ADDRESS: The website address is the unique location of an information site on the Internet, a specific file (for example, a Web page), or an e-mail user (see Uniform Resource Locator).
BOOKMARK: A saved link to a web site that has been added to a list of saved links so that you can simply click on it rather than having to retype the address when visiting the site again.
BROWSER: A software program that lets vou find, see, and hear material on the World Wide Web, including text, graphics, sound, and video. Popular browsers are IE7, Mozilla Firefox, Opera or Netscape. Most online services have their own browsers.
CHAT ROOM: A location on an online service that allows users to communicate with each other about an agreed-upon topic in "real time" (or "live"), as opposed to delayed time as with e-mail.
DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM (DNS) handles the translation between the web address (URL) and IP address. The Internet has thousands of DNS servers linked together, and a gateway will typically forward DNS requests from a workstation to an ISP's DNS server. Most gateways provide limited domain name services for the local network.
DYNAMIC HOST CONFIGURATION PROTOCOL (DHCP) is a type of server which can provide workstations with IP addresses when they start up. The DHCP server keeps track of what IP addresses are in use so each workstation gets a unique address. The typical gateway has a DHCP server that allocates addresses starting with 192.168.0.1 by default. This range of addresses, or subnet, is designed for use only within the local network. This is why most SOHO workstations all use the same address range. DHCP is not needed if local workstations have been assigned static (or fixed) IP addresses. Assigning fixed IP addresses is usually an option offered by your ISP. Additional charges may be incurred.
• RTF short for Rich Text Format, is the lingua franca readable by nearly all word processing programs - a Save As alternative to proprietary formats like DOC (Microsoft Word) or WPD (WordPerfect). It preserves most of font choices and formatting, though not graphics, and makes it easier to trade documents among people who use different word processors or computers.
• PDF short for Portable Document Format, is the best file format if you need to e-mail somebody a detailed report with charts and graphics. This file type is used by many companies to post brochures on their Web sites and by the IRS to offer downloadable tax forms. PDF files are readable and printable on any computer using Adobe's Acrobat Reader.
• HTML or HTM short for Hypertext Markup Language, is the page format of the World Wide Web. Nearly everything online is published in HTML or HTM. Most current word processors and presentation packages give you the option of storing documents in HTML format, so anyone with a web browser can read them.
• TIF (pronounced "tiff"), short for Tagged Image File Format, is a picture format widely used by art directors and desktop publishers. This format yields top-quality graphics images; but also creates large, disk-space-devouring files. Because there are many variations of the TIF format, a powerful image editor such as Adobe's Photoshop is important to import and export images.
• GIF short for Graphics Interchange Format, is the file format to save lower-resolution images such as corporate logos (limited to a maximum of 256 colors) and line drawings such as cartoons. They are readable by virtually all graphics programs, word processors, and web browsers. The format predates the Web (it was established by CompuServe), though both still and animated GIF images are ubiquitous on the Internet.
• JPEG or JPG (pronounced "jay-peg"), a format created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, offers a good compromise, with more colors and sharper detail than GIF images but not the bloated size of TIF files. Digital color photos are usually transferred on the web as compressed JPG or JPEG files.
• MPG (pronounced "em-peg"), a format created by the Moving Picture Experts Group, is used for compressing digitized video clips with sound. The most common format, MPEG-1, is popular for CD-ROM games and downloadable Internet videos; MPEG-2 is the sharper, larger-screen format used for DVD movies. To decode MPEG files, a Player (like Microsoft's Windows Media Player) is necessary.
Alternative video file formats are MOV (for Apple's QuickTime movies) and AVI (the older Intel/Microsoft Video for Windows).
• PPT is a file format of Microsoft's PowerPoint program and is the de facto standard for making presentations and pitches on notebook screens and LCD projectors. PowerPoint saves a presentation along with the free PowerPoint Viewer, which will work even if the recipient doesn't have PowerPoint installed.
