The Network -->
network, the
computing dictionary

1. <jargon, networking> (Or "the net") The union of all the major noncommercial, academic and hacker-oriented networks, such as Internet, the old ARPANET, NSFnet, BITNET, and the virtual UUCP and Usenet "networks", plus the corporate in-house networks and commercial time-sharing services (such as CompuServe) that gateway to them.

A site was generally considered "on the network" if it could be reached by electronic mail through some combination of Internet-style (@-sign) and UUCP (bang-path) addresses. Since the explosion of the Internet in the mid 1990s, the term is now synonymous with the Internet.

See network address.

2. <organisation> A fictional conspiracy of libertarian hacker-subversives and anti-authoritarian monkeywrenchers described in Robert Anton Wilson's novel "Schrödinger's Cat", to which many hackers have subsequently decided they belong (this is an example of ha ha only serious).

(01 Apr 1999)