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Glossary A - D
Glossary E - I
Glossary J - P
Glossary Q - S
Glossary T - Z

  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  


Alias (E-mail) An e-mail address such as that does not have a corresponding POP3 mailbox set up. For example, if you have a default POP3 mailbox called sales (i.e., and you have not created any other mailboxes, e-mail addressed to will be sent to the sales mailbox. If someone were to e-mail, in this example, that mail would also be forwarded to the sales mailbox.
Antivirus A class of program that searches your hard drive, floppy disks, and e-mail for any known or potential viruses. The market for this kind of program has expanded because of Internet growth, the widespread publicity surrounding some recent computer viruses, and the increasing use of the Internet by businesses concerned about protecting their computer assets.
ARIN (American Registry of Internet Numbers) - The organization that manages IP address numbers for the U.S. and assigned territories. Because Internet addresses must be unique and because the number of addresses available is limited, there is a need for some organization to control and allocate address number blocks.
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) - The most common format for text files in computers and on the Internet. In an ASCII file, each alphabetic, numeric, or special character is represented with a 7-bit binary number (a string of seven 0s or 1s). 128 (27) possible characters are defined.
Autoresponder A program or script used to send automated responses to incoming e-mail messages sent to a specific e-mail address. For example, an auto responder could be used to send a standard message acknowledging receipt of the incoming message and indicating when the message will be acted upon.
Backbone A high-speed communication link or series of links that forms a major trunk within a network. The term is relative, as a backbone in a small network may be much smaller than many non-backbone links in a large network.
Bandwidth The throughput capacity of a network measured in bps.
Baud A unit of data transfer equal to the number of binary values (bits) transmitted per second. Baud is equivalent to bps. In communications usage, the baud rate of a modem is how many bits it can send or receive per second.
Bit A binary (base-2) number, either a 0 (zero) or a 1 (one); the smallest unit of digital data.
Bot (Short for "robot") - A program that operates as an agent for a user or another program or simulates a human activity. On the Internet, the most common bots are the programs that access web sites and gather their content for search engines. Bots are also called 'spiders' or 'crawlers'.
bps (bits-per-second) - The rate of data movement between two places. A 28.8K modem can move 28,800 bits-per-second.
Byte A group of bits that represent a single alphanumeric character. There are 8 data bits in a byte, but there may be additional bits associated with each byte for other purposes such as error detection and correction.
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) - A set of rules that describe how a web server software application communicates with another piece of software on the same computer (server), and how the other piece of software (the 'CGI program') talks to the web server. Any piece of software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard. Usually a CGI program is a small program that takes data from a web server and does something with it, like putting the content of a form into an e-mail message, or converting the data into a database record.
cgi-bin The most common name of the directory on a web server in which CGI programs are stored. The 'bin' part of cgi-bin is a shortened version of 'binary', because once upon a time, most programs were referred to as 'binaries'. In real life, most programs found in cgi-bin directories are text files - scripts that are executed by programs located elsewhere on the server. While most CGI scripts are stored in this directory, it is not a requirement for using CGI.
Client A software program that is used to contact and obtain data from a server software program on the same computer or on another computer, often across a great distance. Each client program is designed to work with one or more specific kinds of server programs, and each server requires a specific kind of client. A web browser and an e-mail reader are examples of clients.
Client/Server Describes the relationship between two computer programs in which one program (the client) makes a request from another program (the server) that fulfills the request. Although programs within a single computer can use the client/server relationship, it is a more important idea in a network. In a network, the client/server model provides a convenient way to interconnect programs that are distributed efficiently across different locations. Computer transactions using the client/server model are very common. Other program relationship models include master/slave, with one program being in charge of all other programs, and peer-to-peer, with either of two programs able to initiate a transaction.
Cookie The most common meaning of 'cookie' on the Internet refers to a piece of information sent by a web server to a web browser that the browser software is expected to save and to send back to the server whenever the browser makes additional requests from the server. Depending on the type of cookie used, and the browser's settings, the browser may or may not accept the cookie, and may save the cookie for either a short time or a long time. Cookies might contain information such as login or registration information, online 'shopping cart' information, or user preferences. When a server receives a request from a browser that includes a cookie, the server is able to use the information stored in the cookie. For example, the server might customize what is sent back to the user, or keep a log of a particular user's requests.
CRON Script A list of one or more commands to a computer operating system or application server that are to be executed at a specified time. Each command is executed when its triggering time arrives. In UNIX-based operating systems, the 'crontab' command is a user interface command that creates or changes a file (called a crontab file). This file contains a list of UNIX shell commands, each with a specified time of execution. A CRON script is similar.
Daemon (Pronounced DEE-muhn) - A program that runs continuously and exists for the purpose of handling periodic service requests that a computer system expects to receive. The daemon program forwards the requests to other programs (or processes) as appropriate. Each web server on the Internet has an HTTPD (or HyperText Transfer Protocol daemon) that continually waits for requests to come in from web clients and their users.

