Internet Terms and Their Meanings

Today's article is a short Internet Glossary that will help you to know a few things about common Internet terms even if you are not an Internet or ICT guru.

Attachment - Something connected to an email that gets sent along for the ride. People send photos, files, and even programs this way. It is Also called Enclosures.

Bookmarks or Favorites - A list in one of your browser menus that you can add website addresses to, usually by going to the page, then selecting Add Bookmark, or Add to Favorites from the Bookmark or Favorites menu.

Browser - The program you use to move around on the net. This is different from your email program, though your browser may have an email program built in.

Compressed Files - Files that have been written in a format that takes up less space. Standard on a PC is Zip, standard on a Mac is Stuffit.

Compatibility - Big word for cooperation. This refers to how well programs work with other programs, how hardware works with software, and how two computers share information. Internet formats follow specific guidelines to ensure cross platform compatibility.

Connection - Refers to being online. Connection speeds vary according to the modem and type of connection.

Directory - A folder where you store files. This can be on your computer, or on a remote server.

DNS - Domain Name Server in full, this is part of the information you need to set up an internet account. This is the number for the exact web address that your dial up account is managed through.

Domain Name - A specific internet address, like, this personalized domain name must be registered yearly to make sure you have ownership of it.

Drag and Drop HTML Editor - A web page creation program that allows you to assemble web pages and sites without using HTML code directly. The program creates the code for what you do behind the scenes.

Email - Text based electronic file transfer. It sends only text across an internet connection, address to address. Can convert programs, files, and graphics to text code and send them along for the ride. Cross platform compatibility is an issue with attachments.

Field - A rectangular box that you can type into, used in dialog boxes, database programs, and on internet forms, this is common in Forms, JavaScript, and CGI Scripting.

File Extensions for the Internet - Common ones are .html, ,htm, for web pages, .gif, .jpg for graphics files, .txt, .exe, for text documents or PC programs, .sit, .zip, .sea, .dd for compressed files, .pdf for Adobe Acrobat files and many more too.

File Types - Programs each label files with a code to identify which program created them. That is how they attach the right program to a file when you open it. Some files can be opened by programs other than their creators, but that ability has to be built into the program. Graphics get complex in this category. PCs do this by attaching a File Extension to the end of the name - .exe, .txt, and so forth. Macs do this by invisibly coding it with a 4 letter code.

Format - Changing the way a document presents the information in it, this changes margin, type sizes, columns, and all that. Formatting applies to both the appearance of a finished document, and the way the file is saved.

FTP - File Transfer Protocol in full, is a means of transferring files over the internet, used for file downloads, and for file uploads.

Graphics, Images, Scans, Clipart - Graphic means visual or a picture; image means the same thing. Scans are pictures that have been converted to a digital format so you can store them on computers and play with them in your programs. Clipart is a collection of images that you buy, or get for free, that you can use in your own documents without paying each time you use them. Check copyright notices carefully on clipart, because restrictions vary.

HTML - HyperText Markup Language in full is linking and displaying script language used to instruct computers to display a web page. The page is written in HTML, and your computer interprets the instructions, and displays the page as you see it.

Icons - Little pictures that represent programs and files. You find them almost everywhere that you can access files or programs. They are also used on Websites to simplify navigation.

ISP - Internet Service Provider - Like AOL, Earthlink, or PacBell, these people who you pay each month for the privilege of getting online!

JavaScript - Scripting language that allows you to run Client Side interactive forms, graphics, and mini-applications from a web page.

Link - Text or graphics on a website that allow you to click on them to go to another page, or another place on the same page. Text is usually underlined. Hand pointer Icon appears on links.

Modem - A device that translates analog signals into digital, and digital into analog, so your computer can communicate with another over analog phone lines.

Networking - Connecting two computers, by special cable, or by phone lines, to share resources. Not the same as the internet.

Platform - The operating system you use - Windows, Mac, Unix, OS2, Apple II, DOS are all different platforms. Some are more compatible than others with each other. Unix, Windows, and Mac are the three primary web platforms.

Plug-Ins - Special mini-programs that are stored in a specific folder for the program that uses them. Plug-ins extend the functions of the program that they are added to. Internet and Graphics programs often use them to add features.

Properties, Options, Preferences – These are settings that you can use to customize your programs or operating system to work like you want it to.

Remote Server – This is a computer that "serves" up information. It is not in your house, it is remote, or somewhere else.

Scanner - Converts photos and drawings into a digital map of the picture. Read up on them before you buy. It is almost necessary for website design.

Search Engine - Website that keeps a listing of many websites, lets you type in a word or two and then gives you a list of the websites that it knows about that are about that subject. Websites must be registered with search engines if they are to be found by viewers.

Server - A computer that "serves" information out to other computers as they request it. When you connect to a web page, that page is stored on a server somewhere else.

Server Side Programming - Programs that run on a web page that are powered by software on a remote server.

Shopping Cart - A website that allows you to add items to purchase in a list, then enter order information all at once to purchase online.

SPAM - Unwanted email, junk mail, or prank mail. There is a lot of false mail out there about this person or that is dying please send money, or that this or that thing is a HUGE RISK so protect yourself! Most is false, so don't forward it unless you can prove the validity of scare mail. Email is anonymous and leaves no evidence of the creator of it, so it is easy to perpetrate an email scam.

TCP/IP - Another Internet Protocol, also used for Networking. It works in conjunction with PPP. Mac may use MacTCP instead. Part of Mac software, Open Transport. It is also part of Dialup Networking on a PC.
Time Out - When a website takes so long to download that your browser gets tired of waiting and just quits trying any more.

URL - Universal Resource Locator in full is the technical term for an internet address.

Virus - A hidden program that can be attached to email attachments, and other programs or disks by malicious people. A Virus once started can replicate itself, and may be either a harmless prank, or may damage files. Some viruses are difficult to eradicate. Risk is greater for PC than for Mac. Anti-Virus software protects against viruses on computers, but has to be updated frequently to keep up with new viruses. 90% of internet virus warnings are false. Check before you overreact or forward virus warnings.

Webpage – This is a single page on a website.

Website - A collection of Web pages that work together and are linked together with common ownership.

Quote of the Day: "He who has never suffered lack cannot appreciate the joy of provision."—Sam Awa

Your Ad Here