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A simple glossary of some of the technical terms you may come into contact with

This Page is still so please let us know of any omissions or error by emailing us from the contact page.

This is meant to be a simple glossary, and as such, there is only a very simple explanation for each term.

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Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP)
A high-performance, component-level interconnect for 3D-graphics applications.


The extent to which computers are easy to use and available to a wide range of users, including people with one or more physical disabilities.


Active Channel
A Web site that automatically delivers content to a user’s computer on a regular schedule.


Active Desktop

An interface that integrates the Windows desktop with the Internet Explorer browsing software to provide a single metaphor for accessing content or applications.


Active Setup
An application that collects information about the user’s computer before download of Internet Explorer begins, and then uses this information to manage the download intelligently.


An umbrella term for Microsoft technologies that enable developers to create interactive content for the World Wide Web. A set of language-independent interoperability technologies that enable software components written in different languages to work together in networked environments. The core technology elements of ActiveX are COM and DCOM.


Address class
A basis for differentiating networks of various sizes. The network class can be determined from the first octet of its IP address.


Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
A protocol for determining a host's Ethernet address from its Internet address.


Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)
A system interface that provides a standard way to control power management and Plug and Play functions of the computer hardware. ACPI allows the computer motherboard to describe its device configuration and power control hardware interface to Windows 98. This allows the operating system to automatically turn on and off standard devices, such as CD-ROMs, network cards, hard disk drives, and printers, as well as consumer devices connected to the computer, such as VCRs, TVs, phones, and stereos.


Advanced Power Management (APM)
A software interface (defined by Microsoft and Intel) between hardware-specific power management software (such as that located in a system BIOS) and an operating system power management driver.


American National Standards Institute.


See application programming interface.


An HTML-based program built with Java that a browser temporarily downloads to a user's hard disk, from which location it runs when the Web page is open.


Application programming interface (API)
A set of routines that an application program uses to request and carry out lower-level services performed by the operating system.


The structure of all or part of a computer system. Also refers to the design of system software.


Advanced SCSI Programming Interface.


Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
A communications protocol defined for high-speed data communications.


A technology that makes it possible to identify who published a piece of software and verify that it has not been tampered with.

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Basic I/O system. A set of routines that works closely with the hardware to support the transfer of information between elements of the system, such as memory, disks, and the monitor.


BIOS Parameter Block (BPB)
Information located inside the boot sector specific to the logical drive information.


Block device
A device such as a disk drive that moves information in groups of bytes (blocks) rather than one byte at a time.


Boot sector
First sector on a logical drive that includes code to boot that drive, specific logical drive information, and error messages.


In general terms, a transmission sent simultaneously to more than one recipient. In Internet terminology, a transmission sent to a single address to be forwarded to many recipients. In practice, Internet broadcasts function only on local networks, because routers do not forward them.


Broadcast client
A versatile personal computer that can receive and display broadband digital and analog broadcasts, blending television with new forms of information and entertainment. Broadcast client programming can include television, audio, World Wide Web pages, and computer data content.


Broadcast server
A computer that sends broadcast programming across a broadcast channel to broadcast clients. The programming sent can include television, audio, World Wide Web pages, and digital data such as stock prices, multimedia magazines, and computer software.


A client tool for navigating and accessing information on the Internet or an intranet. A browser interprets hypertext markup language (HTML) and displays information on a computer screen. A popular example is Microsoft Internet Explorer.


A set of hardwire lines used for data transfer among the components of a computer system.


Bus class driver
In Windows 98, a driver that provides an interface between the hardware layer and bus minidrivers.

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A file that contains one or more files, usually compressed.


Call manager
The component that implements the media-specific signaling protocol for virtual circuit (connection) management on connection-oriented networks.


A 32-bit PC Card.


Compact disc read-only memory. A laser-encoded optical memory storage medium.


CD-ROM file system, which controls access to the contents of CD-ROM drives.


A push technology that allows users to subscribe to a Web site to browse offline, automatically display updated pages on their screen savers, and download or receive notifications when pages in the Web site are modified.


Channel bar
An area on the user’s Active Desktop that displays all the subscribed channels.


Channel Definition Format (CDF) file
A file that specifies the content of an Active Channel and when and how that content should be delivered to the user.


Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol.


A calculated value used to test data for the presence of errors that can occur when data is transmitted or when it is written to disk.


Chip set
A collection of integrated circuits designed to be used together for a specific purpose.


Clean boot
Booting or starting a computer using the minimum system files in the operating system.


Clean installation
Installation of an operating system on a new computer or a computer with a reformatted hard disk.


A process that requests a service provided by another program (called a server). See server.


