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Web hosting strategies

 Various web hosting companies have different kinds of offers for their clients, that differ in price and the offered service as well as the quality of the service. Some of the important points about web hosting strategies are discussed below.

  • The web hosts provide a place for storing the web pages so that they can be viewed online from anywhere.
  • The hosting company can be anywhere around the world.
  • There are two sectors of hosting companies like everything else - one that is cheap but with poor quality of service, and the other somewhat expensive but promising more prompt and quality service.
  • Cloud hosting is another important development step in web hosting that allows to share not only the web pages but also the programs that are too big to keep in personal computers.

File Hosting

What is file hosting?
A file hosting service is an internet hosting service, which is designed to host specially the static contents that comprise large files. Such files are generally allowed web and ftp access. Various file hosting companies have different rates for hosting the file according to the required file size, and the price is generally in terms of the required space.

How to host a file?
File hosting is carried out by hosting companies who offer the service free of charge or with a small amount of payment. In free hosting, there is usually some limitation over the number of files that can be hosted, or the maximum size of files hosted, while in paid hosting, there is almost no any limitation - the user can select any number of files of any size.

Types of file hosting

  • Software file hosting
  • Personal file hosting
  • Content caching

    Web Hosting

    What is web hosting?
    A web hosting service allows an individual and/or organization to make their websites accessible through the world wide web (WWW). The companies that provide the space on a server they own are known as web hosts, who provide the web hosting service. Web information is stored in documents called web pages, which are stored on computers called web servers; and the computers reading the web pages are called web clients.

    Hosting your web site on your own server is always an option. Following are some of the points that can be considered:

    Running a real website needs some powerful server hardware that cannot be replaced by a low cost PC. You'll also need a permanent source of power supply (so that the website is not down if there is load shedding or other power problem) and a permanent high-speed connection.

    Server-licenses usually have limits on number of users, and they are often higher than client-licenses.

    Installing your own hardware and software cannot be accomplished with low labor expenses. Also bugs and viruses need to be dealt with, and the server needs to be running constantly in every situation.

    Hybrid Topology

    A hybrid topology, as the name suggests, is an interconnection of two or more networks. The component networks may be ring, star, tree, mesh or any other, depending upon the requirement of a firm or institution. For example, in an institution, if there is a ring topology in one department, bus topology in the next department, star topology in another department and so on, all the departments can connect to each other through a bus topology that connects the ring, bus and star topologies of each department to each other. Such a topology that consists of more than one type of individual topologies is known as hybrid topology.

    Hybrid topology

    Advantages of hybrid topology

    • The benefits of several different types of topologies can be combined into one.

      Disadvantages of hybrid topology

      • Comparatively expensive than other topologies.

        Mesh Topology

        A mesh topology is a computer network in which every node has a dedicated point-to-point connection to every other node in the network. A mesh topology has n*(n-1)/2 routes that connect 'n' devices in the network. Mesh topology work on the concept of routes. Message that is to be delivered to the destination can take any possible shortest and easiest routes that it can find.

        mesh topology
        Mesh Topology

        Advantages of Mesh topology

        • As it has multiple routes between the source and the destination, if one route fails, there would be a number of other routes through which data transfer can take place.
        • Traffic problem is minimized in this topology.
        • Troubleshooting is easier compared to other networks like star and ring.
        • Heavy load of data transfer has little impact on the performance of this topology.
        • This network can be easily expanded without affecting the existing users.

        Disadvantages of Mesh topology

        • It is expensive as it requires more cable than other topologies.
        • Installation is difficult and complicated.

          Tree topology

          A tree topology consists of bus and star topologies framed in a common network. The tree like structure of this network allows the colleges, schools, universities and other institutions to maintain their own network as a branch of a bigger network through which they can maximize their area of access to the network. This type of network topology is most suitable for such networks which are widely spread and divided into many branches.
          On tree topology the hubs of each smaller topologies are connected to the central hub that controls the entire network. However, some nodes can be directly connected to the central hub.

          tree topology
          Tree topology

          Advantages of tree topology

          • It is possible to form a point to point connection with tree topology.
          • All the computers can access other computers which are in other larger and immediate networks.
          • Tree topology is best suited for branched out networks.

          Disadvantages of tree topology

          • In this topology, the length of the network depends on the type of cable utilized to form the network.
          • The entire tree topology would fail if the central trunk fails as it forms the backbone of the network.
          • The tree topology is comparatively more complex than the bus and star topologies. If it gets bigger, it would be difficult to configure and manage it.
          • It is expensive as more hubs and cables are required to install the network.

          Ring Topology

          A ring topology consists of network of computers in which each node connects to exactly two other nodes.This forms a single continuous path for the flow of signals through each nodes of the network. Data travels from node to node, with each node along the way handling every packet. Each of the nodes in the ring topology are connected to each other through only one pathway, so the failure of only one link disrupts the whole network.
          To overcome this fallacy, the data in a ring topology is transmitted both clockwise and counter clockwise, so that if there is single break of the cable, all the nodes on both sides can be reached.

          Ring Topology
          Ring Topology

           Advantages of Ring Topology

          • It is an orderly network in which all the nodes in the network have equal access to all the resources.
          • Its performance is far better compared to star topology under heavy network.
          • It does not need network servers to manage the connections.
          Disadvantages of Ring Topology

          • If one of the workstations fails to operate, it may lead to the unusability of the whole network.
          • Addition and removal of devices in the network can affect the entire network.
          • Ring network is slower than  the Ethernet network.


          Star Topology

          A star topology consists of a central connection hub to which devices are connected with UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) Ethernet. Contrary to the bus topology, a star topology utilizes a point-to-point connection to connect each node to the central hub. The hub acts as a signal booster as well, and all the data traffic that transverses the network passes through this hub.
          The entire network is dependent upon the central hub in a star topology, so if the entire network is not working, it means that there is problem in the hub. This makes it easy to troubleshoot the network because of the only one point for error correction. As all the computers in star topology are independent to each other and dependent only on the central hub, network failure or other network problems are less likely to happen. The privacy of each of the computers is also maintained in this topology.
          In star topology, new devices and nodes can be easily added and by just extending a cable from the hub.

          What is internet? Read here

          Advantages of star topology:
          • A star topology is simple in functionality and easy to manage.
          • If a problem occurs in the network, it can be easily isolated and cleared.
          • It is very easy to expand the star topology because of its simple format.

          Disadvantages of star topology:
          • The entire network of the star topology is completely dependent on the hub. If the hub fails, the whole network fails.
          • Network connection may slow down when the number of nodes increases or the cable lengthens.
          • Star topology needs more cable length than other topologies.
          • It is more expensive compared to bus topology.

          star topology
          Star Topology

          ZTE K3770-Z 3G USB Modem Datacard, 7.2Mbps, Fully Unlocked for Any 2G 3G Sim

          ZTE K3770-Z 3G USB Modem Datacard, 7.2Mbps, Fully Unlocked for Any 2G 3G Sim

          Types of network topologies

          Bus topology

          A bus topology uses a single cable to connect all the devices used in the network. The single cable forms the backbone of the communication medium in which the devices are attached. To establish a communication, a signal originating from the source travels in both directions to all the machines connected on the bus cable until it finds the address of the device to which the data is to be delivered. If the destination device finds that the data is for its own address, then only it accepts the data. The topology consists of terminators at both ends so that the data does not continue bouncing to and fro.

          Advantages of bus topology:

          • If one of the station fails to operate, it does not affect the operation of other stations.
          • It can be a good replacement against other topologies.
          • It is very suitable for such networks which are more or less temporary and which are needed immediately.
          • It is easy to implement and extend.

          Disadvantages of bus topology: 

          • Data collision may occur when two or more nodes are transmitting the data at the same time.
          • It is not suitable if the traffic rates in the network is heavy.
          • It is very difficult to manage and troubleshoot a bus topology.
          • A fault in the cable may disable the whole network and it would be very difficult to find that fault.
          • Maintenance cost can increase unexpectedly at the long run.
          • Performance of the network is degraded when more computers are added to the network.

          Bus topology
          Bus topology

          Network Topology

          A network topology refers to the interconnection of various nodes of a computer network. In other words, it defines the layout of the various devices that are part of the computer network.Topology is the virtual "shape" of the network, but it may not actually represent the actual physical design of the network that the various devices are connected to each other.
          There are two types of network topologies: physical and logical.

          A physical topology refers to the physical design of the computer network that includes the computers and other devices, their location and the various cables installed in the network.

          A logical topology means the mode of flow of data in the network in contrast to its physical arrangement.

          There are mainly six types of network topologies listed as under:
          • bus
          • star
          • ring
          • tree
          • mesh
          • hybrid

          Types of computer networks (..... contd)

          MAN (Metropolitan Area Network)
          A MAN is a computer network that covers a geographical area that is larger than a LAN but smaller than a WAN,extending typically over a city. It is usually owned by a single entity like a government branch or a large organization.

          CAN ( Campus Area Network)
          A CAN is a computer network that spans multiple LANs but which is smaller than a MAN. It is mostly present in universities or a campus.

           SAN (Storage Area Network)
          This type of computer network is used to connect the servers to the data storage devices for storing the data or accessing the data that was stored previously on the device.

          VPN (Virtual Private Network)
          A VPN is a network of computers in which some of the links between the various nodes have open connections or have virtual circuits of some larger network, typically the internet, rather than joining them with physical wires. In other words, a VPN uses the connections of the internet or some other intranet to form a private network, without actual physical connection among the devices that form the node. This allows secure communications through the internet, because the VPN can be made accessible only by authorised personnels.

          PAN (Personal Area Network)
          A personal area network is a network of computers and/or other devices like PDAs (Personal Digital Assistant), cell phones, telephones, fax, printers, scanners etc. This network can be used to transfer files, emails, calender appointments, digital photos, music, etc. A PAN may be constructed through wire or wirelessly, and it typically covers an area of about 10 meters.

          Types of computer networks

          On the basis of the area a network covers, it can be divided into the following types:

              *  LAN      -  Local Area Network
              *  WLAN  - Wireless Local Area Network
              *  MAN     - Metropolitan Area Network
              *  WAN     - Wide Area Network
              * SAN       -  Storage Area Network, System Area Network, Server Area Network, Small Area Network

              * CAN      - Campus Area Network, Controller Area Network, or sometimes Cluster Area Network
              * PAN      - Personal Area Network
              * DAN      - Desk Area Network

          The original categories of computer networks were only LAN, MAN and WAN. The other categories evolved during the advancements in the technology of computer networks.

