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I have included the definitions, in my own words, of anything anyone visiting this site might not know, written for anyone of any level to understand.
Programming Concepts: API, CS, DLL, DOM, encryption, hashing, low level
Networking Concepts: DMZ, DNS, IP address, ISP, LAN, NAT, P2P, packet, port, port forward
Computer Terms: BSOD, bytes, CPU, DMA, DOS, FPS, grep, GUI, IE, INI, MMORPG, NT, OS, RAM, SP2, WYSIWYG, XP
Other Acronyms: AFAIK, ATM, btw, CMS, FTW, FYI, IIRC, IMO, IP, IRL, lol, NBD, OMG, PITA, RPG
Definitions: fan service
Foreign Words: Anime, Manga, oi, Otaku, Shojo, Shonen, Uber
Reference: Home Server
Programming Concepts
APIApplication Programming Interface
Refers to the interface libraries used to interact with a program when programming.
CSComputer Science
Basically means programming, also called software engineering, though that term more tends towards the planning and engineering side of applications than strict programming.
DLLDynamic Link Library
A file that is a Windows library of functions that any application or other library can call.
DOMDocument Object Model
The structure in which modern web browsers parse web pages for quicker display and manipulation.
Making data unreadable except to those who know how it was encrypted and have the key.
Cryptography is a very broad and advanced field that utilizes very interesting algorithms and mathematics. It has been one of the most vital aspects to security since writing was known, and has been advancing in complexity over time from letter ciphers of ancient Rome, to the enigma machines of the World Wars, and current public/private key encryption.
Hashing takes a chunk of data of any size and converts it down, using an algorithm, to a shorter string, usually ranging in size from 4 to 128 bytes.
There are countless different hash algorithms whose implementations vary widely. The two most common uses of hashes are: Data integrity checks, which usually produce drastically different hash strings from even the tiniest change, and quicker lookups of data, usually strings.
low level
high level
Though low level would usually mean of little skill, it means something completely different and more complementary in computer terms. The word level refers to closeness to the computer [hardware] itself. So a low level language is a lot harder to work with and takes a lot more work, as it is closer to working with the computer and operating system and rather complex, but also reaps many important benefits compared to usually overly simplified high level languages including speed, level of access, and size.
Networking Concepts
DMZDeMilitarized Zone
An internal IP address on a NAT that all incoming connections are port forwarded to.
DNSDomain Name System (or Server)
System: The system on the internet that associates an IP address with a domain name (like www.castledragmire.com).
Server: A server that gives the IP address of a domain when queried. I will try to refer to this as a "DNS Server" to avoid confusion.
See here for more information.
IP addressAn IP (Internet Protocol) address is the address to a computer on a network.
Current IP addresses (version 4) are always in a quad dotted format (#.#.#.#), with numbers ranging from 0 to 255, and take up 4 bytes of space.
IP version 6, which has not yet been widely adopted in most countries, has a much larger address space, with 16 numbers/bytes. This is not to be confused with IP.
See here for more information.
ISPInternet Service Provider
Examples for broadband include Verizon, which provide through DSL, and Comcast/Time Warner who provide through cable. Many college campuses run their own ISPs through T1 lines or greater. ISPs for modems over land lines, which are pretty obsolete now, include AOL, Earthlink, and NetZero.
LANLocal Area Network
The network you are directly connected to inside your router. I won’t get into specifics, but all computers on a LAN need to be on the same subnet to communicate.
See here for more information.
NATNetwork Address Translation
A private hidden local (inside) network (LAN) behind a router that is connected via a public IP address to an outside (Internet) network. All traffic is redirected and rewritten by the router between the two networks to deliver data between them. Computers behind/inside the NAT can make outgoing connections, but incoming connections are only possible through DMZs and port forwarding.
P2PPeer TO Peer
2 client computers connecting to each other to exchange data
packetA packet is what is used to send information across networks. It is the internet equivalent of a mailed package, as it contains address information (an IP address) and a data payload.
portAll network connections [TCP/IP] connect through a port number ranging from 0 to 65,535 (2 bytes). Client computers connect to servers on specified ports to initialize network sessions. Only 1 application can have a specified port opened at a time, which is how they know which data is sent where. Common port numbers are:
HTTP: 80
FTP: 20/21
SMTP: 25
Domain Resolution (DNS): 53
port forwardSending an incoming connection to a specific port on a NAT to a specific internal IP address. This is important for and helps speed up P2P.
