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There are 605 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
C

A high-level programming language designed by Dennis Ritchie at AT&T Bell Labs, in the 1970s. C was developed to allow UNIX to run on a variety of computers. C is becoming popular as an alternative to assembly language for some uses, and can be compiled into machine language for almost all computers.

C shell

(csh). A command line interpreter shell and script language for UNIX.

C:

The primary hard disk in a PC.

c/s

Client/server. A method of networking in which a client machine sends a request to a server machine, which provides files, database searches, and other services.

C&P

Cut and Paste. Deleting a block of material (text or graphics, or both) from one place and moving it to another place. The expression is taken from production room layout, where originally cutting and pasting was done by hand.

C#

Pronounced “c sharp.” A new programming language from Microsoft, it was created so that programmers can make a variety of applications – from system level applications to high level business objects – for Microsoft’s .NET platform. Microsoft sees C# as a way to overcome productivity issues it sees as coming from languages such as C and C++.

C++

An object-oriented version of C created by Bjarne Stroustrup at AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1986. In C, “C++” means “add 1 to C.” C++ is the basis of the Java language.

C2

Command and Control. This is a military term. Command and control systems are management information systems that help monitor and control operations; for example, the computer systems that control nuclear weapons.

CA

Compression Active. A modem status signal indicated by a light on the modem, which means that the data sent will be compressed.

cable

A flexible wire or bundle of wires, usually metal (glass or silica in fiber-optic cable), insulated with plastic or rubber, and having connectors on the ends. Some kinds of cable, especially coaxial cable and fiber-optics cable, are used in electronics and computer networking.

cable modem

A cable modem is an external device that hooks up to your computer and
instead of getting an internet connection through your telephone wire (or
another system), you get a connection through your cable network (same
place your cable TV connection comes from). Cable modems translate radio
frequency (RF) signals to and from the cable plant into Internet Protocol (IP),
the communications protocol spoken by all computers connected to the
Internet. Cable modems are designed to take advantage of the broadband
cable infrastructure enabling peak connection speeds over 100 times faster
than traditional dial-up connections.

cache

a storage device that is high-speed and can be used as either a main memory or as an independent high-speed storage device.

cache

A temporary storage area for frequently-accessed or recently-accessed data. Having certain data stored in cache speeds up the operation of the computer. There are two kinds of cache: internal (or memory cache) and external (or disk cache). Internal cache is built into the CPU, and external cache is on the motherboard. When an item is called for, the computer first checks the internal cache, then the external cache, and finally the slower, main storage. A cache hit (accessing data from a cache) takes much less time than retrieving information from the main memory; the cache has high-speed memory chips. The cache may also be used as a temporary storage area for data that will be written to disk when the computer is idle.

cache coherency

The management of a cache so that data is not lost, corrupted, or overwritten.

cache hit

The successful retrieval of requested data from the cache. Since a cache hit is faster than reading information from the main memory, the more cache hits, the faster the computer will operate. The larger the cache, the more chance that a particular file will be in cache.

cache memory

A high-speed buffer storage that is smaller than the main storage. The cache memory temporarily stores instructions and data from the main storage that will likely be used next by the CPU.

cache miss

A failure to find requested data in the cache; this means the slower memory must be searched.

caching

Storing data in a cache.

CAD

Computer Aided Design. In fields such as engineering and architecture, CAD uses computer graphics to do work that formerly would have been done with pencil and paper. CAD requires a high-resolution monitor and special software.

CAD/CAM

Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing. A combination of CAD and CAM. For example, a designer creates a 3-dimensional representation of an object, with the help of the computer, and then the computer programs instructions for automated manufacture of the object and controls the manufacturing process.

CADD

Computer Aided Design & Drafting. CAD systems with features added for drafting.

caddy

The plastic and metal case that a CD-ROM is put in before inserting it into the CD-ROM drive.

CAE

Computer-Aided Engineering. Using computers to help with engineering design work.

Caesar Cipher

A cipher which replaces each letter of the message by a letter a fixed distance away. This cipher was supposedly used by Julius Caesar.

CAI

Computer Aided Instruction. Using computers as aids for instructional purposes. Some people find computer instruction helpful because it allows them to learn at their own pace.

Cairo

The code name for an object-oriented version of Windows NT.

calculator

A machine that performs arithmetic operations. Numbers and operational commands are entered by means of a keypad. Results of the operations appear in a readout window, or in some calculators can be printed on paper tape. Personal computers have a calculator function.

calendar program

A calendar on the computer. Calendar programs usually have appointment book and a way for the user to enter reminders or "to-dos." Alarms can be set for important items, and the calendar can be programmed to open when the computer is booted, to show what needs to be done that day.

call

A programming statement that temporarily transfers control of execution to a subprogram. When the subprogram ends, the main program resumes.

CALL

Computer Aided Language Learning. The use of computers in learning a language.

CAM

Computer-Aided Manufacturing. The use of computers in manufacturing, including automated manufacture. See also CAD, and CAD/CAM.

camera ready

Ready for printing. A page layout (which may contain type, images, or both) that is ready for printing goes to the camera department where negatives are shot; the negatives are then used to make plates for the printing press. New computer technology is evolving which can bypass the camera and prepress stages, using a digital press to print directly from a computer file.

CAML

Computer Animation Movie Language.

Campus-Wide Information System

(CWIS). Publicly available computer systems provided in kiosks on university campuses where users can access directories, databases, bulletin boards, calendars, and other information services.

cancel

A button in a dialog box that cancels any changes the user may have clicked in the dialog box, and allows the user to exit.

cancelbot

A program that locates all newsgroup messages that originate from a particular person or ISP, and cancels (erases) them. Cancellation of all messages from a given source is a form of punishment for too much spam originating from that source.

cancer

In computer slang, a deadly virus.

candela

A unit used to measure luminous intensity in the International System of Units. One candela is the amount of light intensity generated by one ordinary candle.

CAP

1. Carrierless Amplitude and Phase Modulation. AT&T's modulation technology for ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). 2. Computer-Aided Planning. Using computers to organize data and plan for production.

capacitor

An electronic component that stores electrical charge. In a computer, capacitors are used in dynamic RAM cells and power supplies.

caps lock

On the computer keyboard, a key which makes all the letters print in capitals when it is in its lock position; it is locked by pressing down and unlocked by pressing again. The number keys on the keyboard are not affected by caps lock.

capture buffer

An area of memory that stores incoming data until the computer can process it.

Carbon

Carbon is a set of programming interfaces that let developers build Mac OS X applications that also run on most Mac OS 8 and 9 systems. It’s designed to provide a gentle migration path for developers transitioning from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X. Carbon makes it possible to take advantage of advanced Mac OS features while preserving developers’ investment in learning OS 8 and 9 source code.

card punch

A device used to punch holes in stiff paper cards, in patterns that can be read by a computer. The first use of punched cards was in 1801 on the automatic Jacquard loom in France. Punched cards for data processing were developed by Hermann Hollerith to use for the 1890 U.S. Census. Punched cards were used in the 1960s to feed data into computers.

card reader

1. An early device for reading punched cards by the patterns of light shining through holes in the cards. 2. A device that reads the magnetic stripes on credit cards.

caret

^ (ASCII 94), typed by shifting the number 6 key on the keyboard. Sometimes used as a symbol for the control key; for example, ^S = Control-S.

careware

Shareware made available with the request that the user donate something to a particular charity.

carpal tunnel syndrome

Injury of the carpal tunnel, a nerve pathway in the wrist, that is sometimes caused by long hours of typing. The primary symptoms are numbness, tingling, and pain in the fingers caused by pressure on the main nerve to the hand. Stretching exercises, massage therapy, or medication will help mild cases; if the condition is severe, it may require surgery. To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, typists can use a padded wrist support, take breaks and stretch the hands from time to time.

carriage return

In early typewriters, a carriage return was made by a lever that pushed the carriage to the left to begin a new line. Eventually typewriters refined this lever to a key pressed with the little finger, equivalent to the return key on a computer keyboard that sends the cursor down to begin a new line. Within the computer printer, the equivalent to the carriage return is the mechanism that controls paper feeding and movement of the print head.

carriage return character

ASCII character 13. The carriage return character ends a line or paragraph. See carriage return.

carrier

A continuous electric signal which vibrates at a single frequency, and can be modulated by other signals to carry information, such as computer data, sound, or video. Carrier signals are used in telephony, radio, TV, and satellite communications.

Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Colli

(CSMA/CD). Ethernet packets are transmitted using CSMA/CD, which means the sending computer waits for the line to be free before sending a message; if two computers accidentally transmit at the same time and their messages collide, they wait and send again at different times.

carrierless amplitude and phase modulati

(CAP). AT&T's modulation technology for ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line).

cartridge

A self-contained, removable module that is inserted into a slot in the computer or printer. Toner or ink cartridges are used in the printer; magnetic tape is protected within a cartridge; and game software in the form of plug-in cartridges is popular. Memory chips can come in cartridges; a font cartridge is one example.

cascade

A way of arranging open windows on the computer screen so that they overlap diagonally with each title bar showing.

cascading style sheets

(CSS). A style sheet mechanism that has been specifically developed for Web page designers and users. Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, and even in spoken voice. Style sheets allow the user to change the appearance of hundreds of Web pages by changing just one file. A style sheet is made up of rules that tell a browser how to present a document. Numerous properties may be defined for an element; each property is given a value. Examples are font properties, color and background properties, text properties, box properties, classification properties, and units. The term cascading refers to the fact that more than one style sheet can be used on the same document, with different levels of importance. There are differences between CSS and XSL (Extensible Style Language). Both languages can be used with XML, but only CSS can be used with HTML. XSL, however, is a transformation language, and can be used to transform XML data into HTML/CSS documents on a Web server.

case

1. The property of being capitalized (upper case) or not capitalized (lower case). The uppercase letters on the keyboard are made by pressing the shift key at the same time as the letter, or leaving the caps lock key down. ASCII code has a different designation for an uppercase letter and its lowercase letter. 2. A box that contains the components of a computer system.

CASE

Computer Aided Software Engineering. The automation of some of the methodologies used in software engineering.

CASE Data Interchange Format

(CDIF). A mechanism that makes it possible to move information from one CASE tool to another. Users often work with many different Computer Aided Software and Systems Engineering (CASE) and visual modeling tools, and interoperability is important. CDIF evolved from Extensible Markup Language (XML).

case insensitive

Making no distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters; the opposite of case sensitive. Internet domain names are case insensitive.

case sensitive

Treating upper case letters as different characters from the same letters in lower case. Filenames or text searches which are case sensitive would distinguish between, for example, Internet and internet; this distinction would be useful in some situations and inconvenient in others.

cassette

A module which encloses and protects a length of magnetic tape, which is wound between two reels past an opening through which the tape is read. Cassettes are used to store audiotape, videotape, DAT tape, and other kinds of magnetic tape used for computer storage.

CAST

Computer-Aided Software Testing. The use of an automated program for software testing.

cat

The UNIX command used to display a file's contents; short for concatenate.

