Authorization, and Accounting.
The name used by
Cisco for the primary services required by
a NAS product.
- Application Configuration Access Protocol,
a standard for accessing program configuration information from a remote
server, allowing a user to use and change their configuration from any
workstation by reading or writing the values on a central server.
Defined in RFC
- Microsoft's own take on live web content,
ActiveX is propietary system for embedding controls and the
underlying code into any
application, most commonly a
- Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
- Acronym for the Andrew File System.
A distributed filesystem standard for Unix and Windows NT.
Originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University.
Accelerated Graphics Port, a standard for 3d graphics designed by Intel for
their LX chipset motherboards in response to inroads in their market dominance
by clone manufacturers.
- Acronym for Automatic Number Identification,
a system similar to
Caller-ID, used by the telephone company and some
classes of subscriber for identifying the caller. Unlike Caller-ID, ANI
delivery is not blocked by * (star) codes.
- American National Standards Institute
A private, nonprofit organization operating in the public interest to
coordinate U.S. standards.
Also, a common terminal control protocol for
- Application Programming Interface, a set of
public (visible to other programs) function calls allowing
communication between programs, or between a program and the
- A Macintosh-specific network protocol for sharing resources
(files, printers, etc). Appletalk can use special hardware or run on
- Apple Remote Access, a protocol allowing network access from Macintosh
systems via dialup. Now almost entirely
- A system for searching
FTP site listings, it is available as a
See also Veronica.
A single large file from which many smaller files can be extracted,
Archive files are often compressed. Generally they are used to
make it easier to transfer large programs and sets of files. Common archive
- A popular archive program available for MS-DOS and other computers.
- Acronym for Address Resolution Protocol, a protocol for translating
between IP addresses and
MAC-layer addresses in an
Defined in RFC
- Acronym for Advanced Research Project Administration NETwork.
A US Department of Defense project designed as a redudant
WAN capable of surviving a nuclear war.
Precursor of the Internet
- Autonomous System,
a unique number identifying an Internet-connected network that has
routing policies distinct from their upstream
connection(s). Used in the
BGP routing protocol.
- Acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, which
specifies the standard 7-bit character set.
- Advanced SCSI programming Interface.
The software interface between operating system's device drivers and
a SCSI host adapter.
- A method of data transfer in which the device cannot proceed to the next
block of data until it has received positive acknowledgment that the
other device received the block correctly.
See Also: synchronous
- Asynchronous Transfer Mode.
The ITU standard for a
cell-relay based communications system encompassing voice,
data and video traffic.
ATM provides standards for 25Mbps and 155Mbps transmission speeds.
- Attachment Unit Interface, the standard
ethernet interface between the
NIC and a 10-base5 network.
- Any system by which a system attempts to validate that a user is in
fact who they claim to be, generally using a simple username/password pair.
Strong authentication is generally based on at least two of the three
ways to prove you are approved for access-
- Something you know (a password)
- Something you have (a cardkey or other phsical token)
- Something you are (voiceprint, fingerprint or retina scan)
American Wire Gauge, a rating of the diameter of a wire,
the smaller the number, the larger the wire,
and (generally) the higher the current it can carry.
In DNS, any
request for a complete transfer of all records for a
- Bandwidth is a measurement for the rate at which data can be transferred,
or in non-digital systems, the range of frequencies available for transmission.
- Acronym for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code,
a very simple programming language originally designed only for
instructing students in rudimentary programming,
but occassionally used to build actual applications.
- A term referring to the speed at which (usually analog)
devices communicate, it refers to the number of transitions in an electronic
signal each second.
Often used incorrectly to mean BPS.
From the scientist J. M. E. Baudot.
- An acronym for Bulletin Board System,
a type of computer service where people can read and post public messages,
Usenet News but on a much smaller scale.
- Business Continuation Volume. Used by
for filesystem mirroring. If you understand this concept, you can find plenty
of employment in consulting with EMC^2's customers.
- Border Gateway Protocol, a standard routing protocol,
used primarily for routing between large,
heterogenous networks with multiple gateways.
BGB is defined in RFC 1771.
Peer routers exchange routes using
See also AS,
A system of base-2 arithmatic, binaries numbers have only two possible
values, 0 (off, or false) or 1 (on or true).
The true language of all digital computers.
Acronym for BINary HEXadecimal.
A standard for converting 8-bit files into a 7-bit
format for transmission over non-8-bit-clean mediums such as
BinHex is commonly used on Macintosh systems.
Acronym for Basic Input/Output System,
generally the lowest level of the
defining the set of routines programs can use to interface with hardware.
- Acronym for BInary digiT.
The smallest unit of space in computing, a bit contains a single
- A twist-lock connector for coaxial cables
- Shorthand for 'robot', generally used to refer to an automated program
used to process data with minimal human intervention.
- Acronym for bits-per-second, a measurement of
- To start a computer or other device by loading the
- The protocol used to allow a machine to learn it's
IP address and other configuration settings from
remote server at boot time,
as defined in RFC 951.
ROM routine used to load the
OS is often known as the 'bootstrap', from the old expression
"pull yourself up by your own bootstraps".
