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Frequently Asked Questions


Active-X   A Java-like Microsoft language that permits web-originated programs to be run from Microsoft Explorer browser.

Agent   Client or robot programs, often able to act autonomously or intelligently.

Alias   An alternative name for an object, such as a variable, file, or device.

API   (Application Program Interface)—A set of programs or interfaces for developers to interact with the network or operating system.

Applet   A high-level program that can be included in an HTML page, most often an image. The program's code is then executed by the browser. Note: Many older browsers cannot interpret Java applets and disregard them.

Application   Applications software (also called end-user programs) includes database programs, word processors, and spreadsheets. Figuratively speaking, applications software sits on top of systems software because it is unable to run without the operating system and system utilities.

ASCII   (pronounced "Ask-ee") An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Exchange, ASCII is an international standard in which numbers, letters, punctuation marks, symbols and control codes are assigned numbers from 0 to 127. Easily transferred over networks, ASCII is a plain, unadorned text without style or font specifications.

B2B   (Business-to-Business)—Provides information exchange and other services between businesses.

Bandwith   The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or bytes per second. Web hosting accounts usually offer bandwidth amounts in gigabytes per month.

Baud rate   The speed rate of a data channel - expressed as bits per second (bps) - which is usually used when referring to the speed of modems.

Binary   Pertaining to a number system that has just two unique digits. Computers are based on the binary numbering system, which consists of just two unique numbers, 0 and 1.

Bit   Short for binary digit, the smallest unit of information on a machine. A single bit can hold only one of two values: 0 or 1.

Broadband   A transmission method in which the networks range of transmission frequencies is divided into separate channels and each channel is used to send a different signal. Broadband is often used to send different types of signals simultaneously.

Browser   Short for web browser, a software application used to locate and view web pages. Examples: Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape.

Byte   Eight bits: (The number of bits used to represent a character) Tthe fundamental unit of personal computer data.

CD-ROM   Compact Disk-Read Only Memory; an optical disk from which information may be read but not written.

Cisco   One of the leading manufacturers of network equipment. Cisco's primary business is in Internet working products, such as routers, bridges, and switches.

Client   A computer that has access to services over a computer network. In any client/server system, the software requesting services or information from the server.

Cookie   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.

Dial Up   An "on ramp" to the Internet-the service which allows one to "dial" into the Internet through their computer modem using a telephone line.

DNS   Short for Domain Name System (or Service), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address.

Domain Name   The name for a company, organization, or individual's Internet connection. Individual computers within this domain all end with the domain as a part of their host name.

Download   To transfer to your computer a copy of a file that resides on another computer.

E-Commerce   (Electronic Commerce) The purchasing of goods and services over the Internet.

File Server   A file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server.

File Format   The patterns and standards used to store a program on a disk. Examples are DOC, GIF, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, TXT, etc.

Firewall   A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both.

Form   HTML documents designed with fill-in text boxes, lists of options, and other elements that allow the user of the form to send information back to the web server. (E.g. registration form, order form, etc.)

gif   A popular type of image file format. Stands for Graphic Image Format.

Gigabytes   2 to the 30th power (1,073,741,824) bytes. One gigabyte is equal to 1,024 megabytes. Gigabyte is often abbreviated as G or GB.

Hard Drive   The mechanism that controls the positioning, reading, and writing of the hard disk, which furnishes the largest amount of data storage for the PC.

Home Page   The first page that you intend people to see at your web site.

Host Name   The name of a computer on the Internet, used to identify it in the URL naming scheme.

HTML   (HyperText Markup Language) HTML is the language used to tag various parts of a Web document so browsing software will know how to display that document's links, text, graphics and attached media.

HTTP   (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)—A protocol defining how messages should be formatted and what action servers have to take on them. For Web-based messages.

ISP   (Internet Service Provider) A company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, the service provider gives you a software package, username, password and access phone number. Equipped with a modem, you can then log on to the Internet and browse the World Wide Web and USENET, and send and receive e-mail.

