Bush Park Jargon Junking

Bush Park B & B Where we are What to do The Animals About Us

For those new to the Internet who wonder what it's all about, we hope this page will help.
Why not print it out to read at your leisure.
If thinking of having your own website, why not take a look at the Web Services Page.
If I have missed something or you are still confused, pleases do not hesitate to contact me.
I may not know the answer but I will certainly try and find one for you.


Jargon Junking A.S.Hepworth 2001

This is my personal interpretation of the Internet that I hope some might find useful in understanding more about it. Some may think its too simple while others might still find it too confusing. If anything is not clear, left out or is definitely wrong, then please let me know. You do not need to know any of this so that after reading it you can rest peacefully knowing you can forget it all.

It is meant to be in logical order but if you want to find a particular word, use "find on this page" in one of the pull down menus in the bar above, usually 'edit'.

The Internet - began life as a network of telephone lines around the world that linked universities, research centres and government departments etc. Independent of public telephone networks, it was designed so that important messages could be sent around the world independent of political unrest or physical damage. If one direct link was broken the message would be relayed via others linked on the network.

When the cold war ended and other means of communications like radio and satellite (now too expensive) improved it became redundant. Then someone suggested linking computers on this 'network'. Where once, single conversations or coded messages each needed to use individual wires to transfer messages, the speed at which computers could make calculations and interpret code, meant that thousands of messages could be sent along the same wire at the same time. No telephone exchanges needed to separate messages means that not only do millions of messages go down single wires but all messages travel over the entire network at the same time. A coded message can only be 'picked out' by the computer that it is 'sent to'.

Wires are now being replaced with glass fibre strands, along which pulses of light can be sent as they reflect off the outside walls of the fibre. Light travels faster than electrical impulses. The new 'cable' network is predominantly made up of bunches of glass fibres. One possible advantage is the difficulty of tapping into the system as there is no electrical activity along the fibre that could be detected as a magnetic pulse.

If you imagine the messages as ants walking about on a tennis net, if one strand of net is cut, they go another way. If too many try and use the same strand, they go another way.

An Internet Service Provider or ISP is a company that owns huge computers, known as servers, that handles all these messages. Some ISPs rent from larger ISPs. These companies enable millions of individuals to have access the Internet.

Individuals, companies or families need to have an account with an ISP. Some are free to the account holder but make their money by both taking a share of the money you pay to settle the phone bill, and charging by the minute for using their help line. Imagine ISPs as the owners of your local library (websites) and post office (e-mail).

A server is one of the computers owned by an ISP. If a server is 'down' or 'goes down' it just means it's broken.

E-mail or electronic mail is a way of sending text and images to another computer as a stream of electronic bleeps like a high speed morse code. This text would include code to tell the recipients computer how to display the message. As not everyone is using the same make or age of computer, there is no guarantee your e-mail or website will look the same on different equipment.

This coded text became known as hyper text, sending it to another computer was to transfer it and how you did this was its protocol so we get hyper text transfer protocal. Hyper text allows a text message to include images, colours and sounds. All website addresses begin with http.

The code used to create website pages is html or hyper text mark up language.

An e-mail address is like having a box number down at the post office but instead of your messages being delivered you have to collect them. While your e-mail message travels down the same wires that form the internet, it is handled by a different server.

A website is like having a shelf at a reference library where you can put your own family albums or posters to let the world know about your family or business. No one can remove the books but anyone can look at them. The servers are like the bookcases at this library or the racks of post boxes at the post office.

A website address is the location in the library of a particular 'shelf' so others know how to get there. The jargon for this is a user resource locator or URL

A domain name is your own personal shelf name. Instead of using numbers and letters as a librarian might, you can call your shelf something like "thesmithsfamilyshelf". Your e-mail address might then be josmith@thesmithfamilyshelf. At a basic level early computers only ever read code so did not need to know about spaces or punctuation.

As you do not need a domain name to enjoy the Internet or send e-mail messages, most Internet user's address is at the address of their ISP. Most members of the public are happy with an e-mail address like thesmiths@internetserviceprovider and most ISPs give free webspace to each account holder. To have a domain name means you can have your own personal mail box at the library and not use one at the post office. Some believe a domain name looks more important!

To show the computer you want to contact a website address and not an e-mail address, a website address begins with www and has no @. Both types of address end in something like .co.uk (UK based families or companies), .com (usually USA families or companies), .org (usually charities and educational) and .gov for government depts. There are many others and not all comply to this general rule.

The World Wide Web or www is basically the same as the Internet but refers to the 'library' side rather than the 'post office' side. A mail server will handle the outgoing mail while another will handle the incoming mail and a third might handle the Internet enquiries.

Browsers are specialised computer programs you have on your home computer that know how to communicate with the ISPs. If you know the 'book title' or URL, like the card file index at the library they can tell the computer on which 'shelf' the book is.

Web space is the memory you use on the server. Imagine it as the length of the shelf you have at the library. This memory is counted in bytes which very roughly equals one character of text. A kilobyte or kb is about a 1000 bytes but most memory is in megabytes or mb about a million bytes or even gigabytes or gb about a billion bytes

Many ISPs will offer free webspace but it is only meant for private use. If you use it for a business they will charge you accordingly!

A hyperlink or link is hidden code that when you click the mouse button with the cursor over it, will tell your computer to go to another URL or open up your e-mail program with someone's address already typed in the relevent box. Often hidden in text, it is underlined and in a contrasting colour but can also be hidden in part of an image. The cursor will change from an arrow to a hand as it travels over one. A bit like putting a business card or note on your library shelf to direct someone to another book or to ask them to leave a message for you.