- A bridge is any device that connects two physically distinct network
usually at a lower network
layer than would a
- Program used for accessing
gopher and other internet sites.
The most well-known browsers are
- Acronym for British Telecom.
- A set of 8 bits,
usually representing a single character in English and European languages.
- A cache is a system for storing frequently accessed information
for faster response.
Cache memory on your motherboard is extra-fast RAM that keeps
a copy of the most recently requested bits from regular RAM.
A 'caching proxy web server'
keeps the most recently requested web documents stored locally,
reducing response time from (often very slow) remote web sites.
- French acronym for the international standards organization.
The "International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee".
Part of the United National International Telecommunications Union
- A proprietary
electronic mail processing system.
- Compact Disc, a standard for storing information on an optical media.
- A component of network
chew is the percentage of packets that are 'eaten' by the network connection.
Ideally no packets should be lost, but the Internet is often anything but ideal.
- Caller-ID, a system by which the calling-party number (and sometimes the
name and called-number) is transmitted to the called party.
Similar to, but less powerful than
- Classless interdomain routing, a technique supported by
BGP-4 allowing routing
routing between multiple independent networks, without the old notion
of subnet 'classes' (e.g. Class 'C' network space).
- Complex Instruction-Set Computer. A
CPU designed with a thorough set of assembly calls,
systems based on this philosophy have smaller binaries but generally slower
execution of each individual instruction.
- A major network equipment vendor, the name is derived from the city
of San Francisco. The company is best known for it's
routers and general high quality software
Commercial Internet Exchange is a
trade association of internet connectivity providers.
- A client connects to a
server, with which it exchanges information.
- A cable with a single inner conductor and outer shield,
used primarily for certain ethernet standards and radio frequency
(audio and video) transmission.
- The Component Object Model, the fundamental class of Microsoft's attempt
to defuse the growth of
Java platform-independent code.
- A piece of data given to your
browser by a web server,
so that your browser will hand it back to the server with subsequent requests.
implemented by Netscape.
Although there has been some furor over the privacy implications of cookies,
they cannot be used to reveal anything about you to the server that you have
not already explicitly revealed.
- To make a file smaller by applying a compression algorithm,
usually for the purpose of conserving space or speeding up file transfers.
This can also refer to the
to compress a file which appends '.Z' to the filename, '.gz' or to the free
GNU enhanced version, gzip.
- Customer Premise Equipment.
On digital circuits provided by the telephone company,
any terminating hardware owned by the user and not by the telco is
generically referred to as CPE.
- Central Processing Unit.
The part of a computer that executes commands and interfaces between the
various devices and sub-processors.
- Cyclic Redundancy Check, a simple checksum used for detecting errors.
- A cable or connection which reverses the transmit and receive signals,
allowing the direct connection of two devices.
- The study of codes, cryptography refers to the making and breaking
of algorithms to conceal or otherwise encrypt information.
One of the most popular internet encryption schemes is
- Channel Service Unit, a hardware device used to interface between
a serial port and a digital circuit, generally a device used to connect
a digital circuit to a serial interface is a
- An acronym for Client-To-Client-Protocol, a feature of some
- Deprecated. A prefix used by newbies and
lamers to describe
related topics, such as "cyberspace".
Deragotory name for a person with limited social and
Generally a geek wannabe.
- The process of removing a file from a directory listing. In most cases
the data from files that have been deleted still exists until the freed
space is reused, but recovery may be difficult if not impossible.
- Under Unix, a daemon is a process that runs in the background,
doing automated processing.
The FreeBSD Unix OS has
it's own rendition.
- Acronym for Direct Client-to-Client, a feature of some
IRC client software,
allowing users to communicate messages and files directly, bypassing a server.
- Data Communications Equipment refers to serially connected
communications devices, particularly
- Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a system by which IP addresses and
other low-level network configuration information can be dynamically assigned
each time the system loads, similar to the Internet standard
DHCP is defined in RFC 983.
- To initiate a connection over a circuit-switched line, either an
POTS with a
modem or using
Dual Inline Memory Module.
A form of memory expansion that consists of a 168-pin plug-in device.
- The Unix equivalent of Macintosh or MS-Windows 'folder',
all files are stored in directories.
A directory can be created with the
command and empty directories are removed with
- Acronym for Domain Name Service,
the mechanism by which human-readable hierarchial names are translated to
IP addresses, and vice-versa.
- An internet 'domain' is a subsection of the internet.
The primary domains of the internet are .COM, .INT, .NET, .MIL, and .ORG,
which refer to Commercial, International, Network, Military, and Organization.
These domains are administered by the
Internic. There are also two-letter domains
associated with specific countries.
Each domain has a primary and secondary
Domain Name Server associated with it.
- Domain Name Server
- Each internet
domain has two domain name servers, or DNS.
The primary DNS for a domain is usually located on one of the machine in that
network, you can often determine the server from the output of the
- Disk Operating System, the basic computer instruction set used to
provide an interface to storage and other devices.
Denial Of Service, a form of attack in which the goal is to make a
computing resource unavailable to legitimate users.
