compiled by Bob Ciaffone

For any terms that are not in my compilation try one of these places:
The Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems
NetGlos-The Multilingual Glossary of Internet Technology


For a far more complete list see Babel
(A glossary of computer-oriented abbreviations and acronyms.)

ASKII--American Standard Code for Information Exchange--A computer language; a systematically coded way of representing letters, numbers, and characters by bits.
ATM--Asynchronous Transfer Mode--A method of information transfer on a network that does not require the recipient to receive at the same rate the transmission is sent.
BBS--Bulletin Board System--A method of having an Internet meeting-place for the exchange of information and viewpoints by like-minded people.
BCC--Blind Carbon Copy--A copy of an e-mail transmission that is sent elsewhere unbeknown to the original recipient.
CC--Carbon Copy--A copy of an e-mail transmission which is sent to another recipient, and this information is marked on the original message.
CGI--Common Gateway Interface--A standard for external gateway programs to interface with HTTP servers.
DNS--Domain Name System--The system used to assign Internet addresses.
FTP--File Transfer Protocol--A suite of protocols used for moving files from one computer to another.
GIF--Graphics Interchange Format--A protocol used extensively on the Internet for describing graphic images in computer language.
GUI--Graphical User Interface--A system for interacting with your computer that utilizes both text and graphics.
HTML--HyperText Markup Language--The computer language used for preparing information exhibited on the World Wide Web.
HTTP--HyperText Transport Protocol--The protocol system used on the World Wide Web that enables the viewer to use the hyperlink method of accessing information.
JPEG--Joint Photographic Experts Group--A protocol used on the Internet to describe a graphic image in computer language.
MIME--Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions--A system for the transmission of non-text data by e-mail.
POP--Post Office Protocol--A system for storing e-mail in the service provider's computer system and allowing the end-user to access it.
PPP--Point-to-Point Protocol--A method for Internet users to exchange data over telephone lines.
SLIP--Serial Line Internet Protocol--A type of Internet connection which allows a computer to interact with other Internet entities without going through a service provider's computer.
SMTP--Simple Mail Transfer Protocol--The standard protocol system for Internet electronic mail transmissions.
TCP--Transmission Control Protocol--A suite of protocols that insure that an Internet transmission is received in its original form by the recipient.
URL--Uniform Resource Locator--An address as listed in the standard Internet address system, which specifies the location and type of service for an entity.
UUCP--Unix to Unix Copy Program--A method of data transmission between computers linked to the Internet.
WAIS--Wide Area Information Servers--A database search system.
WWW--World Wide Web--A segment of the Internet following a specified protocol system that allows many sophisticated ways of formatting data.


Archie--A search system that tracks the holdings at FTP sites.
Eudora--A program for managing e-mail.
Gopher--A tool for accessing network resources that was developed at the University of Minnesota (the school mascot is the gopher).
Pico--A text editor used in the Unix system.
Pine--A system for handling e-mail developed at the University of Washington.
Telnet--A protocol system used for entering another computer on the Internet.
Tardis--The name for the main host computer at SVSU.
Unix--An operating system used by many Internet service providers.
USENET--An Internet association of newsgroups.


