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Case-insensitive alphabetical order
This is the way you see entries sorted in a dictionary, without regard to whether a word is capitalized or not.
chart, Chicago, CTA, date, Denver, pan, Peoria
The Linux default is to use ASCII order, which sorts according to the way the letters are represented in the computer. In this order, upper case comes before lower case:
CTA, Chicago, Denver, Peoria, chart, date, pan
Most human interface experts agree that making the distinction between upper and lower case significant is not a good idea.
CGI Script
A program that runs on the server. It accepts data from the client (usually the data entered on a form), and returns results to the client. This communication follows the rules of CGI, the Common Gateway Interface.
Embedded HTML Scripting Language
A language that lets you add special tags to your HTML files. Instead of putting text between these special tags, you put computer programming code. When a user requests such a page, the computer executes your programming instructions and merges their output with your HTML. The final result is then sent back to the client.
File Server
A computer system functioning as a repository for files which will be delivered over a network. Also used to refer to the software that provides such a service.
Graphical User Interface
Abbreviated as GUI, this is an interface in which resources on the computer (files, printers, programs, etc.) are represented as graphics which you maniuplate with a mouse. The GUI as we know it today was first pioneered by Doug Engelbart, implemented in projects at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, and popularized by Apple Computer with its Macintosh computer.
Kernel Panic
The kernel is the heart of Linux; it's the code that handles allocation of system resources amongst all the programs that are currently running. A kernel panic occurs when some serious error disrupts the kernel's housekeeping, and it can no longer continue to do its job. These situations can be caused by mis-configured hardware, among other things. Kernel panics are not everyday events in the Linux world, as they are in other operating systems.
A multiuser system is one where more than one user has access to the resources of a single computer.
In a multitasking system, each of the computer's users can be running more than one program at a time. If one of the programs crashes, it doesn't affect any of that person's other programs, nor those of other users.
Plug and Play
When you buy a new peripheral for your computer, such as a printer, scanner, disk drive, etc. You should be able to just plug it in and have the system recognize it and figure out how to work with it rather than having to go through a lengthy configuration process. The Apple Macintosh does a very good job of plug and play. Other systems advertise it but don't do a very good job of implementing it.
A shell is a program that lets you enter commands for the operating system to process. Most shells let you type commands one line at a time, and are said to have a command line interface. There are three major shells which share a great deal in common, so in theory it is not difficult for Linux users to switch from one to another. In practice, shell preference appears to be a major theological issue among Linux folks.
Web Server
A computer system functioning as a repository for files which will be delivered over the World Wide Web. Also used to refer to the software that provides such a service.
Acronym for What You See Is What You Get, usually used in reference to word processing programs. As you type your text or change its characteristics, it changes immediately on screen, and the screen image mirrors what you will see on your printout.

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