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Mantex - Internet Glossary
Category: Technical and IT > Internet
Date & country: 13/09/2007, UK
Words: 146

A section of computer memory set aside for storing frequently-used data from a disk drive, speeding up the transfer of information.

Cascading style sheets
An extension to HTML which allows style features (colour, font size, spacing, and page-layering) to be specified for certain elements of a hypertext document. CSSs are especially useful for making a global change to multiple web pages - because the style is specified just once, often in a separate file.

Compact Disk - Recordable: blank compact disks on which data can be recorded - but once only.

Compact Disk - Read Only Memory: A record like storage medium that uses digital and optical laser technology to store about 600Mb of text, pictures, and sound on a single disk. With newer versions (CD-ROMXA, CDTV, CD-i) animations and moving pictures can be retrieved from the discs.

Compact Disc Re-Writable format: these are blank compact disks that can be recorded over and over again, like a floppy disk.

Common Gateway Interface - an interactive system installed on Web servers to automatically process information entered into Web page forms.

A small square box which, when clicked on, displays a cross or tick to show that an option has been selected.

Chip sockets
Most of the microchips used in a computer are soldered directly to the circuit boards but some, including the main processor and some memory components, are mounted into sockets. This is so that they can be easily replaced or upgraded.

A section of a computer's memory where you can temporarily copy chunks of text, data, graphics, or pictures. Once in the clipboard, the item can be pasted into another part of a document, or transferred to any other application. The clipboard normally holds one object at a time.

Command prompt
The C:\> sign in DOS at which codes are typed. These commands control the computer. For many people, this system has been replaced by the Graphic User Interface [GUI] of Windows.

Commercial online services
A company that, for a fee, allows computer users to dial in via modem to access its information and services, which can include Internet access. Examples are America Online, CompuServe, Delphi, and Prodigy.

A technique to reduce the size of a file in order to make it more manageable and quicker to download. Compressed files have to be extracted using a utility such as PKZip or WinZip. Such files usually have a .zip extension.

Control panel
This is where many of Window`s settings can be viewed. Here you will find icons for most functions including printers, modems and sound.

Small text files created by an Internet web site and stored on the user's computer. A cookie contains information that can help speed access on subsequent visits, such as passwords and details of the user's display facilities.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
A way of assigning visual style to the content of Web pages. The style sheet deals with colour, fonts, and the position of text - leaving HTML code to describe the structure of the content.

A computer holding large amounts of information that can be searched by an Internet user. A storehouse of information on the Net.

DataBase Administrator - is software which administers databases. It can carry out the maintenance of a database, including the applications and content structure.

Default setting
The computer or software settings made by the manufacturer. These will remain in place unless you decide to change them.

Over time, the files on a computer's hard disk drive become disorganised. Running a defragmentation program restores order and speeds up the reading and writing of data.

Dynamic HTML - an integration of JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets, and the Document Object Model. With DHTML, the content of a web page can move across the screen or respond to user inputs.

Dialogue box
A box which appears on screen, inviting input from the user. Usually to set options, or choose a name for saving files.

Dialup Internet connection
Lets a user dial into an Internet service provider using a modem and telephone line to access the Internet. The user is presented with a text-based set of menus which are used to navigate the Internet. (See SLIP or PPP connections)

A list of files or other directories on a computer at an Internet site. (Same thing as a folder.)

The part of the Internet address that specifies your computer's location in the world. The address is written as a series of names separated by full stops. The most common top level education (US).net network commercial (US) .gov public bodies

Disk Operating System. This is a standard operating system, created by Microsoft before the dawn of Windows. DOS manages how files are stored on your computer. It is controlled through commands typed at the command prompt. Even Windows 95 and Windows 98 are still fundamentally dependent on DOS.

To download is to transfer a file from another computer to the user's computer. To upload is to send a file to another computer.

Digital Video Disk: This new medium can store large amounts of data on one disk that looks like a CD, including full length films with high-quality sound and pictures.

Allows users to send and receive messages to each other over the Internet.

Email address
A code representing a unique email user on the Internet. Examples might include -

Smileys [ these things :-) ] and other character art used to express feelings in email communication.

A process that turns files into gobbledegook so that they cannot be read, other than by programs containing the appropriate password-protected encryption software.

Executable files
These are programs or self-extracting files with an .exe filename extension. Clicking on an executable file will start the program running.

Expansion cards
Small circuit boards which are plugged into the main motherboard. They are used for controlling the video output, processing sounds, or communicating with modems and network cards.