Client for Microsoft Networks
A 32-bit, protected-mode file system driver to support all Microsoft networking products that use the SMB file-sharing protocol.


A specified number of sectors grouped together by the FORMAT command. The number is determined by the size of the logical drive. A cluster is the smallest storage unit for storing files.


Code page
An internal table that the operating system uses to relate the keys on the keyboard to the characters displayed on the screen.


Compression/decompression technology for digital video and stereo audio.


Cold docking
Insertion or removal of a device in the system before which the device must be powered off or restarted.


Compatibility mode
A mode protocol defined in IEEE P1284 that provides a byte-wide channel from a computer to a peripheral.


Component Object Model (COM)
The object-oriented programming model that defines how objects interact within a single application or between applications. In COM, client software accesses an object through a pointer to an interface—a related set of functions called methods—on the object.


Compressed volume file (CVF)
A file with read-only, hidden, and system attributes, and that contains a compressed drive.


Container applications
Applications that maintain compound documents.


A means by which, under the HTTP protocol, a server or a script can maintain state or status information on the client workstation. In other words, a cookie is bits of information about a person's visit to a Web page. A cookie can include such information as the way a Web page was customized or how a visitor shopped on a Web site, or it can be used to track repeat visits.


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Data Link Control (DLC)
An error-correction protocol in the Systems Network Architecture (SNA) responsible for transmission of data between two nodes over a physical link.


A packet of data and other delivery information that is routed through a packet-switched network or transmitted on a local area network.


Dynamic Data Exchange. An interprocess communication method that allows two or more programs running simultaneously to exchange data and commands.


Device driver interface.


Driver development kit.


Default emulated LAN
A virtual network that acts like a traditional LAN.


Default gateway
The gateway used to connect to the rest of the network.


Demand paging
A method by which code and data are moved in pages from physical memory to a temporary paging file on disk.


Device class driver
In Windows 98, a driver that provides an interface between different layers of the WDM architecture.


Device node
The basic data structure for a given device, built by Configuration Manager; sometimes called devnode. Device nodes are built into memory at system startup for each device and enumerator with information about the device, such as currently assigned resources. The complete representation of all device nodes is referred to as the hardware tree.


Dial-Up Networking
A component of Windows NT and Windows 98 that makes it possible for users to connect to remote networks such as the Internet or a private network.


Digital ID
An electronic key, obtained from a certificate authority, that provides a means for proving your identity on the Internet. Also called digital certificate or authentication certificate.


A multimedia technology designed to play video, audio, and other multimedia streams in a variety of formats that are stored locally or acquired from Internet servers. DirectShow relies on a modular system of pluggable components called filters arranged in a configuration called a filter graph.


A low-level API that provides user- mode media interfaces for games and other high-performance multimedia applications. DirectX is a thin layer, providing direct access to hardware services, and takes advantage of available hardware accelerators and emulates accelerator services when accelerators are not present.


Distributed Component Object Model (Distributed COM) Additions to the Component Object Model (COM) that facilitate the transparent distribution of objects over networks and over the Internet.


Distributed computing
Information processing in which computing tasks are divided into two parts, one running on the client computer, the other on the server.


Distribution media format (DMF)
A special read-only format for 3.5-inch floppy disks that permits storage of 1.7 MB of data.




See dynamic-link library.


See Domain Name System.


To insert or remove a device in a computer system.


Docking station

A base unit into which you can insert portable hardware and that includes drive bays, expansion slots, and additional ports.


Domain Name System (DNS)
The naming service used on the Internet to provide standard naming conventions for IP computers.


Dotted decimal notation
A method of signifying IP addresses in which each set of eight bits is separated from the next eight bits by a period.


Drive Parameter Block (DPB)
Identical to the BIOS Parameter Block, except that it is in memory. Applications should access the DPB instead of the boot sector for logical drive information. Proper programming guidelines have always stated that applications should go through the operating system for information instead of going to the hardware itself.


Digital Versatile Disk. Optical disk storage that encompasses audio, video, and computer data.


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
An industry-standard (TCP/IP) protocol that assigns Internet Protocol (IP) configurations to computers. The DHCP-server computer makes the assignments, and the client computer calls the server computer to obtain the address.


Dynamic HTML
A collection of features that extends the capabilities of traditional HTML, giving Web authors more flexibility, design options, and creative control over the appearance and behaviour of Web pages.


Dynamic-link library (DLL)
An API routine that user-mode applications access through ordinary procedure calls. The code for the API routine is not included in the user’s executable image. Instead, the operating system automatically modifies the executable image to point to DLL procedures at run time.

