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Glossary

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Anonymous FTP
A service provided by many computers on the Internet that gives any user restricted access to files, generally including the ability to transfer files from the computer.

Archie
An index system that helps you find files in over 1,000 FTP sites.

authentication
The process of verifying the identity of a user, usually by means of a user ID and password.

baud rate
A measurement of how quickly a modem transfers data.

client
A program or computer that can access services on another program or computer (the server).

Domain Name
The suffix used for all hosts on a particular network which identifies them as being a part of that system.  Often one of the hosts on that system uses only the domain suffix as its whole name.

Domain Name System
Or DNS.  A system for translating Internet IP numbers into easily remembered names.  The user can use the name, and the DNS looks up the number which identifies the machine you are trying to access.

E-mail
Short for electronic mail.  This is a system that lets people send and receive messages with their computers.

Finger
A program used to find information about a user on a host computer.  Some hosts do not provide finger service.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol.  Used to move files around on the Internet.  This protocol uses two simultaneous connections to the host, one for the transfer and one for commands.

GIF
Acronym for Graphics Interchange Format.  A format developed in the mid-1980's by CompuServe for use in photo- quality graphics images.  Now a commonly used format on the Internet.

host
Any computer connected directly to the Internet which provides services accessible to others.  A "hostname" identifies that computer.

html
Acronym for Hypertext Markup Language.  A set of formatting tags which determines how a document is displayed when viewed by a browser.

http
Acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The protocol for moving hypertext files across the Internet.  Requires an HTTP client program (browser) on one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end.

hyperlink
Or simply Link. Text or graphic on which you click to move to another document on the World Wide Web.

Internet
A worldwide system of computer networks.  Networks connected through the Internet use a particular set of communications standards, known as TCP/IP, to communicate.  This standard allows any type of computers to talk to each other.

IP
Acronym for Internet Protocol.

IRC
Internet Relay Chat.  A service for multiple users to "chat" or talk simultaneously over the Internet.

JPEG
Acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group.  A standard for compressing and storing still images in digital form.

MIME
Acronym for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A standardized method for organizing divergent file formats according to each file's MIME type.  When Internet software retrieves a file from a server, the server provides the MIME type of the file, and the file is decoded correctly when transferred to your machine.

MPEG
Acronym for Moving Pictures Experts Group.  A standard for compressing and storing motion video and animation in digital form.

News Server
A computer that collects newsgroup data and makes it available to newsreader client programs.

newsgroups
The name for discussion groups on the Internet.  Successor to older "bulletin boards".

PPP
Acronym for Point-to-Point Protocol.  This is a method for connecting computers to the Internet via telephone lines, similar to SLIP.

protocol
A set of rules that describe how computers transmit information, especially across networks.

server
A computer or software that provides resources, such as files or other information, to client software running on other computers.

signature
A file, typically four lines long or so, that people often insert at the end of electronic mail messages or news articles, telling something about the sender.

SLIP
Acronym for Serial Line Internet Protocol.  This is a method for connecting a computer to the Internet using a telephone line and a modem.

SMTP
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.  A protocol used to transfer email.  SMTP transfers mail from server to server, and remote users must use Post Office Protocol (POP) to transfer the messages to their machine using client software.

TCP
Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol.

telnet
A program that lets you connect to other computers on the Internet.

thread
In USENET news, a series of  related articles grouped together.

URL
Acronym for Uniform Resource Locator the standard way to give the address of any resource that is part of the World Wide Web.

USENET News
The articles of the Usenet distributed bulletin board system.

winsock
Any implementation of the tcp/ip sockets protocol which runs on Microsoft Windows.

World Wide Web (WWW)
A collection of online multimedia documents housed on Internet servers around the world. To access these documents, you use a Web browser.  When a browser accesses (or hits) a page, the server sends the document to your computer to be displayed.
 

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