A Tiny Little Internet Glossary

Courtesy of Great Basin Internet Services

All caps
All capital letters. Typing in ALL CAPS LIKE THIS is often seen by Internet users as "shouting" and should be avoided.
the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network of the U.S. Department of Defense. The ARPANET was the beginning of the Internet.
A way of measuring how much data can pass through a network at a given time and workload.
Baud rate
The speed at which data is transferred over a modem or network. Usually reckoned in "bits per second" so that 2400 baud is 2400 bits per second, while 14,400 baud is 14.4 kilo-bits-per-second.
In email or newsgroups, the actual email or newsgroup message text. Usually comes after the "To," "From," and "Subject" headers. See also: Header
Usually, a program used to view documents on the Worldwide Web. Examples of web browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, SPRY Mosaic, and Lynx.
Case sensitive
Distinguishing between capital and lower case letters. If a system is case sensitive, then BOB, Bob, and bob will be seen as 3 completely different words.
A computer which communicates with a server and receives data from it. Also used to refer to client programs such as web browsers, news readers, or programs that allow one to connect to MOO, MUD, or other systems.
Computer-Mediated Communication
Communication through or via computer. Email, MOO, MUD, and Usenet are examples of computer-mediated communication. See also: Synchronous communication, Asynchronous Communication
Domain name
Usually the part after the host name in an email address or system address. In www.greatbasin.net, "greatbasin.net" is the domain name; in "billgates@theboss.microsoft.com," "microsoft.com" is the domain name. See also: Hostname
Electronic mail. A way of sending messages to others via computer.
Characters of punctuation used to represent emotions. (Hence, "emotion icons.) For example, :-) is a smiley face. Used in email and other text-based media to represent facial expressions.
Ethernet card
A device which allows computers to be directory wired to other computers on a network without using a modem or telephone lines.
Pron. "Fack." Frequently Asked Questions. Usually refers to a document which answers many questions about a certain topic.
A term to mean a computer program or other collection of data under one name. A word processor document is a file once you save it, as are computer programs.
A derogatory or deliberately offensive message posted to email or a Usenet newsgroup
The act of posting a derogatory, offensive, or insulting message to a newsgroup or mailing list or to an individual by email.
Computer programs available on the Internet which can be downloaded and used completely free of charge. See also: Shareware
Pron. "F. T. P." File Transfer Protocol. A means of downloading computer programs and information from the Internet. Anonymous FTP means that you do not need a specific ID or password to get into the system.
Pron. "Gif" ("g" as in "good"), or "Jiff." An image file in CompuServe's "Graphics Interchange Format." A common format for images on the Internet.
A method of finding and connecting different types of information on the Internet. A precursor to the Worldwide Web.
The beginning part of an email message or Usenet posting. Usually contains "From," To," and "Subject" lines among others. See also: Body
Usually, a main document which connects to other documents on a website. See also: Web page, Website
Host name
Usually the first part of the email address after the @, or the first part of a system address. In me@kristinasplace.reno.nv.us, "kristinasplace" is the hostname; in "www.greatbasin.net," "www" is the hostname. See also: Domain Name.
Pron. "H. T. M. L." (Sometimes pronounced "Hot Metal" or "Heavy Metal" by Internet wise guys. ) HyperText Markup Language. The means of putting codes into documents so that they can be served on the WorldWide Web. HTML allows you to link to other pages, display graphics, and load sounds and video files.
Pron. "H. T. T. P." HyperText Transport/Transfer Protocol. The method of transferring HTML documents over the Internet and displaying them on your web browser.
Also called a Hotlink. On a web page, a bit of text or a graphic which, when selected, will connect the user to another part of the current page, another page or another website; download a file, play a sound or video, etc.
Internet, the
The group of computers linked worldwide using Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. Includes email, Usenet, FTP, the Worldwide Web and other resources.
Pron. "Inter-Nick." Internet Network Information Center. Main authority for maintaining lists of domain names and who owns them on the Internet. Because InterNIC maintains a list of all domain names, they also have a searchable databases of Internet addresses.
IP Address
Pron. "I.P. Address". The numerical address that corresponds to a particular hostname or machine on the Internet. IP addresses are of the form "XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX" where there are 4 sets of up to 3 numbers. For example, the IP address for www.greatbasin.net is Each Great Basin customer is assigned their own IP address while they're with us.
