Internet2. A network of universities connected via Abilene network backbone which supports transfer rates between 2.4 Gb/s and 9.6 Gb/s. The Abilene network uses gigaPOPs, high-speed Sonet, and IP-over-Sonet routers. I2 was created in October 1996. The UCAID (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development) was formed in September 1997 to organize I2. I2 is used to develop Internet technologies such as telemedicine, digital libraries and virtual laboratories.
Internationalization. "i" + 18 letters + "n". Note that it starts with a lower case i so it is not confused with the number 1 immediately following.
IBM 3270
The family of IBM products that were the dominant way of interfacing with mainframe computers from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s. The 3270 was an improvement over its predecessor, the 2260.

The standard mainframe terminal system since the early 1970s when it replaced its predecessor, the 2260. The IBM 3270 Information Display System

The system consisted of display terminals with keyboards connected to a control unit or cluster controller, which in turn was connected to the mainframe over either a local channel or a remote channel. These channels had a high-bandwidth and remote channels were over either dedicated (leased) or dial-up links.

Here are some of the terminals that were available:
  • 3275 A stand alone terminal
  • 3277 A text only, monochrome display (black with green letters)
  • 3278 A sleeker version of the 3277
  • 3279 A color terminal
Here are some of the control units:
  • 3271 Local attachment
  • 3272 Remote attachment
  • 3274 A cluster control that could control up to 32 terminals
The 3277 terminal buffered data by storing keystrokes until ENTER was pressed. Earlier terminals sent every key stroke immediately. The 3277 terminal was field-oriented instead of line-oriented. This meant that applications could output fields instead of having to generate output line by line.

In the 1980s the paradigm shifted from 3270 "dummy terminals" to PC "intelligent workstations. The PCs had self-sufficient operating systems and applications. IBM tried to blend the two with its 3270 PC but the world didn't go that way (Just like the world didn't go the way of OS/2.).

The world has decided to use 3270 emulation on PCs to connect to the thousands of legacy applications designed to interact with the 3270. The most common emulation method is with the TN3270 program over telnet for remote connections. There are other products that provide various ways of connecting to mainframes including Blue Zone Mainframe Display by Renex Corp.
See SQL.
Internet Control Message Protocol. As an extension to IP, ICMP handles packets that contain error, control and informational messages.
Any image used to represent any person, place, thing, or idea. In computers, it usually represent objects, like files, or actions, like commands.
Internet Cache Protocol. RFC 2187. Rules for establishing hierarchical or meshed cache servers. If a server does not have a requested object, it checks its sibling servers, and if the siblings don't then it checks its parent server, and if that doesn't have the object, then it check the originating server. ICP can cause more traffic and unnecessary duplication.
Pronounced "I Seek You". An instant messaging service by Mirabilis LTD.
Internet Database Connector. httpodbc.dll. An ISAPI DLL that lets HTML pages pass SQL commands to 32-bit relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Microsoft FoxPro, Sybase SQL Server, and dBASE.

An HTML document submits a form to a particular IDC file on a web server.  The IDC file already has the DSN (Data Source Name) identified, as well as which HTX template to use. Along with the parameters (SQL command, user name, and password), the IDC can now attempt to process the SQL command against the database. The HTX template receives the results and spits out an HTML document with the answers.

In brief: HTML --> IDC -->  DB --> HTX --> HTML.

IDC is legacy technology since the introduction of active server pages.
(1) Integrated Device Electronics. The interface for peripherals such as scanners, printers, and, most commonly, hard drives. This type of expansion slot first came out in 1984 with the 80286's. Each IDE device houses its controller electronics and thus can be connected directly to motherboards. It is theoretically being phased out by EIDE and SCSI
(2) Integrated Development Environment. An work space that integrates different aspects of development, i.e. design, editing, compiling, and debugging. Previously these different aspects were handled by separate programs.

