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Welcome to our Glossary.

Here you can find the meaning of words and expressions commonly used by computer-users.

Use the query form below to enter a word or part of a word you are looking for. Click the "Search" button to start the search.

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You can also take a look at all the words starting with a particular character, select one below:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

We are looking for more words here, so please mail me any words you don't know and I'll try to find out what they mean. Or send me words you do know and their meaning, so we can add them too and get an even better glossary (either in Dutch or English is fine).

Words in our glossary starting with "C" ...

Glossary ...

This is a programming language developed in the late '70s. It became hugely popular due to the development of UNIX, which was written almost entirely in C. C was written by programmers for programmers and it lets you write code in sloppy ways that other, more structured languages do not. Successors: C++ and C#.

This is an object-oriented programming language from Microsoft based on C/C++ that contains functionality similar to that found in the Java programming language. It is designed to work with Microsoft's .NET platform.

Extension to the programming language C, adding support for object-oriented programming. See C.

C/N (Carrier to Noise ratio)
The carrier to noise ratio is a quality idication for satellite reception. Commonly you want this ratio to be as high as possible. This means that we want a very high carrier signal and a very low noise. For digital reception a C/N of 9dB is needed. For analog satellite reception we need at least 12dB.

C2D file
C2D file is a CD image file that can be burned with ISOBuster (http://www.smart-projects.net). It is claimed that WinOnCD (http://www.roxio.com) can burn these too.

CAB file (Cabinet file)
This refers to a compressed file with the extension .cab. Cabinet files are used to store installation files for Microsoft applications, most commonly Windows 9x operating systems and Internet Explorer. Cab files were initially designed to fit large installations onto a group of 1.44MB floppy disks. In a DOS-box you can unpack these using the EXPAND command.

Modem used to gain access to the Internet using a cable-TV (CATV) network. Not all CATV are suitable for this.

Refers to a location where temporary or often used data is stored.

Cache memory
Generally a small chunk of fast memory that sits between a processor and a bigger, slower chunk of memory. This is to provide a bridge from something that's comparatively very fast to something that's comparatively slow. Most computers have cache memory that holds some of the information from main memory. When the processor needs the information it takes it from the speedy cache instead of the slower main memory. Cache memory GREATLY increases the speed of a computer by storing data that is most often accessed.

Computer Aided Design. Design products using computers, ie. Draw your design using AutoCAD on your computer.

A level of production where both design and production are done with the aid of computers. Usually the intergration of both CAD and CAM systems into the production environment offer a high level of efficiency.

1. Computer Aided Manufacturing. Create your products using computer, for example robotics. 2. Decoder card for satellite broadcasts. See also CI (Common Interface).

Cam (video)
A CAM recording of a movie, is a movie recording done with just a camcorder, sitting in a cinema. This results in a very bad quality movie. Not only picture is bad, but also sound is really hard to hear. Sometimes people refer to this type of movie as a Screener - which is definitly wrong.

This is an electronic component that stores up an electrical charge to a certain level, and then releases it. A capacitor stores energy between two conducting plates separated by an insulator, or dialectric. Capacitance, or the amount of current that is stored is measured in farads. You may notice large looking electronic cylinders on your motherboard. These are capacitors, and they are used to provide clean power to your processor.

CAPI ((ISDN Common Application Program Interface)
A common way of talking to ISDN equipment that is being connected to your PC, most likely an ISDN adapter or ISDN modem. There are 2 version currently avialable, version 1.1 (old) and 2.0 (most commonly used). The interface, created by a German company, is being dealt with using the CAPI2032.DLL file in your C:WindowsSystem directory.

Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. In normal speak CAPTCHA is used to protect web forms against spammers, commonly seen as a little graphic on a webpage with numbers and/or text in it, in a slightly distorded way, which users have to enter in a field, as a way to verify that we are dealing with a human and not one of those spam bots.

This refers to the 32-bit PCMCIA card slot and cards that can work in this slot. Standard PCMCIA, or PC Card, slots were originally 16-bit slots. This caused problems when 100 Mbit network cards and fast SCSI cards were used and throughput would not go high enough because the 16-bit slots were too slow. See PCMCIA.

CAS (Column Address Strobe)
CASx implies that 'x' clock cycles are needed to address a column of a memory chip. CAS 2 memory is preferable to CAS 3 memory, and is often more expensive. You can sometimes set the CAS latency of your SDRAM memory in your BIOS.

