network, the

Computing Dictionary

network, the definition


1. (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. 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).
[Jargon File]
(1999-01-26)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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