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  the basics


Email is essentially the simplest form of communication on the net, there are two main types, web mail, which you can use if you have signed up for an account with Yahoo for example. Yahoo will keep a list of all your contacts and messages for you to view anytime you need and on any computer you may be using. The other type of email is POP3 which allows a user to download message onto their comnputer using an email client like Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird.


A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is a string of characters conforming to a standardized format, which refers to a resource on the Internet (such as a document or an image) by its location. For example, the URL of this page is

An HTTP URL, commonly called a web address, is usually shown in the address bar of web browser.

Tim Berners-Lee created the URL in 1991, to allow the publishing of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web (www), a fundamental innovation in the history of the Internet.

Address Bar

The Address Bar is a part of your web browser where you can type a url of the site you want to visit, many web browsers also have a Favourites drop down menu (Internet Explorer) or Bookmarks (FireFox) that allow you to bookmark or store favourite website locations in a single handy place that is easy to retrieve, instead of remembering every web address you go to.

Web Browsers

Web Browsers are client side software otherwise known as programs run on a persons computer, be it mac or pc that allow people to browse websites on the internet. Web browsers have now been installed on some phones (cell phones) allowing people to browse certain websites on the internet via their mobile device.

There are many web browsers available for the pc, two very common ones are FireFox and Internet Explorer, which both also happen to be free to use.

Copy Pasting

Copy pasting is a great way of saving alot of time and finger power, if you want to share a URL with a friend, insert a smiley into an email client or insert some story that you saw on an online newspaper to an email to a friend then copy paste is your friend. Basically you can copy one set of text or image to what is called the clipboard, and then paste that information into another application, it's VERY handy.

Here are the steps to copy paste on a pc:

  • First, left click just in front of the text that you want to copy then drag the cursor over the text without letting go of the left button until you have highlighted all the text you want to copy.
  • Then let go of the left mouse button and right click on the selected text, select copy from the menu that appears.
  • Alternatively you can press the keys CTRL C at the same time.
  • Or, if it is an image you want to copy to the clipboard, right click on the image then select copy.
  • Goto the application you want to insert the image or text into, left click where you would like the information to appear, let go then either right click and select paste from the menu or press the keys CTRL V at the same time to paste it in.


Every website on the net is stored on a computer somewhere and each website is like an island, for the most part, independent of other sites. Generally all the resources a website needs for itself is on a single hosting account, it's own, and the settings of a website reflect this, allowing only itself to use it's own resources such as images and downloads.

But sometimes, it is neccessary or convenient to allow other websites to link to another websites resources. This is called hotlinking. A website hotlinking to another image (etc) does not use any of it's own bandwidth limit, it's ability to hotlink to another websites resource is only limited by the other websites bandwidth limit. Needless to say if enough people hotlink to a file, it has the ability to shut down a site to which the file being used is owned and is hotlinked to.


Bandwidth, though abundant it seems, is nonetheless limited on the net, almost all sites have a bandwidth limit of some sort and when the bandwidth limit is reached, the offending site is shut down by the host or expensive charges are charged to the owner of the shut down site for the host to continue running it.

Bandwidth is basically the amount of Data Transfer a site is allowed to use, once so much information has been downloaded by a websites visitors this Data Transfer is used up and the site (normally) can no longer operate until it reaches a new month. Needless to say, bandwidth costs $$$.

  smileys and emoticons


Basically a smiley is a graphical representation of a face that at it's earliest incarnation was designed to imply happiness. As computers evolved and people started using them more to communicate with, people started using the characters on the keyboard to make representations of faces so they could impart emotion into text. Graphical animated smileys owe much to the .GIF file format, which allows images to be animated by stringing together single static frames, one slightly different to the next, making the image move. Though not as good as movies, .GIF's are normally small enough to allow a website to display an animated picture easily in a web browser with limited page loading times, making pages much more user friendly.


The word emoticon is a portmanteau which popular etymology bases on emotion and icon. In truth, the second element is con, short for console, not icon. Emoticons are a series of characters from that a person is able to print to the screen via the keyboard.


