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Computer Terms A-B-CComputer Terms D-E-F 

Computer Terms G- K  -  Computer Terms Q - Z

Computer Terms L through P 


LAN -- Local Area Network - Usually a small network limited to a single building or rooms in close proximity. A home network is a good example of a LAN.

Linux -A open source operating system similar to Unix. Gaining popularity, Linux comes in many "Distributions" - some with Windows-like graphical user interfaces.. Linux was first released by inventor Linus Torvalds in 1991.

Login - An account name used to gain access to a computer system. Usually used with a password to gain access to protected a account. (As a verb login means the act of logging on to a computer system - i.e. entering a password/username combination.

Maillist - Mailing List - A database stored for the purpose of sending email to a group of people (like this newsletter). The List Manager can send one copy of a newsletter to several or thousands of recipients.

Megabyte - Gernally One Million Bytes. Technically 1024 Kilobytes

Meta Tag - An HTML tag that contains information in the "head" of a Web page which is not normally seen by the viewer.  Meta tags contan information about the page itself and are generally inserted in an HTML document to be read by search engines to help search engines categorize a Web page.

MIME -- (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
An old standard for defining the types of files attached to standard Internet mail messages. Now the old MIME standard has come to be used in many situations where one computer program needs to communicate with another program about what kind of file is being sent.
For example, HTML (HTML/Text, JPEG/Image) etc

Mirror - Usually "to mirror' means to maintain an exact copy of something (mirror image).
The most common use of the term on the Internet is probably "mirror sites" which store an exact copy of files (usually downloadable) in case the main server goes down or becomes busy. That way people can still access the files from the "mirror site".

Modem -- Normally a device that connects a computer to a phone line. However there are now Cable Modems which connect a computer to a Cable line too. A "modem" allows the computer to communicate with the phone line, cable etc.

Mosaic - The very first browser (upon which Internet Explorer, Firefox, and all other browsers are based). 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. If you look at Internet Explorer's "Help/About" you'll still see a reference to NCSA - University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Netscape was the first successful browser based on Mosaic.

Netizen - From the words "Internet and Citizen" this means a citizen of the Internet. Rarely used these days. It implies a sense of civic responsibilty.

Network -When you connect 2 or more computers together so that they can share resources, you have a computer network.

NIC -- (Network Information Center) Any office that handles information for a network. The most famous of these on the Internet was the InterNIC, which used to control domain name registration until it was decentralized a few years ago. NIC can also mean "Network Interface card", which is the card in a computer that a network cable plugs into.

Node - Any single computer connected to a network.

Open Source Software (Open Source) - Open Source Software is software where the  programming code is available to everyon who is interested so that they may read it, make changes to it, and build new versions of the software with their changes. Most programs which are open soruce are normally "freeware" however one must still abide by the license agreement (the same as with any other software)..

Password - A word, numbers, letters, set of characters, or a combination of these used to gain access (login) to a restricted (password-protected) system. Good passwords contain letters and numbers (or characters if allowed) and are not simple combinations such as thundercloud8. A good password might be: 7e54u43t8

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. A PDF document looks the same on Windows, Macintosh, Linux etc. PDF was developed by the Adobe Corporation.

Permalink- A "permanent link" to a particular posting in a blog. A permalink is a URL that points to a specific blog posting, and not to the page in which the posting originally occured.

Ping - A packet of data sent to a sever to see if it is running which is then bounced back by the server to the sender. The time this round-trip takes can tell how "fast" the connection to the server is. The term Ping probably comes from the sound that sonar makes in submarines and ships (or at least submarines and ships in movies) .

Plug-in - A (usually) small software program that adds features or functionality to another program. Examples of plugins - The Macromedia Flash Plugin for Internet Explorer which enables users to see "Flash" animations. Plugins are also used in graphics programs like Photoshop (Adobe), PaintShop Pro (Jasc/Corel) and others.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) - PNG is a graphics format designed especially for use on the Web. PNGs enable compression of images without any loss of quality, including high-resolution images. PNGs also offer transparcency like that found in GIFs but with no licensing fee required. PNG is becoming much more common these days because all major browsers now support PNG.

Podcasting - A form of audio broadcasting using the Internet, Podcasting takes its name from a combination of "iPod" and broadcasting 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(Really Simple Syndication) feed. The list can then be obtained by other people using various podcast software which retreives and reads the feed and then makes the audio files available to digital audio devices (including iPods). Then people can listen to any of the available "Podcasts" at their convenience.

POP (Post Office Protocol) Normally POP3 -Post Office Protocol refers to a way that e-mail client software like Outlook Express retrieves email from a mail server. POP3 is the still, by far, the most common email protocol on the Internet but it is slowly being replaced by IMAP. 

Port - Port has several meanings but generally a port is a place where information goes into or out of a computer (or both). A USB port where a printer is connected is a good example of a port where information is sent in both directions.

Portal - A Web site that is or is intended to be the first place people see (start page or home page) when using the Web. A Portal site may also offer search, news, weather, sports, email and other services to encourage people to use that site as their main entry point (hence the term "Portal) to the Web.

Protocol -  On the Internet "protocol" 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 and the POP protocol defines the format for communication between POP3 email servers and clients. There are many protocols on the Internet (SSL, TC/IP, FTP, IMAP, etc).

Proxy Server
- A Proxy Server lies in between a Client and the "real" Server . Using a Proxy Server to connect to a Web site, for example, means you are connecting through the Proxy Server to the Web site instead of directly from your machine to the Web site. Depending on the type of proxy, this offers you greater anonymity than connecting directly to the Web site. In some cases the IP address displayed to the Web server will be that of the Proxy Server and not your real IP address.


Computer Terms A-B-CComputer Terms D-E-F 

Computer Terms G- K   -  Computer Terms Q - Z



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