Computer Terms
Blue Screen Of Death
Originated with Windows 3.1 and has been in all subsequent Windows versions. It occurs on errors that the operating system cannot recover from, usually with hardware. Windows 98 was known to often suffer from the BSOD and it became a running joke. The Xbox systems uses a green SOD.
A bit is a single digit in base 2, meaning either 0 or 1, which is how data is stored for modern computers.
Storage space is measured in bytes, which contains 8 bits, and is represented using the metric system (kilo [KB], mega [MB], etc), but instead of 1000 for 3 digits, it uses 1024 (2^10), so 1MB is 2^20 or 1,048,576 bytes.
Bits are “combined” sequentially to form larger numbers from 0 to 2^(NumBits)-1, so a byte can contain any number from 0-255 (2^8-1), which is often used to represent a piece of data, like an alphabetic character.
CPUCentral Processing Unit
Essentially the brain of the computer. Computer commands are all ran through this chip.
DMADirect Memory Access
This means when RAM is directly tied into other pieces of hardware without having to go through the CPU. This is especially useful for hard drives, as they are much slower to access information from, so when a lot of data is needed from them, it can be transferred to the RAM much faster without tying up the CPU.
DOSDisk Operating System
One of the first known OSs. It only allowed for 640 kilobytes of memory via RAM and was command-line only. Windows 3.x, 95, 98, and ME were all just systems built on top of DOS.
FPSFrames Per Second
The most used metric for (real time) graphical rendering speed, though seconds per frame tells more for comparisons as it’s not an inverse proportion.
grepGlobal Regular Expression Print
Searching through data. GREP is a Linux/bash utility for this.
GUIGraphical User Interface
Graphical interfaces for computers, as opposed to console [text based] windows.
IEInternet Explorer (Microsoft’s web browser)
INIA text based configuration file, usually ending with file extensions of “ini”, “cfg”, “conf” or “txt”. INI files are usually in the format of VARIABLENAME=value, one per line, and are most known for their use in Windows.
MMORPGMassive Multiplayer Online RPG (Role Playing Game)
Online RPGs where multitudes of players interact together with the world. Examples include: World of Warcraft, Everquest, and Final Fantasy 11
NTNew Technology
A kernel for windows that was much more stable than its DOS counterpart. This line included Windows NT, 2000, XP, and the Server line of products. NTFS was also introduced with this kernel.
OSOperating System
A piece of software used to control a computer at the low level and present a high level interface for applications and users to use.
Examples include Microsoft Windows, Linux, and OSX.
RAMRandom Access Memory
The primary short-term memory of computers. It is used to hold all live information for quick access when a computer is turned on.
Service Pack [2] (a very large update to Windows XP)
WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get
XPWindows XP
Other Acronyms
AFAIKAs Far As I Know
ATMAt The Moment
btwBy The Way
CMSContent Management System: A web based interface for creating and editing a site’s contents
FTWFor The Win
Internet slang for something that is cool.
FYIFor Your Information
IIRCIf I ReCall [Correctly]
IMOIn My Opinion
IPIntellectual Property (copyrights, trademarks, etc)
If I am referring to the Internet Protocol IP, I will say “IP address”.
IRLIn Real Life (Not the Internet)
lolLaughing Out Loud
NBDNo Big Deal
OMGOh My God
Denotes surprise
PITAPain In The Ass
RPGRole Playing Game
Assuming the role of a fictitious character and playing out their actions. The 3 main genres of this are MMORPGs, first player video games like Final Fantasy, and table-top like Dungeons and Dragons.
Protocols and File Formats
ASCIIAmerican Standard Code for Information Interchange
Pronounced ass-key. This character set was used for DOS and many older systems, and is still one of the most used standards for roman based languages. It consists of 256 characters, 1 character per byte. ASCII art is a widely known field, and was used for many old games, possibly most importantly, ZZT.
A standard uncompressed picture, usually consisting of either 8, 16, 24, or 32 bits per RGB pixel.
CGICommon Gateway Interface
A standardized protocol for interfacing external software with a server. It is usually used for dynamic content on web servers. Perl is a common example, and what I usually use when referring to CGI.
CMYKCyan Magenta Yellow blacK
A color format used mainly by printers that subtracts the colors from each other to form different colors and variations. This is the opposite of RGB.