Asian style of the western Emoticon.


Forums, also known as message boards or bulletin boards (bb) are places on the net that allow communities to grow and post messages to one another. There are various popular answers to forums such as vb, phpbb and invision but they all do the basic function of allowing multiple people in a single place to share messages amongst one another.

Vbulletin (vb)

vBulletin or VB as it is known for short is a server side program that allows people all over the world with an internet connection to meet and post messages in the same place, the software can be downloaded at > and is a very good solution to building your own community, it's not free however like some forums and they do not provide hosting, you must arrange for your own hosting that supports this software (most hosting, you must arrange for your own hosting accounts do nowadays) and use your own domain name You can do alot with vb code on a vBulletin forum, depending on what the administrator of the forum has allowed in the settings.


Like vb, phpbb is a piece of server side software enabling those using it to setup their own forum, it is not as fully featured as vb but is free to use and has a wide array of attractive themes that can be used. LIke vb, hosting does not come with the software although there are hosts who will let you host your phpbb forum for free and handle the installation and upgrades.

Version 3 is apparently in the works and is much anticipated, as version 2, the current version, has been hacked numerous times, so numerous that the developers have had to remove the version numbers from the bottom of the page. The software can be downloaded at


Invision Board is another type of forum software used by many to host their online communities, although there are hosts that will allow you to host your board free while at the same time taking care of updates and upgrades for the most part, unless you want an url which is too long for people to type into their address bar then you will need to arrange your own hosting and domain name.

The software itself isn't free but you can visit Invision's website here.


A topic is simply a new message that begins a "conversation" on a message board, most boards require that you stay On Topic so that topics and their messages are easy to digest.


A thread on a message board is a new topic of conversation, it is just a post that allows others to post their messages as part of the originating topic. Which is why, when you see someone complaining of Off Topic threads, they are complaining that someone as digressed from the original posters message or post. Another common complaint is Thread Hijacking where a post forces the focus of the thread in a different direction other than the original posters intent.


Posts are simply a single message in reply to a topic.

Database (db)

Most forums nowadays (though there are no doubt a few examples of which I am not familiar with) now use a database to store all the information on their members and all the posts, threads, topics and permissions of the forum. It is wise, if you own a forum, to backup this database often as errors can occur, especially on large forums, rendering a community helpless if a db is corrupted and there is no backup to replace it.


Admins short for Administrators are in charge of running a forum, there may be many admins based on the size or popularity of the forum, but they handle the day to day managing of the forum, moving threads to appropiate sections in their community, editing or deleting unwanted posts, making backups of the database etc etc.

Domain Names

Domain Names are just a simple way of remembering a sites location on the net, as it is much easier to remember than it is (or whatever Microsofts sites ip is). They also help because on a hosting account, a single IP can can reference several thousand sites.


A comparable analogy to an IP address is a telephone number. On a telephone network, the phone numbers must be unique. Generally speaking, each location has one phone number that allows anyone to dial that phone directly by using their unique phone number. Likewise, a computer is assigned a unique IP address which let's any other computer to connect directly to it by using their unique IP address. In reality, it is possible for a location to have multiple phone numbers (perhaps primarily larger businesses) and a computer can also be assigned multiple IP addresses.

Host, hosts, hosting accounts

Every website on the net has to be stored somewhere, it is even possible, with the right software, to store a website and have it accessible to the world on your own computer but for the most part Web Hosts provide this function, they allow you to store your site and have it accessible to many people simultaneously on the net. For this service, most hosts charge a fee, though if you look about carefully you should be able to find a host that will give you free hosting in return for maybe advertising space on your site.

Server Side

Programs that are run on the server are called server side programs, most internet sites you visit that allow you to interact with them in some fashion use server side programs to function, it just means that the software running is being run on the server and you are being served the results, no computation on your computer's part is neccessary other than to display the results.

Client Side

Client Side programs are programs that you run on your computer, web browsers are client side programs.

Hack, hacker, hacked

Hackers tend to be unscrupulous people who penetrate or vandalise other computers attached to networks such as the internet.
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