Month: July 2016

Tech Terms: Socket

When a computer program needs to connect to a local or wide area network such as the Internet, it uses a software component called a socket. The socket opens the network connection for the program, allowing data to be read and written over the network. It is important to note that these sockets are software, not hardware, like a wall socket. So, yes, you have a much greater chance of being shocked by a wall socket than by a networking socket.

Sockets are a key part of Unix and Windows-based operating systems. They make it easy for software developers to create network-enabled programs. Instead of constructing network connections from scratch for each program they write, developers can just include sockets in their programs. The sockets allow the programs to use the operating system’s built-in commands to handle networking functions. Because they are used for a number of different network protocols (i.e. HTTP, FTP, telnet, and e-mail), many sockets can be open at one time.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/socket

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Tech Terms: Remote Access

Remote access is just what it sounds like — the ability to access your computer from a remote location. Programs like PC Anywhere (Windows), Remote Access (Mac), and Timbuktu (Windows and Mac) allow users to control remote computers from their local machine. In order for a remote access connection to take place, the local machine must have the remote client software installed and the remote machine must have the remote server software installed. Also, a username and password is almost always required to authenticate the connecting user.

Remote access is more than just being able to connect to a remote machine — it is the ability to control the machine once the connection has been made. A remote access program can basically transform your local computer into the the remote computer you connect to. This is great for people who sometimes work from home and for server administrators who frequently need to update and make changes on their server machines. Most remote access programs also allow users to transfer files between the local and remote machines, which can save a lot of commuting time. While remote access can be helpful for many people, don’t enable it on your machine unless you absolutely need to. It is just one more security concern you will have to deal with.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/remoteaccess

Tech Terms: Remote User

A “remote user” is how a woman might refer to her husband while he is watching TV. In the computer world, however, a remote user is someone who works on a computer from a remote location. For example, if Bob leaves work and forgets to bring a file with him from his office computer, he might be able to connect to his work machine from his home computer and grab the file. When Bob accesses his office computer from home, he is considered a remote user.

Of course, Bob does not want anyone to be able to access his computer remotely. So, he would most likely need to enter a username and password in order to connect to his office machine. Programs like Timbuktu and PC Anywhere allow users to not only connect to their computers remotely, but actually display the interface of the remote machine on their local computer. Unix-based systems such as Mac OS X and Linux allow users to control the computers remotely using the text-based “Terminal” interface. Remote connections can be made over a local network, a direct phone connection, or over the Internet. Of course, the slower the connection, the slower the response time will be from the remote computer.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/remoteuser

Tech Terms: Gopher

The Gopher technology was invented at the University of Minnesota, whose mascot is, not surprisingly, the Golden Gopher. The gopher system allows people to search for and retrieve information using a text interface. The technology is based on a client-server structure, where a gopher client program is used to search gopher servers. These servers can store documents, articles, programs, and other information. Instead of hyperlinks, the gopher interface uses menus of links to other documents and programs.

The University of Minnesota began a licensing program for the gopher technology in 1993 as the use of gopher was spreading rapidly over the Internet. However, this was around the same time that the World Wide Web was introduced. Because the Web used hypertext and images, it soon became the preferred way to search and browse for information. While there are still servers and client programs that use gopher technology, their use is not nearly as widespread as the Web.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/gopher

Tech Terms: Power User

When it comes to computers, there are regular users and there are power users. Most people fall into the regular computer user category. These types of people use their computers for basic functions like Web browsing, sending e-mails, typing papers, working with spreadsheets, doing finances, and playing games. Regular computer users can typically get by with a middle-of-the-line computer that is fast enough to do their everyday work.

Power users, however, require top-of-the-line machines that are optimized for their work purposes. Power users include video-editing professionals, high-end graphic designers, audio producers, and those who use their computers for scientific research. Professional gamers (yes, there is such a thing) also fall under this category. These users seek the latest and greatest systems because no computer is really “fast enough” to suit their needs. Even the fastest computers can take substantial time to render large amounts of video and audio or to manipulate large images. Gamers want machines that will play their games in as many frames per second (FPS) as possible. So, to be a power user means to never be really satisfied with your system, but to always want something faster and better. Then again, that sounds like most of us, but power users usally have justifiable reasons.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/poweruser

Tech Terms: Paste

Paste is a command that allows you to insert data from the clipboard into an application. In order to use the Paste command, you must first use either the Copy or Cut command to save data to the clipboard. Once the clipboard contains data, you can paste the saved data into any supporting program.

The Paste command is most commonly used to copy text from one area to another. For example, you can copy a paragraph from a text document and paste it into an email message. You can also copy a URL from an email message and paste it into the address bar of a web browser. When pasting formatted text, some programs provide a “Paste Special” command that allows you to select what formatting, if any, to keep when pasting the text. Other programs include a “Paste and Match Style” command, which matches the formatting of the surrounding text.

Paste can also be used to create copies of images, video clips, audio tracks, and other data. For example, an image-editing program might allow you to paste a digital photo into the canvas. An audio production program may allow you to copy four measures of an audio track, then paste it several times to create a loop. While the Paste command supports many types of data, it will only work if the application supports the data saved to the clipboard. For example, you cannot paste image data into an audio production program or audio data into an image-editing program.

The Paste command is typically found in the program’s Edit menu. You can paste data by either selecting Edit → Paste or by using the keyboard shortcut “Control+V” (Windows) or “Command+V” (Mac). The data will be inserted wherever the cursor is located in the document. If you have selected part of the document, the Paste command will typically replace the selected data with the clipboard contents.

NOTE: The Paste command can only be used to paste data into an editable document. Therefore, if you try to paste data into a read-only document like a webpage or an email message in your inbox, the Paste command will not work.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/paste

Tech Terms: Copy

Many software programs allow you to copy data, such as text in Microsoft Word or an image in Adobe Photoshop. To copy a piece of data, you need to first select it (or highlight it) and choose “Copy” from the Edit menu within the program. Most programs allow you to use the keyboard shortcut “Control-C” for Windows or “Command-C” for the Mac OS.

When you copy a piece of data, it is moved to a buffer in the system’s memory called the “Clipboard.” This is a temporary storage area in your computer’s RAM that holds the most recent item that has been copied. Of course, copying isn’t very helpful if you can’t use the data somewhere else. To insert the copied data into a document, choose “Paste” from the Edit menu and the data will be pasted into the document.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/copy

Tech Terms: RSS

Stands for “RDF Site Summary,” but is commonly referred to as “Really Simple Syndication.” RSS is method of providing website content such as news stories or software updates in a standard XML format. Websites such as The Wall Street Journal and CNET’s News.com provide news stories to various RSS directories that distribute them over the Internet. RSS content can be accessed with an RSS-enabled Web browser or other programs designed for retrieving RSS feeds.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/rss

Tech Terms: Hyperlink

A hyperlink is a word, phrase, or image that you can click on to jump to a new document or a new section within the current document. Hyperlinks are found in nearly all Web pages, allowing users to click their way from page to page. Text hyperlinks are often blue and underlined, but don’t have to be. When you move the cursor over a hyperlink, whether it is text or an image, the arrow should change to a small hand pointing at the link. When you click it, a new page or place in the current page will open.

Hyperlinks, often referred to as just “links,” are common in Web pages, but can be found in other hypertext documents. These include certain encyclopedias, glossaries, dictionaries, and other references that use hyperlinks. The links act the same way as they do on the Web, allowing the user to jump from page to page. Basically, hyperlinks allow people to browse information at hyperspeed.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/hyperlink

Tech Terms: SEO

Stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Just about every Webmaster wants his or her site to appear in the top listings of all the major search engines. Say, for example, that Bob runs an online soccer store. He wants his site to show up in the top few listings when someone searches for “soccer shoes.” Then he gets more leads from search engines, which means more traffic, more sales, and more revenue. The problem is that there are thousands of other soccer sites, whose Webmasters are hoping for the same thing. That’s where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.

SEO involves a number of adjustments to the HTML of individual Web pages to achieve a high search engine ranking. First, the title of the page must include relevant information about the page. In the previous example, Bob’s home page might have the title, “Bob’s Soccer Store — Soccer Shoes and Equipment.” The title is the most important part of SEO, since it tells the search engine exactly what the page is about. Within Bob’s home page, it would be helpful to repeat the words “soccer” and “soccer shoes” a few times, since search engines also scan the text of the pages they index.

Finally, there are META tags. These HTML tags can really distinguish your site from the rest of the pile. The META tags that most search engines read are the description and keywords tags. Within the description tags, you should type a brief description of the Web page. It should be similar but more detailed than the title. Within the keywords tags, you should list 5-20 words that relate to the content of the page. Using META tags can significantly boost your search engine ranking.

So what happens when a bunch of sites all have similar titles, content, and META tags? Well, most search engines choose to list the most popular sites first. But then how do you get into the most popular sites? The best way is to submit your site to Web directories (not just search engines) and get other sites to link to yours. It can be a long climb to the top, but your perserverance will pay off. For more tips on SEO, visit the Submit Corner Web site.

Source: http://techterms.com/definition/seo