An IDE typically looks like the OS for which it is making programs for, eg the IDE of Microsoft Visual Basic looks like a Windows 95 environment.

A developer will use an API (Application Programming Interface) within the IDE.
A property of an operation or function such that it returns the same result when called or applied multiple times. In computers, the emphasis is that an idempotent operation or function should have no affect on a system. EG: A read only or query only operation, as opposed to an operation that writes to or modifies the system. In Web technology, GET (querystring) URLs should be largely idempotent, while POST (form only) URLs can be idempotent or not. Etymology: Latin idem is "same" and potent has to do with "having power".
Interface Definition Language. A generic, language-independent way to discuss the interface for a module (COM class, object model).
Internationalized Domain Name. An Internet domain name that contains non-ASCII characters. As of 2005-03, this concept is in flux because some folks have abused IDN to impersonate other sites.
Internet Foundation Classes. A set of Java classes developed by Netscape that enables developers to add GUI elements like windows, menus, and buttons. The IFC sits on top of the JDK (Java Development Kit) and extends Suns AWT (Abstract Window Toolkit).

The IFC is in competition with Microsoft's AFC (Application Foundation Classes). Supposedly Sun and Netscape have said that the next JDK will combine the AWT with the IFC to form the JFC (Java Foundation Classes).
Independent Hardware Vendor. A person or organization that makes hardware. Usually IHV specialize in niche hardware such as disk controllers or display adapters. A third-party manufacturer as opposed to an OEM (who makes off-the-shelf software) .
Internet Inter-ORB Protocol. See CORBA.
Internet Information Server. Part of the Microsoft Back Office Suite. It is basically a web server that also facilitates usage of MS VB for server-side programming, including data-centric applications that could link a web page to a MS SQL Server.

Client-side applications can perform things that IIS applications can't and vice versa. However Client apps use either JScript or VBScript on the same page as the HTML, whereas IIS apps use VB applications (possibly written in MS Visual Basic) separate from the user interface (possibly written in HTML). In a sense, IIS apps are Microsoft's replacement for CGI's.