          LAN (Local Area Network)

          A LAN is a network of computers and devices over a relatively short geographical area. An office building networked with computers,a school or college or a home usually contains a single LAN, though sometimes one building will contain a few small LANs (probably one per room), and occasionally a LAN will span a group of nearby buildings. In addition to operating in a limited space, LANs are also controlled by a single person or organization. A LAN also tend to use certain connectivity technologies, primarily Ethernet or Token Ring.

           WAN - Wide Area Network
          A WAN  spans a large physical distance compared to a LAN. The internet is the largest and the most common example of a WAN, that spans the whole Earth. A WAN can be considered as a collection of several LANs that are dispersed throughout the whole world. The network device Router connects several LANs to form the WAN. The Router also maintains both a LAN address and a WAN address in IP networking.

          WLAN  - Wireless Local Area Network
          WLAN is also a type of LAN(local area network) based on wireless network technology mostly referred as Wi-Fi. In contrast to a LAN, in WLAN no wires are used; radio signals are the medium for communication. To access any wireless network around, wireless network cards must be installed in the system. The wireless cards are connected to the Wireless Routers for the purpose of communication among the computers.

          Computer Networks

          A computer network is a combination of computers and other computer related devices connected by communications channels for the purpose of sharing files and resources among the users. The network may be of many types, with unique features of its own.
          The primary objective of computer network is to share the files among various users. Among the various networks of computers, the internet is definitely the most important inventions of modern age. It is a huge source of information on any topic, it brought the era of emails and point to point communication through voice and video, allowing anyone to communicate with anyone else in the world; and it is also a great medium of new kind of business - the online business. Everyone in the world today depend so much on the computer networks and specially the internet, that it has become a part of our daily life.

          Computer Networks
          fig: Computer Networks

          How to hack a website?

          Hacking a computer or a website are similar in terms of the security. The fundamental skill required for this purpose is programming, be it in any language. Learning a programming language is essential to learn the hacking procedures. It is easier to learn hacking if you have open source softwares like Unix. Along with the programming skills, some knowledge about the World Wide Web and HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language - the language of the web) is necessary. Good knowledge of English language is also a plus point. But only a lot of practice on programming and HTML will make one a successful hacker.

          Hacking a computer

          Read about the generations of computers

          What is hacking?
          Some definitions of hacking:

          • A hacker is a person who breaks into computers, by gaining access to administrative controls.
          • In computing, a hacker is a person in one of several distinct (but not completely disjoint) communities and subcultures.
          • Unauthorized attempts to bypass the security mechanisms of an information system or network
          • hack - chop: cut with a hacking tool
          • hack - one who works hard at boring tasks
          • hack - be able to manage or manage successfully
          • hack - machine politician: a politician who belongs to a small clique that controls a political party for private rather than public ends
          • hack - cut away
          • hack - a mediocre and disdained writer
          • hack - kick on the arms
          • hack - a tool used for breaking up the surface of the soil
          • hack - cab: a car driven by a person whose job is to take passengers where they want to go in exchange for money
          • hack - fix a computer program piecemeal until it works
          • hack - an old or over-worked horse
          From all these definitions, it is clear that the word hacking has a wide range of meanings. But this word is famous as a person who breaks into computers, by gaining access to administrative controls, the first definition above.

          How to hack a computer?
          A typical way of hacking a computer that is part of a network is :
          • Network enumeration: Collect the required information about the target.
          • Vulnerability analysis: Concluding the various ways of attacking the target.
          • Exploitation: Attempting to attack the system by following the ways of attacking through the vulnerability analysis.
          In order to do so, there are several recurring tools of the trade and techniques used by computer criminals and security experts.

          Quotations about computer (Part V)

          The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do.
          -B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement

          The robot is going to lose. Not by much. But when the final score is tallied, flesh and blood is going to beat the damn monster.
          -Adam Smith

          I have always wished for a computer that would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish came true. I no longer know how to use my telephone.
          -Bjarne Stroustrup

          If you don't know how to do something, you don't know how to do it with a computer.
          -Source Unknown

          Computers in the future will weigh no more than 1.5 tons. Quoted in Popular Mechanics 1950
          -Source Unknown

          Anyway, there's plenty of room for doubt. It might seem easy enough, but computer language design is just like a stroll in the park....
          Jurassic Park, that is.
          -Larry Wall

          I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
          -Thomas J. Watson

          If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.
          -Harry Weinberger

          As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error.

          I'm not against machines, as are some people who feel that the computer is leading us back into the jungle...I'm against machines only when the convenience they afford to some people is regarded as more important than the inconvenience they cause to all.
          In short, I don't think computers should wear the pants or make the decisions. They are deficient in humor, they are not intuitive, and they are not aware of the imponderables. The men who feed them seem to believe that everything is made out of ponderables, which isn't the case. I read a poem once that a computer had written, but didn't care much for it. It seemed to me I could write a better one myself, if I were to put my mind to it.
          -E.B. (Elwyn Brooks) White, Dear Mr. ___, "The New Yorker", 1967

          Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.
          -Steve Wozniak

          A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
          -Emo Philips

          Bill Gates is the pope of the personal computer industry. He decides who's going to build.
          -Larry Ellison

          Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
          -Edsger Dijkstra

          Computers are magnificent tools for the realization of our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love, and understanding.
          -Louis Gerstner

          Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
          ~Pablo Picasso

          Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done.
          ~Andy Rooney

          Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living.
          ~Nicholas Negroponte

          Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.
          ~Clifford Stoll

          Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.
          ~Doug Larson

          I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer.
          ~Dave Barry

          I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
          ~Isaac Asimov

          I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.
          ~Stephen Hawking

          I think it's fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we've ever created. They're tools of communication, they're tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.
          ~Bill Gates

          Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.
          ~Steve Wozniak

          Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
          ~Isaac Asimov

          People think computers will keep them from making mistakes. They're wrong. With computers you make mistakes faster.
          ~Adam Osborne

          Supercomputers will achieve one human brain capacity by 2010, and personal computers will do so by about 2020.
          ~Ray Kurzweil

          The computer is a moron.
          ~Peter Drucker

          The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.
          ~Douglas Engelbart

          The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do.
          ~Ted Nelson

          Quotations about computer (Part IV)

          The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armor to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second- rate technology, led them into it in the first place.
          -Douglas Adams

          At the present time there exist problems beyond our ability to solve, not because of theoretical difficulties, but because of insufficient means of mechanical computation.
          -Howard Aiken, Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine, 1937

          The desire to economize time and mental effort in arithmetical computations, and to eliminate human liability to error is probably as old as the science of arithmetic itself.
          -Howard Aiken

          Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
          -Isaac Asimov

          I do not fear computers. I fear lack of them.
          -Isaac Asimov

          One of the most feared expressions in modern times is The computer is down
          -Norman Augustine

          Electronic aids, particularly domestic computers, will help the inner migration, the opting out of reality. Reality is no longer going to be the stuff out there, but the stuff inside your head. It's going to be commercial and nasty at the same time.
          -J. G. Ballard

          I am not the only person who uses his computer mainly for the purpose of diddling with his computer.
          -Dave Barry

          The word user is the word used by the computer professional when they mean idiot.
          -Dave Barry

          The sad thing about artificial intelligence is that it lacks artifice and therefore intelligence.
          -Jean Baudrillard

          Computer science only indicates the retrospective omnipotence of our technologies. In other words, an infinite capacity to process data (but only data -- i.e. the already given) and in no sense a new vision. With that science, we are entering an era of exhaustivity, which is also an era of exhaustion.
          -Jean Baudrillard

          The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.
          -Nathaniel Borenstein

          Silicon Valley is like a person running around in front of a steamroller. You can outrun the steamroller on any given day. But if you ever sit down you get squashed.
          -Bob Boschert

          Reading computer manuals without the hardware is a frustrating as reading sex manuals without the software.
          -Arthur C. Clarke

          There is never finality in the display terminal's screen, but an irresponsible whimsicality, as words, sentences, and paragraphs are negated at the touch of a key. The significance of the past, as expressed in the manuscript by a deleted word or an inserted correction, is annulled in idle gusts of electronic massacre.
          -Alexander Cockburn

          If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get one million miles to the gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.
          -Robert X Cringely

          It is hardly surprising that children should enthusiastically start their education at an early age with the Absolute Knowledge of computer science; while they are unable to read, for reading demands making judgments at every line. Conversation is almost dead, and soon so too will be those who knew how to speak.
          -Guy Debord

          The best way to accelerate a Macintosh is at 9.8m/sec/sec.
          -Marcus Dolengo

          The computer is a moron.
          -Peter Drucker

          A computer won't clean up the errors in your manual of procedures.
          -Sheila M. Eby

          The workers and professionals of the world will soon be divided into two distinct groups. Those who will control computers and those who will be controlled by computers. It would be best for you to be in the former group.
          -Lewis D. Eigen

          I really don't care that I don't have what's current because whatever is at the moment, it will be infinitely better in a few months and even better months later.
          -William Fink

          The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier.
          -Bill Gates

          I don't think there's anything unique about human intellience. All the nuerons in the brain that make up perceptions and emotions operate in a binary fashion.
          -Bill Gates

          The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
          -Sydney J. Harris

          Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems.
          -Grace Murray Hopper

          We're flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We've tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.
          -Grace Murray Hopper

          I only know one person who was able to write a program in ink and have it run the first time. That was Dick Bloch. He drove nearly all of us crazy because he could do that. Since the Mark I was a relay and step counter machine, it was not too difficult to change the circuits. Every once in a while, Dick would get the idea of a new circuit that would make his problem run faster. He'd get together with one of the operators during the night and they would fix the circuit. The next morning my programs wouldn't run. It's much better to have machines that the programers cannot alter.
          Commander Aiken was a tough taskmaster. I was sitting at my desk one day, and he said, You're going to write a book. I said, I can't write a book. He said, You're in the Navy now. And so I wrote a book. I have it here with me. This is the Mark I manual.
          Howard Aiken always said that one day we would have computers that would fit in a shoe box. I don't t know how he knew that, but he did.
          -Grace Murray Hopper

          Man is a slow, sloppy and brilliant thinker; the machine is fast, accurate and stupid.
          -William M. Kelly

          Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.
          -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

          A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable.
          -Leslie Lamport

          I have a spelling checker
          It came with my PC;
          It plainly marks four my revue
          Mistakes I cannot sea.
          I've run this poem threw it,
          I'm sure your pleased too no,
          Its letter perfect in its weigh,
          My checker tolled me sew.
          -Janet Minor

          I see no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.
          -Kenneth Olsen

          Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked.
          -Jeff Pesis

          Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
          -Pablo Picasso

          The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little.

