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"@" means "at," and while it might not be the most important part of an e-mail address, it's definitely the best looking part (certain fonts make it look even better...try typing it in one of the Garamonds, for instance). It separates the user I.D. (the who) from the domain name (the where) sections of an address, giving mail routers the sort of punctuation they need to make sure you receive all those delicious electronic love letters.


Although not an official part of the Usenet hierarchy, "alt." (pronounced alt-dot) prefixes signify newsgroups that are alternative in nature. Got a craving for stretchy fabrics? You'll find others who share your passion on alt.lycra (say it like this: alt-dot-lycra.) Feeling shy? Alt.support.shyness might help you discover the up-side of being shy. There are hundreds of these groups! You'll be amazed and/or comforted (or disturbed?) to discover how many people share certain peculiarities and interests.


In terms sending and receiving information over phone lines, you should know that most phone lines can only carry information in an analog or "wave" format. So it's your modem's job to translate digital data (the language your computer uses) into analog format so that it can pass through phone lines to reach its destination.


This is the capacity of a network, the "room" it has to carry data signals. Think in terms of male anatomy: it's the size of the pipe (and, as we know, size really does matter). The bigger the pipe, the faster the data moves. Bandwidth becomes a crucial issue when one tries to send and receive high-intensity graphics, video, and sound files over the Net.

Baud rate:

This is the number of bits that can be transferred per second. For example, a 28.8 speed modem can transfer 28,800 bits per second (bps).


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