like at a bank, computers used by more than one person use accounts to
track of (and bill) who's doing what on their system. When you sign up
Internet service provider, you're given an account name that allows you
code by which the Internet identifies you so that people can send you
usually looks like username@hostname, where username is your username,
name, or account number, and hostname is the Internet's name for the
Internet provider you use. The hostname can be a few words strung
periods. The official Mars Media address, for example, is
because its username is info and it's on a computer named marsmedia.com.
of newsgroup that discusses alternative-type topics. The alt groups are
official newsgroups, but lots of people read them anyway. We
alt.folklore.urban and alt.folklore.suburban.
A public Internet provider. If you have an account on AOL, your
is email@example.com, where username is your account name.
A method of using the FTP program to log on to another computer to copy
even though you don't have an account on the other computer. When you
you enter anonymous as the username and your address as the password,
get access to publicly available files.
system that helps you find files located anywhere on the Internet.
helps you find the file, you use FTP to get it. Archie is both a
program and a
system of servers (computers that contain indexes of files).
file that contains a group of files which have been compressed and
together for efficient storage. You have to use an archive program to
original files back out. Commonly used programs include compress, tar,
zip (on UNIX systems) and PKZIP (on DOS systems).
computer network started in 1969 (the original ancestor of the
funded by the U.S. Department of Defense; it was dismantled several
posting to a newsgroup. That is, a message someone sends to the
newsgroup to be
readable by everyone who reads the newsgroup.
Standard Code for Information Interchange. Basically, the code
computers use to
represent letters, numbers, and special characters.
use policy; a set of rules describing which sorts of activities are
a network. The most restrictive AUP was the one on the NSFNET that
most commercial and nonacademic use. The NSFNET AUP is no longer in
anywhere, although many people erroneously believe that it is.
Bang path address
old-fashioned method of writing network addresses. UUCP, an old, cruddy
system used to use addresses that contained bangs (exclamation points
together the parts of the address. Forget about them.
number of symbols per second that a modem sends down a phone line. Baud
incorrectly confused with bps (bits per second). A 14,400 bps modem
2,400 baud, because each of the modem symbols represents 6 bits.
BBS Bulletin-board system;
system that lets people read each other's messages and post new ones.
system of newsgroups is in effect the world's largest distributed BBS.
for now. An inanity adopted by the acronym lovers.
file that contains information which does not consist only of text. For
a binary file might contain an archives a picture, sounds, a
spreadsheet, or a
word-processing document (which includes formatting codes in addition
smallest unit of measure for computer data. Bits can be turned on or
off and are
used in various combinations to represent different kinds of
bits form a byte. Bytes form words. Do you care? Also, a type of
is a BITNET mailing list in disguise.
most widely available FTP-by-mail server. See also FTP-by-mail.
of teeny, tiny, little dots put together to make a picture. Screens
are divided into thousands of little, tiny bits, each of which can be
or off. These little bits are combined to create graphical
and JPG files are the most popular kinds of bitmap files on the Net.
network of mostly IBM mainframes that connects to the Internet. If you
account on machine xyzvm3 on the BITNET and your username on the
machine is abc,
your Internet mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org; or if your system
well-informed about BITNET, email@example.com.
type of Usenet newsgroup that discusses business and commercial topics.
other types of newsgroups are supposed to stay away from commercial
per second, a measurement used to describe how fast data is
used to describe modem speed (not quite the same as baud).
that connects two networks so that they appear to be a single larger
network that can handle many separate signals at the same time.
networks use different channels to transfer different forms of
as data, voice, and video.
super-duper, all-singing, all dancing program that lets you read
the World Wide Web. Netscape Navigator is the best known.
BTW By the way.
and newsgroups foster their own silly acronyms.
electronic message system that enables you to read and post messages.
series of bits of a particular length, usually eight. Computer storage
usually measured in bytes.
talk live to other network users from any and all parts of the world.
this, you use Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
computer that uses the services of another computer (such as Usenet or
FTP or Archie or the World Wide Web). If your computer is a PC or
you dial in to another system, your computer becomes a client of the
dial in to.
division of labor between computers. Computers that provide a service
computers can use are known as servers. Servers provide such services
as FTP or
Archie or the World Wide Web. If you don't have these services on your
machine, you can connect to these machines and use these services and
become a client.
