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  Kimbanet Internet Definitions

kimbanet's Internet Dictionary
Common Internet terms easily explained

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.

- # -


14.4 refers to the speed in kilobits per second of a modem. This is the slowest modem speed that can get you a usable PPP connection to the Internet. 28.8, 33.6, and 56 kbps modems are much more common today.

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28.8 refers to the speed in kilobits per second of a modem. This is still the most common modem speed for PPP connections to the Internet, with 33.6 and 56 kbps modems are gaining market share, though.

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33.6 refers to the speed in kilobits per second of a modem. This is a common modem speed for PPP connections to the Internet. However, 56 kbps modems are the newest standard for connections.

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56 (or 56k) refers to the speed in kilobits per second of a modem. This is the fastest speed for PPP connections to the Internet. There are three competing protocols for 56 kbps access: x2, V.90 and k56flex.

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Describes a Macintosh with a 68000 series chip from Motorola. These computers have been phased out, and very few new software packages (including the Mac OS) are available for them. You can tell if you have one of these computers by looking at the model number/name. If the model number has three digits or only letters, then it is a 68k Mac. The newest Macs are Power Macs, including the G3 and the iMac.

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Files sent through email. They are usually encoded to get through mail servers. In your email client, look for an "attachment" or "insert file" button. Find the file on your hard drive and send the message.

Some attachments may be malicious programs that can infect your system with a virus. Windows users, check any .exe or .com files you receive through email with a virus scanner. Macintosh users, check EVERY file you receive that is not a GIF or a JPEG.

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  1. The maximum amount of information that can be transmitted at any given time. A 56k modem connection, for example, has 56k of bandwidth.
  2. An abstract unit of measure of the load something puts on an Internet connection. "Multimedia through the Internet uses too much bandwidth for a 56k connection." Often used in News to refer to stupid questions or wasteful flames, i.e. "this is all a waste of bandwidth."
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A client that handles Web, FTP, Email and News protocols. See also Internet Explorer and Netscape.

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CGI (Common Gateway Interface)

CGI refers to programs that run on a web server and can be accessed by remote users through the Web. Some CGIs are very advanced, and can search through large amounts of data. Others show the number of "hits" a web page has garnered, or put a random image on a web page, or even keep a list of the visitors to a website.

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See IRC or ICQ.

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A program that is run by users on their machine. It issues requests to a server, which is generally located on another system. To visualize exactly what a client is, imagine that you are looking at a cart full of desserts. To get, say, a lemon meringue pie, you have to use a pair of tongs. You are you, the cart is a server, the pie is information, and the tongs are the client.

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See Data Compression.

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- D -

Data Compression

A method of storing files so that while their contents are not immediately available, they are smaller. Common compression formats are ZIP (.zip) and ARJ (.arj) for PC, and StuffIt (.sit) for Macs.

For PC's, we recommend using WinZip. For Macs, we recommend Stuffit Expander 4.0.2. Both are available from

Some compression formats are self-executing, which means that you do not need a separate utility to extract the compressed files. However, they take a longer time to download.

Note that due to Macintosh file system conventions, Mac files often have to be encoded as well as compressed. See Encoding.

You may know that modems perform compression on the data they send out. However, they cannot compress data that has already been compressed.

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Domain Name

A domain name is the name for a remote server. The domain name is usually some form of the name of the company that owns it (i.e. for Microsoft, for Gateway 2000) or of the person that runs it ( for Lynda Weinman's site). Usually, a prefix in front of the domain name indicates what the particular server is for. For examples, is for World Wide Web pages, is for FTP access, and is for email.

Domain names often end in .com, .net, or .edu. .com names designate commercial sites (which are often networked as well), .net names networked sites (which more often than not are commercial), and .edu names colleges and universities.

If you are thinking about having a Web site on the Internet, consider purchasing a domain name. They are easier to remember than subdirectories on someone else's site and are a real status symbol. kimbanet offers domain name hosting. For more information, click here.

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Copying a file from one machine to another via a network. On the Internet, files are downloaded via the Web or FTP.

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The process of converting a data file into a format that can be passed over many different kinds of computers. Files downloaded from one part of the Internet pass through all sorts of computers before they get to your computer. Some of these computers are PCs, some run something called UNIX, and some are even Macintoshes. To pass through these computers, the files have to use only 128 of the standard ASCII 256-character set. Encoding a file allows this.

Encoding is used to send email and News attachments. BinHex (.hqx) and MacBinary (.bin) are two formats for Mac files, which have to be encoded due to the dual nature of the Macintosh file system.

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Short for electronic mail, email is the backbone of the Internet. Email can transmit attachments as well as plain text messages.

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Email Alias

An email address that points to another mailbox..

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- F -

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ is an acronym for Frequently Asked Questions. Click here for a FAQ about FAQs.

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An insulting message, normally with little real content. A flame war is a seemingly endless exchange of such messages. This often happens in newsgroups that deal with controversial topics or between two people that really don't like each other.

