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July 26, 1994

The chaotic world of computer networking has spawned its own lingo. Some samples: *

BBS: Bulletin board service. Allows users to send and receive messages. *

bounced message: An E-mail message "returned to sender," usually because of an address error. *

cracker: A person who maliciously breaks into a computer system in order to steal files or disrupt system activities. See hacker. *

E-mail: Abbreviation for electronic mail . *

finger: A program that provides information about other users. *

flame: A violent and usually ad hominem attack against another person posting in a newsgroup or message area. Back-and-forth flames that continue indefinitely are known as flame wars . *

hacker: A computer enthusiast who enjoys exploring computer systems and programs, sometimes to the point of obsession. Not to be confused with cracker , though the word hacker is often used for someone who breaks into computer systems. *

knowbot: An experimental computer program designed to retrieve information anywhere on the Net in response to a user's request. *

lurkers: Regular readers of messages on-line who never post messages. *

Net guru: A person with unimpeachable Net expertise who can answer any question. *

posting: The sending of a message to a newsgroup, bulletin board or other public message area. The message itself is called a post . *

real-time: The net term for live , as in "Live from New York!" Generally applied to chat, where two or more people have a live or real-time conversation on-line. *

server: A software program, or the computer running the program, that allows other computers, called clients , to share its resources. *

smiley: Text used to indicate emotion, humor or irony in electronic messages--best understood if viewed sideways. Also called emoticons . The most common smileys are :-) and :-( *

snail mail: What the U.S. Postal Service delivers.

Source: Net Guide

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