web hosting glossary of terms
A (Address) Record
Address records assign a hostname (e.g.: support.yourdomain.com) to a
specific IP address (e.g.: 126.96.36.199).
Refers to the database program "Microsoft Access", also called Jet
Digital Subscriber Line
A technology that allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone
lines (POTS). ADSL supports data rates of from 1.5 to 9 Mbps when receiving
data (known as the downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data
(known as the upstream rate). ADSL requires a special ADSL modem. It is not
currently available to the general public except in trial areas, but many
believe that it will be one of the more popular choices for Internet access
over the next few years.
An alias is an e-mail address that forwards its mail to a specified mailbox,
masking the true name of the mailbox in which the mail is actually received.
For example, Sales@JoesDomain.com could be an alias for Joe1234@aol.com.
This word is often used to denote the opposite of digital. Loosely, it means
the measuring of data on more physical grounds, as opposed to the more
electronic or "wired" state of digital.
The means that allow a person to connect to an FTP site, search through
available files, and download any file, document or program without having to
establish a userID and/or password on the system where the material resides.
An Internet File Transfer Protocol (FTP) option that allows you to let others
onto your Web site to download files that you have made available, without
first establishing an account. Most FTP servers are set up to allow a limited
amount of anonymous FTP users to log in at the same time, and only provide
access to designated files.
A popular Web server. By some estimates, it is used to host more than 50% of
all Web sites in the world. The original version of Apache was written for
UNIX, but there are now versions that run under OS/2, Windows and other
A mini-program that can be downloaded quickly and used by any computer
equipped with a Java- or ActiveX-capable browser. Applets carry their own
Advanced Projects Agency Network
The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60's and early 70's by
the U.S. Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking that
would survive a nuclear war.
ASP - Active
Server Pages (Windows Only)
A specification for a dynamically created Web page with an .ASP extension
that contain either Visual Basic or JScript code. When a browser requests an
ASP page, the Web server generates a page with HTML code and sends it back to
the browser. ASP pages are similar to CGI scripts, but they enable Visual
Basic programmers to work with familiar tools. ASP is only available on NT
An e-mail that is automatically sent in reply to any e-mail received in a
specified mailbox. Also known as a vacation message.
The Internet's high-speed data highway that serves as a major access point to
which other networks can connect.
1. The range of frequencies a transmission line or channel can carry; the
higher the frequency the higher the bandwidth and the greater the
information-carrying capacity of a channel. For a digital channel this is
defined in bits per second or BPS. For an analog channel it is dependent on
the type and method of modulation used to encode the data.
2. Expressed in cycles
per second (hertz), the amount of information that can flow through a
channel. On the less technical side bandwidth is used to measure the amount
of time it takes for a Web page to fully load. Internet users occasionally
refer to larger graphics on Web pages as "bandwidth hogs" - the use
of the term bandwidth in this case isn't quite accurate, but what it means is
that the graphic is loading slowly due to its large file size.
Banner Ad Rotator
Displays alternating banner ads and includes an administration area with the
ability to add, edit and delete banners from the rotation list.
BBS - Bulletin
An electronic message center. The Bulletin Board System (BBS) allows you to
dial in with a modem, review messages left by others, and leave your own
message if you want. Bulletin boards are a particularly good place to find
free or inexpensive software products. Most bulletin boards serve specific
Any downloadable file that doesn't simply contain human-readable, ASCII text.
Typically it refers to a runnable program available for downloading, but it
can also refer to pictures, sounds or movies, among others. Most Usenet
newsgroups have subgroups specifically for binaries; a posting in
comp.sys.mac.comm might announce that a program is available for downloading,
but the binary (the file itself) would be found in comp.sys.mac.comm.binaries.
Newsgroups such as alt.pictures.binaries contain files for download which are
actually pictures. You will need a newsreader to download and decode these
The smallest unit of computerized data, represented by a single-digit number
in base-2--in other words, either a 1 or a zero. Bandwidth is usually
measured in bits-per-second.
A measurement of the speed at which data is moved from one place to another
A program used to view, download, upload, surf or otherwise access documents
(pages) on the World Wide Web. Browsers can be text-based, meaning they do
not show graphics or images, but most are text- and graphical-based. Browsers
read "marked up" or coded pages (usually HTML but not always) that
reside on servers and interpret the coding into what we see
"rendered" as a Web page. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet
Explorer are examples of Web browsers. The program you are using right now to
view this information is called a browser.
A term that compares the way a Web page looks on one WWW browser as opposed
to another. Usually this is done with Microsoft Internet Explorer (MIE) and
Netscape Navigator, but can also refer to cross-platform compatibility. (For
example, the way a page renders or displays on a Windows system as opposed to
a Mac.) The reason these incompatibilities exist is due to the way a browser
interprets the Web page's code (HTML). The differences are usually very
slight, but they're enough to annoy some Web designers and sometimes even
their clients to the point in which great time and energy is spent in making
a Web site compatible with any browser on any type of system. Browser
compatibility is also used in conjunction with (and should not be confused
with) the term browser support.
This refers to the ability of a particular browser to even recognize and
interpret certain HTML or other Web page codes. For example, Netscape
Navigator 1.0 did not have the ability to render a page layout in frames.
This feature did not come along until version 2.0, therefore it can be said
that Navigator 1.0 did not "support" frames.
A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in
A modem attached to a coaxial cable television system. Cable modems can
transmit data at 500 kilobytes a second, much faster than a typical computer
modem that sends signals over telephone lines.
