What do all those terms mean?



Mini-programs that can be downloaded & used with a Java-capable browser


Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.
Provides asymmetric rates of 1.5Mpbs to 9 Mbps downstream, 15 Kbps to 640 Kbps upstream.
Speeds decrease farther from the central office, to a maximum distance of 18,000 feet. Within ADSL itself are two variants, resulting from a several-year-old debate over two modulation schemes.


Range of frequencies that travel over a communication link. Higher bandwidth means the more information can move back-and-forth


Bulletin Board Service
Usually a local dial-up service that provides information, software, technical support and/or online games


Bits per Second

Cable modem

Computer device using a high-speed coaxial line carrying cable-TV signals. Capable of receiving data at speeds up to 10 million bps, about 700X faster than a 14.4 modem


Special high-speed storage mechanism. Two types of caching are commonly used in personal computers: memory caching and disk caching. Pcwebopedia - Cache


Channel Service Unit/Data Service Unit
The CSU is a device that performs protective and diagnostic functions for a telecommunications line. The DSU is a device that converts digital data into analog signals that can be sent over a dedicated telephone line. Typically, the two devices are packaged as a single unit. You can think of it as a very high-powered and expensive modem. Pcwebopedia - CSU/DSU


A local-area network (LAN) protocol supporting data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. Pcwebopedia - Ethernet


Frequently Asked Questions
Lists of questions and answers about a specific topic. Most Newsgroups have FAQs that should be read before posting to the group. Archived FAQs are available at


File Transfer Protocol

GIF - Interlaced

A graphic this is written so that when downloaded, it looks at first like it is out of focus, then it gradually comes into focus.

GIF - Transparent

A graphic that has one of its colors set to be transparent. When displayed against a background, the background or color shows through.


A tool for navigating the Internet to locate files and services.


High bit rate DSL.
Provides symmetric speeds of between 512 Kbps and 1.544 Mbps or even 2,048 Mbps on lines limited to 12,000 feet from a telephone company central office.


Hypertext Transport Protocol


HyperText Markup Language
The authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. Pcwebopedia - HTML


ISDN-based DSL.
Provides transmission rates of 128 Kbps on lines 18,000 feet from the telephone company central office.


A global system connecting more than a million computers. Pcwebopedia - Internet


A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. Pcwebopedia - Intranet

IP Address

The number that identifies your machine as unique on the Internet


Internet Relay Chat - program designed to allow users to communicate via typed conversations in "real time."


Integrated Services Digital Network
Special high-speed telephone line that carries voice, video & data at speeds up to 128,000 bps. Pcwebopedia - ISDN


International Telecommunication Union
An intergovernmental organization through which public and private organizations develop telecommunications. It is responsible for adopting international treaties, regulations and standards governing telecommunications. Pcwebopedia - ITU


A programming language by Sun Microsystems. Applets include their own software players so you can download & run them on any computer. Allows animations, sounds & instant updates of information. Pcwebopedia - Java


Local-Area Network
A computer network that spans a relatively small area such as a single building or group of buildings. Pcwebopedia - LAN


Multi-Part Internet Mail Extension


A modem is a device that enables a computer to transmit data over telephone lines. Pcwebopedia - Modem


A group of two or more computer systems linked together. Pcwebopedia - Network


An Internet standard protocol (built on top of TCP/IP) that assures accurate synchronization to the millisecond of computer clock times in a network of computers. Based on UTC, NTP synchronizes client workstation clocks to the U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clocks in Washington, DC and Colorado Springs CO. Running as a continuous background client program on a computer, NTP sends periodic time requests to servers, obtaining server time stamps and using them to adjust the client's clock.


PHP Hypertext Preprocessor
A scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. With syntax from C, Java and Perl, PHP code is embedded within HTML pages for server side execution. It is commonly used to extract data out of a database and present it on the Web page. NT/2000 and Unix Web servers support the language, and it is widely used with the mSQL database. PHP was originally known as "Personal Home Page."


Plain Old Telephone Service


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. Pcwebopedia - RAM


Specialized machine that runs various protocols to direct network packets from one segment to another. Routers are the glue that holds the Internet together. Pcwebopedia - Router


Microsoft's Rich Text Format


"Small Computer System Interface"
A parallel interface standard used for attaching peripheral devices to computers. Pcwebopedia - SCSI


A dedicated computer or device on a network that manages network resources. A "File Server" is dedicated to storing files. A "Print Server" is a computer that manages one or more printers, and a "Network Server" is a computer that manages network traffic. Pcwebopedia - Server


Single-line HDSL.
Provides speeds of 384 Kbps to 768 Kbps for lines running to 12,000 and 18,000 feet from the telephone company's central office, respectively.


Technology for animations used with Director to be played back on the Web in real time, instead of waiting to download the file


Short for Simple Network Time Protocol, a simplified version of Network Time Protocol (NTP)


A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 45Mbits per second. A T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports 64Kbits per second. T-3 lines are sometimes referred to as DS3 lines. Pcwebopedia - T-3


Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
A set of rules that controls communication. It lets different computers and networks understand each other. TCP/IP is a network protocol that allows information to move across the Internet. Pcwebopedia - TCP/IP


Internet protocol that allows users to log onto remote computers.


Uniform Resource Locator
The global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. Pcwebopedia - URL


An ITU standard for high-speed synchronous data exchange. In the U.S., V.35 is the interface standard used by most routers and DSUs that connect to T-1 carriers.


A standard for 56-Kbps modems approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in February, 1998. The V.90 standard resolves the battle between the two competing 56 Kbps technologies -- X2 from 3COM and K56flex from Rockwell Semiconductor.


Very high bit rate DSL.
Provides 13 Mbps to 52 Mbps downstream and 1.5 Mbps to 2.3 Mbps upstream. Speeds decrease with distance from the central office, to a maximum distance of 4,500 feet.


Virtual Reality Modeling Language
Tool for programming 3D virtual worlds on the Web


Wide-Area Network
A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs). Pcwebopedia - WAN

Other cool sources for Internet definations are:

  • Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
  • Netdictionary
  • NetLingo
  • TechWeb Technology Encyclopedia
  • PC Webopedia The #1 online encyclopedia and search engine dedicated to computer technology.
  • Ultimate Computer Acronyms Archive
  • Whatis?Com

    Humorous Definations

    PCMCIA         People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms
    ISDN           It Still Does Nothing
    APPLE          Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity
    SCSI           System Can't See It
    DOS            Defective Operating System
    BASIC          Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control
    IBM            I Blame Microsoft
    DEC            Do Expect Cuts
    CD-ROM         Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months
    OS/2           Obsolete Soon, Too.
    WWW            World Wide Wait
    MACINTOSH      Most Applications Crash; If Not, The Operating
                   System Hangs
    PENTIUM        Produces Erroneous Numbers Through Incorrect
                   Understanding of Mathematics
    COBOL          Completely Obsolete Business Oriented Language
    AMIGA          A Merely Insignificant Game Addiction
    LISP           Lots of Infuriating & Silly Parentheses
    MIPS           Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed
    WINDOWS        Will Install Needless Data On Whole System
    GIRO           Garbage In Rubbish Out
    MICROSOFT      Most Intelligent Customers Realize Our Software
                   Only Fools Teenagers

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