URL Designations

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On a friends machine, I noticed something I hadn't seen before
"alt.google.com". The computer was repaired by someone several months
ago and I haven't seen the machine since then until now. I'd like to
understand just why this appears on her browser this way now.

Another question.... can someone direct me to a site that explains some
of these "prefixes" (like "alt." and "fido") I see in newsgroups?

Re: URL Designations

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There're good introductory discussions of URLs here:

and here:
and here:
http://www.davechaffey.com/E-business/C3-Infrastructure/example -

You're interested in the network location part of the URL, and
specifically in one common (but not universal) way of
specifiying (part of) it, using the form subdomain.domainname.  
For instance, google.com is the domain name and 'alt' (as in
alt.google.com) is the subdomain name.  Typically (but again not
necessarily) the subdomain name is really the name of a
particular 'host' on the network (where 'host' often - but again
not always - refers to a particular server).  

The 'host' name is sometimes evocative of its function such as
'www' for a webserver, 'ftp' for an ftp server, or 'video' for a
video server - other times the name is whimsical or otherwise
bears no obvious relation to its function.


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