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Fortunately, you no longer have to rely on some out-of-date-before-it-was-printed compendium of technical terms that weighs as much as a Manhattan phone book.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:

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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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