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A Brief Lexicon of internet words


An address is the unique identifier you need to either access the services of an Internet site or  send
email.  Internet site address is also called URL. Chances are you're already familiar with email
addresses. They're e in the form of and provide a unique identifier for your in-box so your mail can find you.


In practice, it's how you describe how much data you can stuff over a single connection in a given time. In
technical terms, it's the difference (measured in Hertz) between the high and low frequencies of the connection. Unfortunately, you don't usually hear the word "bandwidth" bandied about unless you don't have enough of it. While 14.4 or 28.8Kbps does fine for sending text, still pictures, and the occasional sound file, for routine full-motion video downloads, an ISDN line only begins to solve the bandwidth issues you face.

What makes a great commercial Web Site
    red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Web features that can help your business?
    red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) On-line advertising of your product line or services
    red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) On-line questionnaires and forms to allow customers to ask questions, request product info, or give feedback "Counters" to report statistics on the number of people viewing your site and what they are browsing
    red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Captivating graphics and banner advertisements

Reasons for creating a commercial
Web Site:

red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Reach thousands of potential customers per day.
red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Provide your customers with instant information about your  products or services around the clock
red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Allow product information to be updated as often as necessary
red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Offer an instant regional, national, and international presence to your company
red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Advertise and provide customer support at very low cost
red-bullet.jpg (933 bytes) Create a high-tech polish for your organization using a cutting edge medium
Some Statistics:
Estimated number of current Internet users: 70 million
Estimated size in three years: 200+ million
Estimated current total sales via Internet:
Projected sales via Internet by the year 2000:

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Just like the cardboard ones you stick into a printed book, a bookmark is a placeholder to a particular URL, or web address, that you set once into your Internet browser software for ready access later.
Bookmarks are typically used to record a site you want to return to,


"Browser" is the generic term for any piece of software that lets you see web pages. You may use the Netscape Navigator browser (currently the most popular browser in the world), or perhaps you use the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser or a flavor of Mosaic. The America Online software also includes a browser. The very first web browsers, such as Lynx, only allowed users to see the text of web pages. The Mosaic browser was the first to
introduce graphics to the mix.


Online chat is just like chatting over tea with friends, except the participants may be anywhere in the world, and the words are typed instead of spoken. Chat takes place in real time or one you visit regularly.


If you've ever wandered around a web shopping mall throwing goodies into a virtual shopping cart, you've
been making web cookies. A cookie is a small piece of information that a web server (such as the one that holds the web shopping mall) sends to your browser to hold onto until it's time for the server to read it. For
instance, the cookie made while you shop around a web mall contains a list of the items you're planning to
purchase. When you head to the checkout desk, the server collects the cookie from your browser to see what you're buying. Cookies also have expiration dates and instructions about which sites can "eat" them, along with security information to protect your buying info. Alphabet Soup Watch: Why do they call it a cookie, anyway? No reason; they just wanted a cute name. (An alternate view is that they were
thinking of a "magic cookie" in Dungeons and Dragons, or of the cute "cookie monster" pseudo-virus that made the rounds on the Net for
many years.)


Just as a PC's file extensions (such as .doc for MS Word files) give some indication of what kind of file it is, the last part of an Internet site's domain name tells what kind of site it is. The most rapidly expanding of these is ".com," as in, our address.
Other common ones include .edu, for educational institutions, .gov for government, and .mil, for military sites. For sites based outside the U.S., there are plenty others. You can guess the origin of .uk, for instance. It gets more confusing once you start dealing with other countries' sub-domains, such as the UK's ".ac" for academic.


You've probably put software on your computer by putting diskettes into a disk drive. Online, you can get software by downloading it. The software sits on Computer X; you use your browser or an FTP (file-transfer protocol) program to find and retrieve the software to your computer. If you had software you wanted to send to another computer, you'd reverse the process; this is known as "uploading."


Short for electronic commerce.
Conducting business on-line. This includes,
for example, buying and selling products with digital cash and via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).


Email is electronic mail. It's the digital, packetized means of transmitting messages via phone lines to other people's computers using an online service or ISP.


