Definitions

802.3 – The IEEE standard that applies to wired network devices.  See also Ethernet.  This standard is applicable to cables, both copper and fiber optic, and hardware devices, such as routers, switches and network interface cards.

802.11- The IEEE standard that applies to wireless network devices.  IEEE 802.11 is currently has several categories: a, b, g, and n are the common ones.   IEEE 802.11a and IEEE 802.11b are outdated technology that has very limited practical application.  IEEE 802.11g offers 54Mb/s and 140M range potential.  IEEE 802.11n offers 300Mb/s and 250M range potential.

analog – a signal that varies and has a non-linear representation on an oscilloscope.  Example:  natural sounds produce an analog waveform.

baud – short for baudot code. The amount of data in analog format to comprise one character of ascii text. It is not a bit nor a byte. Modems communicate in baud. A 56K modem is capable of receiving 56,000 baud per second. It can only send at 33,000 baud per second.

bit – the smallest unit of data comprised of a single binary digit. 0 or 1. One eighth of a byte.

browser – a program used to browse the World Wide Web.  If you can open or view a web page with it, it is or has a browser.  Common examples include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and so on.

byte – 8 bits.

cracker – a person who attempts to circumvent the security systems of a computer, computer device, computer system, network or series of networks.  They have to succeed at least once.

css –  1) referring to web page design; Cascading Style Sheet.  2) Medical term; Computer Stress Syndrome.

digital – a signal comprised of binary bits, 1s and 0s, that has a linear representation on an oscilloscope.  Example:  MP3s on a CD or DVD are stored in binary format, this is digital.

DoS – An acronym for Denial of Service.  This is a form of attack that prevents you from doing something or everything on the Internet that you should normally be able to do.

Ethernet – a rough collection of standards relating primarily to transmission of data over copper cable.  Early stages of Ethernet involved coaxial cable. Most modern implementations are 100Mb/s and faster over twisted pair CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6 cable.

GUI – an acronym for graphical user interface.

Guru – a person that is extremely proficient in a very specialized field.   Typically someone capable of mentoring.   This person’s proficiency usually involves the old world equivalent of a Master Craftsman.  They are completely knowledgeable about their area of expertise. This is not theoretical knowledge, but the actual applied science. Example: Bill Gates is a hacker when it comes to computer programming and technology, but a Guru when it comes to business acumen.

hacker –  a person who is recognized for a mediocre proficiency that was often derived merely from trial and error.  See Wizard and Guru for related.

hub – a simple wired device that offers no advanced features and equally divides the data throughput between all ports of the hub, whether the ports are connected or not.  Hubs are obsolete.  Hubs packet storm the entire sub-net they reside on.  See also Switch and Router.

IEEE – The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.  This institute is a merger of the Institute of Radio Engineers, and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers that occurred in 1963.  They create standards that apply to things such as wired and wireless networks, radios, TVs, wiring and so on.

Internet – proper noun.  The aggregate connection of millions of computers that all use rout-able IANA approved IP addresses to share data. There is no such thing as “wireless Internet”. We have one Internet, and it has wires, wireless and various other ways of accessing it.

kernel – Generally speaking the core component of an operating system. The kernel provides instructions to the processor(s) of the computer.

kilo-bit – 1. In reference to data storage a kilo-bit is 1024 bits of data. 2. In reference to data transmission a kilo-bit is 1000 bits of data transfer. Abbreviated Kb

kilobyte – 1. In reference to data storage a kilobyte is 1024 bytes of data. 2 In reference to data transmission a kilobyte is 1000 bytes of data transfer. Abbreviated KB

megabit – 1. In reference to data storage a megabit is 1024 kilo-bits of data. 2. In reference to data transmission a megabit is 1000 kilo-bits of data transfer. Abbreviated Mb

megabyte – 1. In reference to data storage a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes of data. 2. In reference to data transmission a megabyte is 1000 kilobytes of data. Abbreviated MB

MODEM – An acronym for MOdulate DEModulate.  A device that converts a digital signal to an analog signal and vice versa.  This is typically used for dial-up connectivity.  It can be an external or an internal device.  Often misused to describe devices used for cable or DSL Internet connections. See network bridge.

NAT – an acronym for Network Address Translation.   NAT is Cisco’s band-aid concept for the IPv4 dilemma.  It allows multiple machines to share one IANA rout-able IP address. IPv6 is the actual short term solution. Cisco is actually precluding IPv6 from widespread implementation for monetary gain.

network bridge – a device that allows physical or logical conversion of one medium to another.  A device that converts DSL to Ethernet or cable to Ethernet is a network bridge.

nibble – four bits. Half a byte.

router – a network device that has the ability to route packets between two or more sub-nets.

SMP – symmetric multiprocessing. In theory, this applies to software that is capable of using any number of CPU cores. In reality, many programs were dubbed SMP compliant when they were capable of using more than one core correctly. Some programs are capable of using 2 cores correctly but not 3 or more.

switch – a network device that has the intelligence to send traffic only to those ports needed.  The device also has the capability to split network capacity based on actual demands.  A switch is limited to one sub-net and lacks advanced features such as NAT, DHCP, and SPI.

WhiteGate – an award bestowed upon a person or entity for their lack of practical application related to data security and/or total disregard for it. Presented by Evans Computers. Typically recipient has or should have the knowledge, skills or abilities to realize the error of their ways at the time and the issue is not simple human error. Your site being compromised would not result in a WhiteGate award. Ignoring credible reports of your site being compromised would.

Wi-Fi® –  An acronym for wireless fidelity.   Wi-Fi is actually a trade mark name for a brand of compliance for wireless devices.  Much like Dolby® for your entertainment devices.  If a device is Wi-Fi® certified, that device meets basic guidelines for interoperability with other Wi-Fi® certified devices.  See also IEEE 802.11.

Wizard – a person that is beyond technically proficient but not a Guru.  This is usually a programmer or a systems administrator.   They typically have formal training and may even have a degree, though most real computer Wizards started before computer science degrees were readily available.

World Wide Web – WWW.  The collection of web based pages accessible via a browser.  Often mistaken as the Internet.   The World Wide Web is always a part of the Internet, the Internet is not always the World Wide Web. You can not surf the ‘Net. You can browse the web.