- A single 64-kbps channel, usually one of the 24 channels in
a T1 circuit.
- Digital Subscriber Line.
A method of providing connectivity at speeds up to 9Mbps using the existing
POTS copper wiring.
- Digital Subscriber Loop Access Multiplexer.
A network device designed to multiplex many individual
DSL circuits into a single high speed circuit, generally
ATM to an
- Digital Service Unit, a device used to connect a
V.35 serial interface to a digital circuit.
that terminates a digital circuit is referred to as a
- Date Terminal Equipment, communications hardware such as computers,
terminals, and similar equipment, as opposed to
DCE such as modems.
- Digital Versatile Disk, a high-density mass storage medium similar to
CD-ROM, but capable of storing much larger amounts
of information due to improvements in recording density and use of multiple
layers per side.
- An alternative keyboard layout designed for speed.
- European equivalent of a
- Export Administration Regulations.
The rules under which United States government regulates the export of
software in both binary and source form.
Border Gateway Protocol.
A pair of routers under two distinct
Autonomous System administrative domains which
exchange routes, such as beetween two
ISPs which have a peering agreement.
- One of several programs in Unix used to create and modify text files,
some common editors include
- An object-oriented programming language
designed to encourage reusable, correct software. Created by
Bertrand Meyer, the language is named after Gustave Eiffel, the designer
of the Eiffel Tower. For more information visit the Eiffel
home page and
- Routing protocol.
EIGRP Is IP protocol number 88.
See also BGP.
- EMC^2 is a company which produces high-capacity high-availablity storage
solutions. The name is derived from the initials of the three founders.
- The process of using cryptography
to protect data from unauthorized access.
- Encapsulating Security Payload.
A feature of IPSEC.
As defined in RFC 2406.
- A standard for
LAN communications, ethernet defines the hardware
and communications standard for communications at 10Mbps over
coax, twisted-pair or fiber.
There is also a 'fast ethernet' standard for both twisted pair and fiber.
Ethernet is defined in
- A private network segment providing limited connectivity between a
completely non-public intranet,
and outside partners or the public
- An Acronym for Frequently Asked Questions, these are lists of questions
that occur frequently on
they are posted at regular intervals and
archived at several
sites. You should always read the FAQ (if there is one) for a group before
posting a message, or risk being
that provides information about users logged in, and can also be used to
retrieve the .plan and .project files from a users
- A firewall is used on some networks to provide added security by blocking
access to certain services in the private network from the rest of the
in the same way that a firewall in a building keeps fire from spreading,
an internet firewall keeps hackers from spreading.
See also: intranet.
- An offensive or insulting e-mail or
message, often the result of an error in
- A character set or typeface family denoting a particular size and style,
either for on-screen display or printing, usually on a laser or inkjet printer.
- Acronym for Fully Qualified Domain Name, an address which specifies a
specific machine and it's internet domain. "foley" is not a FQDN, however
- Frame Relay Asynchronous Device, a hardware device that interfaces
Frame Relay circuits to IP networks.
The Free Software Foundation, backers of
HURD and other projects.
- A file transfer system similar to
FTP, distinguished by the ability for servers to run on
any port without requiring special privledges, and the lower system load from
FSP servers than from FTP.
- An Acronym for File Transfer Protocol, a
method of retrieving files to your
home directory or directly to your computer using
SLIP/PPP. There are thousands of
on the Internet offering files and programs of all kinds.
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
A special set of tactics used by monopolies to stifle and subvert competitors
by spreading the (usually false) perception that the alternative choices
are unreliable, unstable, or otherwise risky.
- In telecommunications, the Foreign Exchange Office, the FXO interface
rj-11 connector provided with
POTS, this is the interface on the phone itself.
- In telecommunications, the Foreign Exchange Station, the FXS interface,
a rj-11 connector providing standard phone signaling
for POTS. This is generally the wall jack the
phone plugs in to.
Deragatory term for a person with limited social skills, and usually strong
technical skills. While anybody can become a nerd,
geeks are born, not made. The difference between a geek and a
dweeb is that dweeb has no redeeming qualities.
- is an acronym for Graphic Interchange Format, developed by compuserve this
is a very popular format for exchanging pictures, it is slowly being replaced
JPG image format.
Prefix meaning 'billion', as in gigabyte.
See also mega.
Acronym for "GNU's not Unix".
goal is to provide freely redistributable Unix-compatible software.
- An information system that predates the modern web,
gopher is a text-oriented protocol, now all but obsolete.
- Acronym for Global-Regular-Expression-Print,
grep is a utility that allows you to search through files for specicif paterns,
including regular expressions and strings.
fgrep (FAST-GREP) performs a similar function without expanding special
characters from a string.
- Acronym for Graphical User Interface, such as the
and the Macintosh and MS-Windows systems.
- A free
compression program commonly available as a
for file compression, gzip, which is also available for MS-DOS, compresses
files and appends either '.z' or '.gz' to the filename.
- Any machine can be a host. The machine you log into is your 'login host',
the machine you read news from is a 'news host', etc.
