Thursday, 24 May 2012 05:10



Application & App

An application (often called "app" for short) is simply a program with a gui. Note that it is different from an applet.



Starting up an os is booting it. If the computer is already running, it is more often called rebooting.



A browser is a program used to browse the web. Some common browsers include netscape, msie (microsoft internet   explorer), safari, lynx, mosaic, amaya, arena, chimera, opera, cyberdog, hotjava, etc.



A bug is a mistake in the design of something, especially software. A really severe bug can cause something to crash.



Chatting is like e-mail, only it is done instantaneously and can directly involve multiple people at once. While e-mail now relies on one more or less standard protocol, chatting still has a couple competing ones. Of particular note are irc     and instant messenger. One step beyond chatting is called mudding.



To press a mouse button. When done twice in rapid succession, it is referred to as a double-click.



A point of attention on the computer screen, often marked with a flashing line or block. Text typed into the computer    will usually appear at the cursor.



A database is a collection of data, typically organized to make common retrievals easy and efficient. Some common       database programs include oracle, sybase, postgres, informix, filemaker, adabas, etc.



A desktop system is a computer designed to sit in one position on a desk somewhere and not move around. Most       general purpose computers are desktop systems. Calling a system a desktop implies nothing about its platform. The           fastest desktop system at any given time is typically either an alpha or powerpc based system, but the sparc and pa-          risc based systems are also often in the running. Industrial strength desktops are typically called workstations.



Also called "folder", a directory is a collection of files typically created for organizational purposes. Note that a    directory is itself a file, so a directory can generally contain other directories. It differs in this way from a partition.



A disk is a physical object used for storing data. It will not forget its data when it loses power. It is always used in       conjunction with a disk drive. Some disks can be removed from their drives, some cannot. Generally it is possible to      write new information to a disk in addition to reading data from it, but this is not always the case.



A device for storing and/or retrieving data. Some drives (such as disk drives, zip drives, and tape drives) are typically       capable of having new data written to them, but some others (like cd-roms or dvd-roms) are not. Some drives have       random access (like disk drives, zip drives, cd-roms, and dvd-roms), while others only have sequential access (like        tape drives).



The concept behind an e-book is that it should provide all the functionality of an ordinary book but in a manner that is       (overall) less expensive and more environmentally friendly. The actual term e-book is somewhat confusingly used to       refer to a variety of things: custom software to play e-book titles, dedicated hardware to play e-book titles, and the e-        book titles themselves. Individual e-book titles can be free or commercial (but will always be less expensive than their printed counterparts) and have to be loaded into a player to be read. Players vary wildly in capability level. Basic ones      allow simple reading and bookmarking; better ones include various features like hypertext, illustrations, audio, and    even limited video. Other optional features allow the user to mark-up sections of text, leave notes, circle or diagram   things, highlight passages, program or customize settings, and even use interactive fiction. There are many types of         e-book; a couple popular ones include the newton book and palm doc.



E-mail is short for electronic mail. It allows for the transfer of information from one computer to another, provided that     they are hooked up via some sort of network (often the internet. E-mail works similarly to faxing, but its contents             typically get printed out on the other end only on demand, not immediately and automatically as with fax. A machine        receiving e-mail will also not reject other incoming mail messages as a busy fax machine will; rather they will instead     be queued up to be received after the current batch has been completed. E-mail is only seven-bit clean, meaning that     you should not expect anything other than ascii data to go through uncorrupted without prior conversion via something    like uucode or bcode. Some mailers will do some conversion automatically, but unless you know your mailer is one of them, you may want to do the encoding manually.



A file is a unit of (usually named) information stored on a computer.



Sort of in-between hardware and software, firmware consists of modifiable programs embedded in hardware.       Firmware updates should be treated with care since they can literally destroy the underlying hardare if done     improperly. There are also cases where neglecting to apply a firmware update can destroy the underlying hardware,   so user beware.



An extremely common type of removable disk. Floppies do not hold too much data, but most computers are capable     of reading them. Note though that there are different competing format used for floppies, so that a floppy written by      one type of computer might not directly work on another. Also sometimes called "diskette".



The manner in which data is stored; its organization. For example, vhs, svhs, and beta are three different formats of       video tape. They are not 100% compatible with each other, but information can be transferred from one to the other       with the proper equipment (but not always without loss; svhs contains more information than either of the other two).           Computer information can be stored in literally hundreds of different formats, and can represent text, sounds,       graphics, animations, etc. Computer information can be exchanged via different computer types provided both   computers can interpret the format used.


Function keys

On a computer keyboard, the keys that start with an "f" that are usually (but not always) found on the top row. They        are meant to perform user-defined tasks.



Anything visually displayed on a computer that is not text.



The physical portion of the computer.



A hypertext document is like a text document with the ability to contain pointers to other regions of (possibly other)       hypertext documents.



The internet is the world-wide network of computers. There is only one internet, and thus it is typically capitalized            (although it is sometimes referred to as "the 'net"). It is different from an intranet.



A keyboard on a computer is almost identical to a keyboard on a typewriter. Computer keyboards will typically have      extra keys, however. Some of these keys (common examples include control, alt, and meta) are meant to be used in     conjunction with other keys just like shift on a regular typewriter. Other keys (common examples include insert, delete,          home, end, help, function keys,etc.) Are meant to be used independently and often perform editing tasks. Keyboards             on different platforms will often look slightly different and have somewhat different collections of keys. Some       keyboards even have independent shift lock and caps lock keys. Smaller keyboards with only math-related keys are   typically called "keypads".



Computer programs can be written in a variety of different languages. Different languages are optimized for different       tasks. Common languages include java, c, c++, fortran, pascal, lisp, and basic. Some people classify languages into     two categories, higher-level and lower-level. These people would consider assembly language and machine language      lower-level languages and all other languages higher-level. In general, higher-level languages can be either       interpreted or compiled; many languages allow both, but some are restricted to one or the other. Many people do not         consider machine language and assembly language at all when talking about programming languages.



A laptop is any computer designed to do pretty much anything a desktop system can do but run for a short time           (usually two to five hours) on batteries. They are designed to be carried around but are not particularly convenient to       carry around. They are significantly more expensive than desktop systems and have far worse battery life than pdas.    Calling a system a laptop implies nothing about its platform. By far the fastest laptops are the powerpc based            macintoshes.



Computer memory is used to temporarily store data. In reality, computer memory is only capable of remembering       sequences of zeros and ones, but by utilizing the binary number system it is possible to produce arbitrary rational       numbers and through clever formatting all manner of representations of pictures, sounds, and animations. The most       common types of memory are ram, rom, and flash.


Mhz & megahertz

One megahertz is equivalent to 1000 kilohertz, or 1,000,000 hertz. The clock speed of the main processor of many       computers is measured in mhz, and is sometimes (quite misleadingly) used to represent the overall speed of a   computer. In fact, a computer's speed is based upon many factors, and since mhz only reveals how many clock cycles the main processor has per second (saying nothing about how much is actually accomplished per cycle), it can             really only accurately be used to gauge two computers with the same generation and family of processor plus similar        configurations of memory, co-processors, and other peripheral hardware.



A modem allows two computers to communicate over ordinary phone lines. It derives its name from modulate/            demodulate, the process by which it converts digital computer data back and forth for use with an analog phone line.



The screen for viewing computer information is called a monitor.



In computer parlance a mouse can be both the physical object moved around to control a pointer on the screen, and       the pointer itself. Unlike the animal, the proper plural of computer mouse is "mouses".



This originally indicated a capability to work with and integrate various types of things including audio, still graphics,         and especially video. Now it is more of a marketing term and has little real meaning. Historically the amiga was the         first multimedia machine. Today in addition to amigaos, irix and solaris are popular choices for high-end multimedia         work.



The term network computer refers to any (usually desktop) computer system that is designed to work as part of a           network rather than as a stand-alone machine. This saves money on hardware, software, and maintenance by taking            advantage of facilities already available on the network. The term "internet appliance" is often used interchangeably          with nc.



A network (as applied to computers) typically means a group of computers working together. It can also refer to the     physical wire etc. Connecting the computers.


Notebook Organizer

A notebook is a small laptop with similar price, performance, and battery life. An organizer is a tiny computer used       primarily to store names, addresses, phone numbers, and date book information. They usually have some ability to       exchange information with desktop systems. They boast even better battery life than pdas but are far less capable.          They are extremely inexpensive but are typically incapable of running any special purpose applications and are             thus of limited use.



The operating system is the program that manages a computer's resources. Common oses include windows '95,       macos, linux, solaris, amigaos, aix, windows nt, etc.



The term personal computer properly refers to any desktop, laptop, or notebook computer system. Its use is       inconsistent, though, and some use it to specifically refer to x86 based systems running ms-dos, ms-windows, geos,       or os/2. This latter use is similar to what is meant by a wintel system.



A personal digital assistant is a small battery-powered computer intended to be carried around by the user rather than     left on a desk. This means that the processor used ought to be power-efficient as well as fast, and the os ought to be    optimized for hand-held use. Pdas typically have an instant-on feature (they would be useless without it) and most are      grayscale rather than color because of battery life issues. Most have a pen interface and come with a detachable            stylus. None use mouses. All have some ability to exchange data with desktop systems. In terms of raw capabilities, a    pda is more capable than an organizer and less capable than a laptop (although some high-end pdas beat out some          low-end laptops). By far the most popular pda is the pilot, but other common types include newtons, psions, zauri,           zoomers, and windows ce hand-helds. By far the fastest current pda is the newton (based around a strongarm risc   processor). Other pdas are optimized for other tasks; few computers are as personal as pdas and care must be taken          in their purchase. Feneric's pda / handheld comparison page is perhaps the most detailed comparison of pdas and           handheld computers to be found anywhere on the web.



Roughly speaking, a platform represents a computer's family. It is defined by both the processor type on the hardware    side and the os type on the software side. Computers belonging to different platforms cannot typically run each other's     programs (unless the programs are written in a language like java).



If something is portable it can be easily moved from one type of computer to another. The verb "to port" indicates the moving itself.



A printer is a piece of hardware that will print computer information onto paper.



The processor (also called central processing unit, or cpu) is the part of the computer that actually works with the data   and runs the programs. There are two main processor types in common usage today: cisc and risc. Some computers     have more than one processor and are thus called "multiprocessor". This is distinct from multitasking. Advertisers       often use megahertz numbers as a means of showing a processor's speed. This is often extremely misleading;   megahertz numbers are more or less meaningless when compared across different types of processors.



A program is a series of instructions for a computer, telling it what to do or how to behave. The terms "application" and       "app" mean almost the same thing (albeit applications generally have guis). It is however different from an applet.       Program is also the verb that means to create a program, and a programmer is one who programs.



Running a program is how it is made to do something. The term "execute" means the same thing.



The non-physical portion of the computer; the part that exists only as data; the programs. Another term meaning much    the same is "code".



An program used to perform various calculations. It is especially popular for financial applications. Some common       spreadsheets include lotus 123, excel, openoffice spreadsheet, octave, gnumeric, appleworks spreadsheet, oleo, and       geocalc.


User The operator of a computer.


Word processor

A program designed to help with the production of textual documents, like letters and memos. Heavier duty work can      be done with a desktop publisher. Some common word processors include ms-word, openoffice write, wordperfect,       abiword, appleworks write, and geowrite.



The world-wide-web refers more or less to all the publically accessable documents on the internet. It is used quite           loosely, and sometimes indicates only html files and sometimes ftp and gopher files, too. It is also sometimes just         referred to as "the web".


Reference 65xx

The 65xx series of processors includes the 6502, 65c02, 6510, 8502, 65c816, 65c816s, etc. It is a cisc design and is     not being used in too many new stand-alone computer systems, but is still being used in embedded systems, game    systems (such as the super nes), and processor enhancement add-ons for older systems. It was originally designed    by mos technologies, but is now produced by the western design center, inc. It was the primary processor for many       extremely popular systems no longer being produced, including the commodore 64, the commodore 128, and all the        apple ][ series machines.



The 68xx series of processors includes the 6800, 6805, 6809, 68000, 68020, 68030, 68040, 68060, etc. It is a cisc         design and is not being used in too many new stand-alone computer systems, but is still being used heavily in embedded systems. It was originally designed by motorola and was the primary processor for older generations of        many current machines, including macintoshes, amigas, sun workstations, hp workstations, etc. And the primary       processor for many systems no longer being produced, such as the trs-80. The powerpc was designed in part to be its   replacement.



Commonly used to abbreviate the word "accessibility". There are eleven letters between the "a" and the "y".




An object-oriented language at one point popular for military and some academic software. Lately c++ and java have                 been getting more attention.



Artificial intelligence is the concept of making computers do tasks once considered to require thinking. Ai makes       computers play chess, recognize handwriting and speech, helps suggest prescriptions to doctors for patients based       on imput symptoms, and many other tasks, both mundane and not.



The industrial strength os designed by ibm to run on powerpc and x86 based machines. It is a variant of unix and is        meant to provide more power than os/2.



Ajax is a little like dhtml, but it adds asynchronous communication between the browser and web site via either xml or      json to achieve performance that often rivals desktop applications.



