Tech Terms: Do You Know What They Mean?

by Annie Yu

Within the CityU community, we often come across some common computer terms in our daily work; sometimes we just don't have a clue what they mean or how important they are in the community. This is very much reflected in the type of calls placed through the CSC Help Desk. Quite often novice users simply are not familiar with the technical jargons or the names of computer tools or systems that are available to them on the campus network. In view of this, starting this issue, we shall provide definitions for those terms that have been raised from time to time during consultation with the CSC Help Desk.

Application password

This password is for access to ALL centrally provided services, for example,

  • e-Portal
  • Email
  • WebCT
  • Express Terminal
  • Sports Facilities Booking & Information System
  • Student Dial-up Budget Enquiry
  • CSC Student Computer Literacy enrolment
  • SDS Counselling Services Booking
  • SDS Venue & Equipment Booking
  • Reading protected Web pages for staff/student
Network Connection password

This password is for access to ALL network services, for example,

  • Staff LAN
  • Student LAN
  • Wireless LAN
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Dial-up (CityLink Plus)

DNA stands for Departmental Network Administrator. In March 2002, each department office was required to designate a staff member to be the Network Administrator (NA), who acts as the departmental representative to serve as a single point of contact on matters related to campus network and networked computers, and, more importantly, to take charge of the related responsibilities, including:

  1. Taking care of network and computing resource matters, such as
    1. addition and deletion of network points,
    2. registration and deregistration of network connection(network IP address) of machines,
    3. acquisition and installation of computers and software,
    4. opening computer accounts for new or visiting staff,
    5. looking after network upgrade, changes and interruption;
  2. In charge of daily network administrative matters, e.g. management of departmental accounts for broadcast e-mail, posting of network messages, handling e-mail related problems, internal and external complaints/enquires etc.;
  3. Handling of network security matters, software licence matters etc.;
  4. Acting as a coordinator during emergency situations, e.g. virus attack, hacking etc.

A list of DNAs has been put up on the CSC home page ( under "Help & Support" and IT@CityU home page ( under "People & Organization" for your reference.


Electronic ID

It is created for you to communicate electronically on campus and at home. To access all the services under the CityU e-Portal including email, you need the Electronic ID.



Since its launch in August 2002, the CityU e-Portal has become the gateway for the University's computing facilities and services and it is now the major communication channel between students and staff and the University. The aim is to make the portal both essential and interesting for students such that they will use it for information about their education, programme and courses, educational and social activities inside and outside the classroom, and career planning. For staff, this is where they can get University's internal announcement and access to personal information and other online services.

The e-Portal provides users with personalized Web interface to the University's communications and rich electronic resources, benefits include:

  • single sign-on to various software platforms used in the University,
  • delivery of role-based targeted messaging, and
  • one-touch e-mail link for connection to personal e-mail box in CityU.
MAC Address

If you're asked for the MAC or Ethernet address of your PC, the answer is a set of numbers that look something like 00 00 39 72 2C D8. The MAC address is actually the unique serial number of Ethernet card, required for connecting your PC to the network. To find out network information of your PC and learn more, please visit

Work Desk

Every time you boot up your office PC, you will see the Work Desk icon

on the desktop. The idea is to provide instant access to your desired computer software and services at your fingertips.



MCS (Mobile Computer Service)

As its name implies, it is a loan service that offers PC notebooks and wireless network cards for use by all staff and students on the main campus. For details about the loan period, rules and regulations etc., check out the MCS Web site at



If you're neither at home nor in the office and you wish to read your email, what should you do? The answer is to find a computer with internet access and even though it does not have Eudora, you can still read and send email using CityU WebMail. Every staff and student at CityU can access WebMail. Simply bring up the CityU Email Services page (, and click on the WebMail button to log on. The logon page also contains links to HELP information about the CityU WebMail.


Address Book

The electronic address book is where you store frequently used email addresses. It can be accessed through Eudora, WebMail and Outlook Express. Furthermore, you can use it to build mailing lists for sending email to a group of recipients. The information on "Using Address and Mailing List" in Eudora 5 is for your reference.