Harley Hahn's
Internet Advisor


Glossary

Hint: At the end of each definition, the designation [X] provides a link to the chapter or appendix in which the term is defined. Once you jump to a chapter, press Ctrl-F to search for the term you want.

A


ActiveX: A programming system, developed by Microsoft and promoted as a richer and more powerful alternative to Java. Unlike Java applets, ActiveX programs do not run within a controlled environment. [12]

address:

  1. A specification describing the exact name of a computer, person or resource on the Internet. [2]
  2. Informally, a synonym for either a mail address or a URL (Web address). [4] [5]

address bar: Within a browser, an area in the browser window that displays the URL of the current Web page, and into which you can type a specific URL when you wish to load a different page. [7]

address book: Within a mail program, a facility for storing names and addresses along with other related information. [5]

ADSL: (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) A technology that allows high-speed Internet connections over a telephone line. See also DSL. [3]

alias: A name, within a mail address book, that represents a list of addresses. [6]

all caps: Describes words that are typed in uppercase (all capital letters). [6]

alternative hierarchy: Within Usenet, one of five hierarchies, distributed around the world, which do not use standardized procedures for creating new groups. The alternative hierarchies are alt, bionet, bit, biz and k12. [13]

analog: Describes a quantity that can vary continuously from one value to another. [3]

animated gif: A type of gif file that, when displayed, creates a simple animation. [15]

anonymous FTP: An Internet service that allows people to download files without having an account on the computer on which the files are stored. [2] [9]

antivirus program: A program used to search out, identify, and, when possible, neutralize such viruses as may be present in the memory or the file system of a computer. [12]

AOL: A large ISP that offers extra content and services along with Internet access. In the U.S., the name AOL stands for America Online. [3]

applet: A small program, designed to be embedded within a larger system and run within a controlled environment. [12]

application sharing: Within a talk facility, a feature that allows people to collaborate by having joint control over a program running on one person's computer. [8]

archive: A single file that contains a collection of one or more compressed files. Programs to be downloaded are stored as archives to make the downloading process faster and simpler. After an archive is downloaded, it must be unpacked. [9]

ARPA: (Advanced Research Projects Agency) An agency that used to be part of the U.S. Department of Defense. [1]

Arpanet: An early computer network, the ancestor of the Internet. The Arpanet was funded by ARPA. [1]

article: Within Usenet, a message sent to a discussion group. Same as a posting. [2] [13]

asymmetric: Describes an Internet connection in which the available bandwidth is allotted unevenly between downstream and upstream transmissions, usually with more bandwidth for downstream. [3]

attach: To combine a file with a mail message such that the file is sent to the recipient along with the message. [2] [9]

attachment: A file that is combined with a mail message such that the file is sent to the recipient along with the message. [2] [5]

AutoComplete: In a browser, as you are typing a URL, a facility that guesses which URL you want by looking at what you have already typed and comparing it to URLs you have used previously. [7]

avatar: Within a talk facility, a small picture or figure that moves and talks on your behalf. [8]

B


backup: A copy of a file or a set of files, maintained as a safeguard in case the original data is damaged or lost and needs to be restored. [3] [13]

bandwidth: The capacity to transmit data. On the Internet, bandwidth is measured in bits per second (bps). [3]

B-channel: In an ISDN system, one of two channels that carry computer and voice data with a bandwidth of up to 64K bps (a total of 128K bps for both B-channels). The designation "B" stands for "bearer", because B-channels bear (transport) the data. Compare to D-channel. [3]

binary: Within Usenet, slang for a binary file. [13]

binary data: Any data that is not text. [13]

binary file: A file that contains binary data. [13]

binary system: A mathematical system, based on powers of 2 (such as 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on), used by computer scientists and programmers to work with computer memory. [3]

bit: The smallest unit of data storage; there are 8 bits in 1 byte. Mathematically, bits are represented by quantities that can have a value of either 0 or 1. The name "bit" stands for "binary digit". [3]

Bitnet: A large, defunct academic network, now absorbed by the Internet, that at one time supported several thousand mailing lists. [14]

bits per second: The unit of measurement used to describe the speed of an Internet connection. Abbreviated as bps. [3]

blacklist: As used by filtering software, a list of Web sites to which the software will block access. [12]

blind copy: A secret copy of a mail message sent to one or more recipients. Within the header of the message, the recipients who are to receive a blind copy are specified on the Bcc line. [5]

body: The main part of a mail message or Usenet article, containing the text of the message/article. [5] [13]

bogus: Describes a newsgroup that does not really exist or is not used in a meaningful way. [13]

bot: Within IRC, a program that, within a channel, performs certain actions automatically. (The name comes from the word "robot".) [8]

bounce: After sending a mail message, to have that message returned as undeliverable. [5]

bps: Abbreviation for "bits per second". The unit of measurement used to describe the speed of an Internet connection. [3]

browser: A client program, such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, used to access the Web as well as other Internet facilities, such as mail, Usenet and anonymous FTP. For most people, a browser acts as the primary interface to the Internet. [2] [7]

buddy list: With respect to a talk facility, a personal list containing the names and addresses of people to whom you may want to talk. Same as a contact list or friend list. [8]

buffer:

  1. [verb] With respect to an audio player or multimedia player, to accumulate a reservoir of data before starting to play an audio or video stream. [10]
  2. Within a computer program, a temporary storage area used for input or output. [10]

bundled: Describes a product that is included, for no extra cost, when you purchase another product. For example, most new PCs come bundled with a variety of software. [3]

burn [a CD]: To create a CD using a CD-RW drive. [10]

byte: Within a computer, a unit of data storage consisting of 8 bits. Each byte can store a single character. [3]