these letters appear in the last part of an address
for example), it indicates that the host computer is run by a company
than by a university or governmental agency. It also means that the
computer is probably in the United States.
program you run on your personal computer that enables you to call up
communicate with other computers. It's a rather broad term, but most
it to mean a program that makes your computer pretend to be a terminal
why they're also known as terminal programs or terminal emulators). The
commonly used communications programs on PCs are Windows Terminal
free with Windows), Crosstalk, and Procomm, though there are lots of
to squeeze files together so that they take up less room and are easier
transfer from one location to another. Popular compression programs
and Stuffit. The opposite of compression is expansion.
last part of a geographic address, which indicates which country the
computer is in. An address that ends in ca is Canadian, for example,
that ends in us is in the United States.
mysterious little program that runs while you're not looking and takes
things you would rather not know about.
compilation of the messages that have been posted to a mailing list
past few days. Many people find it more convenient to receive one big
than a bunch of individual ones.
structure, sort of like a file folder (and called a folder in the
world). A special kind of file used to organize other files.
lists of other files and can contain other directories (known as
that contain still more files. UNIX, DOS, and Windows systems all use
structures. The more stuff you have, the more you need directories in
organize it. Directories enable you to organize files hierarchically.
official Internet-ese name of a computer on the Net. It's the part of
Internet address that comes after the Internet For Marsmedia Central is
firstname.lastname@example.org, for example, and its domain name is
Domain name server
just name server or abbreviated as DNS.) A computer on the Internet
translates between Internet domain names, such as xuxa.iecc.com, and
numerical addresses, such as 220.127.116.11.
bring software from a remote computer "down" to your computer.
screen and a keyboard and not much else. It sort of resembles a PC
computer. Dumb terminals connect to other computers and use their data
computing. When you use your computer to dial in to another computer
SLIP and PPP connections for the moment), your computer generally acts
dumb terminal and relies on the computer you've dialed in to for
requests you make.
method of addressing information on the Internet (not just mail
all information) so that if one route is blocked or broken, the
take an alternative route. Pretty darned clever. The U.S. Department of
built this method into the design of the Internet for the benefit of
military, to resist enemy attack. It's also useful when nonmilitary
attacked by errant backhoes.
mail (also called e-mail or just mail) messages sent by way of the
Internet to a
these letters appear in the last part of an address (for example, in
), it indicates that the host computer is run by an educational
probably a college or university. It also means that the host computer
probably in the United States.
Values that can be set to help get your computer automatically into a
ready for you to use. Environment variables are part of your operating
machinations and are specific to the operating system you run.
cable that connects pieces of a local area network in a particular
Developed by Xerox, it is sometimes called IEEE 802.3, which refers to
standard that defines it.
mail-handling program that runs on the Macintosh and under Windows.
shareware program, it is now sold by Qualcomm.
used to expand a file that has been compressed. Popular expansion
include UNZIP and Unstuffit.
asked questions. This regularly posted Usenet article answers questions
come up regularly in a newsgroup. Before you ask a question in a
sure that you have read its FAQ because it may well contain the answer.
get annoyed if you ask questions that are answered in the newsgroup's
because they probably have already answered the question 150 times.
are posted regularly, usually once a week or once a month. To read all
regularly posted FAQs for all newsgroups, read the newsgroup
read an entire book of frequently asked questions about the Internet,
Margy's Internet FAQs (IDG Books Worldwide, 1995).
FAX modem Modems
should be fax-data modems) that enable you to send and receive faxes in
to ordinary computer-type data. Fax is short for facsimile or exact
fax technology uses ordinary phone lines to send copies of printed
place to place. If you stick fax technology on your computer, what you
never touch paper. It can go from your computer to theirs or to their
machine if they don't have a computer.
computer that connects one network with another when the two networks
different protocols. The UUNET computer connects the UUCP network with
Internet, for example, providing a way for mail messages to move
between the two
networks. Also an older name for what's now called a router
type of graphics file originally defined by CompuServe and now found
the Net (GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format).