          A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
          -Mitch Ratliffe
          There will still be things that machines cannot do. They will not produce great art or great literature or great philosophy; they will not be able to discover the secret springs of happiness in the human heart; they will know nothing of love and friendship.
          -Bertrand Russell

          Quotations about computer (Part III)

          To have no errors
          Would be life without meaning
          No struggle, no joy
          ~Brian M. Porter, 1998

          I wish life had an Undo function. ~Author Unknown

          In a few minutes a computer can make a mistake so great that it would have taken many men many months to equal it. ~Author Unknown

          In the old days, people robbed stagecoaches and knocked off armored trucks. Now they're knocking off servers. ~Richard Power

          Mac users swear by their computers. PC users swear at their computers. ~Author Unknown

          I wrote an ad for Apple Computer: "Macintosh - We might not get everything right, but at least we knew the century was going to end." ~Douglas Adams

          Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. ~Werner von Braun

          Microsoft, where quality is job 1.1. ~Author Unknown

          Software is slowing faster than hardware is accelerating. ~Martin Reiser, quoted by Nicklaus Wirth, 1995, which spawned "Grove giveth, and Gates taketh away," author unknown, referring to CEOs of Intel and Microsoft

          Some people can hack it, others can't. ~Author Unknown

          The inside of a computer is as dumb as hell but it goes like mad! ~Richard Feynman

          Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. ~Doug Gwyn

          Unix is simple. It just takes a genius to understand its simplicity. ~Dennis Ritchie

          Unix never says "please." ~Rob Pike

          The Unix philosophy basically involves giving you just enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure. ~Author Unknown

          Unless in communicating with it one says exactly what one means, trouble is bound to result. ~Alan Turing, about computers

          What boots up must come down. ~Author Unknown

          Windows is just DOS in drag. ~Author Unknown

          Computers must be female. No one but the creator understands their internal logic. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else. The message "Bad command or file name" is about as informative as, "If you don't know why I'm mad at you, then I'm certainly not going to tell you." Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for later retrieval. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it. ~Author Unknown

          Computers must be male. As soon as you commit to one you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on. Big power surges knock them out for the rest of the day. ~Author Unknown

          What goes up must come down. Ask any system administrator.

          Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?

          The Next Computer: The hardware makes it a PC, the software makes it a workstation, the unit sales makes it a mainframe.

          Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.

          If you can't beat your computer at chess, try kickboxing.

          Intel has announced its next chip: the Repentium.

          Pentiums melt in your PC, not in your hand.

          All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.

          Want to make your computer go really fast? Throw it out a window.

          If a trainstation is where the train stops, what's a workstation...?

          At the dictation of a mathematician, it will solve in a matter of hours equations never before solved because of their intricacy and the enormous time and personnel which would be required to work them out on ordinary office calculators.
          -Anon., New York Times, 1944

          Where the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1 1/2 tons.
          -Anon., "Popular Mechanics", March, 1949

          Quotations about computer (Part II)

          Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all. ~John F. Kennedy

          RAM disk is not an installation procedure. ~Author Unknown

          The attention span of a computer is only as long as its power cord. ~Author Unknown

          The best way to accelerate a Macintosh is at 9.8m/sec/sec. ~Marcus Dolengo

          The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. ~Eric Porterfield

          Industry executives and analysts often mistakenly talk about strategy as if it were some kind of chess match. But in chess, you have just two opponents, each with identical resources, and with luck playing a minimal role. The real world is much more like a poker game, with multiple players trying to make the best of whatever hand fortune has dealt them. In our industry, Bill Gates owns the table until someone proves otherwise. ~David Moschella

          Yesterday it worked
          Today it is not working
          Windows is like that
          ~Margaret Segall, 1998

          The question of whether computers can think is just like the question of whether submarines can swim. ~Edsger W. Dijkstra

          The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. ~Sydney J. Harris

          There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't. ~Author Unknown

          There are three kinds of death in this world. There's heart death, there's brain death, and there's being off the network. ~Guy Almes

          Windows NT crashed.
          I am the Blue Screen of Death.
          No one hears your screams.
          ~Peter Rothman, 1998

          Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don't think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other. ~Bill Gates

          There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We do not believe this to be a coincidence. ~Jeremy S. Anderson

          Stay the patient course
          Of little worth is your ire
          The network is down
          ~David Ansel, 1998

          There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them! ~Richard P. Feynman

          There is only one satisfying way to boot a computer. ~J.H. Goldfuss

          Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer (not advised) are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse at are called software. ~Author Unknown

          I regularly read Internet user groups filled with messages from people trying to solve software incompatibility problems that, in terms of complexity, make the U.S. Tax Code look like Dr. Seuss. ~Dave Barry

          A file that big?
          It might be very useful.
          But now it is gone.
          ~David J. Liszewski, 1998

          A user and his leisure time are soon parted. ~Author Unknown

          Apathy Error: Don't bother striking any key. ~Author Unknown

          At least my pencil never crashes! ~Author Unknown

          There is a chasm
          of carbon and silicon
          the software can't bridge
          ~Rahul Sonnad, 1998

          DOS computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq, Tandy, and millions of others are by far the most popular, with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. ~Author Unknown

          Home is where you hang your @. ~Author Unknown

          Want to read about computer virus? Click here.

          Quotations about computer (Part I)

          Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog. ~Doug Larson

          If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into committees. That'll do them in. ~Author Unknown

          The problem with troubleshooting is that trouble shoots back. ~Author Unknown

          Never let a computer know you're in a hurry. ~Author Unknown

          To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer. ~Farmer's Almanac, 1978

          Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months. ~Clifford Stoll

          User, n. The word computer professionals use when they mean "idiot." ~Dave Barry

          Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. ~Edsger W. Dijkstra

          Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy. ~Joseph Campbell

          Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living. ~Nicholas Negroponte

          Three things are certain:
          Death, taxes, and lost data.
          Guess which has occurred.
          ~David Dixon

          Computers, huh? I've heard it all boils down to just a bunch of ones and zeroes.... I don't know how that enables me to see naked women, but however it works, God bless you guys. ~ the television show King of Queens, spoken by the character Doug Heffernan

          After growing wildly for years, the field of computing appears to be reaching its infancy. ~John Pierce

          Hardware: where the people in your company's software section will tell you the problem is. Software: where the people in your company's hardware section will tell you the problem is. ~Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top

          But they are useless. They can only give you answers. ~Pablo Picasso, about computers

          Computers have lots of memory but no imagination. ~Author Unknown

          Chaos reigns within.
          Reflect, repent, and reboot.
          Order shall return.
          ~Suzie Wagner, 1998

          As network administrator I can take down the network with one keystroke. It's just like being a doctor but without getting gooky stuff on my paws. ~Scott Adams ("Dogbert")

          If you have any trouble sounding condescending, find a Unix user to show you how it's done. ~Scott Adams

          Database: the information you lose when your memory crashes. ~Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top

          A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila. ~Mitch Ratcliffe

          Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse? ~Author Unknown

          Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done. ~Andy Rooney

          Don't anthropomorphize computers - they hate it. ~Author Unknown

          Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked. ~Jeff Pesis

          I haven't lost my mind; I have a tape back-up somewhere. ~Author Unknown

          I just wish my mouth had a backspace key. ~Author Unknown

          Spreadsheet: a kind of program that lets you sit at your desk and ask all kinds of neat "what if?" questions and generate thousands of numbers instead of actually working. ~Dave Barry, Claw Your Way to the Top

          Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin. ~Robert A. Heinlein

          If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization. ~One of Murphy's Laws of Technology

          A picture is worth a thousand words but it takes 3,000 times the disk space. ~Author Unknown

          Rebooting is a wonder drug - it fixes almost everything. ~Garrett Hazel, "Help Desk Blues," 2002

          Jesus saves! The rest of us better make backups. ~Author Unknown
          Read more about glossary of internet

          History of internet

          The Internet was the result of some visionary thinking by people in the early 1960s. First global network of computers was proposed by J.C.R. Licklider of MIT in 1962, who moved over to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in late 1962 to head the work to develop it. Leonard Kleinrock of MIT and later UCLA developed the theory of packet switching, which formed the basis of Internet connections. Lawrence Roberts of MIT connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines. It showed the feasibility of wide area networking, but also showed that the telephone line's circuit switching was inadequate. Kleinrock's packet switching theory was confirmed. Roberts moved over to DARPA in 1966 and developed his plan for ARPANET.

          When the late Senator Ted Kennedy heard in 1968 that the pioneering Massachusetts company BBN had won the ARPA contract for an "interface message processor (IMP)," he sent a congratulatory telegram to BBN for their ecumenical spirit in winning the "interfaith message processor" contract.

          The Internet, then known as ARPANET, was brought online in 1969 under a contract let by the renamed Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) which initially connected four major computers at universities in the southwestern US (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah). The contract was carried out by BBN of Cambridge, MA under Bob Kahn and went online in December 1969. By June 1970, MIT, Harvard, BBN, and Systems Development Corp (SDC) in Santa Monica, Cal. were added. By January 1971, Stanford, MIT's Lincoln Labs, Carnegie-Mellon, and Case-Western Reserve U were added.

          Who was the first to use the Internet?
          Charley Kline at UCLA sent the first packets on ARPANet as he tried to connect to Stanford Research Institute on Oct 29, 1969. The system crashed as he reached the G in LOGIN!

          The Internet was designed in part to provide a communications network that would work even if some of the sites were destroyed by nuclear attack. If the most direct route was not available, routers would direct traffic around the network via alternate routes.

          The early Internet was used by computer experts, engineers, scientists, and librarians. There was nothing friendly about it. There were no home or office personal computers in those days, and anyone who used it, whether a computer professional or an engineer or scientist or librarian, had to learn to use a very complex system.

          According to a CNN transcript of an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Al Gore said,"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." Al Gore was not yet in Congress in 1969 when ARPANET started or in 1974 when the term Internet first came into use. Gore was elected to Congress in 1976. In fairness, Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf acknowledge in a paper titled Al Gore and the Internet that Gore has probably done more than any other elected official to support the growth and development of the Internet from the 1970's to the present .

          E-mail was adapted for ARPANET by Ray Tomlinson of BBN in 1972. He picked the @ symbol from the available symbols on his teletype to link the username and address. The telnet protocol, enabling logging on to a remote computer, was published as a Request for Comments (RFC) in 1972. RFC's are a means of sharing developmental work throughout community. The ftp protocol, enabling file transfers between Internet sites, was published as an RFC in 1973, and from then on RFC's were available electronically to anyone who had use of the ftp protocol.