An alpha is a risc processor invented by digital and currently produced by digital/compaq and samsung. A few   different oses run on alpha based machines including digital unix, windows nt, linux, netbsd, and amigaos.          Historically, at any given time, the fastest processor in the world has usually been either an alpha or a powerpc (with   sometimes sparcs and pa-riscs making the list), but compaq has recently announced that there will be no further         development of this superb processor instead banking on the release of the somewhat suspect merced.



Altivec (also called the "velocity engine") is a special extension built into some powerpc cpus to provide better   performance for certain operations, most notably graphics and sound. It is similar to mmx on the x86 cpus. Like mmx,     it requires special software for full performance benefits to be realized.



A platform originally created and only produced by commodore, but now owned by gateway 2000 and produced by it        and a few smaller companies. It was historically the first multimedia machine and gave the world of computing many      innovations. It is now primarily used for audio / video applications; in fact, a decent amiga system is less expensive        than a less capable video editing system. Many music videos were created on amigas, and a few television series and movies had their special effects generated on amigas. Also, amigas can be readily synchronized with video cameras,           so typically when a computer screen appears on television or in a movie and it is not flickering wildly, it is probably an     amiga in disguise. Furthermore, many coin-operated arcade games are really amigas packaged in stand-up boxes.           Amigas have amigaos for their os. New amigas have either a powerpc or an alpha for their main processor and a    68xx processor dedicated to graphics manipulation. Older (and low end) amigas do everything with just a 68xx             processor.



The os used by amigas. Amigaos combines the functionality of an os and a window manager and is fully multitasking.     Amigaos boasts a pretty good selection of games (many arcade games are in fact written on amigas) but has limited driver support. Amigaos will run on 68xx, alpha, and powerpc based machines.


Apple ][

The apple ][ computer sold millions of units and is generally considered to have been the first home computer with a       1977 release date. It is based on the 65xx family of processors. The earlier apple i was only available as a build-it-           yourself kit.



A scripting language for mac os computers.



An applet differs from an application in that is not meant to be run stand-alone but rather with the assistance of

another program, usually a browser.



Appletalk is a protocol for computer networks. It is arguably inferior to tcp/ip.



The default window manager for mac os x.



Archie is a system for searching through ftp archives for particular files. It tends not to be used too much anymore as       more general modern search engines are significantly more capable.



An arm is a risc processor invented by advanced risc machines, currently owned by intel, and currently produced by       both the above and digital/compaq. Arms are different from most other processors in that they were not designed to         maximize speed but rather to maximize speed per power consumed. Thus arms find most of their use on hand-held     machines and pdas. A few different oses run on arm based machines including newton os, javaos, and (soon)    windows ce and linux. The strongarm is a more recent design of the original arm, and it is both faster and more power     efficient than the original.



The ascii character set is the most popular one in common use. People will often refer to a bare text file without             complicated embedded format instructions as an ascii file, and such files can usually be transferred from one     computer system to another with relative ease. Unfortunately there are a few minor variations of it that pop up here        and there, and if you receive a text file that seems subtly messed up with punctuation marks altered or upper and        lower case reversed, you are probably encountering one of the ascii variants. It is usually fairly straightforward to translate from one ascii variant to another, though. The ascii character set is seven bit while pure binary is usually      eight bit, so transferring a binary file through ascii channels will result in corruption and loss of data. Note also that the     ascii character set is a subset of the unicode character set.



A protocol for an infrared communications port on a device. It predates the irda compliant infrared communications      protocol and is not compatible with it. Many devices with infrared communications support both, but some only   support one or the other.


Assembly language

Assembly language is essentially machine language that has had some of the numbers replaced by somewhat easier to remember mnemonics in an attempt to make it more human-readable. The program that converts assembly     language to machine language is called an assembler. While assembly language predates fortran, it is not typically          what people think of when they discuss computer languages.


Atom Atom is an intended replacement for rss and like it is used for syndicating a web site's content. It is currently not       nearly as popular or well-supported by software applications, however.


Authoring system

Any guis method of designing new software can be called an authoring system. Any computer language name with          the word "visual" in front of it is probably a version of that language built with some authoring system capabilities. It   appears that the first serious effort to produce a commercial quality authoring system took place in the mid eighties for    the amiga.



Awk is an interpreted language developed in 1977 by aho, weinberger, & kernighan. It gets its name from its creators'      initials. It is not particularly fast, but it was designed for creating small throwaway programs rather than full-blown           applications -- it is designed to make the writing of the program fast, not the program itself. It is quite portable with       versions existing for numerous platforms, including a free gnu version. Plus, virtually every version of unix in the world    comes with awk built-in.



The beginners' all-purpose symbolic instruction code is a computer language developed by kemeny & kurtz in 1964.        Although it is traditionally interpreted, compilers exist for many platforms. While the interpreted form is typically fairly         slow, the compiled form is often quite fast, usually faster than pascal. The biggest problem with basic is portability;      versions for different machines are often completely unlike each other; amiga basic at first glance looks more like           pascal, for example. Portability problems actually go beyond even the cross platform level; in fact, most machines          have multiple versions of incompatible basics available for use. The most popular version of basic today is called      visual basic. Like all basics it has portability issues, but it has some of the advantages of an authoring system so it is            relatively easy to use.



A measure of communications speed, used typically for modems indicating how many bits per second can be    transmitted.



A bulletin board system is a computer that can be directly connected to via modem and provides various services like    e-mail, chatting, newsgroups, and file downloading. Bbss have waned in popularity as more and more people are         instead connecting to the internet, but they are still used for product support and local area access. Most current bbss         provide some sort of gateway connection to the internet.



Identical in intent to uucode, bcode is slightly more efficient and more portable across different computer types. It is       the preferred method used by mime.



A lightweight os available for both powerpc and x86 based machines. It is often referred to simply as "be".



A beta version of something is not yet ready for prime time but still possibly useful to related developers and other       interested parties. Expect beta software to crash more than properly released software does. Traditionally beta            versions (of commercial software) are distributed only to selected testers who are often then given a discount on the      proper version after its release in exchange for their testing work. Beta versions of non-commercial software are more    often freely available to anyone who has an interest.



There are two meanings for binary in common computer usage. The first is the name of the number system in which       there are only zeros and ones. This is important to computers because all computer data is ultimately a series of       zeros and ones, and thus can be represented by binary numbers. The second is an offshoot of the first; data that is        not meant to be intepreted through a common character set (like ascii) is typically referred to as binary data. Pure          binary data is typically eight bit data, and transferring a binary file through ascii channels without prior modification will   result in corruption and loss of data. Binary data can be turned into ascii data via uucoding or bcoding.



A bit can either be on or off; one or zero. All computer data can ultimately be reduced to a series of bits. The term is      also used as a (very rough) measure of sound quality, color quality, and even procesor capability by considering the         fact that series of bits can represent binary numbers. For example (without getting too technical), an eight bit image   can contain at most 256 distinct colors while a sixteen bit image can contain at most 65,536 distinct colors.



A bitmap is a simplistic representation of an image on a computer, simply indicating whether or not pixels are on or      off, and sometimes indicating their color. Often fonts are represented as bitmaps. The term "pixmap" is sometimes used similarly; typically when a distinction is made, pixmap refers to color images and bitmap refers to monochrome           images.



Short for web log, a blog (or weblog, or less commonly, 'blog) is a web site containing periodic (usually frequent)       posts. Blogs are usually syndicated via either some type of rss or atom and often supports trackbacks. It is not       uncommon for blogs to function much like newspaper columns. A blogger is someone who writes for and maintains a     blog.



Boolean algebra is the mathematics of base two numbers. Since base two numbers have only two values, zero and one, there is a good analogy between base two numbers and the logical values "true" & "false". In common usage,        booleans are therefore considered to be simple logical values like true & false and the operations that relate them,             most typically "and", "or" and "not". Since everyone has a basic understanding of the concepts of true & false and           basic conjunctions, everyone also has a basic understanding of boolean concepts -- they just may not realize it.



A byte is a grouping of bits. It is typically eight bits, but there are those who use non-standard byte sizes. Bytes are     usually measured in large groups, and the term "kilobyte" (often abbreviated as k) means one-thousand twenty-four (1024) bytes; the term "megabyte" (often abbreviated as m) means one-thousand twenty-four (1024) k; the term         gigabyte (often abbreviated as g) means one-thousand twenty-four (1024) m; and the term "terabyte" (often       abbreviated as t) means one-thousand twenty-four (1024) g. Memory is typically measured in kilobytes or megabytes,      and disk space is typically measured in megabytes or gigabytes. Note that the multipliers here are 1024 instead of the    more common 1000 as would be used in the metric system. This is to make it easier to work with the binary number    system. Note also that some hardware manufacturers will use the smaller 1000 multiplier on m & g quantities to make          their disk drives seem larger than they really are; buyer beware.



Sometimes computer languages that are said to be either interpreted or compiled are in fact neither and are more       accurately said to be somewhere in between. Such languages are compiled into bytecode which is then interpreted on    the target system. Bytecode tends to be binary but will work on any machine with the appropriate runtime environment    (or virtual machine) for it.



C is one of the most popular computer languages in the world, and quite possibly the most popular. It is a compiled         langauge widely supported on many platforms. It tends to be more portable than fortran but less portable than java; it has been standardized by ansi as "ansi c" -- older versions are called either "k&r c" or "kernighan and ritchie c" (in      honor of c's creators), or sometimes just "classic c". Fast and simple, it can be applied to all manner of general             purpose tasks. C compilers are made by several companies, but the free gnu version (gcc) is still considered one of the best. Newer c-like object-oriented languages include both java and c++.



C# is a compiled object-oriented language based heavily on c++ with some java features.



C++ is a compiled object-oriented language. Based heavily on c, c++ is nearly as fast and can often be thought of as       being just c with added features. It is currently probably the second most popular object-oriented language, but it has      the drawback of being fairly complex -- the much simpler but somewhat slower java is probably the most popular            object-oriented language. Note that c++ was developed independently of the somewhat similar objective-c; it is      however related to objective-c++.



The commodore 64 computer to this day holds the record for being the most successful model of computer ever made    with even the lowest estimates being in the tens of millions. Its big brother, the commodore 128, was not quite as       popular but still sold several million units. Both units sported rom-based basic and used it as a default "os". The c128    also came with cp/m (it was a not-often-exercized option on the c64). In their later days they were also packaged with     geos. Both are based on 65xx family processors. They are still in use today and boast a friendly and surprisingly            active user community. There is even a current effort to port linux to the c64 and c128 machines.



The common desktop environment is a popular commercial window manager (and much more -- as its name touts, it      is more of a desktop environment) that runs under x-windows. Free work-alike versions are also available.



Some computer devices support chaining, the ability to string multiple devices in a sequence plugged into just one       computer port. Often, but not always, such a chain will require some sort of terminator to mark the end. For an   example, a scsi scanner may be plugged into a scsi cd-rom drive that is plugged into a scsi hard drive that is in turn     plugged into the main computer. For all these components to work properly, the scanner would also have to have a          proper terminator in use. Device chaining has been around a long time, and it is interesting to note that c64/128 serial           devices supported it from the very beginning. Today the most common low-cost chainable devices in use support usb      while the fastest low-cost chainable devices in use support firewire.


Character set

Since in reality all a computer can store are series of zeros and ones, representing common things like text takes a        little work. The solution is to view the series of zeros and ones instead as a sequence of bytes, and map each one to      a particular letter, number, or symbol. The full mapping is called a character set. The most popular character set is        commonly referred to as ascii. The second most popular character set these days is unicode (and it will probably             eventually surpass ascii). Other fairly common character sets include ebcdic and petscii. They are generally quite      different from one another; programs exist to convert between them on most platforms, though. Usually ebcdic is only    found on really old machines.



Complex instruction set computing is one of the two main types of processor design in use today. It is slowly losing   popularity to risc designs; currently all the fastest processors in the world are risc. The most popular current cisc      processor is the x86, but there are also still some 68xx, 65xx, and z80s in use.



A command-line interface is a text-based means of communicating with a program, especially an os. This is the sort   of interface used by ms-dos, or a unix shell window.



The common business oriented language is a language developed back in 1959 and still used by some businesses.       While it is relatively portable, it is still disliked by many professional programmers simply because cobol programs          tend to be physically longer than equivalent programs written in almost any other language in common use.



If a program is compiled, its original human-readable source has been converted into a form more easily used by a       computer prior to it being run. Such programs will generally run more quickly than interpreted programs, because time     was pre-spent in the compilation phase. A program that compiles other programs is called a compiler.



It is often possible to remove redundant information or capitalize on patterns in data to make a file smaller. Usually       when a file has been compressed, it cannot be used until it is uncompressed. Image files are common exceptions,       though, as many popular image file formats have compression built-in.



A cookie is a small file that a web page on another machine writes to your personal machine's disk to store various     bits of information. Many people strongly detest cookies and the whole idea of them, and most browsers allow the reception of cookies to be disabled or at least selectively disabled, but it should be noted that both netscape and msie    have silent cookie reception enabled by default. Sites that maintain shopping carts or remember a reader's last position have legitimate uses for cookies. Sites without such functionality that still spew cookies with distant (or worse,         non-existent) expiration dates should perhaps be treated with a little caution.