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FrontPage is a program from Microsoft that allows users to create Web pages without fooling with HTML or FTP and with advanced CGI capabilities. The only caveat is that the user must have authoring access to a web server with Microsoft proprietary software installed on it (usually not a big deal). kimbanet's web servers are FrontPage enhanced. Email us about setting up your website with FrontPage.

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FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

This refers to a protocol describing the way files can be transferred over a TCP/IP network, such as the Internet. The program used to implement this protocol is also called FTP.

FTP has been eclipsed in recent years by the popularity of the Web. However, the actual creation and publishing of HTML files usually uses FTP. kimbanet's FTP site contains one folder for browsers and utilities and another folder for the HTML files that appear at

Since the FTP client in IE and Netscape will not upload files, you must use a standalone FTP program to publish your web pages that you make. The kimbanet FTP site has FTP applications for Windows and Mac.

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- G -

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

An image file format that takes advantage of data compression. GIF (pronounced with a hard "g") files can only show a limited number of colors and are usually used for logos and text. See also JPEG.

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The physical parts of a computer. Hardware includes the CPU, the monitor, the keyboard, the hard drive, and the modem.

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HTML (HyperText Markup Language)

This is the scheme used to design Web pages. It is very simple in concept: plain text is formatted with special tags. In practice, it becomes rather complex to design an award-winning site. Luckily, there are many shareware and commercial utilities that translate designs into HTML. One of them is Netscape Navigator Gold. Others are available from

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HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

This is the protocol used for information transmitted over the Web. It's not terribly important to know this, except for the fact that every Web address starts with http://

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- I -


This is rather like an Internet pager. Users are assigned unique number IDs that are reported to a central server whenever that user is logged on. With an ICQ client, people can type in the ID and then engage in an IRC-like chat session.

You can find out more about the endless socializing on ICQ by going to

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IE (Internet Explorer)

This is the most popular Web browser. It comes with every Windows 95 and 98 computer, and has less system requirements for Macintosh users. It is generally faster than Netscape when run on slower computers. The latest version is 5.5. For more information, click here to get info about upgrading; to download, go to

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IRC (Internet Relay Chat)

This is a way for people to hold conversations using the computer. The level of conversation tends to be pretty low, and rather on the dull side, but many users love it. The anonymity of IRC allows users to assume online identities and personae that are usually much different from the way the users act in real life. See also ICQ.

You can find out more about the endless socializing on IRC by going to

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ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)

ISDN is a set of communications standards allowing a single wire or optical fiber to carry voice, digital network services and video. ISDN is intended to eventually replace the old telephone system.

Since an ISDN line is digital, the bandwidth it's capable of carrying increases greatly. An ISDN line can carry up to 128Kbps of data. kimbanet offers ISDN accounts to ISDN subscribers; email us, call (540) 666-9209 for details, or click here to learn more about ISDN.

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- J -

JPEG (Joint Photo Expert Group)

An image file format that uses data compression. JPEG ("Jay-Peg") files tend to be full-color scanned photographs. See also GIF.

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- K -


A modem protocol for 56 kbps data transmission developed by Lucent Technologies. It was designed to compete with the x2 protocol. Both protocols were eventually combined to form the V.90 protocol. If you have a k56flex modem, you can connect at 33.6 kbps. You may be able to upgrade to the V.90 protocol. See also x2 and V.90.

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- L -

LAN (Local Area Network)

A small network, typically covering an area of only a thousand square feet or less. You can get your LAN connected to the Internet through kimbanet; email us for details. We also build LANs.

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An item on a web page that you can click on to go to another place on the Internet.

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- M -


Short for modulator-demodulator. A modem translates the data from your computer into analog sounds that can be carried over a phone line to another modem, where they are translated back to data. The fastest analog modems run at 56Kbps, or about 7KB per second. At that rate, Netscape Navigator (5.6 MB) will download in about 15 minutes. Most modems are only half as fast, about 28.8 Kbps.

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- N -

Netscape Navigator

Netscape Navigator, commonly called Netscape, is a World Wide Web browser that currently holds the largest market share, largely because it had no competitors for a long time. Recently, however, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4.01a, which most people find better than Netscape. Netscape is updated often and generally likes really fast computers.

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A communications system created by physically linking two or more computers through interface cards and cables and by running a network operating system. The Internet is the world's largest network--much bigger than NBC, CNN or even the EIB (Excellence in Broadcasting) Network.

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This is a messaging system that is one of the most famous and popular parts of the Internet. Also known as Usenet and Internet News, News lets users subscribe to mailing lists without the massive data transfers involved in mailing out 3 million email messages per day.

A News server stores messages relating to a particular topic in a newsgroup. Users who subscribe to the newsgroup can download the messages as they please, instead of the server sending out all the messages and then possibly crashing under the strain of dealing with error messages or closed accounts. Millions of messages come in each day, necessitating the deletion of old messages as soon as they are twenty-four hours old.

kimbanet has over 17,000 newsgroups.