          Libraries began automating and networking their catalogs in the late 1960s independent from ARPA. The visionary Frederick G. Kilgour of the Ohio College Library Center (now OCLC, Inc.) led networking of Ohio libraries during the '60s and '70s. In the mid 1970s more regional consortia from New England, the Southwest states, and the Middle Atlantic states, etc., joined with Ohio to form a national, later international, network. Automated catalogs, not very user-friendly at first, became available to the world, first through telnet or the awkward IBM variant TN3270 and only many years later, through the web. See The History of OCLC
          Ethernet, a protocol for many local networks, appeared in 1974, an outgrowth of Harvard student Bob Metcalfe's dissertation on "Packet Networks." The dissertation was initially rejected by the University for not being analytical enough. It later won acceptance when he added some more equations to it.

          The Internet matured in the 70's as a result of the TCP/IP architecture first proposed by Bob Kahn at BBN and further developed by Kahn and Vint Cerf at Stanford and others throughout the 70's. It was adopted by the Defense Department in 1980 replacing the earlier Network Control Protocol (NCP) and universally adopted by 1983.

          The Unix to Unix Copy Protocol (UUCP) was invented in 1978 at Bell Labs. Usenet was started in 1979 based on UUCP. Newsgroups, which are discussion groups focusing on a topic, followed, providing a means of exchanging information throughout the world . While Usenet is not considered as part of the Internet, since it does not share the use of TCP/IP, it linked unix systems around the world, and many Internet sites took advantage of the availability of newsgroups. It was a significant part of the community building that took place on the networks.

          Similarly, BITNET (Because It's Time Network) connected IBM mainframes around the educational community and the world to provide mail services beginning in 1981. Listserv software was developed for this network and later others. Gateways were developed to connect BITNET with the Internet and allowed exchange of e-mail, particularly for e-mail discussion lists. These listservs and other forms of e-mail discussion lists formed another major element in the community building that was taking place.

          In 1986, the National Science Foundation funded NSFNet as a cross country 56 Kbps backbone for the Internet. They maintained their sponsorship for nearly a decade, setting rules for its non-commercial government and research uses.

          As the commands for e-mail, FTP, and telnet were standardized, it became a lot easier for non-technical people to learn to use the nets. It was not easy by today's standards by any means, but it did open up use of the Internet to many more people in universities in particular. Other departments besides the libraries, computer, physics, and engineering departments found ways to make good use of the nets--to communicate with colleagues around the world and to share files and resources.

          While the number of sites on the Internet was small, it was fairly easy to keep track of the resources of interest that were available. But as more and more universities and organizations--and their libraries-- connected, the Internet became harder and harder to track. There was more and more need for tools to index the resources that were available.

          The first effort, other than library catalogs, to index the Internet was created in 1989, as Peter Deutsch and his crew at McGill University in Montreal, created an archiver for ftp sites, which they named Archie. This software would periodically reach out to all known openly available ftp sites, list their files, and build a searchable index of the software. The commands to search Archie were unix commands, and it took some knowledge of unix to use it to its full capability.

          McGill University, which hosted the first Archie, found out one day that half the Internet traffic going into Canada from the United States was accessing Archie. Administrators were concerned that the University was subsidizing such a volume of traffic, and closed down Archie to outside access. Fortunately, by that time, there were many more Archies available.

          At about the same time, Brewster Kahle, then at Thinking Machines, Corp. developed his Wide Area Information Server (WAIS), which would index the full text of files in a database and allow searches of the files. There were several versions with varying degrees of complexity and capability developed, but the simplest of these were made available to everyone on the nets. At its peak, Thinking Machines maintained pointers to over 600 databases around the world which had been indexed by WAIS. They included such things as the full set of Usenet Frequently Asked Questions files, the full documentation of working papers such as RFC's by those developing the Internet's standards, and much more. Like Archie, its interface was far from intuitive, and it took some effort to learn to use it well.

          Peter Scott of the University of Saskatchewan, recognizing the need to bring together information about all the telnet-accessible library catalogs on the web, as well as other telnet resources, brought out his Hytelnet catalog in 1990. It gave a single place to get information about library catalogs and other telnet resources and how to use them. He maintained it for years, and added HyWebCat in 1997 to provide information on web-based catalogs.

          In 1991, the first really friendly interface to the Internet was developed at the University of Minnesota. The University wanted to develop a simple menu system to access files and information on campus through their local network. A debate followed between mainframe adherents and those who believed in smaller systems with client-server architecture. The mainframe adherents "won" the debate initially, but since the client-server advocates said they could put up a prototype very quickly, they were given the go-ahead to do a demonstration system. The demonstration system was called a gopher after the U of Minnesota mascot--the golden gopher. The gopher proved to be very prolific, and within a few years there were over 10,000 gophers around the world. It takes no knowledge of unix or computer architecture to use. In a gopher system, you type or click on a number to select the menu selection you want.

          Gopher's usability was enhanced much more when the University of Nevada at Reno developed the VERONICA searchable index of gopher menus. It was purported to be an acronym for Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Netwide Index to Computerized Archives. A spider crawled gopher menus around the world, collecting links and retrieving them for the index. It was so popular that it was very hard to connect to, even though a number of other VERONICA sites were developed to ease the load. Similar indexing software was developed for single sites, called JUGHEAD (Jonzy's Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation And Display).

          Peter Deutsch, who developed Archie, always insisted that Archie was short for Archiver, and had nothing to do with the comic strip. He was disgusted when VERONICA and JUGHEAD appeared.

          In 1989 another significant event took place in making the nets easier to use. Tim Berners-Lee and others at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, more popularly known as CERN, proposed a new protocol for information distribution. This protocol, which became the World Wide Web in 1991, was based on hypertext--a system of embedding links in text to link to other text, which you have been using every time you selected a text link while reading these pages. Although started before gopher, it was slower to develop.

          Marc AndreessenThe development in 1993 of the graphical browser Mosaic by Marc Andreessen and his team at the National Center For Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) gave the protocol its big boost. Later, Andreessen moved to become the brains behind Netscape Corp., which produced the most successful graphical type of browser and server until Microsoft declared war and developed its MicroSoft Internet Explorer.

          The early days of the web was a confused period as many developers tried to put their personal stamp on ways the web should develop. The web was threatened with becoming a mass of unrelated protocols that would require different software for different applications. The visionary Michael Dertouzos of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Sciences persuaded Tim Berners-Lee and others to form the World Wide Web Consortium in 1994 to promote and develop standards for the Web. Proprietary plug-ins still abound for the web, but the Consortium has ensured that there are common standards present in every browser.

          Since the Internet was initially funded by the government, it was originally limited to research, education, and government uses. Commercial uses were prohibited unless they directly served the goals of research and education. This policy continued until the early 90's, when independent commercial networks began to grow. It then became possible to route traffic across the country from one commercial site to another without passing through the government funded NSFNet Internet backbone.

          Delphi was the first national commercial online service to offer Internet access to its subscribers. It opened up an email connection in July 1992 and full Internet service in November 1992. All pretenses of limitations on commercial use disappeared in May 1995 when the National Science Foundation ended its sponsorship of the Internet backbone, and all traffic relied on commercial networks. AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe came online. Since commercial usage was so widespread by this time and educational institutions had been paying their own way for some time, the loss of NSF funding had no appreciable effect on costs.

          Today, NSF funding has moved beyond supporting the backbone and higher educational institutions to building the K-12 and local public library accesses on the one hand, and the research on the massive high volume connections on the other.

          Bill GatesMicrosoft's full scale entry into the browser, server, and Internet Service Provider market completed the major shift over to a commercially based Internet. The release of Windows 98 in June 1998 with the Microsoft browser well integrated into the desktop shows Bill Gates' determination to capitalize on the enormous growth of the Internet. Microsoft's success over the past few years has brought court challenges to their dominance. We'll leave it up to you whether you think these battles should be played out in the courts or the marketplace.

          During this period of enormous growth, businesses entering the Internet arena scrambled to find economic models that work. Free services supported by advertising shifted some of the direct costs away from the consumer--temporarily. Services such as Delphi offered free web pages, chat rooms, and message boards for community building. Online sales have grown rapidly for such products as books and music CDs and computers, but the profit margins are slim when price comparisons are so easy, and public trust in online security is still shaky. Business models that have worked well are portal sites, that try to provide everything for everybody, and live auctions. AOL's acquisition of Time-Warner was the largest merger in history when it took place and shows the enormous growth of Internet business! The stock market has had a rocky ride, swooping up and down as the new technology companies, the's encountered good news and bad. The decline in advertising income spelled doom for many dot.coms, and a major shakeout and search for better business models took place by the survivors.

          A current trend with major implications for the future is the growth of high speed connections. 56K modems and the providers who supported them spread widely for a while, but this is the low end now. 56K is not fast enough to carry multimedia, such as sound and video except in low quality. But new technologies many times faster, such as cable-modems and digital subscriber lines (DSL) are predominant now.

          Wireless has grown rapidly in the past few years, and travellers search for the wi-fi "hot spots" where they can connect while they are away from the home or office. Many airports, coffee bars, hotels and motels now routinely provide these services, some for a fee and some for free.

          A next big growth area is the surge towards universal wireless access, where almost everywhere is a "hot spot". Municipal wi-fi or city-wide access, wiMAX offering broader ranges than wi-fi, EV-DO, 4g, and other formats will joust for dominance in the USA in the years ahead. The battle is both economic and political.

          Another trend that is rapidly affecting web designers is the growth of smaller devices to connect to the Internet. Small tablets, pocket PCs, smart phones, ebooks, game machines, and even GPS devices are now capable of tapping into the web on the go, and many web pages are not designed to work on that scale.

          As the Internet has become ubiquitous, faster, and increasingly accessible to non-technical communities, social networking and collaborative services have grown rapidly, enabling people to communicate and share interests in many more ways. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Flickr, Second Life, delicious, blogs, wikis, and many more let people of all ages rapidly share their interests of the moment with others everywhere.

          Glossary of Internet terms

          ADN -- (Advanced Digital Network)
          Usually refers to a 56Kbps leased-line.

          ADSL -- (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
          A DSL line where the upload speed is different from the download speed. Usually the download speed is much greater.

          Ajax -- (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
          A way of including content in a web page in which javascript code in the web page fetches some data from a server and displays it without re-fetching the entire surrounding page at the same time (hence the 'Asynchronous')

          Often (but not always) the data fetched by the javascript code is in XML format.

          It is common for Ajax applications to update the Ajax content multiple times without the surrounding page needing to be updated even once.

          A simple example of Ajax would be a weather-forcast box in the middle of a web page. Ajax could be used to populate the box every 5 minutes without needing to refresh the surrounding page.