An early dos for desktops, cp/m runs on both z80 and the x86 based machines. Cp/m provides only a cli and there        really is not any standard way to get a window manager to run on top of it. It is fairly complex and tricky to use. In          spite of all this, cp/m was once the most popular dos and is still in use today.



If a bug in a program is severe enough, it can cause that program to crash, or to become inoperable without being          restarted. On machines that are not multitasking, the entire machine will crash and have to be rebooted. On machines      that are only partially multitasking the entire machine will sometimes crash and have to be rebooted. On machines          that are fully multitasking, the machine should never crash and require a reboot.



A cray is a high-end computer used for research and frequently heavy-duty graphics applications. Modern crays           typically have solaris for their os and sport sixty-four risc processors; older ones had various other configurations.     Current top-of-the-line crays can have over 2000 processors.



Crippleware is a variant of shareware that will either self-destruct after its trial period or has built-in limitations to its       functionality that get removed after its purchase.



Cascading style sheets are used in conjunction with html and xhtml to define the layout of web pages. While css is        how current web pages declare how they should be displayed, it tends not to be supported well (if at all) by ancient          browsers. Xsl performs this same function more generally.


Desktop publisher

A program for creating newspapers, magazines, books, etc. Some common desktop publishing programs include        framemaker, pagemaker, indesign, and geopublish.



Dynamic html is simply the combined use of both css and javascript together in the same document; a more extreme     form is called ajax. Note that dhtml is quite different from the similarly named dtml.



A protocol used for looking up definitions across a network (in particular the internet).


Digital camera

A digital camera looks and behaves like a regular camera, except instead of using film, it stores the image it sees in       memory as a file for later transfer to a computer. Many digital cameras offer additional storage besides their own       internal memory; a few sport some sort of disk but the majority utilize some sort of flash card. Digital cameras   currently lack the resolution and color palette of real cameras, but are usually much more convenient for computer     applications. Another related device is called a scanner.



A physical component used to add ram to a computer. Similar to, but incompatible with, simms.



Domain name service is the means by which a name (like www.saugus.net or ftp.saugus.net) gets converted into a        real internet address that points to a particular machine.



A disk operating system manages disks and other system resources. Sort of a subset of oses, sort of an archaic term            for the same. Ms-dos is the most popular program currently calling itself a dos. Cp/m was the most popular prior to       ms-dos.



In a denial of service attack, many individual (usually compromised) computers are used to try and simultaneously          access the same public resource with the intent of overburdening it so that it will not be able to adequately serve its      normal users.



To download a file is to copy it from a remote computer to your own. The opposite is upload.



The dos currently produced by caldera (originally produced by design research as a successor to cp/m) designed to        work like ms-dos. While similar to cp/m in many ways, it utilizes simpler commands. It provides only a cli, but either         windows 3.1 or geos may be run on top of it to provide a gui. It only runs on x86 based machines.



A driver is a piece of software that works with the os to control a particular piece of hardware, like a printer or a scanner or a mouse or whatever.



Depending upon whom you ask, drm can stand for either digital rights management or digital restrictions       management. In either case, drm is used to place restrictions upon the usage of digital media ranging from software       to music to video.



The document template mark-up language is a subset of sgml and a superset of html used for creating documents         that dynamically adapt to external conditions using its own custom tags and a little bit of python. Note that it is quite       different from the similarly named dhtml.



The edbic character set is similar to (but less popular than) the ascii character set in concept, but is significantly            different in layout. It tends to be found only on old machines..



Emacs is both one of the most powerful and one of the most popular text editing programs in existence. Versions can          be found for most platforms, and in fact multiple companies make versions, so for a given platform there might even      be a choice. There is even a free gnu version available. The drawback with emacs is that it is not in the least bit             lightweight. In fact, it goes so far in the other direction that even its advocates will occasionally joke about it. It is          however extremely capable. Almost anything that one would need to relating to text can be done with emacs and is      probably built-in. Even if one manages to find something that emacs was not built to do, emacs has a built-in lisp           interpreter capable of not only extending its text editing capabilities, but even of being used as a scripting language in       its own right.



An embedded system is a computer that lives inside another device and acts as a component of that device. For       example, current cars have an embedded computer under the hood that helps regulate much of their day to day operation.


Embedded file An embedded file is a file that lives inside another and acts as a portion of that file. This is frequently seen with html     files having embedded audio files; audio files often embedded in html include au files, midi files, sid files, wav files, aiff             files, and mod files. Most browsers will ignore these files unless an appropriate plug-in is present.


Emulator An emulator is a program that allows one computer platform to mimic another for the purposes of running its software.   Typically (but not always) running a program through an emulator will not be quite as pleasent an experience as    running it on the real system.


Endian A processor will be either "big endian" or "little endian" based upon the manner in which it encodes multiple byte          values. There is no difference in performance between the two encoding methods, but it is one of the sources of      difficulty when reading binary data on different platforms.


Environment An environment (sometimes also called a runtime environment) is a collection of external variable items or parameters that a program can access when run. Information about the computer's hardware and the user can often be found in          the environment.


Epoc Epoc is a lightweight os. It is most commonly found on the psion pda.


Extension Filename extensions originate back in the days of cp/m and basically allow a very rough grouping of different file types    by putting a tag at the end of the name. To further complicate matters, the tag is sometimes separated by the name     proper by a period "." and sometimes by a tab. While extensions are semi-enforced on cp/m, ms-dos, and ms-  windows, they have no real meaning aside from convention on other platforms and are only optional.


Faq A frequently asked questions file attempts to provide answers for all commonly asked questions related to a given       topic.


Firewire An incredibly fast type of serial port that offers many of the best features of scsi at a lower price. Faster than most        types of parallel port, a single firewire port is capable of chaining many devices without the need of a terminator.       Firewire is similar in many respects to usb but is significantly faster and somewhat more expensive. It is heavily used    for connecting audio/video devices to computers, but is also used for connecting storage devices like drives and other            assorted devices like printers and scanners.


Fixed width As applied to a font, fixed width means that every character takes up the same amount of space. That is, an "i" will be just as wide as an "m" with empty space being used for padding. The opposite is variable width. The most common        fixed width font is courier. Flash


Flash memory Flash memory is similar to ram. It has one significant advantage: it does not lose its contents when power is lost; it       has two main disadvantages: it is slower, and it eventually wears out. Flash memory is frequently found in pcmcia          cards.


Font In a simplistic sense, a font can be thought of as the physical description of a character set. While the character set       will define what sets of bits map to what letters, numbers, and other symbols, the font will define what each letter,       number, and other symbol looks like. Fonts can be either fixed width or variable width and independently, either           bitmapped or vectored. The size of the large characters in a font is typically measured in points.


Forth A language developed in 1970 by moore. Forth is fairly portable and has versions on many different platforms. While it             is no longer an very popular language, many of its ideas and concepts have been carried into other computer       programs. In particular, some programs for doing heavy-duty mathematical and engineering work use forth-like     interfaces.


Fortran Fortran stands for formula translation and is the oldest computer language in the world. It is typically compiled and is      quite fast. Its primary drawbacks are portability and ease-of-use -- often different fortran compilers on different      platforms behave quite differently in spite of standardization efforts in 1966 (fortran 66 or fortran iv), 1978 (fortran 77),             and 1991 (fortran 90). Today languages like c and java are more popular, but fortran is still heavily used in military            software. It is somewhat amusing to note that when fortran was first released back in 1958 its advocates thought that           it would mean the end of software bugs. In truth of course by making the creation of more complex software practical,           computer languages have merely created new types of software bugs.


Freebsd A free variant of berkeley unix available for alpha and x86 based machines. It is not as popular as linux.


Freeware Freeware is software that is available for free with no strings attached. The quality is often superb as the authors are      also generally users.


Ftp The file transfer protocol is one of the most commonly used methods of copying files across the internet. It has its         origins on unix machines, but has been adapted to almost every type of computer in existence and is built into many    browsers. Most ftp programs have two modes of operation, ascii, and binary. Transmitting an ascii file via the ascii      mode of operation is more efficient and cleaner. Transmitting a binary file via the ascii mode of operation will result in a broken binary file. Thus the ftp programs that do not support both modes of operation will typically only do the binary          mode, as binary transfers are capable of transferring both kinds of data without corruption.


Gateway A gateway connects otherwise separate computer networks.


Geos The graphic environment operating system is a lightweight os with a gui. It runs on several different processors,             including the 65xx (different versions for different machines -- there are versions for the c64, the c128, and the apple        ][, each utilizing the relevant custom chip sets), the x86 (although the x86 version is made to run on top of ms-dos (or    pc-dos or dr-dos) and is not strictly a full os or a window manager, rather it is somewhat in between, like windows 3.1)   and numerous different pdas, embedded devices, and hand-held machines. It was originally designed by berkeley            softworks (no real relation to the berkeley of unix fame) but is currently in a more interesting state: the company       geoworks develops and promotes development of geos for hand-held devices, pdas, & and embedded devices and    owns (but has ceased further development on) the x86 version. The other versions are owned (and possibly still being       developed) by the company cmd.


Ghz & gigahertz One gigahertz is equivalent to 1000 megahertz, or 1,000,000,000 hertz.


Glulx A virtual machine optimized for running interactive fiction, interactive tutorials, and other interactive things of a            primarily textual nature. Glulx has been ported to several platforms, and in in many ways an upgrade to the z-            machine.


Gnome The gnu network object model environment is a popular free window manager (and much more -- as its name touts, it      is more of a desktop environment) that runs under x-windows. It is a part of the gnu project.


Gnu Gnu stands for gnu's not unix and is thus a recursive acronym (and unlike the animal name, the "g" here is         pronounced). At any rate, the gnu project is an effort by the free software foundation (fsf) to make all of the traditional     unix utilities free for whoever wants them. The free software foundation programmers know their stuff, and the quality      of the gnu software is on par with the best produced commercially, and often better. All of the gnu software can be          downloaded for free or obtained on cd-rom for a small service fee. Documentation for all gnu software can be      downloaded for free or obtained in book form for a small service fee. The free software foundation pays its bills from          the collection of service fees and the sale of t-shirts, and exists mostly through volunteer effort. It is based in          cambridge, ma.


Gopher Though not as popular as ftp or http, the gopher protocol is implemented by many browsers and numerous other       programs and allows the transfer of files across networks. In some respects it can be thought of as a hybrid between     ftp and http, although it tends not to be as good at raw file transfer as ftp and is not as flexible as http. The collection    of documents available through gopher is often called "gopherspace", and it should be noted that gopherspace is         older than the web. It should also be noted that gopher is not getting as much attention as it once did, and surfing       through gopherspace is a little like exploring a ghost town, but there is an interesting vr interface available for it, and        some things in gopherspace still have not been copied onto the web.


Gui A graphical user interface is a graphics-based means of communicating with a program, especially an os or window       manager. In fact, a window manager can be thought of as a gui for a cli os.


Hp-ux Hp-ux is the version of unix designed by hewlett-packard to work with their pa-risc and 68xx based machines.


Html The hypertext mark-up language is the language currently most frequently used to express web pages (although it is        rapidly being replaced by xhtml). Every browser has the built-in ability to understand html. Some browsers can     additionally understand java and browse ftp areas. Html is a proper subset of sgml.


Http The hypertext transfer protocol is the native protocol of browsers and is most typically used to transfer html formatted     files. The secure version is called "https".


Hurd The hurd is the official gnu os. It is still in development and is not yet supported on too many different processors, but    promises to be the most powerful os available. It (like all the gnu software) is free.


Hz & hertz Hertz means cycles per second, and makes no assumptions about what is cycling. So, for example, if a fluorescent       light flickers once per jiffy, it has a 60 hz flicker. More typical for computers would be a program that runs once per jiffy    and thus has a 60 hz frequency, or larger units of hertz like khz, mhz, ghz, or thz.


I18n Commonly used to abbreviate the word "internationalization". There are eighteen letters between the "i" and the "n".      Similar to (and often used along with) i18n.


Icalendar The icalendar standard refers to the format used to store calendar type information (including events, to-do items, and     journal entries) on the internet. Icalendar data can be found on some world-wide-web pages or attached to e-mail     messages.


Icon A small graphical display representing an object, action, or modifier of some sort.


Ide Loosely speaking, a disk format sometimes used by ms-windows, mac os, amigaos, and (rarely) unix. Eide is    enhanced ide; it is much faster. Generally ide is inferior (but less expensive) to scsi, but it varies somewhat with         system load and the individual ide and scsi components themselves. The quick rundown is that: scsi-i and scsi-ii will     almost always outperform ide; eide will almost always outperform scsi-i and scsi-ii; scsi-iii and ultrascsi will almost     always outperform eide; and heavy system loads give an advantage to scsi. Note that although loosely speaking it is   just a format difference, it is deep down a hardware difference.


Inform A compiled, object-oriented language optimized for creating interactive fiction.


