Online and offline

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"Online" and "Offline" redirect here. Online and offline_sentence_0

For other uses, see Online (disambiguation) and Offline (disambiguation). Online and offline_sentence_1

In computer technology and telecommunications, online indicates a state of connectivity, and offline indicates a disconnected state. Online and offline_sentence_2

In modern terminology this usually refers to an Internet connection, but (especially when expressed "on line" or "on the line") could refer to any piece of equipment or functional unit that is connected to a larger system. Online and offline_sentence_3

Being online means that the equipment or subsystem is connected, or that it is ready for use. Online and offline_sentence_4

"Online" has come to describe activities performed on and data available on the Internet, for example: "online identity", "online predator", "online gambling", "online shopping", "online banking", and "online learning". Online and offline_sentence_5

Similar meaning is also given by the prefixes "cyber" and "e", as in the words "cyberspace", "cybercrime", "email", and "ecommerce". Online and offline_sentence_6

In contrast, "offline" can refer to either computing activities performed while disconnected from the Internet, or alternatives to Internet activities (such as shopping in brick-and-mortar stores). Online and offline_sentence_7

The term "offline" is sometimes used interchangeably with the acronym "IRL", meaning "in real life". Online and offline_sentence_8

Antecedents Online and offline_section_0

During the 19th century, the term "on line" was commonly used in both the railroad and telegraph industries. Online and offline_sentence_9

For railroads, a signal box would send messages down the line (track), via a telegraph line (cable), indicating the track's status: "Train on line" or "Line clear". Online and offline_sentence_10

Telegraph linemen would refer to sending current through a line as "direct on line" or "battery on line"; or they may refer to a problem with the circuit as being "on line", as opposed to the power source or end-point equipment. Online and offline_sentence_11

Examples Online and offline_section_1

Offline e-mail Online and offline_section_2

One example of a common use of these concepts with email is a mail user agent (MUA) that can be instructed to be in either online or offline states. Online and offline_sentence_12

One such MUA is Microsoft Outlook. Online and offline_sentence_13

When online it will attempt to connect to mail servers (to check for new mail at regular intervals, for example), and when offline it will not attempt to make any such connection. Online and offline_sentence_14

The online or offline state of the MUA does not necessarily reflect the connection status between the computer on which it is running and the internet. Online and offline_sentence_15

That is, the computer itself may be online—connected to Internet via a cable modem or other means—while Outlook is kept offline by the user, so that it makes no attempt to send or to receive messages. Online and offline_sentence_16

Similarly, a computer may be configured to employ a dial-up connection on demand (as when an application such as Outlook attempts to make connection to a server), but the user may not wish for Outlook to trigger that call whenever it is configured to check for mail. Online and offline_sentence_17

Offline media playing Online and offline_section_3

Another example of the use of these concepts is digital audio technology. Online and offline_sentence_18

A tape recorder, digital audio editor, or other device that is online is one whose clock is under the control of the clock of a synchronization master device. Online and offline_sentence_19

When the sync master commences playback, the online device automatically synchronizes itself to the master and commences playing from the same point in the recording. Online and offline_sentence_20

A device that is offline uses no external clock reference and relies upon its own internal clock. Online and offline_sentence_21

When many devices are connected to a sync master it is often convenient, if one wants to hear just the output of one single device, to take it offline because, if the device is played back online, all synchronized devices have to locate the playback point and wait for each other device to be in synchronization. Online and offline_sentence_22

(For related discussion, see MIDI timecode, word sync, and recording system synchronization.) Online and offline_sentence_23

Offline browsing Online and offline_section_4

Main article: Offline browsing Online and offline_sentence_24

A third example of a common use of these concepts is a web browser that can be instructed to be in either online or offline states. Online and offline_sentence_25

The browser attempts to fetch pages from servers while only in the online state. Online and offline_sentence_26

In the offline state, users can perform offline browsing, where pages can be browsed using local copies of those pages that have previously been downloaded while in the online state. Online and offline_sentence_27

This can be useful when the computer is offline and connection to the Internet is impossible or undesirable. Online and offline_sentence_28

The pages are downloaded either implicitly into the web browser's own cache as a result of prior online browsing by the user or explicitly by a browser configured to keep local copies of certain web pages, which are updated when the browser is in the online state, either by checking that the local copies are up-to-date at regular intervals or by checking that the local copies are up-to-date whenever the browser is switched to the online One such web browser capable of being explicitly configured to download pages for offline browsing is Internet Explorer. Online and offline_sentence_29

