The terms that appear on this page have been derived from various sources. Some are conveyed from memory of the author, others from internet queries, and others from member's additions. They have been compiled here for the benefit of our members and guest.
Click a letter to go to that section of the glossary.
Short for application. A computer program designed to be downloaded over a network and launched on a user's computer.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ASCII is a method of representing text and other characters as numbers which allows computers to store, display, and transmit data over a network.
To copy data files to an alternate medium (disk or tape) as a precaution in case the primary medium fails.
A measurement of the amount of information that is transmitted over a network within a given time.
A number system that uses two states, ZERO and ONE, to represent mathematical numbers. For example...
Basic Input/Output System
A set of instructions stored into a read only memory, called a CMOS, or flash ROM on newer computers that can be updated by the user. These instructions tell the computer about how to start up, and other instructions on how to handle displays, keyboards, disk drives, CD/DVD-ROM drives, video cards, and so forth.
A bit (abbreviated b) is the most basic information unit used in computing and information theory. A single bit is a one or a zero, a true or a false, a "flag" which is "on" or "off", or in general, the quantity of information required to distinguish two mutually exclusive states from each other.
The process to start a computer. Some times said to Bootup a computer.
A program that allows users to view web pages. For example: Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape, Mozilla, and FireFox.
Abbreviation for binary term, a unit of storage capable of holding a single character. On almost all modern computers, a byte is equal to 8 bits. Large amounts of memory are indicated in terms of kilobytes (1,024 bytes), megabytes (1,048,576 bytes), and gigabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes). From WEBOPEDIA online encyclopedia.
Catch-All Email Address
Normally, any emails that are addressed to a domain name but does not exist are bounced back to the sender as "message undeliverable". With a catch-all email feature, any incoming emails that go to the account where the username does not exist, can be forwarded to another email address that is specified by the account manager. This way all emails that are sent to the domain will be received.
Common Gateway Interface:
An environment that allows programs/scripts to run on a web server. CGI scripts are used on websites to add interactivity. For example, using CGI scripts, submitted web forms can email the content to a designated mail box.
Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor
A silicone chip which stores the setup variables for a PC, under control of the BIOS.
(1)A password-protected web-based account management interface.
(2)A folder in windows that contains opperationsal applacations and controls.
Central Processing Unit.
The CPU is the brains of the computer where the computations occur for computer operation and running applications.
The amount of storage space on a designated device such as a hard, floppy, zip, or thumb drive.
Domain Name Server or Domain Name System:
A distributed, replicated, data query service chiefly used on the Internet for translating host names/domain names into IP addresses.
A unique series of alphanumeric characters separated by periods, in the form of 'domain.com' that is an address of a computer network connection.
A company that is accredited by ICANN to license domain names. For example, Network Solutions, Melbourne IT, and 'Register.com'.
Denial of Service Attack:
A method of attacking a server by sending an abnormally high volume of requests over a network, which essentially slows down the performance of a server, such that the server is unavailable for any users.
The act of transferring data from a remote computer to a local computer over an electronic connection such as a network.
Digital Signal 3 or Data Service Level 3:
Is a high-bandwidth "pipe" connection to the Internet operating at speeds 44.736 megabits per second. DS3 technology is used for T3 lines.
Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (hard drive) also see IDE.
Electonic mail: The transmission of messages over a communications network.
See Email Forwarding
Forwards email sent to one email address to be forwarded to another specified email address. Also known as: Email Alias.
Graphics Interchange Format is a bit-mapped, compressed graphics file format that is a standard for displaying images on the web. Image files are typically saved as imagename.gif.
Hex or Hexadecimal
A number system that is based on 15 instead of decimal which is based on 10 or binary which is based on 2. Hexadecimal is commonly used in program in assembler language and addressing memory locations. For example...
The first web page that a user will see for a website.
HyperText Markup Language:
A coding language used to create web pages for use on the World Wide Web.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol:
The underlying protocol that defines how content is transmitted through the web.
A clickable element in a web page that, when clicked (selected), transfers the focus to another website, another page within the same website, or allows the user to download a file. Also known as a link.
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers:
A non-profit corporation formed to assume responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions. For more information see:
Integrated Drive Electronics (hard disk) also see EIDE
Internet Protocol addresses are numeric addresses, such as 123.323.23.1, that specifies the location of a particular networked server.
In Program Loader
The boot strap program that holds the instructions to startup a computer, and is part of the BIOS.
Internet Service Provider:
A company that provides access to the Internet, typically for a monthly fee.
An applet written in the Java programming language that can be downloaded over a network and executed on a user's computer.
Joint Photographic Experts Group
A compression technique for color images which has become a standard for displaying images on the web. JPEG files are typically saved as 'imagefile.jpg'.
Stands for Kilobyte.
Stands for Kilobytes per second.
Equals 1,024bytes, a measurement of data transfer or speed.
Local Area Network
A network of computers in close proximity to each other. Such as a home or small office network.
Two or more computers connected together for information exchange. Also see LAN and WAN.
Optical Carrier 12
Is a high-bandwidth "pipe" connection to the Internet operating at speeds 12 x 51.84 = 622.08 megabits per second. Equivalent to approximately 14 T3s.