- Acronym for
HyperText Markup Language,
the underlying formatting for
World-Wide-Web documents. A
explaining the format is available for beginners.
- Acronym for
HyperText Transport Protocol
the system for requesting
HTML documents from the
- Information Superhighway
- Deprecated. A term often used by
newbies and Al Gore to describe the Internet.
- A directory or
WWW page that is 'owned' by a user is often referred to
as their 'home directory' or 'home page'.
- A popular program for the Macintosh used to convert binary files into
the 7-bit BinHex format so they
can be sent as text.
See also: uuencode.
- In networks (primarily ethernet)
arranged with a 'star' topology (as opposed to a 'ring'),
the central connecting device is usually known as the 'hub'.
project to build a multi-server
operating system based on the
- A system of "live" documents where a text file contains references to
other documents that can be followed, thus linking documents to other
related materials. The best known example is
Border Gateway Protocol
A pair of routers within a single
Autonomous System administrative domain which
exchange routes using
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the not-for-profit
organization that is responsible for domain name registration, based in
Marina Del Rey, California.
- Internet Control Message Protocol, the standard error and control
message protocol for Internet systems. Defined in RFC
792. The most well
known use of ICMP messages is the Echo Request - Echo Reply sequence used
- A graphical image representing a (usually easily recognized) function
or control, usually reacts to being selected by performing some useful or
entertaining action. A primary feature of most
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
IEEE is the world's largest technical
- IEEE 802.3
- The IEEE standard defining the
ethernet communications standard.
- The Internet Engineering Task Force, The IETF is the
protocol engineering and development arm of the Internet, the
IETF home page
provides specific information in excruciating detail.
- Internet Key Exchange.
- Shorthand for In My Humble Opinion.
- A loose confederation of networks around the world, the networks that make
up the Internet are connected through several backbone networks.
The Internet grew out of the U.S. Government
ARPAnet project, and is
specifically designed to have no central governing authority or
Internic provides the primary directory
and registration services for the American part of the Internet.
- A private network using standard internet protocols but with limited or
no connectivity to the public
internet. An intranet is often connected to the
public networks via a firewall.
- Internet Protocol, the standard communications scheme used for internet
connected hosts, as specified in RFC
- Internet Protocol SECurity, a set of protocols for encryption of
IP traffic. There are two IPSEC modes, 'payload' encryption where only the
packet data portion is encrypted, and 'tunnel' where the original packet
headers are encrypted and encapsulated in another packet.
Defined in RFC
- Acronym for
Internet Relay Chat,
a world-wide distributed live chat system.
- Pronounced /eye-suh-kemp/,
Internet Security Association Key Management Protocol, a authentication
system for the secure exchange of encryption keys.
- Acronym for Integrated Services Digital Network, a high-speed digital
phone system that supersedes
PRI and the
- Acronym for Internet Service Provider, these are the companies that provide
access to end users of the Internet, as opposed to
NSPs. There are several lists of regional ISPs,
- Acronym for United National International Telecommunications Union.
Java is platform-independent
Originally developed as 'oak' by
Sun Microsystems's Green Project in 1991,
Java is superficially very similar to C++, but is unique in many ways. Java
interpreters have been ported to every viable computing platform in existence.
- Java Bean
- A Java bean is a
Java class that follows specific conventions, called
a component model, making it simple to connect beans (classes) together with
minimum effort. Among other advantages, beans provide a bridge between Java
- The language used within a particular field. Computer Jargon is compiled in
the definitive Jargon File
- An variable-compression image format, JPeG supports true
color images and lossy compression. The name comes from Joint Pictures
- A terminal program and file transfer protocol,
kermit can be used to download files from a remote system to your
Kermit is distinguished by it's ability to transfer files over
telnet and other connections that would corrupt a binary transfer. It is
officially available from the
Columbia University Kermit software collection.
- The Kernel is the set of functions that make up the
operating system, used to provide an
application interface between programs and the
underlying virtual and physical devices.
- A password, pass phrase, or other sequence used to access
information, the key 'unlocks' controlled data or systems.
- Key Escrow
- Giving copies of your key to a third party, allowing
them to decrypt messages. Key Escrow is proposed as a solution to allow
businesses to review documents encrypted by their employees, and governments
to intercept communications and files encrypted by their citizens, such
as the 'Clipper' proposal by the United States.
- A Kilobyte consists of 1,024 bytes.
See also: megabyte.
- The Korn Shell is a standard Unix shell,
this command-line/batch interface was written by David Korn of Bell labs,
and is available as public-domain source in
- Acronym for Local Area Network, a LAN is a network contained within a
single physical site (one or more buildings), as opposed to a
- The delay in information coming across the network through
telnet or other types of connections,
usually caused by a slow or error-prone connection somewhere between the
two communicating machines. Technically there are two causes of lag,
the second being chew.
- A user who behaves in a stupid or uneducated manner, a description often
applied to newbies.
- Network protocols consist of several layers, from the lowest physical
(cable, fiber, etc) level to more abstract layers of signaling, data
formats, and addressing standards.
there are seven layers.
