3.
Back to Top

Net
Short for Internet
Back to Top

Net Speak
The talk of the Internet. It encompasses the "slang and jargon, computer and Internet terms, and acronyms and smileys that you come across while online."
Back to Top

Netiquette
Etiquette in cyberspace. The rules of etiquette that govern online interaction, for example, you should not TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS AS IT INDICATES YOU ARE SHOUTING, another no-no is spamming.
Back to Top

Netizen
A citizen of the Internet.
Back to Top

Network
Two or more computers that are connected. The most common types of networks are:

  • LAN - local area network:
    The computers are near each other, like in the same office space, room or building
  • WAN - wide area network:
    The computers are at different geographic locations and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.
Back to Top

Newbie
Someone who is new to the Internet.
Back to Top

Newsgroup
Newsgroups are sort of like discussion groups. There are over 10,000 different newsgroups available now, and each one is on a specific topic. You can read messages written by other people on that topic, or ask / answer questions yourself. Some newsgrou ps are moderated, meaning someone watches over what is said on the newsgroups and censors it, but most are unmoderated, so be careful, you never know what you might see or read.
Back to Top

Newsie
Someone who spends an excessive amount of time reading and posting on newsgroups.
Back to Top

Offline
Not connected to the Internet.
Back to Top

Online
Connected to the Internet.
Back to Top

Open
Depending on how it is used, can mean any one of the following: To read the contents of a certain file To start or launch a computer application or software program To maximize or restore a "window" of an already running computer program. Most commonly used however is the read meaning which may appear in a sentence something like this: "Take this file and open it with Microsoft Word. This means that MSWord is the application you should use to read this file or see what is in it or what it looks like. Computer systems are set or have an area where a user can set the default application to "open up" a particular file.
Back to Top

OS / Operating System
An operating system is the very basic "program" which makes your computer start and run. It helps the higher level applications "talk" to the hardware. Common operating systems are MS-DOS, Windows 95, UNIX, MAC System 7, etc. Normally programs written for one operating system will not run on another.
Back to Top

Output
A device that lets a computer communicate with you. Examples include a monitor, a printer, a set of speakers.
Back to Top

Password
A personal, secret set of letters, numbers and symbols a user enters to access a program or log onto a network.
Back to Top

Paste
Back to Top

PGP / Pretty Good Provacy
"Pretty Good Privacy", an encryption program that is popular on the Internet. PGP helps to prevent other people from reading things such as email messages which you send to a friend.
Back to Top

Ping
A DOS command used to check the speed with which packets of information are sent from a location on the Internet
Back to Top

Pixel
Tiny dots on your computer (or TV) screen that, when combined together, make up what you see on screen.
Back to Top

Plug-in
A small application that runs in conjunction with your browser, performing a specific function, like playing sound or movies.
Back to Top

POP
Post Office Protocol
The protocol used by mail clients to retrieve messages from a mail server. Comes in three flavors POP1, POP2, and POP3 the number denoting the different version number of the protocol.
Back to Top

Port
The first and most generally used meaning is a place where information goes into or out of a computer, or both. E.g. the "serial port" on a person computer is where a modem would be connected. Secondly, on 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: gopher://peg.cwis.uci.edu:7000/ which shows 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.
Back to Top

Post
Subscribers to newsgroups and mailing lists take part in discussions by sending, or posting their articles or comments online. Means the same as "to put up".
Back to Top

PPP
Point to Point Protocol. PPP is the protocol used if you want to connect to the Internet graphically. Programs like Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer use PPP connections.
Back to Top

Prompt
When your computer is asking yo something. The flashing symbol where you type or place your mouse on the screen. This is when the host system asks you to do something and waits for you to respond. For example, if you see "login:" it means type your user name.
Back to Top

Protocols
Rules that different computers use to communicate and work with each other.
Back to Top

Proxy
Proxy or Proxy Server
A technique used to cache information on a Web server and acts as an intermediary between a Web client and that Web server. It basically holds the most commonly and recently used content from the World Wide Web for users in order to provide quicker access and to increase server security. This is common for an ISP especially if they have a slow link to the Internet. Proxy servers are also constructs that allow direct Internet access from behind a firewall. They open a socket on the server, and allow communication via that socket to the Internet. For example, if your computer is inside a protected network, and you want to browse the Web using Netscape, you would set up a proxy server on a firewall. The proxy server would be configured to allow requests from your computer, trying for port 80, to connect to its port 1080, and it would then redirect all requests to the proper places.
Back to Top