Absolute filename--A filename format that includes the whole path of directories from the root directory to the file.
Address--The location of a site on the Internet, which in its pure form is expressed by a number.
Alias--A shortened form of a computer command.
Anonymous FTP site--A portion of an FTP site that allows access to users who do not have an account there.
Archie search--A data search that uses the Archie program.
Attachment--A file that is linked to an e-mail communication.
Bandwidth--The bits-per-second transmission rate of a computer data communication line.
Baud rate--The bits-per-second flow of information along a communication line.
Binary file--A file written with 8-bit source code.
Bookmark--A reference file of Internet addresses that can be used for quick access to an Internet site.
Browser--A tool for locating and visiting sites on the World Wide Web.
Case sensitive--Having the property that a command will have a different meaning when a letter is capitalized.
Character-based interface--An interface that will not display graphics.
Client server--A computer with Internet access that serves as an access provider for other (client) computers.
Compression--A technique for reducing the space taken up by data in transmission or storage.
Command line interface--A way of accessing a computer based on keystrokes.
Command mode--The mode of operation where you can issue commands, usually with the aid of a prompt, and do tasks such as changing directories or deleting files.
Command prompt--The prefix symbol in a system used to indicate that a command may be issued.
Compressed file--A file that has been compressed, and thus must be decompressed before using.
Configuration--The settings on a computer that control its activities or its appearance.
Current directory--The directory your computer is in at that moment.
Cursor--The indicator on a computer screen that shows where Type will be inserted.
Cyberspace--The world of networked computers.
Decompression utility--A software program that expands compressed files.
Default--The setting that will occur if no further information is furnished.
Dial-up service provider--An Internet service provider that has the user's computer telephone the server, rather than furnishing a direct link.
Digitalized files--Files that use a wider range of abilities such as sound or animation.
Directory--A related group of files, folders, or sub-directories that can be accessed from the same point.
Domain--(1)A limited region or field marked by some specific property. (2)The name in an Internet address following the host name, as "SVSU".
Dot--The Internet term for the period on the keyboard.
Download--To acquire information stored on another computer.
E-Mail--Electronic mail; messages transmitted on the Internet from one computer user to another.
Emoticon--A character that is used to convey an emotion.
Encryption--The use of a coded system to prevent unauthorized access to the contents of a transmission.
Executable program--A program used to perform a task.
Extension--The last three characters of a filename that denote the type of file, usually conveying information about the source code.
External link--A hyperlink that goes to a different userspace.
Filename--The formal name of a file.
Finger site--A site that can be accessed using the "finger" command.
Floppy disk--A type of diskette containing computerized information.
Folder--The name that several files have been grouped under.
Format--Preparing a disk for use by your system, which will erase its contents.
Freeware--Computer software programs that are available at no charge.
Full-screen editor--An editor that can work with a full page, as opposed to only a line at a time.
Gateway--A computer that acts as a link between networks.
Hard disk--A magnetic disk storage device.
Hard drive--The main disk of a computer, semi-permanent, as it is not designed for easy in and out.
Hidden file--A file not intended to be viewed in a directory listing.
Hit--(1) A visit to a website. (2) A positive response to a web search.
Homepage--The primary webpage of a person or organization, that has hyperlinks to other sites on the Web.
Host computer--A computer that directly accesses the Internet.
Hotlink--See hyperlink.
Hyperlink--An underlined word of hypertext that a computer user can click on and gain direct access to a website or file.
Hypertext--Underlined text in a web document that has the property of giving the user's computer access to that location.
Information superhighway--The buzzword in popular use for the World Wide Web.
Insert mode--The mode of operation where you can edit a document.
Interactive account--A bank account where the customer has the opportunity to conduct transactions on the Internet with the bank.
Internal link--A hyperlink that does not go outside the system.
Internet--The worldwide network of interlinked computers.
Lag--Transmission delay on the Internet.
Login name--The username that identifies a person to the system.
Logon--The submission of a password enabling a user to access a database.
Logout--A computer command that ends contact, necessary to prevent unauthorized access to obtaining and altering information.
Multi-tasking--The ability of modern computers to do a number of unrelated operations simultaneously.
Network--Computers that are systematically interlinked.
On-line database--An accessable database that is capable of being connected to your computer.
On-line service--An organization that offers a large menu of Internet services to its paid subscribers. Some examples are Prodigy, Compuserve, and America Online.
Queue--A line that waits for something; bytes waiting for communication line access.
Parent directory--The immediate larger directory of a sub-directory.
Password--Coded message needed to access certain computerized information.
Pathname--The trail of directories that lead to a file.
Permission--The ability to access computerized information.
Pipe--The nickname of the Unix command !, which is a short way to reissue the previous command.
Platform independent--An application that will function properly regardless of the user's type of computer.
Port--The connection point of a computer to a mainframe.
Prompt--The character displayed to indicate the point where you can enter a command.
Protocol--An "agreement" between computers enabling them to communicate clearly with each other.
Recursive--Defining a program in such a way that it may call upon itself.
Return key--The "enter" key.
Rich header--A display of added tools available for sending an e-mail message.
Root directory--The home directory allocated to a client.
Search engine--A computer program that is used as a tool to locate information on the Internet.
Server--A computer that provides information to Internet users.
Shareware--Computer software programs that are available on a trial basis.
Shell account--An arrangement for your computer to access the Internet through the host computer of an access service provider.
Smiley--A type of emoticon depicting a smile.
Snail mail--A disparaging nickname for regular postal service.
Source code--The representation system used for depicting the characters seen on a computer.
Spacebar--The bar at the bottom of a keyboard that advances the cursor one space.
Spreadsheet--A "sheet" for entering financial data.
Standalone--A computer capable of functioning by itself, as opposed to being a terminal of another computer.
Sub-directory--A directory that is a smaller portion of another directory.
System Administrator--The person responsible for delaying the flow of modern technology to the users of his network (!)
Terminal--An input/output device enabling communication with the computer.
Text document--A document that has text, as opposed to graphics.
Tilde--The wavy line at the top left on the keyboard.
Tilde commands--Commands that must be prefixed by a tilde.
Upload--To transfer a software program someplace.
User interface--The software and hardware that lets the user control a computer.
Username--(Also called "User ID") A computer identification name, as for e-mail or access permission.
Undelete--To undo a command to delete, available because the material was actually put onto a clipboard.
Uuencode--A utility software program that turns binary code into ASKII code.
Uudecode--A utility software program that turns ASKII code (7-bit) into binary code.(8-bit)
Virtual--A prefix indicating that something is located on the Internet, as in "virtual bank" or "virtual community."
Web page--A Web address where information is on public display.
Whois--A program that enables the user to obtain addresses for people.
Workaround--A non-standard method of accomplishing a particular task.
World Wide Web--A computer network on the Internet that uses a suite of protocols enabling a set of sophisticated techniques such as hyperlinking to be used.