If your New Year’s resolutions include getting to grips with the Internet, then look no further. Whether you’re hankering to get hooked up in the spare bedroom, or just curious to see the inside of the new Internet cafes, we’ve got what you need to get started. Take a deep breath and start surfing the pages of The List’s very own bluffers’
guide to the Internet.
A—Z of netspeak
Arm yourself with acronyms. douse yourself in digital jargon — The Lisi’s guide to the language of the Internet is here.
A company that sells lntcmet connections. Also known as Service Providers. See our Service Providers Guide page 20 for those dealing in connections for central Scotland.
Not to be confused with BPS. this is the actualfrequency used to transmit data over the lntemet.
Short for Bulletin Board Service. this is an electronic bulletin board used to post news. host discussion and send e- mail. Often organised by private individuals from their own PCs. BBSes tend to have a clubby feel to them with access restricted to specific groups. In the States particularly. the boards have long been the traditional home of computer hackers and phone phreakers.
The bricks and mortar of computing. a bit. short for binary digit. is the smallest piece of information a computer can handle — either I or O. BPS
Not to be confused with baud rate. this stands for bits per second and refers to the speed at which bits (electronic signals) are transmitted across the lntemet.
Specialised software that allows you to download and read documents posted up on the World Wide Web. Netscape is the most popular. and probably the best.
Now this is where it gets really interesting. Bytes are a collection of bits that generally come in the form of seven-bit bytes and eight-bit bytes. Wish you’d never asked?
Short for Domain Name System, this is the postcode of the Internet: the standard name and address mechanism used to ensure your data is in the right place at the right time.
Hey guess what — this is the address that you send and receive your e- mail to and from.
A good thing to check out if you're a new use r. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) documents contain the answers to the most commonly asked questions in the Internet discussion forums known as newsgroups. It saves the same old queries being posted week after week and gives newcomers an idea ofthe kind of newsgroup they're entering.
Hot-blooded newsgroup post or e- mail message sent in a moment of digital fury. New users who don't read FAQs stand a good chance of being ﬂamed.
File Transfer Protocol is a basic method used to transfer files across the Net. FTP capabilities are built into most WWW browsers. but the
average recreational user will rarely need to bother with it.
Hypertext Mark-up Language is the basic programming language used to create documents on the WWW - and it‘s a lot less fancy than it sounds. If you want to write on your Web pages you can learn the basics in an afternoon.
Often referred to as the Citizens' Band radio of the Net — Internet Relay Chat is a system that allows you to ‘ehat' to other users in real time.
An Integrated Services Digital Network allows you to send digital information at speeds of IZB Kb (ie fast) over the standard telephone network.
Short for modulator/demodulator, this is the magic box that translates the digital information from your computer into analogue signals capable of being sent down telephone w ires.
Affectionate term used to describe those who're new to the Net. Netiquette
Not flaming, not spamming and being generally well-behaved and nice to all your fellow Net-users. Newsgroups
Free-for-all bulletin boards that exist on the Net for reading and responding to messages on a particular topic. There are eunently around H.000 newsgroups on every subject you can imagine (and some
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you'd possibly rather not).Your service provider should issue you with newsgroup-reader software.
What hackers are to computer systems. phreakers are to phone systems - breaking and entering the telephone networks for kicks and sometimes financial gain. And just to confuse the issue. lots of phreakers are hackers too.
A local Internet access point set up by a Service Provider to reduce telephone dialling charges.
Punctuation found on your keyboard and (over)used to inject personality into newsgroup posts and e-mail messages. The original smiley is :-) and is literally used to send a digital smile. or indicate irony. There are loads of others, such as ;-), which indicates winking. Use them by all means. but use them sparingly. Service Provider
See Access Provider.
The term used to describe the practice of sending the same message to multiple newsgroups. Don't spam. it’s extremely bad form in Netland.
Short for World Wide Web. and more commonly known as the Web. this is the generic name given to all HTML documents on the Net that have links to each other and that can be accessed with a Web browser. Next to e-mail it's still the most popular aspect of the Internet
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