TLAs* and Other Mysteries of the Net

.aiff format
One of many Mac sound file formats.
A database search method that points you to specific files and FTP sites that youÕre interested in. You can use Archie to search by subject, title, or keyword. Some of the more popular sites with Archie capability are, or telnet://
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
Used to describe files that are stored in clear text format.
.au format
UNIX sound files.
A measurement of data travel rate thatÕs frequently used to describe the speed of modems.
bps (Bits Per Second)
The speed at which bits of data are transmitted over a communication medium.
BBS (Bulletin Board System)
A dial-in or Telnet-in computer that usually provides e-mail, file archives, live chats, and other services and activities. Many are connected to the Internet.
domain name
This is how you describe the name thatÕs to the right of the @ sign in an Internet address.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
A list of questions and answers related to a newsgroup, software, Web sites, etc.. FAQ lists prevent newsgroup discussions from being overrun by common user questions.
A computer set up to monitor traffic between an Internet site and the Internet. ItÕs designed to keep unauthorized outsiders from tampering with a computer system.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
The common protocol used for downloading files via the Internet.
An Internet server document browsing and searching system that lets you look all over the Internet for texts of interest and helps you to retrieve them.
html (Hypertext Markup Language)
The standard coding language in which World Wide Web documents are written.
http (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
The protocol that tells the server what to send the client, so the client can view Web pages, FTP sites, or other areas on the net.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
The live-chat area of the Internet in which real-time conversations among two or more people take place in virtual Òrooms.Ó
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A telephone system thatÕs been updated with digital switches so that, with special equipment, you can simultaneously send and receive voice and data over one phone line.
A word by which subjects can be searched on online services and databases.
LAN (Local Area Network)
A network that connects computers in a small area (like a room, a building, or a set of buildings).
A software program for setting up and maintaining discussion groups. Many LISTSERV discussion groups are gatewayed to Usenet newsgroups.
A database of more than 3.5 million Web sites. This widely used search engine has answered over 9 million queries to date. You can set custom search configurations to help you find what youÕre looking for. Lycos is found at
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension)
An extension that lets you transmit non-text data (like graphics, audio, video) via e-mail.
MUD (Multi-User Dungeon)
Role-playing games that were originally modeled on ÒDungeons and DragonsÓ games, but are now used as conferencing tools and educational aids, and in other contexts.
A database of popular Web sites that will direct you to areas of interest. Find it at
SLIP/PPP (Serial Line Internet Protocol/Point-to-Point Protocol)
Communications protocols used over serial lines to support Internet connectivity.
SYSOP (Systems Operator)
The person who does day-to-day maintenance of a BBS.
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)
This set of protocols makes Telnet, FTP, e-mail, and other services possible among computers that donÕt belong to the same network.
One of the TCP/IP applications, it lets you log in to computers around the world that are connected to the Internet, and to use them as if they were your own.
*TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms)
The mysterious terms used to refer to things net-related.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
Describes the location and access method of a resource on the Internet. All Web sites have URLs.
A collection of newsgroups organized by topics; also used to describe a network of computers, not all of which are on the Internet, that receive Usenet newsgroups.
A database for searching for information within gopher-space using keywords and subjects. You can catch veronica at gopher://
WAIS (Wide Area Information Server)
A client-server information system that lets users search through databases with a single user interface.
WAN (Wide Area Network)
A network that connects computers over a large geographic area.
.wav format
Windows sound files.
A Web search engine that lets you search by keywords or using a tree-based menu system. Yahoo is at


Thanks for Stopping By