          The most common web server (or HTTP server) software on the Internet. Apache is an open-source application originally created from a series of changes ("patches") made to a web server written at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the same place the Mosaic web browser was created.

          Apache is designed as a set of modules, enabling administrators to choose which features they wish to use and making it easy to add features to meet specific needs inlcuding handling protocols other than the web-standard HTTP.

          A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. Applets differ from full-fledged Java applications in that they are not allowed to access certain resources on the local computer, such as files and serial devices (modems, printers, etc.), and are prohibited from communicating with most other computers across a network. The common rule is that an applet can only make an Internet connection to the computer from which the applet was sent.

          Application Server
          Server software that manages one or more other pieces of software in a way that makes the managed software available over a network, usually to a Web server. By having a piece of software manage other software packages it is possible to use resources like memory and database access more efficiently than if each of the managed packages responded directly to requests.

          A tool (software) for finding files stored on anonymous FTP sites. You need to know the exact file name or a substring of it. By 1999 Archie had been almost completely replaced by web-based search engines.

          Back when FTP was the main way people moved files over the Internet archie was quite popular.

          ARPANet -- (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network)
          The precursor to the Internet. Developed in the late 60's and early 70's by the US Department of Defense as an experiment in wide-area-networking to connect together computers that were each running different system so that people at one location could use computing resources from another location.

          ASCII -- (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
          This is the defacto world-wide standard for the code numbers used by computers to represent all the upper and lower-case Latin letters, numbers, punctuation, etc. There are 128 standard ASCII codes each of which can be represented by a 7 digit binary number: 0000000 through 1111111.

          ASP -- (Application Service Provider)
          A organization (usually a business) that runs one or more applications on their own servers and provides (usually for a fee) access to others. Common examples of services provided this way include web-based software such as Calendar systems, Human Resources tools (timesheets, benefits, etc.), and various applications to help groups collaborate on projects.

          An evolving protocol for syndication and sharing of content.

          Atom is being developed as a succesor to and improvement over RSS and is more complex than RSS while offering support for additional features such digital signatures, geographic location of author, possibly security/encryption, licensing, etc.

          Like RSS, Atom is an XML-based specification.

          A high-speed line or series of connections that forms a major pathway within a network. The term is relative as a backbone in a small network will likely be much smaller than many non-backbone lines in a large network.

          How much stuff you can send through a connection. Usually measured in bits-per-second (bps.) A full page of English text is about 16,000 bits. A fast modem can move about 57,000 bits in one second. Full-motion full-screen video would require roughly 10,000,000 bits-per-second, depending on compression.

          In common usage the "baud" of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second. Technically, baud is the number of times per second that the carrier signal shifts value - for example a 1200 bit-per-second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300= 1200 bits per second).

          BBS -- (Bulletin Board System)
          A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time. In the early 1990's there were many thousands (millions?) of BBS's around the world, most were very small, running on a single IBM clone PC with 1 or 2 phone lines. Some were very large and the line between a BBS and a system like AOL gets crossed at some point, but it is not clearly drawn.

          Information consisting entirely of ones and zeros. Also, commonly used to refer to files that are not simply text files, e.g. images.

          Binhex -- (BINary HEXadecimal)
          A method for converting non-text files (non-ASCII) into ASCII. This is needed because Internet e-mail can only handle ASCII.

          Bit -- (Binary DigIT)
          A single digit number in base-2, in other words, either a 1 or a zero. The smallest unit of computerized data. Bandwidthis usually measured in bits-per-second.

          BITNET -- (Because It's Time NETwork (or Because It's There NETwork))
          A network of educational sites separate from the Internet, but e-mail is freely exchanged between BITNET and the Internet. Listservs®, a popular form of e-mail discussion groups, originated on BITNET. At its peak (the late 1980's and early 1990's) BITNET machines were usually mainframes, often running IBM's MVS operating system. BITNET is probably the only international network that is shrinking.

          Blog -- (weB LOG)
          A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog.

          Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.

          It is common for blogs to be available as RSS feeds.

          Blogosphere or Blogsphere
          The current state of all information available on blogs and/or the sub-culture of those who create and use blogs.

          bps -- (Bits-Per-Second)
          A measurement of how fast data is moved from one place to another. A 56K modem can move about 57,000 bits per second.

          Generally refers to connections to the Internet with much greater bandwidth than you can get with a modem. There is no specific definition of the speed of a "broadband" connection but in general any Internet connection using DSL or a via Cable-TV may be considered a broadband connection.

          A Client program (software) that is used to look at various kinds of Internet resources.

          BTW -- (By The Way)
          A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online forum.

          A set of Bits that represent a single character. Usually there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made.

          CATP -- (Caffeine Access Transport Protocol)
          Common method of moving caffeine across Wide Area Networks such as the Internet

          CATP was first used at the Binary Cafe in Cybertown and quickly spread world-wide.

          There are reported problems with short-circuits and rust and decaffinated beverages were not supported until version 1.5.3

          CDMA -- (Code Division Multiple Access)
          A protocol for wireless data and voice communication, CMDA is widely used in cellphone networks, but also in many other data communications systems. CDMA uses a technique called "Spread Spectrum" whereby the data being transmitted is spread across multiple radio frequencies, making more efficent use of available radio spectrum. There are a number of additional protocols built on top of CDMA, such as 1xRTT (also called CMDA2000).

          Certificate Authority
          An issuer of Security Certificates used in SSL connections.

          CGI -- (Common Gateway Interface)
          A set of rules that describe how a Web Server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (the ?CGI program?) talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard.

          The most common name of a directory on a web server in which CGIprograms are stored.

          A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a Server software program on another computer, often across a great distance. EachClient program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of Server programs, and each Server requires a specific kind of Client. A Web Browser is a specific kind of Client.

          Most often used to refer to having a server that belongs to one person or group physically located on an Internet-connected network that belongs to another person or group. Usually this is done because the server owner wants their machine to be on a high-speed Internet connection and/or they do not want the security risks of having the server on thier own network.

          The most common meaning of "Cookie" on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a Web Server to a Web Browser that the Browser software is expected to save and to send back to the Server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the Server.

          Depending on the type of Cookie used, and the Browsers' settings, the Browser may accept or not accept the Cookie, and may save the Cookie for either a short time or a long time.

          Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online "shopping cart" information, user preferences, etc.

          When a Server receives a request from a Browser that includes a Cookie, the Server is able to use the information stored in the Cookie. For example, the Server might customize what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of particular users' requests.

          Cookies are usually set to expire after a predetermined amount of time and are usually saved in memory until the Browser software is closed down, at which time they may be saved to disk if their "expire time" has not been reached.

          Cookies do not read your hard drive and send your life story to the CIA, but they can be used to gather more information about a user than would be possible without them.

          CSS -- (Cascading Style Sheet)
          A standard for specifying the appearance of text and other elements. CSS was developed for use with HTML in Web pages but is also used in other situations, notably in applications built using XPFE. CSS is typically used to provide a single "library" of styles that are used over and over throughout a large number of related documents, as in a web site. A CSS file might specify that all numbered lists are to appear in italics. By changing that single specification the look of a large number of documents can be easily changed.

          Cyberpunk was originally a cultural sub-genre of science fiction taking place in a not-so-distant, dystopian, over-industrialized society. The term grew out of the work of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and has evolved into a cultural label encompassing many different kinds of human, machine, and punk attitudes. It includes clothing and lifestyle choices as well.

          Term originated by author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer the word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole range of information resources available through computer networks.

          DHCP -- (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)
          DHCP is a protocol by which a machine can obtain an IP number (and other network configuration information) from a server on the local network.

          DHTML -- (Dynamic HyperText Markup Language)
          DHTML refers to web pages that use a combination of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to create features such as letting the user drag items around on the web page, some simple kinds of animation, and many more.

          The digital version of literati, it is a reference to a vague cloud of people seen to be knowledgeable, hip, or otherwise in-the-know in regardsto the digital revolution.

          DNS -- (Domain Name System)
          The Domain Name System is the system that translates Internet domain names into IP numbers. A "DNS Server" is a server that performs this kind of translation.

          Domain Name
          The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A given machine may have more than one Domain Name but a given Domain Name points to only one machine. For example, the domain names:

          can all refer to the same machine, but each domain name can refer to no more than one machine.

          Usually, all of the machines on a given Network will have the same thing as the right-hand portion of their Domain Names ( in the examples above). It is also possible for a Domain Name to exist but not be connected to an actual machine. This is often done so that a group or business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, some real Internet machine must handle the mail on behalf of the listed Domain Name.

          Transferring data (usually a file) from a another computer to the computer you are are using. The opposite of upload.

          DSL -- (Digital Subscriber Line)
          A method for moving data over regular phone lines. A DSL circuit is much faster than a regular phone connection, and the wires coming into the subscriber's premises are the same (copper) wires used for regular phone service. A DSL circuit must be configured to connect two specific locations, similar to a leased line (howeverr a DSL circuit is not a leased line.

          A common configuration of DSL allows downloads at speeds of up to 1.544 megabits (not megabytes) per second, and uploads at speeds of 128 kilobits per second. This arrangement is called ADSL: Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.

          Another common configuration is symmetrical: 384 Kilobits per second in both directions.

          In theory ADSL allows download speeds of up to 9 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 640 kilobits per second.

          DSL is now a popular alternative to Leased Lines and ISDN, being faster than ISDN and less costly than traditional Leased Lines.

          Email -- (Electronic Mail)
          Messages, usually text, sent from one person to another via computer. E-mail can also be sent automatically to a large number of addresses.

          A very common method of networking computers in a LAN.

          There is more than one type of Ethernet. By 2001 the standard type was "100-BaseT" which can handle up to about 100,000,000 bits-per-second and can be used with almost any kind of computer.

          An intranet that is accesible to computers that are not physically part of a companys' own private network, but that is not accessible to the general public, for example to allow vendors and business partners to access a company web site.

          Often an intranet will make use of a Virtual Private Network. (VPN.)

          FAQ -- (Frequently Asked Questions)
          FAQs are documents that list and answerthe most common questions on a particular subject. There are hundreds of FAQs on subjects as diverse as Pet Grooming and Cryptography. FAQs are usually written by people who have tired of answering the same question over and over.

          FDDI -- (Fiber Distributed Data Interface)
          A standard for transmitting data on optical fiber cables at a rate of around 100,000,000 bits-per-second (10 times as fast as 10-BaseTEthernet, about twice as fast as T-3).

          An Internet software tool for locating people on other Internet sites. Finger is also sometimes used to give access to non-personal information, but the most common use is to see if a person has an account at a particular Internet site. Many sites do not allow incoming Finger requests, but many do.

