Friday, June 4, 2010, AM | 11 Comments
There are many websites that cater to the online world for the definition and explanation of the ordinary and not so ordinary terms. You probably have come across some as well and have tried to use Wikipedia and other sites to find an answer. However, most of these websites are quite hard to navigate, let alone search and find a particular word or phrase or an error.
You must be frustrated as I am finding a web error you don’t know whether it’s coming from the host server or the browser or from your ISP (Internet Service Provider.)
Well, I have tried to gather Web terms, Web Server errors, and other hardware and software words and phrases that may have looked and sounded strange to you. Here they are:
- Web server error codes
- Web terms (bandwidth, network connection, traffic) revisited
- Bits and Bytes
- Blog Glossary
- Tutorials on the Internet
- Newbie Introduction to the World Wide Web
Web server error codes
List of Web server errors – sometimes called browser error messages – that every webmaster should be aware of.
Following is a list of web server errors that one would normally see in the browser. These are error codes returned by the server to your browser. A short explanation is given for each code.
Host not responding for any reason whatsoever
- Try http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ to find out if the website you are trying to access is down for everyone.
400 Bad Request/Bad File Request
- The remote Web server is having trouble with the Web address (URL) you typed.
- Maybe the Web server being contacted doesn’t recognize the document you are asking for, or it may no longer exist. It’s also possible that the URL you typed is correct but that you are not authorized to access it.
- Web addresses are case sensitive, so check that the names are capitalized in your entry as they are in the original reference to the website.
401 Unauthorized/Authorization Required
- You are probably accessing a site that’s protected and you’re not on the host’s preferred guest list or you typed the password incorrectly.
- A Web site may have a customized version of this error message, such as a screen saying “Access Denied” or “Unavailable.”
- Server is looking for some encryption key from the client and is not able to get it. Moreover wrong password might have been used. You can try it again, keeping case sensitivity in mind.
- If you have been given a password, try typing your password again, and this time look at the keyboard when you type. Passwords are often case-sensitive, so if you’ve got your Caps Lock on, turn it off.
403 Forbidden/Access Denied
- Same like 401 error code.
- Need permission to access the site. A username/password if it is a registration issue.
- The server may be down for maintenance or too many people may be trying to access the server at once.
404 File Not Found/Page Not Found
- File has been moved or removed. It might also be a case that you entered the wrong URL or a wrong file name.
- You might also see if the Web site hosting the page has a search engine. If so, you can use it to hunt for the document — It’s not uncommon for pages to change their addresses when a website is redesigned.
408 Request Timeout
- Client stopped the request before server finishes retrieving it. Occurs when server is slow or file is too large.
500 Internal Error
- Web pages are stored on servers, machines that contain files and allow other servers (computers) to download files from them. If the server has been incorrectly set up or is experiencing technical problems, it will return this error.
- Cannot get the file because of problems in the server-configuration. You can contact the site admin.
501 Not Implemented
- Server does not have the requested feature implemented.
- This error is a direct result of problems in a Web page’s HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). It usually occurs with Web pages that contain forms in which you type and submit information.
502 Service Temporarily Overloaded
- Server overloaded/congested. Could be due to too many connections at the same time or high traffic.
503 Service Unavailable
- Server is busy right now, or the site has been moved. In other cases you might have lost your internet connection.
- This is usually an easy one to resolve: wait a minute and try again.
Connection Refused by Host/Network Connection Refused by the Server
- This is usually a temporary situation. The Internet address is correct and the site does exist, but it may be unavailable due to maintenance or because it’s too busy.
- This error may also occur if you don’t have permission to access a page or your password is incorrect.
- Use the Refresh button to try to connect to the site again. If you entered a password to view this site, try entering it again making sure that you type it correctly with the proper capitalization.
File Contains No Data
- Page shows nothing. There might be errors in the file.
Bad File Request
- Browser does not supports the form or coding in the requested file.
Failed DNS Look-up
- DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is the system on the Internet that looks up the name of a website, finds a corresponding number (similar to a phone number), and then directs your request to the appropriate Web server on the Internet. When the look-up fails, the host server can’t be located.
- DNS could not be translated into a valid internet address.
- This error message can occur for two possible reasons:
- the Web address (URL) is incorrect or mistyped – specifically the host name, which is the part of the URL just after http://
- the server you are trying to contact can’t be located, may be experiencing overload, or is temporarily down.
- Glitches in DNS lookup are common, and often you can resolve this by clicking the Refresh button on your browser toolbar. If that doesn’t work, check that you have typed the URL correctly, especially the host name.
