access provider - a company that sells Internet connections. Also known as an Internet access provider (IAP) or an Internet service provider (ISP).
authoring/Web authoring - the process of writing HTML code.
backbone - high-speed data connections, usually optical fibre, which join together access providers and government or educational sites.
bit - basic binary unit for storing data. Has a single binary value, either 0 or 1. One byte comprises eight bits.
browser - software program developed for navigating the Internet, particularly the Web (see hypertext).
byte - see bit.
CGI - common gateway interface - a standard which describes how HTTPD-compatible Web servers should access external programs. CGI programs, called scripts, are used when you fill in an on-screen form. The form generates output which is dealt with by the script. The script can bring programs such as a database search engine into play.
client - a PC which is connected to a server, or software running on a PC connected to a server. For example, Eudora is a mail client.
cookie - a message given to a Web browser by a Web server. Its main purpose is to identify users and prepare customised Web pages for them.
When you enter a site using cookies you will usually be required to give information such as name and email which is later used in messages to you.
dialup - the use of standard telephone lines or ISDN lines to connect to the Internet. You have to make a phone call to get online.
DNS - domain name server - a program that runs on a computer connected to the Internet and translates a domain name into an IP address.
People can continue to use an easily remembered domain name even if the IP address has changed.
domain name - the system of names used to describe the precise position of a computer on the Internet, for example, (vnu.co.uk).
finger - a utility which lets you obtain information about a user who has an electronic mail address.
frames - independent windows within the main window opened on a Web site.
Most browsers are frames-compliant.
FTP - file transfer protocol - the tool most often used to transfer files across the Internet. You will often use a Web browser to do this and you probably won't be aware you are using FTP.
GIF - graphics interchange format - originally developed by CompuServe and now the most common format for compressed graphics on the Internet.
gopher - a menu system which lets you navigate the Internet. Now being displaced by the Web.
host - the computer, with an IP address, which you contact to get onto the Internet.
HTML - hypertext markup language - the standard codes used for writing Web pages.
HTTP - hypertext transfer protocol - (see URL).
HTTPD - hypertext transfer protocol daemon - the Web server which introduced the now common forms, clickable image maps, authentication and key word searches.
hypertext - the idea behind the Web. Divides a document into manageable chunks or nodes such as single pages of text. Highlighted words or screen objects are used as hyperlinks to navigate between nodes using a browser. A collection of nodes linked by hyperlinks is called a Web, which is a global hypertext system. On a smaller scale, Windows help is another example of hypertext.
intranet - an internal company Web site accessible only to authorised users.
IP - a 32-bit binary number which identifies precisely the position of a computer on the Internet, for example, 254.147.8.224.
ISDN - integrated services digital network - a digital voice and data telephone network which looks set to replace the current analog one. ISDN adaptors are already starting to replace modems as a fast method of accessing the Internet and transferring data. Typical connection speed is 64Kbps.
ISP - Internet service provider - (see access provider).
JPEG - joint photographic experts group - a method of compressing graphic images on the Internet.
Kbps - a measure of bandwidth. Kilobits (thousands of bits) per second (see bit).
kilostream - BT's term for a 64Kbit leased line.
leased line - a permanent phone line between two points, most often used by ISPs and large companies.
mail gateway - a computer that translates mail between different mail systems.
MIME - multipurpose Internet multimedia extensions
modem - the word is a contraction of modulator/demodulator. A modem is a box (or, less commonly, an expansion card), which lets your computer talk over phone lines to other computers. Modems are commonly used for sending electronic mail and accessing the Internet (see V.34).
name server - a host which supplies a DNS service to translate hosts' names and their IP addresses.
Navigator - the most widely used Internet browser. It can be downloaded for a free trial from Netscape's site (home.netscape.com).
newsgroups - the discussion groups of the Internet. Little news is usually involved, but you can discuss just about anything.
PoPs - points-of-presence - the bank of modems you dial into locally to access the Internet.
server - central computer which makes services and data available to clients - that is, the computers connected to it.
SMTP - simple mail transfer protocol - a TCP/IP application utility.
T1 - US term for a leased line of 1.544Mbits per second (Mbps).
TCP/IP - transmission control protocol/Internet protocol - the protocol used to transfer data from one Internet connected computer to another.
Telnet - a system which lets you connect to a remote computer and run a program on it.
URL - uniform resource locator - it is a string of characters that identify a type of Internet resource and its location. The most common ones are (http://) for a Web site and (ftp://) for an FTP site.
Usenet - the most popular collection of newsgroups.
uuencoding - the most common way of sending binary files across the Internet. A utility like Wincode is used to transform a binary file such as a program or graphic into coded ASCII text. It needs to be uudecoded by a similar utility at the other end. Modern email software does this automatically.
V.34, V.32bis - a series of standards set by the CCITT which define modem operations and error correction. There are over 20 of them, but the relevant ones are V.32bis, which is the standard for 14.4Kbps modems, V.34, the standard for 28.8Kbps modems, and V.34 Plus, the new standard for speeds of up to 33.6Kbps.
Web server - a program that accepts requests for information using HTTP.
Winsock - sockets for Windows. The Winsock.dll is an extension for Windows necessary for connecting to TCP/IP networks.
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