Quick Reference

.com, .gov, .net, .edu, .org: When these letters appear in lowercase type at the end of an address, they indicate what type of organization operates the host computer. It also means that the host computer is most likely located in the United States.

.gif: Graphics Interchange Format - Developed by Compuserve, using Unisys compression technology, for handling vector graphics - line drawings - on the Web.

.jpg: File extension for a JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) file type. A group that has defined a compression scheme that reduces the size of image files by up to 20 times at the cost of slightly reduced image quality.

.mpeg: Short for Moving Picture Experts Group, and pronounced m-peg, the term also refers to the family of digital video compression standards and file formats developed by an international organization standards group. MPEG generally produces better-quality video than competing formats, such as Video for Windows, Indeo and QuickTime. MPEG files can be decoded by special hardware or by software.

Address Bar: An editable space in your browser window that you can type in a web address (e.g. www.penteledata.net ) or web page you want to view.

Address book: (email) Storage of commonly used email addresses and contact information in an email type program such as Microsoft Outlook.

Anti-virus Software: Antivirus (or "anti-virus") software is a class of programs that searches your hard drive and floppy disks for any known or potential viruses.

Attachment (email): An email attachment is another type of file not created by an email program such as Outlook Express, Eudora, or Netscape. Attachments are frequently text documents created by a word processor such as MS Word, a picture created by a graphics program, or an application that can be run on a Macintosh or PC.

Authentication: The process of establishing the authenticity of an object (e.g. authentication of a user by password or signature).

Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be sent through a connection.

Bookmark: A name or address of an Internet resource stored in a software file on a user's computer for convenient future use. Note: An example of a bookmark is an entry in a bookmark file (or list) maintained by a browser for the convenience of the user in revisiting a website.

Bounce back message: When a user attempts to send an email, he is telling his email system to look for the domain of the recipient (for example, ptd.net) and the domain's mail server. Once the email system makes contact with the recipient's mail server, the mail server looks at the message to determine if it will let the message pass through the server. If the recipient's server has predetermined that it is not accepting emails from the sender's address (for example, if it has blocked the address for anti-spamming purposes), the server will reject the message and it will subsequently bounce back to the sender. The message will also bounce back to the server if the mail server on the recipient's end is busy and cannot handle the request at that time. When an email is returned to the sender without being accepted by the recipient's mail server, this is called a hard bounce.

Browser: An application used for accessing the World Wide Web (WWW). To 'browse' is to search the WWW for information. Examples of browsers include: Internet Explorer, Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox, Opera, and Apple Computer's Safari.

Cable Modem: A modem designed to operate over cable TV lines. Because the coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access to the World Wide Web.

Cache: Pronounced cash, a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a reserved section of main memory or an independent high-speed storage device. Two types of caching are commonly used in personal computers: memory caching and disk caching.

Cookies: A mechanism for server-side connections to store and retrieve information on the client side.

Cyberspace: A virtual universe of networked computers, programs, and data.

Desktop: In graphical user interfaces, a desktop is the metaphor used to portray file systems. Such a desktop consists of pictures, called icons, that show cabinets, files, folders, and various types of documents (that is, letters, reports, pictures). You can arrange the icons on the electronic desktop just as you can arrange real objects on a real desktop - moving them around, putting one on top of another, reshuffling them, and throwing them away.

Dial-up: A form of Internet connection for your home. Dial-up is a connection from your computer to the Internet over a telephone line via an Internet Service Provider.

Digital: Describes any system based on discontinuous data or events. Computers are digital machines because at their most basic level they can distinguish between just two values, 0 and 1, or off and on. There is no simple way to represent all the values in between, such as 0.25. All data that a computer processes must be encoded digitally, as a series of zeroes and ones.

Disk Space: Disk space is the storage capacity of your Web site for pictures, HTML, graphics, etc. and is usually expressed in MB.

DOCSIS: Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification defines interface standards for cable modems and supporting equipment.

Domain Name: A domain name is a name which is used to find a specific location on the Internet. Domain names are tied to specific IP addresses assigned to given hosts. While domain names are not necessary to find given hosts on the Internet, they are much easier to remember. For example, PenTeleData.net is a domain. If you wanted to go to PenTeleData's web page, you could enter www.penteledata.net into your browser.