Infrared communications A device with an infrared port can communicate with other devices at a distance by beaming infrared light signals.          Two incompatible protocols are used for infrared communications: irda and ask. Many devices support both.


Instant messenger Aol's instant messenger is is a means of chatting over the internet in real-time. It allows both open group discussions    and private conversations. Instant messenger uses a different, proprietary protocol from the more standard irc, and is     not supported on as many platforms.


Interactive fiction Interactive fiction (often abbreviated "if" or "i-f") is a form of literature unique to the computer. While the reader cannot       influence the direction of a typical story, the reader plays a more active role in an interactive fiction story and      completely controls its direction. Interactive fiction works come in all the sizes and genres available to standard fiction,             and in fact are not always even fiction per se (interactive tutorials exist and are slowly becoming more common).


Interpreted If a program is interpreted, its actual human-readable source is read as it is run by the computer. This is generally a       slower process than if the program being run has already been compiled.


Intranet An intranet is a private network. There are many intranets scattered all over the world. Some are connected to the         internet via gateways.


Ip Ip is the family of protocols that makes up the internet. The two most common flavors are tcp/ip and udp/ip.


Irc Internet relay chat is a means of chatting over the internet in real-time. It allows both open group discussions and       private conversations. Irc programs are provided by many different companies and will work on many different    platforms. Aol's instant messenger utilizes a separate incompatible protocol but is otherwise very similar.


Irda The infrared data association (irda) is a voluntary organization of various manufacturers working together to ensure          that the infrared communications between different computers, pdas, printers, digital cameras, remote controls, etc.             Are all compatible with each other regardless of brand. The term is also often used to designate an irda compliant infrared communications port on a device. Informally, a device able to communicate via irda compliant infrared is     sometimes simply said to "have irda". There is also an earlier, incompatible, and usually slower type of infrared           communications still in use called ask.


Iri An internationalized resource identifier is just a uri with i18n.


Irix The variant of unix designed by silicon graphics, inc. Irix machines are known for their graphics capabilities and were       initially optimized for multimedia applications.


Isdn An integrated service digital network line can be simply looked at as a digital phone line. Isdn connections to the           internet can be four times faster than the fastest regular phone connection, and because it is a digital connection a        modem is not needed. Any computer hooked up to isdn will typically require other special equipment in lieu of the modem, however. Also, both phone companies and isps charge more for isdn connections than regular modem connections.


Isp An internet service provider is a company that provides internet support for other entities. Aol (america online) is a                       well-known isp.


Java A computer language designed to be both fairly lightweight and extremely portable. It is tightly bound to the web as it    is the primary language for web applets. There has also been an os based on java for use on small hand-held,       embedded, and network computers. It is called javaos. Java can be either interpreted or compiled. For web applet use         it is almost always interpreted. While its interpreted form tends not to be very fast, its compiled form can often rival      languages like c++ for speed. It is important to note however that speed is not java's primary purpose -- raw speed is       considered secondary to portabilty and ease of use.


Javascript Javascript (in spite of its name) has nothing whatsoever to do with java (in fact, it's arguably more like newton script    than java). Javascript is an interpreted language built into a browser to provide a relatively simple means of adding       interactivity to web pages. It is only supported on a few different browsers, and tends not to work exactly the same on   different versions. Thus its use on the internet is somewhat restricted to fairly simple programs. On intranets where      there are usually fewer browser versions in use, javascript has been used to implement much more complex and    impressive programs.


Jiffy A jiffy is 1/60 of a second. Jiffies are to seconds as seconds are to minutes.


Joystick A joystick is a physical device typically used to control objects on a computer screen. It is frequently used for games   and sometimes used in place of a mouse.


Json The json is used for data interchange between programs, an area in which the ubiquitous xml is not too well-suited.        Json is lightweight and works extremely cleanly with languages languages including javascript, python, java, c++, and      many others.


Json-rpc Json-rpc is like xml-rpc but is significantly more lightweight since it uses json in lieu of xml.


Kde The k desktop environment is a popular free window manager (and much more -- as its name touts, it is more of a          desktop environment) that runs under x-windows.


Kerberos Kerberos is a network authentication protocol. Basically it preserves the integrity of passwords in any untrusted             network (like the internet). Kerberized applications work hand-in-hand with sites that support kerberos to ensure that passwords cannot be stolen.


Kernel The very heart of an os is often called its kernel. It will usually (at minimum) provide some libraries that give       programmers access to its various features.


Khz & kilohertz One kilohertz is equivalent to 1000 hertz. Some older computers have clock speeds measured in khz.


L10n Commonly used to abbreviate the word "localization". There are ten letters between the "l" and the "n". Similar to (and       often used along with) i18n.


Ldap The lightweight directory access protocol provides a means of sharing address book type of information across an          intranet or even across the internet. Note too that "address book type of information" here is pretty broad; it often         includes not just human addresses, but machine addresses, printer configurations, and similar.


Library A selection of routines used by programmers to make computers do particular things.


Lightweight Something that is lightweight will not consume computer resources (such as ram and disk space) too much and will      thus run on less expensive computer systems.


Linux Believe it or not, one of the fastest, most robust, and powerful multitasking oses is available for free. Linux can be       downloaded for free or be purchased on cd-rom for a small service charge. A handful of companies distribute linux       including red hat, debian, caldera, and many others. Linux is also possibly available for more hardware combinations       than any other os (with the possible exception of netbsd. Supported processors include: alpha, powerpc, sparc, x86,        and 68xx. Most processors currently not supported are currently works-in-progress or even available in beta. For          example, work is currently underway to provide support for pa-risc, 65xx, strongarm, and z80. People have even         successfully gotten linux working on pdas. As you may have guessed, linux can be made quite lightweight. Linux is a            variant of unix and as such, most of the traditional unix software will run on linux. This especially includes the gnu         software, most of which comes with the majority of linux distributions. Fast, reliable, stable, and inexpensive, linux is     popular with isps, software developers, and home hobbyists alike.


Lisp Lisp stands for list processing and is the second oldest computer language in the world. Being developed in 1959, it        lost the title to fortran by only a few months. It is typically interpreted, but compilers are available for some platforms.     Attempts were made to standardize the language, and the standard version is called "common lisp". There have also      been efforts to simplify the language, and the results of these efforts is another language called scheme. Lisp is a       fairly portable language, but is not particularly fast. Today, lisp is most widely used with ai software.


Load There are two popular meanings for load. The first means to fetch some data or a program from a disk and store it in       memory. The second indicates the amount of work a component (especially a processor) is being made to do.


Logo Logo is an interpreted language designed by papert in 1966 to be a tool for helping people (especially kids) learn   computer programming concepts. In addition to being used for that purpose, it is often used as a language for            controlling mechanical robots and other similar devices. Logo interfaces even exist for building block / toy robot sets.   Logo uses a special graphics cursor called "the turtle", and logo is itself sometimes called "turtle graphics". Logo is       quite portable but not particularly fast. Versions can be found on almost every computer platform in the world.      Additionally, some other languages (notably some pascal versions) provide logo-like interfaces for graphics-intensive   programming.


Lossy If a process is lossy, it means that a little quality is lost when it is performed. If a format is lossy, it means that putting   data into that format (or possibly even manipulating it in that format) will cause some slight loss. Lossy processes and     formats are typically used for performance or resource utilization reasons. The opposite of lossy is lossless.


Lua Lua is a simple interpreted language. It is extremely portable, and free versions exist for most platforms.


Mac os Mac os is the os used on macintosh computers. There are two distinctively different versions of it; everything prior to      version 10 (sometimes called mac os classic) and everything version 10 or later (called mac os x).


Mac os classic The os created by apple and originally used by macs is frequently (albeit slightly incorrectly) referred to as mac os           classic (officially mac os classic is this original os running under the modern mac os x in emulation. Mac os combines         the functionality of both an os and a window manager and is often considered to be the easiest os to use. It is partially   multitasking but will still sometimes crash when dealing with a buggy program. It is probably the second most popular     os, next only to windows 'xp (although it is quickly losing ground to mac os x) and has excellent driver support and   boasts a fair selection of games. Mac os will run on powerpc and 68xx based machines.


Mac os x Mac os x (originally called rhapsody) is the industrial strength os produced by apple to run on both powerpc and x86         systems (replacing what is often referred to as mac os classic. Mac os x is at its heart a variant of unix and possesses         its underlying power (and the ability to run many of the traditional unix tools, including the gnu tools). It also was   designed to mimic other oses on demand via what it originally refered to as "boxes" (actually high-performance     emulators); it has the built-in capability to run programs written for older mac os (via its "bluebox", officially called mac    os classic) and work was started on making it also run windows '95 / '98 / me software (via what was called its    "yellowbox"). There are also a few rumors going around that future versions may even be able to run newton software            (via the "greenbox"). It provides a selection of two window managers built-in: aqua and x-windows (with aqua being       the default).


Machine language Machine language consists of the raw numbers that can be directly understood by a particular processor. Each processor's machine language will be different from other processors' machine language. Although called "machine        language", it is not usually what people think of when talking about computer languages. Machine language dressed     up with mnemonics to make it a bit more human-readable is called assembly language.


Macintosh A macintosh (or a mac for short) is a computer system that has mac os for its os. There are a few different companies            that have produced macs, but by far the largest is apple. The oldest macs are based on the 68xx processor;       somewhat more recent macs on the powerpc processor, and current macs on the x86 processor. The macintosh was           really the first general purpose computer to employ a gui.


Mactel An x86 based system running some flavor of mac os.



A mainframe is any computer larger than a small piece of furniture. A modern mainframe is more powerful than a         modern workstation, but more expensive and more difficult to maintain.



The math mark-up language is a subset of xml used to represent mathematical formulae and equations. Typically it is     found embedded within xhtml documents, although as of this writing not all popular browsers support it.



A million cycles per second, abbreviated mhz. This is often used misleadingly to indicate processor speed, because    while one might expect that a higher number would indicate a faster processor, that logic only holds true within a         given type of processors as different types of processors are capable of doing different amounts of work within a             cycle. For a current example, either a 200 mhz powerpc or a 270 mhz sparc will outperform a 300 mhz pentium.



The merced is a risc processor developed by intel with help from hewlett-packard and possibly sun. It is just starting to   be released, but is intended to eventually replace both the x86 and pa-risc processors. Curiously, hp is recommending   that everyone hold off using the first release and instead wait for the second one. It is expected some day to be roughly as fast as an alpha or powerpc. It is expected to be supported by future versions of solaris, windows-nt, hp-ux,     mac os x, and linux. The current semi-available merced processor is called the itanium. Its overall schedule is way   behind, and some analysts predict that it never will really be released in significant quanitities.



Loosely speaking, an old disk format sometimes used by cp/m, ms-dos, and ms-windows. No longer too common as it       cannot deliver close to the performance of either scsi or ide.



Software designed to sit in between an os and applications. Common examples are java and tcl/tk.



The multi-purpose internet mail extensions specification describes a means of sending non-ascii data (such as   images, sounds, foreign symbols, etc.) Through e-mail. It commonly utilizes bcode.



Multimedia extensions were built into some x86 cpus to provide better performance for certain operations, most            notably graphics and sound. It is similar to altivec on the powerpc cpus. Like altivec, it requires special software for full   performance benefits to be realized.



A movable object is a graphical object that is manipulated separately from the background. These are seen all the       time in computer games. When implemented in hardware, mobs are sometimes called sprites.


Modula-2 & modula-3

Modula-2 is a procedural language based on pascal by its original author in around the 1977 - 1979 time period. Modula-3 is an intended successor that adds support for object-oriented constructs (among other things). Modula-2 can be either compiled or interpreted, while modula-3 tends to be just a compiled language.



A message of the day. Many computers (particularly more capable ones) are configured to display a motd when           accessed remotely.



Motif is a popular commercial window manager that runs under x-windows. Free work-alike versions are also      available.



The dos produced by microsoft. Early versions of it bear striking similarities to the earlier cp/m, but it utilizes simpler       commands. It provides only a cli, but either os/2, windows 3.1, windows '95, windows '98, windows me, or geos may      be run on top of it to provide a gui. It only runs on x86 based machines.



Ms-windows is the name collectively given to several somewhat incompatible oses all produced by microsoft. They        are: windows ce, windows nt, windows 3.1, windows '95, windows '98, windows me, windows 2000, and windows xp.



A multi-user dimension (also sometimes called multi-user dungeon, but in either case abbreviated to "mud") is sort of a combination between the online chatting abilities provided by something like irc and a role-playing game. A mud       built with object oriented principles in mind is called a "multi-user dimension object-oriented", or moo. Yet another       variant is called a "multi-user shell", or mush. Still other variants are called multi-user role-playing environments          (murpe) and multi-user environments (muse). There are probably more. In all cases the differences will be mostly   academic to the regular user, as the same software is used to connect to all of them. Software to connect to muds can             be found for most platforms, and there are even java based ones that can run from within a browser.



Some oses have built into them the ability to do several things at once. This is called multitasking, and has been in       use since the late sixties / early seventies. Since this ability is built into the software, the overall system will be slower    running two things at once than it will be running just one thing. A system may have more than one processor built         into it though, and such a system will be capable of running multiple things at once with less of a performance hit.