A directory on a server that "houses" all of the CGI programs. When
you see this as a directory in your browser's URL window, it usually means
you are either running or about to run a CGI program. The "binary"
part refers to when many of the files placed in that directory were binary
files. More recently, many of these files are text-based.
A software program used to contact and obtain data from a server software
program on another computer, often across a great distance.
CNAME - Canonical
The Canonical Name resource record, CNAME, specifies an alias or nickname for
the official, or canonical, host name. Alias records assign an alternate
hostname to a specific hostname. Both hostnames point at whatever IP address
the primary hostname is assigned to.
Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs to one person or
group physically located on an Internet-connected network that belongs to
another person or group.
A Rapid Application Development (RAD) system created by the Allaire
Corporation of Cambridge, Mass, ColdFusion integrates browser, server and
database technologies into Web applications. Cold Fusion Web pages include
tags written in ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML) that simplify integration
with databases and avoid the use of more complex languages like C++ to create
translating programs. ColdFusion is the industry's leading cross-platform Web
application server. With ColdFusion, Web developers can quickly develop and
deliver a new generation of large-volume, transaction-intensive Web
applications for everything from e-commerce to business automation and more.
CGI is a set of rules that describe how a web server communicates with
another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of
software (the CGI program) communicates with the web server. Many scripting
languages, such as Perl, follow the CGI standard. This allows you to develop
more interactive sites, by making use of system features.
A general-purpose computer term that refers to the way your computer's
operating system is set up. It can also refer to the total combination of
hardware components - central processing unit (CPU), video display device,
keyboard and peripheral devices - that make up the computer system. The
configuration is also at work in the software settings that allow various
hardware components of a computer system to communicate with one another. A
"vanilla" configuration is the standard "clean" and
"no frills" version of a computer's configuration (no device
drivers or extra settings). This is what a technician might set a system to
when trying to troubleshoot a problem with a computer's hardware.
The state of being connected to the Internet or some other type of computer
network. On the Internet, if you lose your connectivity, you are no longer
online and must redial into your ISP. When ISPs get many users signing on all
at once, the connectivity tends to be poor. "What is your
connectivity?" usually means what kind of speed does your Internet connection
support, like 28.8 or T-1.
A piece of information about your computer, something you clicked on, and/or
you (such as your username) that is stored in a text file on your hard drive.
A server accesses this information when you connect to a Web site that wants
to know this information. One common occurrence of a "handing out a
cookie", would be when you as a user, log into a system through a Web
site. After you enter in your username and password, your browser saves a
text file that it calls upon for later access. This prevents you from having
to log in again if you happen to leave the Web site and then return at a
later time. Cookies are also used in the process of purchasing items on the
Web. It is because of the cookie that "shopping cart" technology works.
By saving in a text file the name, and other important information about an
item a user "clicks" on as they move through a shopping Web site, a
user can later go to an order form, and see all the items they selected,
ready for quick and easy processing.
Online credit card processing is available through many of our partners, such
as Verisign Payment Services or Cardservice International. For full details
A Unix command for scheduling jobs to be executed sometime in the future. A
cron is normally used to schedule a job that is executed periodically - for
example, to send out a notice every morning. It is also a daemon process,
meaning that it runs continuously, waiting for specific events to occur.
A form of real-time credit card processing
A telecommunications line that lets your computer have a direct, permanent
connection to the Internet
A basic type of Internet account that allows you to dial up an Internet Service
Provider's (ISP) computer with a modem. These types of accounts usually have
a UNIX or other command-line interface.
A manner in which messages to a list server mailing list can be automatically
consolidated into one e-mail (the digest) and sent to the list subscribers
DLL - Dynamic
A Windows platform file that is actually an executable mini-program itself
that is NOT executed directly by a user but by a running program or
DNS - Domain Name
A database system that translates an IP address into a domain name. For
example, a numeric IP address like 188.8.131.52 is converted into
netlingo.com. The DNS is a static, hierarchical name service that uses TCP/IP
hosts and is housed on a number of servers on the Internet. Basically, it
maintains this database for figuring out and finding (or resolving) host
names and IP addresses. This allows users to specify remote computers by host
names rather than numerical IP addresses. Also referred to as Domain Name Service
and Domain Name Server.
Domain Name or
The unique name identifying a Web site, located at the right of the @ sign in
an Internet address. Domain names always have two or more parts, separated by
dots, as in www.yourdomain.com. Domains are tied to name servers, which
direct to which IP address the domain should point. Any server can have
multiple domain names, but a domain name can only point to one server.
Our partnership with InterNIC allows us to register or transfer your domain
with them seamlessly. Therefore, we charge no additional fee for InterNIC
registration or transfers. However, be aware that you are still responsible
for the cost of domain registration with InterNIC, which currently is $70 for
two year, $150 for five year, and $250 for 10 year registrations.
DRAM - Dynamic
A memory chip contained on such devices as video and sound cards. DRAM is
"dynamic" because the chip contains an electrical charge (as
opposed to SRAM, see below). The electrical charge will die out eventually so
it must refresh its memory regularly, which it does automatically from your
CPU. The only reason you need to know about DRAM is because it is related to
access time and video cards, etc.
DSN - Data Source
Data source names are used to access a database. Customers can create DSN's
via their administration page.
Information on a Web site or Web page that changes often, usually daily
and/or each time a user reloads or returns to the page. Content that is also
structured based on user input. For example, when you search on some keywords
on a search engine, the resulting page you get is a "dynamic" page,
meaning the information was created based on the words you typed into the
form on the previous page. Dynamic Web sites are usually driven by Web
application environments such as Microsoft ASP or Allaire's ColdFusion, and
the content is taken from a database each time a page request is made.