C


cache: Within a browser, a temporary storage area used to hold the contents of recently viewed Web pages. [7]

carbon copy: A paper copy produced on a typewriter by using carbon paper on top of a second piece of paper. [5]

case sensitive: Describes a name in which the difference between lower- and uppercase letters is significant. [4]

CD: (compact disc) A thin, portable, disc-shaped storage device. CDs can be used to hold computer data, music, sound and video. [3]

CD burner: A program used to burn (create) a CD using a CD-RW drive. [10]

CD-R disc: A type of CD to which data can be written and deleted, but not rewritten. [10]

CD-ROM: A type of CD that holds computer data that can be read but not changed. CD-ROMs are often used to distribute software. The name CD-ROM stands for "compact disc, read-only memory", and indicates that the data can only be read. [3]

CD-RW disc: A type of CD to which data can be written, deleted and rewritten. [10]

CD-RW drive: A CD drive that can both read from and write to CD-RW discs. If you have a rewritable CD drive, you can create your own CDs. Same as rewritable CD drive. [3] [10]

censorware: A pejorative term for filtering software, used by people who believe that such software is unnecessarily restrictive. [12]

CGI: (Common Gateway Interface) A system used to pass data between a Web server and a program designed to process the data. [15]

channel:

  1. On IRC, a facility supporting a single multiuser conversation. [2] [8]
  2. Within an ISDN system, one of three separate parts, each of which furnishes a specific amount of bandwidth. ISDN uses two B-channels and one D-channel. [3]

channel operator: Within an IRC channel, a person who has certain privileges allowing him or her to control the channel in various ways. Same as op. [8]

charter: With respect to a Usenet newsgroup, the description and purpose of the group as written by the people who created the group. [13]

chat: To talk by typing messages back and forth in real time. [8]

chat room: On the Web, a facility allowing a group of people to talk by typing messages. Same as Web chat room. [2] [8]

click: To press a mouse button; unless otherwise stated, to press the left mouse button. [7]

client: A program that requests a service. On the Internet, you use client programs to access various services from servers. [1]

clipboard: An invisible storage area maintained by Windows to allow you to copy or move data from one place to another, even between windows. [17]

close button: On a window, a small button with a picture of an "X" in the top right-hand corner of the window that, when pressed, closes the window permanently. [7]

coaxial cable: The type of cable used for cable TV services and for cable Internet access. [3]

compression utility: Any program that provides the service of creating and unpacking archives, in particular, zip file programs. [9]

contact list: With respect to a talk facility, a personal list containing the names and addresses of people to whom you may want to talk. Same as a buddy list or friend list. [8]

content advisor: Within Internet Explorer, a facility that allows you to control access to Web sites based on a rating system. [12]

context menu: Within Windows, when you right-click on an object, a menu that is displayed containing selections relevant to that object. [7]

control: A self-contained program, created within Microsoft's ActiveX system, designed to provide a specific function. Controls can be used as components within other programs or to enhance the functionality of Web pages. [9]

control message: Within Usenet, a short message with special header lines that act as instructions to a news server, telling the sever to perform a specific task. [13]

cookie: Data sent by a Web server and stored in a file on your computer by your browser. [12]

copy [to the clipboard]: To copy selected data to the clipboard without changing the original data. [17]

cross-post: On Usenet, to post an article to more than one newsgroup. [13]

cut [to the clipboard]: To move selected data to the clipboard while deleting the original data. [17]

cyber: To participate in Net Sex. [8]

cyberspace: A deprecated term used to refer to the Internet. Note: Use of this word will instantly mark you as a person who does not know what he is talking about. [1]

D


DALnet: One of the large IRC networks. The others are EFnet, Undernet and IRCnet. [8]

data: Information that is stored on a computer. [1]

DCC: (Direct Client to Client connection) Within IRC, a facility that allows you to establish a direct connection with another person, either for chatting or for transferring files. [8]

D-channel: In an ISDN system, a channel that carries internal control information with a bandwidth of up to 16K bps. The designation "D" stands for "data", although it is the B-channels that carry the actual computer and voice data. Compare to B-channel. [3]

decoder: A program that converts mp3 files to wav format. [10]

demodulation: The process used by a modem to convert analog data to digital data. [3]

desktop: Within Windows, the background of your display area; what you see when you have no open windows. [7]

dialog box: A window, displayed by a program, in which you are asked to enter information or choose from a selection of choices. [7]

dialup connection: A means of connecting to the Internet using a modem and a regular phone line. [3]

digest: With respect to a mailing list, a format in which individual messages are collected and sent out in the form of a single large message. [14]

digital: Describes a quantity that can take on only specific, discrete values. [3]

digital music player: A small, portable hardware device designed to store and play music in the form of mp3 files. [10]

digitize: With respect to a scanner, to process an image on paper and create a computer file containing a digital copy of that image. Same as scan. [15]

directory: Within a file system, an entity that contains files and other directories. Same as folder. [4]

disc: An informal term for a CD. [3]

disk: An informal term for a hard disk or a floppy disk. [3]

disk drive: A long-term storage device in which data is stored on disc-shaped plates. [3]

diskette drive: A long-term storage device that reads and writes data on a removable floppy disk. Same as floppy disk drive. [3]

DNS: (domain name system) The system used to organize all the hostnames on the Internet, and to translate a hostname into an IP address. [4]

DNS server: A server, maintained by an ISP for the use of its customers, that handles DNS requests (such as the translation of a hostname into an IP address). [4]

domain: A set of hostnames that have the rightmost part of their names in common. For example, all the hostnames that end in edu belong to the edu domain. [4]

domain name system: Same as DNS. [4]

double-click: To press a mouse button twice in a row quickly. [7]

down: Describes a computer or communication link that is currently not working. [1]

download: To copy a file from another computer to your computer. [2] [9]

downstream: Describes the transmission of data from the Internet to your computer. [3]

drag: To use a mouse to move an object from one location to another by pointing to the object, pressing a mouse button, and moving the mouse while holding down the button. [7]