Nagware is a variant of shareware that will frequently remind its users to register.



A free variant of berkeley unix available for alpha, x86, 68xx, pa-risc, sparc, powerpc, arm, and many other types of      machines. Its emphasis is on portability.



The established conventions of online politeness are called netiquette. Some conventions vary from site to site or          online medium to online medium; others are pretty standard everywhere. Newbies are often unfamiliar with the       conventional rules of netiquette and sometimes embarrass themselves accordingly. Be sure not to send that      incredibly important e-mail message before reading about netiquette.


Newbie A newbie is a novice to the online world or computers in general.



Usenet news can generally be thought of as public e-mail as that is generally the way it behaves. In reality, it is implemented by different software and is often accessed by different programs. Different newsgroups adhere to   different topics, and some are "moderated", meaning that humans will try to manually remove off-topic posts, especially spam. Most established newsgroups have a faq, and people are strongly encouraged to read the faq prior    to posting.



Although newton is officially the name of the lightweight os developed by apple to run on its messagepad line of pdas,            it is often used to mean the messagepads (and compatible pdas) themselves and thus the term "newton os" is often used for clarity. The newton os is remarkably powerful; it is fully multitasking in spite of the fact that it was designed      for small machines. It is optimized for hand-held use, but will readily transfer data to all manner of desktop machines.                       Historically it was the first pda. Recently apple announced that it will discontinue further development of the newton          platform, but will instead work to base future hand-held devices on either mac os or mac os x with some effort     dedicated to making the new devices capable of running current newton programs.


Newton book

Newton books provide all the functionality of ordinary books but add searching and hypertext capabilities. The format      was invented for the newton to provide a means of making volumes of data portable, and is particularly popular in the      medical community as most medical references are available as newton books and carrying around a one pound      newton is preferable to carrying around twenty pounds of books, especially when it comes to looking up something. In     addition to medical books, numerous references, most of the classics, and many contemporary works of fiction are     available as newton books. Most fiction is available for free, most references cost money. Newton books are            somewhat more capable than the similar palm doc; both are specific types of e-books.


Newton script

A intepreted, object-oriented language for newton messagepad computers.



A nybble is half a byte, or four bits. It is a case of computer whimsy; it only stands to reason that a small byte should be called a nybble. Some authors spell it with an "i" instead of the "y", but the "y" is the original form.



While the specifics are well beyond the scope of this document, the term "object-oriented" applies to a philosophy of       software creation. Often this philosophy is referred to as object-oriented design (sometimes abbreviated as ood), and       programs written with it in mind are referred to as object-oriented programs (often abbreviated oop). Programming       languages designed to help facilitate it are called object-oriented languages (sometimes abbreviated as ool) and       databases built with it in mind are called object-oriented databases (sometimes abbreviated as oodb or less       fortunately ood). The general notion is that an object-oriented approach to creating software starts with modeling the     real-world problems trying to be solved in familiar real-world ways, and carries the analogy all the way down to    structure of the program. This is of course a great over-simplification. Numerous object-oriented programming             languages exist including: java, c++, modula-2, newton script, and ada.


Objective-c & objc

Objective-c (often called "objc" for short) is a compiled object-oriented language. Based heavily on c, objective-c is        nearly as fast and can often be thought of as being just c with added features. Note that it was developed       independently of c++; its object-oriented extensions are more in the style of smalltalk. It is however related to         objective-c++.


Objective-c++ & objc++

Objective-c++ (often called "objc++" for short) is a curious hybrid of objective-c and c++, allowing the syntax of both to           coexist in the same source files.


Office suite

An office suite is a collection of programs including at minimum a word processor, spreadsheet, drawing program, and   minimal database program. Some common office suites include ms-office, appleworks, clarisworks, geoworks,        applixware, corel office, and staroffice.


Open source

Open source software goes one step beyond freeware. Not only does it provide the software for free, it provides the       original source code used to create the software. Thus, curious users can poke around with it to see how it works, and       advanced users can modify it to make it work better for them. By its nature, open souce software is pretty well   immune to all types of computer virus.



A free variant of berkeley unix available for alpha, x86, 68xx, pa-risc, sparc, and powerpc based machines. Its             emphasis is on security.


Opendocument & odf

Opendocument (or odf for short) is the suite of open, xml-based office suite application formats defined by the oasis       consortium. It defines a platform-neutral, non-proprietary way of storing documents.



A low-level 3d graphics library with an emphasis on speed developed by sgi.



Os/2 is the os designed by ibm to run on x86 based machines. It is semi-compatible with ms-windows. Ibm's more           industrial strength os is called aix.


Pa-risc The pa-risc is a risc processor developed by hewlett-packard. It is currently produced only by hp. At the moment only      one os runs on pa-risc based machines: hp-ux. There is an effort underway to port linux to them, though.


Palm doc

Palm doc files are quite similar to (but slightly less capable than) newton books. They were designed for palm pilots       but can now be read on a couple other platforms, too. They are a specific type of e-book.


Palm pilot

The palm pilot (also called both just palm and just pilot, officially now just palm) is the most popular pda currently in        use. It is one of the least capable pdas, but it is also one of the smallest and least expensive. While not as full   featured as many of the other pdas (such as the newton) it performs what features it does have quite well and still          remains truly pocket-sized.



Loosely speaking, parallel implies a situation where multiple things can be done simultaneously, like having multiple       check-out lines each serving people all at once. Parallel connections are by their nature more expensive than serial       ones, but usually faster. Also, in a related use of the word, often multitasking computers are said to be capable of       running multiple programs in parallel.



Sometimes due to hardware limitations, disks have to be divided into smaller pieces. These pieces are called    partitions.



Named after the mathematician blaise pascal, pascal is a language designed by niklaus wirth originally in 1968 (and       heavily revised in 1972) mostly for purposes of education and training people how to write computer programs. It is a       typically compiled language but is still usually slower than c or fortran. Wirth also created a more powerful object-      oriented pascal-like language called modula-2.



The dos produced by ibm designed to work like ms-dos. Early versions of it bear striking similarities to the earlier       cp/m, but it utilizes simpler commands. It provides only a cli, but either windows 3.1 or geos may be run on top of it to       provide a gui. It only runs on x86 based machines.



The personal computer memory card international association is a standards body that concern themselves with pc        card technology. Often the pc cards themselves are referred to as "pcmcia cards". Frequently flash memory can be         found in pc card form.



Perl is an interpreted language extremely popular for web applications.



The commodore pet (personal electronic transactor) is an early (circa 1977-1980, around the same time as the    apple][) home computer featuring a rom-based basic developed by microsoft which it uses as a default "os". It is based on the 65xx family of processors and is the precursor to the vic-20.



The petscii character set gets its name from "pet ascii; it is a variant of the ascii character set originally developed for    the commodore pet that swaps the upper and lower case characters and adds over a hundred graphic characters in       addition to other small changes. If you encounter some text that seems to have uppercase where lowercase is             expected and vice-versa, it is probably a petscii file.



Named with a recursive acronym (php: hypertext preprocessor), php provides a means of creating web pages that       dynamically modify themselves on the fly.



Ping is a protocol designed to check across a network to see if a particular computer is "alive" or not. Computers that      recognize the ping will report back their status. Computers that are down will not report back anything at all.



The smallest distinct point on a computer display is called a pixel.



A plug-in is a piece of software designed not to run on its own but rather work in cooperation with a separate   application to increase that application's abilities.



There are two common meanings for this word. The first is in the geometric sense; a position in space without size. Of       course as applied to computers it must take up some space in practise (even if not in theory) and it is thus sometimes       synonomous with pixel. The other meaning is related most typically to fonts and regards size. The exact meaning of it     in this sense will unfortunately vary somewhat from person to person, but will often mean 1/72 of an inch. Even when   it does not exactly mean 1/72 of an inch, larger point sizes always indicate larger fonts.



The powerpc is a risc processor developed in a collaborative effort between ibm, apple, and motorola. It is currently        produced by a few different companies, of course including its original developers. A few different oses run on    powerpc based machines, including mac os, aix, solaris, windows nt, linux, mac os x, beos, and amigaos. At any        given time, the fastest processor in the world is usually either a powerpc or an alpha, but sometimes sparcs and pa-     riscs make the list, too.



This simply means to be supplied by only one vendor. It is commonly misused. Currently, most processors are non-         proprietary, some systems are non-proprietary, and every os (except for arguably linux) is proprietary.



A protocol is a means of communication used between computers. As long as both computers recognize the same     protocol, they can communicate without too much difficulty over the same network or even via a simple direct modem            connection regardless whether or not they are themselves of the same type. This means that wintel boxes, macs,         amigas, unix machines, etc., can all talk with one another provided they agree on a common protocol first.



The psion is a fairly popular brand of pda. Generally, it is in between a palm and a newton in capability. It runs the          epoc os.



Python is an interpreter, object-oriented language popular for internet applications. It is extremely portable with free       versions existing for virtually every platform.


Queue A queue is a waiting list of things to be processed. Many computers provide printing queues, for example. If    something is being printed and the user requests that another item be printed, the second item will sit in the printer       queue until the first item finishes printing at which point it will be removed from the queue and get printed itself.


Quickdraw A high-level 3d graphics library with an emphasis on quick development time created by apple.


Ram Random access memory is the short-term memory of a computer. Any information stored in ram will be lost if power goes out, but the computer can read from ram far more quickly than from a drive.


Random access Also called "dynamic access" this indicates that data can be selected without having to skip over earlier data first. This   is the way that a cd, record, laserdisc, or dvd will behave -- it is easy to selectively play a particular track without         having to fast forward through earlier tracks. The other common behavior is called sequential access.


Rdf The resource description framework is built upon an xml base and provides a more modern means of accessing             data from internet resources. It can provide metadata (including annotations) for web pages making (among other        things) searching more capable. It is also being used to refashion some existing formats like rss and icalendar; in the             former case it is already in place (at least for newer rss versions), but it is still experimental in the latter case.


Real-time Something that happens in real-time will keep up with the events around it and never give any sort of "please wait"       message.


Rexx The restructured extended executor is an interpreted language designed primarily to be embedded in other          applications in order to make them consistently programmable, but also to be easy to learn and understand.


Risc Reduced instruction set computing is one of the two main types of processor design in use today, the other being cisc.   The fastest processors in the world today are all risc designs. There are several popular risc processors, including          alphas, arms, pa-riscs, powerpcs, and sparcs.


Robot A robot (or 'bot for short) in the computer sense is a program designed to automate some task, often just sending       messages or collecting information. A spider is a type of robot designed to traverse the web performing some task           (usually collecting data).


Robust The adjective robust is used to describe programs that are better designed, have fewer bugs, and are less likely to         crash.


Rom Read-only memory is similar to ram only cannot be altered and does not lose its contents when power is removed.


Rss Rss stands for either rich site summary, really simple syndication, or rdf site summary, depending upon whom you          ask. The general idea is that it can provide brief summaries of articles that appear in full on a web site. It is well-       formed xml, and newer versions are even more specifically well-formed rdf.


Ruby Ruby is an interpreter, object-oriented language. Ruby was fairly heavily influenced by perl, so people familiar with           that language can typically transition to ruby easily.


Scanner A scanner is a piece of hardware that will examine a picture and produce a computer file that represents what it sees. A digital camera is a related device. Each has its own limitations.


Scheme Scheme is a typically interpreted computer language. It was created in 1975 in an attempt to make lisp simpler and         more consistent. Scheme is a fairly portable language, but is not particularly fast.


Script A script is a series of os commands. The term "batch file" means much the same thing, but is a bit dated. Typically the       same sort of situations in which one would say dos instead of os, it would also be appropriate to say batch file instead    of script. Scripts can be run like programs, but tend to perform simpler tasks. When a script is run, it is always            interpreted.


Scsi Loosely speaking, a disk format sometimes used by ms-windows, mac os, amigaos, and (almost always) unix.   Generally scsi is superior (but more expensive) to ide, but it varies somewhat with system load and the individual scsi             and ide components themselves. The quick rundown is that: scsi-i and scsi-ii will almost always outperform ide; eide           will almost always outperform scsi-i and scsi-ii; scsi-iii and ultrascsi will almost always outperform eide; and heavy       system loads give an advantage to scsi. Note that although loosely speaking it is just a format difference, it is deep         down a hardware difference.


Sequential access This indicates that data cannot be selected without having to skip over earlier data first. This is the way that a cassette   or video tape will behave. The other common behavior is called random access.


Serial Loosely speaking, serial implies something that has to be done linearly, one at a time, like people being served in a       single check-out line. Serial connections are by their nature less expensive than parallel connections (including things     like scsi) but are typically slower.


Server A server is a computer designed to provide various services for an entire network. It is typically either a workstation or             a mainframe because it will usually be expected to handle far greater loads than ordinary desktop systems. The load   placed on servers also necessitates that they utilize robust oses, as a crash on a system that is currently being used by many people is far worse than a crash on a system that is only being used by one person.


Sgml The standard generalized mark-up language provides an extremely generalized level of mark-up. More common   mark-up languages like html and xml are actually just popular subsets of sgml.