Creates queries based on user data, environment variables, and previously
returned query results. Dynamic SQL can also increase processing efficiency
by executing multiple queries and sending them to multiple databases from a
single browser request.
Quite simply, it means conducting business online. In the traditional sense
of selling goods, it is possible to do this electronically because of certain
software programs that run the main functions of an e-commerce Web site, such
as product display, online ordering, and inventory management. The software,
which works in conjunction with online payment systems to process payments,
resides on a commerce server. The definition of e-commerce has expanded to
include all kinds of commercial online transactions, like selling products
via credit cards, charging for advertising on a high-traffic Web site, or
trading stock in your brokerage account -- practically any way a company can
derive revenue online is thought of as e-commerce.
E-mail is the sending and receiving of messages, usually text, from one
computer to another using e-mail software.
Developed by DigiCash and the Mark Twain Bank, ecash is the ability to use
real money in an electronic purchasing system over the World Wide Web. The
process involves you sending a check to Mark Twain Bank which in turn sends
you software that gives you access to the ecash Mint where you draw funds to
your hard drive for use when purchasing goods and services on the Internet.
A way of making data unreadable to everyone except the receiver, encryption
is an increasingly common way of sending credit card numbers over the
Internet when conducting commercial transactions.
A widespread networking scheme rated at 10 Mbs (megabits per second).
The characters after the dot in a file's name are considered its extension.
This is used to determine how the file is formatted and viewed. For example a
file named netlingo.html means that the file is coded in HTML and therefore
must be viewed with a compatible program such as a Web browser in order to
see it properly. On the Internet you will come across many different file
extensions such as .dcr, .mov, .avi and .au. In order to properly handle
these files your browser must be configured to recognize these extensions.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Documents that list and answer the most common questions on a particular
An open extension to CGI that provides higher performance by reusing
processes to handle multiple requests.
The group of letters after a period or "dot" in a file name is
called the file extension. This extension refers to the type of file it is,
for example, if the filename is readme.txt, the extension txt denotes this is
a text file and can be viewed using a text editor such as Notepad or Simple
Text. Operating systems such as MAC OS or Windows 95 will refer to a file's
extension when choosing which application to launch when a user clicks on a
particular file name.
A device that protects a private network from the public part, or a computer
set up to monitor traffic between an Internet site and the Internet. A
firewall is designed to increase a server's security by keeping unauthorized
outsiders from tampering with a computer system.
Allows you to edit your site using Microsoft FrontPage or Visual InterDev.
Also allows you to make use of special built- in features that use FrontPage
Server add-ons that allows you to make use of pre-defined functions such as a
hit counter, Java buttons and form validation.
FTP - File
Common procedure used for downloading and uploading files over the Internet.
With FTP you can log in to another Internet site and transfer (send or
receive) files. Some sites have public file archives that you can access by
using FTP with the account name "anonymous" and your e-mail address
as the password. This type of access is called anonymous FTP. Macintosh users
use a program called Fetch; one of the FTP programs for Windows is called
A computer system for exchanging information across incompatible networks
that use different protocols. For example, many commercial services have
e-mail gateways for sending messages to Internet addresses.
GIF - Graphic
A common format for image files, especially suitable for images containing
large areas of the same color.
1000 or 1024 Megabytes
A simple guest book allows visitors to leave their name and a brief message
from/on your site.
GUI - Graphical
User Interface (goo-ey)
This term refers to a software front-end application meant to provide an
attractive and easy-to-use interface between a computer user and an
Device Markup Language
The HTML for hand-held devices like Palm Pilots and PDAs. A simple language
used to define hypertext-like content and applications for hand-held devices
with small displays. HDML is designed to leverage the infrastructure and
protocols of the World Wide Web while providing an efficient markup language
for wireless and other handheld devices. Congruent with the capabilities and
limitations of many handheld devices, HDML's focus goes beyond presentation
and layout. HDML provides an explicit navigation model, which does not rely
upon the visual context, required of HTML. As such, HDML offers an efficient
means of providing content via the WWW infrastructure to handheld devices
such as cellular phones, pagers, and wireless PDA's.
1. A term used to describe the accessing of a World Wide Web page. When a
user "points" a browser to a Web site URL, the moment that user
requests the HTML document is called a "hit". Hits are used to
determine how popular a Web site is and plays an important role in assessing
how much it costs to advertise on a particular Web page. Some Web site
authors and developers use counters on their page to let people know how many
other users (hits) have accessed that particular page that they are on. There
has been great debate as to the validity of the "number of hits"
pages or sites are said to receive due in part to Web servers that record
hits not only on accesses to HTML pages but also the graphics, which are
embedded in them.
2. Prior to 1994, the access
of a Web file by a user on a server. Every element of a requested page
(graphics, multimedia, etc.), including the HTML file itself, is counted as a
hit. For example, if a Web page contains five graphics, then accessing the
page generates six hits. Hits used to be a method of determining the amount
of traffic a Web site received, but because businesses needed to isolate the
exact number of times a page was requested in order to charge for
advertising, this method was tossed aside in lieu counting the actual HTML
Any computer that can function as the beginning and end point of data
transfers. An Internet host has a unique Internet address (IP address) and a
unique domain or host name.
A list of frequently accessed World Wide Web sites. Usually the names of the
sites are coded as hypertext, making them links. In this case the user must
simply click on the name of the site in order to go there. (Yahoo! started as
one major hotlist.)
