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ESTABLISHED 1999

Internet Jargon, lingo and acronyms explained

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Internet Jargon, lingo and acronyms explained

Notting Hill Internet Services’ guide to website and internet jargon: find simple definitions for words and acronyms from applet to WWW.

Applet:
A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. An applet can only make an Internet connection to the computer from which the applet was sent.

Archie:
A tool for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites.

ARPANet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network):
The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60s and early 70s by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking that would survive a nuclear war.

ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange):
This is the worldwide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, and punctuation. There are 128 standard ASCII codes, each of which is a 7 digit binary number.

Attachments:
Computer files that accompany the message portion of your e-mail.

Bandwidth:
The amount of data which can be sent through a connection, usually measured in bits-per-second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits, and a fast modem can move about 56,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression.

Bit (Binary Digit):
The smallest unit of computerized data.

Bps (Bits-Per-Second):
A measurement of the speed with which data is moved from one location to another.

Bookmark:
A place holder you can use to track pages you have visited on the Web.

Boolean Search:
A keyword search that uses Boolean Operators (i.e. AND, OR, NOT and NEAR).

Browser:
Software program with a user-friendly interface allowing easy navigation of the Internet (i.e. Netscape or Internet Explorer).

Byte:
A set of Bits (usually 8) that represent a single character.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface):
Usually, a CGI program is a small program that takes data from a web server and modifies it, i.e. converting a form into an e-mail message, or turning a keyword into a database query. A CGI program is being used if “CGI-bin” appears in the URL.

CGI-bin:
The directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored.

Client:
Any PC on a network that connects to an Internet application or to data residing on a server.

Cookies:
Cookies store information about visitors to websites – this data (i.e. username, password and which parts of the site were used) is updated with every visit.

Cyberspace:
The metaphysical environment of the Internet.

Directory Search:
Hierarchical search that begins with a general heading and proceeds through selections of increasingly more specific information.

Domain Name:
The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts separated by dots (i.e. iod.co.uk). The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.

Download:
To copy a file or program from a host computer “down” to your computer. The opposite of download is upload, which means to copy a file from your computer “up” to the host computer.

E-mail (Electronic Mail):
Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer.

False Drops:
Documents which are retrieved by an Internet search but are not relevant to the user’s interest.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
FAQs are Internet documents which list and answer the most common questions on a particular subject.

Fire Wall:
A combination of hardware and software which separates a LAN into two or more parts for security purposes.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol):
A very common method of moving files between two Internet sites. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained by FTP login using the account name anonymous. These sites are termed anonymous ftp servers.

Gateway:
A hardware or software set-up translating between two dissimilar protocols, for example, an internal e-mail format and Internet e-mail.

GIF (Graphic Interchange Format):
A common format for image files, especially suitable for simple images containing large areas of the same color.

Gigabyte:
1000 megabytes.

Gopher:
A system of clients and servers that provides a menu system for navigating the Internet. Although Gopher spread rapidly across the globe in only a couple of years, it has been largely supplanted by Hypertext.

History:
A browser list of previously visited Web pages, which makes for easy recall.

Hit:
A single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server. In order for a web browser to display a page that contains 3 graphics, 4 “hits” would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one for each of the 3 graphics. “Hits” are often used as a very rough measure of load on a server.

Home Page (or Homepage):
The web page your browser defaults to when it starts up, or the main web page within a site.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language):
The programming language which is used to create Web pages. HTML files are designed to be viewed using a World Wide Web Client Program such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol):
The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet. Requires an HTTP client program on one end and an HTTP server program on the other. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).

Hypertext:
Text that contains links to other documents – words or phrases which can be chosen by a user in order for another document to be retrieved and displayed. Graphics can also be hypertext “links”.

Internet (Upper case I):
A worldwide network of millions of computers and servers using phone system technology to carry information from one place to another.

Intranet:
A private network inside a company or organization which runs on the same kinds of software as that found on the Internet, but which is only for internal use.

IP Number (Internet Protocol Number):
Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g. 165.113.245.2. Every machine on the Internet possesses a unique IP number.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat):
A multi-user real-time chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the world which are linked to each other. Anyone can create a channel and anything typed in a given channel is seen by all users of that channel.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network):
A way to move more data over existing phone lines. It can provide speeds of roughly 128,000 bits-per-second, though in practice most people will be limited to 56,000 or 64,000 bits-per-second.

ISP (Internet Service Provider):
An institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.