CAS and CAS Latency
Column Access Strobe - Cas Latency is a rating of how fast the memory module can complete the second section of the read/write cycle. CAS 2 parts can complete the second section of the cycle in 2/10th of the complete cycle, a CAS 3 part needs to have 3/10th of the cycle allocated to this section. Some systems (usually higher speed Athlon or Brand Name systems) cannot run with the slower CAS 3 memory. AMD recommends CAS 2 latency for all Athlon & Duron based systems. CAS Latency is a number that refers to the ratio - rounded to the next higher whole number - between column access time and the clock cycle time. Detail: CAS Latency is a number that refers to the ratio - rounded to the next higher whole number - between column access time and the clock cycle time. It is derived from dividing the column access time by the clock frequency, and raising the result to the next whole number.

Case Mod(ding)
Case modding is the activity where for example the casing of a PC is being modified. Usually this does not refer to enhancing the case. It rather refers to making the case more interesting or more beautiful. For example adding a window so you can see the inside of a PC, or adding lights etc. There are more extreme examples on the web: where an engine or a beer case has been modified for the use of a PC case.

Cat 3 cable is certified to achieve speeds of up to 10 Mbps.

Cat 4 cable is certified to achieve speeds of up to 16 Mbps.

Cat 5 cable is certified to achieve speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

Cabel TeleVision. Both TV and Radio signal are offered by cable.

Constant Angular Velocity. This refers to a spinning disk. As data is read from the disk, the drive motor spins at the same speed. For example, CD-drives that work at CAV will read data at 12x towards the center and 20x towards the edge, where the disk is moving faster. See also CLV and ZCLV.

Constant (or Continuous) Bit Rate. Generic expression for an unchanging bitrate for data communications. The opposite is VBR (Variable Bit Rate).

CC (Carbon Copy)
This is a method of sending a copy of an e-mail to someone, but implying that they are not the direct recipient. For example, you send an e-mail with instructions to a group you manage, and CC it to your boss so that they know what's going on, but understand that the instructions in the mail were not meant for them to carry out. When you carbon copy someone in an e-mail, the recipients in the To field of the e-mail are aware of the names in the CC field. If you want to keep names secret from the To and CC recipients, you would use blind carbon copy.

CCD (Charge Coupled Device)
Photosensitive CCD's are used in scanners, digital cameras video cameras. The CCD basically reads the image by storing a group of charges based on the image that it is exposed to. These charges are analog charges, as opposed to simple digital on / off charges. Thus, you can grab degrees of light and color to transfer a visual image into a group of electrical charges, and then to your computer screen, video tape, or printer.

Consultative Committee on International Telegraphy and Telephony. Old name for ITU-T (International Telecommunications Union-Telecommunications Standards Sector). Worldwide organisation that defines and registers Telecommunicatie standards.

CD-R (CD-Recordable)
This is a CD-Rom suitable for (one time only) write data/music/video on. See also CD-RW.

A device capable of writing CD-recordables and CD-Rewriteables. It is also capable of erasing CD-Rewriteables so these can be reused.

CD-RW (CD-ReWriteable)
This is a CD-ROM that not only allows you to read and write the disc This disc can be erased for re-use as well. See also CDR.

Code Division Multiple Access. Technology (by QualComm) for sharing a particular part of the radio spectrum for multiple users as efficient as possible. CDMA is a technique used for mobile phones and one of the competing technologies is TDMA. CDMA is widely used in for example Korea.

CDROM (Compact Disc Read Only Memory)
Read-only media that holds 650 MB of data. It's generally accepted as the easiest way to distribute software. CD-ROM drives can also read music CDs even though they are in a different format than CD-ROM media.

Centropy (CTP)
Centropy (CTP) founded in January 1999 - currently is a warez group which specialies in the piracy of films. Touting many 0-day and negative day releases, Centropy has notoriously released (and pre-released) numerous films, such as The Matrix Reloaded, before it was released to movie theaters in 2003. They primarily release DVD-Rips, Video CDs, Telesyncs, and Screeners.

Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire - In English, that's the European Council for Nuclear Research. CERN, is credited with creating the World Wide Web as we know it. In late 1990, Tim Berners-Lee of CERN thought up the Web as a way to quickly share information between physicists all over the world. Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau wrote the first Web browser, running under the NeXTStep OS, and the first Web server. The two created and gave meaning to the terms: URL, HTTP, and HTML.

Compact Flashcard - This is a 50-pin connection standard used in some PDAs, digital cameras, hardware MP3 players and other small hardware devices. It was initially designed to offer PCMCIA-ATA standard access to flash memory in a smaller form factor. In the meanwhile CF+ is there as well.

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)
It is a measure of airflow, and you can use it to compare the efficiency of fans designed to cool computers or computer components. Higher CFM rates are better.

