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PC Blues - Computer & Internet glossary
Category: Technical and IT > Computer & Internet
Date & country: 25/11/2007, UK
Words: 188

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line: Technology that allows data to be sent over existing copper phone lines. An ADSL connection is much faster than a standard phone modem connection.

An alternate name that is associated with a real file or address.

Anonymous FTP
Using FTP without establishing a user ID and password.

Antivirus Software
Software written specifically to combat harmful viruses. Anti-Virus software seeks and removes viruses from your computer. Norton AntiVirus and McAfee VirusScan are two popular Anti-Virus programs.

An open source HTTP server for Unix, Windows NT, and other platforms. Apache was developed in early 1995, based on code and ideas found in the most popular HTTP server of the time, NCSA httpd 1.3. It has since evolved to rival (and probably surpass) almost any other Unix based HTTP server in terms of functionality, and speed.

A small Java program.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange: This is the global standard for code numbers used by computers to represent all upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, and punctuation.

1. Application Service Provider 2. A hosting environment that extends the normal capabilities of a web server and exposes objects for use in web programming. It is accessed by either VBScript (it's default) or JavaScript.

Acceptable Use Policy. A set of rules that inform web hosting customers what they can and cannot do through their hosting accounts. Often such policies place certain restrictions on e-mail use (such as spamming) and content (such as not allowing images of child pornography).

A feature that sends an automated reply to incoming email. For example, when customers send email to your address, a standard message could be sent back to them.

A high-speed line (or a series of connections) that forms a major pathway within a network.

The amount of data you can send through a connection, usually measured in bits per second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 15,000 bits in one second.

Paid advertisements in the form of graphics (usually rectangular in shape) displayed on a Web page. When viewers click on a banner, they are taken to the advertiser's Web site.

A unit of measurement for modem speed, synonymous with bits per second (bps). A 56K modem has a speed of 56,000 baud or 56,000 BPS

Bulletin Board System: A computerized meeting system. BBS users can have discussions, make announcements, and upload or download files. There are thousands of BBSs around the world; many of them rely on a direct modem-to-modem connection over a phone line, using a single computer.

An FTP file format for transferring encoded data such as programs and images.

BINary HEXadecimal: A method of converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet email can only handle ASCII.

This is the smallest measure of computerized data, either 1 or 0. Eight bits equal one byte, or one character.

Blue Screen
A Windows 95/98 or Windows NT error that turns your computer screen blue while displaying an error message. It's sometimes called 'blue screen of death' because it can cause an operating system to 'freeze' or 'lock up,' requiring a reboot (restart) and deleting all unsaved data.

The feature of a Web Browser that lets you save the address (URL) of a web page so you can go back to the page easily at a later time.

Bits per second: A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 28.8K modem can move 28,800 bits per second, or about 3600 characters per second.

A transmission medium capable of supporting a wide range of frequencies, typically from audio up to video frequencies. It can carry multiple signals by dividing the total capacity of the medium into multiple, independent bandwidth channels, where each channel operates only on a specific range of frequencies.

A client program used to view various kinds of Internet resources. You use a browser (e.g., Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer) to view Web pages from your computer.

A byte is a set of 8 bits that represent a single character.

Cable modem
A type of modem that allows people to access the Internet via their cable television service. A cable modem can transfer data at 500 kbps or higher, compared with 28.8 kbps for common telephone line modems, but the actual transfer rates may be lower depending on the number of other simultaneous users on the same cable.

Certificate Authority
An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL connections.

Common Gateway Interface: A protocol that allows a Web page to run a program on a Web server. Forms, counters, and guestbooks are common examples of CGI programs.

Some HTTP servers require CGI programs to reside in a special directory. This directory is often ''/cgi-bin''. However, better servers provide ways to distinguish CGI programs so they can be kept in the same directories as the HTML files to which they are related.

A directory on a web server in which a web hosting account holder can place customized CGI scripts. Those CGI scripts are run directly from the CGI-LOCAL directory.

A program (or software) used to interact with a Server. A Web browser is a specific kind of client.

Renting a secure space with reliable network connectivity in a data center while maintaining your own equipment.

Store data in such a way that the file size is reduced.

The status regarding whether two computer systems are communicating with each other over either a local network or over the Internet. When computers are communicating with each other, there is said to be 'connectivity' between them.

The graphics, video, sound and text that makes up a web page is usually referred to as the content.

Control Panel
All users have access to a Web-based Control Panel that allows you to set mail forwarding options, enable/disable anonymous FTP access, view your statistics, change your password and more. It also allows access to other features, such as an HTML Form Generator, Web-based HTML editor and Perl script checker. Users may also update account contact information at anytime without having to contact customer support.

A cookie is a piece of information sent to a browser by a Web Server. The browser then returns that information to the Web server. This is how some Web pages 'remember' your previous visits; for example, an E-Commerce site might use a cookie to remember which items you've placed in your online shopping cart. Cookies can also store user preference information, log-in data, etc

CyberCash is the name of the company that developed a Web-based payment system. Their CyberCash software enables online payment services for credit cards and Internet check transactions. CyberCash works with all popular browsers.

