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Network Chico Computer terms glossary

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IBM cabling system: Numeric cable designations (Type 1 through Type 9) representing the grades of cabling recognized by IBM's Cabling System. Types 2 and 9 are the most commonly used networking cables; Type 3 is voicegrade only and is unsuitable for network use.

ICMP: "Internet Control Message Protocol" A TCP/IP protocol used to send information and error messages.

Icon: Ever since the Macintosh was introduced in 1984 icons have been the way we view files on computers. An icon on your computer screen represents an object or a program on your hard drive. For example, the folders you see on your desktop or in open windows are icons. The files that you see in those folders are also icons. The trash can on the Macintosh and the recycle bin on Windows are both icons as well. Icons are a visual representation of something on your computer. For example, a blue "e" on your screen most likely represents the Internet Explorer program. An icon that looks like a sheet of paper is probably a text document. By clicking and dragging icons, you can move the actual files they represent to various locations on your computer's hard drive. By double-clicking an application icon, you can open the program. Icons are one of the fundamental features of the graphical user interface (GUI). They make computing much more user-friendly than having to enter text commands to accomplish anything.

IDE: "Integrated Device Electronics" It is the most widely-used hard drive interface on the market. The fancy name refers to how the IDE technology "integrates" the electronics controller into the drive itself. The original IDE standard could only support hard drives containing up to 540 MB of data. The new standard EIDE (Enhanced-IDE) supports hard drives with over 50 GB of data and allows for data transfer rates that are over twice as fast as the original IDE. Another common hard drive interface is SCSI, which is faster than EIDE, but usually costs more per megabyte.

IEEE: "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers" This is a non-profit organization that develops, defines, and reviews electronics and computer science standards. Though it is a U.S. based organization, standards developed by the IEEE often become International standards. Some examples of commonly-used products standardized by the organization are the IEEE 1284 interface (a.k.a. Parallel Port), which many printers use, and the IEEE 1394 interface (a.k.a. Firewire), which is a super-fast connection for digital video cameras, hard drives, and other peripherals. The IEEE describes itself as "the world's largest technical professional society; promoting the development and application of electrotechnology and allied sciences for the benefit of humanity, the advancement of the profession, and the well-being of our members."

IIS: "Internet Information Server" or "Internet Information Services" The Server definition refers to a Microsoft BackOffice component that acts as a web server in the Windows NT Server environment. The Windows 2000 version is called Internet Information Services.

IM: "Instant Message," "Instant messaging" or "IMing," as frequent users call it, has become a popular way to communicate over the Internet. Two people with the same IM client software can type messages back in forth in a private "chat room." The IM software can also keep a list of friends, or "buddies," and let the user know who else is online. After seeing who is online the user can open up chat rooms with as many other people as he or she wants. Instant messaging can be a much more efficient way to communicate with others than sending multiple e-mails back and forth. For this reason instant messaging has become a useful tool for both friends and co-workers.

IMAP: "Internet Message Access Protocol" An Internet e-mail standard that may some day replace POP3 because of its advanced message controls and fault-tolerance features.

Impedance: the resistance of a cable to the transmission of signals. Impedance accounts for attenuation in a cable.

Incremental backup: Copies of all files modified since the last full or incremental backup.

Infrared: That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum immediately below visible light. Infrared frequencies are popular for shot- to medium- range (10s of meters to 40 km) point-to-point network connections.

Insertion loss: The weakening of signals that occurs on a cable segment each time a network device is attached. Necessary restrictions on the maximum number of devices keep the signals that traverse the network clean and strong enough to remain intelligible to all devices.

Internet: The Internet was created way back in 1969, during the Cold War, by the United States Department of Defense. It was meant to be a "nuke-proof" communications network. Today the Internet spreads across the globe and consists of countless networks and computers allowing millions of people to share information. Data that travels long distances on the Internet is transferred on huge lines known collectively as the Internet backbone. The Internet is now maintained by the major Internet service providers such as MCI Worldcom, Sprint, GTE, ANS, and UUNET, but technically belongs to no one. Because these providers make huge amounts of revenue off the Internet they are motivated to maintain consistent and fast connections which benefits everyday Internet users like you and me. Many people think the Internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing. They are not. The World Wide Web is what you are browsing right now. It is one of the many features of the Internet. E-mail, FTP, and Instant Messaging are also features of the Internet. Internet is always capitalized.

Internet browser: A graphical tool designed to read HTML documents and access the WWW. Examples are Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator or Mozilla Firefox.

Intranet: This is not simply a misspelling of "Internet." "Intra" means "internal" or "within," so an Intranet is an internal or private Internet used strictly within the confines of a company, university or organization. "Inter" means "between or among," hence the difference between the Internet and an intranet. Up until the last few years most corporations used local networks composed of expensive proprietary hardware and software for their internal communications. Now, using simple Internet technology, intranets have made internal communication much easier and less expensive. Intranets use a TCP/IP connection and support web browsing just like a typical Internet connection does. The difference is that web sites served within the intranet can only be accessed by computers connected through the local network.

Intellimirror: A Windows 2000 client/server application that creates a "smart back-up copy" of a Windows 2000 system on a Windows 2000 Server. Users have access to all the files, applications and customization resident on their home desktops on any other Windows 2000 machine that can establish a working connection to the Intellimirror server where their home desktopn images reside.

Internetwork: A network of networks which consists of two or more physical networks connected by routers. Unlike a WAN and internetwork may reside in only a single location. Because it contains too many computers or spans too much distance an internetwork cannot fit within the scope of a single LAN.

