Techno Translator

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Above the fold: Is content on a web page that can be viewed without the need to scroll. When scrolling down the web page this content is referred to as 'below the fold'.

ACMA: Australian Communications & Media Authority. The government body responsible for communications standards in Australia, formerly ACA.

Access: Means to log on to the Internet. The saying 'access' is derived from the concept that you utilise a computer system that allows you to connect to other computers and access the Internet. The word 'access' can also be used to summarise the process of connecting to web pages or file on the Internet. An example would be, "I accessed this great web site the other day".

Access Number: A telephone number that is used for dial up connection to an Internet Service Provider.

Acrobat: A popular format for electronic documents that can be viewed on any kind of computer. The acrobat file format is called PDF (Portable Document Format). Invented by Adobe Systems the Acrobat software is freeware,

ActiveX: A Microsoft technology, created to allow highly interactive content on web sites. Similar technology is Java, Shockwave and Flash the main difference is that ActiveX is a Microsoft product.

Address: An Internet address can consist of letters, number and/or symbols. The address allows the Internet to identify a computer. Addresses allow people to transfer files, send email and visit web sites.

Adware: Small programs and cookies placed on your computer by Advertising companies to facilitate "Pop-ups" and track your internet usage for Marketing and Spam databases.

ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line transmits compressed data over copper telephone lines with the use of special ADSL modems to provide a fast Internet connection. In this way it is similar to DSL. The ADSL technology supports an approx downstream rate of 1.5 to 9Mbps and an upstream rate of 16 to 640Kbps.

Alt tag: A HTML tag that labels an image on a web page. These labels are especially useful for the vision impaired or those who choose not to download images. To view an 'alt tag', hover your mouse over an image on a web page for a few seconds and the alt tag should appear. Web designers are not required to include an alt tag on images, however it does improve the useability of their site.

Apache: Is a public-domain web server that hosts more then 50% of all web sites internationally. The popularity of this software is largely due to the low cost (free), advanced features and great performance.

APNIC: One of four Regional Internet Registries currently operating in the world. It provides the allocation of Internet Protocol addresses (IP addresses) to the Asian-Pacific region. It is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation whose members include Internet Service Providers, National Internet Registries, and similar organisations. APNIC represents the Asia Pacific region, comprising 62 economies.

App: An abbreviation of 'Application'. The term 'application' is used for computer software and/or programs.

Apple: Apple Computer Inc, creators of the Macintosh computer and the Macintosh operating system.

Applet: A small application (program) written in the Java language and downloaded over the web. An Applet can do anything from animate a graphic to configure a browser.

Application: The term 'application' is used for computer software and/or programs.

ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A standard way of "encoding" alphanumeric information as computer data. Because it's almost universally understood by different computers and software, an ASCII file (also called a plain text file) is widely used for sharing text information or raw alphanumeric data.

Attachment/enclosure: A file sent with an email message. It could be a word processor or spreadsheet file, an image or an application. Note that these have to be "encoded" to travel over the Web. If you are having trouble reading an attachment, check that both yourself and the sender are using the same encoding methods in your email client. Also make sure that you have any software needed to read the file (you cannot read a Photoshop file unless you have Photoshop (or a program cablable or reading .psd files) installed on your computer for example).

Authentication: A form of security that controls access to the Internet or Internet resources. Usually an authentication security measure would include a username and password type process.

Avatar: A computer-generated character. In 3D chat and gaming avatars may represent you or maybe characters you control. Originally a Hindu word for the human or animal manifestation of a god.

AVI: Audio Video Interleave. A Microsoft-specified format for saving audio and/or video clips, referred to by Windows as "Video for Windows." You can play the files through the Media Player in Windows or through many popular browser plug-in multimedia players. Files of this type have an .avi extension.


Backbone: The very high capacity data communications circuits linking major ISPs and other large networks. These are the Internet's major highways.

Bandwidth: Data travels over the Internet as a stream of electronic pulses. The volume of data that can travel in a given time over a particular path on a network (in our case the Internet) is its "bandwidth". If you imagine the flow of data as a flow of water through a pipe, the bandwidth is the size of the pipe. The bigger the pipe, the more water (or data) can flow. Text and small images can be sent quite easily on low bandwidth pipes (like phone lines) whereas sound and video files require larger amounts of bandwidth to be transmitted. The bandwidth of a particular network path is limited to the "narrowest" link in the path. Bandwidth is also used to describe people's ability to deal with information. Someone with a lot of bandwidth can deal with a lot of information at once.