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Emulated LAN
A virtual network that acts like a traditional LAN.


Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file
A file that prints at the highest possible resolution for your printer. An EPS file may print faster than other graphical representations.


A way of making data indecipherable to protect it from unauthorized viewing or use.


Enhanced metafile (EMF)
A device-independent rendering of a print job that is much faster to produce than a device-specific rendering.


The process by which, during startup, the operating system identifies Plug and Play devices by creating unique device IDs and reporting those IDs to Device Manager.


Exception handling
An event that occurs as a program runs and that requires software outside the normal flow of control to be run.


Explorer (Explorer) bar
In Internet Explorer, a way to browse through a list of links while displaying the pages those links open in the right side of the window.


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Frequently Asked Questions. A document containing basic questions and answers.


FAT file system
A file system based on a file allocation table, maintained by the operating system, to keep track of the status of various segments of disk space used for file storage.


An enhancement of the File Allocation Table file system that supports large drives with improved disk space efficiency.


Fiber distributed data interface (FDDI)
A standard for high-speed fiber-optic LANs.


File Allocation Table (FAT)
An area on the disk (floppy or logical drive) set aside to reference file locations on that disk. The table is a chain identifying where each part of a file is located. It acts similarly to a table of contents for a book.


File Control Block (FCB)
A small block of memory temporarily assigned by a computer’s operating system to hold information about an opened file.


A system or combination of systems that enforces a boundary between two or more networks and keeps hackers out of private networks. Firewalls serve as virtual barriers to passing packets from one network to another.


Font mapping
Matching screen fonts to printer fonts.


In broadcast television, a single screen-sized image that can be displayed in sequence with other slightly different images to animate drawings. For NTSC video, a video frame consists of two interlaced fields of 525 lines; NTSC video runs at 30 frames per second. For PAL or SECAM video, a video frame consists of two interlaced fields of 625 lines; PAL and SECAM video runs at 25 frames per second.


File Transfer Protocol. The Internet standard high-speed protocol for downloading, or transferring, files from one computer to another.


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A computer connected to multiple physical networks, capable of routing or delivering packets between them.


See Graphics Interchange Format.


An early Internet protocol and software program designed to search for, retrieve, and display documents from remote computers or sites. Gopher clients are used to connect to remote Gopher servers Interaction is typically carried out through a menu hierarchy.


Graphics Device Interface (GDI)
The graphical system that manages what appears on the screen and provides graphics support for printers and other output devices. One of three core components in Windows 98.


Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
A computer graphics file format developed in the mid-1980s by CompuServe for use in photo-quality graphic image display on computer screens. Now commonly used on the Internet.



Graphical User Interface


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Hardware tree
The hierarchical representation of all the buses and devices on a computer.


High-level Data Link Control. A protocol for information transfer in which messages are transmitted in frames.


High Performance File System (HPFS)
An OS/2 file system that allows long file names.


A file and folder compression format.


Home page
The central document of a Web site, usually designated as the default document. The starting point for a Web site or section of a Web site is often referred to as the home page.


Host ID
The portion of the IP address that identifies a particular computer within a particular network ID.


Host table
The HOSTS or LMHOST file that contains lists of known IP addresses mapped to host names or NetBIOS computer names. Windows 98 uses this for local name resolution if other methods are not available.


Hot docking
Insertion of a device in the system while the device is running at full power


See Hypertext Markup Language.


See Hypertext Transfer Protocol.

Human Interface Device (HID) specification
The device class definition developed by the USB standards group for HIDs. Serves as the basis for the WDM input device support, and unifies input devices by providing flexible data reporting, typeless data, and arrayed and variable input and output.


Also called simply a link. A way of jumping to another place on the Internet. Hyperlinks usually appear in a different format from regular text. You initiate the jump by clicking the link.


Documents with links to other documents. Click a link to display the other document. A hypertext document is a document structured in chunks of text and marked up, usually using HTML, which is connected by links.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
The underlying protocol by which Web clients and servers communicate. HTTP is an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. It is a generic, stateless, object-oriented protocol. A feature of HTTP is the typing and negotiation of data representation, allowing systems to be built independently of the data being transferred.


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
A simple markup language used to create hypertext documents that are portable from one platform to another. HTML files are simple ASCII text files with codes embedded (indicated by markup tags) to indicate formatting and hypertext links. The formatting language used for documents on the World Wide Web.

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International Colour Consortium.


Image Colour Matching.


Integrated Device Electronics. A type of disk-drive interface where the controller electronics reside on the drive itself, eliminating the need for a separate adapter card.


See Microsoft Internet Explorer.


Internet Explorer Administration Kit. A set of tools that make possible the fine-tuning of Internet Explorer browsing software installations.


