Glossary - E


an abbreviation for electronic mail, e-mail is the preferred method for exchanging information between users on the Internet (and other networked systems).

electronic commerce
the exchange of money for goods or services via an electronic medium; many companies expect electronic commerce to do away with mail order and telephone order shopping by the end of the century.

encoded information
a way of wrapping computer data in a special envelope to ship it across a network, encoded information refers to data-manipulation techniques that change data formats and layouts to make them less sensitive to the rigors of electronic transit. Encoded information must usually be decoded by its recipient before it can be used.

error message
information delivered by a program to a user, usually to inform him or her that things haven't worked properly, if at all. Error messages are an ill-appreciated artform and contain some of the funniest and most opaque language we've ever seen (also, the most tragic for their unfortunate recipients).

the most commonly used local-area networking technology in use today, Ethernet was developed at about the same time (and by many of the same people and institutions) involved in building the Internet.


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