Global kill file
file that tells your Usenet newsreader which articles you always want
This file applies to all the newsgroups to which you subscribe.
system that lets you find information by using menus (lots of menus) To
Gopher, you usually teinet to a Gopher server and begin browsing the
world of Gopher menus As you move from menu to menu in Gopher, you are
be "moving around Gopherspace."
these letters appear in the last part of an address (cu.nih.gov, for
it indicates that the host computer is run by some part of a government
probably the U.S. federal government, rather than by a company or
(Your tax dollars at play!) Most gov sites are in the United States.
actual, physical computer and all its wires and friends, such as the
the disk drive, and the modem. Pretty useless without software.
cool Microsoft Windows program that helps you view Gopher information,
seeing graphics right on the screen.
primary Web page for an individual, software application, or
pages link visitors to other pages related to the site.
computer on the Internet you may be able to log in to by using teinet,
from by using FTP, or otherwise make use of.
markup language, used in writing pages for the World Wide Web. It lets
include codes that define fonts, layout, embedded graphics, and
Don't worry: You don't have to know anything about it to use the World
transfer protocol, which is the way World Wide Web pages are
hypertext, except think about all kinds of information, such as
sound, not just text.
A system of writing and displaying text that enables the text to be
multiple ways, to be available at several levels of detail, and to
to related documents. Hypermedia can also contain pictures, sounds,
video - you
name it. The World Wide Web uses hypertext.
control message protocol, an exceedingly uninteresting low-level
Internet computers use. Used by ping.
little picture intended to represent something bigger, such as a
program or a
choice of action or object.
my opinion; in my humble opinion.
service that searches the World Wide Web for pages that mention a word
still don't know what it is, and you're way back here in the glossary!
we must have done a terrible job of explaining this stuff. It's an
interconnected bunch of computer networks, including networks in all
Web browser. If you have a Microsoft Network account, you
download it or you can buy it as part of Microsoft PLUS!
Internet Relay Chat
A system that enables bored undergraduates and, occasionally, other
folks to talk to each other in real time (rather than after a delay, as
organization dedicated to supporting the growth and evolution of the
You can contact it at email@example.com.
Internet Network Information Center, a repository of information about
Internet. It is divided into two parts: Directory Services, run by
New Jersey, and Registration Services, run by Network
find out more about it, point your Web browser at
http://rs.internet.net. To FTP
information from InterNIC, try ftp.internic.net.
A key or combination of keys you can press to stop whatever is
happening on your
computer. You might find that you have started something and don't want
for it to finish. Common interrupt characters are Ctrl-C and Ctrl-D.
usual interrupt character is Ctrl-].
IP Internet Protocol
scheme that enables information to be routed from one network to
necessary (you had to ask). Don't worry: You don't have to know about
program that helps you find information in Gopher by searching Gopher
directories for the information you specify; sort of like Veronica
type of Usenet newsgroup that contains information for elementary
school students and teachers.
file that tells your newsreader which newsgroup articles you always
connection. Two computers can be linked together. Also can refer to a
a file that exists in another place. Rather than have a copy of a
file reside in many places, for example, some file systems (the ones in
for example) enable a filename to point to another file. Finally, a
refer to a hypertext link in a Web page that connects one page to
of the seven layers of protocols defined by ISO. Sometimes referred to
data link layer. You really, really don't care.
program that automatically manages mailing lists. See also LISTSERV.
family of programs that automatically manage mailing lists,
messages posted to the list, adding and deleting members, and so on
tedium of someone doing it manually. The names of mailing lists
LISTSERV usually end with -l (that's an el, not a one).
World Wide Web client program that works with plain old terminals,
that it's generally available on shell provider accounts.
the Macintosh. Not very interesting except that you can't put your Mac
Internet without it.
of paper stuffed in envelopes with stamps on the outside. This
type of mail is known among Internauts as snail-mail, casting
aspersions on your
local letter carrier. Other types of mail include voice mail, which you
already know and hate, and e-mail (or electronic mail), which is a
service the Internet provides.
computer on the Internet that provides mail services. A mail server
sends mail out for you (using a system called SMTP) and may also enable
download your mail to a PC or Mac by using a protocol called POP.
A special kind of e-mail address that remails any incoming mail to a
subscribers to the mailing list. Each mailing list has a specific
topic, so you
subscribe to the ones of interest.
large computer usually sold complete with all its peripherals and often
architecture (meaning not friendly to other vendors' products). Often
large IBM machines.
piece of e-mail or a posting to a newsgroup.
A commercial on4ine service run by Microsoft and usable only if you
95. If your MSN username is BillGates, your Internet e-mail address is
When these letters appear in the last part of an address
for example), it indicates that the host computer is run by some part
U.S. military rather than by a company or university.