Download: To retrieve a file from another machine, usually a host machine, to your machine.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line): DSL is a technology for bringing high-bandwidth information to homes and small businesses over ordinary copper telephone lines. xDSL refers to different variations of DSL, such as ADSL, HDSL, and RADSL. With DSL service, you may be able to receive data at rates up to 10 Mbps, enabling continuous transmission of motion video, audio, and even 3D effects. A DSL line can carry both data and voice signals.

EMail: Email, or electronic mail, is a method of sending text messages from one person's computer to another through the Internet. An email address would look something like johndoe@ptd.net .

EMailbox: An emailbox is a storage area for email. A user receives their private emailbox. This is similar to a Post Office Box except electronic.

EMail Forwarding: Email forwarding gives you the ability to have email that is sent to one email address automatically forwarded to another email address.

For example, you could have all email sent to yourname@hotmail.com forwarded to yourname@ptd.net.

Encryption: The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it.

Ethernet: A technology, which allows you to network machines together in a local area network (LAN). Ethernet is commonly used because of its incredible speed and scalability.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): A list of commonly asked questions and answers that are related to the features and procedures of a company's products and services. A "FAQ" acts as a help file for the end user.

File Sharing (peer to peer): File sharing is the public or private sharing of computer data or space in a network with various levels of access privilege. While files can easily be shared outside a network (for example, simply by handing or mailing someone your file on a storage device), the term file sharing almost always means sharing files in a network, even if in a small local area network. File sharing allows a number of people to use the same file or file by some combination of being able to read or view it, write to or modify it, copy it, or print it.

Filter: A program that accepts a certain type of data as input, transforms it in some manner, and then outputs the transformed data. For example, a program that sorts names is a filter because it accepts the names in unsorted order, sorts them, and then outputs the sorted names.

Firewall: A firewall is a security device that allows you to prevent unwanted accesses into, or out of, your network. A simple firewall can be built by installing firewall software on a computer linked to a network.

Freeware: Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although it is available for free, the author retains the copyright, which means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people to use the software, but not sell it.

F.T.P. (File Transfer Protocol): This protocol is used for downloading and uploading files over the Internet. With FTP, you can log into another Internet site and send or receive files. Some sites have public files that you can access via FTP by using the account name "anonymous" and your email address as the password. This type of access is called "anonymous" FTP.

GHz: Abbreviation for gigahertz. One GHz represents 1 billion cycles per second. The speed of microprocessors, called the clock speed, often is measured in gigahertz. For example, a microprocessor that runs at 200 GHz executes 200 billion cycles per second. Each computer instruction requires a fixed number of cycles, so the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the microprocessor can execute.

Gigabyte: ("gig") 1 gigabyte = approximately 1 billion bytes. More accurately, 1 gigabyte = 2 to the 30th power or 1,073,741,824 bytes.

Hacker: A slang term for a computer enthusiast (i.e. a person who enjoys learning programming languages and computer systems and can often be considered an expert on the subjects). Among professional programmers, the term can be either complimentary or derogatory, although it has a derogatory connotation. The negative sense of "hacker is more prominent largely because the popular press uses the term to refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data.

Header: In many disciplines of computer science, a header is a unit of information that precedes a data object. In a network transmission, a header is part of the data packet and contains transparent information about the file or the transmission. In file management, a header is a region at the beginning of each file where bookkeeping information is kept. The file header may contain the date the file was created, the date it was last updated, and the file's size. The header can be accessed only by the operating system or by specialized programs.

Home Page: A home page most often refers to the web page you see when you first start up your web browser. It can also refer to the first page that appears when you visit a specific site like www.ptd.net

Host: A computer on the Internet you may be able to log on to. You can use FTP to get files from a host computer, and use other programs (such as telnet) to make use of the host computer.

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language, is the most common language used to create web pages. HTML is a language, which essentially formats text and images in any number of ways. HTML also allows you to create links which will point people to various other parts of that web site, or to other web sites altogether.

HTTP: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is the protocol that is used to transfer web pages across the Internet.

Hyperlink: An element in an electronic document that links to another place in the same document or to an entirely different document. Typically, you click on the hyperlink to follow the link.

