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Glossary Terms - F

FAQ
Frequently Asked Question. Lists of commonly asked questions and their answers, often posted in newsgroups to reduce the number of novice questions. Read a FAQ list before asking a question, to make sure yours isn't a frequently asked one.

Fax
Slang for facsimile. A technology that takes paper from the sender and produces more paper that looks just like it at the recipient's end. You can use fax modems to eliminate the paper step at one end or both, but they may be less reliable than stand-alone fax machines. Email is cleaner, often cheaper, and more environmentally friendly, and the results are more useful in other programs. However, you can't easily send signatures or existing paper documents via email.

Federal Express
A company that can transport paper mail overnight for a hefty sum of money. Email is far faster and cheaper.

feed
Shorthand for a connection to another machine that sends you mail and news. I might say, "I have a mail feed from Ed's machine."

Fidonet
A network of cooperating bulletin board systems that has some links to the Internet.

filename extension
A three-letter (usually) code at the end of a filename that indicates file type. Common extensions include .txt for text files, .exe for application files, and .ini for initialization files.

fileserver or file server
A machine that provides files via a network. Perhaps because of time spent working on BITNET, I tend to use it as a synonym for mailserver, or a machine that returns files that are requested via email.

file site
Another name for archive site or FTP site. A computer on which files are stored for anyone on the Internet to retrieve.

Finger
A Unix program that helps you find out information about someone else on the Internet.

firewall
A term for any device that would prevent undesirables on the global Internet from getting at your or your company's network. It also often prevents or controls users from getting out to the Internet from your local network.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

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flame war
A conflagration in which lots of people jump in on different sides of an argument and start insulting each other. Fun to watch briefly, but a major waste of bandwidth.

flaming
The act of calling into question someone's thoughts, beliefs, and parentage simply because you don't agree with them. Don't do it.

followup
An article on Usenet posted in reply to another article. The subject should stay the same so that readers can tell the two articles are related.

forms
In the World Wide Web, online electronic forms that you can fill in if you have a forms-capable Web browser such as Netscape Navigator 1.0 or NCSA Mosaic 2.0.

Freenet
An organization whose goal it is to provide free Internet access in a specific area, often by working with local schools and libraries. Ask around to see if a Freenet has sprung up in your area. The first and preeminent example is the Cleveland Freenet. Freenet also refers to the specific Freenet software, and the information services that use it.

freeware
Software that you can distribute freely and use for free, but for which the author often retains the copyright, which means that you can't modify it.

FTP
File Transfer Protocol. One of the main ways in which you retrieve, umm, well, files from other machines on the Internet.

FTPmail
A method of retrieving files stored on FTP sites via email.

FYI
Abbreviation for the expression "For your information."

 

 

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