- If you get a DNS error for every Web site you try to access, there may be something wrong with your connection. In this case, try restarting your browser, and reconnect to the Internet.
- You can also try http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ to find out if the website is down for everyone.
- Server down. Hit refresh or try later.
Host Unknown/Unable to Locate Server
- Server down, You lost your internet connection or typed in a wrong URL.
Network Connection Refused by the Server
- Server busy.
Too Much Network Traffic
- This error message means that the Web page you are trying to access has too many other people already connected to it. Occasionally, you’ll get this message when there’s a problem with your cache (temporary files your Web browser keeps to speed things up).
- Use the Refresh button on your browser toolbar to try to connect to the site again, or wait and try again later.
- Clear your Web browser’s disk cache. Depending on the browser, you will choose a menu item called Preferences or Options. Look for an option for Advanced or Browser features, and then click the button that says Purge Cache, Clear Cache, or Empty Cache.
Cannot Open < Web Address >/The Requested URL Was Not Found
- This is a message that your Web browser will give you if it can’t find a Web site to connect to at the address you specified. Depending on your Web browser, the message might read “Cannot open” or “Cannot retrieve” followed by the Web address.
Let me explain bandwidth with an analogous example. There is a huge water reservoir where water is going in at one end and at the same time water is coming out at another end. The administrator has a variety of plans to distribute water. A web of water pipes, big and small, has been installed. They offer to distribute water in those pipes under a variety of plans. You look at the plans, select one and agree that you would get X number of cubic feet of water per second 24×7 for the whole month for a fixed price.
When you spend all your allocated water before the month expires, either you pay extra for the rest of the month or your water distribution will be temporarily suspended until the beginning of the following month when you make your payment.
Now imagine, instead of water or more precisely water drops, the pipes have information or data going back and forth, especially coming to you. The information is measured in terms of bits per second, usually Mega (or million) bits per second. The quota analogy still applies.
So put simply, bandwidth is the amount of traffic that is allowed to occur between your website and the rest of the Internet, your web host being the source of it. Actually, the request first goes to your ISP (Internet Service Provider). The amount of bandwidth a hosting company can provide is determined by their network connections, both internal to their data center and external to the public Internet. Your hosting company is where your website or blog resides. Imagine the ISP being a conduit.
Bandwidth is measured in bits (a single 0 or 1). Bits are grouped in bytes which form words, text, and other information that is transferred between your computer and the internet.
How much bandwidth is enough?
While offering simple web pages doesn’t use up much bandwidth, the same can’t be said about downloading files. If you plan on allowing people to download music files, PDF files, flash files, or video files, you can eat up bandwidth in a hurry even with a relatively small number of people visiting your website. If your website offers an adobe .PDF file that is 1 megabyte in size, with one gigabyte of bandwidth, you will only be able to serve up one thousand downloads. This does not include the HTML needed to get people to download the PDF in the first place.
Video files eat up even more space. A one megabyte video file represents only seconds of video. For a half hour presentation, your video file could easily be over two hundred megabytes in size! At that size, one gigabyte would only allow you to offer five downloads to your visitors. What you plan to do with your website most definitely will affect how much monthly bandwidth you anticipate needing.
Bandwidth requirements for broadband services
Service Bandwidth (downstream)
Broadcast TV (MPEG-2) 2 to 6 Mb/s
HDTV (MPEG-4) 6 to 12 Mb/s
PPV or NVOD 2 to 6 Mb/s
VOD 2 to 6 Mb/s
Picture in Picture (MPEG-2) Up to 12 Mb/s
PVR 2 to 6 Mb/s
Interactive TV Up to 3 Mb/s
High-speed Internet 3 Mb/s to 10Mb/s
Video conferencing 300 to 750 Kb/s
Voice/video telephony 64 to 750 Kb/s
The Internet is a group of millions of computers connected by networks. These connections within the Internet can be large or small depending upon the cabling and equipment that is used at a particular Internet location. It is the size of each network connection that determines how much bandwidth is available.
For example, if you use a DSL connection to connect to the Internet, you have 1.54 Mega bits (Mb) of bandwidth where you have dedicated bandwidth between your computer and your ISP. But your internet provider may have thousands of DSL connections to their location. All of these connections aggregate at your ISP who then has their own dedicated connection to the Internet (or multiple connections) which is much larger than your single connection.
They must have enough bandwidth to serve your computing needs as well as all of their other customers. So while you have a 1.54Mb connection to your USP which, in turn, may have a 255Mb connection to the internet so that it can accommodate your needs and up to 166 other users (255/1.54).
