Glossary of Useful Technology Terms

Ad Banner
World Wide Web graphic element that links to an advertiser's web site.
Audio Interchange File Format, a type of sound file.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a widely used text set that describes up to 255 characters or code points.
Active Server Pages; a specification for a dynamically created web pages with an .ASP extension that utilizes ActiveX scripting -- usually VB Script or Jscript code. When a browser requests an ASP, the web server generates a page with HTML code and sends it back to the browser.
Communication that does not depend on the two parties talking at the same time.
Aspect Ratio
Proportional image sizing during image enlargement or reduction, expressed as a width-to-height ratio.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode, a high bandwidth technology that enables rapid transmission of large files. Also stands for Automated Teller Machine.
Audio Visual Interface, a Microsoft graphics standard for compressed movie clips.
The measure of a medium's data transfer capability.
Bit Depth
The number of bits in a pixel, used to describe a monitor's graphic resolution.
The description of images or fonts within a grid of pixels.
Term describing advanced networks that deliver high-speed data access.
Software used to display and navigate web pages. Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Safari are browsers.
Cable Modem
Modem technology that uses standard coaxial television cable to deliver increased access speed to the internet without a telephone dial-up connection.
Hardware or software techniques that expedites data flow.
Cascading Style Sheets; a newer feature added to HTML that gives both Web site developers and users more control over how pages are displayed. With CSS, designers and users can create style sheets that define how different elements, such as headers and links, appear. These style sheets can then be applied to any Web page.
Every time a link is clicked on.
A method of encoding data to optimize space.
The virtual environment of communication created by phone, e-mail, fax and internet.
Data Transfer Rate
The rate that data can be transferred to computers or networks.
The process of restoring a compressed file to its original form.
Dedicated Line
A leased pone line used exclusively for computer communications.
Delivery Platform
End-user platform which plays multimedia or other software.
A term that describes the availability of a phone line for voice or date transmission.
An agency that carries and supplies a product to retailers and end-users.
Domain Name
The part of a URL that is user-specific. In the example of "," "" is the domain name.
Electronic mail; mail sent over an online network.
A magazine that only exists in cyberspace.
Security practice of scrambling a file's contents so that information is unreadable without a software "key."
A multimedia software program that displays content and directs interaction.
Security architecture between the Internet and a private network that protects the private network from unauthorized access.
A message relaying a nasty and/or personal attack.
A comprehensive set of text characters in one design, size an style.
Front End
The end-user's operational interface to an information system.
File Transfer Protocol
A service provided by a printer, duplicator or manufacturer than can include warehousing inventory, processing orders, and shipping to customers.
A device that allows data from one network to access another.
Graphics Interchange Format. A graphics format standard developed by Compuserve.
An access of a file on a WWW page. Often confused with a "visit," and sometimes incorrectly used to measure a site's popularity.
Hot Spots
Areas of a multimedia display screen that accept user interaction.
A spot on a WWW page that, when accessed, will send the user to a different page.
A method of accessing different media elements in an interactive, navigable form.
The cross linking of media, especially text, for reference purposes.
Hypertext markup language, one of the standard tools for creating WWW pages.
Image Maps
A graphic that includes embedded hot spots that link to related files.
An advertising research term, also know as a page view. Simply, every time an HTML document is retrieved.
Media presentation to a user and the reception of user directives to navigate content.
The integrated design of presentation and the ability to operate technology for people.
A specific network system that allows global communication.
A private business network that serves as a secure environment to share information within the business and over the Web.
IP Address
Numerical URL. Every internet site actually has two addresses, the IP address and the more mnemonic URL.
IRC Chat
Real-time text-based chat over the Internet.
Integrated Services Digital Network, a digital network that permits simultaneous digital voice and data transmission.
Able to provide consistent bandwidth to time-sensitive applications.
Internet Service Provider, a company that provides its users Internet access.
A high-level programming language developed by Sun Microsystems and well suited for use on the World Wide Web.
A scripting language developed by Netscape to enable Web authors to design interactive sites. Although it shares many of the features and structures of the full Java language, it was developed independently. Javascript can interact with HTML source code, enabling Web authors to spice up their sites with dynamic content.
Joint Photographers Experts Group, a protocol for compressing and decompressing still digital images.
Log File
Audit file of hits to a Web Server, or error messages pertaining to the web site's pages.
Describes a compression algorithm in which a compressed image's quality is maintained after decompression.
Modulator-demodulator; a communications device that converts analog signals to or from digital data for processing by a computer.
Motion Pictures Expert Group; a graphics standard for compressed movie clips. MPEGs are smaller than QT or AVI files, but they require a powerful processor for playback.
The combined use of several forms of media into a product or presentation.
The technique of combining multiple communications channels at the same time.
A wire that allows a group of computers to communicate and share resources.
A dedicated sub-market.
To be connected to a computer or communications network.
Online Services
Online commercial companies, such as American Online and Earthlink, that offer Internet and WWW access in addition to exclusive membership options.
Self-referentially short for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, an open source, server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic web sites.
Set of operating system, hardware and software standards that dictate functionality.
A computer or device that plays a multimedia program.
A set of rules that specifies how data is exchanged.
An individual or company that provides content, supplies or services.
Qualified Hits
Hits to a WWW site which deliver information to an end user.
Apple Computer's file format for compressing video clips.
Real Audio
Program that allows the user to immediately hear a complex online audio file.
Search Engine
A WWW tool site that helps you locate information on the Internet.
Secure Server
Server that uses security measures to prevent access by an unauthorized party.
Secured Transaction
An online transaction, usually involving a credit card, that uses security measures to prevent access by an unauthorized party.
A designated network computer that stores and manages specific data files.
Standardized General Markup Language. The "mother tongue" formatting language from which HTML was developed.
A system that allows publishers and developers to get compensated for the widespread use of their work.
A multimedia authoring and viewing system.
Smart Agent
WWW monitoring software that alerts users to changes or updates.
Snail Mail
Slang term for mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
Secure Sockets Layer; the most common Secure Server software program.
Continuous data transport in the order which it was sent without duplication.
Communications between two devices at the same time.
Transfer Rates
The speed at which data can be transferred.
Uniform Resource Locator; a WWW address. A URL typed into a browser will access a specific web site or specific page of a site.
Virtual Reality Markup Language. Standard for designing virtual reality pages.
To access a WWW page. A visit can (and usually does) include several hits.
File suffix, short for wave. Microsoft's digital audio format.
Web Server
A computer that stores and delivers all files for a web site.
Windows Sockets; application programming interface by which WIndows-based Internet-access programs access the Internet.
World Wide Web, also referred to as the Web or W3.
Extensible Markup Language. A specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of SGML, designed especially for web documents. It allows designers to create their own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations.

For more extensive information and descriptions of the above terms, see The online encyclopedia dedicated to computer technology.

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