Public Domain
Work (text, code, art, etc. that is no longer copyright protected and is free to use with out payment.
Back to Top

QuickTime
Apple's widely used multimedia function, which allows text, sound, video, and animation to be compined and used in one file.
Back to Top

RAM
Random Access Memory - The memory on your computer that is available for you to run applications. If the computer is turned off, whatever was in RAM is gone.
Back to Top

ReadMe
A text file that comes with software with information on the source, installation and uninstallation instructions.
Back to Top

Real Player
Software developed by RealNetworks that lets users play multimedia presentations streamed by a Web server.
Back to Top

Real Time Chat
A program allowing live conversation between individuals by typing on a computer terminal. The most common tools are Talk and IRC (International Relay Chat).
Back to Top

Remote Access
It is possible to login to a remote computer by using an application program based on TELNET - a terminal emulation protocol made for this purpose. The user can therefore enter commands on a keyboard attached to their local computer and access files etc. on a remote computer that may be located anywhere in the world.
Back to Top

Restricted Access
Access is limited to those who have approved user names and passwords.
Back to Top

Right Click
On a mouse with two buttons, the right button is clicked to bring up a menu of options for the exact area the mouse is on.
Back to Top

Robotics
Science of making robots- machines run by computers to do mechanical tasks.
Back to Top

ROM
Read Only Memory - Read Only Memory is a permanent storage for data which is essential to the basic operations of the computer.
Back to Top

Router
An electronic device that connects two networks, for example, it can connect a local network directly to an ISP for Internet access. In a packet-switching network such as the Internet, it is one of two basic devices (the other is a host). Routers receive packets of data, filter them, and forward them to a final destination using the “best route.”
Back to Top

Search Engine
A program that searches for information for you on the web.
Back to Top

Server
A host computer on a network that holds information (e.g., Web sites) and reponds to requests for information from it (e.g., links to another Web page). The term server is also used to refer to the software that makes the act of serving information possible. Commerce servers, for example, use software to run the main functions of an e-commerce Web site, such as product display, online ordering, and inventory management. You'll also hear this described as "shopping cart technology."
Back to Top

Set Up
This is the installation procedure used by a software program to install it.
Back to Top

Shareware
Free or very inexpensive software easily downloaded off the Internet. Registration is usually required.
Back to Top

Shell Account
A UNIX-based account that allows an indirect, command-line connection to the Internet.
Back to Top

Site
A web site.
Back to Top

SLIP
Serial Line Internet Protocol. Communication protocol used over serial lines to support Internet connectivity.
Back to Top

slot
A place in a motherboard to add peripherals.
Back to Top

Smiley
Smileys are small faces created with ordinary text. :) Smileys can be read by tilting your head to the side. They are often used in email and IRC to describe emotions, since it is sometimes hard to let someone know you are sad, happy or kidding. A smiley dictionary can be found at www.eff.org. But for now, the common smileys are:

  • :) - happy, joking, smiling
  • :O - bored, yawning
  • :7 - smarty, wry
  • :( - sad, hurt
  • ;) - winking...watch out :)
    Back to Top

    SMTP
    Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

    The standard Internet protocol for transferring electronic mail messages.
    Back to Top

    Snail Mail
    This is netspeak for mail that goes through the U.S. Post office.
    Back to Top

    Software
    A computer program such as a word processor, game, or email program.
    Back to Top

    SPAM
    Annoying email that you did not ask for. It is usually trying to sell something or get you to go to a web site that you normally would not go to.
    Back to Top

    Streaming Audio / Streaming Video
    Multimedia that does not have to be completely downloaded to your computer to begin playing. It plays as it is received, hence streaming.
    Back to Top

    Supervised
    Activity that is monitored for appropriateness.
    Back to Top

    Surf
    Visit web sites on the Internet.  Clicking links to got to new web sites.
    Back to Top

    TCP/IP
    Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

    This set of protocols makes TELNET, FTP, e-mail, and other services possible among computers that don't belong to the same network.
    Back to Top

    Telenet
    Telnet is used to connect to a remote computer across the Internet. This is similar to if you dialed the computer’s modem, but you use the Internet instead of the phone lines.
    Back to Top

    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 pretends to be ("emulates") a physical terminal and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.
    Back to Top

    Text
    Words
    Back to Top

    Thread
    Continuation of a a message posted in a discussion list or newsgroup.
    Back to Top

    TIFF or TIF
    A graphic file format developed by Aldus and Microsoft. Mosaic supports the viewing of TIFF images. The shorter TIF (without the seconf F) version is used when referring to a PC based TIFF file.
    Back to Top