DSL: (Digital Subscriber Line)

  1. A family of technologies that allows high-speed Internet connections over a telephone line. The DSL family includes ADSL (Asymmetric DSL), HDSL (High-bit-rate DSL), RADSL (Rate Adaptive Asymmetric DSL), SDSL (Symmetric DSL), and VDSL (Very high-bit-rate DSL). [3]
  2. In common parlance, DSL is often used as a synonym for ADSL. [3]

DVD: A type of CD that can store computer data, sound and video. DVDs store a lot more data than CD-ROMs and music CDs, and are used to distribute movies. Originally, the name DVD meant "Digital Video Disc". However, for marketing reasons, the DVD industry has changed the meaning to "Digital Versatile Disc". [3]

E


EFnet: One of the large IRC networks. The others are Undernet, DALnet and IRCnet. [8]

electronic mail: Same as mail, email. [2] [5]

email:

  1. A system for sending and receiving messages from one Internet address to another. [2] [5]
  2. Messages that have been sent via this system. [2]
  3. [verb] To send a message. Same as mail. [2]

email virus: A type of virus that, supposedly, can cause damage to a computer merely by the act of opening or reading a mail message. There are no email viruses - the belief that they exist is a virus hoax. [12]

embedded system: A small specialized computer, used within a larger machine, such as a car, microwave oven or VCR. [3]

emulate: The action of a program that makes a computer act like a different type of device. For example, a telnet client is a program that emulates a terminal. [2]

encoder: A program that converts wav files to mp3 format. [10]

Ethernet: A technology used to connect computers to a local network. [3]

Ethernet port: In a PC, a socket you can use to connect your PC to a network. [3]

execute [a program]: To have a computer follow the instructions in a program. Same as run (a program). [1] [9]

expire: With respect to a Usenet article, to delete the article after it has been stored on a news server for a particular amount of time. [13]

extension: Within a file name, the last part of the name, indicating the type of data contained in the file. For example, in the file name index.html, the extension html indicates that the file contains a Web page (hypertext). [4]

F


faceplate: Same as a skin. [10]

FAQ: (frequently asked question list) A list of questions and answers about a particular topic, written for people who are new to that topic. [9] [13]

Favorites list: Within Internet Explorer, a list of items used to store URLs for later recall. [7]

file: A collection of data stored under a specific name. [2] [4]

File Manager: The program used to manage files and directories within Windows 3.x. [4]

filter: Within a mail program, a facility that scans incoming mail and performs a particular action whenever an incoming message meets specified criteria. [6]

filtering software: Programs used to control access to Web sites based on specific criteria, such as blacklists and whitelists. [12]

flame:

  1. Within Usenet, an article in which someone criticizes another person or complains vociferously (that is, a real stinker). [13]
  2. [verb] To post such an article. [13]

flame war: A situation in which a group of people flame one another repeatedly. [13]

floppy: Same as floppy disk. [3]

floppy disk: A small, plastic-encased, portable data storage device. The most common type of floppy disk can store up to 1.44 MB of data. [3]

floppy disk drive: A long-term storage device that reads and writes data on removable floppy disks. Same as diskette drive. [3]

focus: The attribute of a window that makes it the active window, the one currently controlled by the keyboard. [7]

folder:

  1. Within a file system, an entity that contains files and other directories. Same as directory. [4]
  2. Within a mail system, one of several containers for messages stored on your computer. [5]
  3. Within a list, a collection of items and/or other folders. [7]

follow: While looking at a Web page, to use a link by clicking on it with your mouse. [2] [7]

follow-up: Within Usenet, an article that is written in reply to a previous article. [13]

form: Within a Web page, a component that contains specific areas into which the user can type information. This information is then sent to a Web server to be processed. [15]

format: To prepare a new disk to be used for the first time. [10]

forward: After receiving a mail message from someone, to send a copy of that message to a third person. [5]

frame: Within a Web page, a specific area that can contain data from another page. [7] [15]

freeware: Software that can be distributed and used for free. [9]

friend list: With respect to a talk facility, a personal list containing the names and addresses of people to whom you may want to talk. Same as a buddy list or contact list. [8]

FTP: (File Transfer Protocol)

  1. An Internet service that allows you to copy files from one computer to another. [2] [9]
  2. [verb] To copy files using the FTP service.

FTP client: A program used to copy files to or from an FTP server. [2]

FTP server: A server to which (or from which) you can copy files using FTP. [2]

G


gateway: A program that provides an automatic connection between two different types of information systems, such as between a mailing list and a Usenet newsgroup. [14]

GB: Abbreviation for gigabyte. [3]

geek: A nerd who is cool. [1]

geographical domain: A two-letter top-level domain that is assigned to a particular country or region. See Appendix A for a list of all the geographical domains. [4]

gif: (from "Graphics Interchange Format")

  1. A file type commonly used to store non-photo pictures, such as drawings, cartoons and icons. Compare to jpeg. [15]
  2. Informally, a file containing a picture in gif format. For example, "My friend sent me a gif of Mickey Mouse." [15]

gigabyte: A unit of measurement used for computer memory and data storage, 1,073,741,824 (230) bytes. Informally, a gigabyte is about 1,000,000,000 (a billion) bytes. Abbreviated as GB. [3]

GMT: (Greenwich Mean Time) The time zone based on the location of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich (a borough of London), used as an international standard. Equivalent to UT and UTC. [B]

Google: A particular search engine having an emphasis on archiving the content of the Web, which can then be referenced by searching for all the Web sites that contain specific words. [11]

graphics: Data consisting of pictures (such as drawings, photographs and illustrations) or other visual elements. [2]

graphics program: A program used to create, manipulate and modify pictures. [15]