CAT

Computer Aided Testing.

catalog

On the computer, a catalog is a directory of files, or a directory of storage space.

catenet

A network made up of different kinds of networks interconnected by routers. The Internet is a catenet.

cathode

The electrode of the cathode ray tube which emits electrons, which flow to the positively charged anode. See cathode ray tube.

cathode ray tube

(CRT) A glass vacuum tube with a fluorescent screen that glows when struck by electrons. Images are displayed by electron beams which constantly scan the screen; a variable electromagnetic field within the tube directs these beams. TV screens and computer monitors both contain cathode ray tubes.

www.cauce.org.

CAV

Constant Angular Velocity. The writing or reading mode used with a hard disk, floppy disk, or laserdisc. The disk rotates at a constant speed, and the number of bits in each track is the same, but because the inner tracks are smaller in circumference than the outer tracks, their density is less. CAV wastes disk space this way compared with constant linear velocity (CLV), but makes data retrieval fast and is a good way to store high-resolution photos or video.

CAVE

(Computer Automatic Virtual Environment). A reality simulation in which the user does not wear goggles, but images are projected on the walls and ceiling giving an illusion of 3-D reality.

CB

Citizens Band. The range of radio wave frequencies allocated for private radio communications.

CBEMA

Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers Association. A Washington, D.C. organization that develops standards for computers and business equipment worldwide.

CBM

Commodore Business Machines. A pioneering company in the personal computer industry; maker of the PET, Commodore, and Amiga computers. The company went bankrupt in 1994. In 1995 the German company Escom AG bought Commodore Business Machines with the intention of manufacturing Amigas once again.

CBMS

Computer Based Message System.

CBR

Constant Bit Rate. A constant rate of transmission, required for voice transmissions.

CBT

Computer-Based Training. Training through use of a computer.

CBX

Computer-controlled Branch eXchange. A telephone switching system that connects telephone extensions to each other within a company or building. Also called PBX.

cc

A UNIX command to compile a C program.

www.ccianet.org

CCIRN

Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Networks. A committee made up of major North American and European research organizations, whose goal is international cooperation among research networks. Its membership includes the United States Federal Networking Council (FNC), the European Association of Research Networks (RARE), and other research organizations.

CCITT

Commite Consultatif International de Telegraphique et Telephonique. (International Consultative Committee on Telecommunications and Telegraphy). Now called International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Geneva, Switzerland. ITU is one of the organizations working on forming international standards for communication. ITU-T is the arm of ITU responsible for telecommunications standards.

CCP

Certificate in Computer Programming. A certificate awarded by the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals which indicates the bearer has passed an examination, and has some computer education or job experience.

CCR

Commitment, Concurrency, and Recovery. An OSI application service element which is used to create atomic operations over distributed systems. CCR is used to implement two-phase commit for transactions and operations that run nonstop.

ccw

Counterclockwise.

CD

1. Compact Disc. A format for storing audio data in digital form, which can be played on a CD player or with a CD-ROM drive. 2. Carrier Detect. A modem status signal indicated by a light on the modem. Carrier detect means a carrier frequency has been detected on the line, indicating a successful connection has been made.

CD burner

A program for writing to a CD or CD-ROM.

CD formats

Various formats of compact discs have been derived from the original audio CD. Specifications for these CD formats are listed in a series of books named after the color of their covers. The Red Book describes audio CDs, also called compact disc-digital audio (CD-DA). The Yellow Book describes the compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM) format. The Orange Book is for write-once CDs (CD-WO), as the photo CD and compact disc-recordable (CD-R). The Green Book describes compact disc-interactive (CD-I), and the White Book is for video CDs (CD-V).

CD ripper

A program that enables the user to digitally copy songs off a CD into many different formats including WAV, AIFC, and more.

CD-Bridge disc

A CD-ROM XA disc that can be played with a CD-ROM XA player or a CD-I player, allowing the output to be displayed on either a computer or TV screen.

CD-DA

Compact Disk – Digital Audio. An audio CD. A 4.72″-diameter disc containing digital audio information, originally developed by Phillips and Sony as a format for very high-fidelity sound. The disc can contain up to 72 minutes of sound. A compact disc is recorded on one side only, and tracks can be played in any sequence. To make the CD, sound waves are sampled 44,056 times per second and converted into digital format, then recorded as microscopic pits which are read by a laser-equipped player. CDs and CD-ROMs are made using the same technology; both have a spiral recording track like a vinyl record, and use constant linear velocity. CDs quickly became popular because of the high quality of digital sound. Audio CDs can be read by special audio CD players, or by CD-ROM players.

CD-E

CD-Erasable. An erasable CD, which requires a special CD-E drive. The CD-E drive can read and write CD-E disks, CD-R disks and CD-ROM disks.

CD-I

(Compact Disc-Interactive). An optical disc that is physically the same as an audio CD, but contains multimedia information (images, sound, etc.) The user can interact with films, games and educational programs. CD-I discs require a CD-I player, which can be used as an accessory to a TV set, and will not play in a standard CD-ROM player.

CD-M

Also called CD-MIDI. Compact Disc-Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A CD system on a computer that enables the user to work with MIDI instructions for electronic instruments, including reading musical scores and editing. CD-MIDI can display visual information that corresponds with the sounds as they are played.

CD-MIDI

Also called CD-M. Compact Disc-Musical Instrument Digital Interface. A CD system on a computer that enables the user to work with MIDI instructions for electronic instruments, including reading musical scores and editing. CD-MIDI can display visual information that corresponds with the sounds as they are played.

CD-R

Compact Disc Recordable. A recordable CD-ROM which can be read by normal CD-ROM drives; data can only be recorded once onto a CD-R, and cannot be changed.

CD-RDx

CD-ROM Read Only Data Exchange. A CD-ROM standard developed by the CIA for ISO-9660-compatible computers, used for read-only data.

CD-ROM

Compact Disc Read-Only Memory. An optical disc that is physically the same as an audio CD, but contains computer data. Storage capacity is about 680 megabytes. CD-ROMs are interchangeable between different types of computers.

CD-ROM drive

A disk drive that reads CD-ROMs and audio CDs. It may be installed in the computer or removable. Recordable CD-ROM drives can also record onto the CDs.

CD-ROM drive

A drive that reads CD-ROMs and audio CDs. It may be installed in the computer or removable. Recordable CD-ROM drives can also record.

CD-ROM Extended Architecture

(CD-ROM XA). A CD-ROM format that has audio and graphics, plus extended storage capabilities. CD-ROM XA is used for photo CDs, which store and display high-quality photos in digital format.

CD-ROM extensions

Extensions to an operating system that enable it to read CD-ROMs. MS-DOS has MSCDEX.EXE; Macintosh has High Sierra File Access, Foreign File Access, ISO 9660 File Access, for example.

CD-ROM jukebox

A machine similar to a record or CD jukebox, except that it can read CD-ROMs. It can store a number of CD-ROMs, but only plays one at a time, and has a mechanism for switching from one to another.

CD-ROM Read Only Data Exchange

(CD-RDx). A CD-ROM standard developed by the CIA for ISO-9660-compatible computers, used for read-only data.

CD-ROM tower

A tall box which contains a number of CD-ROM drives. The CD-ROM tower is useful for networks, because all of the drives are accessible at all times.

CD-ROM XA

CD-ROM Extended Architecture. A CD-ROM format that has audio and graphics, plus extended storage capabilities. CD-ROM XA is used for photo CDs, which store and display high-quality photos in digital format.

CD-RTOS

Compact Disc – Real Time Operating System.

CD-RW

CD-ReWritable. A CD-ROM that can be written, erased, and rewritten by the user. CD-RW discs usually will only play on Multi-Read CD-ROM drives; some CD players with exceptional speed may have the sensitivity to read CD-RW discs.

CD-RW drive

CD-ReWritable drive. A CD-ROM drive that can write, erase, and rewrite to a CD-ROM. CD-RW is considered by many to be the perfect bridge from CD to DVD technology because of its backward and forward compatibility with existing CD and future DVD platforms.

CD-Single

An 8-cm. music disc which can store up to 200 K, and can be played by the Sony Data Discman.

CD-V

Compact Disc – Video. An audio CD that can provide up to five minutes of video with digital sound. They can be played in most laser disc players.

CD-WO

Compact Disc – Write Once.

CD+G

Compact Disc plus Graphics.

CDA

Communications Decency Act. An amendment to the U.S. 1996 Telecommunications Act that went into effect in February 1996. The law was intended to protect children from obscenity on the Internet, but many Internet users argued that its language was too vague and that it violated the right of free speech. Protesters against the law turned their Web pages black and displayed blue ribbon icons downloaded from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In June 1996, a three-judge panel ruled the act unconstitutional. The Justice Department appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

CDC

1. An operating system and family of computers from Control Data Corporation including workstations, mainframes, and supercomputers. (Control Data Corporation is now called Control Data Systems). 2. Century Date Change. Another expression for the Y2K date change.

cdda2wav

A CD ripper and sampling utility.

CDDB

(Compact Disc Data Base). A public database that has information about CDs; for example, song title, track, and artist information. If your player supports CDDB connections, you can record a CD and then have the tracks titled from the database.

CDDI

Copper-Distributed Data Interface. A token-ring network similar to FDDI, but it uses copper cable, and is limited to distances of 50 to 100 meters.

CDF

Channel Definition Format. An application of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) designed to be used with push technology.

CDFS

CD-ROM File System. 1. The program for reading CD-ROMs in 5839″>Windows 95. 2. The program Commodore PCs use for reading CD-ROMs.

CDIF

(CASE Data Interchange Format). A mechanism that makes it possible to move information from one CASE tool to another. Users often work with many different Computer Aided Software and Systems Engineering (CASE) and visual modeling tools, and interoperability is important. CDIF is an evolution of eXtensible Markup Language (XML).

CDMA

Code Division Multiple Access. A technique of multiplexing, also called spread spectrum, in which analog signals are converted into digital form for transmission. For each communication channel, the signals are encoded in a sequence known to the transmitter and the receiver for that channel.

CDMA2000

Based on CDMA, this is a 3G wireless technolgy that sports up to twice the voice capacity and data speed on a single 1.25MHz carrier in a new or existing spectrum.

CDParanoia

CD ripper software that reads digital audio directly from a CD, then writes the data to a file or pipe in WAV, AIFC or raw 16 bit linear PCM format. CDParanoia can read data from a variety of hardware devices and can also read and repair data from damaged CDs.

CDPD

Cellular Digital Packet Data. A data transmission technology used to send data to and from cellular devices. CDPD uses cellular channels in the 800-900 MHz range and transmits data in packets. CDPD can achieve data transfer rates up to 19.2 Kbps.

CDR burner

A program for writing to a recordable CD or CD-ROM.

CDTV

Commodore Dynamic Total Vision. CD-ROM multimedia for Commodore PCs, which can be displayed by a TV monitor. The technology is also used for video games and audio.

