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Looking for a definition of some technical jargon you heard recently? Chances are you
will find your answer here.
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A company that sells Internet connectivity.
A Java-like Microsoft language that permits Web-originated programs to be run from
Microsoft Explorer browser.
Client or robot programs, often able to act autonomously or intelligently.
An alternative name for an object, such as a variable, file, or device.
An image (img) attribute specifying that text can be displayed by a browser as an
alternative to the image.
FTP transactions that do not require a unique login name or password. Use the name
"anonymous" to log in and use your email address as a password.
A high-level program that can be included in an HTML page, much like an image can
be included. The program's code is then executed by the browser. Note: Many older
browsers cannot interpret Java applets and disregard them.
Applications software (also called end-user programs) includes database programs,
word processors, and spreadsheets. Figuratively speaking, applications software sits
on top of systems software because it is unable to run without the operating system
and system utilities.
A program that enables you to search for files anywhere on the Internet by filename.
Words or numbers you enter as part of an HTML tag to expand or modify how that
The precursor to the Internet, ARPANET was a large wide-area network created in
1969 by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA).
Acronym for AMERICAN STANDARD CODE FOR INFORMATION INTERCHANGE,
standard character set.
The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username and password.
Computer programs that aid in creating HTML documents by inserting the code for
We employ extensive emergency backup systems including redundant power generators capable of operating the equipment during a complete power outage.
The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital
devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second(bps) or bytes per
The speed rate of a data channel - expressed as bits per second (bps) - which is
usually used when referring to the speed of modems.
Bulletin Board System. An electronic message center. Most bulletin boards serve
specific interest groups.
Pertaining to a number system that has just two unique digits. Computers are based
on the binary numbering system, which consists of just two unique numbers, 0 and 1.
Short for binary digit, the smallest unit of information on a machine. A single bit can
hold only one of two values: 0 or 1.
A test used to compare performance of hardware and/or software.
HTML tag used to enclose the body (all the text and tags) of the HTML document.
Nearly all Web browsers support a bookmarking feature that lets you save the
address (URL) of a Web page so that you can easily re-visit the page at a later time.
Short for Web browser, a software application used to locate and display Web pages.
Eight bits; the fundamental unit of personal computer data.
Pronounced cash, a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a
reserved section of main memory or an independent high-speed storage device.
European Particle Physics Laboratory, the developers of the World Wide Web
CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
The scripting language used to write gateway scripts for CERN and NCSA Web
servers. CGI programs are the most common way for Web servers to interact dynamically with users. Many HTML pages that contain forms, for example, use a CGI
program to process the form's data once it's submitted.
Real-time communication between two users via computer. Once a chat has been
initiated, either user can enter text by typing on the keyboard and the entered text
will appear on the other user's monitor.
One of the leading manufacturers of network equipment. Cisco's primary business is in
internetworking products, such as routers, bridges, and switches.
A network architecture in which each computer or process on the network is either a
client or a server. Servers are powerful computers or processes dedicated to managing disk drives (file servers), printers (print servers), or network traffic
(network servers). Clients are PCs or workstations on which users run applications.
Clients rely on servers for resources, such as files, devices, and even processing
Some companies own a server, but want to locate it in the secure environment of a
Web hosting provider. That way they can take advantage of the fastest possible connections to the Internet while handing over day-to-day management of the site.
A computer buzzword that refers to a program or device's ability to link with other
programs and devices.
A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the
message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server
each time the browser requests a page from the server.
Pairs of numbers used to define the edges of the clickable areas in clickable image
Pronounced demon or damon, a process that runs in the background and performs a
specified operation at predefined times or in response to certain events. The term
daemon is a UNIX term, though many other operating systems provide support for daemons, though they're sometimes called other names. Windows, for example, refers
to daemons and System Agents and services. Typical daemon processes include print
spoolers, email handlers, and other programs that perform administrative tasks for the
A database is a structured set of records, such as a mailing list. A Web browser can
access a public database by Perl Scripts. There are many ways for a user to find
information in a database. When the data is structured as a table in a single file, a
user need only browse the page and use the browser's Find feature. However, to search a relational database spread over many files, a sophisticated CGI script is
required to access the data.
Our Data Center in Atlanta, GA features redundant T3s, 10/ 100 Mbs switched fast Ethernet, performance-proven Cisco routers and Catalyst switches.
The outward bound traffic from a Web site, with the exception of email. Any HTML,
graphic, audio or video file that is accessed by someone viewing your site is included.
