|At one time you had to
be a rocket scientist to use the Internet but now almost anyone with a
computer, or Internet appliance, has access to it. The difficulty associated
with connecting may have changed but the difficulty of understanding the
language hasn't. Here are some of the basic terms that you will encounter
when discussing the Internet.
The telephone number dialed
by the modem that lets a computer communicate with an online service or
Internet Service Provider.
One Format of Mac Sound
A service available at some
Internet sites that gives any user access to data files and applications
using FTP. With anonymous FTP, users don't need a special password to retrieve
files. They are available to the public.
that monitors a computer for viruses and eliminates them before damage
Advanced Research Projects
Agency Network. Considered the forefather of the Internet. A worldwide
network created in the 1960's that was maintained by the U.S. Department
of Defense to facilitate communications between research facilities and
American Standard Code for
Information Interchange. This code maps letters and other symbols, like
periods and commas, to numbers that your computer can understand.
A measurement of how much
information can be transmitted at a given time over the Internet.
Bulletin Board System. A
dial-in service that usually provides information, software, and technical
support on a focused topic.
Binary Digit. The smallest
unit of data a computer can handle. Each "bit" has a value of 1 or 0 that
the computer interprets as "on" or "off" respectively.
A way of storing pointers
to favorite Web sites in your browser.
A common system of logic
that operators such as AND, OR, NOR, and NOT. Commonly used by search engines.
Bits Per Second. Measurement
of the speed at which data can be transmitted over a telephone or network
An application that displays
a Web page. Also known as a Web browser.
Equal to either 7 or 8 bits,
depending on whether it requires an extra bit, called a parity bit, for
error correction. A byte stores a single character of information such
as the letter A.
Live communication over
the Internet Relay Chat service or an online service. As one person enters
text it appears on the other person's screen in "real time", or almost
A relationship between programs
running on separate machine in a computer network. The server is the provider
of services, while the client is the consumer of the services.
A process that transforms
information into random streams of bits to create a secret code for data
Denotes the name of a specific
Internet area controlled by a company, school, or organization.
Electronic Mail. Text messages
sent through a network to specified individual or group. Email messages
can also carry attached files.
Frequently Asked Questions.
A FAQ is generally a list of questions and answers about a specific subject.
Most news groups have FAQ's, which should be read before you post any message
File Transfer Protocol.
The Internet protocol that allow the viewing, downloading, and uploading
of files on remote computers.
Software or hardware that
limits certain kinds of access to a computer from a network or other outside
An argumentative Newsgroups
posting or email message in response to another posting or message.
Graphic Interchange Format.
A bit-mapped color graphics file format that is the preferred one to use
if you want to put a graphic (as opposed to a photo) on a Web page.
Approximately one billion
bytes, or one thousand megabytes.abyte
A browsing and searching
protocol that lets you find and retrieve text and files.
Add-on applications that
support sound, image, and other formats that your browser can't support
Hypertext Markup Language.
The standard for adding tags to a text file, so that the file is able to
be interpreted by a Web browser.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
The Internet protocol that the Web uses to send information to the client,
so the client browser can view Web pages.
A small abstract graphic
representation of an object or idea.
A graphic image that's used
on a Web site as a navigational tool. It's made up of two elements: The
graphic that you see on the page through your browser, and a text file
that contains the link information.
A GIF that is written so
that when it is downloaded, it looks like it is out of focus and then gradually
comes into focus.
The number that identifies
your machine as unique on the Internet. Without it, you can not use any
Internet Relay Chat. The
Internet's version of a CB radio, IRC lets you join a channel and converse
in real-time with other people who are on the same channel, through text-based
Integrated Services Digital
Network. Digital telephony scheme that allows two simultaneous connections
over the same wire; can include audio and data.
Internet Service Provider.
A company that provides direct access to the Internet.
An object-oriented, cross-platform
programming language, similar to C++, that is designed for building applications
for the Internet.
Joint Photographic Expert
Group. A file format using a compression technique to reduce the size of
a graphics file by as much as 96 percent. JPEG is the preferred file format
to use if you want to put a photograph on a Web page.
Local-Area Network. A group
of computers, usually in one building, that are physically connected in
a way that lets them communicate and interact with each other.
A word or phrase emphasized
in a hypertext document that acts as a pointer to related information.
Links in a Web browser are usually underlined and are a different color
than the rest of the text.
Reading online messages
or chat room conversations without taking part in the discussion. Users
are encouraged to lurk in the Newsgroups or chat rooms until they have
some idea what the discussion is about an the style is like.
Discussion groups over the
Internet that link a group of people together with common interests. If
you belong to a mailing list, you receive every message posted to that
list via email.
A computer that holds email
messages for clients on a network.
Musical Instrument Digital
Interface. A standard that lets electronic musical devices communicate
with each other. Music stored in MIDI format contains instructions for
playing the music, rather than the digitized audio signal itself.
Multipurpose Internet Mail
Extensions. MIME types are extensions to files that tell your computer
what kind of program to use to view the file.
A devise that translates
computer signals to analog signals suitable for send across phone lines.
(Moving Picture Experts
Group Audio Layer III) - is a technology that allows you to compress audio
files to approximately one tenth the size of CD files while maintaining
a large degree of fidelity. In other words your music sounds pretty good
Slang for the unwritten
rules of Internet courtesy.
A series of computers linked
together in order to share information with each other.
An area on the Internet
reserved for discussion of a certain topic. Messages are posted in the
Newsgroups and replies are encouraged.
A remote computer that controls
access to a Newsgroups in a group of interconnected computers.
PacketsA block of data that
can be transmitted from one computer to another on a network like the Internet.
A packet contains data to be transmitted, data to guide the packet, and
data that corrects errors along the way.
Portable Document Format.
A standard used by Adobe Acrobat to display any sort of document on any
computer. The Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded as freeware.
The default graphics format
A fancy name for the "start-up"
page of a Web browser. This is the entry point of the Web.
A communications protocol that lets users connect their computers directly
to the Internet through phone lines.
A helper app that allows
you to download sound files over Web pages in real-time. The player can
be downloaded as freeware.
A specialized machine that
runs various protocols to direct network packets from one segment to another.
Search EngineA utility that
locates resources via searches for keywords and phrases. Click here for
a large list of search engines.
Software distributed via
the honor system. You download shareware from the Internet, try it out,
and if you keep it, are expected to pay a shareware fee.
When you log into this kind
of account, the computer you log into is connected to the Internet, but
your computer isn't.
When you log into this kind
of account, your computer is actually connected to the Internet, and so
is fully capable of all the TCP/IP services available.
Unsolicited email messages
or Newsgroups postings, usually advertising a product.
A type of data connection
able to transmit a digital signal at 1.544 megabits per second.
Transport Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol. The protocol suite that make Telnet, FTP, email, and other services
possible among computers that aren't on the same local area network.
The Protocol for remote
terminal connection service. It lets someone at one site interact with
a remote computer as if that user's terminal were directly connected to
the remote site.
A GIF that has one of its
colors set to be transparent. When displayed against a background tile
or color, the image will appear to float above it.
An operating system invented
in 1969 at AT&T Bell Laboratories that was made available to researchers
and students in 1973. It was used to develop the Internet's communication
URLUniform Resource Locator.
Describes the location and access method of a resource on the Internet.
This is also known as the "Web site address."
forums stored on remote computers.
VRLMVirtual Reality Modeling
Language. An emerging standard that will let you model and move around
in 3-D environments on the Internet.
World Wide Web
A collection of electronic
documents loosely knit by a concept called "hypertext." Documents connect
to each other by clickable "hyperlinks." You need to run a browser program
to access the Web.