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Network Chico Computer terms glossary

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Hacker: While this term originally referred to a clever or expert programmer, it is now more commonly used to refer to someone who can gain unauthorized access to other computers. A hacker can "hack" his or her way through the security levels of a computer system or network. This can be as simple as figuring out somebody else's password or as complex as writing a custom program to break another computer's security software. Hackers are the reason software manufacturers release periodic "security updates" to their programs. While it is unlikely that the average person will get "hacked" some large businesses and organizations receive multiple hacking attempts a day.

Half-duplex communications: A type of network communication in which only one member of a pair of networked devices can transmit data at any given time. The other member must therefore "listen" to all incoming data. Then the sending and receiving roles reverse.

Handle: In online chat the name you use is called your handle. So if you decided to name yourself 'MooArt' that would be your handle. Handles are nice because they allow you to represent yourself without giving away your real identity. The term originated from CB radio where people refer to each other by their "handles."

Hard drive: This is where all the data in your computer is stored. It is where all your files and folders are physically located. A typical hard drive is only slightly larger than your hand yet it can hold over 120 GB of data. The data is stored on a stack of disks that are mounted inside a solid encasement. These disks spin extremely fast (typically at either 5400 or 7200 RPM) so that data can be accessed immediately from anywhere on the drive. The data is stored on the hard drive magnetically so it stays on the drive even after the power supply is turned off. The term "hard drive" is actually short for "hard disk drive." The term "hard disk" technically refers to the actual disks inside the drive. However, all three of these terms are usually seen as referring to the same thing; the place where your data is stored.

Hard page fault: An exception that occurs when data a program needs must be called back into memory from its storage space on the hard drive. Hard page faults are relatively time-consuming to resolve.

Hayes-compatible: The modem standard based on the Hayes Smartmodem.

HCL: "Hardware Compatibility List" A vendor-maintained list of all hardware compatible with a particular operating system. In practice it is the name of a document maintained by Microsoft that lists all hardware compatible with Windows NT or Windows 2000/2003.

HDLC: "High-level Data Link Control" A synchronous communication protocol.

Hertz: (Hz, KHz, MHz, GHz, THz...) A measure of broadcast frequencies in cycles per secong; named after Heinrich Hertz who was one of the inventors of radio communications.

Hexadecimal: A mathematical notation for representing numbers in base 16. The numbers 10 through 15 are expressed as A through F; 10h or 0 X 10 (both notations indicate the number is hexadecimal) equals 16.

Hit: Technically a hit is a request made to a web server. It is a popular misconception that the term refers to the number of visits a web page gets, but that is not the case. If a web page has five images on it when the page is loaded six "hits" will be recorded. This is because the browser has to make six requests to the web server; one for the HTML of the web page and five for the images. The term "hit" can also be used to refer to search engine results. When you search for a phrase and the search engine finds 510 results you can say there were 510 hits.

HMA: "High Memory Area" The region of memory on an Intel based PC between 640 KB and 1024 KB (usually referred to in hexadecimal as A0000 through 100000). This is the area where device driver buffer space and shared system memory are typically allocated.

Home page: This is the starting point, default or front page of a web site. This page usually has some sort of table of contents on it and often describes the purpose of the site. For example, http://www.netchico.com/index.php is the home page of netchico.com. When you type in a basic URL, such as "http://www.netchico.com/" you are typically directed to the home page of the web site. Many people have a "personal home page" which is another way the term "home page" can be used. A SmartSpace Domain allows you to create an instant home page.

Host: This is a computer that acts as a server for other computers on a network. It can be a web server, an e-mail server, an FTP server, etc. For example a web host is what provides the content of web pages to the computers that access it. A host is also known as the mother computer.

Hot-swappable: Components, such as power supplies or disk drives, that can be removed and replaced without shutting off power to the computer, eliminating down time. USB and Firewire devices are generally hot-swappable.

HTML: "Hyper-Text Markup Language" This is the language that web pages are written in. Also known as hypertext documents web pages must conform to the rules of HTML in order to be displayed correctly in a web browser. The HTML syntax is based on a list of tags that describe the page's format and what is displayed on the web page. Fortunately the HTML language is relatively easy to learn. Many web development programs allow you to create web pages using a graphical interface. These programs allow you to place objects and text on the page and the HTML code is written for you.

HTTP: "HyperText Transfer Protocol" This is the protocol used to transfer data over the World Wide Web. That's why all web site addresses begin with "http://". Whenever you type a URL into your browser and hit Enter your computer sends an HTTP request to the appropriate web server. The web server, which is designed to handle HTTP requests, then sends to you the requested HTML or other type of web page (ie. .php, .asp, etc.). HTTPS indicates a secure connection to a web server.

Hub: This is a hardware device that is used to network multiple computers together. It is a central connection for all the computers in a network, which is usually Ethernet-based. Information sent to the hub can flow to any other computer on the network. If you need to connect more than two computers together a hub will allow you to do so. If you only need to network two computers together a simple crossover Ethernet cable will work.

Hybrid hub: A device used to interconnect different types of cables and to maximize network efficiency.

Hybrid network: See combination network.

Hypertext: Hypertext is text that links to other information. By clicking on a link in a hypertext document a user can quickly jump to different content. Though hypertext is usually associated with web pages the technology has been around since the 1960s. Software programs that include dictionaries and encyclopedias have long used hypertext in their definitions so that readers can quickly find out more about specific words or topics. Apple Computer's HyperCard program also used hypertext which allowed users to create multi-linked databases. Today the web is where hypertext reigns; where nearly every page includes links to other pages and both text and images can be used as links to more content.

Network Chico Computer terms glossary

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