- Link Control Protocol. The low-level communications protocol used in
PPP to negotiate and maintain the
(usually serial) communications link.
- Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, a standard mechanism
for accessing X.500 and other directory services.
- A leased-line is a dedicated (thus "leased") connection linking two
or more points without going through any switching equipment.
ISDN and the
- Line Printer Daemon.
The Unix standard print service daemon listens on
TCP> port 515 for print service requests. Windows
NT Server 4.0 includes lpd emulation as 'TCP/IP print services'.
Defined in RFC
- Following a
newsgroup or sitting on an
IRC channel and reading the messages without saying
anything, as if you were 'lurking in the shadows', staying out of sight of
the other users.
- Unix command
used to list files and directories.
- Lan Work Place.
A Novell product allowing both
on the same
A popular text-only
distributed by the University of Kansas.
- Metro Area Ethernet, now a generic term
for any location where numerous providers "peer" (exchange traffic).
- MAC Address
- The low-level address assigned to a device on an ethernet, MAC addresses
are translated to IP addresses via
NIC is assigned a unique address at the factory.
open source operating system, using by
NeXT and others.
for viewing the online manual pages on a Unix system.
- Electronic Mail is a means of
exchanging private text messages through the Internet and other networks.
The most popular mail readers on Unix are
It is also possible to read mail across a
SLIP connection with a client program connected to a
popmail server. The most popular client for
home computers is
- Prefix conventionally meaning "thousand", in computers sometimes
a megabyte can refer to either to 1,024
kilobytes or exactly one million
bytes. Marketers usually use the 'incorrect' value
of one million bytes because it inflates the total by about 5%.
A prefix meaning to provide added meaning, transcending or going beyond,
however meta is nearly as abused a term as
A 'meta' key is a key (shift, control, etc) that is used to change the
meaning of other keys when used in combination.
From the Greek, meaning 'with'.
You can basically think of 'meta' as meaning 'this, but something more'.
- Management Information Base.
A set of parameters used to define the information available from an
- A major operating system corporation, operated by
Musical Instrument Digital Interface.
Extensive documentation is provided by the
- An acronym for
- Acronym for Millions of Instructions Per Second,
a measure of the speed of computing devices.
to create a new
- Shorthand for MODulator/DEModulator, a modem allows the transmission of
digital information over an analog phone line. A
is available that defines all the basic terms.
- A graphical
browser available for Unix,
MS-Windows(tm) and Macintosh(tm), created by the
NCSA. Often used as a generic
term for any graphical browser.
- Meaning 'to change forms', in computer graphics 'morphing' is an
animation transforming a picture from one image to another, as in this
- Acronym for massively parallel process(ing|er), a method of
solving a equation or other problem by breaking it down into numerous
smaller equations that can be solved in parallel. Often used in
DOS, an older non-graphical operating system,
predecessory to Microsoft Windows.
- Acronym for Multi-User Dungeon, a type of text based
adventure game accessed with
telnet or a specialized client program.
There are many types of MUD including Diku,
- A Unix command, 'mv' can be used to rename a single file, or to move
multiple files to a different directory.
- Acronym for Mail eXchange. MX is a DNS
record used to define the host(s) willing to accept mail for a given machine.
- Acronym for Network Access Point, the major internet providers usually
have peering points at one or more NAPs.
- Acronym for Network Access Server, this is a
terminal server designed specifically
to provide remote connectivity via
PPP and similar protocols.
- Acronym for Network Address Translation, a system included with many
routers and some operation systems where many hosts "behind" the router,
or firewall host are translated to a single
Fundamentally, NAT is great for any use where the inside client opens a
connection out to a remote site (web browsing), or where the two ends
rendevous on a selected, random port (IRC's CTCP, FTP), but problematic
where a specific port is used and more than one of the translated machines
need to accept new connections in from outside, such as in web
serving, online games, and other servers.
The "n" word, this term is deragatory when used by outsiders,
but acceptable when used to describe a fellow nerd. While
geeks must be born, nerds are made, the most
famous case being Bill Gates.
- The informal set of rules for using the
Internet, ignoring them may result in being
flamed or mail-bombed.
Guidelines for usenet news can be found in
- A commercial
MS-Windows and Macintosh, available from
- Somebody new to the
Internet, or to computers in general. If you
needed to look this up, you are most likely a newbie.
- A message area in the
Usenet News, each newsgroup can be either
'moderated' with only postings approved by a moderator publically posted, or
'unmoderated' where all messages are distributed to the newsgroup immediately.
- The Unix workstation manufactuered for several years by NeXT, designed
to run the
MACH operating system, NeXTSTEP.
- An acronym for Network FileSystem, this is one method of sharing files
LAN or through the internet.
- An acronym for Network Interface Card or for Network Information Center,
such as the Internic. Not to be confused with
- Network Information Service,
a data-distribution method popular on Sun
workstations. Originally created as Yellow Pages
(YP) until forced to change due to trademark infringement on
- Network Layer Reachability Information. Used primarily in Cisco
- Acronym for Network News Transfor Protocol, a system for
reading and writing
articles across a network, this service is defined by
- Network Operations Center, a site used by a business or other operation
for controlling and monitoring a
LAN and/or WAN.