H


hard disk: A long-term storage device in which data is stored on several hard disc-shaped plates. [3]

hardware: The physical components of a computer. [1]

header: Within a mail message or Usenet article, a standard section at the beginning of every message that contains technical information such as the From, To, Date and Subject lines. [5] [13]

header line: A single line within the header of a mail message or Usenet article. [5] [13]

hierarchy: Within Usenet, one of the top-level categories into which newsgroups are organized. The first part of a newsgroup name shows the hierarchy to which the newsgroup belongs. For example, the newsgroup rec.humor is in the rec hierarchy. [13]

history list: Within a browser, a list of the URLs of Web pages you have visited recently. [7]

home directory: In Unix, a directory that is assigned to a particular user for his exclusive use, within which he can create files and subdirectories as he sees fit. [4]

home page:

  1. Within a browser, the Web page that is loaded automatically each time the browser starts. [7]
  2. On a Web site, the main Web page, designed as the starting place for users of that site. [7]

horizontal scroll bar: A scroll bar at the bottom of a window, used to scroll the contents of the window to the left and right. [7]

host:

  1. Any computer connected to the Internet. [4]
  2. When using telnet, the computer to which you log in. [2]
  3. [verb] To provide the service of maintaining a Web server used by people to make their Web sites available to the public. [15]

hostname: The unique name given to an Internet computer. [4]

HTML: (Hypertext Markup Language)

  1. The system of specifications used to define the appearance and structure of Web pages [7] [15]
  2. Informally, the contents of an HTML file. For example, "Be sure to keep that file. It contains the HTML for the main page of the Web site." [15]

HTML editor: A Web page editor designed to help people create Web pages by composing HTML. Compare to wysiwyg editor. [15]

HTTP: (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) The protocol used to transfer data between Web servers and Web clients (browsers). [7]

hypertext: Data that contains links to other data or to resources. On the Web, hypertext is displayed on Web pages. [2] [7]

I


icon: A small picture that represents a file or a resource of some type. [7]

IETF: (Internet Engineering Task Force) An organization that forms working groups to study problems and to create solutions related to the technology used to run the Internet, particularly the various Internet protocols. [1]

IM: (Instant Messaging)

  1. A talk facility that makes it easy to establish a direct connection with another person. [8]
  2. [verb] To talk with another person by using an IM facility. [2] [8]

image map: Within a Web page, a picture in which various parts correspond to different links. [7]

IMAP: (Internet Message Access Protocol) A protocol used by a mail client program to receive incoming messages from a mail server. With IMAP, messages remain on the server until they are deliberately deleted by the user. Compare to the POP protocol. [5]

IMAP server: A server to which a mail client program can connect to receive incoming mail via the IMAP protocol. [5]

installation program: A program that, when run on a particular computer, performs all the tasks that are necessary to make specific software ready to run on that computer. [9]

instant messaging: (same as IM)

  1. A talk facility that makes it easy to establish a direct connection with another person. [8]
  2. [verb] To talk with another person by using an IM facility. [2] [8]

[the] Internet : The worldwide, general-purpose, communication and information system. Same as the Net. [1]

Internet Engineering Task Force: Same as IETF. [1]

Internet Explorer: A browser, developed by Microsoft. [2] [7]

Internet phone system: A type of voice chat that allows you to use your computer to call a telephone. When the person at the other end answers, you talk to him using your microphone and speakers (or headset). [8]

Internet Relay Chat: An Internet service that allows people all over the Net to have multiple, multiuser conversations, each one on a separate "channel". Same as IRC. [2] [8]

Internet service provider: A company that provides Internet access to the public. Same as ISP. [2] [3]

IP: (Internet Protocol) The protocol, used along with TCP, to send data over the Internet. IP sends the data packets. TCP manages the flow and ensures that the data arrives intact without errors. [1]

IP address: A unique, four-part number, identifying a specific Internet computer. For example, the IP address of www.harley.com is 207.155.37.136. Same as IP number. [4]

IP number: Same as IP address. [4]

IRC: (Internet Relay Chat) An Internet service that allows people all over the Net to have multiple, multiuser conversations, each one in a separate "channel". [2] [8]

IRC client: A client used to access IRC. [2] [8]

IRC network: A system in which various IRC servers are connected so as to allow anyone connected to one server to talk to anyone connected to any of the other servers. The four largest IRC networks are EFnet, Undernet, DALnet and IRCnet. [8]

IRC server: A server used to provide IRC services. [2] [8]

IRCnet: One of the large IRC networks. The others are EFnet, Undernet and DALnet. [8]

ISDN: (Integrated Services Digital Network) A service, offered by a telephone company, that allows you to connect to an ISP using all-digital technology. [3]

ISP: (Internet service provider) A company that provides Internet access to the public. [2] [3]

item: Within a Favorites list, an object with a name and other properties, used to store a particular URL. [7]

J


Java: A set of specifications developed by Sun Microsystems, used to create programs (called applets) that can be embedded within Web pages and run within a controlled environment (the Java virtual machine), thereby ensuring a measure of safety and security to the computer on which the applet is running. [12]

Java virtual machine: A controlled environment, designed for safety, within which Java applets must run. [12]

jewel case: A plastic case used for storing a CD. [10]

join: Within IRC, to become a participant in a channel. [8]

jpeg: Same as jpg. [15]

jpg: (from "Joint Photographic Experts Group")

  1. A file format commonly used to store photographs. Compare to gif. [15]
  2. Informally, a file containing a photograph in jpg format. For example, "My friend sent me a jpg of his cat playing the piano." [15]

K


KB: Abbreviation for kilobyte. [3]

kilobyte: A unit of measurement used for computer memory and data storage, 1024 (210) bytes. Informally, a kilobyte is about 1000 bytes. Abbreviated as KB. [3]

