Geek Lingo

by JoyArrieta


Tired of getting on the Net day after day, encountering hifalutin' Net words and not understanding just what they mean? Every month, you will be seeing here Internet terms and languages that you might find useful in your everyday trek in cyberspace and which will probably make a net geek out of you *G*.

The area around your computer with its array of debris, trinkets and other personal effects.

A "spamdex" is a block of text, usually hidden on a home page (typed in the same color as the home page background), that includes either 1) multiple instances of the same keyword so that the home page appears at the top of the list generated by a search on that keyword or 2) hundreds of related and not-so-related words so that the page appears in the results of more keyword lists.

As you've no doubt guessed by now, WebTV lets you surf the Web and retrieve your e-mail on a television set over cable lines rather than on a computer over phone lines. WebTV is faster than a phone-line Web connection, and it lets you experience the Internet without forcing you to buy a computer (lots of folks buy computers these days for no other reason).

The term coined by Ted Nelson to mean obfuscatory tech-talk; or verbiage with a high MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over) factor. This is the computer equivalent of bureaucratese. It also refers to the incomprehensible stuff embedded in email (like what we see on our email headers that we just can't understand).


In cyberspace, a bug refers to a property of a program that causes that program to malfunction.

PGP stands for "Pretty Good Privacy," one of the current standards for encrypting Internet e-mail. Turns out that "pretty good" is actually about as good as encryption software gets-- extremely secure, easy to implement, transparent to users, and FREE. In fact, PGP encryption is so hard to crack that the U.S. government actually sued its inventor, Philip Zimmerman, for making it freely available to America's enemies on whom we might like to eavesdrop someday. (The government dropped its suit in 1996.)



Interlaced GIF

An interlaced GIF is a picture file that appears in phases--first as a blurry image with just a few pixels, then as a slightly sharper image with a few more pixels, and so on. The result is that you see the entire picture sharpen gradually rather than see the picture appear in slow, sharp bands. Of course, if your Internet connection is slow, one method is just as bad as the other.

A cookie is a small amount of information that a web site copies to your hard disk to help the site identify you the next time you visit.




Software that has some important functionality deliberately removed, so as to entice potential users to pay for a working version.

A program specifically designed to help users view and navigate hypertext, on-line documentation, or a database. This is your Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. There are a lot of other browsers out there but these two are the most popular and widely- used.



Thanks to Dummies Daily's Nerd Word of the Day and Newbie University.


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