ARPANET: Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, the precursor to today's Internet. Developed by Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), the first packet-switched ARPAnet link connected the Univeristy of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in November, 1969. Other defense contractor and research sites were added to the ARPAnet, while non-military TCP/IP-based networks evolved independently. Eventually, ARPAnet linked with other networks, creating The Internet. ARPANet was formally decommissioned in 1990. 

ATM: Asynchronous Transfer Mode. An international standard for cell relay established by the ITU-J. Multiple service types (voice, data, video) are conveyed in small, fixed-size cells. 

bps: Bits Per Second - a measurement of data transmission speed. 

BGP-4: Boarder Gateway Protocol Version 4, an interdomain routing protocol that more efficiently distributes packets between independent networks than the older EGP (Exterior Gateway Protocol). 

CGI: Common Gateway Interface, an Application Program Interface (API) peculiar to the UNIX operating system which allows a Web server to pass data from an HTML document to a CGI script, which runs various programs as necessary and returns resulting data for display over the Web.

CIDR: Classless interdomain routing, a technique supported by BGP-4 that allows routers to group routes together in order to reduce the amount of routing information overhead. With CIDR, several IP networks' traffic appears to networks outside the group as a single, larger entity.

CIX: Commercial Internet Exchange, a non-profit trade association of Public Data Internet service providers promoting and encouraging development of the public data communications internetworking services industry in both national and international markets. CIX Association, P0 Box 1451, Sterling, Virginia 20167-9998. Voice: (703)824-9249 or

COM port: Serial ports on the IBM PC compatible computer, usually, but not always used for data communications, are referred to by system designators COM1, COM2, COM3...etc. 

CPE: Customer Premise Equipment. 

cps: Characters Per Second - characters usually referring to a single 8-bit byte of data. With start and stop bits, a total transmission of 10 data bits is usually required to transmit a single character or data byte. 

CSUIDSU: Customer Service Unit/Digital Service Unit. A hardware device that provides a digital interface to high-speed leased lines (see Ti). Looks and acts like a modem, and all too many people call it a "digital modem." However, a CSU/DSU does not MODulate or DEModulate analog (voice) signals; it deals with digital signals from end to end. 

DNS: Domain Name Service, a two-column look-up table system of matching mnemonic machine names such as to their numeric IP addresses ( The tables are maintained at local, regional, and global levels by various organizations, making it easier for humans to find their way around the Internet or their LAN.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions - a file established for many public discussion groups containing questions and answers new callers often ask.

FODI: Fiber Distributed Data Interface, an ANSI standard defining a 100-Mbps token-passing network using fiber optic cable. Transmission distance may be up to 2km without repeaters. 

FIX: Federal Internet Exchange, a network of exchange points that interconnect federal government networks. 

Frame Relay: a protocol used between user devices (such as hosts and routers) and network equipment (such as switching nodes). More efficient than the X.25 protocol. 

FTP: File Transfer Protocol - an application program that uses TCP/IP internetworks as a medium for transferring files. You can logon to an ftp site using an ftp program and transfer files from their site to your local desktop using a GET command. We recommend and use ourselves the ftp programWS_FTP LE which is available free for noncommercial use, or WS_FTP PRO is available for a nominal fee for professional use. Many sites allow ANONYMOUS ftp. At the login prompt, enter ANONYMOUS as the login name, and at the password prompt enter your e-mail address as password. You will have access to a limited number of public directories from which you can retrieve files. 

Home Page or Homepage: the top-level hypertext document in a collection of linked HTML documents. Often, the document implied in a WWW site's URL, e.g. is generally rendered as, which are essentially equivalent. 

HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language, the programming language used to create WWW pages and define the functions to be performed when one clicks on a button, image, or hypertext link embedded in the page.

HTTP: Hyper Text Transport Protocol. The method by which the World Wide Web provides hypertext links between web pages - often located on entirely different machines. 

ICMP: Internet Control Message Protocol, a network layer Internet protocol that provides message packets to report errors and other IP packet processing information. Commonly known as PING. 

InterNIC: Internet Network Information Center, a key source of Internet information and directory services as well as registration of domain names. AT&T Corp. runs the database and directory sertices, while Network Solutions, Inc., is responsible for domain name registrations. See; voice (703)742-4777 for Network Solutions Inc. 

IP: Internet Protocol. The underlying packet protocol used to connect networks over the Internet. The term "IP address" refers to a unique number that is distributed by the InterNIC to Internet backbone providers and ultimately assigned by ISP's and WSP's to thier clients for various purposes. An IP address can be used in place of a Domain Name when browsing the WWW or loging onto an FTP server. For example, the URL of is equivalent to the URL of

ISP: Internet Service Provider, a reseller of Internet access services usually involving Internet dial-up access via modem.

ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network, an all-digital telephone system specification. Basic Rate Interface (BRI) consists of two 64 Kbps bearers or B data channels and one 16 Kbps supervisory "D" channel, leading to the designation "2B+D." BRI ISDN can deliver data to the home at speeds up to 128 Eops by combining the two B channels and is the only digital telephone solution capable of using existing copper wire to the home. 

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group - a standard for compressing digital photographic images. 

KB: Kilobyte - 1024 bytes - often generically applied to 1000 bytes as well. 

Kbps: Kilo Bits Per Second - a measure of data transmission speed indicating 1024 bits transmitted in one second. 

LEC: Local Exchange Carrier - local telephone company.

Mbps: Mega Bits Per Second - a measurement of data transmission speed indicating 1024 kilobits per second or 1048576 bits per second. 