Files are identified by a three or four letter or number code, called an extension. This comes after the full stop following the filename. Common types include .doc and .txt for word-processor documents. Files ending in .gif and .jpg generally contain images. Files ending in .exe and .com usually contain executable programs which load into memory and carry out a set of instructions.

A type of Internet Web site that is a closed community protected by a password and/or firewalls. It is typically provided by businesses for suppliers and key customers.

Frequently Asked Questions. Files on the Net which store the answers to common questions. If you are stuck, check the FAQs first, before you ask you own question. The following ftp site holds every FAQ on the Net.

File Allocation Table. The part of a computer's disk system that decides how and where disk storage space is allocated.

Hardware or software designed to restrict access to certain areas on the Internet.

Software that allows the user to enter the address of an Internet site to find information about that system's users or a particular user. Some finger addresses return other topic-specific information.

A security system, usually for networked computers, which controls access in and out of the network.

To send a harsh, critical email message to another user, usually someone who has violated the rules of netiquette. May be used as a verb or a noun.

Two words for the same thing - a space on your hard disk to store related files or documents.

A device in HTML which allows multiple windows to be viewed simultaneously in one browser screen. Often used by Web designers to assist navigation.

Any one of more than two dozen freely accessible Internet sites, primarily offering community and educational information.

Software programs that are free to use, but the author retains control of the original code.

File Transfer Protocol. An application program that uses TCP/IP protocol to allow you to move files from a distant computer to a local computer using a network like the Internet.

A measurement of storage space. Equal to a thousand megabytes.

A menu-based system for browsing Internet information.

Graphical user interface. Software designed to allow the user to execute commands by pointing and clicking on icons or text. It's pronounced 'Gooey'.

A computer user who illegally visits networked computers to look around or cause harm.

Hard disk
A high capacity storage device that a computer uses for programs and data, measured in megabytes or gigabytes. Information held on a hard disk is safe when the power is withdrawn.

The number of requests for files made to a Web server. A much misunderstood term. It is not the number of unique visitors. A typical Web page is made up of one HTML file, plus a number of graphics. One request for this page results in several hits.

Home page
The first page a user sees when visiting a World Wide Web site.

An Internet company providing storage space for web sites on their server computer(s).

Hypertext Markup Language. The programming language of the World Wide Web, HTML software turns a document into a hyperlinked World Wide Web page.

HyperText Transfer Protocol: The protocol used to provide hypertext links between pages. It is the standard way of transferring HTML documents between Web servers and browsers.

HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure - is used to secure Web sites by using encrypted traffic to and from the user by means of Secure Socket Layer (SSL).

A highlighted word or graphic in a document that, when clicked upon, takes the user to a related piece of information on the Internet. When the cursor passes over a link, it usually changes from an arrow to a pointing hand.

A small picture displayed on-screen to identify a command or file. Many word-processors use an icon of a magnifying glass to indicate it will start a search function.

Infobot (or mailbot)
An email address that automatically returns information requested by the user.

The global network of networks that connects more than three million computers (called hosts). The Internet is the virtual space in which users send and receive email, login to remote computers (telnet), browse databases of information (gopher, World Wide Web, WAIS), and send and receive programs (ftp) contained on these computers.

Internet account
Purchased through an Internet service provider, the account assigns a password and email address to an individual or group.

Internet server
A computer that stores data that can be accessed via the Internet.

Internet site
A computer connected to the Internet containing information that can be accessed using an Internet navigation tool such as ftp, telnet, gopher, or a Web browser.

A private internal network based on TCP/IP, usually for the information of staff within a business or an organisation.

IP address
Every computer on the Internet has a unique numerical IP address assigned to it, such as 123.456.78.9.

Internet Relay Chat. Interactive, real-time discussions between people using text messages. Users log into designated Net computers and join discussions already in progress. More information about IRC can be obtained via ftp from the following source:

Integrated Services Digital Network - a set of communications standards offered by telephone carriers which provides users with fast Internet connections.

Internet Service Provider. Any organization that provides access to the Internet. Many ISPs also offer technical assistance to schools looking to become Internet information providers by placing their school's information online. They also help schools get connected to the Net.

A programming language developed by Sun Microsystems used for cross-platform Web-based applications. Its primary contribution to the Web has been in the form of Java Server Pages (JSP), J2EE and it is also used in 'applets' - mini-programs written in Java that run in browsers.