Celeron

A brand of processors from Intel for the basic PC market, available in 333-MHz, 300A-MHz, 300-MHz and 266-MHz operating frequencies. All Celeron processors are based on the Intel 0.25 micron CMOS process technology. The processors are in the single edge processor package (SEPP). They have the same P6 microarchitecture core as the Pentium II processor, and provide the performance to run most common applications on operating systems. They are designed for dependability and cost efficiency.

cell

A box in a spreadsheet or table where data can be entered.

cell address

Exact designation of a cell's location in a spreadsheet, indicated by a column letter and a row number. The address D4 would be in column D, row 4. Also called cell reference.

cell reference

Exact designation of a cell's location in a spreadsheet, indicated by a column letter and a row number. The address D4 would be in column D, row 4. Also called cell address.

cell relay

A packet-switching technology that divides a transmission into small fixed-length cells, sends them over the network, then puts the complete message back together at the receiving end. In the X.25 and frame relay packet-switching methods, the packets vary in length; having small uniform-sized packets (cells) makes it possible to send information faster. Asynchronous transfer mode makes use of cell relay technology.

Cello


CellPhimportance

Pronounced self-importance.

CellPhimportance is a condition in which ones cell phone takes all precedence over everyone or everything in it’s surrounding area.

His CellPhimportance has earned the him the reputation of just being rude.


cellular phone

A type of wireless mobile telephone service in which a service area is divided into multiple cells, each served by a base station. Calls are transferred from base station to base station as the user travels from cell to cell. Cellular service uses the 800 MHz frequency band.

center tab

A tab in which the text is centered around the tab stop.

centering

Aligning text around the center of a page; usually refers to horizontal alignment.

centillion

10^303 (U.S. and Canada); 10^600 (Europe).

centimeter

(cm). A unit of measurement; 1/100th of a meter or (0.39 inch).

central processing unit

(CPU). The central processing unit controls the operation of a computer. Units within the CPU perform arithmetic and logical operations and decode and execute instructions. In microcomputers, the entire CPU is on a single chip.

Centrino

Intels pentium chip version of mobile technology, which includes wireless networking, and increased battery life

Century Date Change

(CDC). Another expression for the Y2K date change.

Cerf, Vincent

President of the Internet Society (ISOC) and cocreator of TC/IP with Bob Kahn.

Cerfnet

An Internet Service Provider in San Diego, California, U.S.A.

CERN

Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire (European Laboratory for Nuclear Research). A high-energy physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland, where the World Wide Web was developed.

www.cert.org

Certificate in Computer Programming

(CCP). A certificate awarded by the Institute for Certification of Computer Professionals which indicates the bearer has passed an examination, and has some computer education or job experience.

Certified Systems Engineer

(CSE). Certification level from Microsoft for technical specialists in Windows NT and other Microsoft software.

cfm

Like .com and .org, this is a URL extension; it stands for “cold fusion” and is created by the company Allaire Corporation. Similar to Microsoft's Visual Interdev yet more popular, .cfm is a format allowing you to link databases and spreadsheets to your webpage much easier than via HTML coding.

CGA

Color Graphics Adapter. An early IBM hardware video display standard, with a maximum resolution of 640×200 pixels. It was widely used in the mid-1980s, but then was superseded by EGA.

CGI

Common Gateway Interface. A way of interfacing computer programs with HTTP or WWW servers, so that a server can offer interactive sites instead of just static text and images.

CGI script

Common Gateway Interface script. A program that is run on a Web server, in response to input from a browser. The CGI script is the link between the server and a program running on the system; for example, a database. CGI scripts are used with interactive forms. See also CGI

cgi-bin

Short for Common Gateway Interface-BINaries. A special directory where common gateway interface (CGI) scripts are kept. Since a CGI program is executable, having a CGI script on a Web page means allowing everyone who visits the page to run a program on the system, which is not very safe. Putting the CGI script in its own directory is a security precaution; the cgi-bin can be under direct control of the webmaster, which prohibits the average user from creating CGI scripts. Putting a script in the CGI bin also lets the Web server know to run the program rather than just display it to the browser.

CGM

Computer Graphics Metafile. An ANSI standard format for exchanging graphics files between applications, in both vector and raster formats.

ch

Top-level newsgroup category for a Swiss newsgroup.

chad

The scrap left when a hole is punched in paper or tape.

chain printer

A kind of impact printer in which the character slugs are moved by the links of a revolving chain.

chained list

A list in which each data element points to the next. The chained list makes it possible to list data elements in sequence although they may be dispersed.

chained list search

Searching using a chained list.

Challenge-Handshake Authentication Proto

(CHAP). A way of authenticating the identity of a user on a PPP server. CHAP uses a three-way handshaking procedure, and provides more security than PAP. The identity of the user can be challenged at any time while a connection is open. CHAP is described in RFC 1334.

Channel

This is when two devices are linked either externally in internally.

Channel Definition Format

(CDF). An application of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) designed to be used with push technology.

channel latency

The waiting time for a communications channel to be available to transmit data.

channel op

A user who has powers on an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel. The channel op may be responsible for monitoring the channel, and denying privileges to those who misuse it.

chanop

Channel operator, or channel op. A user who has powers on an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel. The channel op may be responsible for monitoring the channel, and denying privileges to those who misuse it.

CHAP

Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol. A way of authenticating the identity of a user on a PPP server. CHAP uses a three-way handshaking procedure, and provides more security than PAP. The identity of the user can be challenged at any time while a connection is open. CHAP is described in RFC 1334.

char

Abbreviation for character, used in computer programming.

character

A symbol that represents information, or the representation of that symbol by a computer. Letters of the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation symbols are characters; so are some keyboard commands. ASCII, ANSI, and EBCDIC are coding systems for translating each character into one byte to be read by the computer.

character field

A data field for typing in alphanumeric characters.

character format

Instructions for the size (in points), style (bold, italic, small caps, etc.), position (normal, superscript, etc.), spacing (condensed, expanded, etc.), font, and color of typeset characters.

Character Map

An interactive keyboard layout in Windows that shows for each typeface the characters available in uppercase, lowercase, and with option keys. The equivalent utility for Macintosh is Key Caps.

character pitch

The number of characters per inch (cpi) in a typeface or a page of type. In fixed-pitch type, each character takes up the same width; in proportional-pitch type, the i takes up less width than the m, and character pitch is an average number.

character printer

A printer that prints a single character at a time.

character recognition

The ability of a computer to recognize printed characters. For example, when a page of text is scanned using a regular scanning program, the page will be read as a graphic; the computer does not recognize individual characters but only takes a picture of the page. When optical character recognition (OCR) is used, the computer recognizes each individual character and creates a text file out of the scanned page, which can be edited or formatted like any other text file. Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) is used by banks to read characters on checks and convert them into digital information.

character role playing game

(CRPG; also called RPG). A game which may be played on computer or with pen and paper, in which the players act out a different reality. Classic role-playing games involve creating a character, assigning a set of attributes such as strength, dexterity, willpower, charisma, etc., and moving the character through adventures in a fantasy, historical, or futuristic environment, usually containing enemies to fight and treasures to find. The game is often led by a gamemaster or dungeonmaster who does not play a character but who has keys to the game, hidden rules, and a secret map that the players can't see; the gamemaster tells a player what each room looks like upon entering, when he has run into something invisible, whether he hit the dragon enough times to kill it, etc. The first gamemaster is usually the designer of the game.

character rotation

The alignment ocharacters in relation to the baseline.

character set

A set of characters which may include letters, numeric characters, punctuation marks, symbols, signs, and control codes. ASCII is the most commonly used character set. EBCDIC and Kanji are other well-known character sets. For use in a computer, each character in a set has its own code, a binary number which the computer recognizes.

character string

A group or sequence of characters.

character-based interface

A computer interface that shows only characters and no graphics on the screen.

character-oriented protocol

A communications protocol in which data are transmitted as whole characters rather than as bits.

charge-coupled device

(CCD). Electronic memory in which metal oxide semiconductors are arranged so the output, or charge, from one semiconductor is the input of the next semiconductor. CCDs can be charged by light or electricity. One use is for storing images in digital cameras, video cameras, and optical scanners.

Charisma

A Windows presentation graphics program from Micrografix.

charityware

Shareware for which the payment asked is sending a donation to a favorite charity.

CHAt

Conversational Hypertext Access technology (Internet).

chat

2. To have a real-time conversation online. See also chat mode.

chat mode

A mode in which users can type messages back and forth to each other, which are transmitted in real time.

chat room

A real-time electronic forum; a virtual room where visitors can meet others and share ideas on a particular subject. There are chat rooms on the Internet, BBSs, and other online services.

check box

In a hypertext document, a small box that looks like the checkbox on a paper form. When the user clicks a check box to select an option, an X appears in the box.

CheckFree

CheckFree is a provider of financial e-commerce.

checksum

A value that accompanies data transferred from one place to another and helps to ensure that the data was transferred correctly. The checksum is computed by adding up the bytes or words of the data block. On the receiving end, the checksum is computed based on the data received and compared with the value that was sent with the data. If the two numbers match, the data is considered correct.

Chemical Markup Language

(CML). An application of XML which makes it possible to incorporate chemical symbols into Web pages as easily as text.

CHI

Computer-Human Interface. The kind of interface between a computer and the user determines how easy the computer is to use.

Chicago

1. A bitmap typeface. 2. The code name for Microsoft Windows 95 during development.

chiclet keyboard

A keyboard with small, square keys.

chief information officer.

(CIO). The chief executive officer in charge of information processing.

chief technology officer

(CTO). The executive who directs an organization in matters pertaining to technology.

child file

In a database, a file that is the offspring of a parent file and holds additional information.

child program

A subprogram which is loaded into memory and used by the main program.

Chinook

The world champion, artificially intelligent, checkers program. Chinook is a finely tuned program with a gigantic database of checkers positions, running on a massively parallel computer.

CHIO

Channel Input/Output.

chip

Also called microelectronic or integrated circuit. A microelectronic device comprising many miniature transistors and other electronic components on a single thin rectangle of silicon or sapphire, approximately 1/16″ to 5/8″ on a side, and 1/30″ thick. A chip can contain dozens, hundreds, or millions of electronic components. To make a chip, impurities are added to the supporting material, or substrate, in specific places to create P-type and N-type regions; then by projecting light onto light-sensitive chemicals, polysilicon or aluminium tracks are etched into the top 1/1000″ of the substrate to make the electronic circuits. Chips come in analog, digital and hybrid types. Compared with earlier technology, microelectronics are faster, more compact, more energy-efficient, and cheaper to manufacture. The most complete integrated circuit is a microprocessor, a computer on a single chip.

chipset

A group of integrated circuits that are designed to work together for some specific function.

chkdsk

A DOS command meaning “Check disk space”.

choke route

The part of a firewall which isolates an internal network from the Internet.

choose

To pick a command from a pull-down menu.

Chooser

A Macintosh desk accessory that allows the user to select which connected printer or modem to use, and to connect or disconnect from a network.

chop

Channel operator. A user who has powers on an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel. The channel op may be responsible for monitoring the channel, and denying privileges to those who misuse it.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

(CCEL). An experimental theological library on the Internet.

Chromeffects

Add-on technology to Windows 98 that uses eXtensible Markup Language (XML) tags to describe ads or 3-D graphics, or to indicate to the client computer how to create animation locally, rather than sending all the information over the Internet. This technology can help speed up multimedia content transmitted over the Internet.

CHRP

Common Hardware Reference Platform. An open system standard for PowerPCs, later renamed PowerPC Reference Platform. It allows PowerPC-based computers to run different operating systems, including Mac OS, Workplace OS, AIX, OS/2, Solaris, Taligent, and Windows NT. It designates ports and sockets for compatibility across platforms, and can be used with various buses.

Church, Alonzo

A 20th-century mathematician who invented lambda-calculus and was one of the pioneers of computer science.

CIAC

Computer Incident Advisory Capability. This group assists the Department of Energy in its information protection efforts by providing computer security incident response services.

CICS/VS

Customer Information Control System for Virtual Storage (IBM).

CIDR

Classless Inter-Domain Routing. A method for more efficient use of the existing 32-bit Internet Address Space.

CIE

Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage. An international committee for the establishment of color standards. The CIE model and the CIE Chromaticity Diagram define the different variations of color.

CIE Chromaticity Diagram

(Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage Chromaticity Diagram). A two-dimensional drawing of the CIE model, which defines the different gradations of colors in terms of values of lightness, red-green and yellow-blue.

CIE model

(Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage model). A model created by Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage in 1931, showing all possible colors represented in a three-dimensional color space.

cine orientation

A placement of images so they are aligned on the sides and the bottom of an image is connected to the top of the one below it, like the frames in a film strip. See comic-strip orientation.

CIO

chief information officer. The chief executive officer in charge of information processing.

cipher

1. To compute arithmetically. 2. To put into code or secret writing, using substitution of characters or symbols or rules for changing their order. 3. An algorithm for putting a message into code by transposition and/or substitution of symbols.

ciphertext

Text that is encrypted, as opposed to plaintext.

ciphertext-only cryptanalysis

A type of cryptanalysis in which only the encoded message is available; from this the analyzer must determine the plaintext.

CIR

Committed Information Rate. The minimum transmission speed between computers in a frame relay network.

CIRC

Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Code. A technology used in compact discs for error detection and correction.

circuit

1. The complete path of an electric current including the source of electricity and the conductors through which it flows. 2. A two-way communications path between computers.

circuit analyzer

1. A device for testing an electronic circuit. 2. A device for testing a communications circuit.

circuit board

The flat board in a computer that holds integrated circuits and other electronic components.

circuit breaker

A switch that automatically interrupts an electrical circuit when there is an overload of current or other abnormal condition.

circuit switching

A communications method which establishes a dedicated channel for the duration of the transmission, allowing data to be transmitted in real time. The telephone network is a circuit-switched network.

circular reference

A mistake in a spreadsheet in which a cell contains a reference to itself. For example, cell B4 might contain the formula B3+B4 (which means the value of cell B4 = B3+B4). The computer, confronted with an unsolvable problem, will have to stop and display a warning message.

circularity

A condition in which the computer cannot complete a computation because the computation is unsolvable. For example, in a spreadsheet, cell B4 might contain the formula B3+B4 (which means the value of cell B4 = B3+B4). Since you are ordering the formula to do something to itself, the computer will stop and display a warning message.

circumflex

ASCII character 94: ^ .

Cisco Systems, Inc.

A San Jose, California company which manufactures hardware for Ethernets, and other products.

CIT

Computer Integrated Telephony.

city-named fonts

Fonts named after cities, such as Chicago, New York, Geneva, Monaco, Cairo, are usually bitmapped fonts and therefore not scalable. This is why they have ragged outlines when printed. The TrueType versions of these fonts, however, are an exception.

CIX

1. Compulink Information eXchange. 2. Commercial Internet Exchange. A connection point between commercial Internet service providers. Pronounced kix.

CKML

Conceptual Knowledge Markup Language. An application of Extensible Markup Language (XML) which extends the capabilities of Ontology Markup Language (OML). These markup languages enable authors to annotate World Wide Web documents with machine-readable knowledge, thus improving the ability of intelligent agents to gather information.

CL

Control Language. A language by which a user gives commands to a computer to perform certain tasks. It is more limited than a programming language.

CLA

Communication Line Adapter. A device that converts a digital signal into analog form to send it over a communications line, and converts incoming analog signals back into digital. It also converts a serial transmission to parallel to transmit, and converts incoming parallel signals back to serial form.

cladding

The special material used to line or cover an optical fiber; a plastic or glass sheath that surrounds the core of the fiber and is fused to it. The cladding reflects and keeps the light waves to the core and strengthens the fiber.

clamshell

The common design of portable computers, which are hinged and open like a clam shell. Inside the keyboard is on the bottom and the screen is on the top.

clan

A kind of online club, often found in chat areas, graphical chat rooms, or RPGs.

clari

Top-level newsgroup category for a Clarinet news newsgroup.

Claris

Claris Corporation, in Santa Clara, CA, U.S.A. The software company which created ClarisWorks and other programs.

ClarisWorks

A software package for Macintosh and Windows from Claris which includes word processing, spreadsheet, database, drawing, and communications.

class

In object-oriented programming, an object type; a group of objects that have the same properties, operations, and behavior.

classless inter-domain routing

(CIDR). A method for more efficient use of the existing 32-bit Internet Address Space.

clean boot

Starting the computer and only loading the main part of the operating system.

clear

A command that erases information from a spreadsheet, clears the memory in a calculator, or performs similar functions in other programs.

clear memory

To reset memory to zero by restarting a computer or turning it off and on again.

clear to send

(CTS or CS). A modem status signal which means the modem is ready to accept data from the local computer, which it will then transmit to a remote computer.

CLEC

Competitive Local Exchange Carrier. A company or organization providing local telephone services at a reduced cost in competition with a traditional telephone company. CLECs, sanctioned by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, are often established telecommunications service organizations, although any large company, city government or university has the option of becoming a CLEC provided they have a telephone switch, comply with state regulations and fees and open their services to outside customers. Compare with ILEC.

CLI

Call Level Interface. Database programming interface from SQL Access Group.

click

To press a button on a mouse or other pointer. Clicking is used to place the cursor, when working in text, or to select an object on the screen or a menu option.

click and drag

To use a mouse or other pointing device to grab an item on the computer screen and move it to another location. To click and drag, point to an item, click the pointer and hold the button down while dragging the item to the desired location; then release the button.

click art

Click art is clip art on the computer: A collection of non-copyrighted pictures which can be used to illustrate desktop publishing documents.

click rate

The percentage of ad views that result in a user clicking on the ad.

click-through

The percentage of ad views that result in a user clicking on an ad.

clickable

Responding to clicks of the mouse or pointer; for example, hyperlinks open new data areas when they are clicked.

clickable image

An image that, when clicked on, sends some instruction to the computer. Clickable images on World Wide Web pages are linked to URLs; an image that has different areas linked to different URLs is an image map.

clickable image map

A map or other graphic that has “hot spots” or hyperlinks. A user can click on a spot on the map or graphic and link to more detailed information.

client

The computer in a client/server architecture that requests files or services. The computer that provides services is called the server. The client may request file transfer, remote logins, printing, or other available services. The client also means the software that makes the connection possible.

client server


client-client-server

A technology from Apple Computer which makes it possible for a user with a portable computer to access both a server on a network, and the user's own client desktop computer.

client-side image map

An image map in which the map that relates parts of the image to different URLs is stored in the current file.

client/server

An architecture in which one computer can get information from another. The client is the computer that asks for access to data, software, or services. The server, which can be anything from a personal computer to a mainframe, supplies the requested data or services for the client.

client/server network

A network in which one or more computers are servers, and the others are clients, as opposed to a peer-to-peer network, in which any node can be a client and server.

clip art

A set of non-copyrighted images on paper which can be clipped to illustrate brochures, flyers, posters, etc. The computerized version of clip art is called “click art.”

clipboard

An area of temporary memory which is used to transfer text or graphics (or both) within a document being edited, or between documents. The data is put into the clipboard with either the Cut or Copy command, then Paste is used to put it into its new location.

Clipper chip

A microchip originally designed to encrypt telephone messages, later proposed for encoding of data transmissions also. The U.S. National Security Agency wanted to establish the Clipper chip as a national standard, with the federal government holding a master code so it could unscramble transmissions when investigating criminal activity. After much debate, and protests from groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the idea of a single encryption standard was abandoned, but the government placed restrictions on the export of encryption software.

CLK

Clock. 1. A circuit in a computer that uses a quartz crystal to generate a series of regular pulses which are sent to the CPU. The clock is the heartbeat of the computer. Switching operations in the computer take place while the clock is sending a pulse. The faster the clock speed, the more instructions per second the computer can execute. See also clock speed. 2. A circuit within a computer that keeps track of the date and time, normally powered by a battery so it keeps running when the computer is off.

CLNP

Connectionless Network Protocol. The OSI protocol for OSI Connectionless Network Service. CLNP is the OSI equivalent to the Internet Protocol (IP), and has been called ISO IP.

clock

(CLK). 1. A circuit in a computer that uses a quartz crystal to generate a series of regular pulses which are sent to the CPU. The clock is the heartbeat of the computer. Switching operations in the computer take place while the clock is sending a pulse. The faster the clock speed, the more instructions per second the computer can execute. See also clock speed. 2. A circuit within a computer that keeps track of the date and time, normally powered by a battery so it keeps running when the computer is off.

clock rate

The speed at which a computer performs basic operations, usually given in MegaHertz (millions of cycles per second). The clock rate of a computer is determined by the frequency of vibration of a quartz crystal which sends pulses to the CPU. Clock rate can be misleading when used to compare the performance of different types of computers; benchmarks try to take other variables into account.

clock speed

The speed at which a computer performs basic operations, usually given in MegaHertz (millions of cycles per second). The clock speed of a computer is determined by the frequency of vibration of a quartz crystal which sends pulses to the CPU. The clock speed of a computer is determined by the frequency of vibration of a quartz crystal which sends pulses to the CPU. Clock speed can be misleading when used to compare the performance of different types of computers; benchmarks try to take other variables into account.

clock/calendar

A circuit within a computer that keeps track of the date and time, normally powered by a battery so it keeps running when the computer is off.

ClockTools

An application program from the Bloom! Software Group.

clone

A computer that imitates a brand name computer on the market, but is usually sold for a lower price.

CLOS

Common Lisp Object System.

close

To shut a window or file on the computer screen.

clover key

The Macintosh command key, which has a clover shape on it.

CLS

Clear Screen. A command that makes the CRT screen go blank.

CLTP

Connectionless Transport Protocol. A type of interconnection in which communication takes place without first establishing a connection.
The OSI equivalent of UDP.

cluster

A group of sectors on a disk which is treated as a unit.

cluster control unit

A device that manages the input and output of several devices. For example, a cluster control unit may control several disk drives connected to a main computer.

cluster controller

A device that manages the input and output of several devices. For example, a cluster controller may control several terminals connected to a main computer.

CLUT

Color Lookup Table. A table that contains color mixing information, used especially by graphic designers and printers. A formula indicates a color mix by the intensity of red, green and blue in the color. The table can be on paper or in a computer file.

CLV

Constant Linear Velocity. A way of reading and writing data used by CD-ROMs and CDs. Instead of having several tracks arranged in concentric circles, data is contained in a single track that forms a spiral from the center of the disc to its circumference. Each sector is the same physical size and the disc drive constantly varies the rate at which the disc is spinning so that as the read/write head moves toward the center of the disc, the disc speeds up. CLV makes it possible to store more data on a disc. See CAV.

cm

Centimeter. A unit of measurement; 1/100th of a meter or (0.39 inch).

CMF

Creative Music Format.

CMI

Computer-Managed Instruction. The use of computers by teachers in managing instruction programs for students; such as creating and grading tests and monitoring student progress.

CMIP

Common Management Information Protocol. The OSI protocol for network management.

CML

Chemical Markup Language. An application of XML which makes it possible to incorporate chemical symbols into Web pages as easily as text.

CMOS

Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. A kind of integrated circuit used in processors and memories. See CMOS RAM.

CMOS RAM

Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Random Access Memory. A CMOS is a special kind of memory chip that retains its data when power is turned off as long as it receives a small amount of electricity from a battery. In a CMOS, the positive and negative electrical properties of p-type and n-type semiconductors complement each other; as one semiconductor turns on the other turns off. There is no current flow except for charging and discharging of capacitors, and switching; therefore very little power is used. Because of their low power consumption, CMOS chips are useful for main memory in portable computers. The CMOS chip in a personal computer stores a record of what components are installed. Any changes to the basic system configuration, such as the addition or removal of drives, must be recorded in the CMOS setup data.

CMOT

CMIP Over TCP (Common Management Information Protocol over Transmission Control Protocol). A way of using the OSI network management protocol to manage TCP/IP networks. CMOT is no longer in use.

CMYK

Cyan Magenta Yellow blacK. The four standard inks for printing. Four-color printing requires color separations for each of these standard inks.

CNA

Certified NetWare Administrator, a network certification issued by Novell.

CNE

Certified NetWare Engineer. A certification given by Novell for working with networks.

CNI

1. Coalition for Networked Information. A consortium formed to promote networked information resources, to further scholarship and intellectual productivity. 2. Certified NetWare Instructor. A network certification given by Novell.

CNSS

Core Nodal Switching System (Internet).

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial

(CAUCE). An organization that works against the distribution of unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam). CAUCE promotes anti-spam legislation and hosts a Web site with information for users about how to deal with spam.

Coalition for Networked Information

(CNI). A consortium formed to promote networked information resources, to further scholarship and intellectual productivity.

coaxial cable

A cable consisting of a single conductor which is surrounded by insulation and a conductive shield. The shield usually is connected to an electrical ground and prevents the cable from picking up or emitting electrical noise. Coaxial cables are used in communications.

COBOL

COmmon Business Oriented Language. A high-level programming language for business data processing, designed by the CODASYL Committee in 1960; the most widely used programming language. It has a natural language style which makes it easy for a programmer who did not write the original program to make corrections and changes.

code

1. A set of symbols that represent assigned, possibly secret meanings. 2. To put a communication into coded form. 3. Computer programming instructions. 4. To write computer instructions.

code division multiple access

(CDMA). A technique of multiplexing, also called spread spectrum, in which analog signals are converted into digital form for transmission. For each communication channel, the signals are encoded in a sequence known to the transmitter and the receiver for that channel.

codec

1. Coder/decoder. A device that converts analog signals to digital to be read by a computer or transmitted over a network, and converts the digital signals back to analog. Sound cards and video cards use this kind of codec. 2. Compression/decompression. A two-step process used on very large multimedia files. Files are compressed to fit on a CD-ROM, then expanded to their original size in order to play them on the computer. MPEG and Indeo are examples of this kind of codec, which may also include analog to digital and digital to analog conversion.

coding

1. Writing program code for a computer. 2. Encrypting.

cold boot

Booting the system from power off. Same as hard boot.

cold fault

An error that occurs immediately after starting a computer.

Cold Fusion

ColdFusion is a visual programming, database and debugging tool. It is
used for building Web applications. ColdFusion offers integration with
databases, e-mail, XML and other enterprise technology.

cold start

Starting the system from power off. Contrast with warm start.

ColdFusion

A web application server. ColdFusion is a server-side scripting language web development tool. It uses HTML-like tags called CFML to enable back-end ODBC database connectivity as well as data manipulation and validation within web pages. Native database connectivity is provided for Oracle or Sybase databases.

collapsed view

A function that condenses a computer document to show only the main headings and hide the remaining text; or, a way of viewing the computer's files that shows only the main directories or folders. The opposite of expanded view.

colon

ASCII character 58: : .

color bits

The bits mapped to each pixel in a color graphic display that determine the pixel's color. The number of bits per pixel is called color depth or bit depth.

color depth

In bitmap graphics, the number of bits per pixel, which determines the number of shades of gray or variations of color that can be displayed by a computer monitor. For example, a monitor with 16-bit color can display 65,536 different colors; a monitor with 24-bit color can display 16,777,216 colors. Multimedia programs and games may require a minimum of 256 colors. See 4-bit color, 8-bit color, 15-bit color, 16-bit color, 24-bit color, 32-bit color.

color graphics

The capability of displaying graphic images in color.

Color Graphics Adapter

(CGA). An early IBM hardware video display standard, with a maximum resolution of 640×200 pixels. It was widely used in the mid-1980s, but then was superseded by EGA.

color lookup table

(CLUT). A table that contains color mixing information, used especially by graphic designers and printers. A formula indicates a color mix by the intensity of red, green and blue in the color. The table can be on paper or in a computer file.

color map

A grid or other display of all the colors available in a computer program. Also called a color palette.

color palette

A grid or other display of all the colors available in a computer program. Also called a color map. The color palette shows the range of colors available to use within a program such as a paint or draw program, photo editing program, or page layout program.

Colossus

The earliest programmable electronic computer, based on ideas from Alan Turing. Max Newman and T.H. Flowers designed and built the computer, which was used by the British government to crack the codes from the German machine Enigma.

column

A vertical set of data, as in a table or spreadsheet. The horizontal set of data is called a row.

column guides

In a page layout program, vertical dotted guide lines that separate columns of text. The number of columns and placement of column guides are specified by the user. Column guides can also be moved with the pointer. The lines do not appear in a printout of the page.

COM port

A serial communications port.

COM printer

Computer output microfilm printer. A page printer that produces a microimage of each page on photographic film.

combination box

A window, often within a dialog box, that has both a scrollable list and a field where text can be entered.

combo box

A window, often within a dialog box, that has both a scrollable list and a field where text can be entered.

Comdex

Computer Dealers Exposition. A computer trade show, held in the spring in Atlanta, GA and in Las Vegas, NV in the fall. New releases of software and hardware are are often first demonstrated at Comdex.

comic-strip orientation

A placing of images so they are aligned at the top and are side by side on the page, like the frames in a comic strip. See cine orientation.

comm

Communication using computers, often via e-mail or real-time text messages.

comma

ASCII character 44: , .

comma-separated values

(CSV). A way of recording database fields in text format; each field is followed by a comma, and often the field is also in quotes. Also called comma-delimited.

command

An instruction given to the computer, by means of a keyboard, punch card, mouse, voice command, or other method.

command and control

(C2). This is a military term. Command and control systems are management information systems that help monitor and control operations; for example, the computer systems that control nuclear weapons.

command key

A key marked with a cloverleaf symbol on the Macintosh. It is used like the shift key, by pressing it at the same time as one or more other keys, to give commands to the computer.

command language

A language designed for giving instructions to a computer’s operating system to perform certain tasks. An example would be a query language. A command language is much more limited than a programming language.

command line

In a command line interface, the user types commands in the space provided directly on the screen using command language. Contrast with graphical user interface.

command line interface

A means of interfacing with a computer by typing in commands on a keyboard.

command prompt

The MS-DOS prompt C:/> which appears on the screen to indicate the operating system is ready to accept an instruction.

command queuing

A function that stores a sequence of commands on the computer and processes the commands one at a time.

command-driven

Having a command-line interface, as opposed to menu-driven. Instructions to the computer must be typed in via the keyboard.

commbot

A program that automatically logs the conversation during an online chat.

commerce

This is a HTTP server that performs business procedures. Information is transfered from the server to the Web browser in a code to keep information secure.

commercial at

ASCII character 64: @ , used in e-mail addresses to separate the addressee from the hostname.

Commercial Internet Exchange

(CIX). A connection point between commercial Internet service providers. Pronounced kix.

commercial software

Software developed for and sold to the general public.

commercialware

Software that is sold to the user for a profit rather than distributed as shareware or freeware.

comming

Communicating using computers, usually via e-mail or real-time text messages.

Commission Internationale de l'Ecla

(CIE). An international committee for the establishment of color standards. The CIE model and the CIE Chromaticity Diagram define the different variations of color.

Commite Consultatif International de Tel

(CCITT). International Consultative Committee on Telecommunications and Telegraphy. Now called International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Geneva, Switzerland. ITU is one of the organizations working on forming international standards for communication. ITU-T is the arm of ITU responsible for telecommunications standards.

commitment, concurrency, and recovery

(CCR). An OSI application service element that controls operations when two or more computers or applications are working on the same data; CCR makes sure that the operations are either performed completely or not performed at all.

Commodore Business Machines

(CBM). A pioneering company in the personal computer industry; maker of the PET, Commodore, and Amiga computers. The company went bankrupt in 1994. In 1995 the German company Escom AG bought Commodore Business Machines with the intention of manufacturing Amigas once again.

Commodore Dynamic Total Vision

(CDTV). CD-ROM multimedia for Commodore PCs, which can be displayed by a TV monitor.

COmmon Business Oriented Language

(COBOL). A high-level programming language for business data processing, designed by the CODASYL Committee in 1960; the most widely used programming language. It has a natural language style which makes it easy for a programmer who did not write the original program to make corrections and changes.

common gateway interface

(CGI). A way of interfacing computer programs with HTTP or WWW servers, so that a server can offer interactive sites instead of just static text and images.

Common Hardware Reference Platform

(CHRP). An open system standard for PowerPCs, later renamed PowerPC Reference Platform. It allows PowerPC-based computers to run different operating systems, including Mac OS, Workplace OS, AIX, OS/2, Solaris, Taligent, and Windows NT. It designates ports and sockets for compatibility across platforms, and can be used with various buses.

Common Management Information Protocol

(CMIP). The OSI protocol for network management.

communication line adapter

(CLA). A device that converts a digital signal into analog form to send it over a communications line, and converts incoming analog signals back into digital. It also converts a serial transmission to parallel to transmit, and converts incoming parallel signals back to serial form.

Communications Decency Act

(CDA). An amendment to the U.S. 1996 Telecommunications Bill that went into effect in February 1996. The law was intended to protect children from obscenity on the Internet, but many Internet users argued that its language was too vague and that it violated the right of free speech. Protesters against the law turned their Web pages black and displayed blue ribbon icons downloaded from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In June 1996, a three-judge panel ruled the act unconstitutional. The Justice Department appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

communications protocol

A standard way of regulating data exchange between computers, including the rules for data transmission and the formatting of messages. Some communications protocols are TCP/IP, DECnet, AppleTalk, SNA, and IPX/SPX.

comp

Top-level newsgroup category for a newsgroup with discussions about computers.

compact disc

(CD). A 4.72″-diameter disc containing digital audio information, originally developed by Phillips and Sony as a format for very high-fidelity sound. The disc can contain up to 72 minutes of sound. A compact disc is recorded on one side only, and tracks can be played in any sequence. To make the CD, sound waves are sampled 44,056 times per second and converted into digital format, then recorded as microscopic pits which are read by a laser-equipped player. CDs and CD-ROMs are made using the same technology; both have a spiral recording track like a vinyl record, and use constant linear velocity. CDs became instantly popular because of the high quality of digital sound, and replaced vinyl records almost overnight. Audio CDs can be read by special audio CD players, or by CD-ROM players.

Compact Disc Data Base

(CDDB). A public database that has information about CDs; for example, song title, track, and artist information. If your player supports CDDB connections, you can record a CD and then have the tracks titled from the database.

Compact Disc Read-Only Memory

(CD-ROM). An optical disk that is physically the same as an audio CD, but contains computer data. Storage capacity is about 680 megabytes. CD-ROMs are interchangeable between different types of computers.

Compact Disc-Erasable

(CD-E). An erasable CD, which requires a special CD-E drive. The CD-E drive can read and write CD-E disks, CD-R disks and CD-ROM disks.

Compact Disc-Interactive

(CD-I or CD-i) An optical disk that is physically the same as an audio CD, but contains multimedia information (images, sound, etc.) The user can interact with films, games and educational programs. CD-I discs require a CD-I player, which can be used as an accessory to a TV set, and will not play in a standard CD-ROM player.

Compact Disc-Recordable

(CD-R) A recordable CD-ROM which can be read by normal CD-ROM drives; data can only be recorded once onto a CD-R, and cannot be changed.

Compact Disk – Digital Audio

(CD-DA). An audio CD.

Compaq Computer Corporation

A Houston, Texas major manufacturer and vendor of PC compatibles and PC servers, maker of the first PC clone. Compaq Corp. is located at http://www.compaq.com.

compatible

Able to work together. Two hardware devices, such as a computer and printer, can be compatible; or two kinds of software with each other. Software must also be compatible with the hardware it is used with.

compiler

A computer program that translates a high-level programming language into machine language. The compiler usually converts the high-level language into assembly language first, and then translates the assembly language into machine language. The program fed into the compiler is called the source program; the generated machine language program is called the object program.

Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor

(CMOS) . A kind of integrated circuit used in processors and memories. See CMOS RAM.

component

An element within a larger system; a component could be hardware or software.

Composite Key

Used in database management systems as a key which has two or more fields in the columns in the table, or in a file.

compositor

Typesetter.

compound document

A document containing information from more than one program. A compound document might contain text from a word processor, an image from a draw or paint program, and a table from a database.

compound tags

Tags that require an opening and closing code; for example, the HTML tags <CENTER> and </CENTER>. Text and other items between these two tags will be centered on the page.

Compress

A compression program for DOS and UNIX. It creates compressed files with the .Z suffix.

compress

To code data in a way that makes it more compact. Compressed files save storage space and are faster to transmit. Some popular compression programs are Stuffit, Stacker, PKZIP, and Compact Pro.

compression

The temporary coding of data in a way that saves storage space or transmission time. Most text files can be compressed to about half their normal size. Graphics can be compressed to 10 percent of their original size.

compu-rag

Computer magazine.

compu-slang

Computer slang; informal words and phrases that have come into use among computer programmers and users.

CompuServe

An online service offering news and weather, sports, entertainment, airline schedules, stock market reports, medical information, and online publications. Users have access to bulletin boards, conferencing, e-mail, discussion forums and special interest groups, and the Internet. To send mail to a CompuServe user from outside CompuServe, change the comma to a period and add @compuserve.com. For example, 12345,678 becomes [email protected]

compuserve.com

Internet domain address of CompuServe.

compute

1. To calculate or figure. 2. To use a computer.

computer

An electronic device that has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data, and can be programmed with instructions that it remembers. The physical parts that make up a computer (the central processing unit, input, output, and memory) are called hardware. Programs that tell a computer what to do are called software.

Computer

The journal published by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Computer Society.

computer aided design

(CAD). In fields such as engineering and architecture, using computer graphics to do work that formerly would have been done with pencil and paper. CAD requires a high-resolution monitor and special software.

computer aided design &amp; drafting

(CADD). CAD systems with features added for drafting.

computer aided design/computer aided man

(CAD/CAM). A combination of CAD and CAM. For example, a designer creates a 3-dimensional representation of an object, with the help of the computer, and then the computer programs instructions for automated manufacture of the object and controls the manufacturing process.

computer aided engineering

(CAE) Using computers to help with engineering design work.

computer aided language learning

(CALL). The use of computers in learning a language.

computer aided software engineering

(CASE). The use of computers to help with the analysis, design, implementation or maintenance of software. Also called Computer Assisted Software Engineering.

Computer and Business Equipment Manufact

(CBEMA). A Washington, D.C. organization that develops standards for computers and business equipment worldwide.

computer assisted software engineering

(CASE). The use of computers to help with the analysis, design, implementation or maintenance of software. Also called Computer Aided Software Engineering.

computer automatic virtual environment

(CAVE). A reality simulation in which the user does not wear goggles, but images are projected on the walls and ceiling giving an illusion of 3-D reality.

computer conferencing

Communication between people at different geographic locations by means of text and graphic messages sent between interconnected computers.

computer crime

A crime committed using a computer or data stored on a computer.

Computer Dealers Exposition

(COMDEX). A computer trade show, held in the spring in Atlanta, GA and in Las Vegas, NV in the fall. New releases of software and hardware are are often first demonstrated at Comdex.

Computer Emergency Response Team

(CERT). An organization formed by DARPA in 1988 after the Internet worm incident. CERT watches for threats to Internet security, educates the public about computer security issues, and conducts research to improve the security of existing systems. CERT issues advisories and provides 24-hour technical assistance in response to computer security emergencies.

computer games

Games played on the computer. Computer games may be played from a floppy disk or CD-ROM, by means of e-mail, or online via BBS or Internet. There are single-player and multi-player games. The term is sometimes used to refer to those games that have a visual interface, as opposed to text-based games like RPGs and MUDs. Some popular computer games are DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Myst.

computer geek

A person who is fanatically interested in computers. In the positive sense, the word can mean someone who is very knowledgeable about computers. In the negative sense, it implies someone who has few social skills, and is only comfortable communicating with computers.

computer generations

The development of computers began in the late 1940s and early 1950s with huge mainframes that used vacuum tube technology. The second generation of computers were built with discrete transistors, from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s. Third-generation computers were built using integrated circuits after the mid-1960s; during this time period, minicomputers were developed. The fourth generation of computers are the microcomputers which use large-scale integration or very large-scale integration. The fifth generation of computers, beginning in the late 1990s, is expected to greatly expand the use of artificial intelligence. See also first generation computer, second generation computer, third generation computer, fourth generation computer, fifth generation computer.

computer graphics

The creation, editing, or publishing of pictures by means a computer.

Computer Graphics Metafile

(CGM). An ANSI standard format for exchanging graphics files between applications, in both vector and raster formats.

computer hardware

The hardware is the physical part of a computer system; the machinery and equipment. Software means the programs that tell the computer what to do.

Computer Incident Advisory Capability

(CIAC). This group assists the Department of Energy in its information protection efforts by providing computer security incident response services.

computer literate

Having a working knowledge of computers and software; does not imply extensive technical expertise.

computer output microfilm printer

(COM printer). A page printer that produces a microimage of each page on photographic film.

computer phobia

Literally, fear of computers. Anxiety about learning to use computers, or not being able to learn successfully; often used simply to mean resistance to learning the new skills required by increasing use of computers in the workplace.

Computer Professionals for Social Respon

(CPSR). A public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others interested in the impact of computer technology on society. As concerned citizens, they direct public attention to critical choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society.

computer program component

(CPC). A routine or module within a larger program.

computer programmer

A person who writes instructions (programs) for computers.

computer role playing game

(CRPG; also called RPG). A game which may be played on a computer or with pen and paper, in which the players act out a different reality. Classic role-playing games involve creating a character, assigning a set of attributes such as strength, dexterity, willpower, charisma, etc., and moving the character through adventures in a fantasy, historical, or futuristic environment, usually containing enemies to fight and treasures to find. The game is often led by a gamemaster or dungeonmaster who does not play a character but who has keys to the game, hidden rules, and a secret map that the players can't see; the gamemaster tells a player what each room looks like upon entering, when he has run into something invisible, whether he hit the dragon enough times to kill it, etc. The first gamemaster is usually the designer of the game.

Computer Security Act

An act signed in January 1988 by President Reagan, establishing guidelines for the security and privacy of information in U.S. government computer systems, the training of federal employees in computer security practices, and the differences between computer security in defense-related and civilian agencies of government.

computer software

Software is the programs that tell a computer what to do. Hardware is the physical part of a computer system; the machinery and equipment.

computer virus

A program that infects a computer by atttaching itself to another program, and propagating itself when that program is executed. A computer can become infected by files downloaded over a network, or by the installation of new software or floppy disks that are infected with viruses. Some viruses are only pranks, and perform harmless actions like displaying a screen with a joke message on it. Others can destroy files or wipe out a hard drive. To avoid damage from viruses, write-protect the boot disk and other important disks, check new software or disks for viruses, and have virus protection software installed on the computer at all times. Disinfectant programs must be updated periodically because new viruses get into circulation over time. There are some virus protection programs available on the Internet for free. Disinfectant for Macintosh, written by John Norstad of Northwestern University, is freeware; McAfee Anti-Virus for PC is a shareware program. Knowingly spreading a computer virus is a crime punishable by law. See also Trojan horse and worm.

Computer-Aided Instruction

(CAI) Using computers as aids for instructional purposes.

computer-aided manufacturing

(CAM). The use of computers in manufacturing, including automated manufacture.

computer-aided planning

(CAP). Using computers to organize data and make plans; normally used in business and industry.

computer-aided publishing

Electronic publishing.

Computer-Aided Software Testing

(CAST). The use of an automated program for software testing.

computer-based training

(CBT) Training through use of a computer.

computer-human interface

(CHI). The kind of interface between computer and human determines how easy the computer is to use.

computer-managed instruction

(CMI). The use of computers by teachers in managing instruction programs for students; such as creating and grading tests and monitoring student progress.

Computer+Science Network

(CSNET). A large computer network, including universities, research labs, and some commercial enterprises. It originated in the United States, and has some members in other countries. CSNET merged with BITNET to form CREN.

computerese

Technical jargon used by computer enthusiasts.

computerize

1. To equip with computers. 2. To control by means of computers. 3. To input and store in a computer.

Computerville

A Computer Currents site on AOL’s Digital City.

computing

The programming and use of computers.

Computing Scale Company

A Dayton, Ohio company that made scales and food slicers. It merged with other companies in 1911 to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, which in 1924 was renamed the International Business Machines Company (IBM).

Computing Systems Technology Office

(CSTO). A U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agency. In 1991, the Information Science and Technology Office (ISTO) was divided into CSTO and the Software and Intelligent Systems Office.

Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company

A company formed in 1911 from a merger of the Tabulating Machine Company, International Time Recording Company, Computing Scale Company, and Bundy Manufacturing. In 1924 the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company was renamed the International Business Machines Company (IBM).

Conceptual Knowledge Markup Language

(CKML). An application of eXtensible Markup Language (XML) which extends the capabilities of Ontology Markup Language (OML). These markup languages enable authors to annotate World Wide Web documents with machine-readable knowledge, thus improving the ability of intelligent agents to gather information.

conditional branch

A program instruction that tells the computer to jump to another location in the program if a specified condition is met.

conductor

A material through which electrical current can flow.

conduit

A pipe which protects electric wires and cables.

conference call

A form of teleconferencing in which participants are connected by telephone lines and can communicate by voice and fax.

CONFIG

Configuration.

Config PPP

A Macintosh control panel which contains PPP instructions such as port speed, modem unit string, telephone number, server, etc., configured by the user, and which is opened to establish a PPP connection.

CONFIG.SYS

A file found in the root directory of DOS and OS/2 systems that is used to load drivers and configure the system. Some parameters which are set by CONFIG.SYS are the number of files that can be opened at once, the memory available for disk buffers, the number of disk drives, etc. The user can modify CONFIG.SYS, and it is automatically adjusted by some software installation programs, to enable the software to work with that system.

configurability

How much a system can be changed or customized.

configuration

The way a computer is set up, which includes the hardware (type of CPU, peripherals, etc.) and the software.

configure

To set up the software or hardware of a computer. A computer can be configured differently for different uses; for example, peripherals or memory can be added or taken away; software can be installed or uninstalled; software preferences can be adjusted for different uses.

ConflictNet

A network sponsored by the Institute for Global Communications for the purpose of improving worldwide communication among groups and individuals involved in conflict resolution.

connect time

The amount of time a computer is connected to an online service or other network. Some commercial services charge by the hour. Nonprofit BBSs are free, but may limit each user's connect time per day so everyone gets a chance to use the services.

Connection Oriented Network Service.

(CONS). Connection-oriented communication takes place in three phases: connection establishment, data transfer, and connection release. See connection-oriented.

connection-oriented

A way of transmitting data that requires a connection be established first. After connection is established, the data is transferred, then the connection is released. Examples of connection-oriented transmission are Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and most wide area networks (WANs). Contrast connectionless.

connectionless

A kind of communication which takes place without first establishing a connection. A means of data transfer in which each data packet has source and destination information, so a direct connection is not required. Internet Protocol and most local area networks use connectionless transmission, as opposed to connection-oriented.

Connectionless Network Protocol

(CLNP). The OSI protocol for OSI Connectionless Network Service. CLNP is the OSI equivalent to the Internet Protocol (IP), and has been called ISO IP.

Connectionless Transport Protocol

(CLTP). The OSI equivalent of UDP. A type of interconnection in which communication takes place without first establishing a connection. See connectionless.

CONS

Connection-Oriented Network Service. Connection-oriented communication takes place in three phases: connection establishment, data transfer, and connection release. See connection-oriented.

Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucle

CERN (European Laboratory for Nuclear Research). A high-energy physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland, where the World Wide Web was developed.

console applications

In Linux, applications that are run directly from the Linux command prompt.

constant angular velocity

(CAV). The writing or reading mode used with a hard disk, floppy disk, or laserdisc. The disk rotates at a constant speed, and the number of bits in each track is the same, but because the inner tracks are smaller in circumference than the outer tracks, their density is less. CAV wastes disk space this way compared with constant linear velocity (CLV), but makes data retrieval fast and is a good way to store high-resolution photos or video.

constant linear velocity

(CLV). A way of reading and writing data used by CD-ROMs and CDs. Instead of having several tracks arranged in concentric circles, data is contained in a single track that forms a spiral from the center of the disc to its circumference. Each sector is the same physical size and the disc drive constantly varies the rate at which the disc is spinning so that as the read/write head moves toward the center of the disc, the disc speeds up. CLV makes it possible to store more data on a disc. See CAV.

content-free

Having no content. This expression can be used to refer to a communication that doesn't really communicate anything, such as a lengthy speech that has no substance.

context-free

Not dependent on context; a context-free grammar is one in which the syntax of a symbol is the same regardless of its context (that is, regardless of what other symbols occur before it or after it).

context-sensitive help

A software feature that gives help related to the specific program, command or dialog box that is open.

continuous forms

A continuous roll or stack of paper forms that are fed through a tractor-feed printer as one long sheet of paper. The forms have perforations between them so they can be separated into individual sheets after printing.

contrast

The degree of difference between the lightest and darkest areas on a computer screen.

Control Data

Computer manufacturer of supercomputers; its computers were especially used for government, military, and scientific applications.

control key

On the computer keyboard, the key marked Ctrl or Ctl. This key is used in combination with other keys pressed at the same time to give instructions to the computer, sometimes providing a shortcut to using menu commands. For example, Ctrl + S is used in some programs to save the current file.

control language

(CL ). A language by which a user gives commands to a computer to perform certain tasks. It is more limited than a programming language.

control menu box

In Windows, a little box at the top left corner of each window, which closes the window when the user double-clicks on it.

control panel

A window on the computer that is used to adjust settings such as mouse speed, screen colors, speaker volume, communications, etc.

control strip

A strip of icons at the bottom of the desktop in the Mac OS environment, which allows the user to quickly access certain controls including AppleTalk, SCSI devices, monitor settings, printers, sound, and file sharing.

Control-Alternate-Delete

Configuration of keystrokes for rebooting a PC. The CTRL and ALT keys are held down while pressing the DEL key.

Control-C

ASCII character 3: break, or interrupt. Control-C is used in Unix, MS-DOS, and some other operating systems to abort a running program.

Control-S

ASCII character 19. In many computer programs Ctrl + S is a fast way to save the current file, instead of selecting Save from a pull-down menu.

Control-U

ASCII character 21. In some word processing programs, Ctrl + U turns on the underline function.

conventional encryption

A form of encryption in which sender and receiver share with each other a secret key to decrypt messages sent between them. Conventional encryption, also called private key encryption, is different from public key encryption in which both sender and receiver have the public key, but each has a private key which is not shared.

conventional memory

The first 640K of PC RAM, which is used to store DOS and application programs. See also Upper Memory Area, Upper Memory Block, High Memory Area, extended memory, expanded memory.

conversion program

A program that changes a file from one format to another.

conversion rate

The rate at which users go from viewing an ad on the Web to taking a desired action on the advertiser's site, such as registering or buying something. This statistic is used in combination with click rate to determine the effectiveness of advertising.

cookie

A cookie is a set of data that a website server gives to a browser the first time the user visits the site, that is updated with each return visit. The remote server saves the information the cookie contains about the user and the user's browser does the same, as a text file stored in the Netscape or Explorer system folder. Not all browsers support cookies. Cookies store information such as user name and password and what parts of the site were visited; this information can be updated with each visit. The browser only shares each cookie with the server that originated it; other servers can only read their own cookies. Netscape can be set up to alert the user when a cookie is being sent so the user can accept it or not, by means of the Network Preferences window. There are also downloadable applications that eat cookies such as Cookie Killers, Cookie Monster (Mac), and Kill Cookie Batch File (PC).

Cookie Killers

A program that eats HTTP cookies, that is, removes them from the computer. See cookies.

Cookie Monster

A Mac program that eats HTTP cookies, that is, removes them from the computer. Cookie Monster can be initiated at startup to eliminate all cookies from the last session. See cookies.

cookies

A cookie is a set of data that a Web site server gives to a browser the first time the user visits the site, that is updated with each return visit. The remote server saves the information the cookie contains about the user and the user’s browser does the same, as a text file stored in the Netscape or Explorer system folder. Not all browsers support cookies. Cookies store information such as user name and password and what parts of the site were visited; this information can be updated with each visit. The browser only shares each cookie with the server that originated it; other servers can only read their own cookies. Netscape can be set up to alert the user when a cookie is being sent so the user can accept it or not, by means of the Network Preferences window. There are also downloadable applications that eat cookies such as Cookie Killers, Cookie Monster (Mac), and Kill Cookie Batch File (PC).

Cooperation for Open Systems Interconnec

(COSINE). A program sponsored by the European Commission to use OSI in connecting European research networks.

cooperative multitasking

A multitasking environment in which a program running in the background can only receive processing time when the program in the foreground allows it; an application can give up control of the processor to another application only at certain points, such as when it is ready for input from the keyboard. This method of multitasking may allow one program to dominate the computer's resources so other programs have limited access to the CPU. It is also called non-pre-emptive multitasking. Contrast with preemptive multitasking.

coordinate graphics

A way of representing pictures by designating coordinates and drawing lines or geometric shapes in relation to them. Coordinate graphics are different from bitmapped graphics, in which an image is stored as a collection of pixels. In coordinate graphics, the image is saved as a file containing instructions for drawing it. One advantage of coordinate graphics over bitmapped graphics is that a picture can be enlarged or reduced without losing quality. Another difference is that in coordinate graphics, the elements of a picture (circles, squares, etc.) remain independent objects which can be edited and moved around, whereas in bitmapped graphics, once the elements are drawn they become part of the overall pattern of pixels. A coordinate graphics image also requires less memory than a bitmapped graphics image, which requires a specific memory location for each pixel.

Coordinating Committee for Intercontinen

(CCIRN). A committee made up of major North American and European research organizations, whose goal is international cooperation among research networks. Its membership includes the United States Federal Networking Council (FNC), the European Association of Research Networks (RARE), and other research organizations.

Copernicus

The code name under which the Navy is reformulating its command and control structures from the viewpoint that information is a weapon.

copper-distributed data interface

(CDDI). A token ring network similar to FDDI, but it uses copper cable, and is limited to distances of 50 to 100 meters.

coprocessor

A computer processor which speeds up operation of the computer by helping the main processor, or CPU. For example, the floating point coprocessor handles floating point operations when required. There are also graphics coprocessors and networking coprocessors.

copy

1. To make a duplicate of a disk, file, group of files, part of a file, etc. 2. A duplicate.

copy protection

A number of methods devised by software manufacturers to stop people from making unauthorized copies of software. One method is a serial number that must be entered in order to use the program; another is a hardware key that must be plugged into the back of the computer.

copyleft

A copyrighting concept created by the GNU project. The simplest way to make a program free is to put it in the public domain, uncopyrighted. This allows people to share the program and any improvements they make on it, but it also allows anyone to convert the program into proprietary software. If someone makes changes and distributes the changed program as a proprietary product, the people who receive the program in that form do not have the freedom that the original author gave them; the middleman has stripped it away. The aim of the GNU project is to give all users the freedom to redistribute and change GNU software. Copyleft guarantees that every user has this freedom. Instead of putting GNU software in the public domain, GNU first copyrights it, and then specifies in the distribution terms that everyone has the rights to use, modify, and redistribute the program's code or any program derived from it, but only if they pass along the freedom to further copy and change it. These distribution terms are contained in the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).

