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Document exchange software from Adobe Systems. The software creates documents in PDF (Portable Document Format) which can be read on any platform (Windows, Apple, UNIX, or DOS). Acrobat Reader is a software that allows to read a PDF document. It can be downloaded for free from Adobe web site.

America Online
One of the largest Internet Service Providers, also known as AOL. Offers full Internet and World Wide Web access including on-line services such as AOL browser, e-mail, newsletters, newsgroups, technical support, etc.

Antivirus Software
A program that detects computer viruses and removes them.

see America Online.

A computer program that helps a user to accomplish specific task, i.e. connect to the Internet, edit document, draw, etc.

Apple Talk
A Local Area Network Protocol that was developed by Apple for communication between Apple based computers.

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A short-range networking protocol for connecting different type of devices; for example connecting mobile phone to computer or laptop.

Built-in browser option to store a pointer to your favorite web site. Allows user to open web-page without typing in the URL. This word is used primarily on Macintosh computers, while on Window based PC the feature is called Favorites.

An application that displays a web-page and allows navigation through the Internet, also known as Web-browser.
Most popular web browsers are Internet Explorer, Netscape Communicator, AOL, Safary, Opera, Modzilla.
For more about browsers and their downloads click here.

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Cable Modem
An external device that is hooked up to your computer (through Ethernet cable) enabling it to connect to Internet through the TV cable. It is usually supplied by ISP company. This kind of connection is about 100 times faster than regular modem.

Memory allocated on the computer hard drive or external disk for temporary storing frequently-used or recently accessed data, such as web-pages. Storing this kind of data saves time on loading the data when retrieved.

To have real time (instant) conversation over the Internet exchanging messages that are sent back and forth. See also Chat room.

Chat Room
A real time electronic forum. A virtual room where users can share ideas on particular topics.

The computer in a client/server architecture that requests files or services. The computer that provides services is called the server. The client may request file transfer, remote logins, printing, or other available services. The client also means the software that makes the connection possible.

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Dial Up Connection
Kind of connection that uses phone wires to connect to ISP. Computer dials ISP phone number using modem. The connection is usually slow and falls when phone call is coming through.

Digital Subscriber Line or Digital Subscriber Loop. A technology which enables high-speed transmission of digital data over regular copper telephone lines.

Domain Name System. A database system that translates an IP address into a domain name. For example, a numeric address like 232.452.120.54 can become something like xyz.com.

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The legal agreement between the user of software and the software manufacturer. An EULA covers restricted use, terms of distribution and resale of the software.

The most popular type of local area network, which sends its communications through radio frequency signals carried by a coaxial cable. Each computer checks to see if another computer is transmitting and waits its turn to transmit. If two computers accidentally transmit at the same time and their messages collide, they wait and send again in turn. Software protocols used by Ethernet systems vary, but include Novell Netware and TCP/IP.

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Abbreviation for Frequently Asked Questions. Newsgroups, mailing lists and Internet sites often have a list of the most frequently asked questions about their subject, with answers. New users who have questions will find it useful to check the FAQ first. There are readily available FAQs about general use of the Internet and online services.

Fiber Optics
(FO).The transmission of data in the form of pulses of light. Fiber optics uses cables containing glass or silica fibers no thicker than a human hair. There is very little signal loss, and information can be transmitted at high speed over long distances. Fiber optic cables do not have problems with external noise like wire cables do, and are better for transmissions requiring security.

Special software that prevents unauthorized users from accessing certain files on a network or your own computer. This software is essential if you use DSL or Cable Modem as your ISP.

(Shockwave Flash). A file format for delivering interactive vector graphics and animations over the World Wide Web. Also a software (Flash Player) that displays this kind of files through the browser. The software can be downloaded from Macromedia Web Site.

A discussion group on a particular subject that is hosted by a BBS, a newsgroup, or a mailing list, or another online service.

