Brought to you by FMNet. Full-service network consulting and
Internet access for Texas businesses, featuring Netscape Commerce
Server for your on-line sales.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Glossary of common Usenet terms
Given that a large number of Usenet Marketplace readers are on
the newsgroups for the first time, here is a short list of
terms appropriate for the misc.forsale.* and
biz.marketplace.* newsgroups. Some terms link
to other sites devoted to their subjects.
- The Biznet is the collection of official biz.* newsgroups, as
listed in Ed Hew's FAQ about the Biznet, including the
This hierarchy was created as an offshoot of the Usenet to
provide a forum for constructive commercial discussions.
- CD-ROM Compact Disc Read Only Memory
- This digital storage method uses the same plastic discs as audio
CDs, but instead of music, the discs can contain up to
640 megabytes of data and/or software. Most CD-ROM drives have
headphone jacks for playing audio CDs.
- Chain Letter
- A pyramid scheme in which you send money to a person at the top of
a list, add your name to the bottom, then send that list to
acquaintances and convince them to do likewise. A common, now
infamous, one on the Usenet was started by
Dave Rhodes. Chain
letters, even those which purport to 'sell' mailing lists, are
prohibited at over 90% of Internet sites, and if propagated by
e-mail or news will likely cause you to lose your account.
- COD Collect On Delivery
- In COD transactions, the deliveryperson collects money from the
recipient as the package is delivered.
- A low-bandwidth live audio and video teleconferencing Internet
protocol which can operate over a connection as slow as a
14400 baud modem, whose hardware is inexpensive for the end-users.
- DOA Dead On Arrival
- An item was broken when received. Often used to express
warranties with electronics; "Warranted against DOA."
- Short for "electronic mail", a means of sending
typed letters to other named individuals over a computer
- EIDE Enhanced IDE
- EIDE is the successor to the IDE hard drive interface,
allowing for CD-ROM drives and hard drives larger than
- ESDI Enhanced Small Device Interface
- ESDI is a high-performance hard drive interface for PCs that was
popular a few years ago, but is quickly disappearing.
FAQ Frequently Asked Question
- An FAQ is an article on a newsgroup which answers many
questions often asked by new readers in that newsgroup. FAQ also
refers to each of the questions individually.
- These articles or e-mail messages ridicule another or another's
ideas, often in a stinging, blunt manner. Flames are a
tradition on the Internet, and something to expect if you
make a netiquette blunder. Do not necessarily take them
literally, but look for the suggestions presented. The
tone is generally very negative, but the point is usually
- FD Floppy Drive
- This computer storage device which reads 3.5", 5.25" or 8" floppy disks.
- A security measure that involves putting another computer between
your network and another network, like the Internet. This computer
is programmed to limit what information and services can be passed
from one network to the other.
- FOB Free On Board
- A business term which means that shipping is the responsibility
of the buyer. The seller will place the goods on his dock;
the buyer must arrange for a pickup.
- FS For Sale
- Something is being offered in exchange for money.
- FTP File Transfer Protocol
- An Internet protocol for transferring files and programs between
computers on a network, regardless of the operating systems used.
- An older, text-based hyperlink mechanism that has since been
superseded by the graphical World-Wide-Web.
- An experienced computer intellectual who knows all the ins
and outs of a particular computer system. This does not
mean knowing how to use Microsoft Windows; it means knowing
how to decompile Microsoft Windows '95 and rewrite the assembly
language code to enable it to run Macintosh programs.
Usually, a guru will be employed in a computer-based position
- HD Hard Drive
- Hard disk drives act as permanent storage devices for computers, and
commonly come in sizes from 10 megabytes for older computers to
10 or more gigabytes for some business and research uses.
Note that physical capacity and usable capacity may be different
for a given drive.
- HTML HyperText Markup Language
- The language of the World-Wide-Web. HTML uses tags on both
sides of the text you are reading to do special things, like tell
the browser to go to someplace else if you click
Integrated Drive Electronics
- The standard hard drive interface for PCs sold today, IDE
incorporates most of the electronics on the hard drive
package, rather than on any interface cards.
- IETF Internet Engineering
- Several groups of dedicated Internet supporters who together define the
technical standards for transmission over the Internet.
- IMHO In My Humble Opinion
- An American expression followed by an opinion about a current
- The Internet acts as the carrier of billions of electronic
messages, articles, and pieces of digital information
annually. This decentralized, worldwide computer network
was initially developed in the U.S. by the military
for its operations and by the National Science Foundation
to promote communication in federal and scholastic
- IRC Internet Radio Chat
- A text-based live conferencing protocol over the Internet.
- ISP Internet Service Provider
- A company whose business is to provide access to the Internet
for other companies and individuals.
- The act of sending dozens of identical e-mails to the same person,
often as an act of aggression. The intent can be to cost that
person some time to clean out his mailbox, or to crash his system.
- MB Motherboard
- The motherboard is the backbone of most computers, containing
the CPU, memory, and other support.
- xxxMB Megabytes
- The megabyte, or 1 million bytes, is a unit of computer memory
and storage consisting of 8 million 1's and 0's which have
meaning to a computer. This abbreviation is often used
to mention the storage capacity or online memory of
a computer system, as in a 500MB hard
drive or 4MB RAM.
- MCA Micro-Channel Architecture
- MCA is a motherboard communication interface used by IBM
in some IBM PS/2 computers. It is technically superior to
the standard ISA architecture for most uses, but it was
poorly marketed, and is quickly disappearing.
- Meg Megabytes
- See megabytes.
- MFM Modified Frequency Modulation
- MFM is a physical method of storing data on a hard drive.
