"Many a small thing
has been made large
by the right kind
- Mark Twain
ADSL is the acronym for "asymmetric
digital subscriber line", a phone company technology
that expands the capacity of existing copper telephone
lines. ADSL supports data rates of from 1.5 to 9 Mbps
when receiving data - known as the "downstream"
rate - and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data -
known as the "upstream" rate. ADSL requires
a special ADSL modem.
DOCSIS is the acronym for "Data Over
Cable Systems Interface Specification". This is a
standard interface for cable modems. Many Cable Companies
have adopted the DOCSIS standard so that you will
not have to worry about current or future compatibility.
Support for the DOCSIS standard makes your modem portable:
if you move to another part of the country and your
new cable service provider is DOCSIS compliant, you
will be able to use your DOCSIS cable modem for high
speed Internet connections.
Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is a
technology that uses existing 2-wire copper telephone
wiring to deliver high-speed data services to homes
and businesses. Offering users a choice of speeds
ranging from 144 Kbps to 1.5Mbps, the technology provides
Internet access that is 2.5x to 25x times faster than
a standard 56Kbps dial-up modem.
The maximum DSL speed is determined by the distance
between the customer's site and the Central Office
(CO). At the customer premises, a DSL router or modem
connects the DSL line to a local-area network (LAN)
or an individual computer. Once installed, the DSL
router provides the customer site with continuous
connection to the Internet and use of the telephone
at the same time.
Ethernet is a local-area network (LAN)
protocol developed by Xerox Corporation in cooperation
with DEC and Intel in 1976. Supporting data transfer
rates of 10 Mbps, it is one of the most widely implemented
LAN standards. A newer version
of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet),
supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the
newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates
of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.
ICQ is an instant messaging program
developed by Mirabilis LTD. Prounounced like "I-Seek-You,"
ICQ is similar to AOL's popular Buddy List and Instant
Messenger programs. Many Internet users employ the
program for chat, e-mail, to perform file transfers,
play computer games and more.
Once you have downloaded and installed ICQ onto your
computer, you can create a list of friends, family,
business associates who should also be using ICQ.
ICQ uses this list to locate the members of your list
and notifies you once they have signed onto the Net.
You can then send messages, chat in real time and
Internet Protocol or IP specifies the
format of data packets, also called datagrams, and
the addressing scheme, or where those data packets
will go. Most networks combine IP with a higher-level
protocol called Transport Control Protocol (TCP),
which establishes a virtual connection between a destination
and a source.
IP functions something like our postal system allowing
you to address and a package through the system, but
without a direct link between you and the recipient.
TCP/IP, on the other hand, establishes a connection
between two hosts - or, in our analogy, post offices,
so that they can send messages back and forth for
a period of time.
Internet Relay Chat is a chat system
developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in Finland in the late
1980s. IRC has become very popular because it enables
people to join in live discussions. IRC differs a
lot from web chat in part because it offers a wider
range of functionality. And it's very robust: the
larger IRC networks have thousands of users at once
in thousands of channels.
To join an IRC discussion, you need an IRC client
and Internet access. The IRC client is a program that
runs on your computer and sends and receives messages
to and from an IRC server. The IRC server, in turn,
is responsible for making sure that all messages are
broadcast to everyone participating in a discussion.
ISDN, or "integrated services digital
network" is an international communications standard
for sending voice, video, and data over digital telephone
lines or normal telephone wires. ISDN supports data
transfer rates of 64 Kbps (64,000 bits per second).
Most ISDN lines offered by telephone companies provide
two lines at once, called B channels. One line conveys
voice and the other, data, or both lines together
can convey data at rates of 128 Kbps, three times
the data rate provided by today's fastest telphone
The original version of ISDN employs baseband transmission.
Another version requiring fiber optic cables is called
B-ISDN ("b" is for "broadband") and supports transmission
rates of 1.5 Mbps; it is not widely available.
