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anti-virus program
A software utility to protect your computer's hardware and software from viruses. (also called virus checker)

Beta Testing
The final phase of testing a computer program goes through before public release. It is meant to get any remaining "bugs" worked out.

Internet shorthand for "By The Way"; used as an acronym in e-mail and on the Web.

A temporary storage location (small, high-speed memory) that makes data retrieval very speedy. Internet browsers cache information and images temporarily from World Wide Web pages to the user's computer.

cable modem
A cable modem is a device that enables you to hook up your PC to a local cable TV line and receive data at about 1.5 Mbps. This data rate far exceeds that of the prevalent 28.8 and 56 Kbps telephone modems and the up to 128 Kbps of ISDN and is about the data rate available to subscribers of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) telephone service. A cable modem is really more like a network interface card (NIC) than a computer modem.
The actual bandwidth for Internet service over a cable TV line is up to 27 Mbps on the download path to the subscriber with about 2.5 Mbps of bandwidth for interactive responses in the other direction. However, since the local provider may not be connected to the Internet on a line faster than a T-1 at 1.5 Mpbs, a more likely data rate will be close to 1.5 Mpbs.

A verb meaning "to select something using a mouse." Users click links and buttons on Web pages to navigate through Web pages and sites.

A message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. The main purpose of cookies is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages for them. When you enter a Web site using cookies, you may be asked to fill out a form providing such information as your name and interests. This information is packaged into a cookie and sent to your Web browser which stores it for later use. The next time you go to the same Web site, your browser will send the cookie to the Web server. The server can use this information to present you with custom Web pages. So, for example, instead of seeing just a generic welcome page you might see a welcome page with your name on it. The name cookie derives from UNIX objects called magic cookies. These are tokens that are attached to a user or program and change depending on the areas entered by the user or program. Cookies are also sometimes called persistent cookies because they typically stay in the browser for long periods of time.

DNS (Domain Name System)
The method used to convert a domain name such as to corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) numbers to find the correct web site. DNS enables users to access the Internet without remembering long strings of numbers. The network of computers that constitute the Internet map domain names to their corresponding IP numbers. The data is then made available to all computers and users on the Internet.

domain name
The name of a given address on the internet ( The "www" before the domain name is actually the host name, or category to which the computer belongs (ftp is another popular host name designation). "geekazoid" is the specific subdomain. The ".com" is the domain name and also designates what kind of a domain it is. Other popular domains are .net, .org, .edu, .us, and .fm (recently popularized by radio stations.)

The process of transferring files to your computer from a network or by means of a modem. When you connect to the Web and visit a specific URL, you download the files for that page into the RAM cache on your computer.

e-mail (electronic mail)
On-line messaging services between computer users. Users can send e-mail to anyone, anywhere, using the Internet.

A 10-million bits-per-second network system that can accommodate a wide variety of computer types and devices. Enables the transmission of computer data, as well as video and audio information.

FAQ (frequently asked questions)
A compilation of the most often asked questions and answers on a topic.

Security software and procedures that protect a system or part of a system from unauthorized entry and use.

A set of HTML code used to partition a Web page primarily for navigational purposes, but sometimes for content organization, as well.

Remember those smart, computer-using kids that got picked on in high school? Well, we?re them! (Hey! ALL super heroes are born out of some sort of traumatic experience!)

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format; usually pronounced "giff")
A standard compression scheme for images, limited to 8-bit or 256 colors. The GIF format is best for text, line art, or images with large, adjacent, solid colors. GIF is the most commonly used file format for graphics or digital image files displayed and transmitted on the World Wide Web.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)
A program interface, such as Microsoft Windows and the one used by the Apple Macintosh, that takes advantage of the computer's graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use. Well-designed graphical user interfaces can free the user from learning complex command languages. On the other hand, many users find that they work more effectively with a command-driven interface, especially if they already know the command language. With the emergence of the Apple Macintosh graphical user interfaces became popular. In addition to their visual components, graphical user interfaces also make it easier to move data from one application to another. A true GUI includes standard formats for representing text and graphics. Because the formats are well-defined, different programs that run under a common GUI can share data. This makes it possible, for example, to copy a graph created by a spreadsheet program into a document created by a word processor.