IIS programming is frequently accessed with ASP (Active Server Pages). In contrast, client-side programming would use JavaScript, VBScript, or DHTML.
Aka i.LINK. Sony's implementation of the IEEE 1394 standard. A Plug-and-Play technology designed to replace SCSI connections. It consists of a PCI card that supports data transfer that is good enough for video and hard drives. 400 Mb/s.
Instant Messaging or Instant Messenger. A service that enables you to create private chat rooms. Most IM apps also run in the background to inform you if someone is trying to IM you. Since there is no standard for IM, for two people to IM, the must be part of the same IM system. Popular IM service providers include AOL (AIM and its Buddy List), Yahoo! (Yahoo! Messenger), MSN (MSN Messenger), and ICQ ("I Seek You"). The SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and SIMPLE (SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions).
image setter
A special and expensive type of printer available at service bureaus that produces very high resolution  output (up to 3450 dpi) onto paper or film. Most image setters use PostScript files as input. PostScript is still a common format since a more inexpensive PostScript printer can be used to produce drafts that will be very similar to the image setter output except for a lower resolution. A Linotronic is a common type of image setter.
In My Opinion, In My Humble Opinion, In My Not So Humble Opinion.
See SSI.
Independent Hardware Vendor
See IHV.
Independent Software Vendor
See ISV.
Indexed Sequential Access Method
Industry Standard Architecture
See ISA.
infix notation
See RPN.
Information is data that is retrieved and organized in a meaningful way for the viewer. This is in contrast to data, which is the set of static values stored in databases and such. Some say there are three levels of information. The first is data, the raw figures. The second is information, the interpretation. The third is knowledge, utilization of information.
information warehouse
See data warehouse.
In OOP (Object Oriented Programming), allows changes in the class to propagate to its objects.
.ini. INItialization files. Files used by programs to set parameters and preferences.
inkjet printer
A printer that sprays ink through tiny jets. Inkjets are usually cheaper than laser printers, slower than laser printers, but the resolution of the two gives laser printers only a slight edge.
In OOP (object oriented programming), this is the creation of an object from its parent class, i.e. it is the creation of an instance or example of that class.
instant messaging
See IM.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
A whole number. A number no modulus.
integer division
Division where the remainder (modulus) is discarded. This is often represented by \, eg 9\4 is 2.
Integrated Development Environment
See IDE.
Integrated Drive Electronics
See IDE.
Integrated Circuit
A small silicon chip consisting of thousands of transistors, i.e. on/off switches, that perform logic operations for computers.
Integrated Services Digital Network
intellectual property
See IP.
A feature that shows a programmer syntax and available methods, properties, and parameters as he or she is writing the code for many objects. IntelliSense is available for Microsoft Visual Studio, including Visual InterDev.
The process of loading an image approximately first and then with increasing detail as data comes in.
International Organization for Standardization
See ISO.
International Phonetic Alphabet
See IPA.
International Telecommunication Union
See ITU.
International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee
Internationalized Domain Name
See IDN.
All the computers linked together via the TCP/IP family of protocols to form the global network.
It started in 1969 when a branch of the US Dept. of Defense called Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) connected networks at various government, university, and commercial sites together into an inter-network. The idea was to make the network bomb-proof and set up standard protocols between all kinds of equipment and manufacturers. This developed TCP/IP, the heart of the Internet.
By the late 1970s many of the standard Internet services were established, including logging on to a computer remotely (telnet), remote file transferring (FTP and UUCP), e-mail, and electronic bulletin boards (Usenet, i.e. newsgroups).
It was the point and click ease of hypertext documents and web browsers developed in 1992 that brought the WWW (World Wide Web) to the Internet and really made the Internet popular.
Internet Cache Protocol
See ICP.
Internet Control Message Protocol
Internet Database Connector
See IDC.
Internet Engineering Task Force
Internet Foundation Classes
See IFC.
Internet Information Server
See IIS.
Internet Relay Chat
See IRC.
Internet Server Application Programming Interface
Internet Service Provider
See ISP.
Internetwork Packet Exchange
See IPX.
A program that examines a program line by line and executes it as it reads, eg JavaScript. Some languages need to be compiled first with a compiler.
Interprocess Communication
See IPC.
A signal which can generated by devices, keystrokes, etc. to inform a program or the processor, that some event has occurred and that it should interrupt whatever it's doing and consider the request. PCs store a list of the 256 interrupts that it recognizes in the first 1 KB of addressable memory. This list also has a table that points to routines that know how to handle the interrupts; this table is called an interrupt vector table or dispatch table.
interrupt vector table
A table stored in the first 1 KB of addressable memory on PCs. It holds 256 pointers, each of which is 4 B and points to a routine that knows how to handle an interrupt.
A group of computers, connected via the TCP/IP family of protocols, that is isolated from the Internet via firewalls. An intranet is like a walled neighborhood within the larger metropolis of the Internet.

IP communications were designed for low capacity, inexpensive, and ubiquitous telephone wires, whereas LANs and WANs communications were designed for cabling of higher capacity, more expense, and not installed. Thus an intranet is like a slower but larger LAN, and the Internet is like a slower but global WAN. See also extranet.
Input/Output. (Pronounced eye-oh.) Any operation, device, or program whose function is to give data to a computer or to get data from a computer. This is to distinguish I/O from other parts whose functions are computational. EG: Monitors, keyboards, mice, and printers are I/O, whereas the CPU does the actual computing. See also port.
(1) Internet Protocol. A protocol concerned with the network layer of the OSI Reference Model. IP assigns a unique identifying number to each interface/host (eg a computer) on a network.

