you will find a comprehensive glossary of Internet and Computer terms with definitions that are helpful and easy to understand.
To find a term, click the letter of which the word begins with and scroll
alphabetically to find your term. For example, to find the definition for the
word "Media", click the letter "M", then scroll the list
alphabetically until you find "Media".
Acronym for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the suite of
communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP uses
several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP. TCP/IP is built into
the UNIX operating system and is used by the Internet, making it the de
facto standard for transmitting data over networks. Even network operating
systems that have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.
One of the TCP/IP Protocols. It allows a connection to another computer over
dedicated phone lines.
- Terabyte: (TB)
2 to the 40th power (1,099,511,627,776) bytes. This is approximately 1
10 to the 12th power (1,000,000,000,000). This is exactly one trillion.
This is what you look at when you're on the Internet. It's your computer
A device attached to the end-points of a bus network or daisy-chain. The
purpose of the terminator is to absorb signals so that they do not reflect
back down the line. Ethernet networks require a terminator at both ends of
the bus, and SCSI chains require a single terminator at the end of the
A character that indicates the end of a string. In the C programming
language, the null character serves as a terminator.
This is an application that allows your terminal to act as a dumb terminal.
- Thin Client:
Typically, a Thin Client will have little or no software installed and does
not recieve its information through a hard drive but rather from servers in
a network. Since a Thin Client assumes the presence of a file server, these
systems cost considerably less than a fully loaded personal computer. The
word "Thin" refers to the boot image that this type of system requires.
In online discussions, a series of messages that have been posted as replies
to each other. A single forum or conference typically contains many threads
covering different subjects. By reading each message in a thread, one after
the other, you can see how the discussion has evolved. You can start a new
thread by posting a message that is not a reply to an earlier message.
The amount of data transferred from one place to another or processed in a
specified amount of time. Data transfer rates for disk drives and networks
are measured in terms of throughput. Typically, throughputs are measured in
Kbps, Mbps and Gbps.
- Time Constant:
In electronics, this term refers to a measured amount of time that current
or voltage rises or falls across a circuit.
A function that allows a user to switch back and fourth between an OFF and
- Top Down
Also known as "Bottom Up Testing". It exists as an incremental testing
strategy to ensure that designs are correct from the very beginning. It
starts by testing the user interface, while the lower hierarchy components
functionality is simulated by a dummy procedure known as a "stub". The
testing continues in this manor until all of the components have been
In networking, this refers to the physical or logical arrangement of a
network. Physical Topology would refer to the connecting of the cables and
nodes and the Logical Topology would refer to how the information flows
through the network.
Short for transmitter-receiver, a device that both transmits and receives
analog or digital signals. The term is used most frequently to describe the
component in local-area networks (LANs) that actually applies signals onto
the network wire and detects signals passing through the wire. For many
LANs, the transceiver is built into the network interface card (NIC). Some
types of networks, however, require an external transceiver. In Ethernet
networks, a transceiver is also called a Medium Access Unit (MAU).
- Transfer Rate:
The speed at which a disk drive can transfer information between its
platters and your CPU. The transfer rate is typically measured in megabytes
per second, megabits per second, or megahertz.
Something that occurs without being known to the user.
A device composed of semiconductor material that amplifies a signal or opens
or closes a circuit. Invented in 1947 at Bell Labs, transistors have become
the key ingredient of all digital circuits, including computers. Today's
microprocessors contains tens of millions of microscopic transistors.
Prior to the invention of transistors, digital circuits were composed of
vacuum tubes, which had many disadvantages. They were much larger, required
more energy, dissipated more heat, and were more prone to failures. It's
safe to say that without the invention of transistors, computing as we know
it today would not be possible.
A type of computer virus that is loaded into an unsuspecting users system
via a host program such as a free game. The Trojan can be programmed by the
author to perform many actions once activated by the user. These actions
usually have malicious intent. The term "Trojan" comes from ancient Greece,
where the Greeks used a wooden horse containing hidden Greek soldiers to
gain entrance to the city of Troy.
- True Color:
Refers to any graphics device or software that uses at least 24 bits to
represent each dot or pixel. Using 24 bits means that more than 16 million
unique colors can be represented. Since humans can only distinguish a few
million colors, this is more than enough to accurately represent any color
A digital electronics term used to describe a class of integrated circuits
derived from two transistors.
- Turnkey System:
A system that already contains all the components and programs required for
operation. The vendor takes care of installation and configurations so all
the user has to do is "turn the key" to begin using the system.
Stands for Technology Without An Interesting Name.