Hotspots are not popular holiday resorts but hyperlinks hidden in an image. Either the complete image or a selected portion like a place name on a map.

Hosting is what the ISPs do to a website. They look after the memory much like the local authority maintains a library and lets you keep books on a shelf there.

Hits are the number of times someones browser has read the information from a website. Each block of text and each image, whether a photograph or decorative heading, counts as a hit. One page with text and two images, seen once becomes three hits. Its like a librarian counting the number of times a book gets picked up but not necessarily opened. There are also robots automatically going through the Internet, looking for new information. These bits of software usually belong to search engines (see below) that continually look for new web pages to catalogue them ready for someone to search for them. Every time one of these visits your page it also counts as a hit.

A Web page is a collection of text and images that are meant to be seen at the same time.

A Home page is like the cover and title page of a book that displays the content and a synopsis of the book. Some websites only have a single home page.

A Website visitor is someone who looks at the home page but then visits other pages on the site ie opens the book after reading the cover.

A pixel (a derivitive of 'picture cell') is the smallest piece of a digital image. If you look closely at a newspaper photograph, you will see small dots of different sizes. Each one is like a pixel. In a black and white image with no greys, the computer could use as little as 1 byte of information per pixel. Most images you see on the Internet are at 72 dpi or dots per inch. A confusing idea when an image will be in proportion to the monitor size. An 'inch' or say 100 pixels on one computer screen will be different on another. In a colour image with perhaps thousands of shades of possible colours for each pixel, you can see how much memory is used for a photograph compared with text.

Logging on is asking your computer at home to phone a server and getting it to do something for you. This could be sending an e-mail you have just typed, collecting those sent to you or visiting the web to search for some information.

Search Engines are specialized programs stored on the Internet somewhere that behave like researchers. They visit all the 'libraries' in the world, read all the books and then report back to you which books contain the words you are looking for and where they are. All in a matter of seconds.

Submitting to search engines is to ask the librarian to make sure your URL or card is near the front of the box in the card index so it always get picked first. Cheats will repeat words or phrases deliberately so that you get nearer the front of the queue when a search engine is looking for specific words. A bit like names like aardvark and aaron getting to the front of a dictionary because there are two 'a's in the word. If spotted some ISPs will ask for them to be removed.

Java script or Flash is specialised html used to create animation and special effects on a webpage.

CGI script or common gateway interface is a program on the server that allows people visiting your website to leave messages or fill in a form that then gets e-mailed back to you. Like a note pad you might leave on your shelf to collect messages.

Cookies are bits of code put on to your computer by a server that let you know you have visited a certain website. When you next visit the site the text of the URL will be a different colour to remind you that you've been there before. They might also include commands to log on and send you to a certain website. A bit like the librarian watching until you look at a certain book and then dragging you by the elbow to go and look at another one. Extremely irritating.

Web authoring is writing the code to create a web page.

Registering a domain name is like telling the library that you exist and what you want to be called but they haven't given you any shelf space. This will cost you about 25 at the moment and is a once only payment. However you will be given several POP3 (point of presence) accounts which are your special mail boxes. (No one could tell me what was wrong with POP1 & POP2 but we agreed they must have been no good). These will cost you about 15 for three years and if you fail to renew them you could loose your special domain name. If you send a message using a POP3 account name, the recipient can ask the browser to reply without knowing your address. You can also encypt your message to prevent others reading it and ask for a receipt. If it is not collected it will be returned. Like putting a wax seal on a letter and asking the postman to wait for a reciept.

Alias's are another way of giving yourself different e-mail addresses at your domain. If you receive a message sent to your alias or POP3 name you can ask your browser to put it in a special folder so you know where it is. Like sending a note to a business that then gets put in someone's in-tray. You know where it is but anyone can read it.

Activating a website is what happens after you have registered your domain name. It is simply asking the librarian to clear a shelf ready for all the albums and leaflets you plan to put there. The ISP will make sure there is space available on the server(s) and put your domain name and e-mail adresses next to it. This will cost about 125 per year for 25mb of space for businesses but is free for private use. Two or three pages of text are unlkely to use more than 2 or 3mb.

Uploading is putting information on a website. Only you or your webmaster can do this. You either take the albums to your shelf at the library or get someone (the webmaster or librarian) to do it for you.

Downloading is copying information from someone's website. Like photocopying books down at the library. Some of this is allowed but much is frowned upon but cannot be stopped. Copyright and plagiarism is the major problem with the Internet. If you do not want anyone copying your family photos to use elsewhere, keep them off your website. Safer to send them to individuals attached to an e-mail.

Maintaining a website is like you replacing photos on your shelf because you have more recent ones or adding some new text.

Anchors are like book marks hidden in a website. You leave the bookmark so someone can find a specific point on a page. Hyperlinks to a URL will take you to the top of a particular page, usually the home page of another site but can also specify a page, while a hyperlink to an anchor will take you to a specific word or image on a page.

Surfing the web is allowing yourself to go to any links you find or searching for all sorts of different information with no particular aim in mind. Very easy to do and can get distracting (and expensive).

I hope you found this useful. Let me know what you thought - adrian@bushpark.co.uk

This site was designed by Sue Hepworth and put together by myself, Adrian Hepworth, using Macromedia's Dreamweaver. We can design and build websites for the budget conscious. If you would like Hepworth Workshops to quote for a simple website, cost of domain names (or how to get one free) and all other associated charges then e-mail me adrian@bushpark.co.uk . If you want one with flashing lights, sound effects or music we can do that too but the more complicated websites are, the slower and sometimes the less effective they are. It would always be a help if you can tell us about your favorite sites so we know the style you like.

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