Computer Terms

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Computer Terms


ASCII - (AMERICAN STANDARD CODE FOR INFORMATION INTERCHANGE) A seven-bit coded character set used for representing characters in computer systems, cornmunications systems and related devices.

BAUD RATE - The number defines to the of bit per second transmitted. Baud rate is a unit of data transfer rate.

BBS OR BULLETIN BOARD SERVICE - A set of publicly available services available to users to log-on to a host computer to share information. This can include electronic mail, files for transfer, or teleconferencing.

CHAT MODE - The service where users can carry on real-time discussion using the computer with another user on-line.

CONNECT TIME - Usually referring to the amount of time a terminal has been logged on to a computer for a session.

CONNECTION - The actual linking of two or more computer terminals across a network.

CYBERSPACE - Used popularly today to refer to the Internet and its intangible nature.

DIALING DIRECTORY - Many communications software packages have the ability for you to create a dialing directory allowing the person using the software to save the connection information. This saves time in that the person using the software does not have to reenter the dialing information each time it is used.

DOMAIN - Identifies the network or subnetwork. Outside of the United States twoletter codes are used, e.g. CA=Canada, MX=Mexico. In the United States networks are identified by the type of institution, e.g. Com=Commercial, EDU=Educational, GOV=Government, MIL=Military, NET=Network Support Groups, ORG=Other Miscellaneous Organizations.

ELECTRONIC MAIL (E-MAIL) - This allows persons to communicate with each other electronically from one computer to another often in remote locations.

E-MAIL ADDRESS - Unique network address that consists of two major pieces of information: 1. person's name as known to the computer; 2. the name and location of the computer. The two pieces are separated by an @. Ex: sername@host.domain.type

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) - Refers to files maintained so that new users do not have to keep asking the same questions.

FTP (FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL) - An application which allows data to be transferred over the network.

GATEWAY - A computer that connects two networks and performs any needed protocol conversion.

GOPHER - A term used to describe the document delivery system which works across any TCP/IP network and retrieves information. Often used on campuses for document retrieval. Created at the University of Minnesota (home of the golden gophers)

HOST - The host is a machine that has users and mailboxes.

INTERNET -A collection of networks that connects many agencies and independent networks.

INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) - Allows a common communication of many networks so that communication is possible between the networks.

LAN (LOCAL AREA NETWORK) - Network that connects servers, workstations and other devices within a limited area, such as a building.

LISTSERV - A software package with the ability to manage electronic mailing lists. Members may subscribe to a listserv and the software automatically forwards all messages to all subscribers.

MODEM - A modulation/demodulation device which allows a digital device to be connected to an analog signal and vice versa for data to be transmitted over phone lines. This can be a device located internally or externally to a computer.

NETWORK - This is the connection of two or more computers or other devices to each other that use the same protocol.

NETIQUETTE - Accepted customs, practices, and common courtesies of electronic communication on the Net.

NEWSGROUP - A collection of articles or comments by readers on areas of common interest.

NODE - A point of termination for two or more communication links which can also forward mail.

NSFNET - A project begun by the National Science Foundation in the mid-1980's. This provides the backbone that is the basis for the Internet which connects thousands of communications networks. .

PROTOCOL - Standardized rules governing the exchange of information between computers.

TCP/IP (TRANSMISSION CONTROL PROTOCOL/INTERNET PROTOCOL) - DARPA funded the project in 1973-74 to set standards allowing internet working of dissimilar networks.

TELNET or TNT 3270 - Programs that permit you to log on to computers other than your own. They allow you to search but not retrieve files. You must FTP to get files.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS - The communication between two or more parties using techniques to overcome physical barriers and distance.

TELECONFERENCING - A technique allowing communication between two or more persons in different locations using telecommunications.

USENET - A set of more than 2,000 discussion groups which exchange messages on specific subjects.

WAN (WIDE AREA NETWORK) - Computer networks that cover wide geographic areas even between countries.

WAIS (WIDE AREA INFORMATION SERVERS) - Database software that works on text files. Waisified=indexed.

WWW (WORLD WIDE WEB[W3]) - A database with strings attached ("hypertext").



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This page was last modified June 17, 2000