Glossary

We have compiled this glossary to provide some down-to-earth explanations for some of the unusual words, acronyms and abbreviations used in todays technological jungle.

Anti-virus
Program used to stopor prevent your computer being infected by a computer virus. A computer virus essentially acts like a biological virus and most usually gets into a computer system through unsolicited email.

ASp
Active Server Pages. One of the many versions of delivering dynamic content to the internet user.

B2B
Business to business.

B2C
Business to consumer.

Backup
To make a duplicate copy of data. This is done to protect against data corruption or theft.

Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be sent from one computer to another. This also relates to the amount of data that can be sent between different components in a computer (such as a hard drive or memory).

BCC
Blank carbon copy. This is a field specified in the head of an email that allows you to email the same message to several people without each recipient knowing about the other.

Bit
A bit is the smallest unit of information on a computer. This is rarely referred to as the more common unit is the byte, which is a groupof 8 bits.

Browser
This is the piece of software used to view webpages on the internet. The most common browsers are Internet Explorer and Netscape. Most browsers can show images, text and animations but some, mainly used to give internet access to the blind, only show text content allowing them to be read out audibly by the computer.

Byte
A byte is 8 bits and is the smallest unit of information commonly referred to in computing.

CC
Carbon Copy. This is a field in the head of an email that allows the sender to include other email addresses as recipients of the same email.

CD-ROM
Almost every computer in use today has a CD-ROM drive. The CD-ROM is a form of high-density optical storage that is more commonly used for audio Compact Discs, but which is also used for data storage and software distribution. Previously only available as read-only, recent technological advancements now allow the home user to use a CD-RW (Compact Disc Reader/Writer) to write data onto blank CD-ROM.

CGI
CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is an internet programming languagemost commonly used for handling form processing (ie information request form). CGI can also be used for searching and database control.

CRM
Customer RelationshipManagement

Database
A database is a collection of data ordered into tables of relevant information. Databases are used for user account information, product information (ie items and atributes), website structure and delivery, and many other applications.

Domain
A groupof computers and devices on a network that are treated as a single unit with common rules and procedures. Within the Internet, domains are defined by the Ipaddress. All devices sharing a common part of the Ipaddress are said to be in the same domain.

E-card
The e-card is a credit-card sized CD-ROM, printed on one side with business card type information. The e-card can have 30Mb of data written on to it and will work in any standard CD-ROM drive (slot dries are the exception).

E-Commerce
Electronic Commerce, allowing customers to purchase items and conduct financial transactions over the Internet safely and securely.

E-Mail
Electronic Mail. E-mail allows people to send messages from one computer to another via the internet. Email can be plain text or HTML with embedded images, and an email can have other files "attached" to it. Email is the most common way for viruses to spread across the internet and any unsolicited mail should be deleted to prevent them spreading further.

Encryption
A method of encoding information so that it cannot be read by unwanted parties.

ERp
Enterprise Resource Planning.

Firewall
Firewalls are used to block access to your computer over the internet by malicious hackers, snoopers or intrusive software. The firewall can be software or hardware, but for the home user it is more likely to be software (such as Norton Personal Firewall or McAfee).

Flash
Flash is the industry standard web animation program produced by Macromedia. Flash allows much increased interactivity, better audio management, video embedding and much, much more. Over 98% of internet browsers have at least the Flash 5 plug-in making it better supported than any other non-standard (ie non-W3C compliant) internet technology.

FTp
FTp(File Transfer Protocol) is an internet protocol designed to allow internet users to transfer files between computers. To transfer files via FTpthe user usually needs an FTpprogram such as CuteFTpor WS-FTp. The latest versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape also allow you to use FTpbut does not allow some of the more advanced features available with specialised software.

Gb
Gb stands for Giga byte. A Giga byte is 1,000,000,000 bytes or 1000 Mb. This is not an entirely accurate evaluation but is a good approximation.

Hosting
Hosting is the act of placing a website on a server, registering that server as the computer that hosts the specific domain name. This allows the internet user to access the website and gives the website owner access to their domain email.

HSp
Hosting Service Provider. The company or organistaion that operates and maintains a groupof computers used for hosting websites (usually known as a Server Farm or Data Centre).

HTML
Hypertext MarkupLanguage. The basic programming language of the internet. HTML allows text formatting and the placing of images and other objects on webpages. It is not possible to construct a webpage without using HTML.

