Digital Kaos FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Glossary Of Terms

Glossary of terms

This primer is by no means complete, but you might want to refer to it if words get bandied about within the posts. Of course, you should never be shy about just asking within a topic what something means.

Admin or Administrator - someone who works on the website.

AFAIK - short for As Far As I Know sometimes AFAICR - As Far As I Can Recall

AOL Speak - a form of abbreviated communication where letters are substituted for words such as U for you and R for are. This developed as a shorthand for communicating quickly in chat programs (IM or Instant Message) or using text messaging on phones. Sometimes it creeps into forum postings and can make it difficult to understand (alphabet soup). Sometimes sounding it out or reading it aloud can help, kind of like deciphering vanity license plates.

Avatar - In online chat, your handle used to be the thing that distinguished you from everyone else. But as 3D chat worlds proliferate, the avatars are taking over. An avatar is a graphical representation that you select to stand in for you; it can look like a person, an object, or an animal. Since an avatar may look nothing like you (unless you happen to resemble a blue fish), you should choose one that fairly represents the way you'd like to be seen by the people you're chatting with.

AVI - Audio/Video Interleave - Next time you see a video clip on your PC, there's a good chance that it's an AVI file. AVI is the file format used by Video for Windows, one of three video technologies used on personal computers. (The others are MPEG and QuickTime.) In AVI, picture and sound elements are stored in alternate interleaved chunks in the file.

Bandwidth - The amount of data passing through a connection over a given time. It is usually measured in bps (bits-per-second) or Mbps.

BIOS - Basic Input Output System. In computing, the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), also known as the System BIOS, is a de facto standard defining a firmware interface for IBM PC Compatible computers. The BIOS is boot firmware, designed to be the first code run by a PC when powered on. The initial function of the BIOS is to identify, test, and initialize system devices such as the video display card, hard disk, and floppy disk and other hardware. This is to prepare the machine into a known state, so that software stored on compatible media can be loaded, executed, and given control of the PC. This process is known as booting, or booting up, which is short for bootstrapping. BIOS programs are stored on a chip and are built to work with various devices that make up the complementary chipset of the system. They provide a small library of basic input/output functions that can be called to operate and control the peripherals such as the keyboard, text display functions and so forth. In the IBM PC and AT, certain peripheral cards such as hard-drive controllers and video display adapters carried their own BIOS extension ROM, which provided additional functionality. Operating systems and executive software, designed to supersede this basic firmware functionality, will provide replacement software interfaces to applications.

B0rk or B0rked - broken or not working properly.

Bump - when a person adds a reply merely to get it to go back to the top of the forum listing.

Chatbox - The use of the Chatbox is for real-time exchange of text conversations. There are quite a few chats that go on at one time but the main thing to know is that it is for ‘chat’ and ‘not’ for asking technical questions.

Emoticon - a smilie icon, or any icon that conveys emotion. These are generally used to help people understand the tone of a post. You may notice that they show up as little graphics sometimes and other times people will use the type character versions, such as or . There are dozens of versions. Here's a good place to find out what they all mean.

Firewall - A combination of software and hardware which, for security purposes, separates a LAN into two or more parts, or partially isolates a network from the Internet.

Flame - when a poster takes another to task on a subject, chews them out, generally abuses them. A flame can be a personal attack, but often is a well-reasoned analysis but employs heightened rhetoric. Flamers often take great joy in getting responses from people with their posts, so responding to a flame is not usually advisable. If you believe that someone is posting abusively, please report their post(s) to the moderator.

Flamebait - a post that is designed to generate a flame. This is a special kind of trolling (for more on trolls, see below) where a user is not only trying to get a rise out of people, but is also trying to enlist others in their battles. Emotions run high, rhetoric and hyperbole abound. Posting in such a topic is not something to be taken lightly. Tread carefully.

Flamewar - when there is equal give and take on both sides or multiple people join in.

Forum - a forum is an area on the site where the topics are divided into areas of interest. In general the site is divided into different forums to help you find the conversations you're looking for.

Freeware - Freeware refers to software that the software copyright owner gives away for free.

FTP - Abbreviation for "File Transfer Protocol". FTP is an Internet standard for transferring files over the Internet. FTP programs and utilities are used to upload and download web pages, graphics, and other files from your hard drive to a remote server which allows FTP access. Two commonly used free FTP programs are WS_FTP and CuteFTP.

Godwin's Law - "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1" - this has grown to include that when a discussion grows more contentious, the invocation of Nazis comes that much faster. Some declare that any given topic is over when Hitler is invoked, however the awareness of the law itself can often muddy this.

IIRC - short for ‘If I Recall Correctly’.

IM Lingo - similar to AOL/MSN or mobile phone SMS Speak, IM lingo is a shorthand that developed to save keystrokes while chatting in any Instant Message program or phone text message program. Words are shortened and acronyms are used for common phrases.

IMHO - short for In My Humble Opinion, also IMO - In My Opinion.

IP Address - Short for Internet Protocol Address. This is a unique address consisting of 4 numbers, each between 0 and 255, separated by periods (e.g. Every computer that is connected to the Internet has a unique IP address to identify it.

Kbps - Abbreviation for "Kilobits per second", which is 1000 bits per second. It is a measure of bandwidth.

Leetspeak (also 1337) - short for Elite Speak - an odd way of expressing in English using alternate characters or character strings as a substitution for the accepted ones. In some senses it's a cipher, sometimes used to hide keywords from filters. See: Wikipedia - Leetspeak

LOL - short for Laugh Out Loud, see also the more hilarious ROFL or ROFLMAO

Lurker - someone who reads but doesn't post.

