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Help: Jargon dictionary

Acrobat Reader:
A software package for viewing and printing Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
Adobe Systems Inc.:
A software company specializing in desktop publishing software, notably the PostScript language and Acrobat products.
Browser:
Software used to view information (usually Web pages) on the Internet.
Cache:
A store of files held by a computer in the expectation that a user will soon require them. A computer's "short-term memory".
CGI:
Common Gateway Interface. The interface that allows programmers to write software that adds new features, such as search routines, to Web servers.
Client:
Software used to access information on another computer, such as a Web browser running on your personal computer to access information from a remote Web server.
Download:
To transfer a file from a remote computer to your own. Sometimes referred to as the act of "pulling a file" from another computer.
Dialup Connection:
A connection to a computer network made via a telephone line and modem.
Domain Name System (DNS):
A mechanism used on the Internet for translating computer names (like youruniversity.edu) into numeric addresses (like 193.61.240) and vice versa. DNS allows you to use the Internet without remembering lists of numbers.
FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions. A list of commonly asked questions, with model answers, on a particular subject. Reading FAQ is a good way to introduce yourself to a new subject on the Internet.
Firewall:
A network device used to make it harder for Internet users to hack into an organization's computer network.
FTP:
File Transfer Protocol. A system used to copy files between computers on the Internet.
GhostView:
A software package for displaying PostScript files on a computer screen.
GIF:
A graphics format, with built-in compression, for displaying pictures on a computer screen.
HotJava:
A Web browser from Sun Microsystems that allows the user to download "smart" Web pages. These smart pages, written in the Java language, include software that runs on your local computer to perform various tasks, for example running an interactive simulation of a physics experiment.
HTML:
Hypertext Markup Language. The language used in Web pages to display hypertext information via a Web browser. For example, displaying text as a hypertext link, displaying a graphic image at a particular place on the page or displaying text in a specific colour.
HTTP:
Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The communications language that Web clients and servers use to exchange information.
HyperCiteTM:
A new service from IOP Publishing that gives you instant online access to the full text or abstracts of referenced articles.
Hypertext:
A system of computerized pages of text with interconnected information. By clicking on highlighted text, the user can "jump" to a new page of information.
Internet:
The patchwork quilt of thousands of computer networks that are stitched together to form a giant, global network.
IP address (Internet Protocol address):
Each device (such as a computer) on the Internet has a unique number called an IP address. These addresses are made up of four numbers between 0 and 255 each separated by a period. For example 193.119.131.1. The first three numbers of the IP address give the address of the computer's subnet. The final number refers to a specific device. Users who access the Internet via an Internet service provider may have IP addresses dynamically assigned to them, i.e., the IP address may be different each time they access the Internet.
Java:
An object-oriented programming language that is especially suited to the Internet because it is platform-independent. It appears primarily as special function "applets" (small, self-contained applications) embedded in Web pages. Java requires use of a compatible browser such as HotJava or Netscape 3.0 or above to enable viewing.
Modem (MOdulator DEModulator):
A device used to receive and transmit computer data over telephone lines.
Netscape Navigator:
The brand name of a widely used Internet browser from Netscape Communications.
Netscape Extensions:
Netscape's own (non-standard) additions to HTML. The Netscape Extensions allow you to do useful things, like flow text around an image on a Web page. But the Netscape extensions only work if you look at a page with Netscape's own browser. If you use a different Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, you won't see the improved layout.
PDF:
Portable Document Format. The platform-independent file format used by Adobe's Acrobat software. PDF files contain exact facsimiles of typeset pages. The same PDF file will look identical on any computer when viewed with an Acrobat Reader. PDF is, therefore, ideal for exchanging electronic documents if the publisher wishes to ensure that the layout of the document is not altered by the system on which it is viewed.
Perl:
A programming language often used to write CGI software. Perl is popular because it is very good for processing text.
PostScript:
A computer language used to typeset pages. PostScript was designed to work well with printers. You can obtain PostScript viewers such as GhostView to view PostScript files on your computer screen.
Proxy:
A computer used to forward browser requests from an organization's internal network to the Internet, and to pass replies from the Internet back to the organization's internal network. This shields the internal network from external scrutiny. Proxies can also cache frequently requested Web pages and act as firewalls.
Server:
A server stores information ready to send to other computers over a network. When it receives a request it packages the data and delivers it to the remote computer (see Client and Browser).
SSL:
Secure Sockets Layer. SSL was developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet. SSL works by using a private key to encrypt data that is transferred over the SSL connection. Both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer support SSL.
Subnet:
A computer network linked to the Internet.
TCP/IP:
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The method by which computers on the Internet communicate with each other. TCP tells the computer how to package information sent via the Internet. IP specifies how to address the information so that it gets to the correct destination.
TeX:
A platform-independent typesetting language that is especially useful for rendering mathematics.
LaTeX:
A set of macros built upon TeX that can make TeX easier to use.
Upload:
To transfer a file from your computer to someone else's. Sometimes referred to as "pushing a file" onto another computer.
URL:
Uniform Resource Locator. The address of a file (such as a Web page, a software program or an image) on the Internet. The address includes the type of server, the location of the server and the name of the file required. For example http://www.iop.org/Journals/ is the URL of IOP Publishing's journals page. The http:// part tells the browser to look for a Web server. The www.iop.org part tells the browser the location of that server. The /Journals/ part tells the browser the subdirectory and the name of the page required.
VRML:
Virtual Reality Modelling Language: An Internet standard that allows Web pages to include 3-dimensional environments the user can "walk through", as well as the usual text and graphics.
WorldPay:
Online payments are processed by WorldPay plc, who specialise in the secure online capture and processing of online transactions. Currently used for Document Delivery payments.
World Wide Web (Web, WWW):
A system for publishing and viewing hypertext pages on the Internet.

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