IMAP: Short for Internet Message Access Protocol, a protocol for retrieving email messages. The latest version, IMAP4, is similar to POP3 but supports some additional features. For example, with IMAP4, you can search through your email messages for keywords while the messages are still on the mail server. You can then choose which messages to download to your machine.

Inbox: The collection station for all incoming email, commonly broken down into directories and subdirectories for easy identification and categorization of correspondence.

Internet: The Internet is made up from the millions of servers which are interconnected via the TCP/IP protocol. The Internet evolved from its humble beginnings as the ARPANET in the late 60's and early 70's.

Intranet: An intranet is like a small private Internet, which is intended to be accessed by a specific group or groups of computers. Often companies will set up intranets for their own internal use to allow employees to see company information without allowing access to this private information by the entire Internet.

IP Address: An IP address is the address given to each computer that is on the Internet. Without an IP address, a computer cannot communicate with the rest of the computers on the Internet. These addresses have 4 parts, known as octets, and are separated by dots; e.g., 207.229.143.1.

ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network: A way to move more data over existing regular phone lines. ISDN is only slowly becoming available in the USA. ISDN can provide speeds of 64,000 bits per second over a regular phone line at almost the same cost as a normal phone call.

ISP: (Internet Service Provider) for example, PenTeleData Internet Service.

IST: Integration Service Team: PenTeleData's Integration Service Team is a specialized unit that caters to schools, businesses, and professionals within PenTeleData, the leading Technology and Internet service firm throughout the tri-state area. We use our expertise to help you from beginning to end. Our IST within PenTeleData will design, install, train, support and service your technological solution.

LAN (Local Area Network): A LAN, or Local Area Network, consists of a network of machines confined to one geographic area, such as an office building.

Limited Access: The opposite of unlimited access: reduced user access to a network or the Internet.

Links: By inserting hypertext links into web documents it is possible to connect two documents together. These documents can be on different computers on opposite sides of the globe.

Listserv: A family of programs that manages mailing lists by distributing messages posted to the list, adding and deleting members automatically.

Login: A noun or a verb. Noun: The account name used to gain access to a computer system.

Mac Address: Short for Media Access Control address, a Mac address is a hardware address that uniquely identifies each node of a network.

Mail client: An application that runs on a personal computer or workstation and enables you to send, receive and organize email. It's called a client because email systems are based on client-server architecture. Mail is sent from many clients to a central server, which re-routes the mail to its intended destination.

Mail Server: A mail server is usually a program that runs on a computer designated exclusively for the processing and storage of user email.

Mailing list: A list of email addresses identified by a single name, such as mail-list@sandybay.com . When an email message is sent to the mailing list name, it is automatically forwarded to all the addresses in the list.

Mbps: Short for megabits per second, a measure of data transfer speed (a megabit is equal to one million bits). Network transmissions, for example, are generally measured in Mbps.

MHz: An abbreviation for megahertz. One MHz represents one million cycles per second. The speed of microprocessors, called the clock speed, is sometimes measured in megahertz. For example, a microprocessor that runs at 900 MHz executes 900 million cycles per second. Each computer instruction requires a fixed number of cycles, so the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the microprocessor can execute.

Modem: MOdulator, DEModulator: A device that you connect to your computer and to a phone or cable line to allow the computer to communicate with other computers.

Network: A network is two or more computers connected together (commonly using Ethernet) to allow for file and resource sharing.

Node: Any given computer connected to a network.

Outbox: Collection station for outgoing correspondence before it's released through the gateway separating your local machine from a larger network, including the Internet.

Packet: A chunk of information sent over a network. Each packet contains the destination address, the sender's address, error-control information, and data.

Password: A secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer, or program. On multi-user systems, each user must enter his or her password before the computer will respond to commands. The password helps ensure that unauthorized users do not access the computer. In addition, data files and programs may require a password.

Ping: A command/utility to determine whether a specific IP address is accessible. It works by sending a packet to the specified address and waiting for a reply. Ping is used primarily to troubleshoot Internet connections.

Plug-in: A hardware or software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system.

POP: Short for Post Office Protocol, a protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server.

Pop-up Window: A window that suddenly appears (pops up) on your desktop while surfing the web or when you select an option with a mouse or press a special function key. Pop-up windows that appear while browsing the Internet usually contain advertisements and will remain on the screen until you close them. Those pop-ups that appear when selecting an option or pressing a function key usually contain a menu of options and stay on the screen until you select one of the options.