A process that runs all the time.

Data center
A secure location for web hosting servers. Data centers are designed to assure that the servers and the data housed on them are protected from environmental hazards and security breaches.

Data Transfer
In general, any outward-bound traffic from a Web site (with the exception of email) is considered to be data transfer. Each time a Web page, image, MIDI file, etc. is loaded, data transfer is generated.

This is any collection of data: part numbers, product codes, customer information, etc. It usually refers to data stored on a computer.

The restoration of a group of compressed files to their original size.

Dedicated Server
A server that provides services for only one account or domain name.

A location on a computer that is used to hold computer files. A subdirectory is a location within a directory. For example, in the path C:/verio/customers, 'verio' is the name of the directory and 'customers' is the name of a subdirectory located within the 'verio' directory.

Domain Name System: A system of servers located throughout the Internet that handle Internet connections and the routing of email.

Domain Name
A unique name that identifies a Web site. A domain name acts as a permanent Web address and provides a professional, prestigious Web presence. Compare these two URLs: 1. 2. In the first URL, the domain name '' is owned by someone else. If you moved your business Web site to another Web host, you'd need a new URL--and you'd have to notify your customers of your new address. The second URL contains an example of a custom domain name that you own: '' If you ever move your site, your address will stay the same. See Also: InterNIC.

Domain Pointer
A web hosting feature that allows a specific domain name to send web site visitors to a different domain. Also see: Domain Name.

Transferring a file from a computer on the Internet to your own computer. Things you might download include software, images, email, MIDI files, etc.

A family of digital telecommunications protocols designed to allow high speed data communication over the existing copper telephone lines between end-users and telephone companies

Electronic Funds Transfer. Transfer of money initiated through electronic terminal, automated teller machine, computer, telephone, or magnetic tape. In the late 1990s, this increasingly includes transfer initiated via the World-Wide Web. The term also applies to credit card and automated bill payments.

Electronic Mail: Messages sent from one person to another via computer. Email can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses via a mailing list.

Email Client
The software, such as Microsoft Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, or Eudora used to send and receive email messages on your computer.

Email Server
A computer used to direct messages to the appropriate place. When you send an email using your client software, it is sent to the server which then processes it and sends it to the appropriate party.

This is a method of encoding a file for security reasons. Encryption is often used to protect credit card numbers from third parties during online purchases.

A program that processes scripts or data and outputs the processed content.

An extranet is a private network, built for specific users (e.g., business clients) who don't have access to an intranet.

Frequently Asked Questions: A compilation of answers to the most common questions on a particular subject.

File Sharing
The practice of sharing computer files over a network. Shared files can reside on a server that is accessed by client computers or the files can reside on a decentralized network of computers. In the latter case, there is no central server: files are uploaded to and downloaded from individual computers or workstations. File sharing is particularly popular among persons who collect music files.

A combination of hardware and software, used to protect a network from unwelcome traffic. A firewall can be used to separate a LAN into two or more parts, or to control network traffic.

An Open-Source UNIX based operating system.

FrontPage is a WYSIWYG Web page editor by Microsoft. In order to use FrontPage to create and maintain your Web site, your hosting service must install 'extensions' (CGI programs that provide the server side implementation of FrontPage) for your account.

File Transfer Protocol: A common method of sending and receiving files on the Internet. You might use FTP to upload HTML files to your Web host from your own computer. A user ID and password are needed to use FTP, unless Anonymous FTP is allowed.

Graphic Interchange Format: A type of image file. GIF files are graphics or pictures, often used on Web pages. Because GIF files contain a maximum of 256 colors, this file format is ideal for simple graphics with minimal shading or color variation. Other types of graphics are better suited for the JPEG file format.

Gigabyte (GB)
One billion bytes. To be more accurate, one gigabyte actually contains 1,073,741,824 bytes. Since the prefix 'giga' is associated with one billion, the term gigabyte is used to define 1,073,741,824 bytes.

Any picture or image file within a Web page. Graphics are usually in GIF or JPEG format.

Guest Book
An on-line form where site visitors can leave comments regarding the site they are visiting.

A single request from a Web browser for a single item from a Web server. When a browser displays a Web page that contains 2 graphics, 3 hits occur at the server: 1 hit for the HTML page itself, plus a hit for each of the two graphics. See Also: Impressions

The first page of a Web site. Some people choose to have only a homepage, with no supporting pages.

1.A computer system accessed by a user from a remote location. In the case of two computer systems connected via modem, the 'host' is the system containing the data and the 'remote' is the computer at which the user is working. 2.A computer that is connected to a TCP/IP network, including the Internet. Each host has a unique IP address. 3.As a verb, 'host' means providing the infrastructure for a computer service. A company that hosts a Web server may provide the hardware and software needed to run that server, but does not supply all the content on that server. Ameritech provides hosting services by running and maintaining the server, while allowing customers to maintain their own Web site content.