Java   A programming language designed for program execution on the client side, i.e., in a browser. It is best for creating applets and applications for the Internet, intranets and any other complex distributed network.

Javascript   A proprietary scripting language by Netscape that adds author-specified user events to static pages.

JPEG, JPG   (Joint Photographic Experts Group)—ISO/CCITT standard for compressing still images (grayscale or color). Image files.

Kilobyte   (Kb) Short for kilobyte. When used to describe data storage, KB usually represents 1,024 bytes. When used to describe data transfer rates, KB represents 1,000 bytes.

Link or Hyperlink   The text or graphic used in an HTML document to jump from one document or page to another.

Megabit   (Mb) Short for megabit. In data communications, a megabit is one million bits (1,048,576 bits to be exact). Bit - the smallest unit of data in a computer. A bit has a single binary value, either 0 or 1.

MIME   (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)—A specification for formatting non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over the Internet. Many e-mail programs now support MIME, which enables them to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via the Internet mail system. In addition, MIME supports messages in character sets other than ASCII.

Mosaic   One of the first graphical browsers. Developed by the NCSA, this browser fueled the growth of the Web. It is available in versions for Windows, Mac, and UNIX.

Mozilla   The original name for Netscape's browser, now called Navigator. Some people claim that the term is a contraction of Mosaic Godzilla (e.g., Mosaic killer), since Mosaic was the number one web browser at the time Netscape began developing its product. The term Mozilla is still used by many web developers and appears in server log files that identify the browsers being used.

MPEG   (Moving Pictures Expert Group)—Is an international standard for video compression and desktop movie presentation.

Multimedia   Documents that combine text, graphics, sound, movies, or other media.

OEM   (Original Equipment Manufacturer)—OEMs buy computers or components in bulk and build or customize them for a particular application. They then sell the customized computer under their own name.

P2P   (Peer to Peer)—Allows a group of programs having similar attributes to communicate with each other.

Protocol   A set of standards that define how traffic and communications are handled by a computer or network routers.

Search Engine   This term refers to a program/website that helps users find information in text-oriented databases.

Server   A computer system that manages and delivers information for client computers on a network that manages network resources. For example, a file server is a computer and storage device dedicated to storing files. Any user on the network can store files on the server. A print server is a computer that manages one or more printers, and a network server is a computer that manages network traffic. A database server is a computer system that processes database queries.

T-1   A dedicated connection supporting data rates of 1.544Mbits per second. A T-1 line actually consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per second. Each 64Kbit/second channel can be configured to carry voice or data traffic.

T-3   A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 43 Mbps. A T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64 Kbps.

TCP/IP   (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The basic protocols controlling applications on the Internet.

Thumnail   Webmasters will sometimes scale down the size of a photo or graphic utilizing his HTML Editor software or a graphics editor software program. These photos are normally set up by the webmaster to hyperlink to the full size image or graphic.

Upload   The transmission of a file from one computer system to another, usually larger computer system. In terms of web hosting, it would happen when a file is transmitted to the host's web servers.

URL   Universal Resource Link (or Locator). URL is a path to a location on the Internet.

VPN   (Virtual Private Network) A network that is constructed by using public wires (ex: internet) to connect nodes (other computers or networks). These systems use encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the network and that the data cannot be intercepted.

Web Server   A computer that delivers (serves up) web pages. Every web server has an IP address and possibly a domain name. For example, if you enter the URL http://www.abwebdesign.com in your browser, this sends a request to the server whose domain name is abwebdesign.com. The server then fetches the page named index.html and sends it to your browser.

WWW   World Wide Web

XML   (eXtensible Markup Language)—A language specialized for Web documents, enabling the creation of tags customized to the company's needs and business logic. It not only has data but also contains metadata. It uses DTD and SCHEMA to describe the data.



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