Port: An interface on a computer to which you can connect a device.

Proxy: A server that sits between a client application, such as a Web browser, and a real server. It intercepts all requests to the real server to see if it can fulfill the requests itself. If not, it forwards the request to the real server.

Remote Access: When you access a computer that you are unable to see. This is done via a modem or computer network.

Router: A router is a piece of equipment that determines where to send pieces of data between networks. Because there may be multiple paths between 2 or more networks, a router will also determine the best path for that data so that it finds its destination quickly and successfully.

Search Engine: A software program, found on-line, that searches a database, gathers and then reports the information onto a page to be viewed. The information contained is related to the specified terms that were requested. (example: web sites, newsgroups)

Security Certificate: A chunk of information that is used by the Secure Socket Layer protocol to establish a secure connection. In order for an SSL connection to be created, both sides must have a valid Security Certificate.

Server: A server is a machine that provides a service to software running on other machines. For example, a web browser (the client) must communicate with a web server in order to display web pages. It is possible for one server to perform many roles depending on how many server software packages are installed on it.

Shareware: Software distributed on the basis of an honor system. Most shareware is delivered free of charge, but the author usually requests that you pay a small fee if you like the program and use it regularly. By sending the small fee, you become registered with the producer so that you can receive service assistance and updates. You can copy shareware and pass it along to friends and colleagues, but they too are expected to pay a fee if they use the product.

Shopping Cart: A shopping cart is a piece of software that acts as an online store's catalog and ordering process. Typically, a shopping cart is the interface between a company's web site and its deeper infrastructure, allowing consumers to select merchandise; review what they have selected; make necessary modifications or additions; and purchase the merchandise.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transport Protocol, is the protocol used to send electronic mail over the Internet.

Spam: An inappropriate use of email, mailing lists, or other communication methods by sending a message to someone who didn't ask for it. Spam is analogous to junk mail that you receive in your mail box. Spam is generally sent to multiple people at one time for the purpose of advertising a business (beware the "Make Money Fast" email), propagate chain mail ("Send this message to 10 people", etc) or interest you in going to various web sites. Apart from being bad etiquette, sending SPAM from your PenTeleData account is prohibited. (From most ISP accounts)

Spyware: Also called adware, spyware is any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about email addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.

SSL: Short for Secure Sockets Layer, a protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a public key to encrypt data that's transferred over the SSL connection. Many Web sites use the protocol to obtain confidential user information, such as credit card numbers. URLs that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http:.

TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol): The system that networks use to communicate on the Internet.

Temporary files: Temporary files, by definition, are intended to be just that - temporary - and are not meant to be saved indefinitely.

Terms of Service: A stated list of the terms that must be agreed on by a user of a particular service; the terms under which a service provider provides a particular service.

Upload: To transmit data from a computer to a bulletin board service, mainframe, or network. For example, if you use a personal computer to log on to a network and you want to send files across the network, you must upload the files from your PC to the network.

URL: A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is the address of any resource on the Internet such as a web page, an FTP site, or a newsgroup; e.g., http://www.penteledata.com.  If someone asks you for your web address, they're really asking you for the URL.

Username: A name used to gain access to a computer system. Usernames, and often passwords, are required in multi-user systems. In most such systems, users can choose their own usernames and passwords.

Virus: A program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes. Viruses can also replicate themselves. All computer viruses are manmade. A simple virus that can make a copy of itself over and over again is relatively easy to produce. Even such a simple virus is dangerous because it will quickly use all available memory and bring the system to a halt. An even more dangerous type of virus is one capable of transmitting itself across networks and bypassing security systems.

WAN (Wide Area Network): Any Internet or network that covers an area larger than a single building or campus. (See also: Internet, LAN (Local Area Network) or network)

Web address: The location, or URL, of a website, file, or resource on the Internet. For example, http://www.penteledata.net/ is a web address.

Web page: A document on the World Wide Web. Every Web page is identified by a unique URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

World Wide Web: The World Wide Web (abbreviated as WWW or W3, commonly known as the web) is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. With a web browser, one can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia and navigate between them via hyperlinks. (Wikipedia)