When pages are added to the Favourites list, they can be marked to be "available for offline browsing". Online and offline_sentence_30

Internet Explorer will download to local copies both the marked page and, optionally, all of the pages that it links to. Online and offline_sentence_31

In Internet Explorer version 6, the level of direct and indirect links, the maximum amount of local disc space allowed to be consumed, and the schedule on which local copies are checked to see whether they are up-to-date, are configurable for each individual Favourites entry. Online and offline_sentence_32

For communities that lack adequate Internet connectivity—such as developing countries, rural areas, and prisons—offline information stores such as WiderNet's eGranary Digital Library (a collection of approximately thirty million educational resources from more than two thousand web sites and hundreds of CD-ROMs) provide offline access to information. Online and offline_sentence_33

More recently, the Internet Archive announced an offline server project intended to provide access to material on inexpensive servers that can be updated using USB sticks and SD cards. Online and offline_sentence_34

Offline storage Online and offline_section_5

Likewise, offline storage is computer data storage that is not "available for immediate use on demand by the system without human intervention." Online and offline_sentence_35

Additionally, an otherwise online system that is powered down may be considered offline. Online and offline_sentence_36

Offline messages Online and offline_section_6

With the growing communication tools and media, the words offline and online are used very frequently. Online and offline_sentence_37

If a person is active over a messaging tool and is able to accept the messages it is termed as online message and if the person is not available and the message is left to view when the person is back, it is termed as offline message. Online and offline_sentence_38

In the same context, the person's availability is termed as online and non-availability is termed as offline. Online and offline_sentence_39

Generalisations Online and offline_section_7

Online and offline distinctions have been generalised from computing and telecommunication into the field of human interpersonal relationships. Online and offline_sentence_40

The distinction between what is considered online and what is considered offline has become a subject of study in the field of sociology. Online and offline_sentence_41

The distinction between online and offline is conventionally seen as the distinction between computer-mediated communication and face-to-face communication (e.g., face time), respectively. Online and offline_sentence_42

Online is virtuality or cyberspace, and offline is reality (i.e., real life or "meatspace"). Online and offline_sentence_43

Slater states that this distinction is "obviously far too simple". Online and offline_sentence_44

To support his argument that the distinctions in relationships are more complex than a simple dichotomy of online versus offline, he observes that some people draw no distinction between an online relationship, such as indulging in cybersex, and an offline relationship, such as being pen pals. Online and offline_sentence_45

He argues that even the telephone can be regarded as an online experience in some circumstances, and that the blurring of the distinctions between the uses of various technologies (such as PDA versus mobile phone, internet television versus internet, and telephone versus Voice over Internet Protocol) has made it "impossible to use the term online meaningfully in the sense that was employed by the first generation of Internet research". Online and offline_sentence_46

Slater asserts that there are legal and regulatory pressures to reduce the distinction between online and offline, with a "general tendency to assimilate online to offline and erase the distinction," stressing, however, that this does not mean that online relationships are being reduced to pre-existing offline relationships. Online and offline_sentence_47

He conjectures that greater legal status may be assigned to online relationships (pointing out that contractual relationships, such as business transactions, online are already seen as just as "real" as their offline counterparts), although he states it to be hard to imagine courts awarding palimony to people who have had a purely online sexual relationship. Online and offline_sentence_48

He also conjectures that an online/offline distinction may be seen by people as "rather quaint and not quite comprehensible" within 10 years. Online and offline_sentence_49

This distinction between online and offline is sometimes inverted, with online concepts being used to define and to explain offline activities, rather than (as per the conventions of the desktop metaphor with its desktops, trash cans, folders, and so forth) the other way around. Online and offline_sentence_50

Several cartoons appearing in The New Yorker have satirized this. Online and offline_sentence_51

One includes Saint Peter asking for a username and a password before admitting a man into Heaven. Online and offline_sentence_52

Another illustrates "the off-line store" where "All items are actual size! Online and offline_sentence_53

", shoppers may "Take it home as soon as you pay for it! Online and offline_sentence_54

", and "Merchandise may be handled prior to purchase!" Online and offline_sentence_55

See also Online and offline_section_8

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: and offline.