Glossary

Service Notices

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Service Notices

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Name Server

A name server translates domain names into IP addresses. This makes it possible for a user to access a website by typing in the domain name instead of the website's actual IP address. For example, when you type in "www.microsoft.com," the request gets sent to Microsoft's name server which returns the IP address of the Microsoft website.

Each domain name must have at least two name servers listed when the domain is registered. These name servers are commonly named ns1.servername.com and ns2.servername.com, where "servername" is the name of the server. The first server listed is the primary server, while the second is used as a backup server if the first server is not responding.

Name servers are a fundamental part of the Domain Name System (DNS). They allow websites to use domain names instead of IP addresses, which would be much harder to remember. In order to find out what a certain domain name's name servers are, you can use a WHOIS lookup tool.

NAS

NAS is short for "Network Attached Storage." It refers to a network storage system in which shared data is stored in a central location, using an NAS server. The NAS server contains one or more hard drives that can be accessed by multiple computers on the network. Most NAS systems allow the network administrator to configure the file sharing settings, including which computers can access the data. NAS systems are used in both business and home networks.

NAT

Stands for "Network Address Translation." NAT translates the IP addresses of computers in a local network to a single IP address. This address is often used by the router that connects the computers to the Internet. The router can be connected to a DSL modem, cable modem, T1 line, or even a dial-up modem. When other computers on the Internet attempt to access computers within the local network, they only see the IP address of the router. This adds an extra level of security, since the router can be configured as a firewall, only allowing authorized systems to access the computers within the network.

Once a system from outside the network has been allowed to access a computer within the network, the IP address is then translated from the router's address to the computer's unique address. The address is found in a "NAT table" that defines the internal IP addresses of computers on the network. The NAT table also defines the global address seen by computers outside the network. Even though each computer within the local network has a specific IP address, external systems can only see one IP address when connecting to any of the computers within the network.

To simplify, network address translation makes computers outside the local area network (LAN) see only one IP address, while computers within the network can see each system's unique address. While this aids in network security, it also limits the number of IP addresses needed by companies and organizations. Using NAT, even large companies with thousands of computers can use a single IP address for connecting to the Internet

NetBIOS

Stands for "Network Basic Input/Output System." NetBIOS was introduced in 1983 by IBM as an improvement to the standard BIOS used by Windows-based computers. The BIOS provides an interface between the computer's operating system and the hardware. As the name implies, NetBIOS adds support for networking, including the ability to recognize other devices connected to the network.

NetBIOS provides an API (Application Program Interface) for software developers to use. The NetBIOS API includes network-related functions and commands, which can be incorporated into software programs. For example, a programmer can use a prewritten NetBIOS function to enable a software program to access other devices on a network. This is much easier than writing the networking code from scratch. In other words, NetBIOS prevents programmers from having to "reinvent the wheel" just to get their program to connect to a network.

Netiquette

Netiquette, or net etiquette, refers to etiquette on the Internet. Good netiquette involves respecting others' privacy and not doing anything online that will annoy or frustrate other people. Three areas where good netiquette is highly stressed are e-mail, online chat, and newsgroups. For example, people that spam other users with unwanted e-mails or flood them with messages have very bad netiquette. You don't want to be one of those people. If you're new to a newsgroup or online chat room, it may help to observe how people communicate with each other before jumping in.

Netmask

A netmask is used to define a range of IP addresses. It is similar to a subnet mask, but is used to define classes of IPs rather than a range of IPs that may be used within a network. For example, IP addresses of class B have a subnet mask of 255.255.0.0. This means the IPs must all have the same first two sections, but may have different numbers for the second two sections.

Because a limited number of IP addresses are available, most IP ranges are assigned as Class C, which has a netmask 255.255.255.0. This defines a range of IPs that have identical numbers in the first three sections, but may contain any number between 0 and 255 in the final section. Therefore, a Class C netmask defines a range of 256 different addresses.

Network

When you have two or more computers connected to each other, you have a network. The purpose of a network is to enable the sharing of files and information between multiple systems. The Internet could be described as a global network of networks. Computer networks can be connected through cables, such as Ethernet cables or phone lines, or wirelessly, using wireless networking cards that send and receive data through the air.