A permanently connected telephone line between two computer systems. Dedicated
lines make up the bulk of the Internet.
A dedicated server is a single computer in a network reserved for serving the needs
of the network. For example, some networks require that one computer be set aside
to manage communications between all the other computers. A dedicated server could also be a computer that manages printer resources.
An "on ramp" to the Internet—the service which allows one to "dial" into the Internet
through their communication lines.
An attachment to an electronic message used for security purposes. The most
common use of a digital certificate is to verify that a user sending a message is who
he or she claims to be, and to provide the receiver with the means to encode a reply.
A photograph stored in a format recognizable and usable by computers.
A major division on a hard drive or server used to divide and organize files.
Disk Storage Space
The amount of server disk storage allocated to your account. This space can be used
to store HTML and graphics files, programs or scripts, mail messages, compressed
files, or other files that make up your Web site. This does not include the log files, as
they are owned by the processes on the server. Space can be purchased for $5 per
month for each additional 20 MB.
Short for Digital Linear Tape, a type of magnetic tape storage device originally
developed by DEC and now marketed by several companies. DLTs are half an inch wide and the cartridges come in several sizes ranging from 20 to over 40 GB. DLT
drives are faster than most other types of tape drives, achieving transfer rates of 2.5
Short for Domain Name System (or Service), an Internet service that translates
domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every
time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into
the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com
might translate to 18.104.22.168.
An article, book, or other work, typically containing text or other media, that includes
The name for a company, organization, or individual's Internet connection. Individual
computers within this domain all end with the domain as a part of their host name.
To transfer a file from another computer to your computer.
Ecommerce (electronic commerce) The purchasing of items over the Internet
Email (electronic mail)
A communication system that allows you to send text, files and/or graphical
messages over the Internet.
An autoresponder will send a standard response email message (based on a text file
you specify) to anyone who sends an email to a specific email address (which you
specify) at your domain.
We offer fully POP3 compliant Email boxes that can be used to send and receive Email from any connection to the Internet.
wehas a wide selection of options and features including unlimited aliases, forwarding and autoresponders as
well as attractive volume discounts.
The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to
achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret
key or password that enables you to decrypt it. Unencrypted data is called plain
text; encrypted data is referred to as cipher text.
A local-area network (LAN) protocol developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation
with DEC and Intel in 1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports data
transfer rates of 10 Mbps. It is one of the most widely implemented LAN standards. A
newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data
rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.
Frequently Asked Questions - the role of these is to answer the majority of questions
commonly asked by newcomers. FAQs provide a means by which questions that are frequently asked can be collated into
on document. The majority of FAQs are posted on the USENET in related groups.
The patterns and standards used to store a program on a disk. Examples are GIF,
A file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on
the network can store files on the server.
A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.
Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both.
HTML documents designed with fill-in text boxes, lists of options, and other elements
that allow the user of the form to send information back to the Web server. (E.g.
registration form, order form, etc.)
An HTML tag introduced by Netscape to allow partitioning of the browser window into
independent document display areas.
A packet-switching protocol for connecting devices on a Wide Area Network (WAN).
Frame Relay networks in the U.S. support data transfer rates at T-1 (1.544 Mbps)
and T-3 (45 Mbps) speeds. In fact, you can think of Frame Relay as a way of utilizing
existing T-1 and T-3 lines owned by a service provider. Most telephone companies
now provide Frame Relay service for customers who want connections at 56 Kbps to
Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although it is available for
free, the author retains the copyright, which means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people
to use the software, but not sell it.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
The primary method for accessing files via the Internet.
You will have unlimited access to your account via FTP, FrontPage, or telnet 24
hours a day in order to maintain your site. It is recommended that the majority of
work on your site be done locally on your own system and then uploaded to our server. This affords you the most flexibility and safety in regard to backing up your
Anonymous FTP (UNIX only)
Allows for users to access your Web site with standard FTP client software in order
to upload/download files without supplying a unique username and password (anonymous). With the advent of the current HTTP specifications and browsers,
however, this is fairly moot, since the same can be done through your browser. Some
people just prefer to have anonymous FTP available, whether or not they use it regularly.
A popular type of image file format. Stands for Graphic Image Format.
2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024
megabytes. Gigabyte is often abbreviated as G or GB.
A menu-based information system on the Internet popularized because of its ability
to interconnect different Gopher sites on the same menu.
