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Tech Talk

By Way Yu

To ride the wave of the future, youíll want to know how to speak the language of the digiterati. Just to keep up with the conversation is tricky though, because words about the Internet are being created daily. This week, weíll translate some of that tech slang into plain English.


In a computer lab, Lola, Jack and Kelly are working on different computers at separate terminals.

Lola: Wow, I just found that MP3 I was looking for! Iím going to download it.
Jack: Good for you. What dub-dub-dub did you find it at?
Lola: I used a P2P app to get it. Do you want the song? I can e-mail it to you guys.
Jack: (laughing) Sure, just donít do it through snail mail!
Lola: Ha ha. I just hope the network isnít down, because it requires a lot of bandwidth to download.
Jack: It should be ok.
Lola: So what sites are you guys checking out?
Kelly: Iím looking at an e-tailer.
Lola? A click-and-mortar?
Kelly: Yeah.
Jack: This B2C site Iím surfing is terrible! There is so much link rot.
Kelly: No kidding. Looks like itíll be another dot-bomb!
Lola: My fingers are beginning to ache from typing too much today. I donít want to get CTS. Does anyone want to catch a movie?
Jack: Sure.
Kelly: UmÖlet me check my PDA, but I pretty sure Iím free.
Lola: OK. Iím going to sync mine and get the movie times. I found this new site with great UI. It makes downloading onto my wireless really easy.
Jack: In real time?
Lola: Of course! Isnít the Net great?


Digiterati is a term used to describe those in-the-know regarding the digital revolution.

A Computer lab is a room or rooms that have computers set up for the public to use. Usually, college campuses have computer labs for students to use.

A Terminal is a computer console hooked up to a network.

MP3 stands for MPEG Layer 3. This is a file format that compresses data very well. MP3 files have overwhelming been used to produce near-CD quality audio files.

Often, you computer will exchange information with others on the World Wide Web. To download means to transfer information from a remote computer to your computer. For example, every time you go to a web page, you are essentially downloading the page onto your computer for viewing. To upload means to transfer information from your computer onto another remote one, or through the World Wide Web. For example, when you send an email, you are uploading the email so that it can be passed along through the Internet to your friend.

Dub-dub-dub is a shortened version of WWW, or the World Wide Web. Rather than say out all three words, or pronouncing all of the syllables of the three Ws, people have shorted it to just pronounce the first syllable of W three times. For example, you can tell a friend to check out dub-dub-dub-dot-istudentcity-dot-com.

P2P stands for Peer-to-Peer. An app, or application, is a piece of software that performs certain tasks. There are several different types of applications ranging from productivity (including word processing), games, and graphic design (such as Adobe Photoshop.)

A P2P app then, is an application that allows peers to communicate directly with one another. There are two common P2P apps. The first are Instant Messagers, such as Microsoftís Messenger Service and America Onlineís ICQ, which allow users to transfer text messages and files to one another instantaneously. The other is Napster, which lets users exchange MP3s from one remote computer to another, without going through a central agent.

E-mail is electronically transmitted mail.

Snail mail is slang for postal mail. The ďsnailĒ reference highlights the slowness in sending something through the postal service, rather than through e-mail, which is almost instantaneous.

A network consists of several computers connected together. Networked computers generally can pass information from one to another with the help of a server. A server is a software program or hardware device that transfers information to one or more computers.

In the computer world, when something is down, it means that it is out of commission and cannot be used for the moment.

The term bandwidth could refer to two things. In this case, bandwidth refers to the capacity needed to upload or download information. When the term is applied to a person, it refers to the personís time. For example, if someone says that Joe does not have a lot of bandwidth, it means that Joe is busy and does have much free time.

A website, commonly abbreviated to site, generally consists of several webpages. All of the websites in the world linked together make up the World Wide Web.

A site that sells goods to the public is an electronic retailer, or e-tailer. They are also referred to as e-commerce web sites, because of the electronic business they generate. Some well known e-commerce sites include Amazon.com and Buy.com.

A website that is Click-and-mortar signifies a successful combination of real-world and online experiences. It means that the retailer has both a physical location as well as an electronic one, so that users may drive to a location to buy goods, or purchase from the storeís online site. This is in contrast to a brick-and-mortar, which has only the physical location to attract customers.

There are several acronyms to indicate a websiteís audience. A B2C is a business-to-consumer site that sell goods directly to you. A B2B, or a business-to-business site, is catered to other businesses. For example, a company that creates websites for small businesses is a B2B.

Surfing is what people do while looking around on the World Wide Web. Reading and clicking from one site to the next is considered surfing. The analogy comes from the thought that the Web is a huge ocean, and browsing through it is like surfing some the waves.

Links that are obsolete and send users to an error page are often referred to as link rot.

Dot-coms that are flailing or have ceased operation are called dot-bombs.

CTS stands for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a condition of the wrists that can arise when the nerves and tendons of the wrist are inflamed. Symptoms include numbness and pain in the fingers as well as aching in the forearm. Many doctors now believe that repeated typing over the years, which causes strain on the joints and tendons of the hands, can lead to CTS.

PDA is an acronym for Personal Data Assistant. These handheld electronic organizers look like miniature computers, and have replaced the pen-and-paper organizers. PDAs currently being sold include those made by Palm and Handspring.

Wireless devices do not require cords for an Internet connection. Cell phones, pagers, and Internet-enabled PDAs are all examples of such devices.

When you sync a wireless device, it means you are linking information from the Internet to your device, ensuring that the device has the most current data in its memory.

UI is an abbreviation for user-interface, or the design of the site. Sites with good UI are easy to navigate for both beginning users and advanced ones.

When something is in real-time, it means it is up-to-the-minute.

Net is an abbreviated slang for the Internet.


Source: Netlingo.com


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