Internet On-Ramp: Internet language creeps into everyday life

Here’s a sampling of terms that will be useful on the Internet:

E-mail – the most popular of all Internet services that enables you to send electronic mail to other connected Internauts, regardless of where they’re located or what type of computer they use. Everyone on the Internet has an e-mail address.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – used to transfer files to and from an Internet host computer to your computer. You’ll commonly hear the term used as a verb, as in “Where can I go to FTP that agenda of last year’s entrepreneur’s conference?”

Gopher – a search retrieval system linked up to many computers throughout the world organized by subject. It uses a nested, menu-based interface, allowing you to drill down through different lists until you reach your intended destination.

Home page – the starting place for entry onto the Web, or the opening to a set of Web pages.

Newsgroups – the Internet’s town hall of more than 14,000 discussion groups that cover a variety of topics. Some newsgroups are a forum for researchers; some are for novice computer users seeking help; some are arenas for vitriolic activity.

SLIP (Serial Line IP) – a protocol that allows a computer to use TCP/IP over a telephone line or other serial communication medium. Supports graphical Web browsers.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol) – the software that implements the protocols specifying how computers communicate on the Internet.

URL (Universal Resource Locator) – the address of a Web page, such as http://www.fortnet.org.

WAIS (Wide Area Information Server) – an automated Internet-search service that allows users to locate documents containing key words or phrases.

Web page – a hypertext document that is part of the World Wide Web and that can incorporate graphics, sounds and links to other Web pages, FTP sites, gophers and a variety of other Internet resources.

World Wide Web (WWW, or the Web) – the collection of multimedia pages on the Internet that you can navigate by selecting hypertext links within a Web page’s text or graphics that, in turn, point to other Web pages or Internet resources. You need a browser to view the Web.