Shareware Shareware is software made for profit that allows a trial period before purchase. Typically shareware can be freely       downloaded, used for a period of weeks (or sometimes even months), and either purchased or discarded after it has       been learned whether or not it will satisfy the user's needs.


Shell A cli designed to simplify complex os commands. Some oses (like amigaos, the hurd, and unix) have built-in support       to make the concurrent use of multiple shells easy. Common shells include the korn shell (ksh), the bourne shell (sh      or bsh), the bourne-again shell, (bash or bsh), the c-shell (csh), etc.


Simm A physical component used to add ram to a computer. Similar to, but incompatible with, dimms.


Smalltalk Smalltalk is an efficient language for writing computer programs. Historically it is one of the first object-oriented languages, and is not only used today in its pure form but shows its influence in other languages like objective-c.


Solaris Solaris is the commercial variant of unix currently produced by sun. It is an industrial strength, nigh bulletproof, powerful multitasking os that will run on sparc, x86, and powerpc based machines.


Spam Generally spam is unwanted, unrequested e-mail or usenet news. It is typically sent out in bulk to huge address lists      that were automatically generated by various robots endlessly searching the internet and newsgroups for things that        resemble e-mail addresses. The legality of spam is a topic of much debate; it is at best only borderline legal, and          spammers have been successfully persecuted in some states.


Sparc The sparc is a risc processor developed by sun. The design was more or less released to the world, and it is currently     produced by around a dozen different companies too numerous to even bother mentioning. It is worth noting that even     computers made by sun typically sport sparcs made by other companies. A couple different oses run on sparc based     machines, including solaris, sunos, and linux. Some of the newer sparc models are called ultrasparcs.


Sprite The term sprite originally referred to a small mob, usually implemented in hardware. Lately it is also being used to           refer to a single image used piecemeal within a web site in order to avoid incurring the time penalty of downloading     multiple files.


Sql Sql (pronounced sequel) is an interpreted language specially designed for database access. It is supported by    virtually every major modern database system.


Sugar The window manager used by the olpc xo. It is made to run on top of linux.


Sunos Sunos is the commercial variant of unix formerly produced (but still supported) by sun.


Svg Scalable vector graphics data is an xml file that is used to hold graphical data that can be resized without loss of       quality. Svg data can be kept in its own file, or even embedded within a web page (although not all browsers are       capable of displaying such data).


Tcl/tk The tool command language is a portable interpreted computer language designed to be easy to use. Tk is a gui             toolkit for tcl. Tcl is a fairly popular language for both integrating existing applications and for creating web applets            (note that applets written in tcl are often called tcklets). Tcl/tk is available for free for most platforms, and plug-ins are            available to enable many browsers to play tcklets.


Tcp/ip Tcp/ip is a protocol for computer networks. The internet is largely built on top of tcp/ip (it is the more reliable of the two       primary internet protocols -- tcp stands for transmission control protocol).


Terminator A terminator is a dedicated device used to mark the end of a device chain (as is most typically found with scsi            devices). If such a chain is not properly terminated, weird results can occur.


Tex Tex (pronounced "tek") is a freely available, industrial strength typesetting program that can be run on many different       platforms. These qualities make it exceptionally popular in schools, and frequently software developed at a university   will have its documentation in tex format. Tex is not limited to educational use, though; many professional books were    typeset with tex. Tex's primary drawback is that it can be quite difficult to set up initially.


Thz & terahertz One terahertz is equivalent to 1000 gigahertz.


Trackback Trackbacks essentially provide a means whereby different web sites can post messages to one another not just to       inform each other about citations, but also to alert one another of related resources. Typically, a blog may display       quotations from another blog through the use of trackbacks.


Udp/ip Udp/ip is a protocol for computer networks. It is the faster of the two primary internet protocols. Udp stands for user       datagram protocol.


Unicode The unicode character set is a superset of the ascii character set with provisions made for handling international            symbols and characters from other languages. Unicode is sixteen bit, so takes up roughly twice the space as simple       ascii, but is correspondingly more flexible.


Unix Unix is a family of oses, each being made by a different company or organization but all offering a very similar look          and feel. It can not quite be considered non-proprietary, however, as the differences between different vendor's             versions can be significant (it is still generally possible to switch from one vendor's unix to another without too much            effort; today the differences between different unixes are similar to the differences between the different ms-windows;           historically there were two different unix camps, berkeley / bsd and at&t / system v, but the assorted vendors have   worked together to minimalize the differences). The free variant linux is one of the closest things to a current, non-           proprietary os; its development is controlled by a non-profit organization and its distribution is provided by several      companies. Unix is powerful; it is fully multitasking and can do pretty much anything that any os can do (look to the          hurd if you need a more powerful os). With power comes complexity, however, and unix tends not to be overly friendly             to beginners (although those who think unix is difficult or cryptic apparently have not used cp/m). Window managers        are available for unix (running under x-windows) and once properly configured common operations will be almost as      simple on a unix machine as on a mac. Out of all the oses in current use, unix has the greatest range of hardware         support. It will run on machines built around many different processors. Lightweight versions of unix have been made       to run on pdas, and in the other direction, full featured versions make full advantage of all the resources on large,   multi-processor machines. Some different unix versions include solaris, linux, irix, aix, sunos, freebsd, digital unix, hp-   ux, netbsd, openbsd, etc.


Upload To upload a file is to copy it from your computer to a remote computer. The opposite is download.


Ups An uninterrupted power supply uses heavy duty batteries to help smooth out its input power source.


Uri A uniform resource identifier is basically just a unique address for almost any type of resource. It is similar to but more       general than a url; in fact, it may also be a urn.


Url A uniform resource locator is basically just an address for a file that can be given to a browser. It starts with a protocol            type (such as http, ftp, or gopher) and is followed by a colon, machine name, and file name in unix style. Optionally an     octothorpe character "#" and and arguments will follow the file name; this can be used to further define position within   a page and perform a few other tricks. Similar to but less general than a uri.


Urn A uniform resource name is basically just a unique address for almost any type of resource unlike a url it will probably not resolve with a browser.


Usb A really fast type of serial port that offers many of the best features of scsi without the price. Faster than many types   of parallel port, a single usb port is capable of chaining many devices without the need of a terminator. Usb is much    slower (but somewhat less expensive) than firewire.


Uucode The point of uucode is to allow 8-bit binary data to be transferred through the more common 7-bit ascii channels (most    especially e-mail). The facilities for dealing with uucoded files exist for many different machine types, and the most         common programs are called "uuencode" for encoding the original binary file into a 7-bit file and "uudecode" for            restoring the original binary file from the encoded one. Sometimes different uuencode and uudecode programs will        work in subtly different manners causing annoying compatibility problems. Bcode was invented to provide the same             service as uucode but to maintain a tighter standard.


Variable width As applied to a font, variable width means that different characters will have different widths as appropriate. For            example, an "i" will take up much less space than an "m". The opposite of variable width is fixed width. The terms          "proportional width" and "proportionally spaced" mean the same thing as variable width. Some common variable width   fonts include times, helvetica, and bookman.


Vax The vax is a computer platform developed by digital. Its plural is vaxen. Vaxen are large expensive machines that           were once quite popular in large businesses; today modern unix workstations have all the capability of vaxen but take   up much less space. Their os is called vms.


Vector This term has two common meanings. The first is in the geometric sense: a vector defines a direction and magnitude.     The second concerns the formatting of fonts and images. If a font is a vector font or an image is a vector image, it is     defined as lines of relative size and direction rather than as collections of pixels (the method used in bitmapped fonts   and images). This makes it easier to change the size of the font or image, but puts a bigger load on the device that      has to display the font or image. The term "outline font" means the same thing as vector font.


Veronica & veronica2 Although traditionally written as a proper name, veronica is actually an acronym for "very easy rodent-oriented     netwide index to computerized archives", where the "rodent" refers to gopher. The acronym was obviously a little      forced to go along with the pre-existing (and now largely unused) archie, in order to have a little fun with a comic book reference. Regardless, veronica (or these days more likely veronica2) is essentially a search engine for gopher       resources.


Vic-20 The commodore vic-20 computer sold millions of units and is generally considered to have been the first affordable         home computer. It features a rom-based basic and uses it as a default "os". It is based on the 65xx family of        processors. Vic (in case you are wondering) can stand for either video interface c or video interface computer. The       vic-20 is the precursor to the c64/128.


Virtual machine A virtual machine is a machine completely defined and implemented in software rather than hardware. It is often       referred to as a "runtime environment"; code compiled for such a machine is typically called bytecode.


Virtual memory This is a scheme by which disk space is made to substitute for the more expensive ram space. Using it will often            enable a comptuer to do things it could not do without it, but it will also often result in an overall slowing down of the system. The concept of swap space is very similar.


Virtual reality Virtual reality (often called vr for short) is generally speaking an attempt to provide more natural, human interfaces to       software. It can be as simple as a pseudo 3d interface or as elaborate as an isolated room in which the computer can       control the user's senses of vision, hearing, and even smell and touch.


Virus A virus is a program that will seek to duplicate itself in memory and on disks, but in a subtle way that will not immediately be noticed. A computer on the same network as an infected computer or that uses an infected disk (even        a floppy) or that downloads and runs an infected program can itself become infected. A virus can only spread to       computers of the same platform. For example, on a network consisting of a wintel box, a mac, and a linux box, if one          machine acquires a virus the other two will probably still be safe. Note also that different platforms have different            general levels of resistance; unix machines are almost immune, win '95 / '98 / me / xp is quite vulnerable, and most others lie somewhere in between.


Vms The industrial strength os that runs on vaxen.


Voip Voip means "voice over ip" and it is quite simply a way of utilizing the internet (or even in some cases intranets) for         telephone conversations. The primary motivations for doing so are cost and convenience as voip is significantly less   expensive than typical telephone long distance packages, plus one high speed internet connection can serve for     multiple phone lines.


Vrml A virtual reality modeling language file is used to represent vr objects. It has essentially been superceded by x3d.


W3c The world wide web consortium (usually abbreviated w3c) is a non-profit, advisory body that makes suggestions on         the future direction of the world wide web, html, css, and browsers.


Waba An extremely lightweight subset of java optimized for use on pdas.


Webdav Webdav stands for web-based distributed authoring and versioning, and is designed to provide a way of editing web-      based resources in place. It serves as a more modern (and often more secure) replacement for ftp in many cases.


Webtv A webtv box hooks up to an ordinary television set and displays web pages. It will not display them as well as a           dedicated computer.


Window manager A window manager is a program that acts as a graphical go-between for a user and an os. It provides a gui for the os. Some oses incorporate the window manager into their own internal code, but many do not for reasons of efficiency.        Some oses partially make the division. Some common true window managers include cde (common desktop     environment), gnome, kde, aqua, openwindows, motif, fvwm, sugar, and enlightenment. Some common hybrid          window managers with os extensions include windows me, windows 98, windows 95, windows 3.1, os/2 and geos.


Windows '95 Windows '95 is currently the second most popular variant of ms-windows. It was designed to be the replacement       windows 3.1 but has not yet done so completely partly because of suspected security problems but even more   because it is not as lightweight and will not work on all the machines that windows 3.1 will. It is more capable than           windows 3.1 though and now has excellent driver support and more games available for it than any other platform. It       is made to run on top of ms-dos and will not do much of anything if ms-dos is not on the system. It is thus not strictly    an os per se, but nor is it a true window manager either; rather the combination of ms-dos and windows '95 result in a         full os with gui. It is partially multitasking but has a much greater chance of crashing than windows nt does (or   probably even mac os) if faced with a buggy program. Windows '95 runs only on x86 based machines. Currently            windows '95 has several y2k issues, some of which have patches that can be downloaded for free, and some of which             do not yet have fixes at all.


Windows '98 Windows '98 is quite possibly the second most popular form of ms-windows, in spite of the fact that its official release    is currently a point of legal debate with at least nineteen states, the federal government, and a handful of foreign          countries as it has a few questionable features that might restrict the novice computer user and/or unfairly compete        with other computer companies. It also has some specific issues with the version of java that comes prepackaged with             it that has never been adequately fixed, and it still has several y2k issues, most of which have patches that can be   downloaded for free (in fact, microsoft guarantees that it will work properly through 2000 with the proper patches), but     some of which do not yet have fixes at all (it won't work properly through 2001 at this point). In any case, it was             designed to replace windows '95.


Windows 2000 Windows 2000 was the intended replacement for windows nt and in that capacity received relatively lukewarm            support. Being based on windows nt, it inherits some of its driver support problems. Originally it was also supposed to      replace windows '98, but windows me was made to do that instead, and the merger between windows nt and windows           '98 was postponed until windows xp.


Windows 3.1 Windows 3.1 remains a surprisingly popular variant of ms-windows. It is lighter weight than either windows '95 or       windows nt (but not lighter weight than geos) but less capable than the other two. It is made to run on top of ms-dos       and will not do much of anything if ms-dos is not on the system. It is thus not strictly an os per se, but nor is it a true      window manager, either; rather the combination of ms-dos and windows 3.1 result in a full os with gui. Its driver       support is good, but its game selection is limited. Windows 3.1 runs only on x86 based machines. It has some severe    y2k issues that may or may not be fixed.