A class of software that helps groups of colleagues (workgroups), attached to a
local-area network organize their activities. Typically, groupware supports the following operations: scheduling meetings and allocating resources, email, password
protection for documents, telephone utilities, electronic newsletters, file distribution.
Groupware is sometimes called workgroup productivity software.
The HTML tag used to enclose the beginning elements in the HTML document,
including the title.
The first page that you intend people to see at your Web site.
The name of a computer on the Internet, used to identify it in the URL naming
Hosting, Web Hosting
To provide the infrastructure for a computer service. For example, a company like
us host Web servers. This means that we provide the hardware, software, and communications lines required by the server, but the content on the server may
be controlled by the customer.
HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
The coding scheme used to format text for use on the World Wide Web.
HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol)
The transmission standard used to send HTML documents across the World Wide Web
A special type of database system, invented by Ted Nelson in the 1960s, in which
objects (text, pictures, music, programs, and so on) can be creatively linked to each
Site or documents that can be automatically updated or provide a measure of
interaction with the reader.
The general term used to describe the worldwide network of computers and services
encompassing some 20-40 million computer users and dozens of information systems
including email, Gopher, FTP, and the World Wide Web.
Microsoft's Web browser. Like Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer enables you to
A collaborative project between AT&T and Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) supported
by the National Science Foundation. The project currently offers the following four
services to users of the Internet.
InterNIC Directory and Database Services - online white pages directory and
directory of publicly accessible databases managed by AT&T.
Registration Services - domain name and IP address assignment managed by
Support Services - outreach, education, and information services for the
Internet community managed by NSI.
Net Scout Services - online publications that summarize recent happenings of
interest to Internet users (managed by NSI).
An internal (private) version of the Internet.
Every computer connected to the Internet has to have an address. This is expressed
in two ways: as an IP address in dotted decimal form, e.g. 22.214.171.124; or by a
more memorable machine name, e.g. vdswebhosting.com. Each computer has a unique IP address, allowing computers to address the data that they send to the
correct computer on the Internet
An Integrated Serviced Digital Network allows you to send digital information at
speeds of 128Kb over the normal telephone network. Just like a telephone call, you
dial the number of the computer you are calling and establish a digital connection. It
takes only a few milliseconds and the cost is the same as a normal telephone call.
ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, the service
provider gives you a software package, username, password and access phone number. Equipped with a modem, you can then log on to the Internet and browse the
World Wide Web and USENET, and send and receive email. In addition to serving individuals, ISPs also serve large companies, providing a direct connection from the
company's networks to the Internet. ISPs themselves are connected to one another
through Network Access Points (NAPs).
Short for Independent Software Vendor, a company that produces software.
A programming language designed for program execution on the client side, i.e. in a
browser. It is best for creating applets and applications for the Internet, intranets
and any other complex distributed network.
A proprietary scripting language by Netscape that adds author-specified user events
to static pages.
Joint Photographic Experts Group, ISO/CCITT standard for compressing still images
(grayscale or color).
Short for kilobyte. When used to describe data storage, KB usually represents 1,024
bytes. When used to describe data transfer rates, KB represents 1,000 bytes.
In text editing and database management systems, a keyword is an index entry that
identifies a specific record or document or a searchable term extracted from a data
set during indexing.
Short for Local Area Network or a computer network that spans a relatively small
area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings. However, one
LAN can be connected to other LANs over any distance via telephone lines and radio
waves. A system of LANs connected in this way is called a wide-area network (WAN).
The text or graphic used in an HTML document to jump from one document to
another. Typically underlined.
A file that lists actions that occurred. For example, Web servers maintain log files
listing every request made to the server. With log file analysis tools like WebTrends,
it's possible to get a good idea of where visitors are coming from, how often they
return, and how they navigate through a site. Using cookies enables Webmasters to
log even more detailed information about how individual users are accessing a site.
Short for megabyte (1,000,000 or 1,048,576 bytes, depending on the context).
An on-screen display that lists available choices.
Microsoft FrontPage Extensions
FrontPage extensions are available on both Unix and NT in order for you to use the
FrontPage client software to create your Web site. Support for the FrontPage client
software is provided by Microsoft.
Short for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a specification for formatting
non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over the Internet. Many email clients
now support MIME, which enables them to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via the Internet mail system. In addition, MIME supports messages in
character sets other than ASCII.