Pron. "I. R. C." Internet Relay Chat. A real-time communication environment without the "virtual world" aspect of MUD and MOO.
Pron. "I. S. D. N." Integrated Services Digital Network. A method of connecting computers in a network or to the Internet, usually through high-speed phone lines. Because ISDN lines are set up specifically for data rather than voice transmissions, the line quality is much better allowing much faster data transmissions than regular modems. ISDN supports data transmission speeds up to 128kbps (compare to a fairly fast modem at 28.8kbps!)
Key pal
Refers to email "pen pals."
A common computer program which delivers the mail for Mailing lists. See also: Mailing List, Majordomo
Mail reader
A program that lets a user get, read, and compose email. Popular mail readers are Pine (Unix), Microsoft Exchange, Netscape Mail, and Eudora.
Mailing list
A discussion list run through email. Users who subscribe can send email to all others on the list, and will receive any messages that others post to the group.
A common computer program which delivers the mail for Mailing lists. See also: Mailing list, Listserv. We use majordomo mailing list software at Great Basin.
"Modulator/Demodulator." A device which uses the telephone lines to connect with other computers. Shortened to "MoDem" when it was found that too many people thought of the little alien from Bugs Bunny cartoons when they heard "Modulator/Demodulator."
Pron. "Moo". MUD Object-Oriented. An environment similar to MUD, but with different commands. Where MUD is often a dungeon-game type environment, MOOs tend to be more social or conversationally oriented. See also: MUD
Pron. "Mud". Multi User Domain. An environment on the internet where users can communicate with each other in real time while negotiating a virtual world. See also: MOO
The standards of etiquette and courtesy accepted by users of the Internet.
A new user of the Internet.
News reader
A program that lets a user read and post to Usenet newsgroups.
A single bulletin board in the Usenet system. Users can leave (or "post") messages which remain in the system so that other people can read them and respond at their leisure. See also: Usenet
Pron. "P.P.P." Point-to-Point Protocol. A computer communication protocol that lets computers connect directly to the internet via a modem connection, usually through another system that has a permanent connection.
An experienced user of the Internet
Operating system
A program or group of programs that allows a human to communicate with a computer in various ways. MS-DOS, Unix, Windows 95, Windows NT, and IBM OS/2 are all operating systems. Unix is one of the most common operating systems on the Internet.
To leave a message on a Usenet newsgroup or email discussion list. Also, the message itself is called "a post" or a "posting."
The method which a server and a client use to communicate with each other.
A computer which "serves" data to other computers connected to it. Generally, a server holds certain programs or files in one location so that many computers can access it. See "client."
Computer programs available on the Internet which can be downloaded for free and used for a certain period of time after which you must pay a fee (usually quite small) for continued use. See also: Freeware
Shell Account
A login account on our Unix system. It's called a "shell" account since it lets you use the Unix shell, or operating system. A shell account comes with 5 megabytes of disk space on our server, which most people use to put up a web page.
Snail mail
Refers to mail delivered by the postal service as opposed to the much quicker email.
To send an inappropriate message (such as an advertisement) to all users of a mailing list or newsgroup, or to many newsgroups. Also, the message itself ("a spam" or "a spam message").
System administrator
The person in charge of setting up, maintaining, and operating a computer system, usually a network of some sort. A very important person to know when using the Internet for the first time. The system administrator (or "systems administrator") is usually in charge of setting up new accounts on the system, maintaining the equipment, performing system backups, fixing system problems, and many other sticky system-type things.
Pron. "T.C.P.I.P" Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol: the communication protocol used by computers connected to the Internet.
A way of connecting from yuur computer to a remote computer such that you can type commands to that computer just as if it were sitting on your desktop.
Pron. "Earl" or "You Are Ell." Uniform Resource Locator. A method of standardizing Internet addresses for websites, FTP sites, telnet locations, etc.
A group of thousands of electronic bulletin boards on the Internet. See also: newsgroup
Pron. "Wayce" or "W. A. I. S." Wide Area Information Servers/Service. Internet databases of information, addresses, and other resources.
Web page
A single document on the WorldWide Web. See also: HTML, Web site
A collection of pages or other resources on the web. A website is usually devoted to a single topic and all pages are on the same machine.
WorldWide Web
A way of linking many different kinds of information such as Gopher, FTP, Usenet and other Internet resources. The Web has its own native format called HTML which can be used to write documents that link to these other resources. See also: HTML, Web site, Web page