Internet mail extension used to send anything other than straight text
e-mail. Eudora and Pine and other hip e-mail programs support MIME.
FTP server that provides copies of the same files as another server.
servers are so popular that other servers have been set up to mirror
spread the FTP load on to more than one site.
type of newsgroup that discusses topics which don't fit under any of
newsgroups types, such as misc.forsale,misc.jobs.offered, and misc.kids.
gizmo that lets your computer talk on the phone. A modem can be
board that lives inside your computer) or external (a box that connects
computer's serial port). Either way, you need a phone wire to connect
to your phone jack.
list A mailing list run by a moderator (qv., or for you non-Latin
check out the definition of moderator).
who looks first at the messages posted to a mailing list or newsgroup
releasing them to the public. The moderator can nix messages that are
his opinion, of course), redundant, or inappropriate for the list or
(wildly off the topic or offensive, for example). Yes, this is
the Internet is getting so big and crowded that nonmoderated
generate an amazing number of uninteresting messages. See also
list and moderated newsgroup.
giant Web resource for job-hunting.
super-duper all-singing, all-dancing program that lets you read
the World Wide Web. Comes in Windows, Mac, and UNIX flavors.
graphical user interface for UNIX computers, sort of like Windows for
Claimed to be ugly.
dungeon; a "dungeons and dragons" type of game that many people at a
time can play. These games can get so complex and absorbing that
disappear into their computers for days and weeks at a time. For
about how to join a MUD, consult the newsgroup rec. game s. mud.
send a request to be added to the mailing list to
get us started. Lots of things are called networks, but for our
talking about lots of computers that are connected together. Those in
or nearby buildings are called local area networks, those that are
are called wide area networks, and when you interconnect a large number
networks all over the world, you get the Internet!
type of Usenet newsgroup that contains discussions about news-groups
such as news.announce.newusers (announcements of interest to new
used to refer to Usenet itself.
computer on the Internet that not only gets Usenet newsgroups but also
read them. Programs such as Free Agent, Trumpet, and Cello use a news
get the articles for the newsgroups you request.
distributed bulletin-board system about a particular topic. The Usenet
(also known as Net news) system distributes thousands of newsgroups to
of the Internet.
Newsgroup kill file
file that tells your newsreader which articles you always want to skip.
file applies to only a specific newsgroup (see also global kill file).
program that lets you read the messages in Usenet newsgroups and
respond if you
are absolutely sure that you have something new and interesting to say.
Information Center. The address of the one for the U.S. part of the
internic.net. An NIC is responsible for coordinating a set of networks
the names, network numbers, and other technical details are consistent
network to another.
known as the Yellow Pages, before some trademark lawyer in the United
complained. The NIS is a facility used on some TCP/IP networks to
group of computers (usually UNIX workstations and PCs) as through they
big computer. For Internet purposes, who cares? Well, NIS sorts
on some UNIX systems and can cause peculiar-looking mail addresses.
computer on the Internet, also called a host. Computers that provide a
such as FTP sites or places that run Gopher, are also called servers.
National Science Foundation's former network, a part of the Internet
research and education and funded by government money. It has gone
replaced by pieces of commercial networks. ANS, which formerly ran the
now belongs to America Online.
A collection of
including the text of books, journals, and other reference materials,
by the Online Book Initiative at obi.std.com.
A chunk of
information sent over a
network. Each packet contains the address it's going to, the address of
it, and some other information.
small program used on DOS and Windows PCs to connect network software
particular kind of network card. Similar to NDIS or ODI driver.
document, or hunk of information, available by way of the World Wide
make information available on the World Wide Web, you organize it into
more pages. Each page can contain text, graphics files, sound files -
it. Don't worry: You don't have to create WWW pages - you can just read
feature in Archie (and other programs) that breaks up the data Archie
into chunks that fill up only one screen at a time, enabling you to
there before it scrolls off the screen.
value a computer program needs to know in order to behave correctly.
secret code used to keep things private. Your account on the system
connects you to the Internet is no doubt protected by a password. Be
pick a code that is not obvious, preferably combining numbers and
letters so as
to thwart any untoward activity.
file in which all the passwords for a system are stored. Most systems
enough to keep passwords encoded so that even if someone gains access
file, it isn't of much value.