In recent years, the term PC is used to describe personal computers based on an Intel or Intel-compatible microprocessor.
Portable Document Format (Adobe Acrobat)
Also commonly referred as Portable Document File, but this is incorrect.
Practical Extraction and Report Language PERL is a programming language, with strong capability to process text. It has become one of the most popular programming languages for writing CGI scripts.
A server-side, HTML-embedded, open source scripting language used to create dynamic web pages. For more information see:
Portable Network Graphics
PNG is a graphics format specifically designed for use on the World Wide Web. PNG enable compression of images without any loss of quality, including high-resolution images. Another important feature of PNG is that anyone may create software that works with PNG images without paying any fees - the PNG standard is free of any licensing costs, whereas GIF is not.
(from Glossary of Internet Terms, by Matisse Enzer)
Post Office Protocol 3:
A standard protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server. For sending email see
A set of rules that regulate the way data is transmitted between computers over a network.
A type of video and sound playback format for computers, developed by Apple Computer.
Random Access Memory.
A silicone chip that allows reading and writing for data which can be accessed randomly. Commonly referred to as core or main memory. The data is lost when the power is turned off.
Read Only Memory.
A silicone chip that allows reading of stored data, but can't be changed. The memory is retained when the power is turned off.
Really Simple Syndication: RSS is a format for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, including major news sites like Wired, news-oriented community sites like Slashdot, and personal weblogs. But it's not just for news. Pretty much anything that can be broken down into discrete items can be syndicated via RSS: the "recent changes" page of a wiki, a changelog of CVS checkins, even the revision history of a book. Once information about each item is in RSS format, an RSS-aware program can check the feed for changes and react to the changes in an appropriate way.
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (hard disk interface) Fast replacing the older IDE and EIDE format Hard Drives.
A computer on a network that manages network resources. A computer that processes requests for other computers connect to it on a network.
Special Interest Group
A group of people interested in a common computer topic.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol:
A standard protocol that sends email between mail servers.(For retrieving email see
The electronic equivalent of junk postal mail.
Server Side Include
Is a type of HTML comment that directs the web server dynamically generate data for the web page. SSIs can also be used to execute programs and insert the results into a web page. Web pages that contain SSIs often end with the '.shtml' extension.
Secure Sockets Layer:
A protocol to provide encrypted communications on the Internet.
A technique for transferring data such that it can be downloaded and processed in a continuous stream rather than waiting until the entire file is downloaded. This technique is increasing in importance for audio and multimedia, as users are increasingly impatient to have to wait until a file is completely downloaded in order to view or listen to.
A telephone line connection for digital transmission that can handle 24 voice or data channels at 64 kilobits per second.
A medium used to transmit a DS3 formatted digital signal at 44.736 megabits per second. A T3 can handle 672 voice conversations and is equivalent to 28 T1 carriers.
A terminal emulation program that allows users to remotely access a server on a network. Commands entered through Telnet are executed on the remote server as if your were entering the commands directly on the server console.
The act of transferring data from a local computer to a remote computer over an electronic connection such as a network.
Uninterruptible Power Supply:
A battery-powered power supply that is guaranteed to provide power to a computer in the event of interruptions in electrical power.
Universal Resource Locator:
A web address, for example: http://www.micro-pc.org.
Universal Serial Buss:
A high speed serial transfer port on a PC or device.There are 2 versions, USB 1 and USB 2.
The term virtual is a concept applied in many fields with somewhat differing connotations, and also, differing denotations.
The term has been defined in philosophy as "that which is not real"but may display the salient qualities of the real. Colloquially, 'virtual' is used to mean almost, particularly when used in the adverbial form e.g. "That's virtually [almost] impossible".
This usage of virtual is found in many fields.
Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See source for more details.
A program or piece of code that is maliciously designed to be loaded onto a computer without the users knowledge. A virus often replicates and can attach itself to documents, email itself to a stored contact list, or transmit itself across networks and bypass security systems.
World Wide Web Consortium
An international consortium that develops open standards for web. For more information see:
Wide Area Network
A network of computers over a large area, like the internet.
A type of virus that can replicate itself over a computer network, usually performing malicious actions, such as using up computer resources and possibly shutting the system down.
What You See Is What You Get:
Refers to a program that displays its output contents in the same form as viewing it on paper, such as a word processor.
Extended Hypertext Markup Language:
A variation of HTML with extensions of tags increasing the power of webpage design allowing browsers to better load a website, especially online forms. Very similar to XML. XHTML is expected to eventually replace HTML.
Extensible Markup Language:
A standard web language proposed by the W3C, this language is designed to allow designers to create customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between different organizations. For more information on XML see:
Also, visit Microsoft Developers Network at:
A file transfer protocal which can do multiple file transfers.
A data compersion method used widely on the internet allowing for fast transfer of large files. Associated with PKZIP (to compress files) and PKUNZIP (to uncompress files), and WinZip for MS-Windows OS (Operating System).
A file transfer protocol used to transfer large files between computers. Its predecessors were Xmodem and Ymodem.
To make a view of a file or object larger/smaller. To zoom in (larger) or to zoom out (smaller).