    Trojan
    A serious computer program (a virus or worm) usually spread in email attachments, that work on the programming code in software programs or computer operating systems to destroy data, and/or send private information through the Internet.  They usually are hard to find, and appear originally to be harmless.  Often they are set to begin working on a specifit date or when a specific action is performed on the computer triggers it. 
    Back to Top

    UNIX
    Unix is an operating system that was originally developed by Bell Laboratories around 1970. It is a very powerful multitasking, multi-user operating system that was first used by mainframes and workstations. Unix has been upgraded a lot over the decades, and now there are many different "flavors" of Unix, including versions for the home computer. Unix is the most common OS for Internet servers, because it can handle heavy computing loads and has Internet networking protocols built-in.
    Back to Top

    Upload
    To copy files from your computer to a server over the internet, so those files can be accessed by others. The reverse process of download.
    Back to Top

    URL
    Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is basically the Internet Address (see our help page explaining Internet Addresses URL’s usually look something like http://www.mkl.com/newuser/toc.html.
    Back to Top

    USENET
    Often referred to as just the "newsgroups", USENET is a distributed bulletin board system supported mainly by UNIX machines. Originally implemented in 1979--1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University, it has swiftly grown to become international in scope and is now probably the largest decentralized information utility in existence. As of early 1993, it hosted well over 1200 newsgroups and an average of 40 megabytes (the equivalent of several thousand paper pages) of new technical articles, news, discussion, chatter, and flamage every day.

    Usenet groups can be "unmoderated" (anyone can post) or "moderated" (submissions are automatically directed to a moderator, who edits or filters and then posts the results). Some newsgroups have parallel mailing lists for Internet people with no netnews access, with postings to the group automatically propagated to the list and vice versa. Some moderated groups (especially those which are actually gatewayed Internet mailing lists) are distributed as `digests', with groups of postings periodically collected into a single large posting with an index.
    Back to Top

    User Name
    The name that gets you access to things. A username is like a handle for a user on the Internet and is commonly left up to the user to decide what it is, although most Web sites or systems will NOT allow the same username to be assigned to two different people. Usually it's the first part of your e-mail address before the @ sign or the nickname you use in a chat room.

    The name by which you or someone else is known by on the Internet. Used when logging into an access provider or when entering a member's only area on the Web.
    Back to Top

    Utility
    Back to Top

    Veronica
    very easy rodent-oriented
    Netwide index to computerized archives. This contrived acronym is really the name of a front end for searching Gopher servers. A Veronica search looks for filenames and produces a menu of items linked to a Gopher data source. It's really named for a character from the Archie comics, because Veronica searches Gopher sites in the same way that Archie searches ftp archives.
    Back to Top

    Video Conferencing
    Conducting a conference between two or more participants at different sites by using computer networks or the Internet to transmit audio and video data. For example, a point-to-point (two-person) video conferencing system works much like a video telephone. Each participant has a video camera, microphone, and speakers mounted on his or her computer. As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over the network and delivered to the other's speakers, and whatever images appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other participant's monitor.

    Multipoint video conferencing allows three or more participants to sit in a virtual conference room and communicate as if they were sitting right next to each other. Software programs such as CUSeeMe have brought video conferencing to the Internet and are easily available and easy to use.
    Back to Top

    Virtual Community
    An online community means a couple of different things; primarily, it refers to an area on the Internet which caters to people's common interests. These areas are virtual in the sense that they do not take up any physical space. Communities are formed on Web sites, discussion groups, newsgroups, chat rooms, etc....IN GENERAL, anywhere people of like mind and interests gather to communicate, online.
    Back to Top

    Virtual Reality
    Simulation of the real thing
    Means the same as "almost". You will see this term appear before various computer terms to indicate simulation technology that enables you to cross boundaries and experience something without needing it's physical presence, as in virtual theme parks, virtual communities.
    Back to Top

    Virus
    A virus is a small computer program that attaches itself to other programs. Viruses can do many things to damage a computer, but most are relatively harmless. Contrary to popular belief, you can not get a virus by viewing a web page or reading email.
    Back to Top

    VRML
    Virtual Reality Modeling Language
    An open, extensible, industry-standard scene description language for 3-D scenes, or worlds, on the Internet. With VRML and certain software tools, you can create and view distributed, interactive 3-D worlds that are rich with text, images, animation, sound, music, and even video. VRML 1.0 supports worlds with relatively simple animations while VRML 2.0 (still in development) supports complex 3-D animations, simulations, and behaviors by allowing Java and JavaScript programmers to write scripts that act upon VRML objects. It is usually pronounced "V R M L", but its friends pronounce it "vermel." The goal of VRML is to create the infrastructure and conventions of cyberspace, a multi user space of many virtual worlds on the Net.
    Back to Top