Stands for MOdulator/DEModulator - a device that translates the digital information
from your computer into analogue signals that can be passed down an ordinary telephone line. This allows one computer to 'talk' to another computer using the
telephone line as a medium.
A typeface in which the width of each character is the same.
One of the first graphical browsers. Developed by the NCSA, this browser fueled the
growth of the Web. It is available in versions for Windows, Mac, and UNIX.
The original name for Netscape's browser, now called Navigator. Some people claim
that the term is a contraction of Mosaic Godzilla (e.g., Mosaic killer), since Mosaic
was the number one Web browser at the time Netscape began developing its product. The term Mozilla is still used by many Web developers and appears in server
log files that identify the browsers being used.
Documents that combine text, graphics, sound, movies, or other media.
A true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL (Structured Query Language) database server.
SQL is the most popular database language in the world. MySQL is a client/server
implementation that consists of a server daemon mysqld and many different client
A popular commercial graphical browser. It is available in versions for Windows, Mac,
and UNIX, and is used by approximately 60% of the people that use the WWW.
Short for Networks Operations Center. The weNOC provides 24x7 monitoring of
our Network including: Real-time Network status, Performance reporting, Real-time
alarming, event correlation and forecasting.
In networks, a processing location. A node can be a computer or some other device,
such as a printer. Every node has a unique network address, sometimes called a Data
Link Control (DLC) address or Media Access Control (MAC) address.
NT (Windows NT)
The most advanced version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT is a
32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking. There are actually
two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks and Windows NT Workstation for stand-alone or client workstations.
Stands for original equipment manufacturer. OEMs buy computers in bulk and
customize them for a particular application. They then sell the customized computer
under their own name.
A piece of a message transmitted over a packet-switching network. One of the key
features of a packet is that it contains the destination address in addition to the
data. In IP networks, packets are often called datagrams.
A parked domain points to exactly the same HTML files as the primary domain does
since they share the same IP number. The parked domain cannot point directly to a
subdirectory of the primary domain. It is possible to make users refer to subdirectories and have mail be received at the parked domain, but some of the
``virtualness" is lost and is more technical than can be discussed here.
Popular Extraction and report Language, the most widely used language for
programming CGI applications.
Short for Picture Element, a pixel is a single point in a graphic image. Graphics
monitors display pictures by dividing the display screen into thousands (or millions) of
pixels, arranged in rows and columns.
The actual facility to retrieve email directly from our server using a standard email
client, such as Eudora, Pegasus, Netscape Mail or Internet Explorer Mail.
An interface on a computer which you can connect a device. Personal computers
have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk
drives, display screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for
connecting modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.
A typeface in which the width of a character varies, i.e. an "i" is narrower than an
A request for information from a database. There are three general methods for
posing queries: (1) Choosing parameters from a menu: In this method, the database
system presents a list of parameters from which you can choose. (2) Query by example (QBE): In this method, the system presents a blank record and lets you
specify the fields and values that define the query. (3) Query language: Many database systems require you to make requests for information in the form of a
stylized query that must be written in a special query language.
An acronym for random access memory, a type of computer memory that can be
accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers
and other devices, such as printers.
Occurring immediately. The term is used to describe a number of different computer
features. For example, real-time operating systems are systems that respond to input
Pronounced rahm, acronym for read-only memory, computer memory on which data
has been prerecorded. Once data has been written onto a ROM chip, it cannot be removed and can only be read.
The top directory in a file system. The root directory is provided by the operating
system and has a special name; for example, in DOS systems the root directory is
called \. The root directory is sometimes referred to simply as the root.
A device that connects two Local Area Networks. Routers are similar to bridges, but
provide additional functionality, such as the ability to filter messages and forward
them to different places based on various criteria. The Internet uses routers extensively to forward packets from one host to another.
A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the
documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like
Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide
Web and USENET newsgroups.
A computer or device on a network that manages network resources. For example, a
file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on
the network can store files on the server. A print server is a computer that manages
one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic. A database server is a computer system that processes database queries.
Server-Side Scripting and Programming Languages A variety of scripting and programming languages is available to you in order to give
greater function to your Web site. Some of the primary examples are: Unix, perl, shell
script, Server-Side Includes (SSI), PHP, Miva (formerly HTMLScript), NT, Cold Fusion,
and Active Server Pages (ASP).
Software that is distributed at no cost to the user (the author maintains the
Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending email messages
between servers. Most email systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to
send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with
an email client using either POP or IMAP.