An IP address is a four byte number that is commonly shorthanded by using a decimal equivalent of each byte (0-255) and connecting the decimal numbers by periods. Each of the four bytes is made up of an octet of eight bits, thus the entire IP address is a 32 bit number. The number of combinations is 2 ^32 or 256^4 or roughly 4.3 billion different IP addresses. EG:
00001010.00000001.00010111.00001000 (binary)
      10.       1.      23.       8 (decimal)
The IP address may be translate to a domain name by a DNS (Domain Name Server), eg = www.somewebsite.com. The IP address is added to the header of an TCP datagram. See also my article on TCP/IP.

(2) Intellectual Property. Content that is protected by at IP laws which in the US include Copyright, Patent, Trademark, and Trade Secret laws. See also my section on Legalese.
(1) International Phonetic Alphabet. Linguists often use International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to phonetically represent spoken languages. The standard is to place IPA pronunciations either in square brackets ("[" and "]") or slashes ("/") for narrow or broad transcriptions respectively. EG: The English word "pretzel" could be annotated as [pʰɹ̥ɛʔtsɫ̩] or /prɛtsəl/.

(2) International Phonetic Alphabet. IPA is a misnomer for phonetic alphabets (EG: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, ... Zulu.). See phonetic alphabet.
InterProcess Communication. Communication between processes. The processes may be on the same machine, across a network, or across the Internet. IPC allows one process to control, utilize, cooperate, and/or share data with another process. Examples of IPC include Named Pipes and TCP/IP. See also DDE.
IP SECurity. IETF protocols supporting the secure exchange of packets through the IP layer. IPSEC should encourage usage of VPNs.

Transport IPSEC encrypts the body but not the header of each packet. Tunnel IPSEC encrypts the body and the header.

The sending and receiving devices must share a public key and digital certification via ISAKMP/Oakley (Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol). A public key allows the receiver to authenticate the sender via the public key and digital certificate.
Internetwork Packet Exchange. See also network communications software.
In Real Life.
Internet Relay Chat. (Pronounced "eye-are-see".) The Internet version of a chat room, where people can type messages to a chat room in real time. Users of IRC clients (eg mIRC for Windows OS or Ircle for Mac OS) with Internet access can contact an IRC server to participate in a chat room. The three biggest IRC networks are EFnet, Undernet and DALnet. IRC was developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in Finland in the 1980s. Chat rooms are setup in channels by topic.
Interrupt ReQuest Line. A logical line through which a device may have a direct and immediate signal to the processor. When the processor receives an interrupt, the processor interrupts what it is doing and deals with the request. Devices may share IRQs but sometimes the processor may get confused. The IRQ is either manually set or automatically set by the operating system when a device is installed.

Originally, only IRQs 0-8 were available. To create more IRQs, IRQ 2 has been used as an IRQ controller for IRQs 9-15.

