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Glossary Terms - D

Small programs in Unix that run frequently to see whether something has happened. If so, they act as they were programmed; if not, they go back to sleep.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Replaced ARPA and had a more military bent. Has since been renamed ARPA again. See also ARPA.

Digital Equipment Corporation. Also known as Digital, this company produces the popular VAX line of computers and the VMS operating system.

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A mechanism for a device to acquire an IP address from a server. Like BOOTP, it allows for central management of IP addresses. However, it is far more flexible in that IP addresses are leased rather than owned. A device may get one IP address in one session but a different IP address in another session.

dial up
To call another computer via modem. The term is often lumped together as one word except when used as a verb.

A connection or line reached by modem, as in "a dialup line."

A single message that contains multiple individual postings to a mailing list or newsgroup.

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Date Modified:
Tuesday, July 03, 2001

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A level of hierarchy in a machine's full nodename. For instance, tidbits.com is in the com domain, as are many other machines.

domain name server
A computer that keeps track of names of other machines and their numeric IP addresses. When you refer to a machine by name, your domain name server translates that information appropriately into the numeric IP address necessary to make the connection.

domain name system
The system that makes it possible for you to think in terms of names such as penguin.tidbits.com, whereas computers think in terms of

Disk Operating System. The ubiquitous operating system that is frequently enhanced by Microsoft Windows.

To retrieve a file from another machine, usually a host machine, to your machine.

Usenet neighbors that are downstream from you get most of their news from your machine, in contrast to machines that are upstream from you


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