Hotmail is a Web-based free e-mail system which adheres to the universal HTTP
standard. It is based on the premise that e-mail access should be easy and
possible from any computer connected to the World Wide Web. Web-based e-mail
programs use a Web browser as an e-mail program, providing a globally
retrievable form of e-mail.
HTML - Hypertext
HTML is the lingua franca for publishing hypertext on the World Wide Web. It
is a non-proprietary format based upon SGML, and can be created and processed
in a wide range of tools from simple plain text editors to sophisticated
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) authoring tools. HTML uses tags like
<h1> and <h1> to structure text into headings, paragraphs, lists,
hypertext links and more.
HTTP - Hypertext
The protocol that tells the server what to send to the client, so the client
can view Web pages, FTP sites, or other areas of the net.
HTTPS - Hypertext
Transfer Protocol Secure
A type of server software that provides the ability for secure transactions
to take place on the World Wide Web. If a Web site is running on a HTTPS
server you can type in HTTPS instead of HTTP in the URL section of your
browser to enter into the "secured mode". Windows NT HTTPS and
Netscape Commerce server software support this protocol.
Web site text that can be clicked on with a mouse, that in turn will take you
to another Web page or a different area of the same Web page. Hyperlinks are
created (coded) in HTML. They are also used to load multimedia files such as
AVI movies and AU sound files.
A system of writing and displaying text that enables the text to be linked in
multiple ways, to be available at several levels of detail, and to contain
links to related documents. The term was coined by Ted Nelson to refer to a
nonlinear system of information browsing and retrieval that contains
associative links to other related documents. The World Wide Web uses
hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) to provide links to pages and multimedia
IIS - Internet
Microsoft's Web server that runs on Windows NT platforms. IIS comes bundled
with Windows NT 4.0; Because IIS is tightly integrated with the operating
system, it is relatively easy to administer. Currently IIS is available only
for the Windows NT platform, whereas Netscape's Web servers run on all major
platforms, including Windows NT, OS/2 and UNIX.
This fast network spanning the world from one major metropolitan area to
another is provided by a handful of national Internet service providers
(ISPs). These companies and organizations use connections running at
approximately 45 MB per second (T3 lines) linked up at specified
interconnection points called national access points. Local ISPs connect to
this backbone through routers so that data can be carried though the backbone
to its destination.
(IP) Address or IP Number
Sometimes called a dotted quad, the IP address is a unique number used to
identify a machine on the Internet. The number consists of four numbers
between 0 and 255 separated by dots (184.108.40.206). Every machine on the
Internet must have it's own IP address. Domains are tied to name servers,
which direct to which IP address the domain should point.
Information traveling on the Internet usually takes a circuitous route
through several intermediary computers to reach any destination computer. The
actual route your information takes to reach its destination is not under
your control. As your information travels on Internet computers, any
intermediary computer has the potential to eavesdrop and make copies. An
intermediary computer could even deceive you and exchange information with
you by misrepresenting itself as your intended destination. These
possibilities make the transfer of confidential information such as passwords
or credit card numbers susceptible to abuse. This is where Internet security
comes in and why it has become a rapidly growing concern for all who use the
Internet Network Information Center
A repository of information about the Internet. It is divided into two parts:
directory services, which is run by AT&T in New Jersey, and registration
services, which is run by Network Solutions in Virginia. It is funded
partially by the National Science Foundation and partially by fees that are
charged to register Internet domains. This is the place where you register
URLs or Domain Names like www.netlingo.com and it basically involves a fee
and several forms (some very technical), to set up.
A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds
of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for
internal use. As the Internet has become more popular, many of the tools used
on the Internet are being used in private networks, often in the form of Web
servers that are available only to employees. Note that an
"Intranet" may not actually be an Internet; it may simply be a
ISDN - Integrated
Services Digital Network
ISDN is a set of communications standards allowing a single wire or optical
fiber to carry voice, digital network services and video. ISDN is intended to
eventually replace the plain old telephone system (POTS). ISDN was first
published as one of the 1984 ITU-T Red Book recommendations; the 1988 Blue
Book recommendations added many new features. ISDN uses mostly existing
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switches and wiring, upgraded so
that the basic "call" is a 64 kilobits per second, all-digital
end-to-end channel. Packet and frame modes are also provided in some places.
Words or sets of words used to improve ranking in search engines when those
words are phrases are entered by a user. For example, if a person does a
search for "pet supplies", while a person who has the key word
"pet" in his page, the page with the key phrase "pet
supplies" will be ranked higher in the search results.
LAN - Local Area
A network that connects computers in a small, pre-determined area (like a
room, building or set of buildings). LANs can also be connected to each other
via telephone lines and radio waves. Workstations and personal computers in
an office are commonly connected to each other with a LAN. This allows them
to have send/receive files and/or have access to the files and data. Each
computer connected to a LAN is called a node.
Refers to a phone line (connection) that is rented for exclusive
24-hour/7-days-a-week use from one computer or network to another, or for
constant access to the Internet. Also called a dedicated line.
Text and/or an image area on a Web page that a user can click on to connect
to or reference another document. Commonly, links connect two Web pages or
Web sites. They can also reference a different part of the same document,
linking to a file which will download to your computer or triggering the
launching of an external or helper application which will then process the
List Server -
Capability of adding header or trailer text to all messages listed. The list
owner can choose to display text information (entered in the Edit box) at the
beginning or end of every message sent to the list. To enter the header
information, the list owner selects the Enable Header option, clicks Edit, and
then enters the text information. This information is entered in the
header.txt file. To enter the trailer info, the list owner selects the Enable
Trailer option, clicks Edit, and then enters the text information.