- An acronym for National Science Foundation, the NSFNet became officially
disconnected from the primary Internet on April 30, 1995.
- An acronym for Network Service Provider, these are the companies that
provide connectivity to the internet for
and others requiring high speed connections between their
LANs and the Internet.
- A "nybble" is four bits (one-half of a byte).
Nybble chips were occasionally used to conserve costs where only values from
0-15 will be stored.
- abbreviation for "obligatory. An oft-neglected facet of
netiquette in which the author of a
usenet post includes a bit of on-topic material to
justify an otherwise off-topic posting.
- Object Linking and Embedding, Microsoft's proprietary mechanism for
allowing documents and applications to access data and subroutines from within
other applications. OLE is itself built on top of COE.
OLE is a major component of ActiveX, and sees
some minimal use in linking data (primarily video and audio clips) across
- Object Oriented, any programming language or other
system which is based on the concept of grouping related routines and data
structures together in 'objects'.
meaning information sent outside of the normal communications stream.
- Operating System, the basic instruction set used to provide a computer
with the routines necessary to communicate with the user and hardware
- Open Software Foundation,
MACH and other projects.
- An internet routing protocol, this stands for
Open Shortest Path First. This is a relatively new protocol with many
RIP and other older systems.
Defined in RFC number
- On The Other Hand.
Internet Chat shorthand.
- A packet is a standardized unit of data. In network communications a
packet generally consists of a "header" with identifying information and
a "body" containing the data to be transmitted.
- Palmtops are a class of personal computers (generally with
PDA software) that fit in the palm of your hand. One
of the most well-known palmtops is the
Pilot, developed by PalmOS and marketed
by US Robotics.
- Parallel data communications send several
bits over the connection (usually multiple
physical wires) at once, as opposed to
serial links which send one bit at a time.
Parallel connections are generally used for printers and for some high
speed data connections.
- The Portable Application Standards Committee,
PASC is charted by
IEEE to define stardard application service
interfaces, primarily for
- Private Branch Exchange.
A privately-owned telephone switch, often used in large corporations to
provide inside telephone connectivity and access to the
- Privacy Enhanced Mail, a standard for the transparent processing of
authenticated and/or encrypted
electronic mail messages.
- Acronym for Personal Digital Assistant, a general term for any
portable computer and software capable of tracking names, addresses,
phone numbers and appointments.
PDA's are generally classified according to size into
palmtops, handhelds, and laptops.
- Pretty Good Privacy, the world's
most widely used encryption software package.
- Acronym for PHonebook, a PH client program can be used to access a
networked telephone book, such as
(CCSO Nameserver) database.
QI databases are generally
used to store phone books, timetables, and other forms of public information
for remote network access.
- A small furry animal which lives in Terra del Fuego. Difficult
to hunt, due to its nocturnal habit, the Pim is worth the chase.
Although a full grown pim dresses out at under two ounces, a dozen make
a tasty treat. Natives of Terra del Fuego often eat nothing else but
pimburgers during the long cold summers in this wind swept land.
- A network program
which sends UDP packets to a host, and listens for responses.
Used to check if a machine on the
is alive and reachable, and measure the Round Trip Time (RTT) between the
local and remote host.
The smallest individually controllable element of a video or printed
image. A digital image is composed of an array of individual pixels, each
of which is assigned a value determining the color or brightness.
- The basic system on which applications execute, a platform can refer to
the processor and low-level support chips, as in 'this runs on both
Sparc and Intel platforms' or a complete operating system, such as the many
games that will only run on the 'Microsoft Windows 95' platform.
- Acronym for
Post Office Protocol, an extensible protocol for
retrieving mail from a remote server.
1081, and extended in
- A program used to remotely read e-mail across a network, often used in
Uses the POP protocol.
- An acronym for Point-to-Point-Protocol,
an advanced serial packet protocol similar to
- Originally POSICE for Portable Operating System Interface for Computer
Environments, POSIX is developed under
- Any standard for the exchange of information, a protocol defines the
specific wording and control flow for communications between two or more
programs, devices, or systems.
- A proxy is somebody you delegate to do something for you, in the
Internet, a 'proxy web server' is often used for hosts behind
The firewalled host sends a
request to the proxy server, which forwards it to the real web server outside,
collects the response, and passes it back to the internal host.
- Public Switched Telephone Network.
Often used to refer to the entire national or global telephone infrastructure,
this is more accurately used to refer to the local telephone service provider.
- An acronym for Query Interface, The QI (generally based on the
is a database system that can be accessed by
ph client programs to retrieve and edit entries in the
server. This is generally used for phonebook services, but can be used in any
Further information is available.
- The standard english-language keyboard layout. Term comes from the first
six letters below the row of numbers.
See also: DVORAK
- A format for offline
reader packets, originally made popular on MS-DOS
A program that generates a copy of it's own source text as it's complete output.
From the logician Willard van Orman Quine.
The Quine page
- Remote Authentication Dial-In user Service.