    WAIS
    Wide Area Information Server

    A client-server information system that lets users search through databases with a single user interface.
    Back to Top

    WAV
    Wave File

    A kind of sound file, used extensively in Microsoft Windows. There are converters available for other operating systems.
    Back to Top

    Web / Web Page
    A web page is a simgle page or site on the World Wide Web. You are currently viewing a web page.
    Back to Top

    Webby
    Back to Top

    Web Designer
    The asthetic and navigational Architect of a Web site and it's presentation. How the site "looks" and "feels" is the responsibilty of the Web designer. Takes alot of heat if graphics are "fuzzy" , links are too light, or if something is "hard to find". Usually this person is on the artistic side of Web site building/developing however, an extensive knowledge of Web based programming, art, and information architecture combined are considered fundemental to being a successful Web Designer. This person very often can create entire Web productions completely on their own with little "outside" help. Oh, and good client relational skills a must!
    Back to Top

    Web Developer
    A person who from a technical standpoint, architecturally "builds" Web sites. Researches and provides through programming the means for a particular Web product to work. Not to be confused with the Web counterpart of Web designer.
    Back to Top

    Web Page
    World Wide Web Page
    There are different usages of this term. The most technically correct usage means a single HTML file, which when viewed by a browser on the World Wide Web (WWW) could be several screen-dimensions long, meaning you would "scroll" to view contents that are off-screen. The size of a Web page varies greatly from system to system and depends largely on what your computer monitor's resolution is set at, therefore the contents of a given HTML file which appears either as 2 or 10 or any amount of screens long, is considered a single Web page. If you scroll up and down this page for example you will notice other information on it other than just what fits in one screen of your browser. All this information is considered to be on one Web page. Large Web sites are said to have hundreds of pages of information. This means the site contains hundreds of separate documents varying in length each with probably a different topic or subject. Web page length is sometimes judged by how much of its content fits on a printed 8 1/2" X 11" page. This usage is less correct and is usually only done by Web Designers who have crossed over from the print industry in estimating how many pages they are going to charge a client for designing.

    The term Web page is also used to refer to an entire Web site. You may hear someone say "have you got a Web page?", This usage pertains more to a collection of "pages" which are "housed" under one domain name. You may also hear it referred as a homepage, although a homepage is indeed a Web page it is not quite the same since a homepage is usually the starting point or front door to alot more Web pages or Web site.
    Back to Top

    Web Site
    A home and/or location on the World Wide Web. A place made up of Web pages. These pages can contain graphics, text, audio, video and other dynamic and/or static materials.
    Back to Top

    Web Speak
    Same as NetSpeak.
    Back to Top

    WHOIS
    A means of looking up names in a remote database. Used initially as an aid for finding e-mail addresses for people at large institutions or companies.
    Back to Top

    Worm
    Known primarily as a virus, a worm is a computer program that can replicate itself. First postulated by computer science researcher Fred Cohen in the '70s, computer viruses are small programs that propagate by attaching copies of themselves to other programs. The most famous example is the 1987 "Internet worm" which shut down hundreds of computers nationwide.

    It is also referred to as a program used by search engines to locate and index information on the Web.
    Back to Top

    World Wide Web
    Often referred to just as "the Web" the WWW is a collection of HTML and other documents available through the Internet. For all practical purposes the terms Cyberspace, Internet, World Wide Web and Information Superhighway are all basically used interchangeably.
    Back to Top

    WYSIWYG
    What You See Is What You Get (whiz-ee-wig)
    An acronym used in online chat, e-mail, and newsgroup postings.
    Back to Top

    XML
    eXtensible Markup Language
    A programming language/specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It enables Web authors and designers to create their own customized tags to provide functionality not available with HTML. For example, XML supports links that point to multiple documents, as opposed to HTML links, which can reference just one destination each.
    Back to Top

    Zine
    (pronounced: zeen or zyn)
    The nickname for an electronic magazine. Just like their real world counterparts, online magazines primarily derive revenue from ad sales. Broadly speaking, a zine is any Web site that publishes content; Hotwired is considered by many to be the most famous zine.
    Back to Top

  • Based on work by Janet R. Young 
    http://www.janetryoung.com/
    Used by Permission

     


    © Quality Webmasters