Baud: The 'baud rate' of a modem indicated the number of bits it can send or receive per second.

Binary File: Any file that is stored as binary numbers, the raw language of computers. Binary files will only run with the right software on the right computer. So a UNIX or Macintosh binary is unlikely to run on a Windows PC. On the Internet, mainly due to common Usenet usage of the term, "binary" often means image files, also called "binaries".

Binary Numbers: Is the number system used for computers. The system has a base of 2, the numbers user are 0 and 1. The system is economical and precise, electronic circuits can easily detect the difference between the two states of high current and low current (0 and 1).

Binhex: An encoding method that lets Apple Macintosh files travel through UNIX systems. This file type has to be decoded before it can be used.

Bios: A name that describes the code on a computers ROM that provides simple instructions to control the hardware.

Bit: The smallest piece of information that is processed. It consists of either a "1" or a "0". 8 Bits make 1 Byte.

Blog: A style of web site where the users post up-to-date e-journal entries of their thoughts. These web sites are easy to use and an author can publish content without the requirement of understanding how to code.

BMP: Stands for 'bitmap' and is a Microsoft Windows image format.

Bookmark: Netscape's name for Favourites - Web sites, which you have saved in your browser for use in later Web surfing sessions.

Boot: Means to start a computer (verb). Reboot means to shut the computer down and restart it.

Bot: Short for robot. Refers to any software that appears to behave "intelligently". Some bots cruise around the Web looking for new sites to report to search engines. Mailbots automate email. Other bots take part in IRC chat sessions, "conversing" with other chat participants.

Bounced mail: Email that cannot be delivered because the mail server that the email is going to does not respond or does not know the recipient of the message. Double-check the email address and try to send the message again.

bps: Bits Per Second. A measure of data transfer speed. Most often seen as Kbps and Mbps (Kilobits per second and Megabits per second). "k" is the digital equivalent of a thousand but, unlike metric measures where a "k" is 1,000, the "k" in digital terms means 1,024, or 2 10 . Similarly, "m" means million, but digitally, it's 1,048,576 bits, or 2 20 . So given a byte is 8 bits, a megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes or 8,388,608 bits. Ideally, a Dialup modem operates at 56 kbps whereas a Cable Modem operates at around 5000 kbps.

Bridge: A hardware device or software program that links two networks together.

Broadband: High-speed Internet connections. Broadband connections use coaxial, fiber-optic cable or enhanced telephone lines as a high-capacity data transmission channel giving the end users access to simultaneous streaming video, voice and data content from the web.

Broken link: Is a link that does not work. There a several reasons for broken links: the web server has shut down temporarily; the web server has been reset; the web site has moved; the file has moved; or the HTML code is wrong.

Browse: To move around the web and individual web sites using a browser.

Browser: Software that lets you display files on the World Wide Web. These days, the main browsers used are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.

Bug: An error that causes a program, software application or computer system to act in error.

Byte: A packet of information containing 8 bits.


Cable Modem: Cable is coaxial cable or fiber-optic cable used to deliver cable television, telephony and cable Internet. Modem short for mo delator/ dem odulator. A device that takes a stream of data from a computer and turns it into a format that can be transmitted. A cable modem is a modem designed to provide Internet access on a cable network.

Cache: A place for temporary storage of computer files. The cache can be in either your computer's main memory (RAM) or secondary memory (hard drive). Pronounced "cash" or "caysh".

CAT5: Electical wiring used in home networks and provides high-capacity data transfer.

CC: Carbon copy is a feature in most email programs that allows duplicate copies of an email to be sent.

CD ROM: Stands for Compact Disk, Read Only Memory. A technology that can holds and plays back data, but can not delete. To use a CD-ROM you will need a 'CD ROM drive' most computers already have a CD ROM drive installed.

CGI script/program: A program on a web server that manages input from a web page. CGI scripts turn entries in web forms for example, into a database query or other action from the server.

Channels: Web sites designed to automatically send up-to-date information to you through your web browser. You can change the type of information presented when you subscribe to a channel. Typical information delivered through channels are news, sports, weather and stock quotes.

Chat: Real time conversations over the Internet. Traditionally conducted by typing messages but with higher bandwidth becomingpopular, chat can also include audio and video components.