In UNIX and some other operating systems, a software object that connects an
application to a network protocol. In UNIX, for example, a program can send and receive TCP/IP messages by opening a socket and reading and writing data to and
from the socket. This simplifies program development because the programmer need
only worry about manipulating the socket and can rely on the operating system to
actually transport messages across the network correctly.
Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, support allows the transfer of data in a secure
A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits per second. A T-1
line actually consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per
second. Each 64Kbit/second channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic.
A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 43 Mbps. A T-3 line
actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kbps.
The basic unit of HTML coding, consisting of a word inside less-than (<) and
greater-than (>) brackets.
Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the suite of
communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP uses
several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP. TCP/IP is built into the UNIX
operating system and is used by the Internet, making it the de facto standard for
transmitting data over networks. Even network operating systems that have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.
The science of translating sound into electrical signals, transmitting them, and then
converting them back to sound; that is, the science of telephones. The term is used
frequently to refer to computer hardware and software that performs functions traditionally performed by telephone equipment.
A method of logging onto remote computer systems using a terminal program or other
applications using the Telnet protocol. You can use the Telnet application to run
commands and programs on a remote computer.
A host operating system developed by AT&T that allows multiple clients to access
the resources of one host simultaneously. Many of the news, mail, WWW and name servers on the Internet use this operating system.
Defined by Tim Berners-Lee's 1993 IETF Draft "Uniform Resource Locators" ---
describing a document or service on the internet as a string which identifies the
protocol, server machine, and additional information (e.g., file path)
A worldwide bulletin board system that can be accessed through the Internet or
through many online services. The USENET contains more than 14,000 forums, called
newsgroups that cover every imaginable interest group. It is used daily by millions of
people around the world.
Short for Unix-to-Unix Copy, a Unix utility and protocol that enables one computer to
send files to another computer over a direct serial connection or via modems and the
telephone system. For most file transfer applications, UUCP has been superseded by
other protocols, such as FTP, SMTP and NNTP
Virtual Web servers are a very popular way of providing low-cost Web hosting
services. Instead of requiring a separate computer for each server, dozens of virtual
servers can co-reside on the same computer. In most cases, performance is not affected and each Web site behaves as if it is being served by a dedicated server.
Short for virtual private network, a network that is constructed by using public wires
to connect nodes. For example, there are a number of systems that enable you to create networks using the Internet as the medium for transporting data. These
systems use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.
Pronounced ver-mal, and short for Virtual Reality Modeling Language, VRML is a
specification for displaying 3-dimensional objects on the World Wide Web. You can
think of it as the 3-D equivalent of HTML. Files written in VRML have a .wrl extension
(short for world). To view these files, you need a VRML browser or a VRML plug-in to
a Web browser.
A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN
consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs). Computers connected to a wide-area network are often connected through public networks, such as the
telephone system. They can also be connected through leased lines or satellites. The
largest WAN in existence is the Internet.
A variety of methods is available in order to create dynamic sites that interact with
databases. PHP-mSQL or PHP-mySQL and HTMLScript to dBase-compatible are available on Unix, while Cold Fusion-ODBC compatible (Access, FoxPro, dBase) are
available for NT.
An individual who manages a Web site. Depending on the size of the site, the
Webmaster might be responsible for any of the following: Making sure that the Web
server hardware and software is running properly, Designing the Web site, Creating
and updating Web pages, Replying to user feedback, Creating CGI scripts, Monitoring
traffic through the site.
A computer that delivers (serves up) Web pages. Every Web server has an IP
address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL http://webhosting.vds.com/index.html in your browser, this sends a request to
the server whose domain name is vdswebhosting.com. The server then fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.
An Internet utility that returns information about a domain name or IP address. For
example, if you enter a domain name such as vdswebhosting.com, whois will return the name and address of the domain's owner.
A special symbol that stands for one or more characters. Many operating systems
and applications support wildcards for identifying files and directories. This enables
you to select multiple files with a single specification. For example, in DOS and
Windows, the asterisk (*) is a wild card that stands for any combination of letters.
The World Wide Web in simplest terms is an internationally networked organized
collection of information. What does this mean? Basically this means using the right
software you can read, see and even hear specific information that someone else has
made public via your computer.
Short for eXtensible Markup Language, a new specification being developed by the
W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for Web documents.
It enables designers to create their own customized tags to provide functionality not
available with HTML. For example, XML supports links that point to multiple documents, as opposed to HTML links, which can reference just one destination