Glossary

This is a somewhat incomplete glossary of terms that may be used in this class (The Internet and World Wide Web) or you may run into them as you go online. Some terms go back to the Dark Ages of the online world- the days of Bulletin Board Systems.

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Acrobat A format for electronic (paperless) documents developed by Adobe, Inc. They give away free Acrobat readers to allow anyone to view these files. Also called PDF files, since .PDF is their file extension.
ANSI A way of displaying graphics characters developed by the American National Standards Institute. It may refer to either the ANSI.SYS device driver that you activate on your computer, or as the ANSI terminal emulation choice when you log onto a BBS.
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standard way for computers to exchange information, so that different hardware and software all understand what is an "A", what is a "B", etc. It is pronounced "AS-KEY".
Bandwidth A slang term that denotes how much information can be sent at one time. A 500 cable channel system has more "bandwidth" than a 36 channel system.
Baud The carrier frequency used to transmit data. Roughly equivalent to "bits per second". The higher the baud rate, the faster the data can be transmitted. 
BBS Bulletin Board System - a computer linked by a modem to a telephone line, that enables callers to connect their own computer to exchange messages, files, etc. This has been made extinct by the World Wide Web, although there may still be a few around somewhere.
Bookmark To have your browser memorize a web site, so that you can return to it. Bookmark is the official term in Netscape, while Microsoft Internet Explorer uses Favorite. The terms are interchangable. 
Broadband Fast Internet service. I don't know if there is an official dividing line between broadband and narrowband, but 100 Kps is probably it.
Browser The software you use to access the World Wide Web
Cable modem A device that will deliver broadband Internet access over cable-TV lines.
Cyberspace Another buzzword describing the online world
Data Bit How many bits in each piece of data being transferred between two computers. Most PC based BBSes use 8 data bits. A mainframe service such as Compuserve will typically use 7 data bits.
Domain Name System The method used to tell which network is which on the Internet. Used for mail routing, telneting and other functions.
Download Copy a file from a BBS onto the caller's computer.
DSL Digital subscriber line. A way to deliver broad-band Internet access over a standard telephone line.
e- Stick this in front of just about any term, and it makes it look like you are hip and on the cutting edge.
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions- a list of common questions about a subject.
Finger A program used to find out information about another user on the Web.
Flame Slang for a nasty personal attack posted to a newsgroup or via e-mail.
FTP File Transfer Protocol - a way to download files between Internet systems
GIF Graphics Interchange File- one of the two leading systems for displaying graphics on the Web. The other is JPEG.
Gopher A text retrieval tool on the Internet ("go fer" that piece of info)
HTML Hypertext markup Languague- the technique used to create World Wide Web pages.
HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol - this tells you that you are about to enter a World Wide Web system. Refers to the way the data is transmitted to your computer.
Internet Very loosely governed groups of interconnected computer networks. Think of the fable of the blind men and the elephant for a more detailed description.
Internet Explorer The name of Microsoft’s web browser. It is now the leading browser, in terms of market share. The current version is 5.01.
ISP Internet Service Provider. A company that sells access to the Web, either through dial-up accounts (modem to modem) or over a dedicated line.
Java A programming language that allows greater interactivity and special effects  on Web sites. It may also become a broader application language for running computer programs on different platforms. The language belongs to Sun Microsystems.
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group- the committee that came up with a new standard for displaying graphics on the Web, referred to as JPEG files. The filename extension is JPG. It is pronounced as Jay-peg
Lurker Someone who reads a news group but does not post messages.
Lynx A text-based interface for the World Wide Web.
Mailing list A private newsgroup distributed by e-mail.
Mosaic The original graphical interface program for using the World Wide Web. An ancestor of Netscape Navigator.
MP3 The most popular format for saving music files digitally, so they can be played on a computer (instead of in a CD player)
MNP 5 Microcom Networking Protocol, which is used to detect and correct errors in data transmission.
Modem The device that connects a computer to a phone line. It turns a computer's digital signals into a series of tones that can be sent by phone, and can convert the incoming tones back into digital information.
Napster A program, technology, and company that lets people share music files over the Internet. The company is being sued over its very existence by the Recording Industry Association of America
Net-equette Rules of behavior on the Internet. "Newbies often violate the rules of net-equette and get flamed."
Netscape Navigator Once  the leading Web browser was Netscape Navigator. The company, Netscape Communications, once was the leading trend-setter on the Internet. Now it is a barely-alive subsidiary of America Online. This happened either due to Microsoft's predatory practices, or due to technology market forces (depending on who you ask. )The current version is 4.7
Newbie A semi-derogatory term for a newcomer to the Internet.
Newsgroup An online discussion based around a common theme. The discussion is maintained by posting and reading messages as if you were pinning them on to a bulletin board.
Off-line Reader Software that will download your e-mail or newsgroup messages from a BBS or online service, and let you read them while offline.
Parity How computers check the data being transferred. 
PDF The file extension for Adobe Acrobat files.
Protocol Formal rules governing the sequence, timing, format, and error-control of files that are uploaded or downloaded.
RIP Graphics A graphical interface standard for BBSes.
Search Engine A web site that allows you to search the web for specific information. Alta Vista and InfoSeek Ultra are two of the better ones.
Server A computer that actually contains the Web pages that you may want to see. Sometimes called a Web server, to distinguish it from other types of servers.
Shareware Software that you can try for free before purchasing. It is often available on a BBS. To continue to use it after the trial period, the software must be paid for and registered.
SLP/PPP One type of Internet connection. This enables you to use graphical interfaces like Netscape or Mosaic.
Stop bit How two computers distinguish the beginnings and ends of bytes of data. Think of it as spaces between words.
Sysop System Operator. The person or persons who manage a BBS
Telnet To link your computer, via the Internet, to a remote computer so that you can, using your typed commands, control the remote computer as if you were sitting in front of it.
Terminal Emulation One of a variety of ways that a BBS will display characters to your computer. You must make sure that your computer and the BBS have agreed upon the same terminal emulation or else you will see gibberish on your screen. Common emulations include ANSI, VT100, and TTY.
Upload To copy a file from the caller's computer to a BBS.
URL Universal Resource Locator - the address of a WWW document or other Internet resource. Most WWW programs let you jump to a user-specified URL
USENET A group of newsgroups commonly carried on the Internet.
V.32, V. 34 and V.42, V.fast International standards that govern how data is transferred.
Webmaster The person in charge of a Web site.
WWW World Wide Web - a hypertext-type way of searching for information among various computer networks on the Internet.
Zip file A file that has been compacted (shrunk) by the program PKZIP.EXE. To unshrink it, you will need the program PKUNZIP.EXE. To get these programs, look for the file PKZ204G.EXE on a BBS.
   

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Where to Go for additional information

The best place to look for information about the online world is online. The amount of information and programs available is already staggering, and more comes online every day. Don't be afraid to start looking.