A standard for authentication and accounting, RADIUS is primarily used to
control dial-up access to PPP and other services.
The protocal was standardized in RFC
2058, the current implementation is defined in RFCs 2138 and 2139.
RADIUS uses UDP packets, older servers use ports 1645 and 1646,
the current standard is port 1812 for authentication and 1813 for accounting.
- Acronym for Random Access Memory, a form of
primary storage that allows direct read and write operations. RAM storage
is generally a very high-speed medium that requires constant power to avoid
- Reverse ARP, a mechanism to match a
MAC address to the corresponding
- Remote Access Server.
Generally used to refer to NT services, RAS is similar to
NAS both terms describe specialized models of
- Realtime Blackhole List.
A list of open mail relays and rogue sites, maintained by Paul Vixie.
Subscribers to the RBL reject all mail and/or connection attempts from
RBL'd IP addresses, effectively cutting off irresponsible/incompetent domains
from the rest of the Internet. Subscription is completely voluntary, details
- Regular Expression.
- Regular Expressions use
to express variable parts of a pattern to be matched.
- Acronym for Request For Comment, these a broad range of notes
covering a variety of topics related to the Internet. RFCs are handled by the
IETF and are
at several sites.
- Router Information Protocol, a standard mechanism for exchanging
routes (paths) between
routers, this protocol is slowly being replaced
by OSPF. RIP is specified in
- Reduced Instruction Set Computer. A
CPU based on a limited number of basic instructions,
systems using RISC result in larger binary files but overally faster
execution of each instruction.
to delete a file from a
to delete a directory.
- Acronym for Read-Only Memory, ROM is used for
permanent storage, such as system
- 1: The 'base' or bottom of a system. e.g. the 'root directory' is the
lowest possible directory in a filesystem, and in
X11 the 'root window' is the background on which all
other windows are drawn.
2: In Unix, the user 'root' is the user that owns the system and has full
- A simple form of encryption in which the letters A-M are transposed with
the letters L-Z, often used in
Usenet postings of offensive jokes to prevent people
from accidentally reading a disturbing message.
- Shorthand for Rolling On the Floor Laughing.
- A router is a special type of internet
that gateways (transfers) packets between two or more networks.
A scripting language influenced by
Ruby Home Page
- A segment is a physically or logically distinct section of a network.
Segments are used to isolate network traffic, and often have specific
limitations on their physical size and number of
hosts and other physical connections.
- A popular
Mail Transport Agent,
sendmail is a popular mail processing package used primarily on older
- A serial communications circuit sends the individual
bits over the connection one by one, as opposed to a
parallel communication circuit. Most home
computer data communications are done over serial links.
- A server provides information or other services to it's
network protocols are client-server based.
While a server usually refers to an entire machine, it's can also be used
to refer to a particular daemon on that machine.
- Acronym for Standard Generalized Markup Language, a generic grammar
used as the basis for many document formats.
Additional information on SGML is available from
- One of several command line interfaces
available on Unix machines, some
common unix shells include
Bourne, Korn, tcsh, and the Bourne Again shell (from
- Acronym for Serial Line Internet Protocol,
SLIP is a
protocol used to connect a remote computer to the
Internet using modems or direct connections,
SLIP requires an Internet provider with special SLIP accounts or a
shell account a SLIP emulator such as
- An acronym for Simple Mail Transport Protocol, which defines a common
mechanism for exchanging
mail across a network. This protocol is described in
821. Usually SMTP is
incorporated in a
- Snail Mail
- The U.S. Postal service or other form of ground mail. As opposed to
- Simple Network Mangement Protocol, a system for configuring and
monitoring devices on
IP networks, as defined in RFC
1157. The protocol
defines both standard and device-specific
MIBs specifying what information is available and
how to access it.
- A popular canned meat product.
Also, bulk, mass, or repeated posting or mailing of substantially identical
The emphasis is on the multiple sending, either many copies to one
destination, or one copy to many destinations.
This is a reference to the famous
- Service Protocol Identifier, used in some
ISDN hardware to register a particular device
to the central office switch.
Structured Query Language.
A standard programming language for access to
- A standard for
connections over a
- The practice of hiding one piece of information inside of another.
The most common example is
- Secure Telnet
- The term used by
newbies to descripbe exploring the Internet, usually
World-Wide-Web browser, a metaphor from real
- A leased-line specification providing for
24 frames with an aggregate
bandwidth of up to 1.544Mbps.
- A leased-line specification providing for
an aggregate bandwidth of 44.746Mbps.
- Terminal Access Control Access Control System.
An obsolete standard for
TACAS was commonly used on Cisco and other terminal servers and
TACACS was defined in RFC 1492, and is superseded by
TACACS+ and RADIUS.
Terminal Access Control Access Control System, TACACS+ adds
enhanced support for challenge-response authentication and encrypted
communication between the client and server.
- A program used to create a single file
from several files, often used to distribute programs for Unix. The
has many options.
- A unit of measurement of data storage capacity, a terabyte is
1,000 gigabytes, or approximately 1.0485760e12.
- Any display unit or host used interactively.