A request from a computer on the Internet for a particular file on a Web site.

home page
The first page you see on a Web site; typically the top-level page that presents the overall site structure at a glance.

A single or multiuser computer that sends and receives data over the Internet. See also Web server.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
A set of codes that defines the behavior of text, graphics, and other elements on a Web page.

HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol)
A specific method or set of instructions for transferring data between a Web browser and a Web server.

An area of a Web page - a single word, a sentence, or an image - that takes the user to another Web page when clicked. See also hypertext and URL.

Marked text that links Web pages. See also URL.

image map
A single image that contains multiple links to URLs. Clicking different parts of the image, known as hot spots, activates different links and displays the URL that corresponds to that part of the image. See also client-side image map and server-side image map.

interlaced GIF
An image displayed by the Web browser in stages while the image data is transmitted, rather than being displayed after image data transmission is complete. The browser builds the image by displaying a grainy version first, then successively filling in the details until the full-resolution version appears.

A huge worldwide network of computers connected to each other for the purpose of transfering information, including web access, e-mail and file transfer. Started in 1969 by the Department of Defense for military purposes, the Internet now connects over 160 million people. (Also called cyberspace, the Net and The Information Superhighway)

A cooperative activity between the National Science Foundation, Network Solutions, Inc., and AT&T. Network Solutions sponsors registration services, and users can register domain names with them.

Internet site
A computer connected to the Internet that holds information that can be accessed using a Web access tool such as FTP, Telenet, Gopher, or a Web browser.

A company's or organization's in-house computer network that uses Internet standards and technology. An intranet may have its own Web server and public and private mail systems.

IP (Internet Protocol)
The most important of the Internet data transfer protocols. Enables a data packet to travel multiple networks on the way to its final destination.

Domain Names always have 2 or more parts, separated by dots. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general. A domain name can simply be thought of as your Internet address. The Internet uses Internet Protocol (IP) numbers to locate other computers. Internet users would typically have a hard time remembering these long strings of numbers to find sites. Domain names were developed to allow users to name these (IP) addresses with easy to remember names or phrases.

IP address
A number assigned to an Internet computer, based on the Internet Protocol.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A type of high-capacity phone line for digital transmission of text, graphics, audio, and video. ISDN carries 128 KB per second one way, or 256 KB per second simultaneously (two ways).

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A company that provides access to the Internet. Geekazoid & Friends is not an ISP, we only provide web site hosting services.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group; pronounced "jay-peg")
The name of a file format for digital images, developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, and used in Web publishing. The JPEG format is best for photographic images or images with gradients. JPEG images cannot be made transparent or interlaced.

Abbreviated as K. Derived from the Greek kilo, meaning "one thousand." A unit of measurement for data; for example a 20K file contains 20 kilobytes, or 20 thousand bits of data. When you embed downloadable files in a Web page, it's important to provide viewers with file sizes; that way they know roughly how long it will take to download material from the Web.

LAN (Local Area Network)
Any physical computing systems networked over short distances (up to a few thousand meters, usually
in the same building)

See hyperlink.

log in (also log on)
To sign in as a user on a computer or a computer network.

A device that takes digital information and converts it to electrical pulses that can be sent over a telephone line and that, conversely, takes these pulses and changes them to digital data.

A group of two or more computer systems linked together. The types of computer networks include: LANs, WANs, . Networks can be broadly classified as using either a peer-to-peer or client/server architecture. Computers on a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers and devices that allocate resources for a network are called servers.

The state of being logged onto a computer or logged onto a computing network or the Internet by modem, T-1, or cable connection.