IP: "Internet Protocol" It provides a standard set of rules for sending and receiving data through the Internet. People often use the term "IP" when referring to an IP address, which is OK. The two terms are not necessarily synonymous, but when you ask what somebody's IP is, most people will know you are referring to their IP address. TCP/IP's primary network protocol which provides addressing and routing information.

IP address: Also known as an "IP number" or simply an "IP," this is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer, whether it be a Web server or the computer you're using right now, requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will assign you either a static IP address (which is always the same) or a dynamic IP address (which changes every time you log on). ISPs typically assign users a dynamic IP address each time they sign on because it reduces the number of IP addresses they must register. However, if you connect to the Internet through a network, it is more likely that you have a static IP address. ISPs and organizations usually apply to the InterNIC for a range of IP addresses so that all their clients have similar addresses. There are three classes of IP address sets that can be registered: Class C, which consists of 255 IP addresses, class B, which contains 65,000 IP addresses, and class A, which includes hundreds of thousands of IP addresses. Because there are so many computers now connected to the Internet, the InterNIC is actually running out of IP addresses. Therefore, Class A and Class B address blocks are very hard, if not impossible, to get. Most large companies have to register multiple Class C addresses instead. To resolve this problem, the Internet Engineering Task Force, which created the original IP address standard, is working on a new protocol called "IP Version 6" or "IPv6."

IPSec: "IP Security" An Internet security protocol that is gaining acceptance as a way to protect network traffic from unwanted snooping.

IPX: "Internetwork Packet Exchange" (I didn't know "exchange" started with an "x" either.) It is a networking and transport-layer protocol used to connect networks based on Novell's NetWare. IPX is "connectionless" meaning it does not require connections to be maintained during an exchange of packets like a phone call does. It can just pick up where it left off when a connection is temporarily dropped. Another nice thing about IPX is that it usually only loads when you log on to a network so it doesn't take up unnecessary resources. As some video game players may know IPX used to be the standard protocol for network games. Most video games now use the more robust TCP/IP protocol which allows for long distance network gaming as well as game play over the Internet.

IPX/SPX: "Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange" The set of protocols developed by Novell. Most comonly associated with NetWare networks.

IRC: "Internet Relay Chat" IRC makes it possible for people using the Internet to converse with each other in real time by typing messages back and forth. In order to talk to someone through IRC, you need to connect to the same IRC server. When you and others connect to the server, you can join a channel (a.k.a. chat room), and talk with the other people who have joined that channel. Usually, channels have specific topics like "teenchat," "macusers," or "folksingingmotorcyclists." To connect to an IRC server, you'll need a software program like Ircle (Mac) or mIRC (Windows). Most IRC programs also let you transfer files with other users, which is a cool feature, but has also led to a lot of software piracy.

IRQ: "Interrupt Request Line" IBM clone PCs use interrupt requests to manage various hardware operations. Devices such as sound cards, modems and keyboards can all send interrupt requests to the processor. For example when the modem needs to run a process it sends an interrupt request to the CPU saying "Hey, hold up, let me do my thing." The CPU then interrupts its current job to let the modem run its process. It is important to assign different IRQ addresses to different hardware devices is because the interrupt request signals run along single IRQ lines to a controller. This interrupt controller assigns priorities to incoming IRQs and sends them to the CPU. It's kind of like taking a number at the local deli, except the hardware usually only has to wait a couple of nanoseconds instead of twenty minutes. Since the interrupt controller can control only one device per IRQ line, if you assign the same IRQ address to multiple devices, you are likely to get an IRQ conflict. This can cause a range of errors from not allowing network connections to crashing your computer. So make sure you assign unique IRQs to new hardware you install and avoid the frustration and keyboard throwing that conflicts can cause.

ISA: "Industry Standard Architecture" Originally an 8-bit PC bus architecture but upgraded to 16-bit with the introduction of the IBM PC/AT in 1984. Essentially no longer in use except in legacy products.

ISDN: "Integrated Services Digital Network" ISDN is a data transfer technology created in 1984 that can transfer data significantly faster than a dial-up modem across a WAN. ISDN enables wide-bandwidth digital transmission over the public telephone network which means more data can be sent at one time. A typical ISDN connection can support transfer rates of 64K or 128K of data per second. While these speeds are faster than what you can get with a dial-up modem, the newer DSL technology can support even faster transfer rates and is less costly to set up and maintain.

ISO: "International Standardization Organization" The international standards-setting body based in Geneva, Switzerland that sets worldwide technology standards. Also called International Standards Organization. or International Organization for Standardization. You can visit their site at www.iso.org.

ISP: "Internet Service Provider" In order to connect to the Internet you need an ISP. It is the company that you pay a monthly fee to in order to use the Internet. If you use a dial-up modem to connect to your ISP a point-to-point protocol (PPP) connection is established with another modem on the ISP's end. That modem connects to one of the ISP's routers which routes you to the Internet "backbone." From there you can access information from anywhere around the world. DSL and cable modems work the same way except after you connect the first time you are always connected.

IT: "Information Technology" and is pronounced "I.T." It refers to anything related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies. Many companies now have IT departments for managing the computers, networks, and other technical areas of their businesses. IT jobs include computer programming, network administration, computer engineering, Web development, technical support, and many other related occupations. Since we live in the "information age," information technology has become a part of our everyday lives. That means the term "IT," already highly overused, is here to stay.

ITU: "International Telecommunications Union" The standards body that developed the V-series modem standards.

Network Chico Computer terms glossary

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