TITLE: Webopedia

ACCESS: http://www.webopedia.com

Webopedia is a free online dictionary that defines words, phrases and acronyms related to computers and the Internet. The definitions are explained accurately and with limited use of technical language. Some words used within the definition are linked to their own definition for further study. There is often a list of related terms, and additional resources included with the definition. The dictionary terms can alternatively be browsed by category. According to the Webopedia Web site, new terms are added on a daily basis, and resource links are added periodically.

Another useful feature incorporates a "Quick Reference" section that is useful for finding common Internet and computer facts. There is also a "Did You Know?" section that addresses popular questions like "Are Deleted Files Completely Erased?" and "How Web Servers Work."

Perhaps the most innovative feature this site offers is the Webopedia "Search Tool" (free software must be initially downloaded). One can search the Webopedia dictionary from any Web page by highlighting the word or phrase, and clicking a special bookmark on the Web browser. The definition is displayed in a new window if it is covered in the dictionary.

This resource, sponsored by Jupitermedia Corporation, is fairly easy to use and navigate in comparison to similar services. Although the amount of advertising tends to clutter the site, it is well organized and reliable. The Webopedia site states that full-time editors obtain the information from multiple sources (e.g., universities and technical publications), and that "definitions are never based on just one source." This resource is geared towards the general public, but those involved in computer science may benefit from it the most. This is recommended for all users.

John Repplinger
Willamette University

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