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					v Vancouver Community Network                                                            the regional FreeNet

                                       Handout #2: Definitions

Address: The location of an Internet resource. An       something about you at a later time. Typically, a
email address generally looks like this:                cookie records your preferences when using a A website address can              particular site.
look like this:
                                                        Dial-up Connection: A connection to the Internet
Anti-virus software: Anti-virus (or "antivirus")        via phone line and modem. Connection types
software is a type of program that searches the         include PPP and SLIP.
computer hard drive and floppy disks for any
                                                        Direct Connection: A faster connection to the
                                                        Internet than a dial-up connection. Examples
Attachments: Files that are “piggybacked” onto the      include cable connections (e.g. Shaw Cable) or
text email message and sent from server to server,      ADSL (e.g. Telus).
but attached to a particular email message. Often
                                                        Domain: Internet addresses are divided into smaller
used to send graphics or pages with formatted
                                                        sets known as domains, including “.com” (business
                                                        or commercial), “.gov” (government), “.edu”
Bookmark: A pointer to a particular web site            (education), “.ca” (Canadian), “.org” (organization)
allowing you to find it again easily.                   and .net (network configuration). for a massive list
                                                        of extensions, see
Browser: A program run on the local computer for
viewing World Wide Web pages. Examples include          Download: Refers to the copying of a file from any
Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.                online (internet) source to your local computer. The
                                                        term “downloading” is usually used in connection
Cache: A region of memory on your computer
                                                        with actively copying a file, as opposed to the
where frequently accessed data can be stored for
                                                        automatic download some Internet programs do on
rapid access.
                                                        a regular basis.
Client/Server Architecture: Clients are little
                                                        Email: Electronic text messages that are sent from
computers. They are connected using a cable, or
                                                        server to server. Clients with email accounts and
your telephone line, to big computers called servers.
                                                        passwords can access their mail using email client
The big computers are connected to each other.
                                                        software, such as Outlook or Eudora.
Servers are designed to “serve up” files and
documents to the clients. Using your client, you can    FAQs: A collection of Frequently Asked Questions
contact the VCN server and say “Give me the             and answers.
CBC’s web page.” The VCN server goes to the
                                                        File Extensions: File names typically have
CBC’s server and says, “Give me that web page”,
                                                        extensions. This refers to the last three letters after
and then passes it to you.
                                                        the dot in the file name (e.g. memo.doc).
Compression Software: Software which                    Extensions indicate what program created the file.
compresses or “zips” a file to reduce storage space     For instance, .doc files refer to MS Word
and transfer times.                                     documents, and .txt are text only documents.
Computer Directory Structure: Everyone has his          Firewall: A firewall prevents outsiders from
or her own filing system. The computer allows you       accessing private data resources and controls what
to set up all your files so you can find them again     outside resources users have access to. A simple
using what is called a Directory Structure. You can     firewall screens requests to make sure they come
make folders and then sub folders, and then sub sub     from acceptable (previously identified) domain
folders, all of which store files. ou can see the       name and Internet Protocol addresses.
directory structure of your computer through
                                                        Flame: An insulting message exchanged via email
Windows Explorer.
                                                        or within newsgroups. To be avoided.
Cookies: A cookie is information that a Web site
puts on your hard disk so that it can remember

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v Vancouver Community Network                                                          the regional FreeNet

                                       Handout #2: Definitions

Home Page: The website that automatically loads         Reboot: Restarting the computer. If something
when you open your browser. You can change this.        goes wrong, rebooting is a good idea.
Also refers to the first page of a website.
                                                        Search Engine: A tool for searching for
ISP or Internet Service Provider: The company           information on the internet by topic. Popular
providing your connection to the internet via either    engines include Google, Yahoo, and Altavista.
a dial-up connection or a direct connection (e.g.       There are several types of search engines, including
cable or ADSL).                                         categories (e.g. Yahoo) and web crawlers (e.g.
Internet: The worldwide network of computers
communicating via an agreed-upon Internet               Spam: Refers to unwelcome messages sent or
protocol. You access the internet by using a cable or   delivered to news groups, mailing lists or
your phone line.                                        individuals to promote a commercial product, web
                                                        site, or an idea.
Log In: A procedure used at the start of some
applications to verify a user’s identity.               Video Software: Streaming video is a sequence of
                                                        "moving images" sent in compressed form over the
Netiquette: Short for Internet etiquette. For
                                                        Internet. Each image is displayed by the viewer as it
example, in email, words in capital letters are the
                                                        arrives. Streaming media is streaming video with
equivalent of shouting. See
                                                        sound. The media is sent in a continuous stream and or
                                                        is played as it arrives. The user needs a player, for some
                                                        which can be downloaded from various websites.
suggested netiquette.
                                                        Virus: A virus is a piece of programming code
Network: A system of connected computers
                                                        disguised as something else that causes some
exchanging information with each other.
                                                        unexpected and usually undesirable event. A virus
Operating System: The software on a computer            is often designed so that it is spread to other
that coordinates the operation of application           computer users. Some viruses wreak their effect as
software and hardware. We are using Microsoft           soon as their code is executed; other viruses lie
Windows. Linux is another example. Macintosh            dormant until circumstances cause their code to be
computers use Mac OS.                                   executed by the computer. Some viruses are playful
Path Name: Windows makes special names called           and some can be quite harmful, erasing data or
“path names” that tell you where a file is kept, so     causing your hard disk to require reformatting.
you can find it again.                                  Web Link: A “hyperlink” on the internet can be a
For example: C:\mydocuments\finance\stmt.doc            blue underlined word, a graphic or coloured text.
                                                        Clicking once on the link will take you to a
Plug-in: A small application that extends the built-    different file on the same or on another server.
in capabilities of your Web Browser. For example,
RealAudio, which offers streamed sound files over       Web Page / Web Site: File(s) on a server
the internet, or RealPlayer, which offers video over    connected to the Internet, which you can display
the internet.                                           using your web browser software.

Portable Document Format (PDF) File: A file             Zip: A compressed file format (.zip). Many files
format that has captured all the elements of a          available on the Internet are compressed or zipped
printed document as an electronic image that you        to reduce storage space and transfer times. To
can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone        uncompress the file, you need a utility like PKZIP
else. The free Acrobat Reader, available at             (DOS) or WinZip (Windows)., allows you to view these files.
Once you've downloaded and installed Acrobat, it
will start automatically whenever you want to look
at a PDF file.

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