UNIX-based mail program based on elm. (It stands for pine is not elm.)
easy to use, at least for a UNIX program.
program that checks to see whether you can communicate with another
the Internet. It sends a short message to which the other computer
responds. If you can't "ping" another computer, you probably can't
talk to it any other way either.
Internet provider in New York City (pipeline.com is its address) that
a special Windows communications program, also called Pipeline. It uses
protocol to talk to this program, which enables it to display
everything in a
nice Windows-y way. Several other providers around the country use the
program, giving it different names to avoid consistency.
file-compression program that runs on PCs. PKZIP creates a ZIP file
contains compressed versions of one or more files. To restore them to
former size and shape, you use PKUNZIP. PK, by the way, stands for Phil
who wrote the program. PKZIP and PKUNZIP are shareware programs
many FTP sites. If you use the programs, you are honor-bound to send
Mr. Katz a
donation (the program will tell you the address).
Post Office Protocol,
system by which a mail server on the Internet lets you pick up your
download it to your PC or Mac.
a networked computer, an identifying number assigned to each program
chatting on the Internet. The program that handles incoming telnet
port 23, for example, and the program that handles some other service
another number. You hardly ever have to know these numbers - the
programs work this stuff out among themselves.
article in a Usenet newsgroup.
A scheme for
connecting two computers
over a phone line (or a network link that acts like a phone line). Like
large on-line system run by IBM and Sears. If you have a Prodigy
Internet address is firstname.lastname@example.org (substitute your username for
system two computers agree on. When you use a file-transfer protocol,
example, the two computers involved (the sender and the receiver) agree
on a set
of signals that mean "go ahead," "got it," "didn't get
it, please resend," and "all done."
involves tons of
different protocols for the many different types of computers on the
fake terminal. On most systems, telnet uses a pseudoterminal to log you
run your commands.
time-sharing or SLIP service that enables you to use the Internet on a
(by the month or hour) basis.
A UNIX command
that lets you copy
files from one computer to another. Like FTP, only different.
type of newsgroup that discusses recreational topics, such as
(jokes that are sometimes funny) and rec.gardens (guess).
criteria for the
advanced geek. See regular expression.
Not what one
would usually think of
as regular. For UNIX hackers and those who love to encode the ordinary
arithmetic representation. Many kinds of conditional searches (meaning,
these conditions, "do this") can be represented by using mathematical
expressions. If you haven't studied much math or logic, forget about it.
Not a power tool
used for finish work
on fine cabinetry (that's pronounced "rowter"). This system,
pronounced "rooter" in most countries, connects two or more networks,
including networks that use different types of cables and different
communication speeds. The networks all have to use IP (the Internet
though. If they don't, you need a gateway.
RTFM “Read The ******* Manual”
suggestion made by people who feel that you have wasted their time
question you could have found the answer to another way.
A well-known and
much-used FTP site
named rtfm.mit.edu contains FAQs for all Usenet newsgroups, by the way.
the, uh, friendly FAQ.
A type of Usenet
discusses scientific topics.
Software used to
particularly on WALS and the World Wide Web.
In the computer world,
A means to allow
access to only those
who should have it. Security includes the use of passwords to protect
between computers using
the serial protocol.
The place on
your computer where you
can plug in a serial line.
The simplest way
to send data over a
wire - one bit at a time.
A computer that
provides a service to
other computers on a network. An Archie server, for example, lets
people on the
Internet use Archie.
that provides access
to the Internet. Your service provider might be a commercial on-line
such as America Online or CompuServe, a shell provider, or your school
programs that are easily
available for you to try with the understanding that if you decide to
program you will pay for it and send the requested amount to the
provider specified in the program. In this honor system, a great deal
stuff is available, and voluntary compliance makes it viable.
A computer that
used to contain an
amazing archive of programs for MS-DOS in addition to Macintosh and
UNIX. Run by
the U.S. Army in New Mexico, it was shut down in 1993. Fortunately, its
live on in mirror (duplicate) archives at oak.oakland.edu and
wuarchive.wustl.edu. For more information, see SimTel's Web page at
Short for Serial Line Internet Protocol,
scheme for connecting a
computer to the Internet over a serial line. For example, if you can
run SLIP on
your personal computer and you call up an Internet provider that does
computer is on the Internet, it's not just a terminal - it's right on
can telnet and FTP to other computers; when you get files, they arrive
your PC, not on the Internet provider's computer.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol,
optimistically named method by
which Internet mail is delivered from one computer to another.