Chat or IRC client: The software that you need on your PC to connect to an Internet Relay Chat service.

Chat room: A single group of chatters, usually focused on a particular topic, audience or geographic area.

Chat server: A computer on the Internet running software for Internet Relay Chat. It allows chat rooms to be set up and people to join chats.

Cisco: Cisco System Inc is the international leader in regards to networking for the Internet.

Client/server: A working relationship between computers and software. The client computer sits on your desk, running client software. It communicates with a server computer at the other end of a modem or network connection. The server delivers data to the client computer when requested - an example is a web server that delivers web pages to your browser.

Coaxial Cable: The main cable type used to deliver cable television and also used for telephony and cable Internet.

Code: Is a type of language that systems can read and execute.

COM Port : A Communications Port is a plug in the back of the computer used to connect devices such as printers and modems.

Compression: The bigger a file (image, sound, text, etc) the longer it takes to send or receive. Compression is a way of making files smaller. Many different techniques are used to compress computer files. When a compressed file reaches its destination it must be "expanded". Some compression techniques like Zip and Stuffit are "lossless", meaning that expanded file is identical to its original. Other compression techniques sacrifice detail to be able to compress the file as much as possible. This type of compression is used mainly for sound, image and video files..

Configuration: A word that refers to the set up of a computers operating system.

Connect: Refers to the connection between the computer and the Internet.

Cookie: A small file automatically sent to your computer from a web server, They are small text files the web site will access each time you visit their site. For example the information stored in cookies include; shopping cart information and preferences. Many sites need cookies to work correctly.

CPU: The Central Processing Unit is the main microprocessor in your computer. It handles the main central management functions.

Crash: Refers to when your computer or Internet suddenly stops working.

Cross Post: Is the act of posting the same message across a number of newgroups. Something that is not recommended and could be a breach of newsgroup rules.


Daemon: Is a Unix program that is assigned a specified task and specific times or only in response to an event.

Data: Refers to information that can be processed by a computer.

Dedicated: In the digital world this means "used for one purpose only". So a dedicated modem line is a phone line used exclusively by a modem, and a dedicated server is a computer used for one specific task.

Default: Computer settings and programs usually offer default settings that a user can modify to suit their needs. Many programs will offer a default setting button that will return the configuration back to the default state.

Desk top: A computer that is designed to be placed on a desk. However, this can also mean what you is seen on the computer monitor when there are no applications running.

Device: Refers to a piece of hardware. For example, CD-ROM, Hard Drives and Keyboards are all devices.

Device driver: The software that controls the device.

Dial-up Account: An account with an ISP that lets you connect to the Internet using a phone line and modem.

Digest: On a mailing list, a digest is a collection of messages, usually a day's worth. Instead of receiving intermittent messages through the day, a mail server can collate all the emails to a particular address to be held and sent as a single message at a specified time.

Directory: A list of files on a server (like the folders on a PC).

DirectX: Allow programmers to access hardware features on a computer despite the fact that they might not know exactly what hardware is installed on the computer that runs the software. Microsoft developed this technology.

DLL: Dynamic Link Library is a Windows file and is a small executable program in itself. They operate in the background and link to application programs when they are launched, the DLL file version needs to be compatible with the program or an error message is received.

DNS: Domain Name Server. These are servers that match the URL (name) of an Internet service with its corresponding IP address. For example when a request for is made, the DNS server will translate this to the IP address of after which the web page for that address is retrieved and sent to your browser.

Domain: An Internet address. The domain for Optus is .

Dongle: Are security devices for computer programs. Some programs may search for a dongle once launched to ascertain if the program is a registered version. If the program is unable to find the dongle the launch is terminate and the program can not be used.

Download: To get a file from a server to your computer.

Driver: A small program that works with a specific device or software. For example, a mouse requires a driver to operate. Drivers are often provided as a DLL file.

DSL: Digital Subscriber Line provides high-speed Internet access over the copper telephone wiring. Although the DSL service utilises the telephone copper wire, there is no need to dial into an ISP, the DSL connection offers a constant connection to the Internet.

Dub dub dub: An abbreviation of World Wide Web (WWW).

Dynamic: Refers to interactive features.


Email/news client: Software on your computer that allows you to connect to email and Usenet servers. The most common client for mail and news is Microsoft Outlook Express.