Network Topology

A network topology describes the arrangement of systems on a computer network. It defines how the computers, or nodes, within the network are arranged and connected to each other. Some common network topologies include star, ring, line, bus, and tree configurations. These topologies are defined below:

  1. Star - One central note is connected to each of the other nodes on a network. Similar to a hub connected to the spokes in a wheel.
  2. Ring - Each node is connected to exactly two other nodes, forming a ring. Can be visualized as a circular configuration. Requires at least three nodes.
  3. Line - Nodes are arranged in a line, where most nodes are connected to two other nodes. However, the first and last node are not connected like they are in a ring.
  4. Bus - Each node is connected to a central bus that runs along the entire network. All information transmitted across the bus can be received by any system in the network.
  5. Tree - One "root" node connects to other nodes, which in turn connect to other nodes, forming a tree structure. Information from the root node may have to pass through other nodes to reach the end nodes.

It is helpful for a network administrator to know the pros and cons of different network topologies when putting together a network. By weighing the benefits of each type, the administrator can choose the configuration that is most efficient for the network's intended purpose.

Newbie

A new user of a technology, such as a computer, a certain computer program, or the Internet, is often referred to as a "newbie." The term originated sometime around 1990 and supposedly comes from the English phrase, "new boy," which refers to someone in their first year of public schooling. In online chat rooms, veteran net users like to call anybody who asks an easy question a newbie. If you ever get called a newbie, just shake it off -- everybody has to learn sometime.

Newsgroup

A newsgroup is an Internet-based discussion about a particular topic. These topics range from sports, cars, investing, teen problems, and some stuff you probably don't want to know about. Users post messages to a news server which then sends them to a bunch of other participating servers. Then other users can access the newsgroup and read the postings. The groups can be either "moderated," where a person or group decides which postings will become part of the discussion, or "unmoderated," where everything posted is included in the discussion.

To participate in a newsgroup, you must subscribe to it. It typically doesn't cost anything, but some groups can be hard to get into unless you know people in the group. Nearly all newsgroups are found on Usenet, which is a collection of servers around the world. Because of the global spectrum of newsgroups, they make up largest bulletin board system (BBS) in the world. Last time I checked, there were more than 13,000 newsgroups in existence, with new ones being added all the time. You can choose from a number of different "Newsreader" programs that allow you to access and participate in newsgroups. Newsgroup access has also been integrated into Netscape and Internet Explorer, so you can just use your Web browser if you want.

NIC

Stands for "Network Interface Card." Pronounced "nick," this is the card that physically makes the connection between the computer and the network cable. These cards typically use an Ethernet connection and are available in 10, 100, and 1000 Base-T configurations. A 100 Base-T card can transfer data at 100 Mbps. The cards come in ISA and PCI versions and are made by companies like 3Com and LinkSys. So if you want to connect your computer to a network, you better get yourself a NIC.

NNTP

Stands for "Network News Transfer Protocol." For a message to be posted to a newsgroup, it must be sent through this protocol that interacts between news servers and newsreader programs. NNTP is basically the software foundation of a newsgroup server. It is what queries, distributes, posts, and retrieves news articles. Not too exciting, I know. But what do you expect -- this is computer terminology.

NOC

Stands for "Network Operations Center." It is the central location where a company's servers and networking equipment are located. The NOC may reside either within a company's campus or at an external location. Smaller businesses and organizations often have an internal NOC, in which local technicians administer and monitor the servers. Larger companies may have a NOC setup at a location developed specifically to house server equipment.

Network operations centers, often called datacenters, are almost always connected to a high-speed Internet connection. Large NOCs, such as those used by Web hosting companies, are often connected directly to the Internet backbone. This gives the servers the most bandwidth possible.

While NOCs are used by all Web hosting companies and ISPs, they are also useful to companies whose services are not related to the Internet. Many companies use a NOC to manage internal communications, administer employee e-mail accounts, and backup data. Because maintaining an Internet connection is vital to most businesses today, most NOCs are monitored 24/7, with automatic alerts that notify technicians when servers or network connections are down.

Node

Any system or device connected to a network is also called a node. For example, if a network connects a file server, five computers, and two printers, there are eight nodes on the network. Each device on the network has a network address, such as a MAC address, which uniquely identifies each device. This helps keep track of where data is being transferred to and from on the network.

A node can also refer to a leaf, which is a folder or file on your hard disk. In physics, a node, or nodal point, is a point of minimum displacement or where multiple waves converge, creating a net amplitude of zero.

Northbridge

The northbridge is a chip inside a computer that connects the central processing unit (CPU) to other primary components in the system. These components include RAM (a.k.a. system memory), the frontside bus (FSB), PCI Express cards, and the AGP card. The northbridge also connects to the southbridge, which controls the remaining components of the computer.

While the CPU is the main processor inside the computer, the northbridge is the primary controller. It acts like a traffic cop directing data to and from the CPU. Therefore, the performance of the northbridge chip affects the overall performance of the computer. On Intel systems, the northbridge is also called the Memory Controller Hub (MCH), since it controls the data flow to and from the system memory.

NTFS

Stands for "New Technology File System." NTFS is a file system introduced by Microsoft with Windows NT and is supported by subsequent versions of Windows, such as Windows 2000 and Windows XP. NTFS has a number of advantages over the previous file system, named FAT32 (File Allocation Table). One major advantage of NTFS is that it includes features to improve reliablity. For exmaple, the new technology file system includes fault tolerance, which automatically repairs hard drive errors without displaying error messages. It also keeps detailed transaction logs, which tracks hard drive errors. This can help prevent hard disk failures and makes it possible to recover files if the hard drive does fail.

NTFS also allows permissions (such as read, write, and execute) to be set for individual directories and files. It even supports spanning volumes, which allows directories of files to be spread across multiple hard drives. The only reason why you would not want to select NTFS when formatting your hard drive is if you like slow, outdated technology or you need to run an older operating system such as Windows 95 or MS-DOS. Of course, if you are running DOS, there is a good chance you really do like outdated technology.

Null

When a variable has no value, it considered to be null. Having a null value is different than having a value of 0, since 0 is an actual value. However, when used in a boolean test, both null and zero result in a FALSE value. Programmers often use boolean tests to determine whether a variable has been given a value or not.

Null Character

A null character is a character with all its bits set to zero. Therefore, it has a numeric value of zero and can be used to represent the end of a string of characters, such as a word or phrase. This helps programmers determine the length of strings. In practical applications, such as database and spreadsheet programs, null characters are used as fillers for spaces.

Num Lock

Num Lock is a toggle key that toggles the input of the numeric keypad. When Num Lock is on, the keypad can be used to enter numeric values. When Num Lock is off, they keys provide different input. For example, 4 is left arrow, 6 is right arrow, 8 is up arrow, and 2 is down arrow.

Since most keyboards now include arrow keys, the Num Lock is rarely used. However, some keyboards still support the Num Lock feature. Therefore, if you cannot enter numbers with the numeric keypad, you may be able to fix the problem by simply pressing the Num Lock key.

Nybble

A nybble, sometimes spelled "nibble," is a set of four bits. Since there are eight bits in a byte, a nybble is half of one byte. While it may take the average person several nibbles to equal one bite of a cookie, in the computer world, two nybbles always equal one byte.

The four bits in a nibble allow it to have 16 possible values, which is the same as one hexadecimal digit. Therefore, a nybble is sometimes referred to as a "hex digit." In data communications, nybbles are sometimes called "quadbits," because of the four bits that make up each nybble.

SNC Location Map
Our Address:
16913 Amy Drive
Sonora, CA 95370
Mailing Address:
PO Box 281
Standard, CA 95373
Hours of Operation:
Mon. to Fri. 8am to 5:00pm

Tuolumne County Service Area: Cable TV, high speed internet, and VoIP telephone service areas include the Hwy 108 communities of Sonora, Columbia, Jamestown, Soulsbyville, Twain Harte, Strawberry, Longbarn, Cold Springs and Pinecrest, and the Hwy 120 communities of Big Oak Flat, Groveland, and Pine Mountain Lake. Not all services available everywhere

Customer Service

Sonora:
209-588-9601

Groveland:
209-962-6373

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