This.information is entered in the trailer.txt file. For example, you can
enter the Subscribe/Unsubscribe information for the list and have.it appear
at the beginning or end of every message or digest that is sent to the list.
List Server -
List server mailing lists can be posted as a digest. Messages to a list
server mailing list can be accumulated and regularly posted.as a digest. A
digest contains a group of messages sent to the list. Lists that receive a
large volume of messages can give subscribers the option of periodically
receiving a digest rather than being interrupted every few minutes with a new
message from a list.
List Server -
Public or Private
List server mailing lists can be public or private. A list owner can select
"Disallow Subscriptions" which will refuse a Subscribe request to
the list. The owner or administrator must add new users either by editing the
Users file, or through the Web Remote Administration utility. Unsubscribe
requests are always honored.
List Server -
Capability of adding a text string to appear on the Subject line. The list
owner can choose to display a text string (entered in the Edit box) at the
beginning of the subject line of every message sent to the list. For example,
if you enter [Software-Info] as the defined text string, the subject line of
the messages will appear as follows: Subject: re: [Software-Info] What do you
think of private-labeled software? The default string is the name of the list
server mailing list.
ListServer lets you set up automated mailing lists on the server. It comes
with a control to add/edit/delete users and to send new messages to your user
group (each message has a limit of 1000 words). This package allows for 300
mailing list subscribers per list.
Log File Access
Raw log files are used to track the hits to your website. You can access them
from your root directory.
A system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their
message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the mail list.
The directory on a host computer where your e-mail message are stored. With
some systems you can choose between keeping saved messages on the server or
on your local computer.
A million bytes
An electronic message center (also called a bulletin board); part of the
Bulletin Board System (BBS). Message boards are accessed by dialing in with a
modem; once there one may review messages left by others or leave a message.
Bulletin boards are a particularly good place to find free or inexpensive
software products. Most bulletin boards serve specific interest groups.
An optional HTML tag that is used to specify information about a Web
document. Some search engines such as AltaVista use "spiders" to
index Web pages. These spiders read the information contained within a page's
META tag. So in theory, an HTML or Web page author has the ability to control
how there site is indexed by search engines and how and when it will come up
on a user's search. The META tag can also be used to specify an HTTP or URL
address for the page to "jump" to after a certain amount of time.
This is known as Client-Pull. What this means, is a Web page author can
control the amount of time a Web page is up on the screen as well as where
the browser will go next. Here's a look at the syntax for search engine
indexing: Here's a look at the syntax for Client Pull: this will
"refresh" or change to the URL specified in 30 seconds.
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
A protocol for Internet e-mail that enables the transmission of nontextual
data such as graphics, audio, video and other binary types of files. An
e-mail program such as Eudora is said to be "MIME Compliant" if it
can both send and receive files using the MIME standard. When non-text files
are sent using the MIME standard they are converted (encoded) into text -
although the resulting text is not really readable. Besides e-mail software,
the MIME standard is also universally used by Web servers to identify the
files they are sending to Web clients. In this way new file formats can be
accommodated simply by updating the browsers' list of pairs of MIME-types and
appropriate software for handling each type.
A server that provides copies of the same files as another server. Some
servers are so popular that other servers have been set up to mirror them and
to spread the load on to more than one site. Many international sites have
mirrors set up in other countries to allow quicker access for their
A device connecting a computer and to a phone line, that allows the computer
to talk to other computers through the phone system. Basically, modems do for
computers what a telephone does for humans. Generally there are 3 types of
modems: external, PC Card and internal.
Mosaic is the common name of a World Wide Web multimedia browser program
developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in
Urbana-Champaign, Ill. It was the first Web browser that used the same
interface for Macintosh, Windows and UNIX, and started the popularity of the
Web. The official, copyrighted name of the program is NCSA Mosaic. The source
code for Mosaic has been licensed by several companies, most notably,
MX Record - Mail
Mail Server records designate the mailservers that will handle mail for your
domain. If you have more than one mailserver, MX records also specify the
order in which the mailservers will be used as primary, backup, etc.
To move around on the World Wide Web by following hypertext paths from
document to document on different computers.
Contraction of Internet etiquette, the etiquette guidelines for posting
messages to online services, and particularly Internet newsgroups. Netiquette
covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions (i.e., avoiding
flames), but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of forum
messages. For example, netiquette advises users to use simple formats because
complex formatting may not appear correctly for all readers. In most cases,
netiquette is enforced by fellow users who will vociferously object if you
break a rule of netiquette.
A highly popular World Wide Web browser. The program allows for Gopher, FTP,
and Telnet access as well as e-mail and newsgroup retrieval and management.
Many companies use Netscape server software to create Web pages and are
therefore written to be best displayed using Netscape Navigator. The program
is available for all platforms and is especially adept at displaying
Two or more computers that are connected. The most common types of networks
are: * LAN - Local Area Network The computers are near each other, in the
same office space, room or building. * WAN - Wide Area Network The computers
are at different geographic locations and are connected by telephone lines or
Same as forum, an on-line discussion group. On the Internet, there are
literally thousands of newsgroups covering every conceivable interest. To
view and post messages to a newsgroup, you need a newsreader, a program that
runs on your computer and connects you to a news server on the Internet.
NIC - Networked
An office that handles information for a network. The most famous of these on
the Internet is the InterNIC, which is where new domain names are registered.
Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Internet's component
A Windows NT (New Technologies) computer or server
OC - Optical
Optical Carrier used to specify the speed of fiber optic networks conforming
to the SONET standard
622.08 Mbps or 336 T-1's
A standard database access method developed by Microsoft. The goal of ODBC is
to make it possible to access any data from any application, regardless of
which database management system (DBMS) is handling the data. ODBC manages
this by inserting a middle layer, called a database driver , between an application
and the DBMS. The purpose of this layer is to translate the application's
data queries into commands that the DBMS understands. For this to work, both
the application and the DBMS must be ODBC-compliant -- that is, the
application must be capable of issuing ODBC commands and the DBMS must be
capable of responding to them. Since version 2.0, the standard supports SAG
SQL. Two types of ODBC connections are as follows: Jet Data Engine - This
connection allows ODBC-compliant databases such as Microsoft Access, Foxpro,
D-Base and others. SQL Server - This allows ODBC connection via TCP/IP to a
Microsoft SQL server.
Abbreviation of Object Linking and Embedding (pronounced as separate letters
or as "oh-leh"). OLE is a compound document standard developed by
Microsoft Corporation. It enables you to create objects with one application
and then link or embed them in a second application. Embedded objects retain
their original format and link to the application that created them. Support
for OLE is built into the Windows and Macintosh operating systems. A
competing compound document standard developed jointly by IBM, Apple
Computer, and other computer firms is called OpenDoc.
A unit of data sent across a network. Packet is a generic term used to
describe a unit of data at any layer of the OSI protocol stack, but it is
most correctly used to describe application layer data units (application
protocol data units, APDUs).
The method used to move data around on the Internet. In packet switching, all
the data coming out of a machine is broken up into chunks; each chunk has the
address of where it came from and where it is going. This enables chunks of
data from many different sources to co-mingle on the same lines, and be
sorted and directed to different routes by special machines along the way.
This way many people can use the same lines at the same time.
A parallel interface for connecting an external device such as a printer.
Most personal computers have both a parallel port and at least one serial
port. On PCs, the parallel port uses a 25-pin connector (type DB-25) and is
used to connect printers, computers and other devices that need relatively
high bandwidth. It is often called a Centronics interface after the company
that designed the original standard for parallel communication between a
computer and printer. (The modern parallel interface is based on a design by
When two domains point to the same IP Address
A secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer
or program. On multi-user systems, each user must enter a password before the
computer will respond to commands. The password helps ensure that
unauthorized users do not access the computer. In addition, data files and
programs may require a password. Ideally, the password should be something
that nobody could guess. Most people choose a password that is easy to
remember, such as their name or their initials. This is one reason it is
relatively easy to break into most computer systems.
PGP - Pretty Good
A freeware program, developed by Philip Zimmermann, that allows a user to
send e-mail messages to anyone in the world, in complete privacy. One can
also send authentication with your messages so that the recipient can verify
the source of the message. You can encrypt sensitive files on your computer
so that the files remain private even if your computer and disks are stolen.
PHP Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language
used to create dynamic Web pages. In an HTML document, PHP script (similar
syntax to that of Perl or C) is enclosed within special PHP tags. Because PHP
is embedded within tags, the author can jump between HTML and PHP (similar to
ASP and Cold Fusion) instead of having to rely on heavy amounts of code to
output HTML. Because PHP is executed on the server, the client cannot view
the PHP code. PHP can perform any task any CGI program can, but its strength
lies in its compatibility with many types of databases. Also, PHP can talk
across networks using IMAP, SNMP, NNTP, POP3 or HTTP.
PING - Packet
An Internet program used to determine whether a specific IP address is
accessible. It works by sending a packet to the specified address and waiting
for a reply, then reporting how many hops are required to connect two
Internet hosts. PING is used primarily to troubleshoot Internet connections.
There are many freeware and shareware PING utilities available for personal
The type of computer or operating system on which a software application
runs. For example, some common platforms are PC, Macintosh, Unix and NeXT.
When someone knows more than one of these platforms or when a program can be
used on more than one of these platforms, it is termed cross-platform.
POP - Post Office
POP refers to the protocol used by e-mail software, such as Eudora or Outlook
Express, to retrieve electronic mail from a mail server. The protocol used by
mail clients to retrieve messages from a mail server. This includes POP1,
POP2, and POP3, the number denoting the different version number of the
protocol. POP3 is the most common e-mail standard. POP is the protocol used
by mail clients to retrieve messages from a mail server.
1. A place where information goes into or out of a computer, or both. For
instance, the serial port on a personal computer is where a modem would be
connected. 2. On the Internet, port often refers to a number that is part of
a URL, appearing after a colon (:) right after the domain name. Every service
on an Internet server "listens" on a particular port number on that
server. Most services have standard port numbers; Web servers normally listen
on port 80. Services can also listen on non-standard ports, in which case the
port number must be specified in a URL when accessing the server, so you
might see a URL of the form: gopher://peg.cwis.uci.edu:7000/ which shows a
gopher server running on a non-standard port (the standard gopher port is
70). 3. To port is to translate a piece of software to bring it from one type
of computer system to another, e.g. to translate a Windows program so that is
will run on a Macintosh.
Communication protocol used over serial lines to support Internet
Protocol is a set of rules governing behavior in certain situations. Foreign
diplomats learn local protocol to ensure that they behave correctly in
another country. The protocols ensure that there are no communication
breakdowns or serious misunderstandings. Computers need protocols, too, to
ensure that they can communicate with each other correctly and to ensure data
is exchanged correctly. The Internet is made up of various protocols for
A question usually used in connection with a search engine or database to
find a particular file, Web site, record or set of records in a database.