Here are the default IRQ settings:
Common Recommended
0 System Timer
1 Keyboard Controller    
2 IRQ Controller Cascade
3 COM2 (Serial Port 2) COM2 or         Internal Modem 2F0-2FF
4 COM1 (Serial Port 1) COM1 3F0-3FF
5 Sound Card or
LPT2 (Parallel Port 2)
Sound Card  
6 Floppy Disk Controller Floppy Disk Controller
7 LPT1 (Parallel Port 1) LPT1  
8 Real Time Clock
(Shows as IRQ 2)
NIC 370-37F
11 AVAILABLE SCSI Host Adapter  
12 Motherboard Mouse Port PS/2 Mouse
13 Math Coprocessor    
14 Primary IDE Hard Disks
15 Secondary IDE /
CD-ROMs or Tape  
Information Systems.
Industry Standard Architecture. Aka AT Bus. The standard bus interface that started with the IBM AT, utilizing 16 bit data paths. The ISA slots in the back of many computers can be used to expand the computer's capabilities. EG: You can add communications and networking communications capabilities, increase processing power, or improve graphics and video performance. The actual size of the internal slot is approximately 5.5 inches. The other popular buses are 32 bit EISA and the 64 bit PCI.
Indexed Sequential Access Method. A method for accessing data by use of an index. This method can be used for either sequential access or random access. This treats the data like a large flat file as opposed to a referential database. Nearly any data can be treated ISAM-style, including HTML and text and even referential databases. See also SAM and VSAM.
Internet Server Application Programming Interface. Aka ISAPI filter. Programs that can be used by a web application to extend the functionality of a web server. EG: Here are some of the ISAPIs used by Microsoft's IIS (Internet Information Server):
  • MS Exchange Server/Web Connector allows public folder integration with MS Exchange Server.
  • IDC (Internet Database Connector) allows communication with ODBC (Open DataBase Connectivity) databases.
  • CGI Connectors (Common Gateway Interface) allows backward compatibility with UNIX CGIs.
  • ISAPI Filter Connectors allows preprocessing of packets before they enter or leave the IIS process. This includes SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) implementation.
ISAPI programs run as DLLs and are loaded when the HTTP is started. Unlike CGI programs, ISAPI programs do not have processes and address space separate from the HTTP program. This allows ISAPI programs to be instantly accessible.
International Standard Book Number.
Integrated Services Digital Network. A dial up line similar to a phone but it is all digital and comes in DS0 (64 kb/s) increments. The two types of ISDN are BRI (2 DS0s) and PRI (23 DS0s). ISDN is fast enough to connect two remote LANs, provided there is a router at both ends. An ISDN line is a broadband connection, thus the two channels can be simultaneously used for data, phone, and/or fax. Some computers require a TA (Terminal Adapter) to hook up to an ISDN line.
ISO Latin 1
ISO-8859-1. A standard superset of Standard ASCII used by many OSs and the WWW. See also section on Character Sets.
(1) Internet Service Provider. A company that has high speed (1.5 Mb/s T1 or above) internet connection(s) and extends that Internet connectivity to the public for a fee.
(2) Internet Service Provider. A company that provides miscellaneous services to facilitate internet usage.
Independent Software Vendor. A person or organization that develops software. A third-party developer as opposed to an OEM (who makes off-the-shelf software) or in-house developers.
(1) Information Technology. Any technology, hardware or software, that deals with computer, telecommunications, and the like.

(2) Information Technologies. A department of a company that deals with information technologies.

(3) Information Technician. The title of a person that deals with information technologies.
iterative division

A handy way to manually convert decimal numbers into binary numbers.

  1. Take any positive decimal integer.
  2. Divide by two.
  3. Use the remainder portion to write the equivalent binary number.
  4. If the integer portion is non-zero, then repeat from step 2, otherwise stop

EG: Given decimal number 170:

  • 170/2 = 85 R 0. Therefore binary number so far is 0.
  • 85/2 = 42 R 1. Therefore binary number so far is 10.
  • 42/2 = 21 R 0. Therefore binary number so far is 010.
  • 21/2 = 10 R 1. Therefore binary number so far is 1010.
  • 10/2 = 5 R 0. Therefore binary number so far is 01010.
  • 5/2 = 2 R 1. Therefore binary number so far is 101010.
  • 2/2 = 1 R 0. Therefore binary number so far is 0101010.
  • 1/2 = 0 R 1. Therefore binary number so far is 10101010.
  • The integer portion of last division was 0 so for the decimal number 170, the binary equivalent is 10101010.
International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee. See ITU.
An jukebox application by Apple that people can use to play, organize, and buy music. iTunes runs on most platforms including Mac and Windows. iTunes can encode to MP3, AIFF, WAV, MPEG-4 AAC, and Apple Lossless [FLAC and Vorbis are suspiciously missing]. iTunes can also play anything made by QuickTime (EG: .mov videos with audio), and Audible.com audio books. A person's music play list can be shared over a network and even the Internet if you're tricksy. iTunes can synch with the handheld iPod jukebox.

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