Access provider - A company which sells Internet connections. Also known as an IAP (Internet Access Provider) or an ISP (Internet Service Provider).
Authoring/Web authoring - The process of writing HTML code.
Backbone - The high-speed data connections, usually optical fibre, which join together access providers and government or educational sites.
Bit - Binary digit, the basic binary unit for storing data. It can be either 0 or 1. A kilobit (Kbit) is 210 or 1,024 bits and a megabit is 220, which is just over one million bits. These units are often used for data transmission, expressed as kilobits per second (Kbps). For data storage, megabytes are usually used. A megabyte (Mb) is 1,024 kilobytes (Kb) and 1Kb is 1,024 bytes. A gigabyte (Gb) is 1,024Mb. A byte (binary digit eight) is composed of eight bits. Each byte can store one character of data.
Byte - See Bit.
Browser - A special software program developed for navigating the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web (see Hypertext).
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 sometimes, 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.
Domain Name - The system of names used to describe the precise position of a computer on the Internet, such as vnu.co.uk.
DNS - Domain Name Service. A program which 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.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions. Often found on Web sites and in newsgroups.
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. Often you'll 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 World Wide Web.
Home page - The opening page on a Web site.
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. The World Wide Web is a global hypertext system. On a smaller scale, Windows help is another example of hypertext.
Internet - Millions of computers interconnected in a global network.
Intranet - An internal company Web site accessible only by 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 analogue 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 Expert Group. A common method of compressing graphic images on the Internet.
Kbps - Kilobits Per Second (see Bit).
Kilostream - The BT 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 which 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.
Netscape Navigator - The most widely used Internet browser. It can be downloaded for a free trial from 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.
ROFL - Rolling On the Floor Laughing (see back page).
Server - A central computer which makes services and data available to clients - that is, the computers connected to it.
SMTP - Stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A TCP/IP application utility.
T1 - A US term for a leased line of 1.5Mbits per second (Mbps), equivalent to 25 64Kbit connections or kilostreams.
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 - Universal Resource Locator. You don't need to know what this stands for, just that it is a string of characters which identifies 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 V32.bis, 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 which accepts requests for information using HTTP.
Web site - A computer connected to the Internet which runs a Web server.
Winsock - Sockets for Windows. The Winsock.dll is an extension for Windows necessary for connecting to TCP/IP networks.
WWW - World Wide Web.
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