Windows ce Windows ce is the lightweight variant of ms-windows. It offers the general look and feel of windows '95 but is targetted       primarily for hand-held devices, pdas, ncs, and embedded devices. It does not have all the features of either windows    '95 or windows nt and is very different from windows 3.1. In particular, it will not run any software made for any of the     other versions of ms-windows. Special versions of each program must be made. Furthermore, there are actually a few      slightly different variants of windows ce, and no variant is guaranteed to be able to run software made specifically for           another one. Driver support is also fairly poor for all types, and few games are made for it. Windows ce will run on a         few different processor types, including the x86 and several different processors dedicated to pdas, embedded    systems, and hand-held devices.


Windows me Windows me is yet another flavor of ms-windows (specifically the planned replacement for windows '98). Windows me       currently runs only on the x86 processor.


Windows nt Windows nt is the industrial-strength variant of ms-windows. Current revisions offer the look and feel of windows '95       and older revisions offer the look and feel of windows 3.1. It is the most robust flavor of ms-windows and is fully           multitasking. It is also by far the most expensive flavor of ms-windows and has far less software available for it than      windows '95 or '98. In particular, do not expect to play many games on a windows nt machine, and expect some           difficulty in obtaining good drivers. Windows nt will run on a few different processor types, including the x86, the alpha,      and the powerpc. Plans are in place to port windows nt to the merced when it becomes available.


Windows vista Windows vista is the newest flavor of ms-windows (specifically the planned replacement for windows xp). Windows         vista (originally known as longhorn) currently only runs on x86 processors.


Windows xp Windows xp is yet another flavor of ms-windows (specifically the planned replacement for both windows me and       windows 2000). Windows xp currently only runs on the x86 processors. Windows xp is currently the most popular            form of ms-windows.


Wintel An x86 based system running some flavor of ms-windows.


Workstation Depending upon whom you ask, a workstation is either an industrial strength desktop computer or its own category       above the desktops. Workstations typically have some flavor of unix for their os, but there has been a recent trend to     call high-end windows nt and windows 2000 machines workstations, too.


Wysiwyg What you see is what you get; an adjective applied to a program that attempts to exactly represent printed output on       the screen. Related to wysiwym but quite different.


Wysiwym What you see is what you mean; an adjective applied to a program that does not attempt to exactly represent printed       output on the screen, but rather defines how things are used and so will adapt to different paper sizes, etc. Related to       wysiwyg but quite different.


X-face X-faces are small monochrome images embedded in headers for both provides a e-mail and news messages. Better   mail and news applications will display them (sometimes automatically, sometimes only per request).


X-windows X-windows provides a gui for most unix systems, but can also be found as an add-on library for other computers.         Numerous window managers run on top of it. It is often just called "x".


X3d Extensible 3d graphics data is an xml file that is used to hold three-dimensional graphical data. It is the successor to       vrml.


X86 The x86 series of processors includes the pentium, pentium pro, pentium ii, pentium iii, celeron, and athlon as well as    the 786, 686, 586, 486, 386, 286, 8086, 8088, etc. It is an exceptionally popular design (by far the most popular cisc      series) in spite of the fact that even its fastest model is significantly slower than the assorted risc processors. Many   different oses run on machines built around x86 processors, including ms-dos, windows 3.1, windows '95, windows         '98, windows me, windows nt, windows 2000, windows ce, windows xp, geos, linux, solaris, openbsd, netbsd, freebsd,      mac os x, os/2, beos, cp/m, etc. A couple different companies produce x86 processors, but the bulk of them are         produced by intel. It is expected that this processor will eventually be completely replaced by the merced, but the     merced development schedule is somewhat behind. Also, it should be noted that the pentium iii processor has stirred   some controversy by including a "fingerprint" that will enable individual computer usage of web pages etc. To be          accurately tracked.


Xbl An xml binding language document is used to associate executable content with an xml tag. It is itself an xml file, and   is used most frequently (although not exclusively) in conjunction with xul.


Xhtml The extensible hypertext mark-up language is essentially a cleaner, stricter version of html. It is a proper subset of          xml.


Xml The extensible mark-up language is a subset of sgml and a superset of xhtml. It is used for numerous things including    (among many others) rss and rdf.


Xml-rpc Xml-rpc provides a fairly lightweight means by which one computer can execute a program on a co-operating machine     across a network like the internet. It is based on xml and is used for everything from fetching stock quotes to checking          weather forcasts.


Xo The energy-efficient, kid-friendly laptop produced by the olpc project. It runs sugar for its window manager and linux         for its os. It sports numerous built-in features like wireless networking, a video camera & microphone, a few usb ports,   and audio in/out jacks. It comes with several educational applications (which it refers to as "activities"), most of which         are written in python.


Xsl The extensible stylesheet language is like css for xml. It provides a means of describing how an xml resource should     be displayed.


Xslt Xsl transformations are used to transform one type of xml into another. It is a component of xsl that can be (and often    is) used independently.


Xul An xml user-interface language document is used to define a user interface for an application using xml to specify the    individual controls as well as the overall layout.


Z-machine A virtual machine optimized for running interactive fiction, interactive tutorials, and other interactive things of a            primarily textual nature. Z-machines have been ported to almost every platform in use today. Z-machine bytecode is usually called z-code. The glulx virtual machine is of the same idea but somewhat more modern in concept.


Z80 The z80 series of processors is a cisc design and is not being used in too many new stand-alone computer systems,      but can still be occasionally found in embedded systems. It is the most popular processor for cp/m machines.


Zaurus The zaurus is a brand of pda. It is generally in between a palm and a newton in capability.


Zip There are three common zips in the computer world that are completely different from one another. One is a type of                removable removable disk slightly larger (physically) and vastly larger (capacity) than a floppy. The second is a group             of programs used for running interactive fiction. The third is a group of programs used for compression.


Zoomer The zoomer is a type of pda. Zoomers all use geos for their os and are / were produced by numerous different     companies and are thus found under numerous different names. The "classic" zoomers are known as the z-7000, the    z-pda, and the gridpad and were made by casio, tandy, and ast respectively. Newer zoomers include hp's omnigo         models, hyundai's gulliver (which may not have actually been released to the general public), and nokia's             communicator line of pda / cell phone hybrids.


1. The earlier computers, which were massive in size, were based on vacuum tubes.

2. Early computing machines, like the eniac, were actually meant to assist the armed forces.

3. The printers in pre-1950s were punch cards.

4. An improvement on the eniac, which pioneered ‘stored program’, was made possible with the help of the mathe-matician john von neumann.

5. Before the 1950s, computers were mostly owned by universities and research labs.

6. The b-programming language was developed by ken thompson.

7. Famous people, associated with the eniac, edvac, univac computers are eckert & mauchly.

8. The 1st commercially produced and sold computer (1951) was univac.

9. Ibm was provided software for pcs by microsoft.

10. Time-sharing, teletyping, were associated with mainframe computers.

11. The transformation from heavy computers to pcs was made possible using microprocessors.

12. The first microprocessor was developed in 1971 by intel.

13. The term ‘micro’ (extremely small) denotes 10–6 m.

14. The harvard student, who chose to write computer programs and dropped studies was bill gates.

15. A pentium 4 (p-4) employs roughly 40 million transistors.

16. Mark-1, apple-1, and collossus were initial desktop computers.

17. Binary digits are briefed as bit.

18. A collection of bits is called byte.

19. C++, is a computer language.

20. The process of eliminating pro-gramming faults is called debugging.

21. Starting up on operating system is called booting.

22. A program used to browse the web is called browser.

23. An error in software designing which can even cause a computer to crash is called bug.

24. Click and double-click are achieved using the mouse.

25. Java, c, fortran, pascal and basic are computer programming languages.

26. The device which sends computer data using a phone line is called modem.

27. ‘worm’ and ‘virus’ are actually programs.

28. A ‘file’ is a unit of information.

29. A megabyte has 106 (million) bytes.

30. A small, single-site network is called lan.

31. A processor that collects several data and sends them over a single line is called bridge.

32. ‘nano’ stands for one billionth part.

33. The number of bit patterns using an n-bit code is 2n.

34. The part of a computer that works with the data/programs is called cpu.

35. To convert a binary number to a decimal, we have to express it in power of 2.

36. www stands for world wide web.

37. Mathematics employed in computers is called boolean algebra.

38. A collection of 8 bits is called byte.

39. The first home computer (1977), which was sold in millions of units was apple ii.

40. ‘param’ is a supercomputer.

41. A website containing periodic posts is called blog.

42. While cutting and pasting, the cut item is temporarily stored in the clipboard.

43. Http stands for hypertext transfer protocol.

44. The unwanted or non-requested e-mails are called “spam”.

45. A computer framed to give various network services is called server.

46. The English once took it to be an alphabet. The Chinese affectionately term it ‘the little mouse’. The Dutch call it an          ‘elephant’s trunk’, the Germans a spider monkey, the Italians as a snail. It is ‘&’ (ampersand).

47. The inspiration for the brand name Yahoo! Came from a word made up by Jonathan Swift in his book Gulliver’s          Travels. A Yahoo was a person who was ugly and not a human in appearance.

48. The prime reason the Google home page is so bare, is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know the HTML and just wanted a quick interface. In fact, the submit button was a later addition and initially, hitting the RETURN key was the only way to burst Google into life.

49. Sweden has the highest percentage of its population i.e. 76.9 per cent hooked on to the Internet. In contrast, the world average is 11.9 per cent and India has a poor 7.2 per cent.

50. The Dilbert Zone was the first comic website on the Internet.

51. A resident of Tonga could have the rights to register domains ending in .to as Tongo’s Internet code is .to. Such possibilities are fun to consider: travel.to or go.to.

52. The day after Internet Explorer 4 was released, a few Microsoft employees left a 10 by 12-foot Internet Explorer logo on Netscape’s front lawn with a message that said “We love you” at the height of the browser wars in the late 90’s.

53. The world ‘e-mail’ has been banned by the French Ministry of culture. They are required to use the word ‘Courriel’ instead, which is the French equivalent of Internet. This move became the subject of ridicule from the cybercommunity in general.

54. Did you know that www.symbolics.com was the first ever domain name registered online?

55. According to a University of Minnesota report, researchers estimate the volume of Internet traffic is growing at an annual rate of 50 to 60 per cent.

56. The term Internet and World Wide Web are often used in every-day speech without much distinction. However, the Internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same. The Internet is a global data communications system. It is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides connectivity between computers. In contrast, the Web is one of the services communicated via the Internet. It is a collection of interconnected documents and otherresources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.

57. In February 2009, Twitter had a monthly growth (of users) of over 1300 per cent several times more than Facebook.

58. The first graphical Web browser to become truly popular was Marc Andresen and Jamie Zawinski’s NCSA Mosaic. It was the first browser made available for Window’s, Mac and Unix X windows System with the first version   appearing in MARCH 1993.

59. The cost of transmitting information has fallen dramatically. A trillion bits of information from Boston to Los Angeles from $150,000 in 1970 to 12 cents today. E-mailing a 40 page document from Chile to Kenya costs less than 10 cents, faxing it about $10, sending it by courier $50.

60. The typical Internet user worldwide is young, male and wealthy – a member of an elite minority.

61. The average total cost of using a local dialup Internet account for 20 hours a month and USD 60 a month in the US. The average African monthly salary is less than USD 60.

62. Before they can read, almost one in four children in nursery school are learning a skill that even some adults have yet to master: using the Internet, about 23per cent of children in nursery school – kids age 3,4 or 5 – have gone online.

63. At the end of the 20th century, 90 per cent of data on Africa was stored in Europe and the United States.

64. Facebook now has 24 million users who spend an average of 14 minutes on the site every time they visit. This is up   from 8 minutes last September, according to Hit wise, a traffic measuring service.

65. MySpace has 67 million numbers - nearly 3 times as many as Facebook! MySpace users spend an average of 30 minutes on the site each time they visit.

66. If you want to sell your book on amazon.com you can set the price, but then they will take 55 per cent cut and leave you with only 45 per cent.

67. R Tomlinson was the first person on records to have sent an email. His email address was: tom-linson@bbn.tenexa. He had invented this software that allowed messages to be sent between computers. He is also credited with the use of the @ in email addresses.

68. Counting only domain name sites with content, Netcraft has tracked the growth of the internet since 1995 and says of the 100 million; around 48 million are active sites that are updated regularly. When it began observing sites through the domain name system in 1995, there were 18,000 web sites in existence.

69. On the internet, a ‘bastion host’ is the only host computer that a company allows to be addressed directly from the public network.

70. Around 1 per cent of the world’s 650 million corporate e-mail accounts are plugged into hardware and software that forwards incoming messages to a mobile device. And about 3.65 million of them us a Blackberry.

71. Almost half of people online have at least three e-mail accounts. In addition the average consumer has maintained the same e-mail address for four to six years.

72. Spam accounts for over 60 per cent of all email, according to Message Labs. Google says at least one third of all Gmail servers are filled with spam.