Emoticon: Sets of characters used to represent facial emotions. For example :-) is a smiley face.

End-user: The person who uses a computer or the Internet.

Ethernet: A popular networking blueprint, used at home or in the office. Most common network speeds include 10BASE-T, with transmission speeds up to 10 Mbps.

UELA: End-User License Agreements are found most often when you install new software. They are the manufacturer's terms and conditions that you must agree to to user their product.

Extensions: Can be found after the dot in a file name. For example, .exe .pdf .jpg

Extranet: The connection of two or more Intranets. For example, if you connected your Sydney office Intranet with the Melbourne office Intranet, you would have created an Extranet.


FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question about something on a web site, a Usenet group or a mailing list, always check the FAQs first. The answer you are seeking may already be answered. Take this advice, if you do not first check the FAQ and the question you have is answered in the FAQ, be ready to be flamed or spammed from regular users of the service.

Favorite: Microsoft's term for web sites you want to go back to. Has the same function as Netscape's Bookmark. The English version is favourite.

Fiber-optic cable: is a cable that can transmit data at very high speeds. The fiber-optics within the cable guides the transmitting lasers light with small loss of information enabling very high data transfer rates.

Firewall: Software and/or hardware that is used to protect one or more computers connected to the Internet from hackers, and other unwanted intrusions. Can also be used to block traffic going to the outside network or filter restricted websites.

Flame: Abusive, threatening or insulting email, Usenet or chat messages. When there is more than one participant in circulating these types of messages, it is a "Flame war". Avoid flaming and flame wars at all costs as it may have unintended consequences - such as people trying to flood your mailbox with damaging viruses or, trying to hack into your system.

Flame bait: The intentional posting of a inflammatory comment designed to attract a strong reaction and to create a flame war.

Flame war: If an online discussion breaks down and personal attacks against debaters starts, this heated exchange is a flame war.

Flash: Macromedia Flash is a used to create much of the animated content available on the Internet. The Flash plug-in makes viewing this content possible.

Floppy disk: A magnetically coated, flexible disk, covered in a plastic case that is used to store data.

Frag: To wipe out your opponent in a multiplayer online game.

Freeware: Software that you can download from the Internet for free.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol. The standard method used to transfer files across the Internet. Most commonly associated with uploading web pages and other files to a web space.


Gamer: A person who is considered an expert in playing interactive online games.

Gaming network: When two or more computers are linked together for the purpose of playing multiplayer games.

GIF: Graphic Interchange Format. A standard type of graphics file used on the Internet.

Gigabyte: A quantity of memory or disk space, one gigabyte equals 1,000MB (actually 1,024 megabytes).


Hacker(s): A person who tries to hack into computer systems. A "cracker" hacks into a system and then alters the system or steals information from it.

Hard drive: A device on your computer that stores all of the information and software programs.

Hardware: The computer equipment that makes a computer system (the electrical devices).

Hayes: The company (now defunct) that developed what is now the standard set of modem commands, the "AT command set". You often see that a modem is "Hayes compatible" meaning that they understand the AT command set.

Header: A load computer code that appears at the beginning of an Internet file. Email headers (normally hidden by your email client) shows the path a message has taken from its point of origin to its destination.

Hexadecimal: A numbering system that works on base 16 (decimal is base 10). Widely used in the programming world because it is easy to convert binary numbers to hexadecimal and vice-versa. 15 symbols are required to represent the hexadecimal number set - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F. So "10" (decimal) converted to hexadecimal would be "A".

HFC: Hybrid Fiber Coax is a network comprising of fiber-optic backbone connected to coaxial cable that connects subscribers homes.

Hijack: Installing certain software, sometimes without your knowledge, has the unfortunate effect of "hijacking" your browser's homepage so it goes to a page other than the one you intended. Generally to a useless search engine. Often this forces all of your internet activity to pass through a third party's "proxy" which helps them to increase the amount of "hits" on their webpage thus increasing their advertising revenue. Also often used to catch personal information. Hijacking is very difficult to get rid of.

Homepage: Every web site has one of these. It is the first page that is displayed when you go to a web site. This is the page where you start your journey through a web site.

Home networking: Simply means having a collection of two or more computers and associated devices linked together via communication equipment in a home environment. Home Networking unables sharing of connected resources like broadband Internet connections, printers and other hardware peripherals and files and data stored on shared hard disk drive.