HTTp
Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Like FTp, HTTpallows the transfer of webpages and files. HTTpwas designed to allow the delivery of small files (such as webpages) but can be used to transfer other larger files (but not as efficiently as FTp). The main difference is that HTTpworks through a webpage only, whereas FTprelies on a direct connection between two computers.

Ip
Ip(Internet Protocol) specifies the format of internet information packets called datagrams and the internet address of the computer (usually in the format 217.168.xxx.xxx). On most comuters Ipis usually combined with TCp(Transmission Control Protocol) which which establishes a virtual connection between a destination and a source.

Internet
The internet is a global network of computers providing an exchange of data, news and opinions. This is not the World Wide Web, which is just one small part of the internet. The internet allows access to the World Wide Web but is much more than that.

ISp
Internet Service Provider. The compay or groupthat provides internet access to the user.

IT
Information Technology.

Java
Java is an object-oriented language designed to eliminate cross-platform incompatabilites. This means that a Java program will run on any computer system (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, etc) that has a Java Virtual Machine installed on it.

JavaScript
JavaScript is an internet scripting language, loosely based around Java (although not a true programming language). JavaScript integrates seamlessly with HTML and allows websites increased interactivity and the ability to add dynamic content.

Kb
Kilobyte = 1,000 bytes.

Leased Line
A dedicated telecommunications link between two points. Leased lines are available with different bandwidth allowances.

Mb
Megabyte = 1,000 Kb = 1,000,000 bytes

Mirror
A copy of information, generally a web site or File Transfer Protocol (FTp) site, in order to provide redundancy and more widespread access.

Multimedia
Multimedia is a broad term that refers to the delivery of text, images, sound and interactivity in an integrated manner from a computer.

Network
A network is a groupof two or more computers connected by some form of communication medium (ie phone line, network cable, wireless receiver/emitter etc)

OS
Operating System, e.g. Windows NT/2000, UNIX, Solaris and MacOS

Perl
Practical Extraction and Report Language, Perl is a programming language especially designed for processing text. Because of its strong text processing abilities, Perl has become one of the most popular languages for writing CGI scripts.

Photoshop
Adobe Photoshopis the industry standard image manipulation tool used for many tasks, from photo retouching to creating posters. One of the most versatile and powerful programs available to the designer it is essential for a professional finish.

PHp
PHpHypertext Preprocessor is a server-side embedded scripting language that allows increased delivery of dynamic content from databases. PHpcan perform any task that CGI can, but increased compatability with other technologies (SMTp, POP3 etc) makes it much more powerful.

POP3
Post Office Protocol (version 3). The standard protocol usd for the retrieving of email from a mail server.

Protocol
An agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices.

Raster
An image where every pixel is explicitly described (also known as a bitmap). Most digital images are raster images.

Redundancy
The provision of multiple interchangeable components to perform a single function in order to cope with failures and errors.

Server
A powerful computer designed to "serve" (provide) information to multiple users.

SME
Small-to-Medium enterprise.

SMTp
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Used for sending email from server to server. SMTpis required to send email from your computer to your mail server for delivey to the recipient.

SQL
Structured Query Language. SQL is a query language used to retrieve information from databases.

Storyboard
Storyboarding is a technique borrowed from the film industry to plan out a Flash intro for a website. It is important to storyboard to show the client the general look of the intro before committing to an idea.

TCp
Transmission Control Protocol. Enables two hosts to make a connection and exchange data.

Telco
Telecommunications company.

Telnet
Allows a server to be controlled remotely by any computer connected to the internet running a Telnet program.

URL
Uniform Resource Locater. this specifies the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. For example http://www.ambrow.com and ftp://217.168.0.1/stuff.exe are both URL's. The first part specifies the protocol to use, and the second half the Ipaddress or domain name.

Vector
Vector is used to describe an image that is made upof curves and lines described by mathematical equations. Generally used for illustration, vector images are resolution independant which means the same image can be used on a letterhead and a billboard poster.

VPN
Virtual Private Network, a secure network across the Internet (Virtual) where the data is sent encrypted (private).

W3C
World Wide Web Consortium. A organistaion concerned with web standards based at MIT in the USA. Publish a list of definitive standards for internet languages such as HTML, DHTML, XML etc. If the web deisgner/developer follows the sandards of the W3C to the letter, the produced webpage can allegedly be accurately viewed in any browser. In reality this is almost impossible to achieve.

WWW
World Wide Web

Webcast
Broadcast of audio or video over the Internet (sometimes also known as a cybercast).

WAp
Wireless Application Protocol

XML
eXtensible MarkupLanguage. XML is an attempt to seperate design from content.

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