File Transfer Protocol. A client/server protocol for exchanging files with a host computer. Usually, the exchange is uploading files from workstation to the server. Examples of FTP are Xmodem, Ymodem, Zmodem and Kermit.

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A document retrieval system from the University of Minnesota. Through Gopher, a user can access files from many different computers by looking through hierarchical menus to find specific topics. A document may be a text, sound, image, or other type file. A program called Jughead can be used to search for topics found within Gopher files. Gopher sites can now be accessed through the World Wide Web.

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The main (index) page of a web-site that has multiple pages linked together. Usually all the other pages of the web site linked to the homepage.

Host Computer
1.A computer connected to a network, that provides data and services to other computers. Services may include data storage, file transfer, data processing, email, bulletin board services, World Wide Web, etc. 2. A multiuser computer that has terminals attached to it.

HyperText Markup Language. The language used to create World Wide Web pages, with hyperlinks and markup for text formatting (different heading styles, bold, italic, numbered lists, insertion of images, etc.).

HyperText Transfer Protocol. The protocol most often used to transfer information from World Wide Web servers to browsers, which is why Web addresses begin with http://. Also called Hypertext Transport Protocol.

Text or picture that are linked by HTML code to another place on the same page or another web-site. If hyperlink is a text, it is usually underlined or has different from surrounding text color.

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Term that is used for world biggest network of networks. The worldwide information highway that helps to transfer information over thousands of interconnected computer networks.
To read more about the Internet click here.

Internet Protocol
(IP). The IP part of TCP/IP; the protocol used to route a data packet from its source to its destination over the Internet.

Internet Service Provider. A company which provides Internet access or Internet accounts to individuals, businesses, and other groups.

IP address
The Internet Protocol address; a numeric address such as that the domain name server translates into a domain name.

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A word used in a search for particular subject. Usually refers to a word or word combination that is typed into search engine in order to find a necessary information or web-page.

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Local Area Network. A network that connects computers that are close to each other, usually in the same building, linked by a cable.

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Mailing List
An email discussion forum. Participants subscribe to a list, receive copies of messages sent by other members, and can email their own comments. In some mailing lists there is a moderator who receives all mail, screens it, and decides which messages to pass on. Unmoderated lists simply redirect all mail received to the list of recipients. Mailing lists may be highly technical, or social and recreational.

A peripheral device that connects computers to each other for sending communications via the telephone lines. The modem modulates the digital data of computers into analog signals to send over the telephone lines, then demodulates back into digital signals to be read by the computer on the other end; thus the name "modem" for modulator/demodulator. Modems are used for sending and receiving electronic mail, connecting to bulletin board systems, and surfing the Internet.

The first World Wide Web browser, created by the University of Illinois National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).Mosaic was the breakthrough that caused the World Wide Web to become widely used, as it was the first software that provided a multimedia graphical user interface for the Internet. It is available for UNIX, Windows, and Macintosh.

Multimedia is communication that uses any combination of different media, and may or may not involve computers. Multimedia may include text, spoken audio, music, images, animation and video. Multimedia programs are often interactive, and include games, sales presentations, encyclopedias, and more.

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A group of interconnected computers, including the hardware and software used to connect them.

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Operating System
(OS).The main control program of a computer that schedules tasks, manages storage, and handles communication with peripherals. Its main part, called the kernel, is always present. The operating system presents a basic user interface when no applications are open, and all applications must communicate with the operating system. Examples of Operating System are Unix, Windows 2000, OS 9.2, DOS.

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A unit of data formatted for transmission on a network. Data is broken up into packets for sending over a packet switching network. Each packet has a header containing its source and destination, a block of data content, and an error-checking code. All the data packets related to a message may not take the same route to get to their destination; they are reassembled once they have arrived.

The file extension for a Portable Document Format file. Portable Document Format was designed by Adobe Systems, Inc. In order to view a .pdf file the user will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a freeware product available for download via the Web.

