Glossary- W
A Data Communication Historical Series
By Bob Pollard

HOME                       INDEX

WACK / WAK:

Wait Acknowledge: A signal sent to a transmitting station indicating the receiving station is temporarily unable to receive data.

WAIS:

See Wide Area Information Server

WAIT STATE:

The time between the initiation of a call and the transmission of the requested data

WAITING FOR CALL:

A telephony signal that Network Connections has put the MODEM in Listen mode and is waiting for incoming calls.

WAN:

Wide Area Network: Wide area networks consist of interconnected smaller networks spread throughout a building, a state, or the entire globe.

WAP:

Wireless Application Protocol: A global protocol used in many newer wireless devices that allows the user to view and interact with data services. Generally used as a means to view Internet web pages using the limited transmission capacity and small display screens of portable wireless devices. See Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) 

WARC:

See World Administration Radio Consortium

WARM BOOT:

Restarting a computer without first turning off the power: Using CTL+ALT+DEL or the reset button on many computers can re-boot the machine.

WARNING MESSAGE:

An error detection indicator

WARP:

World wide AUTODIN Restoration Program.

WATCHDOG PACKET:

A packet used to ensure that a client is still connected to a NetWare server: If the server has not received a packet from a client for a certain period of time, it sends that client a series of watchdog packets. If the station fails to respond to a predefined number of watchdog packets, the server concludes that the station is no longer connected and clears the connection for that station.

WATCHDOG SPOOFING:

Subset of spoofing that refers specifically to a router acting for a NetWare client by sending watchdog packets to a NetWare server to keep the session between client and server active.

WATCHDOG TIMER:

1) Hardware or software mechanism that is used to trigger an event or an escape from a process unless the timer is periodically reset.

2) In NetWare, a timer that indicates the maximum period of time that a server will wait for a client to respond to a watchdog packet. If the timer expires, the server sends another watchdog packet, up to a predefined maximum.

3) A timer set by a program to interrupt the processor after a set period of time. The timer ensures that a system does not lose track of buffers and communications lines because of a hardware or software problem.

WATS:

Wide Area Telephone Service: A type of long distance telephone service characterized by calls measured on a bulk rate basis. WATS uses a zone system where a customer may make outgoing calls or receive incoming calls (INWATS) and be charged based on the specific zones involved.

See Wide Area Telecommunications Service

WATS AGGREGATOR:

A broker and billing agent with an arrangement to obtain volume discounts from common carriers for a group of WATS services used by multiple firms; need not be the operator of a switching system.

WAVE GUIDE:

A square metal tube of a size dictated by the signal frequency: Serves as a circuit conduit between the Microwave (MW) Amplifier output and the MW external reflector.

WAVEFORM CODING:  

Electrical techniques used to convey binary signals; example: modulation - demodulation

WAVE GUIDE:

A hollow conductor that is used to efficiently transmit high-energy: Conducts high-frequency waves in the centimeter to micrometer range.

WAVE-LAN:

NCR's high-speed wireless local area network (LAN) interface card: Transmits at 2 Mbps.

WAVELENGTH:

Refers to the measurement of the length of any electromagnetic wave:  The shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency. Measured in frequency (Hertz: Hz).

WAVELENGTH DIVISION MULTIPLEXING (WDM):

Essentially FDM (Frequency Division Multiplexing) for fiber optic lines, using optical prisms to combine and separate different optical streams at each end of an intercity line

WAY STATION:

Refers to a terminal (teletypewriter) connected to a line between, and in series with, other terminals.

WBT:

Wait Before Transmitting: A control character that provides a delay timing function. A receiving terminal may respond to a block of data with a “WBT” indicating an inability to accept any additional blocks of data. Normally this would be a temporary situation.

WC:

See Wire Center

WCCP:

Web Cache Communication Protocol: WCCP is a protocol for communication between routers and Web caches. Two versions exist: WCCP Version 1 (WCCPv1) and WCCP Version2 (WCCPv2). The two versions are incompatible. Cisco IOS images can support either / both of the two versions.

WCDMA:

Wideband CDMA: A 3G wireless communications standard evolved from CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). The standard, often called UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) uses 5 MHz channels, versus 1.25 MHz for CDMA, which increases voice traffic capacity and peak data rates to 384 kbps.

W-DCS:

Wideband Digital Cross-connect System: SONET DCS capable of cross-connecting DS-1 and VT1.5 signals.

WDM:

Wavelength Division Multiplexing: Multiple optical wavelengths sharing the same transmission fiber. The spectrum occupied by each channel must be adequately separated from the others.

WEB:

Short for World Wide Web

WEB CONSOLE:

A graphical user interface (GUI) application that communicates with the system by translating HTML pages into Cisco IOS commands.

WEBDAV:

See Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning

WEB DISTRIBUTED AUTHORING AND VERSIONING (WebDAV):

  An application protocol related to HTTP 1.1 that allows clients to transparently publish and manage resources on the World Wide Web.

  A set of extensions to the HTTP protocol that allows multiple users to not only read but also to add, delete, and change documents residing on a web server.
  In order to use WebDAV you need WebDAV client software to connect to a HTTP server that has the WebDAV extensions installed. Virtually all common HTTP servers have WedDAV extensions available to them.

WEB LOG:

See Blog / Web Log

WEBMASTER:

An individual(s) that designs develops and maintains a Web site.

WEB PAGE:

A document designed for viewing via a Web browser: Typically written in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).

WEB SERVER (Web Site):

A Web server is a resident program, which allows Web browsers to retrieve files from computers connected to the Internet or an intranet.  The Web server monitors for requests from Web browsers and when it receives a request it locates the requested file and sends it back to the browser.  Since the primary function of a Web server is to serve other remote computers, it needs to be connected to the Internet full-time; ii also controls access to the server while monitoring and logging the server access statistics.

WEB-SITE / WEB SERVER / SITE:

This term is sometimes used to identify a ‘web page’, but a web page is a single entity, one URL (Uniform Resource Locator), one file that will be found at a Web site. A Web site is a location where many web pages are stored and linked, which are accessible through a URL address for each page

WEBTAG:

A term unique to Delphi Forums: Every Forum has its own web-tag, different from all others, which forms part of the address for web pages, message boards, and chat rooms for a Forum.

WEP:

Wired Equivalent Privacy: An encryption system for data when using 802.11 Equipment and the transmission is via radio signals; WEP has two variations: 64-bit encryption (really 40-bit) and 128-bit encryption (really 104-bit). 40-bit encryption was the original standard but was found to be easily broken. 128-bit encryption is more secure and is primarily used today when WEP is enabled.

WEPD:

Weighted Early Packet Discard: Refers to a variation of EPD, used by some ATM switches, for discarding a complete AAL5 frame when a defined threshold condition has occurred, such as, an imminent congestion condition. EPD prevents congestion that would otherwise jeopardize the capability of the switch to properly support existing connections, with a guaranteed service.

WESTERN UNION LABORATORY:

The Western Union Telegraph Company AUTODIN Laboratory was established in 1961 to provide complete implementation support for both hardware and software functions in the AUTODIN system. The facility is no longer in operation.

WESTAR:

Western Union Company data communications satellites

WFQ:

Weighted Fair Queuing: Refers to a congestion management algorithm that identifies conversations (traffic streams), separates packets that belong to each conversation, and ensures that capacity is shared fairly between individual conversations. WFQ is an automatic way of stabilizing network behavior during congestion, which results in increased performance and reduced retransmission requirements.

WHITE NOISE:

Noise that is equally distributed across all frequencies: For example, background noise heard over the telephone.

WHOIS:

A Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) utility: Lets users query compatible servers for detailed information about other Internet users.

WIC:

WAN Interface Card: Connects the system to the WAN link service provider

WIDE AREA INFORMATION SERVER (WAIS):

Refers to software that is used to index large text files in Internet servers: On the client side, it finds and retrieves documents in databases based on user-entered keywords

WIDE AREA NETWORK (WAN):

A generic term for any network that covers a large geographic area: Would include packet-switching, public data, and value-added networks. See WAN

WIDE AREA TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE (WATS):

A service (line) that allows dial-up calls to be placed at reduced rates within a prescribed area, one example 800 numbers.  The service is usually billed at a flat rate plus a charge based on minutes of use.  Out-going WATS is called OUTWATS and Incoming WATS is called INWATS.  A single access line permits inward or outward service, but not both.

WIDE BAND (BROADBAND):

A term applied to facilities or circuits where bandwidths are greater than that required for one voice channel and where data speeds range from 64Kbps to 1.544Mbps.

WIDEBAND CHANNEL:

A communications channel (facility/line) having a bandwidth greater than that of a Voice Grade (VG) channel. See Wide Band

WIDEBAND MODEM:

A MODEM whose modulated output signal can exceed the frequency spectrum of a voice grade channel (4-KHz bandwidth)

WI-FI:

Wireless Fidelity: A wireless data networking protocol generally used to connect Personal Computers (PC) and laptops to a network. Also know as 802.11b and WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), it is the most common means of wireless networking and operates at 2.4 GHz.

WILDCARD:

Wildcard is an unknown, unpredictable factor: The wildcard pre-shared key allows for a local router to authenticate remote peers using the pre-shared key, and not using the remote peer's IP address. The IP address of the remote peer is the unknown, unpredictable factor.

WILDCARD MASK:

A 32-bit quantity used in conjunction with an IP address to determine which bits in an IP address should be ignored when comparing that address with another IP address. A wildcard mask is specified when setting up access lists.

WIMAX (WiMax):

WiMax provides for increased range over Wi-Fi and will help provide broadband wireless internet access to rural areas and communities.

WINDOW:

1) A term used to describe the amount of data (packets, messages, etc.) that may be transmitted to a receiver before a reversal of transmission can begin.

2) A portion of the screen where programs and processes can be run and displayed: A user can open several windows at the same time. For example: open e-mail in one window, work on a budget in a spreadsheet in another, download pictures from the digital camera in another window, and order weekly groceries on the Web in another window. Windows can be closed, resized, moved, minimized, or maximized to take up the whole screen.

WINDOWS PASSWORD:

An individual password used to log on to Windows: A user can also change the settings so that a password is not required.

WINDOWS SCRIPTING:

Windows Scripting Host (WSH) is a Microsoft integrated module that lets programmers use any scripting language to automate operations throughout the Windows desktop.

WINDOWS SOCKET:

See Winsock

WINK START:

A method of E&M signaling: When the signaling leads indicate a change to an off-hook state, the other side must send a momentary wink (off-hook acknowledgement) on the correct signaling lead before the call signaling information can be sent by the sending side. After the call signaling information is received, the side that sent wink goes off-hook again and stays that way for the duration of the call.

WINSOCK:

An application program interface (API) designed to let Windows applications run over a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network.

WIRE CENTER (WC):

The physical structures that house wiring mainframes, equipment and/or central office switching systems.

WIRE PAIRS:

A method of transmission using a circuit composed of two (normally copper) wires.

WIRED EQUIVALENT PRIVACY:

See WEP

WIRELESS:

Communications where the transmission is not carried over wire or cable but is broadcast by radio waves, cellular, satellite, microwave, etc.

WIRELESS ACCESS PROTOCOL (WAP):  

A language used for writing Web pages that uses far less overhead, which makes it more preferable for wireless access to the internet. WAP(s) corresponding OS is that created by 3-Com in its Palm Pilot. Nokia has recently adopted the Palm OS for its Web-capable cellular phone.

WIRELESS COMMUNICATION:

Communication between a computer and another computer or device without wires: The form of wireless communication provided as part of the Windows operating system uses infrared light or radio frequencies to transmit files. Radio frequencies, as used by cellular and cordless telephones, are another form of wireless communication.

WIRELESS LAN:

A local area network that transmits data on wireless facilities:  See Wireless.

WIRELESS PRIVATE AUTOMATIC BRANCH EXCHANGE (PABX):

A Private Automatic Telephone Exchange: Utilizes a form of radio transmission for calls to and from the public telephone network.

WIRELINE:

Communications via a wire or cable: Opposite of wireless.

WIRING CLOSET:

Specially designed room used for wiring a data or voice network. Wiring closets serve as a central junction point for the wiring and the wiring equipment that is used for interconnecting devices.

WISCNET:

TCP/IP network in Wisconsin that connects the University of Wisconsin campuses and a number of private colleges; Links are 56 kbps and T1.

WIZARD:

A tool that guides a user through the steps of a process or task by asking a series of questions or presenting options: For example: wizards might help to start up a word processing document, install software, or create a database file for the first time.

WLAN: Wireless Local Area Networks or Wireless LAN

WLL:

Wireless Local Loop: A wireless system meant to bypass a local landline telephone system. A home or business phone system is connected to the public network by a wireless carrier instead of by the traditional local landline telephone company.WORD:

Set of characters: Number of characters per word and bits per character are determined by the operating device and code set. In message transmission six characters (five characters plus a space) would form one word.