Host: A computer that provides a service for a number of people that are connected to it. So, when you connect to Optus Internet, you are then connected to a host that will process your requests. Internet Relay Chat is conducted through hosts. Host means virtually the same thing as "server".

Host name: The name that a computer is identified as when on a network and/or the Internet.

Hosting: The most common use of the word hosting refers to 'Web site hosting', this involves a business providing equipment and services to host a clients web site so that it can be displayed on the Internet.

Hover: To hold the mouse cursor over a selected area on a web page or computer screen so that a comment or menu is displayed.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language: The coding language used to create web pages. To view some HTML, open your browser and go to any web site. If your using Microsoft Internet Explorer, select View then Source . If you use Netscape Navigator, select View then Page Source . This is what the browser "sees" when you visit a web site and tells the browser how to display the web page!

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol. The communications protocol that is used to transmit web pages across the Internet.

Hub: A hardware device that is used to connect computers and their peripherals together to form a network.

Hyperlink: A word or image on a web page that connects you to other web pages and sites.


IBM: IBM Corporation (International Business Machines) is one of the leading corporations who design and manufacture computer systems.

Icon: Refers to a graphical image of a specific item. Icons can be found on your computer desktop and usually start programs or link to areas within the operating system.

IETF: Internet Engineering Task Force. The organisation which investigates development and enhancements for the Internet

IMAP: Internet Message Access Protocol. A more advanced email protocol to POP3.

Import: Refers to the process of a program retrieving data that was produced by another application.

Infected file: Is a file that has been damaged due external factors. For example a file could be damage due to a virus. This can be avoided by using an anti-virus program.

Install: The process of adding a new program or application on your computer.

Internet: The worldwide computer network that links millions of computers and other networks together. All computers communicating on the Internet do so with the TCP/IP communications protocols.

Intranet: A network that uses the TCP/IP communications protocols, but with access limited to people within a single organisation. People access information in an Intranet the same way as they do with the Internet - by using browsers and email clients. The main difference is that anybody outside the intranet can't access the data contained within the intranet unless they have permission.

IP: Internet Protocol. One the two main protocols used to control the transmission of data across the Internet.

IP address: The unique, numbered address of a single computer connected to the Internet. An IP address consists of four numbers, each separated by a full stop. For example (Optus primary DNS IP address).

IPv6: Internet Protocol Version 6. A new form of IP which will mean many more IP addresses will become available. IPv4 is the currently used version.

IRC: Internet Relay Chat. For more information on Internet chat.

IRL: Internet abbreviation for In Real Life (in other words the "off-line" world).

ISP: Internet Service Provider. A company that provides connections to the Internet. Optus is an ISP.


Java and JavaScript: Java is a programming language developed by Sun Microsystems. Java applets (small applications) can be included in web pages to animate graphics, perform calculations and other interesting things. JavaScript shares similarities to the complete Java language, however it was developed separately.

JPEG: Joint Photographics Expert Group. A standard format for images on the web named for the group that set the standard. Most suitable or photo type images.


kbps: See bps

Key: Is used to encrypt data via the use of binary numbers. Wireless Home Networking devices will provide software that can encrypt data through the use of a key. The user must enter a word that will be used as the key to encrypt the data. A longer word ensures a key of greater complexity.

Keyword: The words a search engine collects from web pages and looks up when you do a search. Most web pages have keywords hidden in their HTML code for indexing by a search engine.

Killing: On newsgroups you can hide or "kill" threads on selected topics or, messages from particular people.


Lag: When your computer has frozen and is not responding to requests or not accessing web site requests, lag is the length of time the event occurs for.

LAN: Local Area Network. A computer network set up in one location (hence local area). Once a network becomes connected to one that is outside the immediate LAN, it becomes part of a WAN (Wide Area Network).

Latency: The length of time for a packet of data to be sent over a network. The time taken between sending a request and receiving the response.

Launch: To start a program or application.

Legacy: Old computers or software that you cannot or do not want to get rid of.

Link: A word or image on a web page that connects you to other web pages and sites.

Logged on: Connected to a server or the Internet. Usually requires the use of a username and password.

Logoff: Disconnect from a server of the Internet.

LOL: An acronym used on the Internet meaning 'Laughing Out Loud'.

Lurk: Staying invisible on a mailing list or Usenet discussion (ie. not sending any messages). Strongly recommended until you have the feel for the content, style and etiquette of a particular group.