MB: Megabyte - technically 1024 kilobytes or 1,048,576 bytes, but often applied to the more rounded term of one million bytes as well. 

MBONE: Multicast Backbone on the Internet, a popular network for real-time audio and vidio applications. IP-Multicast is the class-D addressing scheme in IP. IP multicast-based routing facilitates distributed applications to achieve time-critical "real-time" communications over wide area IP networks through a lightweight, highly threaded model of communication. See or Email:

MIME: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, extensions to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) that allow the transmittal of non-text information (graphics, etc.) via email.

MPEG: Motion Picture Experts Group - a standard for compressing digital video images. 

NAP: Network Access Point, one of four primary connections to the Internet designated by the National Science Foundation to provide connections to Regional Network Providers and Network Service Providers, which in turn provide connections to smaller entities. 

NNTP: Net News Transfer Protocol - a protocol used to transfer USENET News Groups from one Internet site to another via Internet Protocol. 

NSF: National Science Foundation, which nmds U.S. scientific research and for many years inded and administered the NSFnet, which wu the backbone of today's Internet. NSFnet was discontinued on April 30, 1990. NSF nili hands Network Solutioma Inc., which maintains the top level domain name database for the entire Internet. 

NSP: National (Internet) Service Provider, an ISP which services nationwide market with POPs in nost metropolitan areas. Examples indud&fletcom, CMS and MCI Internet. 

NTP: Naetwork Time Protocol, a TCP/IP protocol which allows a user's computer clock to be synchronized with the network clock.

Ping: an application program that will tell you if a particular entity is presently connected to the Internet. Useful in diagnosing connection problems or checking up on employees who should be working instead of playing Doom. See also finger and WhoIs. See also ICMP. 

POP: Point of Presence - in the telephone world this is the geographic location of a particular switch or service. 

POP3: Post Office Protocol - an alternative mail protocol used to service intermittent dialup connections to the Internet whereby mail is held until the caller makes the connection and requests mail. Most SLIP or PPP dialup account users will receive mail from a POP3 account using a program such as PC Eudora. 

PPP: Point to Point Protocol - a type of Internet Protocol used via serial connections by modem. A dialup connection providing IP conectifity. Developed later than Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) to accomplish the same intermittent dialup connection function. 

Protocol: A system of rules and procedures governing communications between two devices. File transfer protocols in your communications program refer to a set of rules governing how error checking will be performed on blocks of data. 

RBOC: Regional Bell Operating Company - a provider of local telephone service such as U.S. West or Bell Atlantic. 

RFC: Request for Comments, one of a series of formal documents edited and managed by the IAB. RFCs are the primary means of commuicating information about the Internet, its technical standards and protocols, its history and culture. Archives of RFCs can be found at the InterNIC, and at many other Internet sites. 

Router: Adevice that connects two or more networks, such as your LAN in Boise and mine in Chicago, at the network layer. "Also," according to Bernard Aboda's The Online User's Encyclopedia, "an expensive device manufactured by hi tech firms with inflated stock prices."

Server: a computer dedicated to providing specific services to client computers. Print servers, for example, do nothing but accept, store, and print out jobs sent to them by other computers. An FTP server is dedicated to file-suckers everywhere. 

SLIP: Serial Line Internet Protocol - an implementation of IP over serial ports/modems, usually on an intermittent dialup basis. Developed by Rick Adams of UUNET Technologies, SLIP is a predecessor of the Point of Presence Protocol (PPP) also used for dialup IP connections.

SMTP: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - the most common method for relaying electronic mail over the Internet. 

T1: A classification of leased telephone line service offering 23 voice channels and 1 supervisory channel or 1.544 Mbps digital data service. 

TCP/IP: Transmission Control Program/Internet Protocol. The basic packet protocol used to connect machines globally on the Internet is referred to as the Internet Protocol or IP. The Transmission Control Prototcol (TCP) interacts with IP to provide an application protocol interface. The term has come to generically refer to a family of protocols used to connect local area networks to one another, forming and internet, and more specifically the global internetwork referred to as The Internet. 

TELNET: An application program that allows users to interactively logon to menued services provided at TCP/IP internet sites.

UDP: User Datagram Protocol, part of the IP family of protocols, UDP adds reliability and multiplexing to IP datagrams. 

URL: Uniform Resource Locator, a system of references to differnet Internet sites indicating both the site and type of protocol or application program used to reache it: e-mail, ftp, http, gopher, telnet, etc... Example: indicates a Hyper Text Transport Protocol address on the World Wide Web (WWW) with location 

USENET: Users Network, one of the earliest networks of computers which exchange e-mail conferences via the Internet using UUCP nd NNTP. Properly capitalized in full but often rendered as "Usenet." Estimated to include over 70,000 nodes, 12,000 newsgroup conferences, and 2 million readers. 

V.34: International standard for modem data communications at speeds of up to 28,800 bits per second. 

WAN: Wide Area Network, a network typically spanning inter-city distances. 

WINSOCK: A Dynamic Link Library (DLL) program for Microsoft Windows that provides a simple program interface to TCP/IP services. Originally developed by Net-Manage, Inc, it has become the model for most Windows based Internet application programs. The most widely used WINSOCK.DLL would be the shareware program TRUMPET Winsock. Internet application programs then use WINSOCK for TCP/IP services. 

WSP: Web Service Provider, a reseller of World Wide Web hosting services.

WWW: World Wide Web, a network of graphical hypertext servers linked by The Internet offering graphics, sound, text, and in some cases video clips providing information. 


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