CGA (Computer Graphics Adapter)
An old type of graphics card used in the DOS-era. Currently all computers have at least SVGA. Resolution of CGA: 160x100, 320x200, and 640x200. See als (S)VGA and EGA.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface)
This interface allows scripts or programs to run on a Web server. All Web servers support CGI scripting. See also ASP.

The term channel is often used interchangeably with the word transponder with the same meaning. However, the word channel refers more accurately to the absolute frequency range over which the transponder operates (e.g. 11 GHz +/- 18 MHz), rather than to the amplification process itself. A channel is normally defined by its centre frequency and its usable bandwidth.

This refers to a single letter, number or symbol. See also ASCII.

In computer terms, this is a synchronous exchange of typed information that is viewed by two or more people over a computer network.

This is a value that is calculated from a group of data, and often passed along with the data when it is transferred. The receiver of the data will compare it to the checksum, and if it doesn't match, they know the data was corrupted in transit. Checksums are used in all types of data communication, such as reading data from hard drives, CDs, floppies, modem communications, and networking.

A group of chips, working as a team, that control the functions and features on a motherboard. The chipset determines how much memory you can put into a motherboard and what processors you can use with it.

Cylinder Head Sector. A combination of 3 digits, to indicate a specific information block on a harddisk.

CI (Common Interface)
CI is used for satellite receivers. Manufacturers have agreed on use a common interface for satellite decoding cards. For CI these cards (called CAM) look like PCMCIA cards, as seen with laptops, which can hold one smartcard. This Smartcard holds the keys to the subscribed service. The CAM holds the hard- and software required for decoding the data stream (after decoding this is video and audio).

CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer)
Intel x86 chips are CISC chips because of the complexity of the instruction set. On the other side of the coin, you have RISC chips that use a reduced instruction set. RISC chips split big operations into lots of simple, tiny instructions that are processed very quickly. Some people argue that RISC chips have the edge. Several Intel competitors such as Cyrix and AMD use RISC chips with CISC converters to compete against Intel's chips.

Highperformance fiber-optic network used to offer a particular area (city) highspeed access, for either voice, data or video.

Class A IP
This is a group of IP addresses where the first number remains the same, and the last three can vary. It could be represented by A.B.C.D, where the B, C and D can be any number from 0-255. A is the fixed number. Thus, the number of possible combinations within the Class A address are 256*256*256 = 16,777,216 (a little les than that since the numbers 0 and 255 are not used).

Class B IP
This is a group of IP addresses where the first two numbers remains the same, and the last three can vary. It could be represented by A.B.C.D, where the C and D can be any number from 0-255. A and B are fixed number. Thus, the number of possible combinations within the Class B address are 256*256 = 65,536 (a little les than that since the numbers 0 and 255 are not used).

Class C IP
This is a group of IP addresses where only the last number may vary. It could be represented by A.B.C.D, where only and D can be any number from 0-255. A, B and C are fixed number. Thus, the number of possible combinations within the Class C address are 255.

Calling Line Identity. CLI is the phone numbber of the caller (the A-subscriber). This number can be displayed on a phone or computer to see who is calling. The phonenumber of the party that is being called, the B-subscrier, is called a CLIP (Calling Line Identification Presentation). CLI and CLIP can be disabled, then it becomes a CLIR (Calling Line Identification restriction).

Clip Art
Generic art/images/pictures distributed for use in word processors and desktop publishing. Graphic designers often use clip art as a shortcut to developing images and or websites. Www.eyewire.com and images.google.com are places to look for clip art.

Clock Speed
This refers to the speed in MHz of a microprocessor. It is one way of gauging the performance of a microprocessor. However, different processor architectures dictate that a higher clock speed in one architecture does not always mean better performance over a lower clock speed in another architecture. See also Overclocking.

This is a CD burning application, mostly focussed on copying protected CD's. See the Elaborate bytes website for more details.

Cluster / Clustering
Clustering is an up-and-coming technology using two or more computers that function together as a single entity for fault tolerance and load balancing. This increases reliability and up-time in a client/server environment. One computer will sense when another computer is failing or getting bogged down and will take over its tasks.

Constant Lineair Velocity - In terms of disk drives, it means that the rate of data being read off of the disk stays the same from center to outer edge. To accomplish this, the drive motor speeds up and slows down as data is read from different areas of the disk. The linear velocity remains constant. An 8x CD-ROM drive that operates at CLV will read data at 8x anywhere on the disk, from the center to the outer edge. See also CAV.

CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor)
This is the common reference for the BIOS preferences in your computer. Actually, it is a low power version of a chip. The low power comes into play because it is what commonly holds your BIOS preferences through power off with the aid of a battery.

CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black)
This is an alternate color scheme to the RGB color scheme. Combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used to represent colors. The CMYK scheme is used mainly in print, such as magazines. Combining cyan, magenta and yellow produces black, but that black is not always pure enough, thus, the addition of the K, for pure black. Color inkjet printers use CMYK to represent images. The best printers have separate black instead of wasting all the colors to print a faux black.

Coaxial cable
This is the original Ethernet cable. It consists of a single, insulated copper wire, surrounded by a copper braid or foil. The wire is then coated with plastic. Coaxial cable is used in bus topology. Coaxial cable is also used for cable TV.

COBOL (COmmon Business-Oriented Language)
Used in the 70-ies for programming financial software and almost died a few years back. In the financial world there is a minor comeback of this language because all the old applications are written in Cobol.

Coder / decoder and/or compression / decompression sofware. Codecs use a standard interface of coding and decoding data. Typically, the data is coded and / or compressed to save space. Usually, this is done with multimedia data such as video and audio. A codec allows an operating system or a program to properly play audio or video in a particular format.

Cold Restart
Restart where the computer is actually switched of, often this is caused either by a hard reset or a shutdown and restart. See Hard Reset.

Color model: Additive
Color model where colors are added: transmitted light which we perceive as different colors are mixed to create other colors, if red, green and blue are combined, white is perceived. See also RGB.

Color model: Substractive
Subtractive color model: example, subtract red from white light only green and blue reflect which we see as cyan. If 100% CMY are combined, black is perceived. See CYMK.

COM Port
An abbreviation for communications port, this generally refers to a serial port.

Communication-port. In a PC this is also called the serial or RS232 port, used for example for modems, organizers, etc.

Command Prompt
This is any blinking cursor waiting, or prompting, for user input. Commonly we mean a DOS prompt.

To perform semantic preprocessing of the code, usually optimizing one or more qualities of the code, such as run-time speed of execution or run-time storage usage. The minimum semantic requirements of compilation are that it must remove all macro calls and arrange for all load time values to be resolved prior to run time.

A compiler translates a computer program from one language into another, catching any errors in syntax along the way. Most commonly, you translate some high level language, such as C++ or COBOL, into optimized machine language. This form of compilation puts your programs into a form that your computer can understand without any translation, thus speeding them up.

Composite Video
Video in- or output where the colors red, green and blue and the image synchronisation are mixed into one signal.

Proces that converts a informationstream to a smaller amount of bits. This way it saves bandwidth and or storage space. Very common example of compression: MP3 (loss) and ZIP (lossless).

The ability of the three electron beams (red, green and blue) in a CRT monitor to meet at a single point and produce one dot. If a monitor is mis-converging, you will notice shadows of blue or red around any white images. Often, this will occur in only some parts of the screen. Some monitors have convergence controls, but most do not.

Change. For example changing a file format; WAV to MP3. Or changing signals, from one format to another.

Websites send these to your browser so that the site is customized based on your previous actions on that site. If you want to view your cookies, look for a file called "cookie.txt" on your hard drive.

Core / Core Memory
In UNIX systems this term is commonly used in reference to memory. Back in the early days, memory chips were actually magnetic coils (little ferriet ring, with a bit of copper wire around it).

Core Dump
In UNIX systems, when a program crashes, it "dumps" out an image of the memory and registers so that you may go through and see what caused the problem. See also Core Memory.

CPS (Characters Per Second)
This is the amount of text characters printed in a second. This term was used more when daisy wheel and dot matrix printers were common. Nowadays, printers are rated more by pages per minute (ppm).

CPU (Central Processing Unit)
Think of this as the brains of the computer. When most people think of processors, they think of Intel (Pentium, StrongARM), AMD (Athlon/Duron), Motorola (68xxx, PowerPC), or IBM (also PowerPC).

This is the common term used to describe a malicious hacker. Crackers get into all kinds of mischief, including breaking or "cracking" copy protection on software programs, breaking into systems and causing harm, changing data, or stealing. Hackers regard crackers as a less educated group of individuals that cannot truly create their own work, and simply steal other people's work to cause mischief, or for personal gain.

A craddle is a kind of docking station. Commenly used for small devices like PDA's, Digital Camera's, etc. Through the craddle the device get's connected to a PC or Mac. Usually for data exchange and somethimes for charging batteries as well. See also Docking Station.

CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check)
This is a test to see whether data has been transferred properly over a modem, or to and from disk media. A checksum is being used.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
This refers to a class of enterprise software that enables a large company to manage all contact they have with their customers. It would track, for example, calls to tech support, faxes, e-mails, direct mail, telephone contacts, and any other contact that a company would have with a customer and vice-versa. This information can be used for analysis of customer relationships and gives salespeople an understanding of what to say when they call up a customer.

