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Glossary Terms - W

WAIS
Wide Area Information Servers. A set of full-text databases containing information on hundreds of topics. You can search WAIS using natural-language queries and use relevance feedback to refine your search.

WAN
See wide area network.

wide area network
A group of geographically separated computers connected via dedicated lines or satellite links. The Internet enables small organizations to simulate a wide area network without the cost of one.

wildcards
Special characters such as * and ? that can stand in for other characters during text searches in some programs. The * wildcard generally means "match any number of characters in this spot," whereas the ? wildcard generally means "match any character in this spot."

Windows
Extremely popular operating system for PCs. Released in 1986 with poor reception. It redeemed itself in 1989 with the release of Windows 3.0 by providing such revolutionary features as overlapping window panes and better memory management (yes, we can get over that 640K limit).

Windows for Workgroups
Version of Windows that supports local area networks. Resources such as disks and printers can be shared among users within a workgroup. Windows for Workgroups also includes workgroup software such as electronic mail and scheduling. Currently at release 3.11.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

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Windows NT
Windows New Technology. The 32-bit, multitasking version of Windows. Code was generalized to run on a plethora of microprocessors, including Intel 80x86, Pentium, Digital Equipment Corporation's Alpha, and PowerPC. Currently at release 3.5.

WinSock
Windows Sockets (WinSock) is a TCP/IP extension to the Windows Applications Interface (API). It essentially allows Windows applications to run independently of the hardware underneath. It is just like the device independence you gain with a Windows graphics program‹it can run independently of your video board. Currently at release 1.1.

World Wide Web
The newest and most ambitious of the special Internet services. World Wide Web browsers can display styled text and graphics. Often abbreviated WWW.

worm
A program that infiltrates a computer system and copies itself many times, filling up memory and disk space and crashing the computer. The most famous worm of all time was released accidentally by Robert Morris over the Internet and brought down whole sections of the net.

WWW
See World Wide Web.

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