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

MX Record
An entry in a domain name system database that directs the routing of mail transfer agents. The MX record is used, for instance, to set which mail server will handle the processing of your e-mail.

Name Server
A program that stores and tracks DNS information. Also see: DNS.

The informal rules of Internet etiquette.

Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the Internet. The term implies civic responsibility and participation.

Any time you connect 2 or more computers together for the purpose of sharing resources, you have a computer network.

Someone who is new to the Internet.

An Internet message board system, where people meet to discuss a variety of topics. There are thousands of newsgroups on the Internet covering a wide variety of interests.

New Technology. By itself , the 'NT' abbreviation is unofficially used to refer to Microsoft's Windows NT operating system. Microsoft prefers that their operating system be referred to as 'Windows NT' and not merely as 'NT.' Also ,note that 'NT' is a registered trademark of the Microsoft Corporation.

An optical connection with a transfer rate of 622 megabits. OC connections often form the transmission 'backbone' of an Internet service.

A standard for accessing different database systems. There are interfaces for Visual Basic, Visual C++, SQL and the ODBC driver pack contains drivers for the Access, Paradox, dBase, Text, Excel and Btrieve databases.

Open Source
Freely distributable and modifiable software to which the source code (or uncompiled software) is available.

Operating System (OS)
This is the software that manages a computer system. Windows 95 is an OS.

When an account exceeds its allotted monthly data transfer limit. For example, if your account allows a maximum of 10 GB of data transfer per month but, at the end of the month, your account transferred 11 GB of data, your account is in overage status. In many cases, the account holder must pay a fee to compensate for the extra amount of data transferred for the month.

Page Views
See impressions.

Parked Page
A web page that is dislayed when a domain is 'parked.' That is, the owner of the web page does not have a web page to display.

A series of characters that enables someone to access a file, computer or program. Your Control Panel is password protected to prevent unauthorized users from changing your information. The password should be a combination of characters that would be difficult to guess.

Practical Extraction and Report Language. This programming language was designed mainly for processing text. It is one of the most popular languages used for writing CGI Scripts.

Pretty Good Privacy -- a high-security encryption program for sending encrypted emails.

A simple UNIX text editor that can be run from a shell. Also see: Shell.

Process ID -- a number used by a system to identify and distinguish between processes.

A unit of measurement for graphics or monitor resolution. A pixel is one dot on a computer screen. Most computer monitors are set to a resolution of 800 x 600, meaning 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high.

Software programs that enhance other programs or applications on your computer. There are plug-ins for Internet browsers, graphics programs, and other applications.

Post Office Protocol - or - Point Of Presence: Post Office Protocol is a method of retrieving email from a server. Point Of Presence is a telephone number that provides dial-up Internet access. ISPs usually provide several POPs so users can gain Internet access with local phone calls.

A connection point for different protocols to communicate on different machines.

Post Message
To send a message to a newsgroup or other type of message board.

Point to Point Protocol: The protocol that allows a computer to use a telephone line and a modem to make TCP/IP connections, connecting users to the Internet.

A single instance of a program running on a system.

The process of updating a domain across the world's Internet servers. Propagation can take between three to five days.

A standard for the exchange of information. There are several different types of protocols (e.g., FTP, TCP/IP) used by various computers and software.

Redundant Array of Independent Devices -- a system for ensuring data integrity by storing data on multiple disk drives.

Random Access Memory: This is reusable computer memory, available to all programs on a computer. A computer with 32M of RAM has about 32 million bytes of memory that programs can use. RAM is read/write memory, as opposed to ROM which is read-only memory.

A streaming media delivery system for the Internet. Providers of news, entertainment, sports, and business content can create audio and video multimedia content, and deliver it online to audiences worldwide. To create your own RealPlayer files and offer them on your Web site, your hosting service must install special 'extensions' for your account. Ameritech offers RealPlayer extensions.

The process of automatically sending a site visitor to another Internet location. The location can be a subdirectory on another site or even a particular web page.

Resolution (Screen or Monitor)
The way things appear on your computer monitor. Resolution is measured in pixels. The lower the resolution, the larger things appear on your screen. Most computer monitors are set at 800 x 600 resolution, meaning 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high. Some people's monitors are set at 1024 x 768 or higher. Others are set at 640 x 480. When designing a Web site, keep in mind that your Web pages will look different to viewers depending on their monitor resolutions. You can change your own monitor resolution through your computer's Control Panel (for Mac, Windows 95 and Windows 98).

Read-Only Memory: This is a computer's unchangeable memory. It's used to store programs that start the computer and run diagnostic functions.

The System Administrator account on a UNIX system.

A special network system for directing network traffic.

A list of commands that can run without user interaction.

Small Computer System Interface -- an extremely fast device access protocol.

Search Engine
A directory of Internet content. If you're looking for specific information on the WWW, a search engine can list Web sites at which you'll likely find that information. Popular search engines include Excite, Snap, Yahoo, and Infoseek.

Second level domain
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next lower level of the hierarchy beneath the top level domains. In a domain name, that part of the domain name that appears immediately to the left of the top-level domain. For example, the 'verio' in Second level domain names are often descriptive and have come to be used increasingly to represent businesses and other commercial interests on the Internet.

Security Certificate
Information used to establish a secure connection by SSL protocol. In order for an SSL connection to be created, both sides must have a valid Security Certificate, issued by the Certificate Authority.

The BSD Unix Message Transfer Agent supporting mail transport via TCP/IP using SMTP. Sendmail is normally invoked in the background via a Mail User Agent such as the mail command.

A computer or device that manages network resources. The term can refer to a piece of software, or to the machine on which the software is running. A single server machine could be running several different server software packages, thus providing many different services to users on the network.

Service provider
A company who provides a specific internet related service.

