Master jargon!

If you have technical jargon overload, this tip's for you. Contributing Writer Alan Earls has got you covered.

By Alan Earls

Geek speak is tough on outsiders, but even the most plugged-in, wired, and savvy can sometimes get overwhelmed...

by the pace of change and the never-ending alterations in terminology the storage world, and IT in general, create.

Fortunately, you no longer have to rely on some out-of-date-before-it-was-printed compendium of technical terms that weighs as much as a Manhattan phone book. No, the web has made things simpler -- and given you more choices, too.

At least a dozen sites now provide credible, up-to-date information on the words and acronyms that are the tools of the trade, starting with a SAN and storage dictionary which the Storage Networking Industry Association has made available at:

If that compendium is just not enough, there are plenty of other useful, if, however, less storage-specific sites.

Take, for example, our sister site at If you've got a technical term that you just can't figure out, look it up and you'll get some good answers, along with a helpful list of linked sites for more information.

Or, try the Acronym Finder site that boasts 230,000 acronyms, abbreviations, initialisms and definitions at The site has a friendly interface and invites new acronyms and definitions. Also, check out the following Acronym site.

Other very useful terminology sites include:

  1. BABEL: a glossary of computer oriented abbreviations and acronyms at
  2. An On-line Dictionary of Computing at
  3. Computer Jargon and slang at
  4. Webopedia Computer Dictionary at
  5. PC-related terms at, and
  6. "TechEncyclopedia" with 14,000 definitions of computer terms at

Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

This was first published in July 2000

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