Computers are layered machines composed of (1) a chip-level hardware level, (2) an operating system level, and (3) an application-programs level. The platform layer of the computer is the bottommost level of these levels. Usually, the platform refers to the type of operating system (Windows, DOS, Unix) or computer (PC or Macintosh) being used.

1.A gateway or entrance. 2.A gateway to the Internet, which may be a search engine or directory web page. Examples: Infoseek, Excite, Yahoo, Lycos, AOL. A web page which is a starting point for web surfing.

Often simply referred to as a protocol, a communications protocol is a set of rules or standard designed so that computers can exchange information with a minimum of errors.

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Random Access Memory. The working memory of the computer. RAM is the memory used for storing data temporarily while working on it, running application programs, etc. The heavier or bigger the application, the more RAM it requires. RAM is "measured" in Megabytes (MB). RAM is used also by Operating System.

Real Time
Able to respond immediately; this term refers to a system which must respond to external events, such as process control at a manufacturing plant or an embedded system that runs a piece of equipment.

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Search Engine
Web Site that runs a program enabling users search for files and information on the Internet. Examples are Infoseek, Google, Yahoo, Lycos, Excite, and many more. Most search engines find files that contain a key word or words typed in by the user. Some search engines specialize in a subject area or type of file. Others, called meta-search engines, query a number of regular search engines and collect the best results.

The computer in a client/server architecture that supplies files or services. The computer that requests services is called the client. The client may request file transfer, remote logins, printing, or other available services.

Software is the computer program that tells a computer's hardware what to do. System software is the operating system that controls the basic functioning capabilities of the computer, network software enables multiple computers to communicate with one another, and language software is used to develop programs.

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Transmission Control Protocol. The most common Internet transport layer protocol, defined in STD 7, RFC 793. This communications protocol is used in networks that follow U.S. Department of Defense standards. It is based on the Internet Protocol as its underlying protocol; TCP/IP means Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol. TCP is connection-oriented and stream-oriented, and provides for reliable communication over packet-switched networks.

The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) on top of the Internet Protocol (IP). These protocols were developed by DARPA to enable communication between different types of computers and computer networks. The Internet Protocol is a connectionless protocol which provides packet routing. TCP is connection-oriented and provides reliable communication and multiplexing.

TN).A terminal emulation protocol that lets a user log in remotely to other computers on the Internet; it has a command line interface. Originally developed for ARPAnet, Telnet runs on top of the TCP/IP protocol.

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To transfer files or data from one computer to another. To download means to receive; to upload means to transmit.

Uniform Resource Locator. Also known as the "Web-site address", gives location and access method of any web-page.

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A program that infects a computer by attaching itself to another program, and propagating itself when that program is executed. A computer can become infected by files downloaded over a network, opening an infected attachment of e-mail, or by the installation of new software or floppy disks that are infected with viruses. Some viruses are only pranks, and perform harmless actions like displaying a screen with a joke message on it. Others can destroy files or wipe out a hard drive.

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Web Page
One page of a document on the World Wide Web. A web page is usually a file written in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), stored on a server. A web page usually has links to other web pages .Each web page has its own address called a Uniform Resource Locator (URL).

Web Site
A server computer that makes documents available on the World Wide Web. Each Web site is identified by a hostname.

Wide Area Network. A network in which computers are connected to each other over a long distance, using telephone lines and satellite communications. Contrast with local area network (LAN).

Wireless Network
In computer networking, this term refers to networks that are connected by radio rather than by wires. Wireless communications are enabled by packet radio, spread spectrum, cellular technology, satellites, and microwave towers, and can be used for voice, data, video, and images. Sometimes wireless networks can interconnect with regular computer networks.

World Wide Web. A hypermedia-based system for browsing Internet sites. It is named the Web because it is made of many sites linked together; users can travel from one site to another by clicking on hyperlinks. The pages can be viewed through browser.

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©Olga Eidelman, M. A. Instructional Technology, SJSU, Foothill Cohort, Summer 2004
Last updated:7-aug-04