MAC Address - The unique serial number burned into Ethernet network cards that identifies that network card from all others.

Moderator or Mod - a host for a forum, they are there to help as well as broker any disputes. On the NaNoWriMo forums you'll see their name in red at the top of the forum and on the forum list next to the title of the forum lounge.

NaNovel - a novel created during National Novel Writing Month.

Newbie - someone new, also called a n00b.

NSFW - Not Safe For Work - a caution many people will put on links to text or images if they are something you might not want to be caught viewing or might prefer not to view if you're sensitive to such content.

Null-Modem Cable - A special type of computer cable that lets you hook up two computers to communicate via their serial ports. It's called a "null-modem" cable because it eliminates using modems and phone lines for hooking together nearby computers. Null-modem connections are useful for file transfers and remote control.

OMG - short for Oh My God, sometimes expressed as OMIGOD.

PMSL – Sort for Pi**ing myself laughing, also FPMSL.
Post - a post is any single item placed in the forums by a person. A post can be one that initiates a topic or in response to someone else's post (a reply). Posts are initiated by going to the forum where the topic belongs and clicking on "New Topic" or responding to someone else's by hitting "Reply."

Pr0n - an alternate spelling of the word Porn. Used most often ironically, though it started as a way for legitimate conversations about the topic to take place on forums without worrying about search engines or content filters mistaking their conversations for something else.

ROFL - abbreviation for ‘Rolling on the Floor Laughing’.

ROFLMAO – Abbreviation for ‘Rolling on the Floor Laughing my arse off’.

RS-232 - RS-232 is a standard electrical interface for serial data communications defined by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA).

Shoutbox – See Chatbox

Sig or Sig Line - short for Signature Line. The site allows all posters to have a signature automatically added to all their posts. Many users choose to show information about their novel, links to their personal websites and sometimes a little graphic of the novel project. You can add your sig in your profile page. You can change your sig at any time and it will automatically update all of your posts on the site.

Smilie - see emoticon above.

Spider Robot - Computer robot programs, referred to sometimes as crawlers or knowledge-bots or knowbots, that are used by search engines to roam the World Wide Web.

Streaming - Data is streaming when it's moving quickly from one chunk of hardware to another and doesn't have to be all in one place for the destination device to do something with it. When your hard disk's data is being written to a tape backup device, it's streaming. When you're watching a QuickTime movie on the Internet, it's not streaming, because the movie must be fully downloaded before you can play it.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control protocols / Internet protocols - This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP Software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP Software.

Telnet - An Internet protocol for accessing a remote server on the Internet. When you log into the remote server using a Telnet program, you receive a command line prompt for the server that you can give commands to. Telnet is also known as "remote login".

TGIO - Thank God It's Over or Thank Goodness It's Over, the title of the official parties that break out all over the planet in early December to celebrate the end of National Novel Writing Month. All participants whether they reach 50,000 words or not are invited to get together and raise a toast to the Muse.

Thread - a conversation on the forums is called a thread or topic. It's started by one person's post and others respond to either the first person's post or to subsequent posts. A thread should stay on the original poster's topic, though they don't always. If there's an interesting conversation within a thread that develops, often someone will break out that topic to its own post and thread so as not to distract from the original poster's thoughts. The abbreviation OP is used to refer to the "original poster" or the person who started the topic.

Topic - any threaded conversation on the forums started by a post - see above.

Troll - a troll is a person whose sole goal on a forum is to get a rise out of others. Most of the time it's harmless fun and obvious when someone posts that kittens are evil or coffee isn't the perfect beverage. If a post annoys you immediately and you feel the need to post right that moment, walk away. If it's important enough to demand a reply, it'll be there tomorrow and cooler heads will prevail. Some people enjoy engaging trolls, but the general consensus is that it's a bad idea to feed them.

URL - Abbreviation for "Uniform Resource Locator" - The web address (location) of a web site, file, or resource on the Internet. For example, [url=[/url] is a URL.

USENET - A worldwide system of discussion groups, only part of which can be accessed through the Internet. USENET contains well over 10,000 discussion areas, or forums, called "newsgroups".

Web Browser - Software that gives a user access to the World Wide Web. Web browsers provide a graphical interface that lets users click buttons, icons, and menu options to view and navigate Web pages. Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer are popular Web browsers.

Whois - An Internet utility program that obtains information (such as owner and contact info) about a Domain name or IP number from the database of a domain name registry. If the search result returns "No match", the domain name is probably available, and you can apply to register it. To search for a domain name across all registrars at once, you can use BetterWhois.

W00T - sometimes written as WooT!, it's just an expression of exuberance. Seen often in the forums when wordcounts are high and goals are reached.

WiFi - wireless internet access, found at many coffee houses, libraries, bookstores and other public places.

WYSIWYG - short for What You See Is What You Get.

XD - another emoticon though it's not always obvious at first glance. It represents an open mouth, squinted-eye laugh. Equated with LOL (laugh out loud).

XML (Extensible Markup Language) - a specification, similar to HTML, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for Web documents. XML contains markup symbols (tags) to describe the contents of a page or file, but unlike HTML, the markup symbols are unlimited and self-defining (i.e. designers can create their own customized tags and tag definitions). XML is a subset of SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).

Zone file - A file on a nameserver that designates a domain name with all of its associated subdomains, IP addresses, and mail server. Parts of the zone file include the A record, CNAME, and MX records. A zone file is also called a "DNS table".

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