Macintosh: Apple Computer Inc, creators of the Macintosh computer and the Macintosh operating system.

Matrix: A word made popular from the Si-Fi novel Neuromancer by the author William Gibson. The word describes the expanding network of computer.

Mbps: See bps.

Menu : A selection of items that you can pick from.

Microsoft: Microsoft is a leading software company. Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded it in 1975.

MIME: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. Lets you include images, sound and video with your email.

Mirror site: A complete copy of a web site that is stored on a separate server. Usually used for sites that are very popular to share the load with the main server. Mirrors let you choose a server that is physically closer to you which should make downloads faster.

Modem: Short for modulator/demodulator. A device that takes a stream of data from a computer and turns it into a format that can be transmitted over a phone line. A modem at the other end of the line then coverts the data back into a format that is able to be used by the receiving computer.

Monitor: The video unit on your desktop that is displaying this web site.

Motherboard: In a computer the motherboard is the main circuit board of the computer.

MPEG: Moving Pictures Experts Group. A set of compression standards for movies viewed and transmitted over the Internet.

Multimedia: The use of multiple media types in a graphical computing environment. Usually applies to sound, video and animation.


Narrowband: Narrowband is a communication transmission channel with a small bandwidth and a slow data transfer rate.

Net: Short for Internet.

Netizen: A citizen (or denizen) of the Internet. Someone who knows their way around the Internet.

Netscape: The company that made the web popular with the first commercial browser. Usually used to refer to the Navigator browser program, which is also known as "Mozilla".

Network: When two or more computers are connected with communication equipment.

Newbie: Someone who is new to the Internet or, a particular part of the Internet. Most Netizens are happy to help a polite newbie, providing they have already read the FAQ or rules pertaining to the particular web site or service.

Newsgroups: Are an online discussion forum broken up into a wide range of subject groups.

Newsreader: Software for reading and replying to articles in newsgroups.

NNTP: Network News Transport Protocol. The protocol used to transport Usenet news messages across the Internet.

Node: A connection to the network. Every computer connected to the Internet is considered a node.


Official site: Means the web site is the actual site created and managed by the person, an agent or organisation that you have researched. An unofficial site is created by a third party.

Offline: When a computer is not connected to the Internet.

Online: Connected to the Internet. When you are not connected, you are "off-line".

Open source: When a programs source code is available for use or modification.

Operating system: Is software that manages applications and peripherals, it is the foundation software on a computer.

Outage: When something on the network is broken and is limiting service availability.


P2P: Peer to Peer is when two (or more) computers on a network share files from each other's hard drives without a file server.

Packet: The smallest unit of data passed through the Internet. Every file transmitted across the Internet, no matter how large is broken down into equal sized packets. Each packet has the address of its destination plus, the details of where it fits into the jigsaw puzzle of its larger, original file. As each packet passes through the Internet, each server will read the address contained in the packet header so it is forwarded to the correct destination. On arrival at the destination, the receiving computer will wait for all the packets that make up a file to arrive before it looks at the information contained within the packets to rebuild the original file.

Page: A single HTML file on the web, normally displayed a screen of information and images which are viewed through a web browser.

Patch: Additional software code that fixes problems on the original software program.

Photoshop: Is a graphics program created by Adobe.

Piracy: When software is copied without authorisation.

Platform: A computer based on a particular operating system. Windows, Macintosh and UNIX are each a type of platform. Cross-platform means that an application or file can be used across the different types of platforms, the Internet is cross platform.

PoP: Point of Presence. A phone number that lets you connect to your ISP.

POP3: Post Office Protocol 3. A basic mail server protocol that is used across most of the Internet for incoming mail. That is why your incoming mail server is quite often referred to as the "POP server".

Post: A message contributed to a newsgroup, bulletin board or mailing list.

PPP: Point to Point Protocol. The most common protocol used for connecting a computer to the Internet with a modem.

Protocol: A defined way for devices or programs to communicate with each other. If protocols do not match, data cannot be transferred between computers. The Internet works on layers of protocols. PPP is used to create a connection with a remote host or server. TCP/IP is used to correctly address packets of information to their destination. FTP, HTTP and many other protocols then "ride" on top of TCP/IP to perform their specialist functions such as email delivery, file transfer and delivery of streaming multimedia.

