(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.
See also: Bandwidth, Bit
A client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of
See also: Client, URL, WWW
A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are
8 bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement
is being made.
A software program that is used to contact and obtain data
from a Server software program on another computer, often
across a great distance. Each Client program is designed to
work with one or more specific kinds of Server programs, and
each Server requires a specific kind of Client.
See also: Server
Term originated by author William Gibson in his novel "Neuromancer",
the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range of
information resources available through computer networks.
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names
always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left
is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.
A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given
Domain Name points to only one machine. Usually, all of the machines
on a given network will have the same thing as the right-hand
portion of their Domain Names, e.g.
and so on. It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist but not be
connected to an actual machine. This is often done so that a group or
business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to
establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some real Internet
machine must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain Name.
See also: IP Number.
(Electronic Mail) -- Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another
via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addres
ses (Mailing List)
See also: Listserv, Maillist
A very common method of networking computers in a LAN. Ethernet will
handle about 10,000,000 bits-per-second and can be used with almost any kind of
See also: Bandwidth, LAN
(Frequently Asked Questions) -- FAQs are documents that list and
answer the most common questions on a particular subject. There are
hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse as Pet Grooming and
Cryptography. FAQs are usually written by people who have
tired of answering the same question over and over.
(Fiber Distributed Data Interface) -- A standard for transmitting
data on optical fiber cables at a rate of around 100,000,000
bits-per-second (10 time as fast as Ethernet, about twice as
fast as T-3 )
See also: Bandwidth, Ethernet, T-1, T-3.
(File Transfer Protocol) -- A very common 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.
There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible
repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging
in using the account name "anonymous", thus these sites are
called "anonymous ftp servers".
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. Many sites do not allow incoming Finger
requests, but many do.
The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up that
translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example Prodigy has a
gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary e-mail format
and Internet e-mail format. Another, sloppier meaning of gateway
is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another
system, e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.
A widely successful method of making menus of material available
over the Internet. Gopher is a Client and Server style
program, which requires that the user have a Gopher Client
program. Although Gopher spread rapidly across the globe in only a
couple of years, it is being largely supplanted by Hypertext,
also known as WWW (World Wide Web). There are still thousands
of Gopher Servers on the Internet and we can expect they
will remain for a while.
See also: Client, Server,
Any computer on a network that is a repository for
services available to other computers on the network. It is
quite common to have one host machine provide several services,
such as WWW and USENET
See also: Node, Network
(HyperText Markup Language) -- The coding language used create
Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web.
HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you
surround a block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear,
additionally, in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or a
word, is "linked" to another file on the Internet. HTML files are
meant to be viewed using a World Wide Web Client
program, such as Mosaic.
See also: HTTP, Hypertext,
(HyperText Transport Protocol) -- The protocol for moving
hypertext files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP
client program on one end, and an HTTP server
program on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used
in the World Wide Web (WWW).
See also: Client, Server,
Generally, any text that contains "links" to other documents - words
or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which
cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.
(In My Humble Opinion) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written
in an online forum, IMHO indicates that the writer is aware that they
are expressing a debatable view, probably on a subject already under
discussion. One of many such shorthands in common use online,
especially in discussion forums.
Sometimes called a "dotted quad". A unique number consisting of
4 parts separated by dots, e.g.
machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a
machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet.
Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are
easier for people to remember.
See also: Domain Name,
(Internet Relay Chat) -- Basically a huge multi-user live chat
facility. There are a number major IRC servers around the world
which are linked to each other. Anyone can create a "channel" and
anything that anyone types in a given channel is seen by all others
in the channel. Private channels can (and are) created for
multi-person "conference calls".
(Integrated Services Digital Network) -- Basically a way to move
more data over existing regular phone lines. ISDN is only slowly becoming
available in the USA but where it is available, it can provide speeds of up to
128,000 bits-per-second (bps) over a regular phone line at almost the same cost
a normal phone call. (56,000 bps or 64,000 bps are more common)
Internet (upper case I)
The vast collection of inter-connected networks that all use the
TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late
60's and early '70s. The Internet now (July 1995) connects roughly
60,000 independent networks into a vast global internet.
See also: internet (lower case i)
internet (lower case i)
Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have
an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
A thousand bytes. Actually, usually, 1024 (2^10) bytes.
See also: Byte, Bit
(Local Area Network) -- A computer network limited to the
immediate area, usually the same building or floor of the building.
See also: Ethernet
Refers to a phone line that is rented for exclusive 24-hour,
7-days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest
speed data connections require a leased line.
See also: 56K, T-1, T-3
The most common kind of maillist , Listervs originated
on BITNET but they are now common on the Internet
See also: BITNET, E-mail,
Noun or a verb. Noun: The account name used to gain access to a
computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password)
Verb: The act of entering into a computer system,
e.g. "Login to the WELL and then go to the GBN conference."
See also: Password
A million bytes. A thousand kilobytes.
See also: Byte, Bit,
(Mud, Object Oriented) -- one of several kinds of multi-user
role-playing environments, so far only text-based.
See also: MUD, MUSE
(Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension) -- A (usually text-based)
multi-user simulation environment. Some are purely for fun and
flirting, others are used for serious software development, or
education purposes and all that lies in between. A significant feature
of most MUDs is that users can create things that stay after they
leave and which other users can interact with in their absence,
thus allowing a "world" to be built gradually and collectively.
See also: MOO, MUSE
One kind of MUD - usually with little or no violence.
See also: MOO, MUD
Maillist (or Mailing List)
A (usually 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 maillist. In this
way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail access can
participate in discussions together.
