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Netiquette The etiquette on the Internet.

See Also: Internet

Netizen Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the Internet, or someone who uses networked resources. The term connotes civic responsibility and participation.

See Also: Internet

Netscape A WWW Browser and the name of a company. The Netscape (tm) browser was originally based on the Mosaic program developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

Netscape has grown in features rapidly and is widely recognized as the best and most popular web browser. Netscape corporation also produces web server software.

Netscape provided major improvements in speed and interface over other browsers, and has also engendered debate by creating new elements for the HTML language used by Web pages -- but the Netscape extensions to HTML are not universally supported.

The main author of Netscape, Mark Andreessen, was hired away from the NCSA by Jim Clark, and they founded a company called Mosaic Communications and soon changed the name to Netscape Communications Corporation.

See Also: Browser , Mosaic , Server , WWW

Network Any time you connect 2 or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network. Connect 2 or more networks together and you have an internet.

See Also: internet , Internet , Intranet

Newsgroup The name for discussion groups on USENET.

See Also: USENET

NIC (Networked Information Center) -- Generally, any 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.

Node Any single computer connected to a network.

See Also: Network , Internet ,

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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.

Password A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as virtue7. A good password might be:


See Also: Login

Plug-in A (usually small) piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software. Common examples are plug-ins for the Netscape® browser and web server. Adobe Photoshop® also uses plug-ins.

The idea behind plug-in¹s is that a small piece of software is loaded into memory by the larger program, adding a new feature, and that users need only install the few plug-ins that they need, out of a much larger pool of possibilities. Plug-ins are usually created by people other than the publishers of the software the plug-in works with.

POP (Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol) -- Two commonly used meanings: Point of Presence and Post Office Protocol. A Point of Presence usually means a city or location where a network can be connected to, often with dial up phone lines. So if an Internet company says 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. A second meaning, Post Office Protocol refers to the way e-mail software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account you almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that you tell your e-mail software to use to get your mail.

See Also: SLIP , PPP

Port 3 meanings. First and most generally, a place where information goes into or out of a computer, or both. E.g. the serial port on a personal computer is where a modem would be connected.

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, e.g. 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:


shows a gopher server running on a non-standard port (the standard gopher port is 70).
Finally, port also refers to translating 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.

See Also: Domain Name , Server , URL

Posting A single message entered into a network communications system.

E.g. A single message posted to a newsgroup or message board.

See Also: Newsgroup

PPP (Point to Point Protocol) -- Most well known as a protocol that allows a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem to make TCP/IP connections and thus be really and truly on the Internet.

See Also: IP Number , Internet , SLIP , TCP/IP

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) -- The regular old-fashioned telephone system.

POP--(Post Office Protocol) An Internet protocol that enables a single user to read e-mail from a mail server.

PoP--(Point of Presence) A site that has an array of telecommunications equipment: modems, digital, leased lines and Internet routers. An Internet access provider may operate several regional PoPs to provide Internet connections within local phone service areas. An alternative is for access providers to employ virtual PoPs (virtual Points of Presence) in conjunction with third party provider.

protocols--Computer rules that provide uniform specifications so that computer hardware and operating systems can communicate. It's similar to the way that mail, in countries around the world, is addressed in the same basic format so that postal workers know where to find the recipient's address, the sender's return address and the postage stamp. Regardless of the underlying language, the basic "protocols" remain the same.

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RFC (Request For Comments) -- The name of the result and the process for creating a standard on the Internet. New standards are proposed and published on line, as a Request For Comments. The Internet Engineering Task Force is a consensus-building body that facilitates discussion, and eventually a new standard is established, but the reference number/name for the standard retains the acronym RFC, e.g. the official standard for e-mail is RFC 822.

Router A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more networks. Routers spend all their time looking at the destination addresses of the packets passing through them and deciding which route to send them on.

See Also: Network , Packet Switching


Security Certificate

A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.