You've probably put software on your computer by putting diskettes into a disk drive. Online, you can get
software by downloading it. The software sits on Computer X; you use your browser or an FTP
(file-transfer protocol) program to find and retrieve the software to your computer. If you had software you wanted to send to another computer, you'd reverse the process; this is


The word "graphic" refers to any file that stores an electronic version of a picture. The format used may range in detail from a black-and-white line-art drawing to a high-resolution photo using millions of colors. Graphic file types include .EPS, .GIF, .JPG, .PCX, and .TIF.


Although it's one of the newly minted buzzwords of the Internet, along with "information superhighway" and "surfing," "interactive" refers to any technology that allows the user to exchange information with a computer program, so that the user and the program "interact." This interaction can be as simple as clicking buttons or typing something in, or as complex as steering a car or navigating a virtual world. With such a wide definition, it's no wonder the word has been tossed around so much as to make it completely meaningless.



The interface is what you see when you look at your monitor -- the collection of words, pictures, buttons, menus, and other stuff that lets you do things. Every computer program you use has an interface; some are better (easier to use, more attractive, understandable, "intuitive") and some are worse. (The very best interfaces ae often carefully researched, tested, and designed to ensure that people are able to use them easily.) You'll also hear talk about the "graphical interfaces" of the Mac and Windows systems, each of which naturally affects the interfaces of individual programs that run on the Mac or the PC. In a broader sense, the point of connection between any two parts of the computer (modem and main computer, keyboard and mouse for you Mac users) is an interface. Yes, this means you're part of the computer!


An internet can refer to any distributed
network of computers, but you probably want to know about the Internet with a capital "I." Simply put, it's the largest of the internets. But at its heart, it's just a bunch of computers all over the world hooked up to one another so they can exchange information. To exchange information they use protocols such as FTP, Gopher, and Hypertext Transport Protocol or HTTP (the protocol that transfers World Wide Web information.)


Internet Network Information Center (or InterNIC), a private company funded in part by the National Science Foundation (whose NSFnet evolved into the Internet as we now know it). This clearinghouse keeps tabs on all registered domains -- whether or not the
domains are currently in use -- and handles registration for newcomers.


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Internet Protocol (or IP) is the packet-switching protocol through which everything happens on the Internet. More specifically, it's the underlying network beneath TCP/IP that creates the addressing scheme that allows computers to find each other. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a group of experts, vendors, and end-users, helps to define and refine each successive

IP address

Just as postal addresses have been codified so that snail mail can be delivered correctly -- name on the first line, company name on the second line, street address third, etc.-- IP addresses have been codified to allow Internet information (from Web pages to e-mail) to be delivered correctly. To the Internet, a given server's IP address is all numbers and dots in the format "," but since humans aren't as good as computers at remembering numbers, IP numeric addresses also have a textual representation. The usual format is [machine name].[sponsoring organization].[type of organization, such as ".com"].


An "ISP" (Internet service provider) is a company that provides Internet access to consumers. Your communications software makes a local call to your ISP, which in turn
connects to the Internet through high-speed phone lines (see "T1"). Once connected, you can exchange e-mail, surf the Web, or perform any other Internet activities.

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The connection between one web page and another. On the Web, a link can be either text or graphics. Often a browser will indicate links by coloring them differently than plain text or graphics.
Sometimes, links are referred to as "hyperlinks" or even "hotlinks."


Just as every person on the Net has a unique email address, every file and page on the We;

b has a unique URL. The URL is the address of a web page. You can see the URL for the web page you're on now; look up above the page to the thin white horizontal box. The jumble of letters in there is the URL. The first part of the URL (http) tells the browser it's looking for a web page. The rest gives the name of the computer that holds the page (, the directory it's in (resources/glossary) and the name of the file that makes up the page (g3.html). You can instantly jump to any page on the Web by typing the page's URL into the white box. Alphabet Soup Watch: URL stands for "Uniform Resource Locator." http stands for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol."

World Wide Web 

Also called WWW, W3, or just the Web, the World Wide Web is the whole gamut of hypertext servers
that let HTML programmers present virtual, on-screen pages combining text, graphics, audio, and other file types -- not to mention links to other pages.
Users point and click to access World Wide Web pages using browser software, such as Netscape
Navigator, which provides the front-end once the Internet connection is actually established.

A bit of electronic magic can add to your bottom line. Contact us and we will show you how.

1998 Oasis Computer Graphics;
All rights reserved.

Last updated August 29, 2003
Webdesigner Eva Maliarakis


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