PDF (Portable Document Format)
An electronic publishing tool developed by Adobe that preserves the look and feel of the original, printed document. This enables users to distribute documents on the Web, corporate intranets, by e-mail, on CD-ROM, or through print-on-demand systems. Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) converts electronic files to Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF).

A formal description of message formats and the rules two or more computers must follow to exchange messages. Standard protocols allow computers from different manufacturers to communicate. See also FTP, SLIP, SMTP , and TCPIP.


A dedicated computer (or other device) that sends data packets from one location to another.

search engine
A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web and USENET newsgroups. Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.

A computer that shares its resources - such as software, data files, and printers - with other computers on the network. Used expressly to store, retrieve, and share information.

See Web site.

T1, T3
Standards that represent 1.544 megabits (T1) and 45 megabits (T3) per second data transmission speeds. Incredibly fast data transmission rates, both, when compared to the 28.8 kilobits possible now with a standard modem.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
The Internet protocol used to support services such as remote log in, file transfer, and electronic mail. A series of instruction sets that other programs must adhere to, thus ensuring consistent and reliable operation on the backbone of the Internet.

Trojan horse
A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. Unlike a virus, Trojan horses do not replicate themselves but they can be just as destructive. One of the most insidious types of Trojan horse is a program that claims to rid your computer of viruses but instead introduces viruses onto your computer.

Pronounced yoo-niks, a popular multi-user, multitasking operating system developed at Bell Labs in the early 1970s. Created by just a handful of programmers, UNIX was designed to be a small, flexible system used exclusively by programmers. Although it has matured considerably over the years, UNIX still betrays its origins by its cryptic command names and its general lack of user-friendliness. This is changing, however, with graphical user interfaces such as MOTIF.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
An address to a specific file or location on the Web that all browsers recognize. A URL always begins with an Internet protocol, includes the domain, intermediary directories or folders within the file structure of the Web site, and ends with the filename of the Web page.

A program that "infects" other programs by embedding a copy of itself in them and disturbing the programs' functions. Because of the ever-present possibility of receiving a virus in any kind of file exchange, users should always run an anti-virus program on any files downloaded off the Web.

A program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes. Most 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. Some people distinguish between general viruses and worms. A worm is a special type of virus that can replicate itself and use memory, but cannot attach itself to other programs.

virus checker
(See anti-virus program)

WAN (Wide Area Network)
A computing network connected over hundreds or thousands of miles, usually
via telephone lines or radio waves.

Web (World Wide Web)
A subset of the Internet that uses images, multimedia elements, and hypertext navigation to communicate information globally. A connection of computers worldwide that host, serve, and transmit data among computer users. Using a Web browser,, users can access the World Wide Web.

Web browser
software that enables an Internet connection and data transmission

A program that enables users to interact with a Web server and see Web pages. Each browser interprets the HTML code of a given Web page differently and, therefore, displays the page differently.

Someone who manages a Web server and the process of uploading files for publication on the Web. May sometimes also function as the gatekeeper for what is published on the Internet from a company or organization.

Web page
A document of any length on a Web server. The page can contain text, images, animation, movies, and sounds that are displayed on-screen by a Web browser.

Web server
The computer that physically holds the Web site on its hard disk and transfers Web pages and information over the Internet as they are requested using one or more protocols, such as HTTP, FTP, and so on.

Web site
A collection of related Web pages on a Web server. Users usually enter a Web site through the home page.

A networked personal computing device with more power than the standard personal computer (such as the PC or Macintosh).Typically, a workstation has a very powerful operating system, one capable of running many programs at the same time.

WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get;" pronounced "whizzy-wig.")
A computer industry term that indicates that the work you do on your screen will appear exactly the same when you print.



A popular data compression format. Files that have been compressed with the ZIP format are called ZIP files and usually end with a .ZIP extension. A special kind of zipped file is a self-extracting file, which ends with a.EXE extension. You can unzip a self-extracting file by simply executing it.

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