Add-in: A mini program, which runs in conjunction with a web browser or other application that enhances the functionality of that program. In order for the add-in to run, the main application must be running as well.
Anonymous FTP: An anonymous FTP site allows Internet users to log in and download files from the computer without having a private userid and password. To login, you typically enter anonymous as the userid and your email address as the password.
Applet: A program that can be downloaded over a network and launched on the user's computer (see Java).
Anchor: Either the starting point or destination of a hyperlink. The letters at the top of this page are all anchors - clicking one takes you to another part of this page.
Bandwidth: A measurement of the volume of information that can be transmitted over a network at a given time. Think of a network as a water pipe - the higher the bandwidth (the larger the diameter of the pipe), the more data (water) can pass over the network (through the pipe). How much information you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits - per - second. A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 15,000 bits in one second.
Bitmap File: A common image format (.bmp) defined by a rectangular pattern of pixels.
BPS: Bits Per Second - a measurement of the volume of data that a modem is capable of transmitting. Typical modem speeds today are 14.4K bps (14,400 bits per second) and 28.8K bps. ISDN offers transfer rates of 128K bps.
Browser: A program run on a client computer for viewing World Wide Web pages. Examples include Netscape, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mosaic.
Chat: A system that allows for online communication between Internet users. See IRC.
Commerce Server: Web software that runs some of the main functions of an online storefront such as product display, online ordering, inventory management. Works in conjunction with online payment systems to process payments.
Cookies: Snippets of information delivered from a Web site to the client's browser, and then stored on the hard drive. Examples are the time of the last visit, or the pages downloaded. "Cookies" can be read by that Web site on the next visit.
Compressed: Data files available for download from the Internet are typically compacted in order to save server space and reduce transfer times. Typical file extensions for compressed files include zip (DOS/Windows) and tar (UNIX).
DES: Data Encryption Standard. A commonly used standard method used for Encrypting & Decrypting Data. Encryption is necessary as valuable & sensitive information is often sent from one computer to another via a network that technically can be accessed by anybody. It provides a degree of security should the information fall into the wrong hands. DES was developed by the U.S National Institute of Standards & Technology.
Dial-up Connection: A connection to the Internet via phone and modem. Connection types include PPP and SLIP. When using a modem and telephone to access the Internet. The standard type of Internet access for most people. Note that Dial-up access is not dedicated (meaning you cannot also talk on the phone) unless you purchase an additional phone line. The cost of this additional line is not included.
Digital Certificates: Digital Ids used to present credentials online. Digital certificates are issued by companies, which act as "trusted third parties." In a SET transaction, the buyer, the merchant and banks for these parties all have digital certificates.
Digital Wallet: Software that stays resident on the hard drive of an online shopper. When they are ready to make a purchase, the "wallet" pops open to reveal payment options. Some "wallets" hold credit cards with encrypted information. Other "wallets" hold digital coins.
Download: The process of copying data file(s) from a remote computer to a local computer. The opposite action is upload where a local file is copied to a server.
FreeWare: Software that is available for download and unlimited use without charge. Compare to shareware.
Helper Application: A program allowing you to view multimedia files that your web browser cannot handle internally, such as images, audio and video files. The file must be downloaded before it will be displayed/played. Plug-ins allow you to actually view the file over the Internet without downloading first.
Home Page: The first page of a Web site. Also, the Web site that automatically loads each time you launch your browser.
Host: The name of a specific machine within a larger domain.
Hyperlink: A connection between two anchors. Clicking on one anchor will take you to the linked anchor. Can be within the same document/page or two totally different documents.
IDSL DSL transferred at 128 kbps on regular copper lines. This uses ISDN transmission coding, but no form of dial - up.
Information Superhighway/Infobahn: The terms were coined to describe a possible upgrade to the existing Internet through the use of fiber optic and/or coaxial cable to allow for high speed data transmission. This highway does not exist - the Internet of today is not an information superhighway.
IP Address: Internet Protocol Address - every computer on the Internet has a unique identifying number, like 22.214.171.124. If a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.
ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network - a system of all digital, high bandwidth telephone lines allowing for the simultaneous delivery of audio, video and data. Data travels at 128K bps. In practice, most people will be limited to 56Kbps or 64 Kbps.
Issuing Bank: Issues the credit to a credit card holder. When sale authorization is requested, the merchant's bank, requests the funds to be transferred from the credit card company, which in turn receives the funds from the issuing bank.
