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

Computer Terms G - K - Computer Terms L through P

Computer Terms Q through Z

Query - Usually a phrase or question typed into a search engine like Google used to find information. A query is used in databases in like manner, to find information or users, etc.

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

ROTFL - Rolling On The Floor Laughing. Shorthand used in Chat and other Internet communications.

A device that handles the connection between 2 or more networks. Routers look at the source and destination addresses of the packets passing through them and decide which route to send them on.

RSS -- (Rich Site Summary or RDF Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication)
A now wildly popular web protocol for syndication and sharing of content. It was originally developed to facilitate the syndication of news articles, but is now even more widely used to share the content of blogs.

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.

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. Very Rare.

Search Engine
A web-based system for searching the information available on the World Wide Web.

Security Certificate
Information (often stored as a text file) that is used by the SSL protocol to establish a secure connection. Usually used where financial or private information is to be transmitted.

A computer that "serves" information or services to other computer. The term can refer to a particular piece of software, such as "Apache" or to the machine on which the software is running. A server can perform several functions at once: for example it can be a "Web" server which serves web pages and a mail server which provides Internet mail functions.

A small computer program designed to be add capabilities to a larger piece of server software, usually written in Java.  "Java servlets" 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 function.

SMTP -- (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
The most popular protocol used to send email from server to server on the Internet.

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

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. Microsoft's ".NET" framework is based on SOAP.

Unwanted, unsolicited email or any other form or electronic communication (USENET, Instant Messaging) usually advertising products or pornography.

Applications that contain programming to collect data from a "host" computer (usually a consumer) and transmit it to the developer's computer for financial gain or identity theft. Adware can be a form of spyware if it displays advertisements based on a consumer's behavior on their own personal computer.

SQL -- (Structured Query Language)
A specialized language for sending queries to databases. Most often used as database for Web related structures and sites

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

Sysop -- (System Operator)
Anyone responsible for the physical operations of a computer system or network resource.

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.

A leased-line connection capable of carrying data at 44,736,000 bits-per-second. Usually 3
T-1 lines.

Commonly, a tag is a basic element of the languages used to create web pages (HTML) and similar languages such as XML.

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

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

Terabyte  1000 gigabytes.

A device that allows you to send commands to a computer somewhere else, usually a computer.

Top Level Domain The last part of a domain name i.e. com, .net, .org, etc. For instance the .net is the Top Level Domain. The types of top level domains are growing and now include .biz, .com, .edu, .gov, .info, .int, .mil, .net, .cc and many others. The list continues to grow.

Trojan Horse (trojan) A computer program that is either hidden inside another program or that masquerades as something it is not in order to trick 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 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.
See also: Packet Switching, TCP/IP

Unix - A computer operating system. 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 Linux which is based on Unix.

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

URL -- (Uniform Resource Locator)
The term URL is the same as "Web Address" - a location on the Internet. is a URL.

USENET - 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.

UUENCODE -- (Unix to Unix Encoding)
A method for converting files from Binary to ASCII (text) so that they can be sent across the Internet via email.

Virus -  A piece of computer programming code that makes copies of itself without any other 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..

VOIP -- (Voice Over IP)
A specification and various technologies used to allow making telephone calls over IP networks, especially the Internet. This is one of the fastest growing areas of the Internet as VoIP phone networks are cutting into traditional phone lines because of the higher quality of voice and lower cost to consumers. Normally there is no such thing as domestic long distance charges with VoIP telephone service. VoIP may cut into Cell Phones someday as wireless networks become more available. We might all be using wireless VoIP phones in the coming years.

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.

WAIS -- (Wide Area Information Servers)
Developed in the early 1990s WAIS was the first truly large-scale system to allow the indexing of huge quantities of information on the Web, and to make those indices searchable across networks such as the Internet.

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

Web -- 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:

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

Worm -- 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 conglomeration of resources that can be accessed using Gopher, FTP, HTTP, telnet, USENET, WAIS and some other tools. Second, the billions of "Web pages" that are served by Web servers and viewed by a Web browser.

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.

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.

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

Computer Terms G - K  - Computer Terms L through P

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