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Word Explanation
Information and Content Exchange

(ICE). A protocol based on XML which will make it easier for large businesses and organizations to manage and exchange information and assets via networks, using secure transactions. ICE can be used by syndicated publishing networks, Web superstores, and online resellers to automate many transactions and reduce the cost of doing business online.

ISO 9660

The physical format for CD-ROM discs (including size, tracking, contents of sectors, and so forth) is defined by the Red Book. The standard logical format for CD-ROMs (including the volume and file structure) is defined by ISO 9660: Information Processing - Volume and File Structure of CD-ROM for Information Exchange (1988), issued by the International Standards Organization. This format can be used by many different computers.

Network Payment Protocol

(NPP). A non-proprietary standard governing how BIPS-enabled client software interfaces with bank payment processing systems. NPP messages are in Extensible Markup Language (XML) and begin with a Bank Internet Payment System (BIPS) XML header. They also include transaction numbers, certificates, and other security information.

Open Financial Exchange

(OFX). An open specification for online transfer of financial data, combining Microsoft's Open Financial Connectivity, Intuit's OpenExchange, and CheckFree's electronic banking and payment protocols. OFE can directly connect customers with their financial institutions, and can be used for such transactions as downloading bank and credit card statements; transferring funds; making payments; and billing. OFX is based upon SGML, and is designed to be easy to learn and extensible.

Signed Document Markup Language

(SDML). A specification of a generic method for digitally signing a document, a section of a document, or multiple documents together. SDML requires the use of public key cryptography and can be used with web pages, e-mail messages or any text based documents. SDML is a generalization of the Financial Services Markup Language (FSML). SDML may be used for electronic funds transfer, electronic commerce, or any other signed contract or agreement.


Synchronized Multimedia Working Group. A W3C working group that developed the SMIL 1.0 specification for bringing synchronized multimedia content to the Web. The working group is composed of experts in CD-ROM, interactive television, audio/video streaming, and the World Wide Web, from research organizations and technology companies.

Simple HTML Ontology Extensions

(SHOE). An extension to HTML which makes it possible for authors to include machine-readable semantic knowledge in World Wide Web documents. It includes mechanisms for hierarchical classification and for specifying relationships between elements and data. SHOE makes it possible for intelligent agents to gather information about web pages and other documents more intelligently, and thus to improve searching and knowledge-gathering.

Extensible Style Language

(XSL). A language used to create stylesheets for XML, similar to CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) that are used for HTML. In XML, content and presentation are separate. XML tags do not indicate how they should be displayed. An XML document has to be formatted before it can be read, and the formatting is usually accomplished with stylesheets. Stylesheets consist of formatting rules for how particular XML tags affect the display of a document on a computer screen or a printed page. In XML, different stylesheets can be applied to the same data to hide or display different parts of a document for different users.


Extensible Forms Description Language. An open protocol for creating, filling in, and reading complex business forms and legal contracts on the Internet and intranets. XFDL, based on XML, was developed because HTML is not suitable for representing auditable business forms. Though a form has both questions and answers, a form in HTML can only store the answers that the user entered. Using XFDL, the form’s questions and answers can be stored in a single file that can then be digitally signed.


MySQL is a true multi-user, multi-threaded SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. SQL is the most popular database language in the world. MySQL is a client/server implementation that consists of a server daemon mysqld and many different client programs and libraries. The main goals of MySQL are speed, robustness and ease of use. MySQL was originally developed because we at TcX needed a SQL server that could handle very large databases an order of magnitude faster than what any database vendor could offer to us. We have now been using MySQL since 1996 in an environment with more than 40 databases containing 10,000 tables, of which more than 500 have more than 7 million rows. This is about 50G of mission-critical data. The base upon which MySQL is built is a set of routines that have been used in a highly demanding production environment for many years. While MySQL is still in development, it already offers a rich and highly useful function set. The official way to pronounce MySQL is "My Ess Que Ell" (Not MY-SEQUEL).

application programming interface

(API). An interface between the operating system and application programs, which includes the way the application programs communicate with the operating system, and the services the operating system makes available to the programs. For example, an API may make it possible for programs that run under it to open windows and display message boxes.


A brand of processors from Intel for the basic PC market, available in 333-MHz, 300A-MHz, 300-MHz and 266-MHz operating frequencies. All Celeron processors are based on the Intel 0.25 micron CMOS process technology. The processors are in the single edge processor package (SEPP). They have the same P6 microarchitecture core as the Pentium II processor, and provide the performance to run most common applications on operating systems. They are designed for dependability and cost efficiency.

dotted quad

Another name for an IP number. The dotted quad is a unique number consisting of four parts separated by dots, like Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number, and may have one or more domain names (like "") which are easier to remember than the number.