IEAK Profile Manager
A tool that network or workgroup administrators can use to create custom Active Desktop and Active Channel configurations and deploy them to users.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


A technique by which one process can take on the security attributes of another process, as when a server process impersonates a client process to complete a task involving objects to which the server does not normally have access.


INF file
A file that provides Windows 98 Setup with the information required to set up a device, such as a list of valid logical configurations for the device, the names of driver files associated with the device, and so on. An INF file is typically provided by the device manufacturer on a disk.


Infrared Data Association (IrDA)
Publisher of a wireless connectivity standard, which makes it possible to connect computers and hardware devices without using cables.


INI files
Initialisation files used by Windows-based applications to store per-user information that controls application startup. In Windows 98, such information is stored in the registry, and INI files are supported for backward compatibility.

Interactive television
Television combined with interactive content and enhancements.


A video display technique in which the electron beam refreshes (updates) all odd-numbered scan lines in one sweep of the screen and all even-numbered scan lines in the next. Interlacing takes advantage of both the screen phosphor's ability to maintain an image for a short time before fading and the human eye's tendency to average subtle differences in light intensity. By refreshing alternate lines, interlacing halves the number of lines to update in one screen sweep.


International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
An international association of member countries, each represented by its leading standard-setting organization—for example, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) for the United States. The ISO works to establish global standards for communications and information exchange.


A set of dissimilar computer networks joined together by means of gateways that handle data transfer and the conversion of messages from the sending network to the protocols used by the receiving networks. These networks and gateways use the TCP/IP suite of protocols.


Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
The Internet group that assigns groups of IP addresses to organizations.


Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP)
A network-level Internet protocol that provides error correction and other information relevant to IP packet processing.


Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
A consortium that introduces procedures for new technology on the Internet. IETF specifications are released in Requests for Comments.


Internet Protocol (IP)
The part of TCP/IP that is responsible for addressing and sending TCP packets over the network.


Internet Protocol Control Protocol (IPCP)
A protocol used to configure, enable, and disable IP Protocol modules at both ends of the link.


Internet Service Provider (ISP)
A public provider of remote connections to the Internet.


An asynchronous operating condition that disrupts normal execution and transfers control to an interrupt handler. Interrupts are usually initiated by I/O devices requiring service from the processor.


Interrupt request (IRQ)
A method by which a device can request to be serviced by the device’s software driver. The system board uses a programmable interrupt controller to monitor the priority of the requests from all devices.


Use of Internet standards, technologies, and products within an enterprise to function as a collaborative processing infrastructure. The term is generally used to describe the application of Internet technologies on internal corporate networks.


Internet Protocol.


IP address
Internet Protocol address. A unique address that identifies a host on a network. It identifies a computer as a 32-bit address that is unique across a TCP/IP network.


Internetwork Packet Exchange /Sequenced Packet Exchange. On Novell NetWare systems, IPX is a network layer protocol used in the file server operating system; SPX is a transport layer protocol built on top of IPX and used in client/server applications.


See interrupt request.


Industry Standard Architecture. An 8-bit (and later, a 16-bit) expansion bus that provides a buffered interface from devices on expansion cards to the PC internal bus.


ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
A completely digital telephone /telecommunications network that carries voice, data, and video information over the existing telephone network infrastructure. It is designed to provide a single interface for hooking up a telephone, fax machine, computer, and so on.


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A derivative of the C++ language, SunSoft's distributed programming language, offered as an open standard.


A scripting language developed by Netscape Communications and Sun Microsystems, Inc.


Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
A widely accepted international standard for compression of colour image files, sometimes used on the Internet.

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One of three core components in Windows 98. It provides base operating system functionality, including file I/O services, virtual memory management, and task scheduling.


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Local area network. A group of computers and other devices dispersed over a relatively limited area and connected by a communications link that enables any device to interact with any other device on the network.


Layered architecture
An architecture in which each layer isolates portions of the services.


Any feature in the computer system based on older technology for which compatibility continues to be maintained in other system components. In the context of Windows 98, a non–Plug and Play feature.


Link Control Protocol (LCP)
A protocol that establishes, configures, and tests the integrity of a data-link connection.


A set of dialing rules defining a place from which a user makes Dial-Up Networking connection.


Logical block addressing (LBA)
A method of accessing hard disk drives based on the extensions of INT 13.


Logon script
A batch file that runs automatically every time the user logs on. It can be used to configure a user’s working environment at every logon, and it allows an administrator to control a user’s environment without managing all aspects of it.

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A mechanism for one-to-one or one-to-many interprocess communications (IPC).


