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Network Chico Computer terms glossary

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WAIS: "Wide Area Information Server" This is a program that can index enormous amounts of information and make it searchable across large networks (including the Internet). People can search the WAIS index and it will return results by relevance. Searches can then be narrowed down by subsequent searches on the original results. Search engines are a new and improved version of WAIS specifically for the web.

Wall plate: A module that includes couplers for telephone (RJ-11) and network (RJ-45, BNC or other female connectors) jacks.

WAN: "Wide Area Network" It is similar to a Local Area Network (LAN) but it's a lot bigger. Unlike LANs, WANs are not limited to a single location. Many wide area networks span long distances via telephone lines, fiber-optic cables, or satellite links. They can also be composed of smaller LANs that are interconnected. The Internet could be described as the biggest WAN in the world.

Web browser: The client-side software that's used to display content from the World Wide Web; also called a browser.

Web page: Web pages are what make up the World Wide Web. These documents are written in HTML (hypertext markup language) and are translated by your web browser. Web pages can either be static or dynamic. Static pages show the same content each time they are viewed. Dynamic pages have content that can change each time they are accessed. These pages are typically written in scripting languages such as PHP, Perl, ASP, or JSP. The scripts in the pages run functions on the server that return things like the date and time, and database information. All the information is returned as HTML code so when the page gets to your browser all the browser has to do is translate the HTML. Please note that a web page is not the same thing as a web site. A web site is a collection of pages. A web page is an individual HTML document.

Web ring: A web ring is a way of interlinking related web sites so that people can visit many similar web sites by just following the "web ring" link on each page. Most web rings allow people to browse backwards or forwards through the sites in the ring, or choose to visit individual sites from a list. The rings are typically run from a main site which uses a web scripting application to select random sites and keep the ring up to date. This includes getting rid of outdated pages and links and adding new ones. There are tens of thousands of web rings for things like football, cars, celebrities, computers, TV shows, etc. You can tell if a web page is part of web ring if on the bottom of the page it has some graphic linking to other sites in the ring.

Web server: The combination of hardware and software that stores information that is accessible over the Internet via the World Wide Web (WWW).

Web site: To put it simply, a web site is a collection of web pages. For example, Amazon.com is a web site, with millions of web pages that make up the site.

Webmaster: The webmaster is the person in charge of maintaining a web site. The jobs of a webmaster include writing HTML for web pages, organizing the web site's structure, responding to e-mails about the web site, and keeping the site up-to-date. On some web sites you might see a phrase that says "send dead links and other web site problems to webmaster@domainame.tld."

White paper: This term has historically been used to describe a report that states the social or political position of an organization. In recent years, however, the IT industry has adopted the term to describe articles that explain an certain technology or product. For example a company may release a white paper to the public in order to educate consumers about one of their products. The terminology used may be somewhat technical but the goal of a white paper is usually to describe the technology or product in terms most people can understand.

WHOIS: This is an Internet service that finds information about a domain name or IP address. If you enter a domain name in a WHOIS search engine it will scour a huge database of domains and return information about the one you entered. This information typically contains the name, address, and phone number of the administrative, billing, and technical contacts of the domain name. WHOIS can also be used to simply check if a certain domain name is available or if it has already been registered. To see the WHOIS service in action check out DomainNamesWhois.net.

Wi-Fi: Short for "Wireless Fidelity." Wi-Fi refers to wireless network components that are based on one of the Wi-Fi Alliance's 802.11 standards. The Wi-Fi Alliance created the 802.11 standard so that manufacturers can make wireless products that work with other manufacturers' equipment. So, if you have a "Wi-Fi Certified" wireless network card, it should be recognized by any "Wi-Fi Certified" access point, and vice-versa.

Win32: This is the Windows application programming interface (API) for developing 32-bit applications. It has been used for Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, and newer Windows operating systems. This means that if you use Windows 95 or later you can run 32-bit applications on your computer. Win32 is a term that is important to programmers but is not crucial for the average user to know. Just know that if you have Windows 95 or later you can run Win32 applications. If you want to learn more about Win32, including a bunch of technical jargon, you can visit Microsoft's Developer Website for more information.

Win32 Driver Model (WDM): A unified driver architecture that allows a single driver to be written for both Windows 95 and Windows NT.

Windows: This is the most popular operating system for personal computers. It is developed and distributed by Microsoft. There are several versions of the Windows operating system including Windows XP Home and XP Pro. Earlier versions of Windows include Windows 3.1, 95, 98, ME, and NT. All Windows platforms use a graphical user interface (GUI), like the Mac OS, and also offer a command-line interface for typing text commands.

WINMSD.EXE: The Windows NT 4.0 built-in diagnostics program. WINMSD.EXE can report on IRQs, base memory addresses, HMA use and other internal system data.

Wireless: Indicates that a network connection depends on transmission at some kind of electromagnetic frequency through the atmosphere to carry data from one networked device to another.

Wireless bridge: A pair of devices, typically narrow-band and tight beam, that relay network traffic from one location to another. Wireless bridges that use spread-spectrum radio, infrared and laser technologies are available and can span distances from hundreds of meters up to 25 miles.

Wiring center: A set of racks with associated equipment that generally includes hubs, punchdown blocks or patch panels, backbone access units and other network management equipment, which brings twisted-pair (TP) wired network cables together for routing, management and control.

Wizard: In computer terminology a wizard is a part of a program that guides you through certain steps. For example a wizard in Microsoft Word would help you create and format a new document according to your needs. This is helpful when creating a resume, outline, invoice, etc. Some other examples of wizards are the Finale 2000 wizard, which helps you create a new music composition with your desired instruments, and the PowerPoint wizard, which helps you set up a presentation using a certain theme. Basically a wizard acts as a guide for creating a new document in a software program. Though wizards can be helpful sometimes they can be more of a hassle than a help for experienced users. Some users would rather just create a new document from scratch without using a wizard. This is because wizards typically don't offer as much customization as an experienced user may want. Be sure not to confuse a "wizard" with a "template." A template is a pre-formatted document that has already been created whereas a wizard is a step-by-step guide that helps you create your own document.

Workgroup model: The Windows NT and Windows 2000 name for a peer-to-peer network that includes one or more Windows NT-based computers.

Working set: Data that a program actively uses at any given time. The working set is only a small subset of the total amount of data that the program could use.

WWW: "World Wide Web" It is important to know that this is not a synonym for the Internet. The World Wide Web, or just "the web," as ordinary people call it, is a subset of the Internet. The web consists of pages that can be accessed using a web browser. The Internet is the actual network of networks where all the information resides. Things like Telnet, FTP, Internet gaming, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and e-mail are all part of the Internet, but are not part of the World Wide Web. The Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the method used to transfer web pages to your computer. With hypertext a word or phrase can contain a link to another web site. All web pages are written in the hyper-text markup language (HTML) which works in conjunction with HTTP.

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