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ASP.NET

ASP.NET is a set of Web development tools offered by Microsoft. Programs like Visual Studio .NET and Visual Web Developer allow Web developers to create dynamic websites using a visual interface. Of course, programmers can write their own code and scripts and incorporate it into ASP.NET websites as well. Though it often seen as a successor to Microsoft's  ASP programming technology, ASP.NET also supports Visual Basic.NET, Jscript, .NET and open-source languages like Python and Perl.

ASP.NET is built on the .NET framework, which provides an application program interface (
API) for software programmers. The .NET development tools can be used to create applications for both the Windows operating system and the Web. Programs like Visual Studio .NET provide a visual interface for developers to create their applications, which makes .NET a reasonable choice for designing Web-based interfaces as well.

In order for an ASP.NET website to function correctly, it must be published to a Web server that supports ASP.NET applications. Microsoft's Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server is by far the most common platform for ASP.NET websites. While there are some open-source options available for Linux-based systems, these alternatives often provide less than full support for ASP.NET
applications.

ASP

Just to confuse ordinary people like you and me, there are two equally important definitions of ASP. The term can refer to 1) an Active Server Page, or 2) an Application Service Provider.

1. Active Server Page

This is a Web page that has one or more ASP scripts embedded in it. ASP scripts are like small computer programs that run when an ASP-based Web page is accessed. You can tell if you're accessing an active server page if the suffix of the URL is ".asp" (as opposed to ".html"). ASP pages are processed on a Web server before they are transferred to a user's Web browser.

ASP pages are typically used for pages that have dynamic, or frequently changing information. For example, an ASP script might get a visitor's zip code through a form on a Web page, then customize the content on the resulting page based on that information. Since ASP technology was designed by Microsoft, ASP scripts are typically written in Microsoft's Visual Basic programming language.

2. Application Service Provider

Sometimes refered to as an "app-on-tap," this is a third-party company that distributes software-based services from a central location to customers in other locations. ASPs offer companies services that would otherwise have to be done in-house, or onsite. Using an ASP is often an inexpensive way for companies and organizations to manage their information services. There are five main categories of Application Service Providers:

· Local or Regional ASP - supplies many different application services for smaller businesses or individuals in a local area.

· Specialist ASP - provides applications for specific needs, such as Human Resources or Web services.

· Vertical Market ASP - provides support to a specific industry such as Education.

· Enterprise ASP - delivers information and services for high-end business.

Volume Business ASP - supplies small or medium-sized businesses with services in high volume.

API

API Stands for "Application Program Interface," though it is sometimes referred to as an "Application Programming Interface." An API is a set of commands, functions, and protocols which programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system. The API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.

All computer operating systems, such as Windows, Unix, and the Mac OS, provide an application program interface for programmers. APIs are also used by video game consoles and other hardware devices that can run software programs. While the API makes the programmer's job easier, it also benefits the end user, since it ensures all programs using the same API will have a similar user interface.

Bits & bytes

The computer term "bit" comes from the phrase "Binary DigIT," which is different than that thing you put around a horse's mouth. A bit is a single digit number in base-2 (a zero or a one) and is the smallest unit of computer data. A full page of text is composed of about 16,000 bits.
It is important not to confuse bits with bytes. Both are used to measure amounts of data, but it takes eight bits to make one byte. The most common area where bits are used intstead of bytes is in measuring bandwidth (in bits per second). Why? Probably because it makes your Internet connection sound faster than it really is.

A byte is a set of 8 bits that represent a single character in the computer's memory. Do not confuse this term with "bite," as in taking a bite of a cookie, because that is totally different. While bits are often used to measure data transfer speeds, bytes are used to measure file sizes, hard disk space, and computer memory. Larger amounts of data are measured in units such as megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes. For example, one kilobyte is equal to 1,024 bytes.

Cache

This term is pronounced like "cash" -- not "catch," and definitely not "cashé." There are many different types of caches but they all serve the same purpose. A cache stores recently-used information in a place where it can be accessed extremely fast. For example, a Web browser like Internet Explorer uses a cache to store the pages, images, and URLs of recently visted Web sites on your hard drive. With this neat strategy, when you visit a page you have recently been to, the pages and images don't have to be downloaded to your computer all over again. Because accessing your computer's hard disk is much faster than accessing the Internet, caching Web sites can speed up Web browsing significantly. Most Web browsers allow you to adjust the size of the cache in in browser preferenecs.
Another common type of cache is a disk cache. This stores information you have recently read from your hard disk in the computer's RAM, or memory. Since accessing RAM is much faster than reading data off the hard disk, this can help you access common files and folders on your hard drive much faster.
Another type of cache is a processor cache which stores small amounts of information right next to the processor. This helps make the processing of common instructions much more efficient, thereby speeding up computation time.