A type of
newsgroup that discusses
social topics, covering subjects from soc.men to soc.religion.buddhist
A logical "port"
uses to connect to another program running on another computer on the
You might have an FTP program using sockets for its FTP session, for
while Eudora connects by way of another socket to get your mail.
programs that make computers
usable as something other than a paperweight. Compare to hardware.
sandwich-filling product. The word now refers to the act of posting
inappropriate commercial messages to a large number of unrelated,
One of the large
in the Internet, run by Sprint (the telephone company).
An e-mail system
Sprintnet and formerly named Telemail. Believe it or not, if you have a
SprintMail account, your Internet address is /
C=countrycode/A=TELEMAIL/ @sprint.com. Substitute your first name, last
company name, and country code (us for United States folks).
A bunch of
together, such as "Internet For Marsmedia." Strings are composed of
any characters available in the character set being used, typically all
digits, and punctuation.
program for the Mac.
subdirectory A directory within a directory.
A piece of a
string; see also string.
One of the
originally set up to work with the NSFNET; its headquarters are in
A program that
censors your Internet
account. Used by parents who want to control what their kids see on the
The latest, most
Macintosh operating system.
A type of
newsgroup that contains
endless arguments about a wide range of issues, such as talk.gossip and
The system that
networks use to
communicate with each other on the Internet. It stands for Transmission
Protocol/Internet Protocol, if you care.
A program that
lets you log in to
other computers on the Net.
In the olden
days, a terminal was a
thing that consisted of a screen, a key-board, and a cable that
connected it to
a computer. These days not many people (not many people we know) use
because personal computers are so cheap. Why have a brainless screen
keyboard when you can have your own computer on your desk?
Of course, there
are still many times
when you want to connect to a big computer somewhere. If you have a
computer, you can run a program that makes it pretend to be a brainless
and keyboard - the program is called a terminal emulator, terminal
communications program and also
communications program and also
A file that
contains only textual
characters, with no special formatting characters, graphical
clips, video, or what-have-you. Most computers other than some IBM
store their text by using a system of codes named ASCII, so this type
of file is
also known as an ASCII text file
buy your computer from
one place and your operating software from somewhere else, but you find
still need other hardware or software pieces to make it all work. The
from whom you buy those other pieces are known as third-party vendors.
posted to a Usenet
newsgroup, together with all the follow-up articles, the follow-ups to
follow-ups, and so on. Organizing articles into threads makes it easier
choose which articles in a newsgroup you want to read.
that enables you to
choose articles by thread.
The Internet Adaptor,
that makes your
regular dial-up account look like a SLIP or PPP account. Also thanks in
for you acronymophiles.
system everyone hates.
No, an operating system everyone ought to love. No, it's both! It's an
system that can be confusing to use, but it sure is powerful. Internet
likely to run into UNIX if they use a shell provider as their Internet
or when they telnet to UNIX computers.
To put your
stuff on somebody else's
Uniform Resource Locator,
A way of naming
network resources and
originally for linking pages together in the World Wide Web. Luckily,
have to know much about them - only the people who write pages really
fool with them.
A system of
thousands of distributed
bulletin boards called newsgroups. You read the messages by using a
called a newsreader
An elderly and
creaky (but cheap)
mail system still used by many UNIX systems. UUCP stands for
UUCP uses mail addresses that contain exclamation points rather than
between the parts (and they are in reverse order), a method known as
addressing. Whenever possible, use regular Internet addresses instead.
encode files to make
them suitable for sending as e-mail. Because e-mail messages must be
binary information, uuencode can disguise nontext files as text so that
include them in a mail message. When the message is received, the
run uudecode to turn it back into the original file. Pretty clever.
which, among other things, runs a large Internet site that links the
network with the Internet and has a large and useful FTP file archives
encounter it in addresses that contain u u n e t . u u . n e t at the
organization also runs Alternet, one of the larger commercial network
The code word
for a nice, fast modem
(one that talks at a speed of 9600 bits per second). Even faster modems
talk at, 14,400 bits per second) are called V.32bis, which is French
The code word
for really fast modems
that talk at 28,800 bps.
Equipment's major computer
line over the past 15 years was the VAX; its proprietary operating
known as VMS. (Vaxen are now pass6, replaced by DEC's new Alpha line.)