Push: Internet technology that automatically sends information out to subscribers. Channels are good example of push technology.


Quicktime: A widely used format for multimedia delivery over the Internet. Developed by Apple Computers. This program operates on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.


RAM: Is hardware in a computer that retains memory on a short-term basis.

Real Player: A popular format for streaming audio and video. Uses a plug-in to become part of your browser.

RFC: Request for comment. An RFC is the way that proposed changes to Internet architecture and function are submitted for discussion.

Robot: See Bot.

Router: A device used to direct and send packets of information within a network, or between networks. Analogous to a Post Office.


Script: Small programs, often included in web pages.

Search Engine: The software used by a search site to retrieve a list web sites or web files that match a users' search keywords.

Search Site: A web site that is designed to use search engine software to provide results to user who is looking for information on a particular subject or topic.

Server: A computer that provides (serves) information or services to many client computers. Servers exist to serve you. Typical servers include mail, web and news servers.

Shareware: Software distributed freely, with payment based on trust, usually after a trial period. By reducing distribution and marketing costs, shareware makes powerful software available for a low cost. If you find the software to work satisfactorily, it's a good idea to pay for it. This helps finance future development of the product.

Shell Account: The most basic type of Internet connection. Lets you use your computer as a UNIX terminal. No web access is available using a shell account however you can still access email, Usenet, FTP and telnet.

Shockwave: Format for multimedia web content. Requires a plug-in to view.

Site: A collection of organised web pages with a single identity. The new site is one such example.

SLIP: Serial Line Interface Protocol. A protocol that connects a computer to the Internet with a modem. All but replaced these days with PPP (Point to Point Protocol).

Smiley: Sets of characters meant to represent a face. The original is :-)

Spam: Unwanted junk email. Currently, the volumes of Spam are actually putting the viability of email in doubt.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The standard protocol for sending email on the Internet.

Spyware: Malicious code installed on your computer, often without your knowledge, which has many functions, including tracking your internet usage, harvesting your personal information an allowing "backdoor" access to your computer by hackers.

Streaming Audio and Video: Streaming means that you can hear or view audio or video while it is still downloading to your computer. Note that playback of the file may be interrupted if the available bandwidth is low.

Stuffit: A common file compression format for Macintosh platforms. Creates files that end with .sit

Surf: To move from web site to web site. Usually with no particular purpose in mind.


TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The Internet's basic communications protocol.

Traffic: Refers to the number of users attempting to access a web site or area on the web.

Thread: A series of messages about a particular topic in a newsgroup or mailing list.

Throughput: The rate at which data can travel through an entire system.

TLA: Abbreviation for Three Letter Acronym. An abbreviation to describe abbreviations.


Unzip: The process of decompressing and upening up ZIP files. To do this you will need the WinZip program.

Upload: Send a file "up" to host.

Usenet: The network that handles newsgroups.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator. The address for a web site. For example is our URL.


Virtual Reality: Simulated computer environments that emulate real world as closely as possible. Still in the early stages as virtual reality requires massive amounts of bandwidth.

VRML: Virtual Reality Markup Language: The language used to create virtual reality programs.


WAV: Common windows audio file format. Pronounced "wave".

WAN: Wide Area Network. A data network that extends beyond a single building.

Warez: Illegally obtained software.

Web: The World Wide Web. The portion of the Internet that is accessed using HTTP and is viewed through a web browser.

Web Address: A URL.

Web Browser: Software on your computer that lets you download and view HTML pages.

Webmaster: The person responsible for running and maintaining a web site.

Wireless networks: Is when two or more computers are connected via communications devices that transmit information over public airwaves similar to radio and cordless phones.

Wizard: A program that is used to guide you step by step through the process of configuring another program. The Microsoft Internet Connection Wizard is one example.

World Wide Web: The portion of the Internet that is accessed using HTTP and is viewed through a web browser.

Worm: A type of virus that replicates itself.

W3C: World Wide Web Consortium: This is the organisation that sets the standards for the Internet.

WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get. Computer programs that allow you to create a file without needing to know how to write computer code.


XML: eXtensible Markup Language. A language used to define web based content.


Y2K: Year 2000. The Y2K bug was one of the biggest hoaxes in history. The actual effect of this supposed problem was microscopic compared to what the analysts predicted.


Zine: An electronic magazine.

Zip: A common file compression format for Windows platforms. Creates files that end with .zip