L


lag: While talking on the Internet, a noticeable delay. [8]

LDAP: (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) A protocol used by client programs to communicate with servers that provide access to directories containing names, mail addresses, and related information. [6]

leave: Within IRC, to stop being a participant in a channel. [8]

link: Within hypertext (on a Web page), an item that, when selected, causes a jump to either another Web page, more information, or another resource on the Net. [2] [7]

links bar: Within Internet Explorer, a bar that can be customized with buttons that point to whatever URLs you want. [7]

list address: With respect to a mailing list, the address to which you send messages that are to be distributed to all the people who have subscribed to the list. [14]

list owner: The person who is in charge of a mailing list. [14]

list server: Same as mailing list program. [14]

Listproc: A type of mailing list program. [14]

Listserv: A type of mailing list program. [14]

log in: To initiate a work session with a host computer by specifying a user name and password. [2]

lowercase: Describes the small letters of the alphabet (a, b, c, d...). Compare to uppercase. [4]

M


macro: Within an application program, such as word processor or spreadsheet program, a list of instructions that, when carried out by the program, automates a specific task. [12]

macro virus: A macro that, when attached to a file such as a document or spreadsheet, can act like a virus when that file is opened by a program. [12]

mail:

  1. A system for sending and receiving messages from one Internet address to another. Same as email. [2] [5]
  2. Messages that have been sent via this system. [2]
  3. [verb] To send a message. [2]

mail address: A unique identifier used to send mail to someone. [4]

mail program: A client used to send and receive mail. [2] [5]

mail server: A server that receives and stores incoming mail. [2] [5]

mailing list program: A program that automatically performs the routine tasks needed to support a mailing list. [14]

mailing list: A facility used for group discussion in which the messages are sent by mail to the members of the group. [2] [14]

mainstream hierarchy: Within Usenet, one of eight hierarchies, distributed around the world, that are subject to well-defined procedures for the creation of new groups. The mainstream hierarchies are comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc and talk. [13]

Majordomo: A type of mailing list program. [14]

mark up: To insert HTML tags into text. [15]

maximize: To change the size of a window to be as large as possible. [7]

maximize button: On a window, a small button near the top right-hand corner of the window. When the maximize button has a picture of a single square, clicking the button changes the size of the window to be as large as possible. When the button has a picture of two overlapping rectangles, clicking the button restores the window to its original size. [7]

MB: Abbreviation for megabyte. [3]

megabyte: A unit of measurement used for computer memory and data storage, 1,048,576 (220) bytes. Informally, a megabyte is about 1,000,000 (a million) bytes. Abbreviated as MB. [3]

megahertz: The unit of measurement used to describe the speed of a processor. Megahertz means millions of cycles per second. Abbreviated as MHz. [3]

MHz: Abbreviation for "megahertz", the unit of measurement used to describe the speed of a processor. Megahertz means millions of cycles per second. [3]

mid: A file type used to store music in MIDI format. [10]

MIDI: (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) A file format used to store and manipulate music on computers, synthesizers, keyboards, and other electronic music devices. [10]

minimize: To make a window disappear without closing it permanently, and without stopping the program that is currently running in the window. [7]

minimize button: On a window, a small button with a picture of a single line, near the top right-hand corner of the window, that when clicked makes the window disappear without closing it permanently and without stopping the program that is currently running in the window. [7]

modem: A device that provides an interface between a computer and a communication line, such as a phone line or cable. The name "modem" stands for "modulator/demodulator". [3]

moderated: Describes a newsgroup (or mailing list) in which a person, called the moderator, controls which articles (messages) are allowed to be sent to the group (list). [13, 14]

moderator: A person who controls which articles or messages are allowed to be sent to a particular Usenet newsgroup or mailing list. Such a newsgroup or mailing list is said to be moderated. [13, 14]

modulation: The process used by a modem to convert digital data to analog data. [3]

motherboard: In a PC, the main circuit board. [3]

mp3: (from "Moving Picture Experts Group 1, audio layer 3")

  1. A file type commonly used to store music. [10]
  2. Informally, a file containing music in mp3 format. For example, "My friend sent me an mp3 of her favorite Beach Boys song." [10]

mpeg: Same as mpg3. [10]

mud: An elaborate, multiuser, text-based imaginary environment, used for talking and role-playing, often based on a fantasy, gothic or science fiction theme. [2] [8]

mud client: A client used to access a mud. [2] [8]

multimedia: Data consisting of sound, animation or video. [2]

N


name server: A computer that provides DNS information on behalf of all the hostnames in a particular domain. [4]

navigate: On the Web, changing from one Web page to another. [7]

nerd:

  1. A person who spends large amounts of time engaged in an activity in which he is particularly knowledgeable. [1]
  2. An expert who is knowledgeable about the Internet or computers. [1]

[the] Net : The worldwide, general-purpose, communication and information system. Same as the Internet. [1]

Net sex: An activity in which two people type erotic messages back and forth in order to achieve a state of sexual arousal leading to physical resolution. [8]

Netnews: Same as Usenet. [2] [13]

Netscape: An informal term for the browser Netscape Navigator, part of the Communicator collection of software, developed by the Netscape Communications company and now owned by AOL. [2] [7]

network: Two or more computers connected together in order to share resources or information. [1]

newbie: A person who is new to the Internet. Note: Don't use this word. It makes you look like a goofball. [1]

[the] News : Same as Usenet. [2] [13]

news server: A server that stores Usenet articles and makes them available via newsreaders (Usenet client programs). [2] [13]

newsfeed: The service offered by a news server. [13]

newsgroup: A Usenet discussion group. [2] [13]

newsreader: A client program used to access the Usenet system of discussion groups. [2] [13]

nick: Within IRC, an anonymous name chosen by a person. Same as nickname. [8]

nickname: Within IRC, an anonymous name chosen by a person. Same as nick. [8]

