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.
-Hits- are often used as a very rough measure of load on a server,
e.g. Our server has been getting 300,000 hits per month. Because
each -hit- can represent anything from a request for a tiny
document (or even a request for a missing document) all the
way to a request that requires some significant extra processing
(such as a complex search request), the actual load on a machine
from 1 hit is almost impossible to define.
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. Another sloppier use of
the term refers to practically any web page as a homepage, e.g.
That web site has 65 homepages and none of them are interesting.
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 WWW
(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,
additionally, in HTML you can specify that a block of text,
or a word, is linked to another file on the Internet. HTML files
are meant to be viewed using a World Wide Web Client Program,
such as Netscape or Mosaic.
(HyperText Transfer Protocol) -- The protocol for moving hypertext
files across the Internet. Requires a HTTP client program on
one end, and an HTTP server program on the other end. HTTP is
the most important protocol used in the World Wide Web (WWW).
Hypertext 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.
(Upper case I) The vast collection of inter-connected networks
that all use the TCP/IP protocols and that evolved from the
ARPANET of the late 60’s and early 70’s. The Internet now (July
1995) connects roughly 60,000 independent networks into a vast
(Lower case i) Any time you connect 2 or more networks together,
you have an internet - as in inter-national or inter-state.
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. As the Internet
has become more popular many of the tools used on the Internet
are being used in private networks, for example, many companies
have web servers that are available only to employees.
Note that an Intranet may not actually be an internet -- it
may simply be a network. IP Number
(Internet Protocol Number) -- Sometimes called a dotted quad.
A unique number consisting of 4 parts separated by dots, e.g.188.8.131.52
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. Most machines also have one or more Domain
Names that are easier for people to remember.
(Internet Service Provider) -- An institution that provides
access to the Internet in some form, usually for money.
Java is a network-oriented programming language invented by
Sun Microsystems that is specifically designed for writing programs
that can be safely downloaded to your computer through the Internet
and immediately run without fear of viruses or other harm to
your computer or files. Using small Java programs (called "Applets"),
Web pages can include functions such as animations, calculators,
and other fancy tricks.
We can expect to see a huge variety of features added to the
Web using Java, since you can write a Java program to do almost
anything a regular computer program can do, and then include
that Java program in a Web page.
web pages, usually to add features that make the web page more
is combined with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and later versions
was invented by Netscape and was going to be called "LiveScript",
(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 (2^10) bytes.
(Local Area Network) -- A computer network limited to the immediate
area, usually the same building or floor of a building.
When you're browsing the Web and you see a highlighted and underlined
word or phrase on a page, there's a good chance you're looking
at a link. These friendly little guys allow you to "jump" to
another web site, another frame, or another part of the page
you're currently viewing.
or a verb
The account name used to gain access to a computer system. Not
a secret (contrast with Password).
Verb: The act of entering into a computer system, e.g.
Login to the WELL and then go to the GBN conference.
(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 million bytes. Actually, technically, 1024 kilobytes.
(Networked Information Center) -- Generally, any office that
handles information for a network. The most famous of these
on the Internet is the InterNIC, which is where new domain names
Another definition: NIC also refers to Network Interface Card
which plugs into a computer and adapts the network interface
to the appropriate standard. ISA, PCI, and PCMCIA cards are
all examples of NICs.
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 to different routes by special machines along the
way. This way many people can use the same lines at the same
A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords
contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations
such as virtue7.
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
(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 the way e-mail
software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server. When you
obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account 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.
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: gopher://peg.cwis.uci.edu:7000/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.
Stands for "Portable Network Graphic." (No, it's not the same
thing as the previous definition.) PNG is a file format designed
primarily to replace the older GIF format (which has had some
copyright issues limiting its use). PNG files, which are lossless
(meaning they don't lose any detail when they are compressed)
support up to 48-bit truecolor or 16-bit grayscale and typically
compress about 5% to 25% better than GIF files. However, they
do not support animations like GIFs do. A format similar to
PNG, called MNG, is currently under development, and should
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.
E.g. A single message posted to a newsgroup or message board.
(Point to Point Protocol) -- Most well known as a protocol that
allows a computer to use a regular telephone line and a modem
to make TCP/IP connections and thus be really and truly on the
A chunk of information (often stored as a text file) that is
used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection.
Security Certificates contain information about who it belongs
to, who it was issued by, a unique serial number or other unique
identification, valid dates, and an encrypted “fingerprint”
that can be used to verify the contents of the certificate.
In order for an SSL connection to be created both sides must
have a valid Security Certificate.
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 could have several different server
software packages running on it, thus providing many different
servers to clients on the network.
(Switched Multimegabit Data Service) -- A new standard for very
high-speed data transfer.
(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) -- The main protocol used to
send electronic mail on the Internet.
SMTP consists of a set of rules for how a program sending mail
and a program receiving mail should interact.
Almost all Internet email is sent and received by clients and
servers using SMTP, thus if one wanted to set up an email server
on the Internet one would look for email server software that
(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. A device
is said to be “SNMP compatible” if it can be monitored and/or
controlled using SNMP messages. SNMP messages are known as “PDU’s”
- Protocol Data Units.
Devices that are SNMP compatible contain SNMP “agent” software
to receive, send, and act upon SNMP messages.
Software for managing devices via SNMP are available for every
kind of commonly used computer and are often bundled along with
the device they are designed to manage. Some SNMP software is
designed to handle a wide variety of devices.
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.)
E.g. Mary spammed 50 USENET groups by posting the same message
(Structured Query Language) -- A specialized programming 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 version of SQL implementing
features unique to that application, but all SQL-capable databases
support a common subset of SQL.
(Secure Sockets Layer) -- A protocol designed by Netscape Communications
to enable encrypted, authenticated communications across the
SSL used mostly (but not exclusively) in communications between
web browsers and web servers. URL’s that begin with “https”
indicate that an SSL connection will be used.
SSL provides 3 important things: Privacy, Authentication, and
Message Integrity. In an SSL connection each side of the connection
must have a Security Certificate, which each side’s software
sends to the other. Each side then encrypts what it sends using
information from both its own and the other side’s Certificate,
ensuring that only the intended recipient can de-crypt it, and
that the other side can be sure the data came from the place
it claims to have come from, and that the message has not been
If downloading is receiving a file from another computer, uploading
is the exact opposite. It is sending a file from your computer
to another one. Pretty straight forward. It is possible to both
upload and download at the same time, but it may cause slower
transfer speeds if you have a low bandwidth connection. Because
most files are located on huge ftp servers, people generally
do a lot more downloading than uploading.
(Uniform Resource Locator) -- The standard way to give the address
of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide
Web (WWW). A URL looks like this:
news: new.newusers.questions etc.
The most common way to use a URL is to enter into a WWW browser
program, such as Netscape, or Lynx.
(Wide Area Network) -- Any internet or network that covers an
area larger than a single building or campus.
(World Wide Web) -- 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)
which are the servers that allow text, graphics, sound files,
etc. to be mixed together.