73. Yahoo started out as “Jerry and David’s guide to the world Wide Web”. Jerry Yang and David Filo were PhD candidates at Stanford in 1994 when they started the site.

74. The first Web browser was already capable of downloading and displaying movies, sounds and any file type supported by the operating system.

75. ‘Carnivore’ is the Internet surveillance system developed by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who developed it to monitor the electronic transmissions of criminal suspects.

76. Anthony Greco, aged 18, became the first person arrested for spam (unsolicited instant messages) on February 21, 2005.

77. A NeXT computer used by Tim Berners-Lee was the world’s first web server.

78. The first web site was built at CERN. CERN is the French acronym for European Council for Nuclear Research and is located at Geneva, Switzerland.

79. The World Wide Web is the most extensive implementation of the hypertext but it is not the only one. A computer help file is actually a hypertext document.

80. The concept of style sheets was already in place when the first browser was released.

81. Worldwide Web was programmed with Objective C.

82. Hypertext is implemented in the web as links in the browser window. Links are references to text that the user wants to access. When a link is      clicked the referenced text is displayed or brought into focus.

83. The address of the world’s first web server is http://info.cern.ch/ The URL of the first web page was http://nxoc01.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. Although this page is not hosted anymore at CERN, a later version of the page is posted at http://www.w3.org/History/199921103hypertext/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

84. In December 1991, the first institution in the US to adopt the web was the Stanford Linear Accelerator center (SLAC). True to the Berners-Lee vision, it was used to display an online catalog of SLAC’s documents.

85. Marc Andreessen started Netscape and released Netscape Navigator in 1994. during the height of its popularity,          Netscape Navigator accounted for almost 90 per cent of all web use.

86. The first browser that made the web available to PC and Mac users was Mosaic. It was developed by National Center for Supercomputing (NCSA) led by Marc Andreessen in February, 1993. Mosaic was one of the first graphical web browsers and led to an explosion in web use.

87. April 30, 1993 is an important date for the Web because on that day, CERN announced that anyone may use WWW          technology freely.

88. Microsoft released Internet Explorer on 1995. This event initiated the browser wars. By bundling internet explorer         with the Windows operating system, by 2002, Internet Explorer became the most dominant web browser with a    market share over 95 per cent.

89. It was in the Conference Dinner in May 26, 1994 where the first Best of WWW awards were given. It was by pure          coincidence that the jazz band that played during the awards was called “Wolfgang and the Were Wolves”.

90. Only 4 per cent of Arab women use the Internet. Moroccan women represent almost a third of that figure.

91. As of July 2009, Microsoft Internet Explorer accounted for 67.68 per cent of all browsers used Mozilla Firefox was       used by 22.47 per cent of all users.

92. The development of standards for the World Wide Web is managed by the W3C or the World Wide Web          consortium. The W3C was founded in October, 1994 and headed by Tim Berners-Lee.

93. The first White House website was launched during the Clinton-Gore administration on October 21, 1994.          Coincidentally, the site www.whitehouse.com linked to a pornography web site.

94. Open source technology dominates the web. The most common software used for web serving is called LAMP          standing for the Linux operating system, apache web server, MySql database and PHP scripting language.

95. The “www” part of a web site (www.google.com) is optional and is not required by any web policy or standard.

96. Despite IPv4’s 4.3 billion unique addresses, it is forecasted that by 2011, the address space will be consumed. A          newer scheme called IPv6 is slowly replacing IPv4 in some countries. IPv6 has the capability to address 2128          computers. to give perspective to this very big number, the world's population of 6.5 billion people as of 2006 can be          given 295 unique addresses.

97. YouTube's bandwidth requirements to upload and view all those videos cost as much as 1 million dollars a day and          drawing. The revenues generated by YouTube cannot pay for its upkeep.

98. The blue colored links on a web page is just a browser default because way back on the days when monitors only        had 16 colours, blue was the darkest colour that did not affect text legibility.

99. All three letter word combinations from aaa.com to zzz.com are already registered as domain names.

100. Around 75 per cent of the music that is available for download has never been purchased and it is costing money        just to be on the server.

101. One million domain names are registered every month.

102. According to AT&T vice president Jim Cicconi, 8 hours of video is uploaded into YouTube every minute. This was       on April 2008. On May 21, 2009, YouTube received 20 hours of video content per minute.

103. Of the 13 million music files available on the web, 52,000 tunes accounted for 80 per cent of download.

104. By 2012 it has been said that there will be 17 billion devices connected to the internet. In most of Asia, mobile          phones are leading the way to internet connectivity.
105. The term Deep Web is used to refer to a wealth of information that is at least 400 to 550 times larger than the          searchable Internet. This content consisting of most of the information on today's active websites is stored in          databases which are invisible to search engines. this information contains data such as prices of items, airfares and          other stuff that will never surface unless somebody queries for that information. The Deep Web and all that hidden          information is what prevents search engines from giving us a definitive answer to simple questions like "How much     is the cheapest airfare from New York to London next Thursday?"
106. In a recent survey conducted by security specialist Symantec of the 100 most unsafe and malware infested web          sites, 48 per cent of them feature adult content.
107. The online population of Facebook, 250 million users worldwide, and MySpace, which had 100 million accounts by          2007, are bigger than the populations of many nations worldwide. On April 2008, Facebook overtook MySpace in          terms of monthly visits.
108. It took the web only 4 years to reach 50 million users. Radio took 38 years while TV made it in 13 years.
109. Amazon.com was formerly known as Cadabra.com
110. A blogger Kyle MacDonald, made history in 2006 by trading his way to glory. Starting out with a paper clip, he traded his way to increasingly costlier items and of value including a year’s rent and an afternoon with the Alice           Cooper. He eventually traded a film role for a two-storey farmhouse Kipling, Saskatchewan.
111. Bit torrents, depending on location, are estimated to consume 27 to 55 per cent of all internet bandwidth as of          February, 2009.
112. Domain registration was free until the National Science foundation decided to change this on September 14th,          1995.
113. It is estimated that one of every eight married couples started by meeting online.
114. Lee Stein invented the first online electronic bank in 1994 entitled, "First Virtual Holdings".
115. The Internet is roughly 35% English with the Chinese at 14%. Yet only 13% of world's population i.e. 812 million are          Internet users as of December 2004. North America has the highest continental concentration with 70 per cent of        the populace using the Internet.
116. Official statistics in the UK say that 29 per cent of women have never used the internet, but only 20 per cent of men.
117. In 1995, Bob Metcalfe coined the phrase 'The Web might be better than sex'.
118. Iceland has the highest percentage of the Internet users at 68 per cent. The United States stands at 56%. 34% of all          Malaysians us the Internet while only eight per cent of Jordanians are connected, 4% of Palestinians; 0.6% of          Nigerians and 0.1% of Tajikistanis.
119. Employees at Google are encouraged to use 20 per cent of their time working on their own projects. Google News,          Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.
120. Afghanistan has a combined telephone penetration of 3.4 per cent.
121. Someone is a victim of a cybercrime every 10 seconds and it is on the rise.
122. The first search engine for Gopher files was called Veronica, created by the University of Nevada System       Computing Services group.
123. The Electrohippies Collective (Ehippies) is an international group of internet activists based in Oxfordshire, England,          whose purpose is to express disapproval of governmental policies of mass media censorship and control of the          Internet "in order to provide a 'safe environment' for corporations      to do their deals."
124. Luking is to read through mailing lists or news groups and get a feel of the topic before posting one's own message.
125. The Internet was called the 'Galactic Network' in memos written by MIT's JCR Licklider in 1962.
126. The first internet worm was created by Robert Morris, Jr, and attacked more than 6,000 Internet hosts.
127. SRS stands for Shared Registry Server which is the central system for all accredited registrars to access, register      and control domain names.
128. The search engine Lycos is named after Lycosidae which is a Latin name for the wolf spider family.
129. It is believed that Subhash Ghai's film Taal was the first bollywood movie to be widely promoted on the internet.
130. Rob Glasser's company Progressive Networks launched the RealAudio system on April 10, 1995.
131. Butter Jeeves of the internet site AskJeeves.com made its debut as a large helium balloon in the Macy's Thanks          giving Day parade in 2000.
132. In Beijing, the internet community has coined the word 'Chortal' as a shortened version of 'Chinese' Portal.
133. Satyam Online became the first private ISP in December 1998 to offer internet connection in India.
134. In 1946, the Merriam Webster defined a computer as a person who tabulates numbers, accountant, actuary, book          keeper.
135. In 1969, advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) went online connecting four major US universities. The idea      was to have a backup in case a military attack destroyed conventional communication system.
136. The first ever ISP was CompuServe which still exists under AOL, Timer Warner.
137. Jeff Bezos while starting his business could not name his website Cadabra due to copyright issues. He later named    it amazon.com.
138. The longest phone cable is a submarine cable called FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe). It spans 16,800          miles from Japan to the United Kingdom and can carry 600,000 calls at a time.
139. The first coin operated machine ever designed was a holy-water dispenser that required a five-drachma piece to          operate. It was the brainchild of the Greek scientist Hero in first century A.D.
140. Since Google’s centerpiece in search technology was patented by Stanford University (on behalf of the founders          Larry Page & Sergey Brin), Google gave Stanford 1.8 million shares for exclusive right to the patent that the         university later sold for a staggering $336 million.
141. Google earns 97 percent of its revenues from advertising alone. This amounts to $20 billion.
142. Did you know that Google logs each search queries into its systems to enhance future searches?
143. They have found in user testing, that a small number of people are very typical of the larger user base. They run          labs continually and always monitor how people use a page of results.
144. Google has the largest network of translators in the world; this is needed for continuously integrating searches and          indexing web pages into their engine.
145. The reason Orkut doesn’t look or feel like a Google application was that the designer in-charge was given free reign     to do things his way without the usual company procedures. Google is looking to improve Orkut’s resource      utilization however.
146. Google makes small changes on their products very often. They sometimes try a particular feature with a set of          users from a given network or region; for example Excite@Home users often get to see new features. They aren’t        told of this, just presented with the new UI and observed how they use it.
147. The infamous “I feel lucky” is nearly never used. However, in traits it was found that removing it would somehow          reduce the Google experience. Users wanted it to be kept. It was like a comfort button.
148. When Google was founded, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders tossed a coin to decide what position they          would take.
149. Notice the logos appearing on your Google homepage around major events or holidays? This is known as the Google Doodle. The first one was dedicated to the Burning Man festival in 1998. You can check out past Google     doodles at google.com/logos.
150. By July 2008, Google had indexed an astounding 1 trillion (1000000000000) pages on the Internet.
151. Heard of Mentaplex? It was an April fool’s joke that Google could read peoples minds and search the Internet for         what they were thinking of. The joke also included broadband access wires coming out from people’s toilet bowls!            Try it out at http://www.google.com/mentalplex
152. Larry Page, the co founder of Google once made an inkjet printer out of Lego blocks when he was in college.
153. There are more then 600 million phones. Even then, more than half the population of the entire world hasn’t yet          made a phone call.
154. All three founders of YouTube, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim were working for PayPal when they          started YouTube.
155. Did you know that the domain YouTube.com was registered on Valentine's Day (February 14, 2005)
156. YouTube loves young Americans? Here’s proof: 70 percent of the YouTube’s registered users are from USA and         half of YouTube users are under 20 years old.
157. If YouTube was Hollywood, they have enough material to release 60,000 new films every week.
158. One of the biggest leaps in Google’s search engine usage came about when they introduced their much improved       spell checker giving birth to the “Did you mean…” This instantly doubled their traffic.
159. The total amount of bandwidth used by YouTube is about the same as used by entire Internet in 2000.
160. One needs over 1000 years of time to watch all videos on YouTube (but there will be billion of more videos      uploaded on YouTube by then.)
161. Most popular category for uploder videos is ‘Music’ having around 20 percent YouTube videos.
162. Gmail was internally used for nearly 2 years prior to launch to the public. They discovered there were approximately      6 types of email users, and Gmail has been designed to accommodate all of these.
163. United States uses upload most of YouTube videos followed by UK. Americans are also the number-one watchers       of YouTube videos followed by Japan.
164. The first ever video that was uploaded on YouTube is by Jawed Karim (one of YouTube founders) titled “Me at zoo”      on April 23rd, 2005. This video is all of 18 seconds long.
165. There isn’t any restriction for proper dress code in the Google offices. This is to ensure comfort and a productive          working environment. So one may dress up in pajamas or even as a superhero.
166. Tom Vendetta is the youngest Google employee ever hired. He was hired by Google when he was just 15 years           old. Vendetta used to fool his friends by sending fake press releases and news. Vendetta was employed because           he was young and would know young hackers thought. His job was to help address security flaws in Gmail.
167. Google consists of over 450,000 servers, racked up in clusters located in data centers around the world.
168. The first ever search engine was called “Archie” and was created way back in 1990 by a Canadian student Alan          Emtage.
169. In 2007, Google became the most visited website with 700 million users. It beat the next popular website,          Microsoft.com by over 200 million hits. In March 2010, Facebook overtook Google!