NNTP: (Network News Transfer Protocol) The protocol used to distribute Usenet articles. [13]

NNTP server: Same as a news server. [13]

O


on [the Net]: Being connected to the Internet. [1]

online:

  1. Describes a person or computer currently connected to the Net. [1]
  2. Describes a service on the Net that is currently available. [1]

op: Within an IRC channel, a person who has certain privileges allowing him or her to control the channel in various ways. Same as channel operator. [8]

open [a file]:

  1. Within Windows, to process a file in an appropriate manner. [9]
  2. Informally, to cause Windows to process a file, say, by double-clicking on a the file's icon. [9]

operating system: The master control program that runs a computer. The most widely used operating systems for PCs are the various versions of Microsoft Windows. [3]

options: Within Internet Explorer, a setting that contains configuration information or that allows you to control some aspect of the operation of the browser. [7]

organizational domain: A top-level domain that represents a particular category. See Appendix A for a list of all the organizational domains. [4]

organizational hierarchy: Within Usenet, a hierarchy in which the newsgroups are of interest primarily to people with an interest in a particular organization, for example, a university or a company. [13]

Outlook Express: A mail program and Usenet newsreader, part of the Microsoft Internet Explorer suite of Internet software. [5] [13]

P


packet: On the Internet, a small amount of data, sent as an intact unit from one computer to another. When a computer needs to send data over the Internet, it divides the data into packets which are sent to the destination computer. The destination computer reassembles the packets into the original data. [1]

page icon: Within Internet Explorer, an icon, just to the left of the address bar, that represents the URL of the current Web page. [7]

parent directory: A directory that contains another directory. (A directory within a parent directory is referred to as a subdirectory.) [4]

paste [from the clipboard]: To copy the entire contents of the clipboard to a specified location within a window. [17]

path: Same as pathname. [4]

pathname: The specific description of the location of a file or directory, consisting of a series of directory names, separated by slash (/) characters, possibly ending with a file name. [4]

peer-to-peer: Describes a decentralized technology in which individual computers join into a large, connected system. [10]

PICS: (Platform for Internet Content Selection) A set of specifications used to create rating systems for Internet resources. [12]

playlist: A list of songs, used by a program that can play or process music files. [10]

point: With respect to a URL, to refer to a particular resource. [4]

POP:

  1. (point of presence) An access point provided by an ISP (Internet service provider). A POP is usually accessed by having your computer dial a telephone number. [3]
  2. (Post Office Protocol) A protocol used by a mail client program to receive incoming messages from a mail server. With POP, messages are deleted from the server once they are sent to the client. Compare to the IMAP protocol. [5]

POP server: A server to which a mail client program can connect to receive incoming mail via the POP protocol. [5]

pop-up ad: A Web page advertisement that appears in a window of its own. In order to get rid of a pop-up ad, you have to stop what you are doing and close the window manually. [15]

port number: A number, used by a client program, to indicate to a server exactly what type of service is being requested. [8]

post: To send an article to a Usenet newsgroup. [13]

posting: Within Usenet, a message sent to a discussion group. Same as an article. [2] [13]

processor: In a PC, the main chip that carries out the instructions within a program; informally, the "brain" of the computer. [3]

program: A list of instructions that, when carried out by a computer, makes the computer perform in a certain way. [1]

protocol: A specification (set of technical rules) used by client and server programs to communicate with one another. [1]

publish: With respect to a Web page, to upload the page from your computer to a Web server. [15]

Q


quote: To include all or part of an original mail message or Usenet article within a reply. [5] [13]

R


RAM: The working memory inside a PC, measured in MB (megabytes). The name RAM stands for "random access memory", a term used for historical reasons. [3]

readme file: A file, included within an archive, containing important information about the other files in the archive. If the archive holds a program, the readme file will usually contain information about installing and using the program. [9]

real-time: Describes a process in which you sense and respond to something as it is happening. [8]

rebuffer: With respect to an audio or multimedia player, after a connection to a server has been broken and restored, to fill up the buffer once again in order to restart an audio or video stream. [10]

regional hierarchy: Within Usenet, a hierarchy in which the newsgroups are of interest primarily to people in a particular country, city or other region. [13]

registrar: An organization charged with the responsibility of managing the registration of domain names within one or more top-level domains. [16]

reply:

  1. A mail message sent in response to a previous message. [5]
  2. [verb] To send such a message. [5]

resize: To change the size of a window. Same as size. [7]

rewritable CD drive: A CD drive that can both read from and write to CD-RW discs. If you have a rewritable CD drive, you can create your own CDs. Same as CD-RW drive. [3] [10]

RFD: (Request for Discussion) Within Usenet, a proposal inviting discussion regarding the creation of a new newsgroup. [13]

right-click: To press the right button of a mouse. [7]

ringmaster: A person who administers a Web ring. [11]

ripper: A program that reads data from a music CD and converts the music to mp3 format. [10]

root name server: One of a number of special computers that maintain a list of those name servers that handle the various top-level domains. [4]

run [a program]: To have a computer follow the instructions in a program. Same as execute (a program). [1] [9]

S


scan: With respect to a scanner, to process an image on paper and create a computer file containing a digital copy of that image. Same as digitize. [15]

scanner: A device, connected to a computer, that processes an image on paper and creates a computer file containing a digital copy of that image. [15]

scheme: Within a URL, the first part of the URL. The scheme describes the type of resource being identified. For example, in the URL http://www.harley.com/, the scheme is http. [4]

scroll: To move the contents of a window in a particular direction, either up, down, left or right. [7]

scroll bar: Within a window, a bar at the far right or at the bottom of the window, used to scroll the contents of the window. [7]