RAID is a way of storing the same data in different places by placing data on
multiple hard disks. By placing data on multiple disks operations can overlap
in a balanced way, improving performance.
Hardware inside your computer that retains memory on a short-term basis. This
information is stored temporarily while you're working on it. RAM comes in
several different forms:
RealNetworks' (formerly Progressive Networks) RealAudio client-server
software system enables Internet and online users equipped with conventional
multimedia personal computers and voice-grade telephone lines to browse,
select and play back audio or audio-based multimedia content on demand, in
real time. This is a real breakthrough compared to typical download times
encountered with delivery of audio over conventional online methods with
which audio is downloaded at a rate that is five times longer than the actual
A term encompassing RealNetworks' RealAudio and RealVideo
A streaming technology developed by RealNetworks (formerly Progressive
Networks) for transmitting live video over the Internet. RealVideo uses a
variety of data compression techniques and works with both normal IP
connections as well as IP Multicast connections.
Remember My Login
If you select this option you will not be prompted for your username and
password when entering the site. This maynot be secure if you are using a
public or shared computer. Your computer must be set to accept cookies to use
It is possible to log in to a remote computer by using an application program
based on TELNET - a terminal emulation protocol made for this purpose. The
user can therefore enter commands on a keyboard attached to their local
computer and access files, etc., on a remote computer that may be located
anywhere in the world.
Hardware (or software) that connects a local network to the Internet. Routers
look at the destination addresses of the packets passing through them and
decide which route to send them on.
How well a solution to a given issue will work when the size of the issue
Another term for macro or batch file, a script is a list of commands that can
be executed without user interaction. A script language is a simple
programming language with which you can write scripts.
A program which acts like a card catalog for the Internet. Search engines
attempt to help a user isolate desired information or resources by searching
for keywords that the user specifies. The method for finding this information
is usually done by maintaining an index of Web resources that can be queried
for the keywords or concepts entered by the user. The index can be built from
specific resource lists or created by Web wanderers, robots, spiders,
crawlers and worms. From the Net surfer point of view, search engines can be
quite tiresome and not very fruitful if you don't know how to use them
correctly. Different engines are good for different kinds of searches, so to
optimize search results, read the search engine's help section before
A host computer on a network that holds information (such as Web sites) and
responds to requests for information from it (links to another Web page). The
term server is also used to refer to the software that makes the act of
serving information possible. Commerce servers, for example, use software to
run the main functions of an e-commerce Web site, such as product display,
online ordering, and inventory management. You'll also hear this described as
"shopping cart technology".
Server has no DNS
This can mean that the URL you have is an incorrect address. Netscape finds
Web pages by querying a Domain Name Server (DNS) computer and asking the
computer for the numerical address of the name address in the link. If it
does not get a reply, it's because the DNS computer has no record of the
A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store's catalog
and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a
company's Web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to
select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary
modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise.
SLIP - Serial
Line Internet Protocol
Communication protocol used over serial lines to support Internet
To connect to the Internet via Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) or
Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), you need to have TCP/IP software on your
computer. When connected by SLIP/PPP, your computer actually becomes another
node on the Internet. You can then run popular client software directly. This
has an advantage over a shell account where you will have to double download
in order to transfer a file by FTP because the data first goes to network and
then to a local machine.
SMTP - Simple
Mail Transfer Protocol
The standard Internet protocol for transferring electronic mail messages
The word tagged onto computer terms when it is meant to imply that the
product or software is meeting the needs and addressing the
"problems" that have been associated with a particular type of
computer software package or application. Usually these needs are in
abundance and encompass a variety of tasks.
To send identical and irrelevant postings to many different newsgroups or
mailing lists. Usually this posting is something that has nothing to do with
the particular topic of a newsgroup or of no real interest to the person on
the mailing list. The name comes from a Monty Python song and is considered
to be a serious violation of netiquette.
SQL - Structured
The standardized query language for requesting information from a database.
The original version called SEQUEL (structured English query language) was
designed by an IBM research center in 1974 and 1975. Oracle Corporation first
introduced SQL as a commercial database system in 1979.
A Relational Data Base Management System (RDBMS) from Sybase Corporation. SQL
Server was designed for client/server use and is accessed by applications
using SQL. It runs on OS/2, Windows NT, NetWare servers, VAXen, and UNIX
workstations. Generically, any database management system (DBMS) that can
respond to queries from client machines formatted in the SQL language. When
capitalized, the term generally refers to either of two database management
products from Sybase and Microsoft. Both companies offer client-server DBMS
products called SQL Server.
SRAM - Static
SRAM is used for caching because it is a lot faster. This chip holds its
contents without refreshing from the CPU.
SSI - Server Side
A type of HTML comment that directs the Web server to dynamically generate
data for the Web page whenever it is requested.
SSL - Secured
A protocol that delivers server authentication, data encryption and message
integrity. SSL is layered beneath application protocols such as HTTP, SMTP,
Telnet, FTP, Gopher and NNTP, and layered above the connection protocol
TCP/IP. This strategy allows SSL to operate independently of the Internet
application protocols. With SSL implemented on both the client and server,
your Internet communications are transmitted in encrypted form. Information
you send can be trusted to arrive privately and unaltered to the server you
specify and no other.
An IP address which is the same every time you log on to the Internet. See IP
address for more information.