An example of traffic might be that bandwidth is the number of lanes on the highway and traffic is the number of cars on the highway. If you are the only car on a highway, you can travel very quickly. If you are stuck in the middle of rush hour, you may travel very slowly since all of the lanes are being used up. Just like highways, there are bottlenecks on the Internet that will slow the traffic down.
Traffic is simply the number of bits that are transferred on network connections. Depending upon the network connection between the website host and your ISP through the Internet, the transfer of an MP3 song may occur very quickly, or it could take time if other people are also downloading files at the same time.
The network equipment at the hosting company will cycle through each person downloading the file and transfer a small portion at a time so each person’s file transfer can take place, but the transfer for everyone downloading the file will be slower.
In a Nutshell
These days, most personal or small business sites will not need more than 1GB of bandwidth per month. If you have a web site that is composed of static web pages and you expect little traffic to your site on a daily basis, go with a low bandwidth plan. If you go over the amount of bandwidth allocated in your plan, your hosting company could charge you over usage fees, so if you think the traffic to your site will be significant, ask your web host to increase your bandwidth.
Bits and Bytes
This is yet another attempt to explain what bits and bytes are, in principle.
Imagine a single wire, for example, a copper wire. Information can propagate through the line in two states. The information, or let us call it data, can have only two states. When high voltage (most probably 2.6 volts – if you touch the wire, you will not feel a thing) is put on the line, in almost 99% of the systems in the world, that is denoted by a 1 – one. When low voltage (most probably no more than 0.5 volt) is put on the line, that is denoted by a 0 – zero. The maximum count would be 2 – 0 and 1. There are systems out in the industry that run on “negative logic.” In other words, high voltage is denoted by a zero and low by a one.
This is called digital world as against analog. Binary system – notice bi (two) in binary – is a part of the digital system. Normally things work in an analog fashion in the world. Digital is man-made. If the voltage on a line is somewhere between the required values, the result will be unpredictable. In Math, the digital system is called discrete-time system and the analog is called continuous-time system. For example, the sun rays come to us in a continuous-time system. There is no ON and OFF situation. A one and zero sometimes are denoted by YES and NO, ON and OFF respectively.
Imagine you have two wires. The lowest number is 00 and highest is 11. So the count would be 4. Four parallel wires create 0000 as lowest count and 1111 as highest count. So count is from 0 to 15, a total of 16.
So if we write the binary numbers in a 4-bit system, it will be 0000 0001 0010 0011 0100 0101 0110 0111 1000 1001 1010 1011 1100 1101 1110 1111. The last number is 15 but the total count is 16 including the first number 0000. Now it is a matter of putting either high or low voltage on each line to create that particular number. Remember, you always count from right to left.
So adding 1 to 0000 becomes 0001 and 1 to 0111 becomes 1000. In binary system, add 1 to 1 and it becomes 10 because the highest number here is 1. There is no numeral above 1. 1+1=10. The 1 in 10 is carry over from the addition.
In a case of 8 bits, the first number is 00000000 and the last number is 11111111. If you do the count, the last number is 255 for a total of 256.
So, for a one line, the maximum count is 2.
For 2 lines, the max. is 4.
For 4 lines, the max. is 16.
For 8 lines, the max is 256.
For 16 lines, the max is 65536
And so on… See how the numbers multiply when you double the number of lines. So when you know that you double the lines from 4 to 8 and you know that max. for 4 is 16, then multiply 16 with itself (or 16 to the power of 2) to get to the max. for 8 = 256. Double it again to 16 and 256×256 (or 256 to the power of 2) is then 65536.
Now let us say you go from 4 lines to 5 lines. In this case, you double the number. For example, for 4 max. is 16 and so for 5, max. is 16*2 = 32. For six, it is 64 (32*2), for 7 it is 128 (64*2) and for 8 it is again then 256 (128*2). So, when you add one extra line, the new max. doubles the previous number. If you notice in binary system, a 1 shifted to the left gets doubled. For example, in a 4-bit system, 0010 (2) becomes 0100 (4) when the 1 is shifted by one binary place to the left.
Now a line (remember has 2 states) is known as a bit. So a bit can have two states, a 0 and a 1. So when Intel came out with their first microprocessor, called 4004, in 1971, it was a 4-bit engine that could process 4 bits of data. Intel or someone else called the 4 bits as nibble.
Nibble is 4 bits, byte is 8 bits, word is 16 bits.