Java: A programming language originally developed at Sun Microsystems to create software for consumer electronic products. Java creates platform independent applications- it can run on any operating system.
JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group - a common image format. Most of the images you see embedded into Web pages are GIFs, but sometimes, especially in art or photographic Web sites, you can click on the image to bring up a higher resolution (larger) JPEG version of the same image.
Link: Another name for a hyperlink.
Listserv: An electronic mailing list typically used by a broad range of discussion groups. When you subscribe to a listserv, you will receive periodic email messages about the topic you have requested.
Lurking: The act of reading through mail lists and newsgroups without posting any messages. Considered good netiquette to get the feel of the topic before adding your own two cents.
Mailing List: A list of email addresses to which messages are sent. You can subscribe to a mailing lists typically by sending an email to the contact address with the following in the body of the message: the word subscribe, the name of the list, and your email address.
Mosaic: One of the first graphical World Wide Web browsers developed at NCSA.
MPEG: Motion Picture Experts Group - a video file format offering excellent quality in a relatively small file. Video files found on the Internet are frequently stored in the MPEG format. Full-length movies (like Top Gun) are available on CD and are stored in the MPEG format.
Network: A system of connected computers exchanging information with each other. A LAN is a relatively smaller form of a network in comparison to the Internet, a worldwide network of computers.
Packet: A chunk of data. The TCP/IP protocol breaks large data files into smaller "packets" for transmission. When the data reaches its destination, the protocol makes sure that all packets have arrived without error.
Plug-In: A small application, which extends the built in capabilities of your Web browser. Examples include Macromedia's Shockwave, providing animation, and RealAudio, offering streamed sound files over the Internet. Compared to helpers, the multimedia files do not need to be downloaded before shown or played.
PPP: Point-to-Point Protocol - a protocol for converting a dial-up connection to a point-to-point connection over the Internet. Frequently used for accessing the World Wide Web over phone lines. Considered more stable than a SLIP connection.
Provider: An Internet Service Provider, or ISP.
Register: With shareware, when you contact the vendor and pay for the product, you are registering. In return, you will receive either a password to turn off the nag notices or a copy of the full commercial version.
RSA Encryption: Based on a public key system, which means that every user, has 2 digital keys - one to encrypt information, and the other to decrypt. Authentication of both sender and recipient is provided with this method.
SET: An acronym for the Secure Electronic Transaction protocol. It's a means for authenticating credit card purchases on the Net. Digital signatures are used by all parties. Transaction information is encrypted using 1024 bit RSA encryption.
SGML: Standard General Markup Language - a standard for markup languages. HTML is one version of HTML.
Shopping Cart: A piece of software that operates on an online storefront. The "shopping cart" keeps track of all the items that a buyer wants to purchase, allowing the shopper to pay for the whole order at once.
Shareware: Software that is available on a free limited trial basis. Sometimes this is a fully featured product, other times it lacks some of the features of the commercial version. If you find the product useful, you are expected to register the software, for which in return you will receive the full featured commercial version.
Smart Card: A credit card sized plastic card with an embedded microchip. The chip can be "recharged" with funds. The store of value on the card is debited as a transaction is made. The card can also store other ID information such as, health care details and security information.
SSL encryption: Was developed by Netscape to provide data encryption and authentication of servers or clients. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It can be used for any functions on the Internet- FTP, Usenet or the Web.
T1: A category of leased telephone line service, allowing transfer rates of 1.5 Mbps (megabytes per second) over the Internet. Too expensive for home users (around $2000 per month), but commonly found in business environments.
TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol - this protocol is the foundation of the Internet, an agreed upon set of rules directing computers on how to exchange information with each other. Other Internet protocols, such as FTP, Gopher and HTTP sit on top of TCP/IP.
Trolling: Deliberately posting false information in order to illicit responses from people who really want to help. A typical response might be, "No, Bart Simpson was NOT one of our founding fathers."
Upload: To copy a file from a local computer connected to the Internet to a remote computer. Opposite is download.
USENET: Short for User's Network. The collection of the thousands of bulletin boards residing on the Internet. Each bulletin board contains discussion groups, or newsgroups, dedicated to a myriad of topics. Messages are posted and responded to by readers either as public or private emails.
ZIP: A compressed file format (.zip). Many files available on the Internet are compressed or zipped in order to reduce storage space and transfer times. To uncompress the file, you need a utility like PKZip (DOS) or WinZip (Windows).
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Information in this document is subject to change without notice.
Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.
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