Cookie

It seems like everyone who tries to explain what a cookie is just has to make a joke out of it (because of the name), so I'm not even going to bother. In computer terminology, a cookie is data sent to your computer by a Web server that records your actions on a certain Web site. It's a lot like a preference file for a typical computer program. When you visit the site after being sent the cookie, the site will load certain pages according to the information stored in the cookie.

For example, some sites can remember information like your user name and password, so you don't have to re-enter it each time you visit the site. Cookies are what allow you to have personalized web sites like "My Excite" or "My Yahoo," where you can customize what is displayed on the page. While cookies have many benefits, some people don't like to have their information recorded by Web sites that they visit. For this reason, most Web browsers have an option to accept or deny cookies. Personally, I like cookies -- I think they taste great too.

Copyright

Copyright is a legal means of protecting an author's work. It is a type of intellectual property that provides exclusive publication, distribution, and usage rights for the author. This means whatever content the author created cannot be used or published by anyone else without the consent of the author. The length of copyright protection may vary from country to country, but it usually lasts for the life of the author plus 50 to 100 years.

Many different types of content can be protected by copyright. Examples include books, poems, plays, songs, films, and artwork. In modern times, copyright protection has been extended to websites and other online content. Therefore, any original content published on the Web is protected by copyright law. This is important in the digital age we live in, since large amounts of content can be easily copied and pasted.

So how do you obtain copyright protection? Fortunately, in most countries, copyright protection is automatic. This means whenever you publish original content, it is automatically protected by copyright law. For example, if you post a blog on the Internet, your content is automatically covered by copyright. In most cases, this type of copyright protection is all that is necessary. However, if you want others to know your content is copyright protected, you can post the copyright logo (©) next to your name on any Web pages that include your original content. You may also want to include the years you have owned the content. Below is an example of a copyright line:

Copyright © 2007-2009 [your name].

In situations where it is critical to protect an author's rights, many countries provide copyright registration, which allows authors to register copyrighted content with a central agency. This makes it easier to prove ownership of content if it is ever disputed.

Copyright provides a helpful means of protecting original content. It serves to give people credit for the work they do, which is something we can all appreciate. Therefore, if you ever consider copying someone else's content, think of how it would make you feel if someone copied your original work and published it as their own. If you ever would like to use another person's content, make sure to ask the author for permission first. And always give credit where credit is due. 

DHCP

 

Stands for "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol." A network server uses this protocol to dynamically assign IP addresses to networked computers. The DHCP server waits for a computer to connect to it, then assigns it an IP address from a master list stored on the server. DHCP helps in setting up large networks, since IP addresses don't have to be manually assigned to each computer on the network. Because of the slick automation involved with DHCP, it is the most commonly used networking protocol.

Domain name

This is the name that identifies an Web site. For example, "microsoft.com" is the domain name of Microsoft's Web site. A single Web server can serve Web sites for multiple domain names, but a single domain name can point to only one machine. For example, Apple Computer has Web sites at www.apple.com, www.info.apple.com, and store.apple.com. Each of these sites could be served on different machines.

Then there are domain names that have been registered, but are not connected to a Web server. The most common reason for this is to have e-mail addresses at a certain domain name without having to maintain a Web site. In these cases, the domain name must be connected to a machine that is running a mail server.

Error

A 404 error is a common website error message that indicates awebpagecannot be found. It may be produced when a user clicks an outdated (or "broken") linkor when aURL is typed incorrectly in a Web browser's address field. Some websites display custom 404 error pages, which may look similar to other pages on the site. Other websites simply display the Web server's default error message text, which typically begins with "Not Found." Regardless of the appearance, a 404 error means the server is up and running, but the webpage or path to the webpage is not valid.

So why call it a "404 error" instead of simply a "Missing Webpage Error?" The reason is that 404 is an error code produced by the Web server when it cannot find a webpage. This error code is recognized by search engines, which helps prevent search engine crawlers from indexing bad URLs. 404 errors can also be read by Web scripts and website monitoring tools, which can help webmasters locate and fix broken links.

Other common Web server codes are 200, which means a webpage has been found, and 301, which indicates a file has moved to a new location. Like 404 errors, these status messages are not seen directly by users, but they are used by search engines and website monitoring software.

Error 500  - Internal server error

Error 502  - Bad gateway

Error 651  - Your modem (or other connecting device) has reported an error

Protocol

When computers communicate with each other, there needs to be a common set of rules and instructions that each computer follows. A specific set of communication rules is called a protocol. Because of the many ways computers can communicate with each other, there are many different protocols -- too many for the average person to remember. Some examples of these different protocols include PPP, TCP/IP, SLIP, HTTP, and FTP.

IP address

Also known as an "IP number" or simply an "IP," this is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer, whether it be a Web server or the computer you're using right now, requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. IP addresses consist of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. For example   "66.72.98.236" or "216.239.115.148". Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), will assign you either a static IP address (which is always the same) or a dynamic IP address, (which changes everytime you log on). ISPs typically assign dial-up users a dynamic IP address each time they sign on because it reduces the number of IP addresses they must register. However, if you connect to the Internet through a network or broadband connection, it is more likely that you have a static IP address.