HyperText Markup Language: The coding language used to create Web pages

HyperText Transfer Protocol: The protocol for moving hypertext files across the World Wide Web. When you enter a URL in your browser to visit a Web page, an HTTP command is sent to the Web server. This command tells the server to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

Any text within a document that is linked to another location. The other location could be within the same document, or a different document. Clicking hypertext with your mouse will activate the link. This glossary is made up of hypertext, containing many links.

Image Map
A graphic used for multiple navigation on a Web page. Image maps contain HTML code that turn specific areas of graphics into links.

The actual number of people who've seen a specific Web page. Impressions are much more accurate than hits when discerning how much traffic your Web page actually receives. Impressions are sometimes called 'page views.'

The vast collection of interconnected networks that use TCP/IP protocols.

The InterNIC is a concept for an integrated network information center that was developed by several companies, including Network Solutions, in cooperation with the U.S. Government. Under a recent agreement with the U.S. Government, Network Solutions is transitioning from the use of the word 'InterNIC' in connection with its products and services

A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but only for internal use.

IP Number (IP Address)
The unique 4-part number assigned to each and every computer linked to the Internet (e.g., When you connect to the Internet, your ISP assigns you an IP number for the duration of your connection. DNS converts domain names into IP addresses.

Internet Relay Chat: A method of real time communication, powered by a network of servers.

The first commercially available, mainstream UNIX operating system to support symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) capabilities. IRIX was also the first UNIX operating systems to support complete 64-bit and 32-bit environment, the first to support advanced ccNUMA scalable features and the first to support advanced realtime and graphics features.

Integrated Services Digital Network: Technology that allows data to be moved over phone lines at speeds of up to 64,000 BPS per channel.

Internet Service Provider: A company that provides access to the Internet.

Java is a programming language invented by Sun Microsystems. Java programs (or 'applets') can be downloaded from the Internet to your computer. They can also be used to enhance Web pages. Common Java applets used on Web pages include animation, calculators, and counters.

A scripting language developed by Netscape that interacts with HTML source code, allowing for interactive Web sites. JavaScript is used for things such as 'rollover buttons' (graphics that change color when you run your mouse over them), rotating banners, MIDI jukeboxes, pop-up windows, etc.

Joint Photographic Experts Group: a type of image file, similar to GIF. Whereas the GIF file format is limited to 256 colors or less, JPEG files use millions of colors and can often be compressed to a smaller kilobyte size, making Web pages load faster.

Java Server Pages -- Server based dynamically generated HTML based on Java.

Kilobyte (KB)
A thousand bytes. To be more accurate, one kilobyte actually contains 1024 bytes. Since the prefix 'kilo' is associated with 1000, the term kilobyte is used to define 1024 bytes.

Local Area Network: A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

A branding system that allows resellers to customize all web pages and e-mail messages generated by the their reseller account. By using the LangTag system, resellers can completely customize their service so that all web hosting functions appear to be those of the resellers' company.

A popular open source operating system. Linux is an implementation of the Unix kernel originally written from scratch with no proprietary code. Work on the kernel is coordinated by Linus Torvalds, who holds the copyright on a large part of it. The rest of the copyright is held by a large number of other contributors (or their employers). Regardless of the copyright ownerships, the kernel as a whole is available under the GNU General Public License.

Log File
A file that contains a list of actions that have occurred on your web server. The statistics of your site are created by referencing the activity log file.

Mail Forwarding
When you sign up for an Ameritech hosting plan, you'll receive a domain email account ( You might also have an email address provided by your local ISP. With mail forwarding, all email addressed to will be sent to your 'real' email address. Additional mail forwarding options include the ability to forward different email to specific addresses on the Internet. For example, email addressed to could forward to your 'real' email address (provided by your ISP), while could forward to a different email address.

Mailing List
A group discussion conducted through email messages, specific to a topic or common interest. When a message is sent to a mailing list, each list subscriber receives a copy.

Megabyte (MB)
A million bytes; a thousand kilobytes. To be more accurate, one megabyte actually contains 1,048,576 bytes. Since the prefix 'mega' is associated with one million, the term megabyte is used to define 1,048,576 bytes.

Message Board
A type of bulletin board where users read and respond to other people's posts.

META tag
Hidden HTML code that contains information about a Web page, such as who created the page, what the page is about, and which keywords best describe the page's content. Some search engines use this information to list Web pages.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface: A computerized music file, often used on Web pages.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions: The standard for attaching non-text files (such as graphics, spreadsheets, word processor documents, sound files, etc.) to email messages.

A device that connects your computer to a phone line. It transforms digital computer data into analog data; the analog data is then sent through a telephone line to a second computer. A modem on the receiving end transforms the analog data back into the digital format, so that the receiving computer can read it.

Mini SQL: A lightweight database engine designed to provide fast access to stored data. See Also: SQL