HARDWARE: A term for the nuts, bolts, and wires of computer equipment and the actual computer and related machines.
HYPERTEXT TRANSFER PROTOCOL (HTTP): A standard used by World Wide Web servers to provide rules for moving text, images, sound, video, and other multimedia files across the Internet.
INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP): A generic term for any company that can connect you directly to the Internet.
MODEM: A device that allows computers to communicate with each other over telephone lines, wireless or other deliverv svstems like Ethernet cables, power lines or telephone networks by changing digital signals to appropriate dataformats and then back to digital signals. Modems come in different speeds: the higher the speed, the faster the data is transmitted.
NETWORK ADDRESS TRANSLATION (NAT): IP routers can expose the local network IP address to the Internet, but most gateways use NAT to hide internal IP address. Instead, the gateway appears to be performing all requests to the Internet. Workstation requests are translated automatically, as responses are sent back to the appropriate workstation. NAT essentially provides the firewall support since connections can be initiated only from the local network to the Internet (not the other way around). NAT works because each IP address has thousands of port addresses, and NAT simply translates the IP and port address of a local outgoing message.
ROUTER: A device to connect different networks, especially used in home or small business networks. It works as a hardware firewall and distributes Internet connection to different computers by Ethernet cable or wireless.
SEARCH ENGINE: A program that performs keyword searches for information on the Internet.
SERVER: A main computer in networks, which provides special functions to one or more members of the network like accress to data, printing and modems. Especially in the Internet it is called host by the fact that it hosts web pages and provides access to Internet services.
TRANSMISSION CONTROL PROTOCOL/INTERNET PROTOCOLL (TCP/IP): The TCP/IP is the backbone protocol of the Internet. It employs four byte addresses displayed as, for example, 184.108.40.206. Each network device has its own IP address. IP addresses can be assigned statically or dynamically.
UNIFORM RESOURCE LOCATOR (URL): The web address of a site on the Internet. It is a name normally used instead of an IP address.
USENET NEWSGROUPS: A svstem of thousands of special interest groups to which readers can send or "post" messages; these messages are then distributed to other computers on the network. Usenet registers newsgroups, which are available through ISPs.
VIRUS: A piece of programming code inserted into other programming to cause some unexpected and usually undesirable event, such as lost or damaged files. Viruses can be transmittcd by downloading programming from other sites or be present on a diskette. The source of the file you're downloading or of a digital media you've received is often unaware of the virus. The virus lies dormant until circumstances cause its code to be executed by the computer. The world of computer viruses has its own recondite jargon.
• Boot sector virus affects the section of a optical disk or hard disk that contains operating system and file information. Each time you start your PC with an infected disk in the drive, the virus can spread.
• File virus infects program (.exe and com) files. Thereafter, each time you run an infected program, the virus copies itself.
• Heuristics is a commonly used antivirus technology that looks for indications of virus activity such as suspicious code or unanticipated changes in files.
• In-the-wild virus has escaped into circulation. Currently, about 250 viruses exist in the wild.
• Macro virus is the most common type, currently accounts for about 80 percent of computer infections. Microsoft Word and Excel macros execute a series of instructions automatically each time you open a document. If an automatic macro has been infected with a virus, it can damage any Word or Excel document you open.
• Multipartite virus uses a combination of techniques to spread itself; the most common type combines the M.O. of boot and file viruses.
• Polymorphic virus changes itself each time it spreads. Because polymorphic viruses' signatures change, often randomly, the common signature scanning technique often fails to find them; antivirus packages must rely on heuristic technologies to detect them.
• Stealth virus uses tricks to conceal itself from antivirus software. For the most part, stealth viruses affect DOS.
• Virus signature is specific strings of binary code in most viruses (except polymorphic ones) that allow antivirus software to detect them. New viruses contain new signatures, which is why it's essential to keep signature files up to date.
• Zoo virus lives mostly within research labs, hasn't succeeded in moving into general circulation. The current census reports approx. 18,000 zoo viruses.