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BACKBONE A backbone is a larger transmission line that carries data, which is gathered from smaller lines that interconnect with it.

BANDWIDTH This refers to the amount of data that can be sent through a given communications circuit in a given amount of time. In general, greater bandwidth means a faster transfer of data from one point to another on the Internet.

BBS This stands for Bulletin Board System, which is a computerised meeting and announcement system. It allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time.

BINARY FILE If a file contains characters other than pure text (ASCII) it is called a binary file. These include pictures, software and other media. BIT The smallest unit of computer data, a bit is either a 0 or a 1.

BOOKMARKS The name given to Web sites which are 'marked' for future reference in Netscape Navigator. Also known as 'favourites' in Internet Explorer.

BOOLEAN The term 'Boolean' often encountered when doing searches on the web, refers to a system of logical thought developed by the English mathematician and computer pioneer, George Boole (1815-64). In boolean searching, an 'and' operator between two words or other values (for example, 'pear AND apple') means one is searching for documents containing both of the words or values, not just one of them. An 'or' operator between two words or other values (for example, 'pear OR apple') means one is searching for documents containing either of the words.

BPS Bps, or Bits per second, is the speed by which modems are rated, and indicate the amount of data a modem can send and receive each second.

BROWSE To browse is to view a series of webpages over the World Wide Web. Practically everyone who uses the Internet browses on a regular basis, using Hypertext Links in order to find their way around. Back to top

BROWSER A browser is a program allowing you to see and interact with webpages on the World Wide Web. There are many different types of browsers available, offering a wide variety of different accessories and functions, including Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. BTW Shorthand for "By The Way", often used when chatting with people on IRC or via a chat room. Such abbreviations are a common form of netiquette.

BUG A bug is a mistake in a piece of software causing it to act in an undesirable manner. Debugging software is an important part of software development, but the general consensus is that no piece of software is ever bug-free.

BYTE A byte is (usually) made up of 8 bits, and is the unit for measuring computer data.

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