          Fire Wall
          A combination of hardware and software that separates a Network into two or more parts for security purposes.

          Originally, "flame" meant to carry forth in a passionate manner in the spirit of honorable debate. Flames most often involved the use of flowery language and flaming well was an art form. More recently flame has come to refer to any kind of derogatory comment no matter how witless or crude.

          Flame War
          When an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks against the debators, rather than discussion of their positions. A heated exchange.

          FTP -- (File Transfer Protocol)
          A very common method of moving files between two Internet sites.

          FTP is a way to login to another Internet site for the purposes of retrieving and/or sending files. There are many Internet sites that have established publicly accessible repositories of material that can be obtained using FTP, by logging in using the account name "anonymous", thus these sites are called "anonymous ftp servers".

          FTP was invented and in wide use long before the advent of the World Wide Web and originally was always used from a text-only interface.

          The technical meaning is a hardware or software set-up that translates between two dissimilar protocols, for example America Online has a gateway that translates between its internal, proprietary e-mail format and Internet e-mail format. Another, sloppier meaning of gateway is to describe any mechanism for providing access to another system, e.g. AOL might be called a gateway to the Internet.

          GIF -- (Graphic Interchange Format)
          A common format for image files, especially suitable for images containing large areas of the same color. GIF format files of simple images are often smaller than the same file would be if stored in JPEG format, but GIF format does not store photographic images as well as JPEG.

          1000 or 1024 Megabytes, depending on who is measuring.

          Invented at the University of Minnesota in 1993 just before the Web, gopher was a widely successful method of making menus of material available over the Internet.

          Gopher was designed to be much easier to use than FTP, while still using a text-only interface.

          Gopher is a Client and Server style program, whichrequires that the user have a Gopher Client program. Although Gopher spread rapidly across the globe in only a couple of years, it has been largely supplanted by Hypertext, also known as WWW (World Wide Web). There are still thousands of Gopher Servers on the Internet and we can expect they will remain for a while.

          As used in reference to the World Wide Web, ?hit? means a single request from a web browser for a single item from a web server; thus in order for a web browser to display a page that contains 3 graphics, 4 ?hits? would occur at the server: 1 for the HTML page, and one for each of the 3 graphics.

          Home Page (or Homepage)
          Several meanings. Originally, the web page that your browser is set to use when it starts up. The more common meaning refers to the main web page for a business, organization, person or simply the main page out of a collection of web pages, e.g. "Check out so-and-so's new Home Page."

          Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network. It is quite common to have one host machine provide several services, such as SMTP (email) and HTTP (web).

          HTML -- (HyperText Markup Language)
          The coding language used to create Hypertext documents for use on the World Wide Web. HTML looks a lot like old-fashioned typesetting code, where you surround a block of text with codes that indicate how it should appear.

          The "hyper" in Hypertext comes from the fact that in HTML you can specify that a block of text, or an image, is linked to another file on the Internet. HTML files are meant to be viewed using a "Web Browser".

          HTML is loosely based on a more comprehensive system for markup called SGML, and is expected to eventually be replaced by XML-based XHTML standards.

          HTTP -- (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
          The protocol for moving hypertextfiles across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on one end, and an HTTP server program (such as Apache) on the other end. HTTP is the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).

          Generally, any text that contains links to other documents - words or phrases in the document that can be chosen by a reader and which cause another document to be retrieved and displayed.

          IMAP -- (Internet Message Access Protocol)
          IMAP is gradually replacing POP as the main protocol used by email clients in communicating with email servers.

          Using IMAP an email client program can not only retrieve email but can also manipulate message stored on the server, without having to actually retrieve the messages. So messages can be deleted, have their status changed, multiple mail boxes can be managed, etc.

          IMAP is defined in RFC 2060

          IMHO -- (In My Humble Opinion)
          A shorthand appended to a comment written in an online forum, IMHO indicates that the writer is aware that they areexpressing a debatable view, probably on a subject already under discussion. One of many such shorthands in common use online, especially in discussion forums.

          internet (Lower case i)
          Any time you connect 2 or more networks together, you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.

          Internet (Upper case I)
          The vast collection of inter-connected networks that are connected using the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the ARPANET of the late 60's and early 70's.

          The Internet connects tens of thousands of independent networks into a vast global internet and is probably the largest Wide Area Network in the world.

          A private network inside a company or organization that uses the same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is only for internal use. Compare with extranet.

          IP Number -- (Internet Protocol Number)
          Sometimes called a dotted quad. A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g.

          Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number - if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Many machines (especially servers) also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

          IPv4 -- (Internet Protocol, version 4)
          The most widley used version of the Internet Protocol (the "IP" part of TCP/IP.)

          IPv4 allows for a theoretical maximum of approximately four billion IP Numbers (technically 232), but the actual number is far less due to inefficiencies in the way blocks of numbers are handled by networks. The gradual adoption of IPv6 will solve this problem.

          IPv6 -- (Internet Protocol, version 6)
          The successor to IPv4. Already deployed in some cases and gradually spreading, IPv6 provides a huge number of available IP Numbers - over a sextillion addresses (theoretically 2128). IPv6 allows every device on the planet to have its own IP Number.

          IRC -- (Internet Relay Chat)
          Basically a huge multi-user live chat facility. There are a number of major IRC servers around the world which are linked to each other. Anyone can create a channel and anything that anyone types in a given channel is seen by all others in the channel. Private channels can (and are) created for multi-person conference calls.

          ISDN -- (Integrated Services Digital Network)
          Basically a way to move more dataover existing regular phone lines. ISDN is available to much of the USA and in most markets it is priced very comparably to standard analog phone circuits. It can provide speeds of roughly 128,000 bits-per-second over regular phone lines. In practice, most people will be limited to 56,000or 64,000 bits-per-second.

          Unlike DSL, ISDN can be used to connect to many different locations, one at a time, just like a regular telephone call, as long the other location also has ISDN.

          ISP -- (Internet Service Provider)
          An institution that provides access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.

          IT -- (Information Technology)
          A very general term referring to the entire field of Information Technology - anything from computer hardware to programming to network management. Most medium and large size companies have IT Departments.

          Java is a network-friendly programming language invented by Sun Microsystems.

          Java is often used to build large, complex systems that involve several different computers interacting across networks, for example transaction processing systems.

          Java is also used to create software with graphical user interfaces such as editors, audio players, web browsers, etc.

          Java is also popular for creating programs that run in small electronic devicws, such as mobile telephones.

          Using small Java programs (called "Applets"), Web pages can include functions such as animations,calculators, and other fancy tricks.

          JavaScript is a programming language that is mostly used in web pages, usually to add features that make the web page more interactive. When JavaScript is included in an HTML file it relies upon the browser to interpret the JavaScript. When JavaScript is combined with Cascading Style Sheets(CSS), and later versions of HTML (4.0 and later) the result is often called DHTML.

          JDK -- (Java Development Kit)
          A software development package from Sun Microsystems that implements the basic set of tools needed to write, test and debug Java applications and applets

          JPEG -- (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
          JPEG is most commonly mentioned as a format for image files. JPEG format is preferred to the GIF format for photographic images as opposed to line art or simple logo art.

          A thousand bytes. Actually, usually 1024 (210) bytes.

          LAN -- (Local Area Network)
          A computer network limited to the immediate area, usually the same building or floor of a building.

          Leased Line
          Refers to line such as a telephone line or fiber-optic cable that is rented for exclusive 24-hour, 7-days-a-week use from your location to another location. The highest speed data connections require a leased line.

          A widely used Open Source Unix-like operating system. Linux was first released by its inventor Linus Torvalds in 1991. There are versions of Linux for almost every available type of computer hardware from desktop machines to IBM mainframes. The inner workings of Linux are open and available for anyone to examine and change as long as they make their changes available to the public. This has resulted in thousands of people working on various aspects of Linux and adaptation of Linux for a huge variety of purposes, from servers to TV-recording boxes.

          The most common kind of maillist, "Listserv" is a registered trademark of L-Soft international, Inc. Listservs originated on BITNET but they are now common on the Internet.

          Noun or a verb.

          Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not a secret (contrast with Password).

          Verb: the act of connecting to a computer system by giving your credentials (usually your "username" and "password")

          (or Mailing List) A (usually automated) system that allows people to send e-mail to one address, whereupon their message is copied and sent to all of the other subscribers to the maillist. In this way, people who have many different kinds of e-mail access can participate in discussions together.

          A web page or site made by automatically combining content from other sources, usually by using material available via RSS feeds and/or REST interfaces.

          Technically speaking, a million bytes. In many cases the term means 1024 kilobytes, which is a more than an even million.

          Meta Tag
          A specific kind of HTML tag that contains information not normally displayed to the user. Meta tags contan information about the page itself, hence the name ("meta" means "about this subject")

          Typical uses of Meta tags are to include information for search engines to help them better categorize a page.

          You can see the Meta tags in a page if you view the pages' source code.

          MIME -- (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
          Originally a standard for defining the types of files attached to standard Internet mail messages. The MIME standard has come to be used in many situations where one cmputer programs needs to communicate with another program about what kind of file is being sent.

          For example, HTML files have a MIME-type of text/html, JPEG files are image/jpeg, etc.

          Generally speaking, "to mirror" is to maintain an exact copy of something. Probably the most common use of the term on the Internet refers to "mirror sites" which are web sites, or FTP sites that maintain copies of material originated at another location, usually in order to provide more widespread access to the resource. For example, one site might create a library of software, and 5 other sites might maintain mirrors of that library.

          Modem -- (MOdulator, DEModulator)
          A device that connects a computer to a phone line. A telephone for a computer. A modem allows a computer to talk to other computers through the phone system. Basically, modems do for computers what a telephone does for humans.

          The maximum practical bandwidth using a modem over regular telephone lines is currently around 57,000 bps.

          An add-on for the Apache web server software, mod_perl makes it possible to use the Perl language to add new features for the Apache server, and to increase the speed of Perl applications by as much as 30 times.

          MOO -- (Mud, Object Oriented)
          One of several kinds of multi-user role-playing environments.

          The first WWW browser that was available for the Macintosh, Windows,and UNIX all with the same interface. Mosaic really started the popularity of the Web. The source-code to Mosaic was licensed by several companies and used to create many other web browsers.

          Mosaic was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, in Illinois, USA. The first version was released in late 1993.

          MUD -- (Multi-User Dungeon or Dimension)
          A (usually text-based) multi-user simulation environment. Some are purely for fun and flirting, others are used for serious software development, or education purposes and all thatlies in between. A significant feature of most MUDs is that users can create things that stay after they leave and which other users can interact within their absence, thus allowing a world to be built gradually and collectively.

