Friday, October 30, 2009

Information Technology Acronyms

Account :

When you use a particular computer system, you are given an account. Associated with the account are a unique user name and a password. You must enter this information to show that you are a legitimate user of the system.

Address :

A unique name (or number) identifying a computer user or computer is called an address. Addresses are used in network communications when transmitting messages to a particular person or machine.

Binary File :

All files which are not text files are considered binary files. Any combination of bits is possible with a binary file.

Browser :

A program that can be used to display web pages. Netscape is a browser.

BBS (Bulletin Board System):

An electronic message center. Most bulletin boards serve specific interest groups. They allow you to dial in with a modem, review messages left by others, and leave your own message if you want. Bulletin boards are a particularly good place to find free or inexpensive software products. In the United States alone, there are tens of thousands of BBSs.

Chat :

To talk live to other network users.

Client :

A software application that works on your behalf to extract a service from a server somewhere on the network.


The Domain Name System; a distributed database system for translating computer names into numeric internet addresses, and vice-versa.

Domain :

A classification category used for identifying computers in a network. The names of successive domains are used to form a unique name by which the computer is known to the network.

Domain Name :

A structured name for a computer in a network, in the form Uniqueness is ensured by having a hierachy of naming authorities, each one responsible for approving the names in its immediate domain.

Download :

The process of transferring files to your local machine using communications software and a modem. Often the last step necessary to have your own copy of a file.

Ex-Libris USA :

The Ex Libris group is a worldwide supplier of software solutions and related services for libraries and information centers. The Company's flagship product, ALEPH 500, is a market leader in the field of library automation for higher education as well as for public, national, and research libraries, consortia and national networks, and large corporations.


Frequently Asked Questions.

FreeNet :

An organization to provide free Internet access to people in a certain area, usually through public libraries.


  • The File Transfer Protocol; a protocol that defines how to transfer files from one computer to another.

  • An application program which moves files using the File Transfer Protocol.


  • A common abbreviation in mail and news, meaning "for your information."

  • A series of informative papers about the Internet.

Gateway :

A computer system that transfers data between normally incompatible applications or networks.

Gopher :

A menu based system for exploring Internet resources.


Hypertext Markup Language; the language in which World Wide Web documents are written.

Hypermedia :

A combination of hypertext and multimedia.

Hypertext :

Documents that contain links to other documents; selecting a link automatically displays the second document.


Common abbreviation in mail and news, meanining "in my humble opinion".

Internet :

  • Generally (not capitalized), any collection of distinct networks working together as one.

  • Specifically (capitalized), the world wide "network of networks" that are connected to each other, using the IP protocol and other similiar protocols.

I-2 :

Internet-II; speed is much fast than Internet.

IP :

The Internet Protocol; the most important of the protocols on which the Internet is based. It allows a packet to traverse multiple networks on the way to its final destination.

Link :

A place on a hypertext screen that loads another hypertext screen. The linked screen can be on a distant computer.

ListServ :

A family of programs that automatically manage mailing lists, distributing messages posted to the list, adding and deleting members, and so on, without the tedium of someone doing it manually.

Mail Reflector :

A special mail address; electronic mail sent to this address is automatically forwarded to a set of other addresses. Typically, used to implement a mail discussion group.


Maryland Digital Library


MdUSA is the front end (WEB based access) to databases for all the participating libraries of the Maryland Digital Library and the cooperating University System of Maryland Libraries and the Affliated Institutions.

Multimedia :

Documents that include different kinds of data; for example, plain text and audio, or text in several different languages, or plain text and a spreadsheet.


Network News Transfer Protocol; the protocol used to transfer USENET news articles between computers on the internet.


Online Public Access Catalog


Public Access Catalog

Packet :

A bundle of data.

Port :

  • A number that identifies a particular Internet application. When your computer sends a packet to another computer, that packet contains information about what protocol it's using (e.g., TCP or UDP), and what application it's trying to communicate with. The port number identifies the application.

  • One of a computer's physical input/output channels (i.e., a plug on the back).


An individual article sent to a USENet newsgroup; or the act of sending an article to a USENet newsgroup.


Point-to-Point Protocol; a protocol that allows a computer to use the TCP/IP (Internet) protocols (and become a full-fledged Internet member) with a standard telephone line and a high-speed modem. PPP is a new standard, which replaces SLIP.


A protocol is just a definition of how computers will act when talking to each other. Protocol definitions range from how bits are placed on a wire to the format of an electronic mail message.


Request for Commiments; a set of papers in which the Internet standards, proposed standards, and generally agreed upon ideas are documented and published.


Request for Information


Request for Proposal


A system that transfers data between two networks that use the same protocols.

Server :

  • Software that allows a computer to offer a service to another computer. Other computers contact the server program by means of matching client software.

  • The computer on which the server software runs.

Signature :

A file, typically five lines long or so, that people often insert at the end of electronic mail messages or USENet news articles.


Serial Line IP; a protocol that allows a computer to use the Internet protocols (and become a full-fledged Internet member) with a standard telephone line and a high-speed modem. SLIP is being superseded by PPP.

Spam :

The act of posting inappropriate commercial messages to a large number of unrelated, uninterested USENet news groups.


Transmission Control Protocol. One of the protocols on which the Internet is based. TCP is a connection-oriented reliable protocol.

Telnet :

  • A "terminal emulation" protocol taht allows you to log in to other computer systems on the Internet.

  • An application program that allows you to log in to another computer system using the TELNET protocol.

Terminal Emulation :

Refers to making a computer respond like a particular type of terminal. Terminal emulation programs allow you to access a mainframe computer or bulletin board service with a personal computer.

Trojan Horse :

A computerized program with unauthorized access to another system.


Uniform Resource Locator is a standardized notation to specify the location of files anywhere on the Internet. It includes the type of resource being accessed (e.g. Gopher, FTP), the address of the server, and the location of the file. The general form is: scheme://host.domain [:port]/ path/filename.

USENet :

The USENet is an informal rather anarchic, group of systems that exchange "news". News is essentially similar to "bulletin boards" on other networks.

Web Page :

A file that includes certain codes which look like garbage to the naked eye, but when viewed by a Browser, displays as a hypertext screen. It must reside on a machine that can understand requests for its display (a web server).

Web Site :

The home to a collection of web pages on a server. The pages are usually related to the Institution which owns the server.


World Wide Web; hypertext-based system for finding and accessing Internet resources.


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