A program that
helps find things in
Gopherspace a friend of Archie's.
A problem that
occurs when lots of
people add features to programs that people are already using. Unless
taken to keep programs compatible, sooner or later the program you're
doesn't talk to its "new and improved cousin" until you get the latest
and greatest version that should make everybody happy 'til they add
A program used
by Gopher, WAIS, or
World Wide Web client programs to show you files that contain stuff
text. For example, you might want viewers to display graphics files,
files, or display video files.
infects other software
and causes damage to the system on which the infected software is run.
should download software only from reputable servers. Safe software is
everyone's business. Viral infection can be deadly. Don't let it happen
The part number
of a terminal made
about 15 years ago by the Digital Equipment Corporation. Why do you
Because many computers on the Internet expect to talk to VT-100-type
and many communications programs can pretend to be (emulate) VT-100
The VT102 was a cheaper version that for most purposes acted exactly
Wide Area Information Servers (pronounced "ways," not "wace"),
A system which
lets you search for
documents that contain the information you're looking for. It's not
to use, but it gets there.
The World Wide Web.
"The Web" is a
endearment used by those intimate with the World Wide Web.
building block of the World
Wide Web. Information displayed on a Web page can include highly
graphics, audio and video, the locus of contemporary creativity Web
linked together to form the World Wide Web.
An Internet host
computer that stores
Web pages and responds to requests to see them. Web servers talk to Web
by using a language named HTTP.
A location on
the World Wide Web. It
means the same as a Web page or Web server, depending on whom you ask.
The WELL (the
Whole Earth Lectronic
Link) is a public Internet provider in Sausalito, California. You can
A command on
some systems that tells
you the actual name of someone, based on the person's username. See
You can use whois by way of the World Wide Web.
system for the PC that
includes a graphical user interface; also a religion.
A new instance
of an operating system
for the PC that includes a graphical user interface. Quietly introduced
summer of 1995, it includes built-in support for TCP/IP, the lnternet's
networking scheme. Originally code-named Chicago.
program that lets you see
for Windows Sockets)
is a standard way for Windows programs to work with TCP/IP. You use it
connect your Windows PC directly to the Internet, either with a
connection or with a modem by using SLIP or PPP.
program that lets you
use WAIS to search for information about the Internet.
program for zipping
and unzipping ZIP files in addition to other standard types of archive
WinZip is shareware, so you can get it from the Net from
term gets bandied about
in a bunch of different contexts, we generally mean high-powered
with big screens, somewhat overkill for the average PC user. We mean
as SPARC stations and other typically single-user but very powerful
generally running UNIX.
Wide Web (WWW)
system that lets you
browse through lots of interesting information. The best-known client
Netscape; Mosaic is a close second.
A protocol that
switching. You shouldn't care. The thing that TCP/IP is much better
The way you
splice together X.25
networks, which shouldn't interest you either.
A terminal that
uses the X graphical
user interface. This interface enables you to open lots of windows on
screen and do all kinds of things at the same time. Popular in the UNIX
A version of
Archie that runs on UNIX
under X Windows. If you use a UNIX workstation and Motif (or another
system), try typing xarchie to see whether you have a copy.
A version of
Gopher that runs on UNIX
under X Windows. If you use a UNIX workstation and Motif, try running
ages ago (1981?) by Ward Christiansen to check for errors as files are
transferred. It has since been superseded by Ymodem and Zmodem, but
programs (especially Windows Terminal) still use it.
A version of
WAIS that runs on UNIX
under X Windows. If you use a UNIX workstation and Motif, try running
An index to the
World Wide Web, at
faster than Xmodem but not as powerful (nor as complicated) as Zmodem.
A file that has
been created by using
WinZip, PKZIP, or a compatible program. It contains one or more files
been compressed and glommed together to save space. To get at the files
in a ZIP
file, you usually need WinZip, PKUNZIP, or a compatible program.
may get a self-extracting file, which is a ZIP file that contains the
program right in it. Just run the file (type the name of the file at
line), and it unzips itself.
file-transfer protocol defined
by Chuck Forsberg, used by many programs. With Zmodem, you can transfer
files with one command, and the names of the files are sent along with
Some communications programs (such as ProComm) can detect when a Zmodem
has begun and automatically begin receiving the files. Nifty.