WORD LENGTH:

Normally defined by the number of bits in a word, usually based on the internal operation of a computer, such as 8, 16, 24, 32, etc.

WORKGROUP:

1) A network configuration or segment of a small number of attached devices spread over a small geographical area, such as a portion of a department.

2) A simple grouping of computers: Intended to help users find and use such things as printers and shared folders within that group. Workgroups in Windows do not offer the centralized user accounts and authentication offered by domains.

WORKGROUP SWITCHING:

Method of switching that provides high-speed (100-Mbps) transparent bridging between Ethernet networks, and high-speed translational bridging between Ethernet and CDDI or FDDI.

WORKLOAD BALANCING:

A technique that ensures no one data path can become overloaded while others have underutilized bandwidth causing an I/O bottleneck. When one or more paths become busier than others I/O traffic shifts from the busy paths to the others, further enhancing throughput.

WORK REQUESTS:

Funding documents that accompany all basic MIPR for procurement of supplies and services: Order for Work and Services (NAVCOMPT Form 2275) and Order for Work and Services/Direction Citation (NAVCOMPT Form 2276A) are two examples of documents commonly referred to as work requests.

WORKSTATION:

A Personal Computer (PC) that may operate in a stand-alone environment, or may be part of a computer network

WORLD ADMINISTRATION RADIO CONSORTIUM (WARC):

A group of countries that establishes and maintains international frequency standards

WORLD WIDE WEB:

World Wide Web - Also known as the WWW, the W3, or most often as the Web. The Web can be described as a client/server hypertext system for retrieving information across the Internet. On the Web, everything is represented as hypertext (in HTML format) and is linked to other documents by their URLs. The Web encompasses its native http protocol, as well as ftp, Gopher, and Telnet.

WORM:

Write Once Read Many: A destructive program injected onto a network or computer to destroy or alter internal or transmitted data. It duplicates itself from one disk drive to another or via the E-mail medium. It may be received in the form of a joke program. Worms often spread via IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

WORMHOLE ROUTING:

A technique for routing messages where the header of the message establishes a path, which is reserved for the message until the tail (end) has passed through it. The tail proceeds at a rate dictated by the progress of the header, which reduces the demand for intermediate buffering. See Packet and Packet Switching.

WPM:

Words Per Minute: A measure of transmission speed computed on the basis of six characters (five plus a space) per word.

WRAP:

Action taken by a FDDI or CDDI network to recover in the event of a failure: The stations on each side of the failure reconfigure themselves, creating a single logical ring out of the primary and secondary rings.

WRAP DATA:

A system accuracy test: The transmission of data through a communications system and the return of the data to its source to test the accuracy of the system.

WRED:

Weighted Random Early Detection: Queuing method that ensures high-precedence traffic has lower loss rates than other traffic during times of congestion.

WRITABLE CD:

Recordable Compact Disc (CD-R) or Rewritable Compact Disc (CD-RW): Data can be copied to the CD on more than one occasion. Rewritable compact discs can also be erased.

WRITE-CACHE:

A form of temporary storage in which data is stored (or cached) in memory before being written to a hard disk for permanent storage. Caching enhances overall system performance by decreasing the number of times the central processor reads and writes to a hard disk.

WRITE-MODE:

The state in which a program can write (record) information in a file: In the write-mode, the user is permitted to make changes in existing information.

WRM:

The Wavelength Router Manager™: is the trademarked EMS for the Cisco ONS 15900 Series Wavelength Router, both designed by Cisco Systems.

W3C:

World Wide Web Consortium: The organization that develops standards for the web community.

WU:

Western Union

WUC:

Western Union Corporation

WUDS:

Western Union Data Services

WUTCO:

Western Union Telegraph Company

WW TAC:

World-Wide Technical Assistance Center (Cisco): It is the focal point of all Cisco software and hardware maintenance and support services; help with installation and testing, performance, training, documentation, equipment repair / Return Material, Authorization (RMA) service, and equipment specifications

WWW:

World Wide Web: A computer interface that allows users to access multimedia hypertexts with links to related documents. The WWW has provided access to the Web Network in that it allows users to access different types of Internet sites through one interface provided by a web browser. See World Wide Web