Master browse server
The computer that maintains the list of servers in a workgroup. Also called browse master.


Messaging application program interface (MAPI)
An open and comprehensive messaging interface used by programmers to create messaging and workgroup applications—such as electronic mail, scheduling, calendaring, and document management.


Microsoft Internet Explorer browsing software
A suite of Internet software that includes several communication and collaboration tools in addition to the Internet client.


Microsoft Management Console (MMC)
A general-purpose management display framework for hosting administration tools.


Microsoft Service for NetWare Directory Services
A service that enables Microsoft Client for NetWare Networks to log into a Novell Directory Services (NDS) tree.


Microsoft Systems Management Server
An application used to install and maintain Microsoft Windows 98 on networked computers.


Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A serial interface standard that allows for the connection of music synthesizers, musical instruments, and computers. The MIDI standard is based partly on hardware and partly on a description of the way in which music and sounds are encoded and communicated between MIDI devices.


MIDI stream
A technology used in advanced sound cards to play very complex MIDI sequences with less CPU use.


Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. A standard that extends SMTP to allow the transmission of such data as video, sound, and binary files via Internet e-mail without translating them into ASCII format.


A hardware-specific DLL that uses a Microsoft-provided class driver to accomplish most actions through function calls and provides only device-specific controls. Under WDM, the minidriver uses the class driver's device object to make system calls.


Mobile computing
Computing done by intermittently-connected users who access network resources.


Model computer
A computer on which all the components needed for other similar computers in your organization have been installed.


A standard designed by the Motion Pictures Experts Group for video playback of NTSC quality from CD-ROM.


Microsoft Challenge Handshake Authentication.


Mt. Fuji specification
A specific command set used in DVD-ROM drives.


Transmitting a message to multiple recipients at the same time. A point-to-many networking model in which a packet is sent to a specific address, and only those computers that are set to receive information from this address receive the packet.


Multihued system
A computer that is configured with more than one IP address.


A protocol that enables a computer to establish a dial-up connection using two modems or ISDN devices.


Multipoint data conferencing
A technology that allows two or more people to share information in real time over the Internet or an intranet.

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Name resolution
The process used on the network for resolving a computer address as a computer name, to support the process of finding and connecting to other computers on the network.


Named pipe(s)
An interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism that allows one process to communicate with another local or remote process.


Network driver interface specification wide area network.


NetBIOS Extended User Interface. A local area network transport protocol provided with Windows 98.


Network basic input/output system. A software interface for network communication.


NetBIOS Frames Control Protocol (NBFCP)
A protocol used to configure, enable, and disable the NetBEUI protocol modules on both ends of a data link.


Net mask
A binary value that defines which portion of the network address must match in order for that route to be used.


Network adapter
A hardware card installed in a computer that so it can communicate on a network.


Network Address Translation (NAT)
A process that lets an entire network connect to a PPP server and appear as a single IP address, thus helping to conceal IP addresses from external hackers and to alleviate address space shortage.


Network Device Interface Specification (NDIS)
The interface for network drivers used in Windows and Windows NT operating systems. All transport drivers call the NDIS interface to access network adapters.


Network ID
The portion of the IP address that identifies a group of computers and other devices that are all located on the same logical network.


Nibble mode
A mode protocol defined in IEEE P1284 that provides a channel from the peripheral to the host through which data is sent as 4-bit nibbles.


National language support. Services that ensure globally-aware information handling.


Windows NT file system.

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Object application
An application that acts as a server to provide various data objects to be included in a compound document.


A design initiative that seeks to create all the components required for a comprehensive, system-wide approach to system and device power control. OnNow is a term for a PC that is always on but appears off and that responds immediately to user or other requests.


Open Datalink Interface (ODI)
A specification defined by Novell and Apple Computer to provide a protocol and API for communicating with network adapter drivers, and to support the use of multiple protocols by a network adapter driver.


Open Group, The
Parent company of a number of standards organizations including The Active Group—now managing the core ActiveX technology, X/Open, and OSF.


A font specification for Windows 98 that extends the TrueType font standard by adding tables containing information for advanced multilingual typesetting and typographic control.


Option ROM
Optional read-only memory found on PC bus expansion cards. This ROM usually contains additional firmware required to properly boot the peripheral connected to the expansion card, for instance, a hard drive. Also referred to as an expansion ROM.


Open Systems Interconnection (Reference Model).


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A transmission unit of fixed maximum size that consists of binary information representing both data and a header containing an ID number, source and destination addresses, and error-control data.


A font matching system based on a numeric classification of fonts according to visual characteristics.


To analyse or separate (for example, input) into more easily processed components.