          MUSE -- (Multi-User Simulated Environment)
          One kind of MUD - usually with little or no violence.

          The etiquette on the Internet.

          Derived from the term citizen, referring to a citizen of the Internet,or someone who uses networked resources. The term connotes civic responsibility and participation.

          A WWW Browser and the name of a company. The Netscape (tm) browser was originally based on the Mosaic program developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

          Any time you connect 2 or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network. Connect 2 or more networks together and you have an internet.

          The name for discussion groups on USENET.

          NIC -- (Network Information Center)
          Generally, any office that handles information for a network. The most famous of these on the Internet was the InterNIC, which was where most new domain names were registered until that process was decentralized to a number of private companies. Also means "Network Interface card", which is the card in a computer that you plug a network cable into.

          NNTP -- (Network News Transport Protocol)
          The protocol used by clientand server software to carry USENET postings back and forth over a TCP/IP network. If you are using any of the more common software such as Netscape, Nuntius, Internet Explorer, etc. to participate in newsgroups then you are benefiting from an NNTP connection.

          Any single computer connected to a network.

          Open Content
          Copyrighted information (such as this Glossary) that is made available by the copyright owner to the general public under license terms that allow reuse of the material, often with the requirement (as with this Glossary) that the re-user grant the public the same rights to the modified version that the re-user received from the copyright owner.

          Information that is in the Public Domain might also be considered a form of Open Content.

          Open Source Software
          Open Source Software is software for which the underlying programming code is available to the users so that they may read it, make changes to it, and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes. There are many types of Open Source Software, mainly differing in the licensing term under which (altered) copies of the source code may (or must be) redistributed.

          Packet Switching
          The method used to move data around on the Internet. In packet switching, all the data coming out of a machine is broken up into chunks, each chunk has the address of where it came from and where it is going. This enables chunks of data from many different sources to co-mingle on the same lines, and be sorted and directed along different routes by special machines along the way. This way many people can use the same lines at the same time.

          You might think of several caravans of trucks all using the same road system to carry materials.

          A code used to gain access (login) to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as virtue7. A good password might be:


          But don't use that one!

          PDF -- (Portable Document Format)
          A file format designed to enable printing and viewing of documents with all their formatting (typefaces, images, layout, etc.) appearing the same regardless of what operating system is used, so a PDF document should look the same on Windows, Macintosh, linux, OS/2, etc. The PDF format is based on the widely used Postcript document-description language. Both PDF and Postscript were developed by the Adobe Corporation.

          Perl -- (Practical Extraction and Report Language)
          Perl is a programming language that is widely used for both very simple, small tasks and for very large complex applications.

          During the 1990s it became the de-facto standard for creating CGI programs. Perl is known for providing many ways to accomplish the same task, with "there's more than one way to do it" being something of a motto in the Perl community.

          Because it is so easy to perform simple tasks in Perl it is often used by people with little or no formal programming training, and because Perl provides many sophisticated features it is often used by professionals for creating complex data-processing software, including the "server-side" of large web sites. Perl does not provide significant support for creating programs with a graphical user interface.

          A "permanent link" to a particular posting in a blog. A permalink is a URI that points to a specific blog posting, rather than to the page in which the posting original occured (which may no longer contain the posting.)

          PHP -- (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor)
          PHP is a programming language used almost exclusively for creating software that is part of a web site. The PHP language is designed to be intermingled with the HTML that is used to create web pages. Unlike HTML, the PHP code is read and processed by the web server software (HTML is read and processed by the web browser software.)

          To check if a server is running. From the sound that a sonar systems makes in movies, you know, when they are searching for a submarine.

          A (usually small) piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software. Common examples are plug-ins for the Netscape® browser and web server. Adobe Photoshop® also uses plug-ins.

          PNG -- (Portable Network Graphics)
          PNG is a graphics format specifically designed for use on the World Wide Web. PNG enable compression of images without any loss of quality, including high-resolution images. Another important feature of PNG is that anyone may create software that works with PNG images without paying any fees - the PNG standard is free of any licensing costs.

          podcasting or pod-casting
          A form of audio broadcasting using the Internet, podcasting takes its name from a combination of "iPod" and broadcasting. iPod is the immensely popular digital audio player made by Apple computer, but podcasting does not actually require the use of an iPod.

          Podcasting involves making one or more audio files available as "enclosures" in an RSS feed. A pod-caster creates a list of music, and/or other sound files (such as recorded poetry, or "talk radio" material) and makes that list available in the RSS 2.0 format. The list can then be obtained by other people using various podcast "retriever" software which read the feed and makes the audio files available to digital audio devices (including, but not limited to iPods) where users may then listen to them at their convenience.

          POP -- (Point of Presence, also Post Office Protocol)
          Two commonly used meanings:
          Point of Presence and Post Office Protocol.

          A Point of Presence usually means a city or location where a network can be connected to, often with dial up phone lines. So if an Internet company says they will soon have a POP in Belgrade, it means that they will soon have a local phone number in Belgrade and/or a place where leased lines can connect to their network.

          A second meaning, Post Office Protocol refers to a way that e-mail client software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you obtain an account from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) you almost always get a POP account with it, and it is this POP account that you tell your e-mail software to use to get your mail. Another protocol called IMAP is replacing POP for email.

          3 meanings. First and most generally, a place where information goes into or out of a computer, or both. E.g. the serial port on a personal computer is where a modem would be connected.

          On the Internet port often refers to a number that is part of a URL, appearing after a colon (:) right after the domain name. Every service on an Internet server listens on a particular port number on that server. Most services have standard port numbers, e.g. Web servers normally listen on port 80. Services can also listen on non-standard ports, in which case the port number must be specified in a URL when accessing the server, so you might see a URL of the form:


          This shows a gopher server running on a non-standard port (the standard gopher port is 70).

          Finally, port also refers to translating a piece of software to bring it from one type of computer system to another, e.g. to translate a Windows program so that is will run on a Macintosh.

          Usually used as a marketing term to described a Web site that is or is intended to be the first place people see when using the Web. Typically a "Portal site" has a catalog of web sites, a search engine, or both. A Portal site may also offer email and other service to entice people to use that site as their main "point of entry" (hence "portal") to the Web.

          A single message entered into a network communications system.

          PPP -- (Point to Point Protocol)
          The most common protocol used to connect home computers to the Internet over regular phone lines.

          Most well known as a protocol that allows a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem to make TCP/IPconnections and thus be really and truly on the Internet.

          On the Internet "protocol" usually refers to a set of rules that define an exact format for communication between systems. For example the HTTP protocol defines the format for communication between web browsers and web servers, the IMAP protocol defines the format for communication between IMAP email servers and clients, and the SSL protocol defines a format for encrypted communications over the Internet.

          Virtually all Internet protocls are defined in RFC documents.

          Proxy Server
          A Proxy Server sits in between a Client and the "real" Server that a Client is trying to use. Client's are sometimes configured to use a Proxy Server, usually an HTTP server. The clients makes all of it's requests from the Proxy Server, which then makes requests from the "real" server and passes the result back to the Client. Sometimes the Proxy server will store the results and give a stored result instead of making a new one (to reduce use of a Network). Proxy servers are commonly established on Local Area Networks

          PSTN -- (Public Switched Telephone Network)
          The regular old-fashioned telephone system.

          RDF -- (Resource Definition Framework)
          A set of rules (a sort of language) for creating descriptions of information, especially information available on the World Wide Web. RDF could be used to describe a collection of books, or artists, or a collection of web pages as in the RSS data format which uses RDF to create machine-readable summaries of web sites.

          RDF is also used in XPFE applications to define the relationships between different collections of elements, for example RDF could be used to define the relationship between the data in a database and the way that data is displayed to a user.

          REST -- (REpresentational State Transfer)
          A loosely defined specification for HTTP-based services where all of the information required to process a request is present in the initial request and where each request receives only a single response, and where the response is in a machine-readable form.

          An example could be a service that accepts HTTP requests for a search and returns the result as an XML document.

          RFC -- (Request For Comments)
          The name of the result and the process for creating a standard on the Internet. New standards are proposed and published on the Internet, as a Request For Comments. The proposal is reviewed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (, a consensus-building body that facilitates discussion, and eventually a new standard is established, but the reference number/name for the standard retains the acronym RFC, e.g. the official standard for e-mail message formats is RFC 822.

          A special-purpose computer (or software package) that handles the connection between 2 or more Packet-Switched networks. Routers spend all their time looking at the source and destination addresses of the packets passing through them and deciding which route to send them on.

          RSS -- (Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication)
          A commonly used protocol for syndication and sharing of content, originally developed to facilitate the syndication of news articles, now widely used to share the contents of blogs. Mashups are often made using RSS feeds.

          RSS is an XML-based summary of a web site, usually used for syndication and other kinds of content-sharing.

          There are RSS "feeds" which are sources of RSS information about web sites, and RSS "readers" which read RSS feeds and display their content to users.

          RSS is being overtaken by a newer, more complex protocol called Atom.

          RTSP -- (Real Time Streaming Protocol)
          RTSP is an official Internet standard (RFC 2326) for delivering and receiving streams of data such as audio and video.

          The standard allows for both real-time ("live") streams of data and streams from stored data.

          SDSL -- (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
          A version of DSL where the upload speeds and download speeds are the same.

          Search Engine
          A (usually web-based) system for searching the information available on the Web.

          Some search engines work by automatically searching the contents of other systems and creating a database of the results. Other search engines contains only material manually approved for inclusion in a database, and some combine the two approaches.

          Security Certificate
          A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.

          SEO -- (Search Engine Optimization)
          The practice of designing web pages so that they rank as high as possible in search results from search engines.

          There is "good" SEO and "bad" SEO. Good SEO involves making the web page clearly describe its subject, making sure it contains truly useful information, including accurate information in Meta tags, and arranging for other web sites to make links to the page. Bad SEO involves attempting to deceive people into believing the page is more relevant than it truly is by doing things like adding inaccurate Meta tags to the page.

          A computer, or a software package, that provides a specific kind of service to client software running on other computers. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as a WWW server, or to the machine on which the software is running, e.g. "Our mail server is down today, that's why e-mail isn't getting out."

          A single server machine can (and often does) have several different server software packages running on it, thus providing many different servers to clients on the network.

          Sometimes server software is designed so that additional capabilities can be added to the main program by adding small programs known as servlets.

          A small computer program designed to be add capabilities to a larger piece of server software.

          Common examples are "Java servlets", which are small programs written in the Java language and which are added to a web server. Typically a web server that uses Java servlets will have many of them, each one designed to handle a very specific situation, for example one servlet will handle adding items to a "shopping cart", while a different servlet will handle deleting items from the "shopping cart."