Generally used to refer to a serially connected text-only remote access
- Terminal Server
- A network device used to connect multiple terminals or other remote
devices to a network.
- Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, a
Networking standard commonly used on the
- A communications protocol for connecting to other
computers locally or across the
- Trivial File Transfer Protocol, this is a simplified version of
and many other basic features. Often used for
booting devices over a network.
- The animated download 'working'
icon in the upper right corner of most graphical
- An acronym for The Internet Adapter, a
program that allows pseudo-
SLIP connections from a normal shell account.
Also used to mean 'Thanks in Advance'.
The program TIA has been discontinued, superceded by
SLiRP is a free program
that performs a similar function.
- Shorthand for To My Knowledge
- Similar to
ping, traceroute shows the route to a selected
(note that the route to a host may differ from the route
from a host) with the time required for a packet to get
to each intermediate host or router.
- An unswitched line between telephone or long-distance company offices,
used to carry voice, data, or billing information.
- Similar to
coax, but with two internal conductors, Twinaxial
cable is the standard for connecting IBM 3270 terminals.
- Unsolicted Commercial Email, one form of
- Acronym for User Datagram Protocal, a simple connectionless
- A popular multi-user operating system, the name is a play on an even
older system, MULTICS.
- An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator, URL's are a standardized format
for giving a pointer to information available from
finger and other servers
explaining the use of URL's is available.
Defined in RFC
1738, they were extended
to include relative (short) URLs in RFC
- Usenet News
- A network of systems that exchange articles using
and other protocols to establish public message
conferences on some or all of over 10,000 topics or
There are many
common news readers,
some that can run on your home computer via
the Unix newsreaders,
- Universal Serial Bus.
A serial communications standard available on new Macintosh and PC systems,
this is a 12Mbps bus. The USB standard provides for up to 127 devices on a
single bus, there are fewer than a dozen different USB devices on the market.
- An acronym for Unix to Unix CoPy, UUCP is a protocol used for the
store-and-forward exchange of
Usenet News and other files, usually over a modem.
- A popular method of exchanging binary files in
Mail and via
Usenet News the uuencode program converts a binary
file into a (larger) file of alphanumeric characters that will not be
corrupted when sent as a text file. UUEncode is available as a
as well as MS-DOS and Macintosh versions. To convert the file back to the
original binary form you can use the uudecode program or the popular Unix
extraction program uuconvert.
- The new 56k analog modem standard as defined by the
- Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives,
A program to track down information from
- Virtual items have no direct corresponding physical equivalent,
for example most computers have one or more physical hard drives,
on which can be defined a number of virtual storage areas called partitions.
- Van-Jacobson Compression
- A form of IP header compression used for
- Variable Length Subnet Masks are a mechanism for providing subnets
of different sizes within a single
IP block. Implemented in the
OSPF routing protocol.
- Virtual Private Network, the concept of using the
internet or other 'public' carriers as transit
for private network traffic, usually in encrypted form.
- Virtual Reality Modeling Language, a means of specifying
three-dimensional environments, primarily used for web sites.
For more information, see
The VRML Repository.
- Acronym for Wide Area Network, which is generally a network connecting
several physically distant locations, as opposed to a
Internet is an example of a worldwide WAN.
- A newbie term for pirated computer
software, generally distributed via
Usenet News and other electronic means.
- A hidden trademark or other identifying information embedded in a
file allowing for the tracking of illegal distribution of copyrighted
- A type of dictionary server available at many educational sites, public
servers were common until copyright concerns caused most of them to be
closed to outside access.
- A distributed
information system that uses
HTTP to retrieve text and graphics, often
erroneously referred to by the name of one type of browser,
- One of the most popular implementations of the
X-Window system, X11 is supported by the Open Group
X Project team.
- A packet-switched data network.
- A CCITT standard for mail formats.
A communications network tool. X.400 defines a message transfer protocol
with advanced access control and accounting features
- A directory system, X.500 is being superseded by more modern
- One of the earliest reliable file transfer protocols, Xmodem was
written in 1977 by Ward Christiansen for use on the first
- A network-based
GUI designed for Unix systems,
there are thousands of free applications available as source code and compiled
executables for X-Window compatible systems, including PC-based X-terminal
X-Windowing systems are interesting in that they reverse the usual
- Yellow Book
The international standard defining the physical properties of a
- A file transfer protocol based on
X-Modem, Y-Modem was designed by
Chuck Forsberg to add batch transmission, and variable block size.
- Yellow Pages, the original name for the NIS
system before British Telecom asserted
- A compression and archiving format made popular on the MS-DOS/PC platform
with the PKzip software, Zip offers one of the best compression ratios of
the popular formats.
- A file transfer protocol based on
X-Modem, Y-Modem was designed by
Chuck Forsberg to add batch transmission, and variable block size.
- An area under a particular administrative or other control, for example
a domain name is a 'zone' in the name server configuration. Generally a zone
can be further divided into subzones with authority delegated to their own
administrators and servers.
- A compression and archiving format made popular on the Amiga system,
zoo is available in public-domain executables for most major operating