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If you have questions about other terms, or think I should add a term to this glossary, e-mail me at Suggestions@rr1.net
au. Files: a filename extension that denotes audio data.
Bandwidth: a measurement of network capacity and the amount of data that can flow through a communications circuit per second. The broader the bandwidth, the more the data can flow.
Baud: a measurement of the speed data travels. Related to, but not identical to, bps.
BMP Files: A data file or structure which corresponds bit for bit with an image displayed on a screen. A bitmap is a map of bits when taken altogether and viewed through bitmap programs, the patters of bits form a picture.
bps: Bits per second. A measurement of data transmission speed. A 14.4 modem transmits data at 14,400 bps.
Browser: An online application that provides a window to the Web. Permits the user to read hypertext documents and to navigate from one document to another. Most browsers are user-friendly, with button bars and pull down menus, many support images, forms and sound files.
DNS: Domain Name System. A distributed data query system used to translate host names (188.8.131.52) into Internet addresses.
Email: Electronic mail, also e-mail. Responsible for reviving the lost art of written communications. You can send correspondence down the hall or across the planet in seconds.
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. Orginally referring to a list of questions and answers aimed at new users of a Usenet newsgroup, FAQ's are also employed on the web as well, as a way to convey information concisely and quickly.
Freeware: Software available without charge through the Internet.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol; also Anonymous File Transfer Protocol. A way to download software files from other computers. Anonymous means you don't need an account to get the files.
GIF: Graphics Interchange Format. A color graphics file format useful for higher-resolution images because of its file compression feature.
Graphics Files: See BMP, GIF and JPEG.
Home Page: The top-level HTML document for a Web site. Other pages can be accessed by following Hyperlinks from the top-level page.
HTML: Hypertext Markup Language. The formatting language of the Web, it determines the appearance of and defines the links in a Web document.
Http: Hypertext Transport Protocol. The basis for the Web, this protocol allows for the exchange of HTML documents. In a URL, it is the first part of the address that indicates that the rest of the address is a Web site.
Hypertext links: called Hyperlinks, or more commonly, Links. How information on the Web is connected. Clicking on the highlighted text in a Web document takes you to another page of that document or to another Web site. This seamless connection is changing the way we get and use information. Instead of processing information in a linear way, hyperlinks let us get the information in the order that makes the most sense to us.
Internet: Originally used by the military, scientific and academic communities. Can be thought of as a worldwide network of networks, utilizing a common addressing format. The resources available on the Internet cover everything imaginable- Hubble space telescope photographs of Jupiter, a virtual tour of the Louvre Museum, audio and video clips from the latest rock bands, the complete text of Homer's Odyssey- the range is mind-boggling. Not originating from any one source and owned by no one, the Internet has taken on a life of its own. The Internet is constantly changing and growing- by connecting to it, you become a part of it.
IRC: Internet Relay Chat. Networks where users can conduct real-time conversations with other users, within virtual chatrooms.
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network. A digital communications network that can carry voice, data, and video transmissions. To give an idea of ISDN's speed, a two-channel ISDN line transmits at 112 kilobits per second, and a 20.8 modem, at 28 kilobits per second.
JAVA: Java, created by Sun Microsystems, is simple, object oriented, dynamic general-purpose programming language. Supporting programming for the Internet, Java applets create animation, speed, and interactivity within Web documents.
JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group. A digital image compression standard, JPEG is designed for compressing either full-color or gray-scale digital images of "natural", real-world scenes.
MIDI: Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A hardware protocol for exchanging musical information between computers, synthesizers, and instruments.
Netiquette: What constitutes good manners on the Internet. As in any community, good manners makes life more pleasant for everyone. The Netiquette Home Page is a good place to bone up on good Internet deportment, especially before joining a Newsgroup discussion.
Newsgroups: Discussion groups on Usenet, a network that is not the same as the Internet, but can be accessed from the Internet, among other channels. Newsgroups consist of millions of people posting and reading thousands of messages about innumerable topics. See Usenet.
PGP: Pretty Good Privacy. An encryption application created by Phillip R. Zimmerman. PGP allows the private and authenticated transmission of data of communications networks. Using Public-Key Cryptography technology as a base, PGP does not require the use of secure channels.
Search Engines: Tools for finding information on the Internet. Search engines compare electronically strings of text entered by the user and locate matches on the Internet. Just a few of the many search engines you can find on the web are Yahoo, Lycos, and Infoseek.
T-1: A super-fast, super-expensive, data transmission line, transmitting at 1.544 megabits per second. For comparison, a single ISDN channel transmits at 56 kilobits per second, and a 28.8 modem, at 28 kilobits per second. A kilobit is a thousand bits per second, and a megabit refers to a million bits per second.
TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. Two protocols by which all information is sent over the Internet.
URL: Universal Resource Locator. Each Web page's unique address. Made up of distinctive parts, it can tell you what kind of host is the source of the site. For example, in the URL address http://harvard.edu, the "edu" appellation designates an educational institution. Commercial and nonprofit organizations are, respectively, ".com" and ".org". Other appellations include ".gov" for government, ".mil" for military, and ".net" for network.
.wav files: a filename extension that denotes Windows audio files.
Web Browser: A browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Explorer- provides a window to the Web, allowing you to effortlessly follow hyperlinks, which may take you from networks in New Zealand to Zurich, an from Zurich to Africa, with only a few clicks of the mouse.
Web Page: A web site is made up of a series of web pages, connected to each other with hyperlinks. Government organizations, companies, charities, universities, and individuals are putting pages on the Web.
Winsock: Windows Sockets Specification. Provides an applications program interface standard for Windows TCP/IP software development.
WWW: World Wide Web, also known as the Web. The most user-friendly part of the Internet, offering graphics, sound, video, and hypertext links to Web sites.