Java:
Using small Java programs (called “Applets”), Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators, and other fancy tricks. Java is specifically designed for writing programs that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to your computer or files.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group):
A format for image files preferred to the GIF format for more complex images such as photos.

Kilobyte:
A thousand bytes.

LAN (Local Area Network):
A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

Leased-line:
A phone line rented for 24-hour connectivity from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line.

Link:
A connection between text or pictures on one Web page and another Web page. In a typical Web page, text links are shown in a different color text and/or are underlined. When you click a link on a Web page, you go immediately to the Web page specified by that link.

Login:
The account name used to gain access to a computer system, or the act of entering a computer system.

Megabyte:
A million bytes.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions):
The standard for attaching non-text files to standard Internet mail messages. Non-text files include graphics, spreadsheets, formatted word-processor documents, and sound files. The MIME standard specifies the type of file being sent and the method that should be used to turn it back into its original form.

Modem (MOdulator, DEModulator):
A device connected to a computer and a phone line, allowing the computer to connect to a network through the phone system.

MPEG:
A graphics format for creating and displaying full-motion video clips.

Multi-engine search:
A search tool which uses a number of search engines in parallel to provide a response to a query.

Newbies:
Internet beginners.

Newsgroup:
The name for discussion groups on USENET.

Newsreader:
A program used to read and post articles to a newsgroup.

NNTP (Network News Transport Protocol):
The protocol used to carry newsgroup postings back and forth over a TCP/IP network.

Node:
Any single computer connected to a network.

Operator:
A rule or specific instruction used in composing a query for a search engine.

Packet Switching:
The method used to move data around on the Internet using TCP/IP. The data leaving a machine is broken up into chunks, and each chunk carries the address of where it came from and where it is going. This enables chunks of data from various sources to co-mingle on the same lines en route to different destinations.

Password:
A code used to gain access to a locked system.

Plug-in:
A small piece of software which adds features to a larger piece of software. Common examples are plug-ins for the Netscape browser and web server. A small piece of software is loaded into memory by the larger program to add a new feature, and users need only install the few plug-ins that they need out of a much larger pool of possibilities.

POP (Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol):
A Point of Presence usually means a city or location where a network can be connected. If an Internet company announces that they will soon have a POP in Belgrade, it means that they will soon have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or a place where leased lines can connect to their network. Post Office Protocol refers to the way e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. It is your POP account (not your e-mail address) that e-mail software must access in order to retrieve your mail.

Port:
Every service on an Internet server listens on a particular port number on that server. Most services have standard port numbers, e.g. Web servers normally listen on port 80.

Posting:
A single message entered into a network communications system, i.e. posted to a newsgroup or message board.

Query:
A search request combining words and symbols to define the information the user is seeking.

Ranking:
A means of listing hits retrieved from an Internet search in order of relevance.

Real-time:
Live (communication over the Internet).

RFC (Request For Comments):
The process for creating a standard on the Internet New standards are proposed and published online, as Requests For Comments.

Robot:
The software for indexing and updating websites, which operates by scanning documents on the Internet via a network of links. Also known as spiders and crawlers.

Search Engine:
A program that searches Web pages for words, phrases, or concepts requested by the user.

Search Tool:
A computer program which conducts searches on the World Wide Web.

Server:
The computer with the primary file storage and processing capabilities for a network.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol):
The main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol):
The suite of protocols that defines the Internet Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.

Telnet:
The command and program used to login from one Internet site to another. Telnet command/program gets you to log in: prompt of another host.

Terabytes:
1000 gigabytes.

Terminal:
A device that allows you to send commands to a computer located elsewhere. 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 emulates a physical terminal.

UNIX:
A computer operating system. The most common operating system for servers on the Internet, UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time and has TCP/IP built-in.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator):
The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet which is part of the World Wide Web. The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser program such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.

USENET:
A worldwide system of discussion groups, or newsgroups, with comments passed among hundreds of thousands of machines.

Veronica (Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives):
Veronica is a constantly updated database of almost every menu item on thousands of gopher servers. The Veronica database can be searched from most major gopher menus.

WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers):
A commercial software package that allows the indexing of huge quantities of information and makes these indices searchable across networks such as the Internet Search results are ranked according to how relevant the hits are and subsequent searches can refine the search process.

WAN (Wide Area Network):
Any Internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.

WWW (World Wide Web):
The graphical segment of the Internet, which is made up of millions of Web pages on servers all over the world. Each page has an address called a URL and contains links that you click to go to other Web pages.