Search Assistant: With Internet Explorer, a facility that lets you perform a search using multiple search engines, one after another. [11]

search engine: A program that can search a large database for specific information. More specifically, a facility that allows you to search a database containing information about the contents of the Web. [11]

second-level domain: The set of all hostnames that have the two rightmost parts of their names in common. For example, all the hostnames that end with mit.edu belong to the mit.edu second-level domain. [4]

secure connection: A facility used to transmit data, in which the data is encrypted as it is sent and decrypted as it is received. See also SSL. [12]

security: Issues related to protecting yourself and your computer, as you use the Internet, against problems from the outside world. [12]

security certificate: An electronic confirmation, offered by a Web site and recognized by Internet Explorer, indicating that the Web site is "secure and genuine". [12]

security level: Within the Internet Explorer security system, a description of those security features that are to be applied to particular Web sites. [12]

server: A program or computer that provides a service. On the Internet, all services are accessed by client programs that communicate with servers. [1]

shareware: Software that can be distributed and evaluated for free, but which you must pay for if you want to use after the evaluation period. [9]

shortcut: An icon that points to a particular resource, such as a URL. [7]

signature: A small amount of information, stored in a signature file, that is automatically appended to the end of outgoing mail messages or Usenet articles. Typically, a signature will contain information such as a name, mail address, street address, phone number or Web site address. [5] [13]

signature file: A file, containing a signature, whose contents are automatically appended to the end of outgoing mail messages or Usenet articles. [13]

size: To change the size of a window. Same as resize. [7]

skin: An accessory that changes the appearance of a program without changing its functionality. [10]

smiley: A series of characters, such as :-) or :), that looks like a sideways face, indicating that what you are saying should not be taken as being offensive. [6] [8] [13]

SMTP: (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) The protocol used to send messages to a mail server. [5]

SMTP server: A server to which a mail client program can send outgoing mail via the SMTP protocol. [5]

snail mail: Regular post office mail. On the Net, the word "mail" always refers to email. [2]

software: Computer programs. [1]

spam: Unsolicited advertisements or inappropriate messages sent by email or posted to Usenet newsgroups. [2] [6] [13]

spammer: A person or company that sends spam. [2] [6]

spoiler: A statement about a book, movie or play that gives away the ending or reveals a surprise. [13]

spyware: A program that runs on your computer without your knowledge, and secretly uses your Internet connection, typically to send information about your activities to a marketing company.

SSL: (Secure Sockets Layer) A protocol used to provide secure connections over the Internet. See also secure connection. [12]

status bar: Within a browser, an area at the bottom of the browser window in which URLs and various informative messages are displayed. [7]

streaming: Describes a system used to transmit audio or video, in which data is played in real time as it arrives. Streaming is what makes continuous broadcasting possible over the Internet. [10]

subdirectory: A directory that is contained within another directory. (The other directory is referred to as the parent directory). [4]

sub-domain: A domain that belongs to a more specific domain. For example, pacbell.net is a sub-domain of the net domain; mail.pacbell.net is a sub-domain of the pacbell.net domain. [4]

subscribe:

  1. Within Usenet, to indicate to your newsreader that it should put a specific newsgroup on the list of groups you read. [13]
  2. With respect to a mailing list, to tell a mailing list program that your address should receive copies of all messages sent to the list. [14]

subscription address: With respect to a mailing list, the address to which you mail commands to the mailing list program. This is the address to which you send mail to subscribe or unsubscribe to the list. [14]

suite: A collection of related computer programs, sold as a unit. [3]

surf: A deprecated term meaning "to use the Internet". Note: Use of this word will instantly identify you as a person who does not know what he is talking about. [1]

T


table: Within a Web page, a component that presents information in rows and columns. [15]

tag: An HTML command. All tags are contained within < (less-than) and > (greater-than) characters, for example, <br>. [15]

talk:

  1. To send data from one computer to another. [1]
  2. To have a real-time conversation with someone over the Internet, either by typing messages back and forth or by voice [2] [8]

talk client: A program used to talk on the Internet. [8]

talk server: A server used to maintain a talk connection. [8]

taskbar: Within Windows, a long bar, displayed at one edge of the desktop, that contains the Start button as well as other buttons, each of which represents a program that is currently running. [7]

TB: Abbreviation for terabyte. [3]

TCP: (Transmission Control Protocol) The protocol, used along with IP, to send data over the Internet. IP sends the data packets. TCP manages the flow and ensures that the data arrives intact without errors. [1]

TCP/IP: The family of protocols used to run the Internet. (TCP/IP is pronounced as five separate letters, "T-C-P-I-P".) [1]

telnet: A service that allows you to connect to a remote computer, log in and run programs on that computer. [2]

telnet client: A program that allows you to use telnet to access a remote host. The telnet client connects to the remote host and then begins to act like (emulate) a terminal. [2]

terabyte: A unit of measurement used for computer memory and data storage, 1,099,511,627,776 (240) bytes. Informally, a terabyte is about 1,000,000,000,000 (a trillion) bytes. Abbreviated as TB. [3]

terminal: The hardware used to access a remote host via telnet. In the olden days, people would use terminals that had a keyboard, a screen, and possibly a mouse. Today, we use a PC to run a program (called a telnet client) that makes the PC act like (emulate) an old-fashioned terminal. [2]

text: Data consisting of characters such as the letters of the alphabet, numbers, punctuation, and so on. [2] [13]

texture: Same as a skin. [10]

thread:

  1. With respect to email, a sequence of mail messages relating to the same subject, each message (except the first) being a reply to one of the previous messages. [5]
  2. On Usenet, a sequence of related articles consisting of an original article, replies to that article, and all subsequent replies. [13]

tilde: The ~ character (pronounced "til-duh"), used within a Unix pathname to indicate the home directory of a particular user. [4]

title bar: Within a window, a bar at the top of the window that contains descriptive information about the contents of the window. [7]

topic: Within an IRC channel, a short description of the purpose of that channel. [8]

top-level domain: The most general domains - com, edu, au, ca, and so on - comprising the organizational domains and the geographical domains. [4]

traffic: A measure of the average number of messages sent to a mailing list. Same as volume. [14]

troll: To scan a large amount of ever-changing data, looking for a specific type of information. For example, spammers use programs that troll Web pages and Usenet newsgroups looking for mail addresses. [6]

U


Undernet: One of the large IRC networks. The others are EFnet, DALnet and IRCnet. [8]

undo: When using the clipboard, to reverse the action of the most recent copy, cut or paste operation. [17]

uniform resource locator: Same as URL. [4]

uninstall: To follow a specific procedure in order to remove an installed program from your computer. [9]

unpack: To process an archive so as to reconstruct the original files stored within the archive. [9]

unsubscribe:

  1. Within Usenet, to indicate to your newsreader that it should remove a specific newsgroup from the list of groups you read. [13]
  2. With respect to a mailing list, to tell a mailing list program that you no longer want to receive copies of messages sent to the list. [14]

unzip: To unpack a zip file. [9]

up: Describes a computer or communication link that is currently working. [1]

upload: To copy a file from your computer to another computer. [2]

uppercase: Describes the capital letters of the alphabet (A, B, C, D...). Compare to lowercase. [4]

upstream: Describes the transmission of data from your computer to the Internet. [3]

URL: (uniform resource locator) A formal specification used to identify specific Internet resources. In particular, URLs are used to identify Web pages. [4]

Usenet: A worldwide system of discussion groups. Same as the News, Netnews. [2] [13]

Usenet search engine: A search engine devoted to searching a database in which the contents of all the Usenet newsgroups are archived. [11]

UT: (Universal Time) One name for the principal time zone used as an international standard. Equivalent to UTC and GMT. [B]

UTC: (Coordinated Universal Time) One name for the principal time zone used as an international standard. Equivalent to UT and GMT. [B]

V


V.90: The standard used by 56K bps modems to send and receive data. V.90 replaced two older, obsolete standards: K56Flex and X2. Pronounced "vee-dot-90". [3]

vertical scroll bar: A scroll bar at the far right of a window, used to scroll the contents of the window up and down. [7]

video capture board: An adapter that, when installed in your computer and connected to a video camcorder, allows you to create copies of individual video frames and store them as image files on your computer. [15]

virtual: Describes objects and experiences that exist only on the Net or on your computer. [2] [9]

virus: A small program designed to insert itself into a file containing another program, becoming active when that program runs. [12]

virus hoax: An erroneous belief or rumor that a particular virus, perhaps nonexistent, is a potential source of trouble. Virus hoaxes spread by mail and in discussion groups when well-meaning people warn other people about nonexistent problems. [12]

voice chat: A talk facility that allows you to communicate with other people using voice (regular talking). [8]

volume: A measure of the average number of messages sent to a mailing list. Same as traffic. [14]

W


wav: (waveform data) A file type used to store the basic sound files used by Windows. [10]

[the] Web : Part of the Internet, a global information delivery system used to display various types of data and to provide access to a variety of services. To access the Web, you use a client program called a browser. [2] [7]

Web chat room: On the Web, a facility allowing a group of people to talk to one another by typing messages. Same as chat room. [2] [8]

Web page: On the Web, the information that is displayed from a file containing hypertext. [2] [7]

Web page editor: A program used to create, modify and maintain Web pages. [15]

Web ring: A collection of Web sites organized into a loop such that, from any Web site in the ring, you can follow links to move forward or backward so as to traverse the entire ring. [11]

Web server: A computer that stores Web pages and makes them available to anyone with access to that computer. [2] [7]

Web site: A group of related Web pages, maintained by a person or organization. [2] [7]

webcam: A special video camera that, when connected to your computer, let's people watch you as you talk with them. [2] [7]

website: Same as Web site. [2] [7]

welcome message: A message that is sent automatically to new subscribers of a mailing list. [14]

whiteboard: Within a talk facility, a feature that allows people to collaborate by drawing within a shared window. [8]

whitelist: As used by filtering software, a list of Web sites to which the software will allow access. [12]

whois: A service, provided by a registrar, that allows you to look at some of the registration information related to a particular domain name. You can use whois to see if a specific domain name has already been registered. [16]

Windows:

  1. A family of operating systems (master control programs) used to run PCs. Windows was developed by Microsoft. [3]
  2. A specific version of one of the Windows operating systems: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 or Windows XP [3]
  3. Informally, the Windows operating system that running on your computer. For example, "Yesterday, while I was working, Windows crashed four times." [3]

Windows Explorer: The program used to manage files and directories within Windows 95 and Windows 98. [4]

[the] World Wide Web : An old system that was the predecessor of the Web. [2]

wysiwyg editor: A Web page editor that allows you to work directly with the elements of a Web page - text, pictures, tables, and so on - without having to concern yourself with HTML. The name "wysiwyg" (pronounced "whiz-ee-whig") stands for "what you see is what you get". Compare to HTML editor. [15]

Y


Yahoo: A particular search engine having an emphasis on organizing the content of the Web according to categories. [11]

Z


zip drive: A disk drive that uses removable hard disk cartridges. The name comes from a particular brand of removable hard disk made by the Iomega company. [3]

zip file: An archive using the "zip" format. Zip files have an extension of zip, for example, harley.zip, and must be unpacked by a special program called a zip file program. [9]

zip file program: A program that provides the service of unpacking zip files. [9]

zone: Within the Internet Explorer security system, one of several categories into which you can classify Web sites. [12]