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Alpine Support Knowledge Base .: Glossary


Terms in glossary: 120.

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.wav format
Windows sound files format
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10/100 Base T
Used to denote the speed of a communications device on a Local Area Network, such as a network card or a hub. 10/100 denotes that the device can operate at 10 or 100 Mbs, allowing that other devices on the network are all operating at the same speed.
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The 80486 microprocessor was introduced by Intel in the late 80s and was the forth generation in the series of PC's. These kinds of microprocessors were normally referred to as 486 computers with a clock speed range between 33MHz and 133Mhz. The minimum processor speed required to run Windows 95 or 98 is 486 DX2-66Mhz.
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A specific site (www, ftp, gopher) or "mailbox" (e-mail) on the Internet, often the mailbox of a particular user. If referring to e-mail, an address will usually contain the "at" sign: @. An address is often rendered in lower case. Example: joebloggs @
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A database search method which points the Internet user to specific files and FTP sites. Archie can be used to search by subject, title, or keyword.
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An archive is simply a descriptive term for a package of files which appear as one file, often compressed.
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An article is a message posted to the subscribers of a Newsgroup.
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American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which describes how characters can be represented on a computer. The ASCII character set consists of 128 characters numbered from 0 to 127 and includes numerals, punctuation symbols, letters, and special control codes. The ASCII set is commonly used on today's PC's.
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ASP (Active Server Pages)
A proprietary Microsoft scripting language which may be used to enable web pages to interact with online databases.
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Audio Streaming
The delivery of audio files from a server to a web browser in a continuous stream of small packets rather than one large file.
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A major data line which runs through the Internet.
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A process whereby copying files, directories or volumes onto a separate storage device, usually an external or removable device, for the purpose of retrieval in case the original is accidentally erased, damaged, or destroyed. Tape drives, Zip drives and CD-R's are three commonly used backup devices.
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The amount of data that can be moved through a particular interface - for example an Internet connection - in a given period of time.
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A unit of calculation for a modem that measures data transmission in bits per second. A 2400 bits per second modem actually runs at 300 baud, but it moves 4 bits per baud (4 x 300 = 2400 bits per second).
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A counting system using only two digits (1 and 0). Machine code is a binary code. The reason computers use the binary system is because digital switches inside the computer can only be set to either on or off, which can be easily represented by a 1 or 0.
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A bit is a binary digit for storing data. It can either be 0 or 1. It takes 8 bits to equal a byte.
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An application program that retrieves, decodes and displays web pages. The most popular browsers are Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator.
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A buffer is an area of memory often referred to as cache, used to speed up access to devices. It is used for temporary storage of data read from or waiting to be sent to a device such as a hard disk, CD-ROM or tape drive.
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A byte consists of eight bits treated as a unit and represents a character. Files stored on a computer are represented in terms of bytes. i.e. 50kb equals 50,000 bytes.
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A cable consists of one or more conductors surrounded by an insulting medium. These cables are frequently used for the transmission of electrical power and for transmission of communication signals.
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Cable Modem
A cable modem is an external device that connects to your computer and provides a faster alternative to connecting to the Internet. Instead of getting an internet connection through your telephone wire, you get a connection through a cable network (same place your cable TV connection comes from). Cable modems are designed to take advantage of the "broadband" cable infrastructure, enabling peak connection speeds up to 100 times faster than traditional dial-up connections.
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The cache is an intermediate storage area between the processor and the RAM or disk drive. The most commonly used set of instructions are stored in the cache allowing for fastest possible processing. The cache can also refer to information that has been recently stored and hence if retrieved, can be accessed quicker. An example of where cached information is stored is on typical web browsers which memory is allocated to store web pages, images and sounds of web sites you visit. Hence, the web browser can easily find web pages you have recently accessed and load them quicker rather than downloading the whole page again from the Internet, which saves crucial time.
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In Internet Relay Chat (IRC) a channel is a virtual arena where users meet to talk on a particular topic. IRC programs such as the BT Internet Chat client will allow you to call up a list of all active channels.
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A UNIX command to force the root directory to become something other than its default for the duration of the current process. This may only be executed by privileged users to provide a process (usually FTP or HTTP) with access to a restricted section of the file system. The new root accommodates copies of all the required files and directories.
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Client computers distribute the processing of a computer application between itself and a Server, namely to exploit the power of each. A Client computer is normally a PC. The advantage of a client computer is that applications can be used and accessed by more than one user.
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