A java program that runs on a web server.

Shared (web) hosting
Web hosting in which multiple web hosting accounts are located on an individual server. These accounts share system resources such as hard disk space, memory, and so forth.

A UNIX command processing environment.

Shopping Cart
Software used to create an online 'storefront,' or E-Commerce Web site. It acts as a virtual shopping cart, keeping track of the items visitors have ordered and allowing them to add or remove items. When a visitor decides to 'check out' (purchase the items online) the software sends all order information to the merchant.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol: A protocol used to transfer email between servers.

The term used to define the method of a letter being physically delivered to a person using the Post Office or some other letter carrier.

A constant connection between two programs.

A UNIX based operating system designed by Sun Microsystems?.

Spam (or Spamming)
Junk email or junk newsgroup posts. Spam is usually some sort of advertising, inappropriately sent to a mailing list or newsgroup. Spam not only wastes the recipient's time, but also misuses network bandwidth.

An Internet robot (used by a search engine) that explores the Web at large. Spiders collect Web page addresses based on content found at those pages.

Structured Query Language: A specialized programming language for sending queries to databases. Many database applications can be addressed using SQL. Each specific application will have its own version of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.

An encrypted shell connection program. See Shell.

Secure Sockets Layer: A protocol designed by Netscape to enable encrypted communications across the Internet. It provides privacy, authentication, and message integrity. SSL is often used in communications between browsers and servers. A URL that begins with 'https' is a clue that an SSL connection will be used on the Web site. During an SSL connection, each side sends a Security Certificate to the other. Both sides then encrypt what they send, ensuring that only the intended recipient can decode it.

A domain or web site that shares a server with another domain or website.

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 computer operating system. Your computer must have TCP/IP software to be connected to the Internet.

A program for connecting to shells on remote computers. See Shell.

Third level domain
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the next highest level of the hierarchy below the second level domains. In a domain name, that part of the domain name that appears two segments to the left of the top-level (or first level) domain. For example, the 'verio' in Third level domains are not the part of an e-mail address that appears in front of the 'at' (@ )symbol. For instance, the support in is not a third level domain.

Top level domain
In the Domain Name System (DNS), the highest level of the hierarchy after the root. In a domain name, the top level domain is that part of the domain name that is furthest to the right. For example, the 'com' in

A TCP/IP utility that allows a user to determine if two computers are communicating successfully with each other.

Changing the party who is listed as the domain name registrant. The party that takes over the domain name becomes responsible for paying a new registration fee.

Software that compresses speech down to as little as 1/40th its original size. Regular speech files are normally large, causing Web pages to load slowly; TrueSpeech compression allows faster, easier transfer.

A computer operating system. UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

Sending a file from your system to a server or to someone else's computer.

Uniform Resource Locator: The standard way to display an address on the World Wide Web (WWW). A URL is accessed through a Web browser and looks like this:

Usage Statistics
Statistics that describe the traffic or data transferred from one's web site. These statistics are usually generated by one's web hosting service. The statistics categories may include 'visitors per month,' 'monthly amount of data transferred,' 'unique visitors per day,' and more.

User ID
This is the account reference name sent to you in the Account Activation Letter. When you need to log on to your site, you will use this item. A User ID is sometimes referred to as a 'user name'.

UNIX to UNIX Encoding: A method for converting files from Binary to ASCII so that they can be sent across the Internet via email. See Also: MIME

Virtual Server
A UNIX based server environment which allows multiple independent servers to operate on the same hardware (as opposed to dedicated or shared servers).

A virus is a malicious program whose sole intent is to cause problems on a computer. There are Anti-Virus programs, such as McAfee and Norton Utilities, created to combat viruses.

Virus Hoax
Occasionally, rumors are started about viruses that do not exist. These are merely hoaxes.

Volano Chat
A real-time, live chat interface you can add--quickly and easily--to your Web site. Written in Java, it is compatible with the vast majority of Web browsers and requires no plug-ins.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)
A hosting environment that gives users their own Unix virtual machine. Each VPS is a private and protected area that operates as an independent server. The VPS allows multiple customers to share the expense of hardware and network connections (and completely eliminate the hassle of maintaining it all), without sacrificing performance or freedom. Although multiple customers share hardware, they do not share software. Every VPS has its own complete directory structure and set of dedicated applications (web server, mail server, etc.). Even though hardware is shared, the VPS Technology features 'fair share' scheduling of processes, memory, and network, so each VPS receives the resources it deserves.

Wireless Application Protocol -- system for sending web content to wireless network devices.

Web or WWW
World Wide Web: This commonly refers to the massive, global collection of hypertext (HTTP) servers that allow concurrent viewing of Internet data. The term 'dub,dub,dub' is a shortened, spoken version of 'WWW.'

A method used to access e-mail messages through a web browser using HTTP.

The person who creates and maintains a web site.

A utility in a program that outlines a series of sequential tasks to set up a portion of the program. For example, an email program may use a wizard to gather the necessary information to set up an email account.

Wireless Markup Language -- similar to HTML but designed specifically for WAP applications. Also see: WAP.

A popular third-party utility that is used to upload and download files to an FTP server.

What You See Is What You Get (pronounced 'wizzy-wig'): A program that displays a document on your screen exactly as it would appear when printed or published online. The term usually applies to HTML editors, such as Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver. These WYSIWYG editors can show you how your Web page will appear online, as you're editing the document.

eXtended Markup Language -- an expansion of HTML that includes dynamic content capability.

Zone Information Protocol: This is a method of compressing computer data or files into a small size, so they can be transferred quickly over the Internet. There are programs built specifically to zip files, such as WinZip.

Zone File
A file that has data describing a part of the domain name space. Zone files hold the information that is needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers