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The Online World Part 46

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Mail path --------- A series of machine names used to direct electronic mail from one user to the other.

Mail server ----------- A software program that distributes files or information in response to requests sent by email.

MHS --- (1) Message handling Service. Electronic mail software from Action Technologies licensed by Novell for its Netware operating systems.

Provides message routing and store and forward capabilities. MHS has gateways into PROFS, and X.400 message systems. It has been augmented with a directory naming service and binary attachments.

(2) Message Handling System. The standard defined by CCITT as X.400 and by ISO as Message-Oriented Text Interchange Standard (MOTIS).

MHS is the X.400 family of services and protocols that provides the functions for global email transfer among local mail systems.

MNP --- Microcom Networking Protocol. A proprietary standard of error control and data compression.

Modem ----- An acronym for MOdulator-DEModulator. It is a device that converts digital data from a computer or terminal into a.n.a.log data that can be sent over telephone lines. On the receiving end, it converts the a.n.a.log data back to digital data.

Most modern modems can handle the dialing and answering of a telephone call and generate the speed of the data transmission, measured in bits per second, or baud rates. The telephone industry sometimes refers to a modem as a dataset.

Moderator --------- A person, or a small group of people, who manage moderated mailing lists and newsgroups. Moderators are responsible for deciding which email submissions are pa.s.sed on to list.

MUD --- Multi-User Dungeon. A multi-user, text based, virtual reality game.

NAPLPS ------ North American Presentation-Level Protocol Syntax. A text and graphics data transmission format for sending large amounts of information between computers.

It was designed for the encoding of alphanumeric, alpha-mosaic, alpha-geometric and alpha-photographic constructs. The standard is resolution independent and device independent, and can easily accommodate international character sets, bit-mapped images in color, animation and sound.

NAPLPS was originally developed for videotext and teletext systems through the Canadian Standards a.s.sociation (CSA-T500-1983.

It was later enhanced by AT&T, and in 1983 became an ANSI standard (ANSI-X3.110-1983).

Some videotext systems, including Prodigy (U.S.A.), are based on NAPLPS. On CompuServe, NAPLPS has been replaced with a newer protocol called GIF, Graphics Interchange Format.

Netfind ------- Internet directory services that allow users to get information about individuals. Search by name and organization/location.

For more information, send email to [email protected] with the following text in the body of your mail "GET NETFIND HELP".

Netiquette ---------- A pun on "etiquette" referring to proper behavior on a network.

Netnews ------- See: Usenet.

Network ------- A data communications system which interconnects computer systems at various sites.

NIC --- Network Information Center. An organization that provides users with information about services provided by the Internet network.

NREN ---- The National Research and Education Network. A proposed computer network to be built in the U.S.A.

NUA --- Network User Address. The network address in a packet data network.

The electronic number that is sent to the network to connect to an online service. Also, called X.121 address.

NUI --- Network User Identification. The user name/pa.s.sword that you use to get access to (and use) a commercial packet switched network.

Offline ------- has the opposite meaning of "Online" (see below). It signifies that your computer is not in direct communication with a remote online service.

Offline Reader -------------- A computer program making the handling of mail and files from online services easier (and cheaper). Some also provides automatic mail and file transfers.

Typically, you first connect to an online service (often a BBS) to capture new mail in a compressed file (typically through a "QMail door program.") Many offline mail reader programs are idle while this goes on, while others can do communications as well.

When disconnected from the service, the offline reader works as a combination message data base and message editor. It gives you the feeling of still being connected to the online service, while actually being completely disconnected.

When you have read and replied to all messages offline, the offline reader creates a compressed "packet" containing any replies entered. Some also let you prepare packets containing commands to join or leave conferences, subscribe to or signoff from special services, and download files.

Then, you dial back to the BBS to upload (send) the packet, either using the offline reader's communications module, or another communications program.

Readers are available for MS-DOS, MS-Windows, Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST, Unix, and CP/M computers. The programs may be downloaded from many BBSes, and commercial services.

Online ------ In this book, it signifies the act of being in direct communication with a remote computer's central processing unit.

An online database is a file of information that can be directly accessed by the user.

OSI --- Open System Interconnection. A set of protocols designed to be an international standard method for connecting unlike computers and networks.

OZCIS ----- DOS-based program that automates access to CompuServe using an elaborate array of menus. Free for personal use. Contact: Ozarks West Software, 14150 Gleneagle Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, U.S.A.

Packet ------ (1) A group of bits sent by a modem that comprise a byte of information.

(2) A group of bytes sent by a file transfer protocol.

Packet data networks -------------------- Also called Packet Switching Networks (PDN). Value added networks offering long distance computer communications. They let users access a remote computer, by dialing a local node, or access point.

The packet data networks use high speed digital links, which can be land lines or satellite communications, to transmit data from one computer to another using packets of data. They use synchronous communications, usually with the X.25 protocol. The routes are continually optimized, and successive packets of the same message need not necessarily follow the same path.

Packet switching ---------------- Sending data in packets through a network to some remote location.

The data to be sent is subdivided into individual packets of data, each having a unique identification and carrying its destination address. This allows each packet to go by a different route. The packet ID lets the data be rea.s.sembled in proper sequence.

PC -- Personal computer.

PDN --- See Packet data networks.

Postmaster ---------- On the Internet, the person responsible for handling electronic mail problems, answering queries about users, and other related work at a site.

Prompt ------ Several times during interactive dialogs with online services, the flow of data stops while the host computer waits for commands from the user. At this point, the service often presents the user with a reminder, a cue, a prompt. These are some typical prompts:

WHAT NOW?

(Read) next letter - ulrik 1> System News - 5000> Enter #, elp, or to continue?

Action ==> (Inbox) Command: Enter command or -->

Protocol -------- A formal description of message formats and the rules two computers must follow to exchange messages. Protocols can describe low-level details of machine-to-machine interface (e.g., the order in which bits and bytes are sent across the wire), or high-level exchanges between allocation programs (e.g., the way in which two programs transfer a file across the Internet).

ProYam ------ Powerful script-driven communications program. US$139 + $5 for postage from Omen Technology Inc., 17505-V NW Sauvie Island Rd, Portland, Oregon 97231, U.S.A. (VISA and Eurocard - 1992)

PSS --- British Telecom's Packet Switch Stream, an X.25 packet data network.

PTT --- Postal Telegraph and Telephone. A telephone service provider, often a monopoly, in a particular country.

QWK --- Qwikmail. A common offline message file format for bulletin boards offering mail through a QMail Door. The .QWK door and file format has been used to develop entire BBS networks (example: ILINK.) See "offline reader."

RFC --- The Internet's Request for Comments doc.u.ment series. Working notes of the Internet research and development community.

Script files ------------ A set of commands that enable a communications program to execute a given set of tasks automatically (macro commands).

Server ------ A provider of resources (e.g., file servers and name servers).

SIG --- Special Interest Group.

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The Online World Part 46 summary

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