A combination fax and data modem which is either an external unit that plugs into the serial port or an expansion board that is installed internally.A faxmodem makes it possible to fax a document straight from the computer, but cannot scan documents which are not in the computer. Most modems now are faxmodems.

fast page mode

A kind of DRAM memory. Fast page mode improved upon the original page mode memory by eliminating the column address setup time during the page cycle. For a while, fast page mode was the most widely used access method for DRAMs; it is still used on many systems. One benefit of FPM over page mode memory is reduced power consumption. See also page mode memory.

clock speed

The speed at which a computer performs basic operations, usually given in MegaHertz (millions of cycles per second). The clock speed of a computer is determined by the frequency of vibration of a quartz crystal which sends pulses to the CPU. The clock speed of a computer is determined by the frequency of vibration of a quartz crystal which sends pulses to the CPU. Clock speed can be misleading when used to compare the performance of different types of computers; benchmarks try to take other variables into account.

CD-RW drive

CD-ReWritable drive. A CD-ROM drive that can write, erase, and rewrite to a CD-ROM. CD-RW is considered by many to be the perfect bridge from CD to DVD technology because of its backward and forward compatibility with existing CD and future DVD platforms.

Accelerated Graphics Port

Accelerated Graphics Port. A bus specification from Intel that gives graphics cards faster access to main memory than the PCI bus, thus greatly speeding up graphics display and texture rendering, especially virtual reality and 3D rendering and display. AGP allows efficient use of frame buffer memory, thereby helping 2D graphics performance as well. The coherent memory management design allows scattered data in system memory to be read in rapid bursts. The PCI graphics accelerator bus has a data transfer rate of up to 133 MBps. Because it is directly on the motherboard's chipset and has a direct pipeline connection to the computer's main memory, AGP is much faster. AGP is available in two speeds: 1X transfers data at a rate of 264 MBps; 2X transfers data at 528 MBps. The AGP 4X, coming in 1999, will double the bandwidth peak again to 1 GBps.


A cookie is a set of data that a Web site server gives to a browser the first time the user visits the site, that is updated with each return visit. The remote server saves the information the cookie contains about the user and the user's browser does the same, as a text file stored in the Netscape or Explorer system folder. Not all browsers support cookies. Cookies store information such as user name and password and what parts of the site were visited; this information can be updated with each visit. The browser only shares each cookie with the server that originated it; other servers can only read their own cookies. Netscape can be set up to alert the user when a cookie is being sent so the user can accept it or not, by means of the Network Preferences window. There are also downloadable applications that eat cookies such as Cookie Killers, Cookie Monster (Mac), and Kill Cookie Batch File (PC).

  1. Device drivers are programs that extend the operating system to support a device such as a disk or tape drive; or programs that enable an application to use a device such as a printer driver. Hardware devices such as sound cards, printers, scanners, and CD-ROM drives must each have the proper driver installed in order to run. 2. A line driver is a circuit that is used to increase the signal current in order to send data over long distances or to many circuits. It must be at each end of the transmission line.

An open specification from Intel for a motherboard that is a further evolution of the Baby AT, giving more space for expansion slots and Input/Output. The motherboard is rotated 90 degrees in its chassis. The ATX supports multimedia and USB (Universal Serial Bus). In this design, the power supply blows air over the processor chip instead of pulling air through the chassis.

32-bit addressing

If a computer has 32-bit addressing, it means that each address in memory can have 32 numbers. Since each number could be a 1 or a 0, that means that 2^32 (four billion) addresses are available. The computer could theoretically address up to 4 gigabytes of memory; however, many computers with 32-bit addressing have far less than 4 gigabytes of memory.


Typewritten pictures of facial expressions, used in e-mail and when communicating on the Internet, to indicate emotion. They are also called smileys :-) . See the emoticon list in this dictionary for examples.


A channel where information is stored on magnetic or optical media. Tracks come in three forms: 1. The concentric rings on a floppy disk or hard disk. Tracks are recorded onto a floppy disk during formatting; a high-density floppy has 160 tracks. Disk storage is organized in tracks and sectors, which are pie-shaped slices. A combination of two or more sectors on a single track makes a cluster or block, the minimum unit used to store information. 2. On CDs and videodiscs, tracks are in spiral form. 3. On magnetic tape, tracks run parallel to the length of the tape, or diagonally for helical scan tracks.

computer generations

The development of computers began in the late 1940s and early 1950s with huge mainframes that used vacuum tube technology. The second generation of computers were built with discrete transistors, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s. Third-generation computers were built using integrated circuits after the mid-1960s; during this time period, minicomputers were developed. The fourth generation of computers are the microcomputers which use large-scale integration or very large-scale integration. The fifth generation of computers, beginning in the late 1990s, is expected to greatly expand the use of artificial intelligence. See also first generation computer, second generation computer, third generation computer, fourth generation computer, fifth generation computer.

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