This interface was the original IBM PC standard, but is not
compatible with most systems manufactured more recently.
- MIME Multiple Internet Mail Extensions
- MIME is an extension to existing Internet text-transmission standards
which allows the transmission of binary files, particularly over
news and e-mail. This format is
popular among MS-Windows users and many of the larger personal
Internet services. Much of the Internet, however, runs on
the UNIX operating system and others, thus MIME is not universally
supported. See also UUEncoding.
- MLM Multi-Level Marketing
- A legitimate means of merchandise or service distribution
where members can actively engage in sales or in sales
force recruitment. For every sale made by a salesperson
you recruited or anyone under him, you receive a portion of
the commissions. Because of improprieties in the past,
the US Government tightly regulates the ways in which
MLM operators can present their business. Multi-level
marketing opportunities are considered jobs on the
newsgroups, and should be reflected as such when posting.
- MO Drive Magneto-Optical Drive
- This hard storage device is similar to a rewritable CD-ROM.
- A contraction of "network" and "etiquette",
this term represents proper conduct interacting with others on
- A form of bulletin board which was developed for the Internet.
Readers "post" messages for others to view; messages which
are stored on an extremely large, decentralized, and rather
inefficient network of news servers.
- OBO Or Best Offer
- This means that the stated price is negotiable.
- OEM Original Equipment Manufacture
- OEM equipment or software is intended to be used to make
original equipment rather than to be used for spare parts
or as an after-market add-on. It is often used with both
computer hardware and software to describe items intended
to ship only with complete computer systems.
- Pyramid Scheme or
- A money-making opportunity popularized by Ponzi and illegal
in the United States in most forms. This scheme involves
an individual convincing others to pay him for the right
to solicit others for payment in turn. By recruiting more
people than the number of people you pay for this right,
you supposedly make money. In reality, the people at the
bottom of the pyramid never get paid by anyone and lose.
Such schemes are strictly forbidden at most Internet sites,
and will cause you and your system administrator great
grief if you try to propagate such a scheme by e-mail or
over the newsgroups. Occasionally, merchandise sales are
involved (see MLM for a
similar legitimate opportunity).
- RAM Random Access Memory
- RAM is the main operating memory for most computers. It is
erased when the computer is turned off.
- RFC Request for Comments
- A rather strange name for the written Internet standards developed
by the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF. These standards
include service protocols like news and e-mail, as well as
network protocols like SLIP and PPP.
- RLL Run Length Limited
- This method of encoding data on hard drives is often
used to describe the successor to MFM,
although it uses very similar hardware. It exists only
on old PC systems.
- SCSI Small Computer Standard Interface
- This is a modern device interface, faster than IDE, which
supports hard drives, CD-ROM drives, floppy drives, and
other media storage. Most of the electronics for this
interface are contained on the interface card.
- SIMM Single In-line Memory Module
- This is a way of packaging RAM for
easy installation. SIMMs come in 72 and 30 pin varieties
for different computers, and have been the standard for
most computers manufactured in the last several years.
- SIPP Single In-line Pinned Package
- SIPPs are a type of RAM which come in 30 pin varieties, but
are rarer than SIMMs. SIPPs can be
converted to SIMMs with the appropriate adapters.
- The conventional post office, as opposed to the speed
of electronic transmissions.
- Posting an advertisement or advertisements to a large number
of inappropriate newsgroups, often including groups which
don't allow ads. Contrary to popular belief, the name
did not descend from the canned product nor from a Monty
- Sysadmin System
- The person on the other end of your modem who makes sure that
your Internet connection goes down when you need it most
- A protocol for conducting a person-to-person textual conversation
over the Internet.
- A protocol for remotely logging in to a computer which allows the
user to execute programs and see textual results.
- The collection of official newsgroups in the "Big 7"
hierarchies: misc, news, soc, rec, comp, sci, talk. These groups
are propagated primarily, but not exclusively, over the Internet.
- A form of encryption that converts a binary file into standard
text characters. Many e-mail and news systems still do not
support transmission of binary files, thus the need for this
binary-to-text conversion utility. UUEncoding is currently
the unofficial standard on the newsgroups.
- Posting several times to one newsgroup, particularly if it
would have been reasonable to combine all of the content
in fewer posts. Also, articles which are reposted too
- WAIS Wide Area Information Server
- A method of putting a searchable user interface on a tremendous
amount of information. This was developed back in the days
of a textual internet, and has since been replaced by the
World-Wide-Web and a standard database interface called SQL.
- WOA Working On Arrival
- The item works when it is tried for the first time after
delivery. A guarantee that an item will be WOA is typical
in the Usenet Marketplace. If the item breaks later, the
seller is not responsible.
- WORM Write Once Read Many
- This method of hard storage can only be written to once, but
can be accessed often. The hardware to write to a WORM
disk is much less expensive than hardware for CD-ROM.
- WTB Wanted To Buy
- This abbreviation is used when the poster is looking for
a particular item.
- WWW World Wide Web
- Also know as W3, or just the "Web", the World Wide
Web is a computer communications medium that allows
transmission and easy-to-read formatting of text, graphics,
sound, and video.
- ;-) The Universal Internet Smiley
- To appreciate it, look at this symbol with your head turned
sideways. It is used to indicate a joke, sarcasm, or any
instance where the writer doesn't mean what he is saying.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you find these suggestions
are useful. We encourage your comments, good and bad, to help
us improve the effectiveness of this article. Please send
comments to the FAQ team,
: professional photography for weddings and family.
hits since 8/06/96.
©1994-95, Dan King
©1996, FMNet, LLC
Primary maintenance by
Please send comments and bug reports, but no ads, to