Short for kilobits per second, Kbps is a measure of
data transfer speed. Note that one Kbps is 1,000 bits
per second, whereas a KB (kilobyte) is actually 1,024
bytes. Data transfer rates are measured using the
decimal meaning of K whereas data storage is measured
using the powers-of-2 meaning of K. Technically, kbps
should be spelled with a lowercase k to indicate that
it is decimal but it is nevertheless widely spelled
with a capital K.
While Internet Relay Chat is the system
for chatting, mIRC is one of the software applications
used for IRC. According to www.mirc.net (where you
can download mIRC), "no one is quite sure what the
'm' in 'mIRC' stands for."
To join an IRC discussion, you need an IRC client
such as mIRC, a program that runs on your computer
and sends and receives messages to and from an IRC
Newsgroups are on-line discussion groups.
There are literally thousands of newsgroups covering
every conceivable interest on the Internet. To view
and post messages to a newsgroup, you need a news
reader, a program that runs on your computer and connects
you to a news server on the Internet.
A Network Interface Card or NIC is
an expansion board inserted into a slot inside your
computer so the computer can be connected to and communicate
on a network. Most NICs are designed for a particular
type of network, protocol and media although some
can serve multiple networks. Note: NIC may
be used interchangeably with, "ethernet adapter".
Short for Post Office Protocol, a protocol
used to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. Most e-mail
applications (sometimes called an e-mail client) use
the POP protocol, although some can use the newer
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol).
There are two versions of POP. The newer version,
POP3, can be used with or without SMTP (Simple Mail
RAM stands for "Random Access Memory",
a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly
- that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without
touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common
type of memory found in computers and other devices,
such as printers.
In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with main
memory, the memory available to programs. For example,
a computer with 8M RAM has approximately 8 million
bytes of memory that programs can use. In contrast,
ROM (read-only memory) refers to special memory used
to store programs that boot the computer and perform
diagnostics. Most personal computers have a small
amount of ROM (a few thousand bytes). In fact, both
types of memory (ROM and RAM) allow random access.
To be precise, therefore, RAM should be referred to
as read/write RAM and ROM as read-only RAM.
The acronym for, "registered jack-45",
this is an eight-wire connector used commonly to connect
computers onto a local-area networks (LAN), especially
Ethernets. RJ-45 connectors look similar to the ubiquitous
RJ-11 connectors used for connecting telephone equipment,
but they are somewhat wider.
SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
is used to send e-mail messages between servers. Most
e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use
SMTP to send messages from one server to another;
the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail
client using either POP or IMAP. In addition, SMTP
is generally used to send messages from a mail client
to a mail server. This is why you need to specify
both the POP or IMAP server and the SMTP server when
you configure your e-mail application.
Spam refers to electronic junk mail
or newsgroup postings, more specifically, unsolicited
e-mail advertising for some product sent to names
on a mailing list or newsgroup.
Because spam wastes time and also eats up a lot of
network bandwidth, there are many organizations and
individuals who assumed the task of fighting spam.
However, the very public nature of the Internet does
make it as difficult to prevent spam as it is to prevent
There is some debate about the source of the term,
but the generally accepted version is that it comes
from the Monty Python song, "Spam spam spam spam,
spam spam spam spam, lovely spam, wonderful spam&"
Like the song, spam is an endless repetition of worthless
text. Another school of thought maintains that it
comes from the computer group lab at the University
of Southern California who gave it the name because
it has many of the same characteristics as the lunchmeat
Spam: nobody wants it or ever asks for it.
The acronym for Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol, TCP/IP refers to the suite
of communication protocols used to connect hosts -
computers - on the Internet. TCP/IP uses several protocols,
with the two most important being TCP and IP. TCP/IP
is the de facto standard for transmitting data
over networks and is thus the standard for communicating
on the Internet. Even network operating systems that
have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support
Universal Serial Bus is an external
bus standard that supports data transfer rates of
12 Mbps (12 million bits per second). A single USB
port can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices,
such as mice, modems, and keyboards. USB also supports
Plug-and-Play installation and hot plugging.