Security Certificates contain information about who it belongs to, who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other unique identification, valid dates, and an encrypted ³fingerprint² that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate.

In order for an SSL connection to be created both sides must have a valid Security Certificate.

See Also: Certificate Authority , SSL

Server A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software is running, e.g.Our mail server is down today, that¹s why e-mail isn¹t getting out. A single server machine could have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network.

See Also: Client , Network

SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) -- A standard for using a regular telephone line (a serial line) and a modem to connect a computer as a real Internet site. SLIP is gradually being replaced by PPP.

See Also: Internet , PPP

SMDS (Switched Multimegabit Data Service) -- A new standard for very high-speed data transfer.

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

SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail and a program receiving mail should interact.

Almost all Internet email is sent and received by clients and servers using SMTP, thus if one wanted to set up an email server on the Internet one would look for email server software that supports SMTP.

See Also: Client , Server

SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) -- A set of standards for communication with devices connected to a TCP/IP network. Examples of these devices include routers, hubs, and switches.

A device is said to be ³SNMP compatible² if it can be monitored and/or controlled using SNMP messages. SNMP messages are known as ³PDU¹s² - Protocol Data Units.

Devices that are SNMP compatible contain SNMP ³agent² software to receive, send, and act upon SNMP messages.

Software for managing devices via SNMP are available for every kind of commonly used computer and are often bundled along with the device they are designed to manage. Some SNMP software is designed to handle a wide variety of devices.

See Also: Network , Router

Spam (or Spamming) An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn¹t ask for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over. The term may also have come from someone¹s low opinion of the food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources. (Spam is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.)

E.g. Mary spammed 50 USENET groups by posting the same message to each.

See Also: Maillist , USENET

SQL (Structured Query Language) -- A specialized programming language for sending queries to databases. Most industrial-strength and many smaller database applications can be addressed using SQL. Each specific application will have its own version of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) -- A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.

SSL used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between web browsers and web servers. URL¹s that begin with ³https² indicate that an SSL connection will be used.

SSL provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication, and Message Integrity.

In an SSL connection each side of the connection must have a Security Certificate, which each side¹s software sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using information from both its own and the other side¹s Certificate, ensuring that only the intended recipient can de-crypt it, and that the other side can be sure the data came from the place it claims to have come from, and that the message has not been tampered with.

See Also: Browser , Server , Security Certificate , URL

Sysop (System Operator) -- Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system or network resource. A System Administrator decides how often backups and maintenance should be performed and the System Operator performs those tasks.

shell account--A software application that lets you use someone else's Internet connection. It's not the same as having your own, direct Internet connection, but pretty close. Instead, you connect to a host computer and use the Internet through the host computer's connection.

signature file--An ASCII text file, maintained within e-mail programs, that contains a few lines of text for your signature. The programs automatically attach the file to your messages so you don't have to repeatedly type a closing.

SLIP/PPP--(Serial Line Internet Protocol/Point-to-Point Protocol) The basic rules that enable PCS to connect, usually by dial-up modem, directly to other computers that provide Internet services.

SMTP--(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) The basic programming language behind the Internet's e-mail functions.

spam--Anything that nobody wants. Applies primarily to commercial messages posted across a large number of Internet Newsgroups, especially when the ad contains nothing of specific interest to the posted Newsgroup.


T-1 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.

See Also: 56k Line , Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-3

T-3 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 video.

See Also: 56k Line , Bandwidth , Bit , Byte , Ethernet , T-1

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) -- This is 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.

See Also: IP Number , Internet , UNIX

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

Terabyte 1000 gigabytes.

See Also: Byte , Kilobyte

Terminal 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.

Terminal Server A special purpose computer that has places to plug in many modems on one side, and a connection to a LAN or host machine on the other side. Thus the terminal server does the work of answering the calls and passes the connections on to the appropriate node. Most terminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services if connected to the Internet.