The StreamWorks Player brings the power of networked audio and video to the
desktop. You can play "live" and "on-demand" audio and
video from StreamWorks Servers across the globe. The StreamWorks Transmitter
allows for LIVE network encoding of digital audio and video over today's
networks. Taking inputs from analog audio and video connections, like the
ones on the back of a VCR, StreamWorks Transmitter is capable of enabling
live, real-time MPEG audio and video over industry standard TCP/IP networks.
A leased line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000
bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a
megabyte in less than 10 seconds. That is still not fast enough for
full-screen, full-motion video, for which you need at least 10,000,000
bits-per-second. T-1 is the fastest speed commonly used to connect networks
to the Internet.
A leased line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000
bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do full-screen, full-motion
A tag is used to describe a type of command or instruction usually in regards
to HTML or Web page code. HTML tags look like this: , , or , always with a
pair of brackets (<>) surrounding the specific instruction.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
This set of protocols makes TELNET, FTP, e-mail, and other services possible
among computers that don't belong to the same network.
An Internet program for connecting to a remote host or server. The Telnet
interface is text-based and a user usually has to enter their login name and
password before gaining access to the system. Some of the things that can be done
with Telnet access include checking e-mail, downloading programs and chatting
with other Telnet users. It is one of the oldest Internet activities and is
primarily used to access online databases or to read articles stored on
university servers. It is also possible to Telnet via your Web browser by
changing the http:// to telnet:// and entering in the site's address.
A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else. At a
minimum, this usually means a keyboard and a display screen and some simple
circuitry. Usually you will use terminal software in a personal computer -
the software pretends to be ("emulates") a physical terminal and
allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.
A special-purpose computer with places to plug in many modems on one side and
with a connection to a LAN or host machine on the other side. The terminal
server answers calls and passes the connections on to the appropriate node.
Most terminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services if connected to the
An operating system, invented in 1969 at AT&T Bell Laboratories, that was
made available to researchers and students in 1973. It was used to develop
the Internet's communication software protocols. An interactive time-sharing
system invented in 1969 by Ken Thompson after Bell Labs left the Multics
project, originally so he could play games on his scavenged PDP-7. Dennis
Ritchie, the inventor of C, is considered a co-author of the system. The
turning point in UNIX's history came when it was reimplemented almost
entirely in C during 1972--1974, making it the first source-portable
operating system. UNIX subsequently underwent mutations and expansions at the
hands of many different people, resulting in a uniquely flexible and
developer-friendly environment. By 1991, UNIX had become the most widely used
multi-user general-purpose operating system in the world.
URL - Uniform
Describes the location and access method of a resource on the Internet All
Web sites have URLs. One could say a URL is to a web site as a telephone
number is to a telephone or a street address is to a house. Although Web site
URLs are sometimes long and hard to read, many browsers have a bookmark feature,
which allows you to save the location (URL) of Web sites you want to return
to. The URL "http://www.yourdomain.com" describes the type of
access method being used (http) and the server location which hosts the Web
A message automatically sent as a reply to any message received in a
specified mailbox, in this case to inform the original sender that the
recipient is away and will not be able to respond. Also known as an
Simulation of the real thing. Means "almost" or "in effect
only". You will see this term appear before various computer terms to
indicate simulation technology that enables you to cross boundaries and
experience something without requiring its physical presence. The Internet is
also seen as a "virtual" world.
WAN - Wide Area
A network that connects computers over a large geographic area
Web hosting allows your Web site to be connected to the Internet at high
speed via a Web server so its information can be viewed globally through a
browser. Metaphorically speaking, renting space on a server is comparable to
renting an apartment. For a monthly fee, you reside in that apartment and all
maintenance is the responsibility of the property. You also have access to
certain amenities that would otherwise be a costly investment. A Web hosting
company houses your Web site on its own secure servers, enabling you to
affordably leverage the power of a high-speed network, 24/7 expert monitoring
and support, and state-of-the-art technology.
WebTrends offers Web tracking services, such as financial, traffic, and more.
With WebTrends reporting you can really see who is hitting your site, and
which pages are the most popular. WebTrends contains graphical and table
based reporting, so that you can find vital information about how your
website is being viewed.
A means of looking up names in a remote database. Used initially as an aid
for finding e-mail addresses for people at large institutions or companies.
A medium-capacity communications circuit/path. It usually implies a speed
from 64Kbps to 1.544Mbps.
Windows NT is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive
multitasking. There are two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server is
designed to act as a server in networks, and Windows NT Workstation is for
stand-alone or client workstations
WWW - World Wide
A system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. The
documents are formatted in a language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
that supports links to other documents, as well as graphics, audio, and video
files. This means you can jump from one document to another simply by
clicking on hot spots. Not all Internet servers are part of the World Wide
Short for extensible markup language, a specification developed by the . XML
is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents. It
allows designers to create their own customized tag, enabling the definition,
transmission, validation and interpretation of data between applications and
A World Wide Web subject tree created by David Filo and Jerry Yang of the
Department of Computer Science at Stanford University. With a keen eye for the
popular as well as the useful, Filo and Yang have created a directory of Web
resources that performs a reported 10 million searches across the World Wide
Web a week.
Short for zoomed video port, a port that enables data to be transferred directly
from a PC Card to a VGA controller. The port is actually a connection to a
zoomed video bus. This new bus was designed by the PCMCIA to enable notebook
computers to connect to real-time multimedia devices such as video cameras.
The first notebook computers with the ZV port arrived in late 1996.