A unique string of characters that must be provided before logon or access to a resource or service is authorized.


Password Authentication Protocol (PAP)
A security protocol that uses a two-way handshake for the peer to establish its identity.


Password caching
Automatically storing a password in a password list (PWL) file so that whenever the user logs on again, the logon password unlocks the PWL file and the resource passwords it contains.


PC Card
A trademark of PCMCIA. A removable device that is designed to be plugged into a PC Card slot and used as a memory-related peripheral.


Peripheral Component Interconnect. A high-performance, 32-bit or 64-bit bus designed to be used with devices that have high bandwidth requirements, such as display subsystems.


The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, which standardizes credit card-sized interface cards used in portables and other small computers.


Permission scoping
Preventing permissions granted to a trusted component from being misused, either intentionally or inadvertently, by a less trusted component.


Permission signing
Allowing a signed cabinet file to specify securely not only the identity of the signer but also the set of permissions being requested for the signed classes.


Personal Information Exchange (PFX)
A set of public key-based security technologies that is part of the Microsoft Internet security framework.


Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS)
A system providing for the voluntary rating of World Wide Web site content by either the publisher of the page or a third-party rating group.


Plug and Play
A design philosophy and set of specifications that describe hardware and software changes to the PC and its peripherals, making it possible to add new components without having to perform technical procedures.


Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
Protocol that enables a computer to securely connect to the Internet or an intranet by tunneling through an Internet or LAN connection.


Point-to-Point Protocol. An industry standard, a part of Windows 98 Dial-Up Networking, designed to ensure interoperability with remote access software from other vendors. It is used in making point-to-point links, especially with dial-up modem servers.


See Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol.


Pre-emptive multitasking
A method by which the operating system takes control away from or gives control to another running task, depending on the needs of the system.


Private Communication Technology (PCT)
A protocol used to create a secure Internet or intranet channel.


Protected mode
An operating mode supporting more advanced features than real mode, including multitasking, data security, and virtual memory.


A set of rules and conventions by which two computers pass messages across a network. Networking software usually implements multiple levels of protocols layered one on top of another. Windows 98 includes NetBEUI, TCP/IP, and IPX/SPX-compatible protocols.


Protocol rollover
Sending ASF files over a default protocol and then trying to send them via an alternative server or protocol if the original attempt fails.


Proxy server
A server that acts as a go-between, converting information from Web servers into HTML to be delivered to a client computer. It also provides a way to deliver network services to computers on a secure subnet without those computers needing to have direct access to the World Wide Web.


Pull model
A broadcast model in which information is downloaded as it is requested.


Push model
A broadcast model in which a server sends information to a large number of clients on its own schedule, without waiting for requests. The clients scan the incoming information, save the parts they have been instructed to save, and discard the rest.

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Quality of service (QoS)
Network characteristics such as desired bandwidth and maximum acceptable delay that an application can request from a network.


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The most common computer memory which can be used by
programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer
is on; an integrated circuit memory chip allows
information to be stored or accessed in any order and
all storage locations are equally accessible


Raster fonts
Fonts stored in files as bitmaps and rendered as an array of dots for displaying on the screen and printing on paper. Raster fonts cannot be cleanly scaled or rotated.


Real mode
The backward-compatible mode of the Intel 80386 family. In real mode, all of the CPU’s protection features are disabled, paging is not supported, and program addresses correspond to physical memory addresses. The address space is limited to 1 MB of physical memory and uses a memory segmentation scheme. Real mode is compatible with 8086, the 8088, the 80186, and the real mode of the 80286.


Networking software that accepts I/O requests for remote files, named pipes, or mailslots and then sends (redirects) them to a network service on another computer. Redirectors (also called network clients) are implemented as file system drivers in Windows 98.


The database repository for information about a computer’s configuration. The registry supersedes use of separate INI files for all system components and applications that know how to store values in the registry.


Registry Checker
A system maintenance program that finds and fixes registry problems and backs up the registry.


Registry Editor
An application that is used to view and edit entries in the registry.


Registry key
An identifier for a record or group of records in the registry.


Remote Access Service (RAS)
A service that provides remote networking for telecommuters, mobile workers, and system administrators who monitor and manage servers at multiple branch offices.


Remote administration
Administration of one computer by an administrator located at another computer and connected to the first computer across the network.


Remote procedure call (RPC)
A message-passing facility that allows a distributed program to call services available on various computers in a network. Used during remote administration of computers, RPC provides a procedural view, rather than a transport-centered view, of networked operations.


Request for Comments (RFC)
An official document of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that specifies the details for protocols included in the TCP/IP family.