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An area on Usenet devoted to a specific topic. Postings are encouraged as long as they are related fairly directly to the topic. For example, a message reviewing a new brand of fertilizer would be welcomed in rec.gardens.roses, but would provoke flames in

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- P -


The string of letters and numbers you type when you dial up to kimbanet, receive your email, or publish your web page.

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POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)

A protocol that allows you to receive your email. SMTP allows you to send it. Your POP3 server is

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Power Mac

All Macintosh computers produced since 1996. They are identifiable by the PowerPC logo on the casing.

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PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)

The best way to connect a computer to the Internet over a modem and a standard phone line. kimbanet uses PPP connections exclusively.

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A question. On the Internet, you query a search engine to find what you're looking for.

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- R -

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- S -

Search Engine

A web server that searches through records of the information stored on it or on other servers to find records that match specific queries. The largest search engines have full web search capabilities. These include AltaVista, Yahoo, Lycos, and Excite. Deja News is a news-only search engine. has a software search engine.

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A program running on a remote system that provides information to a client. To visualize exactly what a server is, imagine that you are looking at a cart full of desserts. To get, say, a lemon meringue pie, you have to use a pair of tongs. You are you, the tongs are the client, the pie is information, and the cart is the server.

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SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol)

The protocol that allows you to send your email. POP3 allows you to receive your email. Your SMTP server is

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Programs used by a computer to complete a task. Windows 98 is software. IE is software.

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Unsolicited commercial email or newsgroup messages. Spam is nothing more than postage-due marketing. Any spamming by a kimbanet user is a violation of the terms of service, and that user's account will be disconnected and his or her balance due immediately. He or she may also be liable to federal charges.

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Telnet is a program that lets you remotely log in to any other system on the Internet (assuming you have access). Instead of people using Telnet, various clients use a form of Telnet and put a graphical, user-friendly interface over top of it.

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TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)

The protocol used to send information through the Internet. Basically, it splits data sent over a network into small packets, which are routed through the fastest part of the network. When they reach their destination, the packets are reassembled into their original form. It's really not important for you to know that.

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A type of network connection to the Internet, a T-1 is like an economy-sized data line. Each T-1 is capable of 1.544 mbps of bandwidth, or about 28 regular phone lines running full blast. That's enough to download Internet Explorer in about a minute.

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A type of network connection to the Internet, a T-3 is the network connection capable of the highest two-way bandwidth. Each T-3 is equivalent to 28 T-1's. That's enough to download Internet Explorer in about two seconds. In fact, T-3's are so fast that most computers cannot keep up with them.

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- U -


The operating system that made up the backbone of the Internet for most of its life. UNIX is a very stable, almost crashless operating system. However, it is also very confusing and is text-only in most incarnations, much like the old DOS. This is one of the reasons so many applications on the Internet are text-based rather than point-and-click. UNIX is quickly being replace by Microsoft Windows NT as the Internet operating system of choice.

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URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

A fancy way of saying an address on the Internet.

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User ID

The string of letters and/or numbers that identifies a particular kimbanet user. User ID's allow you to log on to kimbanet through a modem connection and check your email, as well as serving as your email address. You can have more than one email address if you ask for an email alias.

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User Name

See User ID.

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- V -


A malicious program designed to destroy the data on your computer. You can purchase a commercial virus scanner anywhere computer software is sold, or you can download a copy from McAfee.

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V.90 is the latest modem standard incorporating the k56flex protocol and the x2 protocol. V.90 allows data transmissions at 56 kbps. kimbanet is the only local service provider to have V.90 access on all phone lines and does not charge extra for this high-speed access.  If you have a recent-model modem, you may be able to take advantage of this new standard for free. Visit your modem manufacturer's website for more information. See also x2.

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Web (a.k.a. WWW or World Wide Web)

This is the most popular Internet feature. The Web combines graphics, text and interactive scripts and programs to entertain and inform Internet users.

The Web uses HyperText Transfer Protocol to send and receive information. The different sites have pages written in a special format called HTML.

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Windows 98

The latest operating system for PCs from Microsoft. kimbanet recommends a minimum of 500 megabytes of hard drive space, 32 MB of RAM, and a 166 MHz Pentium to install.

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x2 is a technology for modems that operate at 56kbps. Developed by U.S. Robotics and 3Com, x2 modems are capable of 56kbps downloads without data compression. kimbanet has supported the x2 standard fully since June 1997, and does not charge extra for v.90/x2 access. Click here to find out why an x2 modem is right for you. See also V.90 and k56flex.

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- Y -

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- Z -

Zip File

A Windows file compressed so it downloads quickly. See data compression.

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Thanks to Adam Engst for the great client-server comparison. kimbanet, a division of J&M Originals, Inc.

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