ISPs and organizations usually apply to the InterNIC for a range of IP addresses so that all their clients have similar addresses. There are three classes of IP address sets that can be registered: Class C, which consists of 255 IP addresses, class B, which contains 65,000 IP addresses, and class A, which includes hundreds of thousands of IP addresses. Because there are so many computers now connected to the Internet, the InterNIC is actually running out of IP addresses. Therefore, Class A and Class B address blocks are very hard, if not impossible, to get. Most large companies have to register multiple Class C addresses instead. To resolve this problem, the Internet Engineering Task Force, which created the original IP address standard, is working on a new protocol called "IP Next Generation" or "IPng." 

IPv4

IPv4 is the most widely used version of the Internet Protocol. It defines IP addresses in a 32-bit format, which looks like 123.123.123.123. Each three-digit section can include a number from 0 to 255, which means the total number of IPv4 addresses available is 4,294,967,296 (256 x 256 x 256 x 256 or 2^32).

Each computer or device connected to the Internet must have a unique IP address in order to communicate with other systems on the Internet. Because the number of systems connected to the Internet is quickly approaching the number of available IP addresses, IPv4 addresses are predicted to run out soon. When you consider that there are over 6 billion people in the world and many people have more than one system connected to the Internet (for example, at home, school, work, etc.), it is not surprising that roughly 4.3 billion addresses is not enough.

To solve this problem, a new 128-bit IP system, called IPv6, has been developed and is in the process of replacing the current IPv4 system. During this transitional process from IPv4 to IPv6, systems connected to the Internet may be assigned both an IPv4 and IPv6 address.

IPv6

Every computer system and device connected to the Internet is located by an IP address. The current system of distributing IP addresses is called IPv4. This system assigns each computer a 32-bit numeric address, such as 120.121.123.124. However, with the growth of computers connected to the Internet, the number of available IP addresses are predicted to run out in only a few years. This is why IPv6 was introduced.

IPv6, also called IPng (or IP Next Generation), is the next planned version of the IP address system. (IPv5 was an experimental version used primarily for streaming data.) While IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, which increases the number of possible addresses by an exponential amount. For example, IPv4 allows 4,294,967,296 addresses to be used (2^32). IPv6 allows for over 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 IP addresses. That should be enough to last awhile.

Because IPv6 allows for substantially more IP addresses than IPv4, the addresses themselves are more complex. They are typically written in this format:

hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh:hhhh

Each "hhhh" section consists of a four-digit hexadecimal number, which means each digit can be from 0 to 9 and from A to F. An example IPv6 address may look like this:

F704:0000:0000:0000:3458:79A2:D08B:4320

Because IPv6 addresses are so complex, the new system also adds extra security to computers connected to the Internet. Since there are so may IP address possibilities, it is nearly impossible to guess the IP address of another computer. While most computer systems today support IPv6, the new Internet procotol has yet to be fully implemented. During this transitional process, computers are often assigned both an IPv4 and an IPv6 address.

Webmaster

 

The webmaster is the person in charge of maintaining a Web site. The jobs of a webmaster include writing HTML for Web pages, organizing the Web site's structure, responding to e-mails about the Web site, and keeping the site up-to-date. On some Web sites you might see a phrase that says, "send dead links and other Web site problems to webmaster@domainame.com." At times, being a webmaster can be a rather arduous job. I received some dead links in the mail one time, and let me tell you, it wasn't pretty.

Server

As the name implies, a server serves information to computers that connect to it. When users connect to a server, they can access programs, files, and other information from the server. Common servers are Web servers, mail servers, and LAN servers. A single computer can have several different server programs running on it.

Web Host

In order to publish a website online, you need a Web host. The Web host stores all the pages of your website and makes them available to computers connected to the Internet. The domain name, such as "sony.com," is actually linked to an IP address that points to a specific computer. When somebody enters your domain name into their browser's address field, the IP address is located and Web site is loaded from your Web host.

A Web host can have anywhere from one to several thousand computers that run Web hosting software, such as Apache, OS X Server, or Windows Server. Most websites you see on the Web are accessed from a "shared host," which is a single computer that can host several hundred Web sites. Larger websites often use a "dedicated host," which is a single machine that hosts only one website. Sites with extremely high amounts of traffic, such as apple.com or microsoft.com, use several computers to host one site.
 

WWW

Stands for "World Wide Web." It is important to know that this is not a synonym for the Internet. The World Wide Web, or just "the Web," as ordinary people call it, is a subset of the Internet. The Web consists of pages that can be accessed using a Web browser. The Internet is the actual network of networks where all the information resides. Things like Telnet, FTP, Internet gaming, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and e-mail are all part of the Internet, but are not part of the World Wide Web. The Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the method used to transfer Web pages to your computer. With hypertext, a word or phrase can contain a link to another Web site. All Web pages are written in the hyper-text markup language (HTML), which works in conjunction with HTTP.

 

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