          SGML -- (Standard Generalized Markup Language)
          Developed in 1986 SGML provides a rich set of rules for defining new data formats. A well-known example of using SGML is XML, which is a subset of SGML: The definition of XML is all of SGML minus a couple of dozen items. SGML is an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard: ISO 8879:1986.

          SLIP -- (Serial Line Internet Protocol)
          A standard that was popular in the early 1990's for using a regular telephone line (a serial line) and a modem to connect a computer as a realInternet site. SLIP has largely been replaced by PPP.

          SMDS -- (Switched Multimegabit Data Service)
          A standard for very high-speed data transfer.

          SMTP -- (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
          The main protocol used to send electronic mail from server to server on the Internet.

          SMTP is defined in RFC 821 and modified by many later RFC's.

          SNMP -- (Simple Network Management Protocol)
          A set of standards for communication with devices connected to a TCP/IP network. Examples of these devices include routers, hubs, and switches.

          SNMP is defined in RFC 1089

          SOAP -- (Simple Object Access Protocol)
          A protocol for client-server communication that sends and receives information "on top of" HTTP. The data sent and received is in a particular XML format specifically designed for use with SOAP. SOAP is similar to the XMLRPC protocol except that SOAP provides for more sophisticated handling of complex data being sent between a client and a server. SOAP actually grew from the work that created XMLRPC.

          Microsoft's ".NET" system is largely based on SOAP.

          Spam (or Spamming)
          An inappropriate attempt to use a mailing list, or USENET or other networked communications facility as if it was a broadcast medium (which it is not) by sending the same message to a large number of people who didn?t ask for it. The term probably comes from a famous Monty Python skit which featured the word spam repeated over and over. The term may also have come from someone?s low opinion of the food product with the same name, which is generally perceived as a generic content-free waste of resources. (Spam® is a registered trademark of Hormel Corporation, for its processed meat product.)

          A somewhat vague term generally referring to software that is secretly installed on a users computer and that monitors use of the computer in some way without the users' knowledge or consent.

          Most spyware tries to get the user to view advertising and/or particular web pages. Some spyware also sends information about the user to another machine over the Internet.

          Spyware is usually installed without a users' knowledge as part of the installation of other software, especially software such as music sharing software obtained via download.

          SQL -- (Structured Query Language)
          A specialized language for sending queries to databases. Most industrial-strength and many smaller database applications can be addressed using SQL. Each specific application will have its own slightly different version of SQL implementing features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases support a common subset of SQL.

          A example of an SQL statement is:

          SELECT name,email FROM people_table WHERE contry='uk'

          SSL -- (Secure Socket Layer)
          A protocol designed by Netscape Communications to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the Internet.

          Sysop -- (System Operator)
          Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system or network resource. For example, a System Administrator decides how often backups and maintenance should be performed and the System Operator performs those tasks.

          A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 1,544,000 bits-per-second. At maximum theoretical capacity, a T-1 line could move a megabyte in less than 10 seconds. That is still not fast enough for full-screen, full-motion video, for which you need at least 10,000,000 bits-per-second. T-1 lines are commonly used to connect large LANs to theInternet.

          A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second. This is more than enough to do full-screen, full-motionvideo.

          The term "tag" can be used as a noun or verb. As a noun, a tag is a basic element of the languages used to create web pages (HTML) and similar languages such as XML. Another, more recent meaning of tag is related to reader-crearted tags where blogs and other content (such as photos, music, etc.) may be "tagged" which means to assign a keyword, such as "politics" or "gardening", this enables searches for "all the blog postings in the past week that are tagged 'prenatal care'"

          TCP/IP -- (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
          This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now included with every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.

          The command and program used to login from one Internet siteto another. The telnet command/program gets you to the login: prompt of another host.

          A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else. At a minimum, this usually means a keyboard and a display screen and some simple circuitry. Usually you will use terminal software in a personal computer - the software pretends to be (emulates) a physical terminal and allows you to type commands to a computer somewhere else.

          Terminal Server
          A special purpose computer that has places to plug in many modemson one side, and a connection to a LAN or host machine onthe other side. Thus the terminal server does the work of answering the calls and passes the connections on to the appropriate node. Most terminal servers can provide PPP or SLIP services if connected to the Internet.

          TLD -- (Top Level Domain)
          The last (right-hand) part of a complete Domain Name. For example in the domain name ".net" is the Top Level Domain.

          There are a large number of TLD's, for example .biz, .com, .edu, .gov, .info, .int, .mil, .net, .org, and a collection of two-letter TLD's corresponding to the standard two-letter country codes, for example, .us, .ca, .jp, etc.

          Trojan Horse
          A computer program is either hidden inside another program or that masquerades as something it is not in order to trick potential users into running it. For example a program that appears to be a game or image file but in reality performs some other function. The term "Trojan Horse" comes from a possibly mythical ruse of war used by the Greeks sometime between 1500 and 1200 B.C.

          A Trojan Horse computer program may spread itself by sending copies of itself from the host computer to other computers, but unlike a virus it will (usually) not infect other programs.

          UDP -- (User Datagram Protocol)
          One of the protocols for data transfer that is part of the TCP/IP suite of protocols. UDP is a "stateless" protocol in that UDP makes no provision for acknowledgement of packets received.

          A computer operating system (the basic software running on a computer, underneath things like word processors and spreadsheets). Unix is designed to be used by many people at the same time (it is multi-user) and has TCP/IP built-in. It is the most common operating system for servers on the Internet.

          Apple computers' Macintosh operating system, as of version 10 ("Mac OS X"), is based on Unix.

          Transferring data (usually a file) from a the computer you are using to another computer. The opposite of download.

          URI -- (Uniform Resource Identifier)
          An address for s resource available on the Internet.

          The first part of a URI is called the "scheme". the most well known scheme is http, but there are many others. Each URI scheme has its own format for how a URI should appear.
          Here are examples of URIs using the http, telnet, and news schemes:


          URL -- (Uniform Resource Locator)
          The term URL is basically synonymous with URI. URI has replaced URL in technical specifications.

          URN -- (Uniform Resource Name)
          A URI that is supposed to be available for along time. For an address to be a URN some institution is supposed to make a commitment to keep the resource available at that address.

          A world-wide system of discussion groups, with comments passed among hundreds of thousands of machines. Not all USENET machines are on the Internet. USENET is completely decentralized, with over 10,000 discussion areas, called newsgroups.

          Veronica -- (Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives)
          Developed at the University of Nevada, Veronica was a constantly updated database of the names of almost every menu item on thousands of gopherservers. The Veronica database could be searched from most major gophermenus.

          Now made obsolete by web-bases search engines.

          A chunk of computer programming code that makes copies of itself without any concious human intervention. Some viruses do more than simply replicate themselves, they might display messages, install other software or files, delete software of files, etc.

          A virus requires the presence of some other program to replicate itself. Typically viruses spread by attaching themselves to programs and in some cases files, for example the file formats for Microsoft word processor and spreadsheet programs allow the inclusion of programs called "macros" which can in some cases be a breeding ground for viruses.

          VOIP -- (Voice Over IP)
          A specification and various technologies used to allow making telephone calls over IP networks, especially the Internet.

          Just as modems allow computers to connect to the Internet over regular telephone lines, VOIP technology allows humans to talk over Internet connections.

          Costs for VOIP calls can be a lot lower than for traditional telephone calls. Because the IP networks are packet-switched this allows for vastly different ways of handling connections and more efficient use of network resources.

          VPN -- (Virtual Private Network)
          Usually refers to a network in which some of the parts are connected using the public Internet, but the data sent across the Internet is encrypted, so the entire network is "virtually" private.

          WAN -- (Wide Area Network)
          Any internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus.

          Short for "World Wide Web."

          Web page
          A document designed for viewing in a web browser. Typically written in HTML. A web site is made of one or more web pages.

          The entire collection of web pages and other information (such as images, sound, and video files, etc.) that are made available through what appears to users as a single web server. Typically all the of pages in a web site share the same basic URL, for example the following URLs are all for pages within the same web site:

          The term has a somewhat informal nature since a large organization might have separate "web sites" for each division, but someone might talk informally about the organizations' "web site" when speaking of all of them.

          Wi-Fi -- (Wireless Fidelity)
          A popular term for a form of wireless data communication, basically Wi-Fi is "Wireless Ethernet".

          A worm is a virus that does not infect other programs. It makes copies of itself, and infects additional computers (typically by making use of network connections) but does not attach itself to additional programs; however a worm might alter, install, or destroy files and programs.

          WWW -- (World Wide Web)
          World Wide Web (or simply Web for short) is a term frequently used (incorrectly) when referring to "The Internet", WWW has two major meanings:

          First, loosely used: the whole constellation of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP,telnet, USENET, WAIS and some other tools.

          Second, the universe of hypertext servers (HTTP servers), more commonly called "web servers", which are the servers that serve web pages to web browsers.

          XHTML -- (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language)
          Basically HTML expressed as valid XML. XHTML is intended to be used in the same places you would use HTML (creating web pages) but is much more strictly defined, which makes it a lot easier to create sofware that can read it, edit it, check it for errors, etc.

          XHTML is expected to eventually replace HTML.

          XML -- (eXtensible Markup Language)
          A widely used system for defining data formats. XML provides a very rich system to define complex documents and data structures such as invoices, molecular data, news feeds, glossaries, inventory descriptions, real estate properties, etc.

          As long as a programmer has the XML definition for a collection of data (often called a "schema") then they can create a program to reliably process any data formatted according to those rules.

          XML is a subset of the older SGML specification - the definition of XML is SGML minus a couple of dozen items.

          XMLRPC -- (XML Remote Procedure Call)
          A protocol for client-server communication that sends and receives information "on top of" HTTP. The data sent and received is in a particular XML format specifically designed for use with XMLRPC.

          XPFE -- (Cross Platform Front End)
          A suite of technologies used to create applications that will work and look the same on different computer operating systems. A widely used XPFE application is the Mozilla web browser and its derivities, such as the Netscape web browser in version 7 and later.

          The primary technologies used in creating XPFE applications are Javascript, Cascading Style Sheets, and XUL.

          XUL -- (eXtensible User-interface Language)
          A markup language similar to HTML and based on XML.

          XUL used to define what the user interface will look like for a particular piece of software. XUL is used to define what buttons, scrollbars, text boxes, and other user-interface items will appear, but it is not used to define how those item will look (e.g. what color they are).

          The most widely used example of XUL use is probably in the Firefox web browser, where the entire user interface is defined using the XUL language.