A database is a collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed, and updated. The most prevalent type of database is the relational database, a tabular database in which data is defined so that it can be reorganized and accessed in a number of different ways. A distributed database is one that can be dispersed or replicated among different points in a network. An object-oriented programming database is one that is congruent with the data defined in object classes and subclasses.

Databases contain aggregations of data records or files, such as sales transactions, product catalogs and inventories, and customer profiles. Typically, a database manager provides users the capabilities of controlling read/write access, specifying report generation, and analyzing usage. Databases and database managers are prevalent in large mainframe systems, in smaller distributed workstation and midrange systems, and on personal computers. SQL is a standard language for making interactive queries and updating records in relational databases, including those from IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and Computer Associates.

Data Transfer Outward-bound data from a web site's server to a client. For example - each time an HTML file, an image, or other element on a web page is sent from the server to a client, data transfer is generated. Web site hosting packages frequently define the maximum allowable free data transfer per month. Additional data transfer can result in additional web hosting charges.
Decrypt The process of converting encrypted data back into its original form, so it can be understood.
Dedicated Server The exclusive use of a computer, related server software, and connection to the Internet, that is owned by and housed in the web hosting company's location. A dedicated server is usually needed for a large web site (or set of related company sites) that may develop a large amount of traffic. The use of a dedicated server at the web hosting company saves router, Internet connection, security system, and network administration costs for the site's owner.
Detailed Web Statistics Comprehensive daily graphical reports on a web site's visitor demographics generated from raw log files by a program such as 'The Webalizer' or 'AwStats'. These statistics allow the owner or manager to monitor how much traffic the web site receives.
Digital Certificate An electronic "ID card" that establishes the credentials of someone doing business or other transactions on the Web. It is issued by a certification authority (CA). It contains the owner's name, a serial number, expiration date, a copy of the certificate holder's public key (used for encrypting messages and digital signatures), and the digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority so that a recipient can verify that the certificate is real.
Disk Space The amount of server disk storage a web site is allocated. This space is used to store HTML files, graphics, e-mail messages, and all other files that make up a web site. One megabyte (MB) of disk space can hold several hundred pages of text and images. Web site hosting packages usually define the maximum disk space a web site can consume. Additional disk space used can result in additional web hosting charges.
DNS (Domain Name System) - The way that Internet domain names are located and translated into IP addresses. A domain name is a meaningful and easy-to-remember 'handle' for an IP address. Because maintaining one central list of domain name-to-IP address correspondences would be impractical (because of the tremendous network traffic), the lists of domain names and IP addresses are distributed throughout the Internet in a hierarchy of authority. Each ISP uses a DNS server (also called a name server) that is usually geographically local to map the domain names in Internet requests to IP addresses or else forward them to another, higher level DNS server to process.
Domain Name The unique name that identifies an Internet web site and maps it to a specific IP address. Domain names always have 2 or more parts, separated by periods (dots). For example, the domain name maps the domain '' to IP address, which is the IP addres of the server where this web site is located. This domain name has three parts: The 'net' part of the domain name is the most general part and is called the top-level domain name. It reflects the purpose of the web site ('net' refers to 'network', 'com' refers to 'commercial, etc.). The 'ShenValleyOnline' part identifies the organization and, with the top-level, is called the second-level domain name. The 'www' part denotes the name of a server that provides responses to Internet requests. It is also possible for a domain name to exist but not have a web site on a server. This is often done so that an organization or business can have an Internet e-mail address without having to establish a real Internet site. In these cases, there must be a server to handle e-mail on behalf of the domain name.
Domain Registration The process of registering a unique second-level domain name with one of the ICANN-accredited registrars for the .biz, .com, .net, .org, and other top-level domains.
DOS (Disk Operating System) - MS-DOS was the first widely-installed operating system for personal computers. It has a relatively simple line-oriented, command-driven, but not overly 'friendly' user interface.

Digital Signal X) -The series of standard digital transmission rates or levels based on a transmission rate of 64 Kbps (DS0), the bandwidth normally used for one telephone voice channel. Both the North American T-carrier system system and the European E-carrier systems use the DS series as a base multiple. The digital signal is what is carried inside the carrier system.

DS0 is the base for the digital signal X series. DS1, used as the signal in the T-1 carrier, is 24 - multiplexed DS0 signals. DS2 is four DS1 signals multiplexed together to produce a rate of 6.312 Mbps. DS3, the signal in the T-3 carrier, carries a multiple of 28 DS1 signals or 672 DS0 signals or 44.736 Mbps.

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