Under DNS, a client that queries the name server across the network to gain information about the domain name space.

Resource reservation protocol (RSVP)
A signaling protocol that is used to establish connections with the QoS requested by an application


See Request for Comments.


See Routing Information Protocol.


RIP listening
A process in which a computer listens in on RIP packets and adds information gleaned from those packets to add entries to the route table. Also called silent RIP.


A fast, automated program, such as a search engine, indexing program, or cataloging software, that requests Web pages much faster than humans can.


Root directory
A specific area set aside to store boot files and directories.


Route table
A table that is used to determine where a computer routes packets.

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Sand boxing
The Java security model, which provides control over how Java applets can interact with a computer system.


A program consisting of a set of instructions to an application or utility program.


Script let
A reusable Web page in which Dynamic HTML script has been written according to certain conventions.


Small computer standard interface. An I/O bus designed as a method for connecting several classes of peripherals to a host system without requiring modifications to generic hardware and software.


Software Development Kit. A kit that programmers can use to create new applications.


Secure password authentication (SPA)
Any authentication in which the actual password is not sent over the network.


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
A protocol that supplies secure data communication through data encryption and decryption. SSL enables communications privacy over networks through a combination of public key cryptography and bulk data encryption.


Security zone
In Internet Explorer, a segment of the Internet or intranet assigned a particular level of security.


Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP)
A data link protocol that allows transmission of IP data packets over dial-up telephone connections, typically used by UNIX remote access servers.


For a LAN, a computer running administrative software that controls access to all or part of the network and its resources. A computer acting as a server makes resources available to computers acting as workstations on the network. See client.


Server message block (SMB)
The protocol developed by Microsoft, Intel, and IBM that defines a series of commands used to pass information between network computers. The redirector packages SMB requests into a network control block (NCB) structure that can be sent over the network to a remote device. The network provider listens for SMB messages destined for it and removes the data portion of the SMB request so that it can be processed by a local device.


Service Advertising Protocol (SAP)
The Novell NetWare broadcasting protocol.


Set-up script
A text file that contains predefined settings for all the options specified during setup.


Share-level security
A security methodology in which passwords are used to restrict access to shared resources on a peer server. The only security level available on peer-to-peer networks.


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
A protocol used for exchanging mail on the Internet.


Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
The Internet’s standard for remote monitoring and management of hosts, routers, and other nodes and devices on a network. A TCP/IP-derived protocol governing network management and monitoring network devices.


Smart card
A small electronic device, approximately the size of a credit card, that contains an embedded integrated circuit. Used for such tasks as storing medical records, storing digital cash, and generating network IDs.


See Simple Network Management Protocol.


A software object used by a client to connect to a server; basic components include the port number and the network address of the local host.


A protocol for traversing firewalls in a secure and controlled manner, made publicly available by the Internet Engineering Task Force.


Source routing
A method of routing data across bridges.


Service provider interface, a single, well-defined set of functions used by Windows 98 to request network services.


Step captures
A process in which a user captures digital-video data one frame at a time.


Still Image Architecture (STI)
A WDM architecture for still image devices. A still image minidriver provides support for still image devices, such as scanners and cameras.


A continuous series of bits, bytes, or other small, structurally uniform units.


Streaming architecture
A model for interconnection of stream-processing components, in which applications dynamically load data as they output it. Dynamic loading means data can be broadcast continuously. See WDM streaming.


Streaming data
Data continuously broadcast to an application. For example, a broadcast client's user might subscribe to continuously broadcast sports scores.


Subnet mask
A 32-bit value that allows the recipient of IP packets to distinguish the network ID portion of the IP address from the host ID.


Stored information describing how a user will have access to an Active Channel Web site, including frequency and method of access.


Swap file
A hidden file on the hard drive that Windows uses to hold parts of programs and data files that do not fit in memory.


System policies
Settings that allow an administrator to override local registry values for user or computer settings.


System Policy Editor
A tool with which one can change many common registry settings for an individual computer.


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See telephony application program interface.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A networking protocol that allows computers to communicate across interconnected networks and the Internet. Every computer on the Internet supports TCP/IP.


Telephony application program interface (TAPI)
A set of calls that allows applications to control modems and telephones, by routing application function calls to the appropriate “service provider” DLL for a modem.


A protocol used for interactive logon to a remote computer.


A translation process that converts a 16-bit value to its 32-bit equivalent.


A font specification by which fonts are stored as mathematical models that define the outline of each character.


Trust-based security
A cross-platform security model that adds intermediate levels of trust to the Java security model.


The process of sending packets to a computer on a private network by routing them over some other network, such as the Internet.