This is a UNIX / Linux daemon that allows tasks to be scheduled on a regular basis. The crontab command is used to schedule jobs.

The act of asking the same question in more than one Forum (commonly at the same website). This is definitely NOT appreciated on most forums!

This is a technology from ATI/AMD that allows 2 (PCIE) video cards in the same computer system to be linked, thus sharing the load of the 3D image being created. This makes for some powerful gaming systems. See also SLI (nVidia).

Crossover Cable or Cross-cable
This refers to an Ethernet cable using RJ-45 connectors, where one end of the cable has the order of the middle 4 of the 8 wires reversed. You can use a crossover cable to directly connect two 10BaseT or 100BaseT network cards, basically making a network of two computers, for easy file transfer. As well, crossover cables are often used to connect 10BaseT and 100BaseT hubs together.

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)
Standard TV or monitor tube. This is one of the main components of monitors and TVs. A beam of electrons is shot towards the CRT and as they collide with phosphors on the inside surface, they produce light. Today, other technologies are performing better than the heavy and bulky tube monitors. LCD panels and projection units are both in contention.

Cryptography (crypto)
This is the study of decryption and encryption.

CSEL (Cabel Select)
This is basically Plug and Play ATA. You plug in your ATA/IDE hard drives and set them to CSEL (Cable Select) and they determine whether they are master or slave automatically, saving you from manual configuration. Unfortunally, this does not always work that great.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
You can use CSS to define one or more styles on a single web page or group of web pages. The styles determine how information is displayed in browsers. For example, you could define a style for text that sets the font to Arial, and the size to 2, and use that style where it is appropriate on your HTML pages. A style can affect one page, or a group of them. Most current browsers support CSS.

CSS (Content Scrambling System)
This is a method of scrambling DVD movie content so that DVD movies will not be played on unlicensed DVD player hardware. CSS is part of a complex group of technologies including Macrovision and DVD Region control developed to attempt to control the viewing and copying of DVD movies. A side effect of CSS is that no DVD movie playing software was developed for Linux, and thus the DeCSS program was created.

Color Super-Twist Nematic - a form of passive matrix LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) for electronic display screens. Each pixel of a CSTN display is actually 3 separate colored pixels of Red / Green / Blue. Each of those colors are controlled individually by the graphic controller chip. So in actually; a 320 by 240 pixel CSTN display actually contains 960 by 240 individually colored pixels.

CSV (Comma Separated Values)
This is a file extension used for a data file consisting of items of data separated by commas. Each line of data is separated by a carriage return.

Cordless Telecommunications 2. Digital standard for cordless phones which can be compared with DECT, however DECT offers more features.

CTRL (Control Key)
This is a key on a computer keyboard that typically adds 64 bits to the ASCII value of a key being pressed.

A type of fraud where an individual poses as private sellers selling products in larger quantities - commonly these products have problems, hidden defects or other issues. This way the seller avoids dealing with these problems, since warranty and such can be ignored, while still making good money on garbage.

This is often represented by a blinking line or square on your computer screen. The cursor is there to let you know where information will be displayed when you type on a keyboard. Now a days, the mouse arrow is being refered to as cursor as well - it indicates where you are on the display.

Color-Video-Blanking-Synchronisation. This is also refered to as composite video. This technique makes it possible to transport all the required information for video over one single wire. Often you see on your TV, VCR or PC a yellow tulip connector - this is the CVBS signal. One of the pins of a SCART connector carriers this signal aswell.

Constant Linear Velocity of the information track achieved by variable angular velocity using higher rotational drive speeds on the inner tracks and lower speeds on the outer tracks resulting in a constant scanning velocity and bit rate.

This term was coined to refer to the vast expanses of the Internet. Just as space is infinite, the Internet is, well, pretty darn big. It just sounded cooler than "Internet" to the news media.

This term refers to a person that is partially flesh and bone, but has one or more robotic appendages electronically linked to their nerves.

CYMK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black)
This is an alternate color scheme to the RGB color scheme. Combinations of the colors cyan, magenta, yellow and black are used to represent colors. The CMYK scheme is used mainly in print, such as magazines. Combining cyan, magenta and yellow produces black, but that black is not always pure enough, thus, the addition of the K, for pure black. Color inkjet printers use CMYK to represent images. Subtractive color model: example, subtract red from white light only green and blue reflect which we see as cyan. If 100% CMY are combined, black is perceived. See also RGB.

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