A scripting language developed by Netscape that adds interactivity to web pages. Its name reflects a shared syntax with the Java programming language.

A widely-used graphic file format. Acronym of the Joint Photographic Experts Group. (It's pronounced 'Jay-peg'.)

Java Server Pages - a scripting language based on Java for developing dynamic Web pages and sites. It is typically used on Solaris and Linux platforms.

Junk email
Email messages which are received, but not asked for or even wanted.

A word or words which can be searched for in documents or menus.

Killer application
A software program which is so successful that it corners the market, or inspires people to upgrade their equipment in order to be able to use it.

Software that searches Internet 'white pages' and lists of users at large institutions, to find a person's name and address.

Local Area Network: A private transmission that interconnects computers within a building or among buildings for the purpose of sharing voice, data, facsimile, and/or video.

A version of the Unix operating system designed to run on PCs. Controversial because it has been developed as part of the Open Sources movement and given away free of charge. Very popular for Web servers and appliances.

To sign on to a computer system.

Mailing lists (or Listserv)
There are more than 4,000 topic-oriented, email-based message bases that can be read and posted to. Users subscribe to the lists they want to read and receive messages via email. Mailing lists are operated using listserv software. Thus, many users call mailing lists 'listservs'. There are two types of lists: moderated and unmoderated. Moderated lists are screened by a human before messages are posted to subscribers. Messages to unmoderated lists are automatically forwarded to subscribers.

A measure of storage space. 1 Mb roughly translates to a million characters of text, or 180,000 words.

A list of information that leads to documents or other menus.

Applications and servers designed to take content from otherwise incompatible back-end data sources (often legacy - that is outdated - systems) and pass it on to Web front-ends.

Some FTP sites are so heavily used that in order to relieve the load, their entire contents are copied to and made available by other sites. These are then known as 'mirror sites'

Acronym for MOulate DEModulate. An electronic device that attaches to a computer and links that computer to the online world via a telephone line. Modems are available for any computer, can be internal or external, and come in several speeds, known as the baud rate. The higher the baud rate, the faster the modem. A modem of 56,000 baud is now considered the standard. Most Internet service providers allow you to dial into their systems at rates up to 33,600 baud and beyond.

The main printed circuit board inside a computer, containing the main processing chip, memory chips, plus all the other circuits needed to control the disk drives, the keyboard, and to communicate with plug-in extension cards.

A popular, highly compressed file format used for music.

A family of multimedia standards developed by the Motion Picture Experts Group, commonly used to refer to audio or visual files saved with MPEG compression schemes. Files usually have an .mpg extension (pronounced 'Em-Peg').

An Open Source development of the SQL language for talking to databases. Most commonly used amongst small business users and run on Linux operating systems.

National Information Infrastructure
The official U.S. government name for the Internet and other computer networks. Commonly known as the Information Superhighway.

Net surfer
Someone who browses the Internet with no definite destination.

The rules of conduct for Internet users. Violating netiquette could result in flaming or removal from a mailing list. Some service providers will even cancel a user's Internet account, denying him or her access to the Net, if the violation is severe enough.

Internet navigation software that allows users to access information through a graphical, point-and-click interface rather than text-only screens or menus. Netscape is known as a Web browser because it accesses World Wide Web information formatted into special home pages using hypertext. Other graphical Web browsers include Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mosaic, and Opera.

A group of computers that are connected in some fashion. Most school networks are known as LANs, or Local Area Networks, because they are networks linking computers in one small area. The Internet could be referred to as a WAN, or a Wide Area Network, because it connects computers in more than one local area.

These are the bulletin boards of the Internet. There are around 20,000 groups covering every subject under the sun. Most IAPs have a newsgroup server which periodically takes all new messages from a newsgroup feed and adds the messages which have been posted by its own users. To access the newsgroups stored on your IAPs newsgroup server you need a newsreader program.

Optical Character Recognition. Software that translates a scanned image of printed or typewritten text into a plain text file that can be read by a word processor.

When you are logged onto a computer through your modem, you are said to be online. When you are using your computer but are not connected to a computer through your modem, you're said to be working offline.

Operating System
The operating system or OS is a program, or a collection of programs, that manages all your computer's resources - disk drives, RAM, display screen - and controls how files are stored and retrieved.

A bundle of data transmitted across a network. It contains the source address (where the packet has come from) the destination address (where it's going to) a packet identifier (what sort of packet it is) and the data being sent.