If you look at the ASCII code table, all alphabets and numerals can be denoted by 7 bits for a total of 128 characters (from 0 to 127). When you scroll down a little on the table page, you will see an extended ASCII table that uses the 8th bit in a byte, that is it starts with 128 and ends at 255.
There are other systems, for example, hexadecimal and octal. Hexadecimal, as I understand it, was originated by IBM and used in their mainframe computers. Octal system was originated by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and used in their mini-computers known as PDP-11.
In binary system, the count is from 0 to 1 for a total of 2.
In decimal, it is 0 to 9 for a total of 10.
In hexadecimal (hex is 6 and decimal is 10 for a total of 16), it is 0 to 15 for a total of 16.
In octal system, the count is from 0 to 7 for a total of 8.
We discussed binary and decimal. Now hexadecimal and octal systems.
The principle in all systems is the same. The denotation is a little different. Hexadecimal is a combination of decimal and six. You start with 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F. Because there is no single decimal digit for 10, it is denoted by A, eleven is B, twelve is C, thirteen is D, fourteen is E and finally 15 is F. Including 0, the total is sixteen.
Similarly, the highest number in octal system is the numeral 7. So when you add 1 to 7, instead of becoming 8, in octal it is 10.
So the decimal number 255 is FF in hexadecimal, 377 in octal and 11111111 in binary.
Magic of Shifting
We are all familiar with decimal count. The reason it is called decimal is that it has a total of 10 numbers from 0 to 9. And then the numbers get repeated forever. So decimal 10 is a repeat of the original 1 and 0 and 25 is actually 2 and 5. The increasing number shifts 10 to the left adding a 0 to the extreme right to make it 10 times the original number. For example, 10. When shifted 1 decimal place to the left, it becomes 100 which one shifted 1 place left becomes 1000 and so on. So in a decimal system, shifting 1 decimal place to the left gets multiplied by 10, just like in a binary system stated above, when the 1 gets shifted to the left gets multiplied by 2.
On the other hand, shifting to the right divides the previous number by 2 in binary and 10 in decimal.
Now approximation in the real world
For 8 bits, the max. count is 256. For 9 bits, it is double = 512 and for 10 bits it is 1024.
As we all know, 1K is a kilo which is 1,000. 1024 is easy to remember but still is 1000 and 24 or 1k and 24. In everyday life, usually people drop the 24 and say just 1K. 2K is actually 2048 and 4196 is 4K. Therefore on the same token, the number 65536 we got above from 16 bits is rounded to 64K and similarly 65536*2=131072 is rounded to 64K*2=128K. Next comes 256K, 512K, 1024K and so on.
Now 1024K is 1K*1K = 1 million = 1MegaByte = 1MB
1000MB = 1 Giga Byte = 1GB
Personal computers come with speed in Giga Hertz and Giga Byte memory.
1000GB = 1 Tera Byte = 1TB
1000TB = 1 Peta Byte = 1PB
Above Peta, search for it.
The names and abbreviations for numbers of bytes are easily confused with the notations for bits. The abbreviations for numbers of bits use a lower-case “b” instead of an upper-case “B”. Since one byte is made up of eight bits, this difference can be significant. For example, if a broadband Internet connection is advertised with a download speed of 3.0Mbps, its speed is 3.0 mega bits per second. Bits and bit rates (bits over time, as in bits per second [bps]) are most commonly used to describe connection speeds, so pay particular attention when comparing Internet connection providers and services.
I have collected a few terms that are used in everyday life for blogs and websites. There are other terms as well, but that is for future, another posting.
Software developed for blogs that collects syndicated web content such as news headlines, in a single location for easy viewing. Also known as a feed aggregator, RSS Aggregator or a feed reader.
Atom Publishing Protocol. This is a simple HTML-based protocol for creating and updating Web resources.
Blog is a shortened term for “Web Log.” Either term refers to a website where entries are made similar to a journal or diary. The entries are presented in reverse chronological order, with the newest entry on top. Although blogs were originally used like a personal journal on everyday events, they have evolved into a multipurpose tool.There are blogs on every topic imaginable, from food to politics to celebrity gossip. Generally, blogs combine the text entries with images, links to other blogs and other related media.
The main headline of the blog post.
The main content of the blog post, which can consist of text and/or photos and video.
This is the URL of the individual post.
The date and time the post was published to the blog website.
Category, Comment, Trackback
A blog entry can also include categories that label the blog entry by subject, comments from readers, and trackback links, which are links to other sites that refer to the blog entry.