CSSCascading Style Sheet
A Markup Language used in conjunction with HTML that gives much more power and flexibility with design and layouts than HTML by itself.
Big Endian
Little Endian
Little/Big endian refers to the byte order numbers are stored in. Little end (least significant byte) first, or big end (most significant byte) first. There are many arguments for both cases and both are in heavy use. For example, networking IP addresses are stored in big endian while computers (x86) store numbers in little endian, so a byte order swap must take place for conversion.
FATFile Allocation Table
The primary file storage system for windows before XP. It is still used as a cross-OS solution, and for bootable floppy disks.
FTPFile Transfer Protocol
The first and still widely used protocol for uploading/sending files across networks.
HSLHue Saturation Lightness: A way to describe color relationships more intuitively than with RGB by defining hue (a color wheel of sorts), saturation (tendency towards gray), and saturation (how much light, tending towards white). HSV is another similar way to describe colors.
HTMLHyper Text Markup Language
The Markup Language that web pages are written in. HTML is often combined with CSS.
HTTPHyper Text Transfer Protocol (how web pages are retrieved)
Joint Photographic Experts Group
A standard compressed lossy picture format. The name refers to the standards committee group that created it. Lossy means that data precision is lost during compression in favor of size. This format is best for real pictures, and can show obvious artifacts in digital images. See PNG for a lossless format.
MIDIMusical Instrument Digital Interface
A standard format used to compose music on computers. It consists of note values with lengths at chosen times over variable volume intensities with a range of instruments.
While it is somewhat outdated in some means, it is still a widely used format, including for cell phone ringtones.
NTFSNew Technology File System
This is the primary file storage system for Windows XP and Windows Vista.
A standard compressed lossless picture format. Lossless means that no data is lost during compression. This format is best for computer generated images like screenshots in which large areas of the image contain the exact same or precise gradients of color. See JPEG for a lossy format.
QWERTYThe standard keyboard layout for computers. The name refers to the first 6 letters in the upper left corner of the keyboard layout.
RGBRed Green Blue
The standard color format used in computing by adding intensities of the colors together, as with light, to form new colors. Sometimes alpha (translucency) is included as RGBA.
Standard representations include (Numbers represent bits per color):
8 bit: Palette lookup, R3G3B2
16 bit: R4G4B4A4, R3G3B2A8, R5G5B5A1, R5G6B5
24 bit: R8G8B8
32 bit: R8G8B8A8
128 bit: uses a 32bit floats for each color channel.
See also HSL.
SMSShort Message Service
The standard format for text messaging from and to cell phones. Messages cannot exceed 160 characters.
SMTPSimple Mail Transfer Protocol (email)
fan serviceThings put into TV shows or movies specifically to please the fans. While the term can generally include references to other series [like how Firefly included Star Wars ships in some scenes], it more often refers to a sexual aspect, like “panty shots”, especially in anime.
Foreign Words
AnimeJapanese animation
Anime is very different than western animation, usually referred to as cartoons, in that it has many more ranges of styles and isn’t necessarily geared towards children.
MangaJapanese comic books
oi vei
oi vei is a word of Yiddish descent meaning “Oh God”. It literally translates as “Oh woe”.
OtakuA Japanese word kind of meaning a very overly enthusiastic fanatic pertaining to a specific topic, in general, Anime.
Not wanting to go into the nuances of the word, it’s usually quite derogatory in Japan, while less so in the west.
ShojoShōjo, or shoujo, in my context always means things geared heavily towards girls, usually Anime. It is a Japanese word literally meaning “young girl” or “small girl”, and can be used to refer to any female from grade school age through senior high school.
ShonenShōnen in my context always means things geared heavily towards boys, usually Anime. It is a Japanese word literally meaning “few years”, referring to youths. While the term shonen can technically refer to both young males and young females, the generally accepted connotation is towards males.
UberÜber is originally a german word that has come to mean “super” or “over the top” and is often used in context as “extremely powerful”.
Home ServerHome servers are very useful and I recommend everyone have one! I have run one at my house for many years that I use as a server for: HTTP, Samba, FTP (for others to upload stuff to me), backup, and remote desktop (which has multiple uses like a secure “proxy” and centralized work station). It is also used as a 24/7 P2P client and TV output station. Once, I also used it as a go-between for QOS and packet monitoring for my LAN.