An industry-standard software protocol and API that provides easy integration of image data between input devices, such as scanners and still image digital cameras, and software applications.


A virtual device that allows communications between 32-bit and 16-bit applications.

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U Interface
A 2-wire ISDN circuit, essentially today's standard 1-pair telephone company local loop made of twisted-wire. The U interface is the most common ISDN interface and extends from the central office.


Universal Disk Format. A file system developed by the Optical Storage Technology Association for storage of data on optical media.


A file and folder compression format that offers better compression than standard or HiPack compression.


Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
A naming convention that uniquely identifies the location of a computer, directory, or file on the Internet. The URL also specifies the appropriate Internet protocol, such as HTTP or FTP.


Universal naming convention (UNC)
A way to specify a directory on a file server. UNC names are file names or other resource names that begin with the string \\, indicating that they exist on a remote computer.


Universal Serial Bus. A bidirectional, isochronous, dynamically attachable serial interface for adding peripheral devices such as game controllers, serial and parallel ports, and input devices on a single bus.


One of three core components in Windows 98. It manages input from input devices, output to the user interface, and interaction with the sound driver, timer, and communications ports.


User profile
User-specific information contained in the file User.dat, which is one of the two files in the Windows 98 registry


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A 32-bit, protected-mode cache driver, which replaces the 16-bit, real-mode SMARTDrive disk cache software.


In Windows, a 32-bit protected-mode communications driver.


Vector fonts
Fonts rendered from a mathematical model, in which each character is defined as a set of lines drawn between points. Vector fonts can be scaled to any size or aspect ratio.


Version table
A file that contains a list of executable files, followed by the version number of MS-DOS with which the applications were designed to run.


Vertical Blanking Interval (VBI)
The time period in which a television signal is not visible on the screen because of the vertical retrace (the repositioning to top of screen to start a new scan). Data services can be transmitted using a portion of this signal.


32-Bit File Access using protected-mode code to write to the disk. In Windows 98 the 32-bit virtual File Allocation Table (VFAT) file system is the primary file system.


Video Electronic Standards Association (VESA)
An industry standards organization focusing on IBM-compatible personal computers.


Video Graphics Array (VGA)
A display standard for personal computers.


Virtual memory
Memory that appears to an application to be larger and more uniform than it is.


Virtual private networking (VPN)
A technology by which one can securely connect to a remote server by tunneling through an intermediary network.


The act of managing a system resource so that more than one application can use it at the same time.


Virtual Reality Modeling Language. A language for coding three-dimensional HTML applications.


Virtual device driver. The x represents the type of device—for example, a virtual device driver for a display is a VDD and a virtual device driver for a printer is a VPD.


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Win32 Driver Model. A 32-bit driver model based on the Windows NT driver model that is designed to provide a common architecture of I/O services for both Windows NT and Windows operating systems for specific classes of drivers.


WDM Streaming (streaming)
An extension of the Microsoft DirectShow application programming interface (API) based on the Windows Driver Model (WDM). WDM streaming provides the kernel connection and streaming services used by the WDM streaming class driver and by components of the next major versions of Microsoft Windows NT and Microsoft Windows 98. In these operating systems, WDM streaming provides low-level services in Ring 0 for the lowest latency streaming. DirectShow provides higher-level features and control.


The automated delivery of personalized and up-to-date information via the Internet or a corporate intranet.


Win32 Driver Model
See WDM.


Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
A name resolution service that resolves Windows networking computer names to IP addresses in a routed environment. A

WINS server, which is a Windows NT Server computer, handles name registrations, queries, and releases.


Windows NT
The portable and secure, 32-bit, preemptive-multitasking member of the Microsoft Windows operating system family. Windows NT Server provides centralized management and security, advanced fault tolerance, and additional connectivity.


Windows NT file system (NTFS)
The file system designed for use specifically with the Windows NT operating system. NTFS supports file system recovery and extremely large storage media, in addition to other advantages. It also supports object-oriented applications by treating all files as objects with user-defined and system-defined attributes.


An interactive Help utility within an application that guides the user through each step of a particular task.


Workgroup Advertising
A method of implementing browsing for large NetWare networks that include computers running Windows 98 or Windows 95.


World Wide Web (WWW)
Also called the Web. The graphical Internet hypertext service that uses the HTTP protocol to retrieve Web pages and other resources from Web servers. Pages on the Web usually contain hyperlinks to other pages, documents, and files.


Write-behind caching
Temporarily storing data in memory before it is written on disk for permanent storage.


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Zero Administration Initiative for Windows
An initiative to establish a management infrastructure in Microsoft Windows that will allow managers to automate processes and more effectively exercise centralized management


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