Blogger is the blanket term for anyone that uses a blog to post information on topics that are of interest to them. Becoming a blogger is actually simpler than it might seem. As blogging has grown in popularity, many website offer platforms to quickly and easily create a blog.
Some of the most popular blogging software platforms are Blogger, Livejournal, Typepad, WordPress and Xanga. These websites will host your blog, generally for free, and provide you with the tools to create blog posts without having to know a lot about software.
Blogging software which manages posting, editing etc. for blogs.
XML Machine-readable versions of the blog that may be “syndicated” for further distribution on the web. These are generated by the blogging software in formats such as RSS and Atom.
This refers to the blogging software which is used to create the blog. Popular blogging platforms include WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and Movable Type.
A listing of favorite blogs and websites usually in the sidebar of a blog. Also referred to as link lists or bookmarks.
This is the action of storing Web files for later reuse so that they can be easily accessed at a later date. When you are browsing the Internet, your Internet browser will store a HTML page code, graphics and multimedia elements in the cache. This way when you return to that particular Web page, the information doesn’t have to be downloaded all over again.
The cache is actually a form of high-speed memory. Your computer sets it aside to store frequently accessed data. The data can then be accessed directly from the hard drive, instead of the Internet server. Accessing the hard drive is a much faster process than accessing a server, so essentially the cache increases the time it takes to view frequently visited pages.
A method of organizing blog content into logical groupings. Categories represent a summary or list of content that can be found on your entire blog.
Cloud computing is Internet-based (“cloud”) development and use of computer technology (“computing”). The cloud is a metaphor for the Internet (based on how it is depicted in computer network diagrams) and is an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it conceals.
Short for Content management system. Software that allows website or blog users to login and update content online. The content is usually stored in a database and the web page or blog page is created dynamically. In most cases, you would register with the source of it.
Unwanted comments that attempt to drive visitors to another blog site. Usually generated by automatic software or “spambots.” This is a serious problem that requires anti comment spam software on most blogs. Similar to email spam.
Comments are submitted by readers of blogs enabling them to leave remarks and add to the “blog conversation.” These usually appear at the bottom of a blog posting.
The process of writing words to promote a business, person, opinion or idea. Copywriting can include plain text messages and a variety of other online media. The main purpose of copywriting is to persuade the reader to act somehow, whether that is buying a product, signing up for an e-course or clicking on a link.
A crawler (also called a spider) is a program that searches the Internet and locates new public resources. These resources can include web documents and other types of files. Crawlers report their finds to an Internet database (called indexing). Each search engine has its own crawler program that crawls the Internet for new material to list on the search engine. Spider technology is necessary because the amount of information being added to the Internet on a daily basis is more than any human team can index.
The primary screen visible when you login to your blogging account. This summarizes the current status and shows the controls for operating your blog.
delicious.com (http://delicious.com/) is referred to as a social book marking site. It is for storing and sharing web bookmarks with other users. The service is completely free and relatively new. delicious.com first came online in late 2003.
This is the address or URL of a particular website. For example www.Google.com is the domain name for the Google search engine. The domain name is the text name that covers up the numeric IP address of a computer that is hooked up to the Internet.
Domain names make the World Wide Web more user friendly. Instead of having to remember a string of numbers, we can remember the name of the website.
Short for permanent link. For a blog entry, it is a unique URL that remains for the life of a blog.
Short for Packet Internet Groper. A utility that forwards data packets to notify or verify a connection. Helps to notify blog tracking tools for updates, changes and trackbacks.
A computer program that works with a software application to provide a specific function. WordPress Plugins can add specific features to expand a blogs functions.
A single or individual blog article of any length and can be made up of text, graphics or video. A blog normally consists of many posts.
Really Simple Syndication. A family of web feed formats used in web syndication. These are an XML based system for aggregating information from blogs, news and frequently updated websites.
Sometimes called web fee. These allow subscribers to see new content as they are published on blogs and websites.
Columns on one or both sides of the main body area in a blog or website. In blogs a sidebar will frequently contain blogroll links, categories, contact information etc.
Customized or interchangeable graphic templates for blogs or websites. Altering the graphic look is sometimes called skinning the blog.
A graphical view content keywords used on a website or blog. Tags are typically listed alphabetically, and tag frequency is shown with font size or color. The more the frequency usage of the keywords, the bigger the size of the font.
Descriptive keywords and phrases that normal users add to their blog postings. These are used for search engines.
Pre-designed blog or website formats for text and graphics.
Alerts a web or blog author that somebody has linked to one of their documents. This allows writers to keep track of who is linking to their blog postings or web content.
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