See Also: LAN , Modem , Host , Node , PPP , SLIP

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now) -- A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online forum.

See Also: IMHO , BTW

T1--An Internet backbone line that carries up to 1.536 million bits per second (1.536Mbps).

T3--An Internet line that carries up to 45 million bits per second (45Mbps).

TA--See "Terminal Adapter."

TCP/IP--(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The basic programming foundation that carries computer messages around the globe via the Internet. Co-created by Vinton G. Cerf, former president of the Internet Society, and Robert E. Kahn.

Telnet--An Internet protocol that let you connect your PC as a remote workstation to a host computer anywhere in the world and to use that computer as if you were logged on locally. You often have the ability to use all of the software and capability on the host computer, even if it's a huge mainframe.

Terminal Adapter--An electronic device that interfaces a PC with an Internet host computer via an ISDN phone line. Often called "ISDN modems." However, because they are digital, TAs are not modems at all. (See modem definition.)


UNIX A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets). UNIX is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) -- The standard way to give the address of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (WWW). A URL looks like this:
or telnet://
or news:new.newusers.questions

The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser program, such as Netscape, or Lynx.

See Also: Browser , WWW

USENET A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments passed among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all USENET machines are on the Internet, maybe half. USENET is completely decentralized, with over 10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups.

See Also: Newsgroup

UUENCODE (Unix to Unix Encoding) -- A method for converting files from Binary to ASCII (text) so that they can be sent across the Internet via e-mail.

See Also: Binhex , MIME

URL--(Uniform Resource Locator) A critical term. It's your main access channel to Internet sites. Equivalent to having the phone number of a place you want to call. You constantly will use URLs with your Internet software applications to

Usenet--Another name for Internet Newsgroups. A distributed bulletin board system running on news servers, Unix hosts, on-line services and bulletin board systems. Collectively, all the users who post and read articles to newsgroups. The Usenet is international in scope and is the largest decentralized information utility. The Usenet includes government agencies, universities, high schools, organizations of all sizes as well as millions of stand-alone PCS. Some estimates we found say that there were 15,000 public newsgroups in 1996, collecting more than 100 megabytes of data daily. But no one really knows.


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

See Also: Gopher


WAIS (Wide Area Information Servers) -- A commercial software package that allows the indexing of huge quantities of information, and then making those indices searchable across networks such as the Internet. A prominent feature of WAIS is that the search results are ranked (scored) according to how relevant the hits are, and that subsequent searches can find more stuff like that last batch and thus refine the search process.

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

See Also: Internet, LAN , Network


See: WWW

WWW (World Wide Web) -- Two meanings - First, loosely used: the whole constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP, telnet, USENET, WAIS and some other tools. Second, the universe of hypertext servers (HTTP servers) which are the servers that allow text, graphics, sound files, etc. to be mixed together.

See Also: Browser , FTP , Gopher , HTTP , Telnet , URL , WAIS

WAIS--(Wide Area Information Servers) A distributed information retrieval system that is sponsored by Apple Computer, Thinking Machines and Dow Jones, Inc.. Users can locate documents using keyword searches that return a list of documents, ranked according to the frequency of occurrence of the search criteria.

WinVN--The most widely used stand-alone Windows-based Internet Usenet newsgroup reader application. A powerful program with many useful functions. Now that Netscape includes built-in newsgroup functions, however, the use of WinVN is waning except for users with advanced Newsgroup needs. In many ways, Netscape is a better newsgroup reader for mainstream users.

WinWAIS--(Windows Wide Area Information Servers)

World Wide Web--(WWW) (W3) (the Web) An Internet client-server distributed information and retrieval system based upon the hypertext transfer protocol (http) that transfers hypertext documents across a varied array of computer systems. The Web was created by the CERN High-Energy Physics Laboratories in Geneva, Switzerland in 1991. CERN boosted the Web into international prominence on the Internet.



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