See also: Listserv
(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.
The first WWW browser that was available for
the Macintosh, Windows and UNIX all withthe same interface. "Mosaic"
really started the popularity of the Web. The source-code to Mosaic
has been licensed by several companies and there are several other
pieces of software as good or better than Mosaic, most notably
See also: Browser, Client,
(Network Information Center) -- Generally, any office that
handles information for a network. The most famous of these on the
Internet is the InterNIC, which is where new domain names are registered.
Any time you connected 2 or more computers together so that they
can share resources you have a computer network. Connect 2 or more
networks together and you have an internet.
See also: Network, Internet,
The method used to move data around on the Internet .
In packet switching, all the data coming out of a machine is broken
up into chunks, each chunk has the address of where it came from
and where it is going. This enables chunks of data from
many different sources to co-mingle on the same lines, and be sorted
and directed to different routes by special machines along the way.
This way many people can use the same lines at the same time.
A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords
contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations
such as "virtue7". A good password might be:
See also: Login
Two commonly used meaning: "Point of Presence" and "Post Office
Protocol". A "Point of Presence" usually means a city or lacation where
a network can be connected to, often with dialup phone lines, so if an
Internet company says they will soon have a POP in Belgrade, it means
that they will soon have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or a place
where leased lines can connect to their network. A second meaning, "Post
Office Protocol" refers to the way e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail
from a mail server. When you obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account you
almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that
you tell your e-mail software to use to get your mail.
See also: SLIP, PPP
3 meanings. 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 a modem would be connected.
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 number, 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:
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 it will run on a Macintosh.
See also: Domain Name,
(Point to Point Protocol) -- most well known as a protocol that
allows a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem
to make a TCP/IP connection and thus be really and truly on
the Internet . PPP is gradually replacing SLIP
for this purpose.
See also: IP number, Internet,
(Request For Comments) -- the name of the result and the process
for creating a standard on the Internet . New standards are
proposed and published on line, as a "Request For Comments".
The Internet Engineerng Task Force is a consensus-building
body that facilitates discussion, and eventually a new standard is
established, but the reference number/name for the standard retains
the acronym "RFC", e.g. the official standard for e-mail
is RFC 822.
A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the
connection between 2 or more networks . Routers spend all their
time looking at the destination addresses of the packets
passing through them and deciding which route to send them on.
See also: Network,
(Switched Multimegabit Data Service) -- A new standard for very
high-speed data transfer.
Server (see Client)
A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific
kind of service to client software running on other computers.
The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as
a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software is
running, e.g. "Our mail server is down today, that's why e-mail isn't
getting out." A single server machine could have several different
server software packages running on it, thus providing many different
services to clients on the network .
See also: Client, Network
(Serial Line Internet Protocol) -- a standard for using a regular
telephone line (a "serial line") and a modem to connect a
computer as a real Internet site. SLIP is gradually being
replaced by PPP .
See also: Internet, PPP
A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at
1,544,000 bits -per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity,
a T-1 line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds.
That is still not fast enough for full-screen, full-motion video,
for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second. T-1 is the
fastest speed commonly used to connect networks to
the Internet .
See also: 56K, Bandwidth,
A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at
45,000,000 bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do
full-screen, full-motion video.
See also: 56K, Bandwidth,
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) -- This is the
suite of protocols that defines The Internet . Originally
designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is
now available for every major kind of computer operating system.
To be truly on the Internet , your computer must
have TCP/IP software.
See also: IP number,
The command and program used to login from one
Internet site to another. The telnet command/program
gets you to the "login:" prompt of another host.
A device that allows you to send commands to a computer
somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard
and a display screen and some simple circuitry. usually you
will use terminal software in a personal computer - the software
pretends to be ("emulates") a physical terminal and allows you to
type commands to a computer somewhere else.
A special purpose computer that has places to plug in
many modems on one side, and a connection to a LAN
or host machine on the other side. Thus the terminal
server does the work of answering the calls and passes the connections
on to the appropriate node . Most terminal servers can
provide PPP or SLIP services if connected to
the Internet .
See also: LAN, Modem,
A computer operating system (the basic software running on a
computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets).
UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time
(it is "multi-user") and has TCP/IP built-in. It is
the most common operating system for servers on the Internet
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:
The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser program,
such as Netscape, or Lynx.
See also: Browser, WWW
A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments passed
among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all Usenet machines
are on the Internet , maybe half. Usenet is completely
decentralized, with over 10,000 discussion areas, called
See Also: Newsgroup
(Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to
Computerized Archives) -- Developed at the University of Nevada,
Veronica is a constantly updated database of the names of almost
every menu item on thousands of gopher servers.
The Veronica database can be searched from most major gopher menus.
See also: Gopher
(Wide Area Information Servers) -- A commercial software
package that allows the indexing of huge quantities of information,
and then making those indices searchable across networks
such as the Internet . A prominent feature of WAIS is
that the search results are ranked ("scored") according to how
relevant the "hits" are, and that subsequent searches can
find "more stuff like that last batch" and thus refine the search process.
(Wide Area Network) -- Any internet or network
that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.
See also: Internet,
WWW (World Wide Web)
Two meanings - First, loosely used: The whole constellation of
resources that can be accessed using Gopher , FTP ,
HTTP , telnet , Usenet , WAIS and
some other tools. Second, the universe of hypertext servers
(HTTP servers ) which are the servers that
allow text, graphics, sound files etc to be mixed together.
See also: Browser, FTP,