CORBA

Common Object Request Broker Architecture. A program that helps transfer messages to and from objects between various platforms in a distributed environment.

core gateway

One of the gateways operated by the Internet Network Operations Center at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN). The core gateway system originally formed a central part of Internet routing; all groups had to advertise the paths to their networks from one of the core gateways.

Corel Corporation

An Ottawa, Ontario, software company. CorelDraw and Corel Ventura are two popular products.

Corel Ventura

A desktop publishing program for Windows from Corel Corporation.

CorelDraw

A suite of graphics and desktop publishing applications for Windows from Corel Corporation; it includes Corel Ventura.

COREtest

A DOS disk benchmarking program created by CORE International.

Corporation for Open Systems

(COS). A nonprofit consortium of vendors and user groups that sponsors conformance testing, certification, and promotion of OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) products, with the aim of developing international standards for networking systems.

Corporation for Research and Educational

(CREN). A corporation formed by the merging of BITNET (Because It’s Time Network) and CSNET (Computer+Science Network).

corrupted file

A file so damaged that the computer is unable to read it. A file could be corrupted by a virus, or by software or hardware failure.

COS

1. Corporation for Open Systems. A nonprofit consortium of vendors and user groups that sponsors conformance testing, certification, and promotion of OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) products, with the aim of developing international standards for networking systems. 2. The cosine function in FORTRAN, BASIC, and other programming languates.

COSINE

Cooperation for Open Systems Interconnection Networking in Europe. A program sponsored by the European Commission to use OSI in connecting European research networks.

Cougar

The code name for an experimental extension of HTML 3.2 to add support for style sheets, scripting, the object tag, internationalization and enhanced forms.

coulomb

A unit of electrical charge equal to 6.26 x 10 to the 18th degree electrons.

country code

A code that indicates from what country a Web site or e-mail originates. Also called country domain name. The country code is part of the e-mail address or URL. Examples: .ca = canada, .au = australia, .uk = united kingdom, .fr = france, .il = israel .

Courier

A monospaced typeface that looks like type from a typewriter. It
is often used for business letters.

courseware

The programs and data used in computer-based training.

cp

A UNIX command to copy a file onto a file or into a directory.

CPC

Computer Program Component. A routine or module within a larger program.

cpi

Characters Per Inch. A measure used with typefaces.

CPM

(Cost Per M). The cost per thousand ad views for a banner ad on a Web page.

CPP

C Plus Plus, or C++. A programming language.

CPS

1. Characters Per Second. Used to measure printer speed. 2. Cycles Per Second.

CPSR

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. A public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others interested in the impact of computer technology on society. As concerned citizens, they direct public attention to critical choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society.

CPU

Central Processing Unit. The CPU controls the operation of a computer. Units within the CPU perform arithmetic and logical operations and decode and execute instructions. In microcomputers, the entire CPU is on a single chip.

CPU cache

A memory bank between the main memory and the CPU, which enables the computer to read data and execute instructions faster. The CPU cache is static RAM (SRAM); main memory is dynamic RAM (DRAM). See cache and disk cache.

CPUBM

Central Processing Unit Benchmark. A freeware program for Windows 95/98 that tests a system to measure its CPU performance. The tested system is compared to twenty other systems in the program’s internal database.

CR

Carriage Return. The return key or the carriage return instruction which is entered by pressing the key.

cracker

A person who breaks into computer systems, using them without authorization, either maliciously or to just to show off.

cramming

Cheating telephone service customers by adding unauthorized charges to their phone bills.

crash

A sudden, major failure of a computer because of hardware or software problems; often causes loss of data.

crash into

To break through security to gain unauthorized access to a private network.

crawler

A computer program that retrieves online documents and the references linked to them, and may perform indexing.

Cray Research, Inc.

A U.S. company known for manufacture of mainframe supercomputers.

Cray, Seymour

A designer of supercomputers who founded Cray Research.

CRC

Cyclic Redundancy Check. A number derived from a block of data, and stored or transmitted with the data in order to detect any errors in transmission. It is similar to a checksum, but more complicated. A cyclic redundancy check is often calculated by adding words or bytes of the data. The receiving computer recalculates the CRC from the data received and compares it to the value originally transmitted; if the values are not the same, it indicates a transmission error. The CRC is called redundant because it adds no significant information to the transmission itself.

Creative Labs

A Milpitas, California manufacturer of sound cards; producer of the Game
Blaster stereo sound board, the Sound Blaster card, and the Sound Blaster
Multimedia Upgrade Kit.

CREN

The Corporation for Research and Educational Networking. A corporation formed by the merging of BITNET (Because It’s Time Network) and CSNET (Computer+Science Network).

crippleware

Demonstration software which is distributed in a limited form in order to entice trial users to buy it; for example, a game in which the trial user can only play the first couple of levels.

critical error

An error that makes it impossible for the current running program to continue.


CROM

Control Read Only Memory. A kind of storage in the control block of some microprocessors.

crop marks

Horizontal and vertical lines at the outside corners of camera-ready artwork which show where it should be cut (cropped) down to its final size.

cross-compiler

A compiler which runs on one type of computer and produces machine code for a different type of computer. See native compiler.

Cross-Interleaved Reed-Solomon Code

(CIRC). A technology used in compact discs for error detection and correction.

cross-platform

1. Available for more than one type of computer. For example, a cross-platform program might be available for PC, OS/2, and Macintosh. 2. A computer that can understand, and run programs in, different operating systems; for example, a PowerPC that can run Macintosh and Windows programs.

cross-post

Posting a single article to several newsgroups at the same time — generally considered inconsiderate by newsgroup members.

CRPG

Character Role Playing Game or Computer Role Playing Game. (Also called simply RPG). A game which may be played on computer or with pen and paper, in which the players act out a different reality. Classic role-playing games involve creating a character, assigning a set of attributes such as strength, dexterity, willpower, charisma, etc., and moving the character through adventures in a fantasy, historical, or futuristic environment, usually containing enemies to fight and treasures to find. The game is often led by a gamemaster or dungeonmaster who does not play a character but who has keys to the game, hidden rules, and a secret map that the players can't see; the gamemaster tells a player what each room looks like upon entering, when he has run into something invisible, whether he hit the dragon enough times to kill it, etc. The first gamemaster is usually the designer of the game.

CRT

Cathode ray tube, used in computer monitors.

crudware

A term for low-quality freeware available on bulletin board systems and other places. The software is free, but there is no guarantee of performance and no support.

crunch

To process data (sometimes called number crunching); or to compress data (file crunching).

crypt

A UNIX encryption system which is based on a the WWII German Enigma cipher, broken by Polish and British cryptographers during the war. There are programs available for decryption, so it is not a reliable encryption system to use when security is important.

cryptanalysis

The theory and art of cracking codes.

crypto anarchy

A possible state of the political and economic system that could result from technologies like encryption, anonymous e-mail, digital pseudonyms, electronic cash, etc.

cryptography

The technology of encoding information so it can only be read by authorized individuals.

cryptology

The scientific study of coding and decoding information.

cryptosystem

A system used for the encryption and decryption of data.

CS

Clear to Send. A modem status signal which means the modem is ready to accept data from the local computer, which it will then transmit to a remote computer.

CSC

Customer Support Consortium. A group of leading technology companies working together to find ways to improve customer support.

CSE

Certified Systems Engineer. Certification level from Microsoft for technical specialists in Windows NT and other Microsoft software.

csh

C shell. A command line interpreter shell and script language for UNIX.

CSLIP

Compressed Serial Line Internet Protocol. A SLIP version in which the data is compressed for faster transmission.

CSMA/CD

Carrier Sense, Multiple Access, Collision Detection. Ethernet packets are transmitted using CSMA/CD, which means the sending computer waits for the line to be free before sending a message, then sends; if two computers accidentally transmit at the same time and their messages collide, they wait and send again at different times.

CSNET

Computer+Science Network. A large computer network, including universities, research labs, and some commercial enterprises. It originated in the United States, and has some members in other countries. CSNET merged with BITNET to form CREN (The Corporation for Research and Educational Networking).

CSS

1) Content Scrambling System. The copy protection system used inside DVD players to protect a player's digital media. 2) Cascading style sheets. A style sheet mechanism that has been specifically developed for Web page designers and users. Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, and even in spoken voice. Style sheets allow the user to change the appearance of hundreds of Web pages by changing just one file. A style sheet is made up of rules that tell a browser how to present a document. Numerous properties may be defined for an element; each property is given a value. Examples are font properties, color and background properties, text properties, box properties, classification properties, and units. The term cascading refers to the fact that more than one style sheet can be used on the same document, with different levels of importance. There are differences between CSS and XSL (Extensible Style Language). Both languages can be used with XML, but only CSS can be used with HTML. XSL, however, is a transformation language, and can be used to transform XML data into HTML/CSS documents on a Web server.

CSTO

Computing Systems Technology Office. A U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agency. In 1991, the Information Science and Technology Office (ISTO) was divided into CSTO and the Software and Intelligent Systems Office.

CSV

Comma-separated values. A way of recording database fields in text format; each field is followed by a comma, and often the field is also in quotes.

CTO

Chief technology officer or chief technical officer. The executive who directs an organization in matters pertaining to technology.

CTS

Clear To Send. A modem status signal which means the modem is ready to accept data from the local computer, which it will then transmit to a remote computer.

CU-SeeMe

A videoconferencing program for use with personal computers on the Internet, developed at Cornell University (“CU”). CU-SeeMe supports both direct connections between clients and multi-user conferencing.

CUG

Commodore User Group.

current

Flow of electrical charge, measured in amperes. An ampere = 6.25 x 1018 electrons per second.

cursor

The movable symbol on a computer screen that shows where the user is working, whether typing in text, drawing lines, or moving design elements around. The cursor can be moved with the arrow keys or a mouse. It usually appears in text programs as a blinking dash or rectangle, or an arrow. In graphics programs the cursor is often called a pointer, and can take many different shapes such as a brush, pencil, or hand.

cursor keys

Arrow keys that move the cursor up, down, right, and left on the computer screen. On many computers the cursor can also be moved with a mouse.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management is a technology designed to help companies maintain interaction with their customers. With more and more companies doing business electronically, establishing relationships with customers, as well as monitoring customer service and satisfaction, has become more complicated and challenging. Software companies are developing products — such as help-desk software, e-mail organizers and Web development applications to help companies stay in contact with their customers

customer support

Service for customers that is provided by computer vendors and hardware and software manufacturers, usually by telephone or e-mail.

Customer Support Consortium

(CSC). A group of leading technology companies working together to find ways to improve customer support.

cut

In document editing, to remove a block of material, which is then held in the clipboard for deletion or pasting elsewhere.

cut and paste

Deleting a block of material (text or graphics, or both) from one place and moving it to another place. The expression is taken from production room layout, where originally cutting and pasting was done by hand.

CVF

Compressed Volume File.

CVGA

Color Video Graphics Array.

cw

Clockwise.

CWIS

Campus-Wide Information System. Publicly available computer systems provided in kiosks on university campuses where users can access directories, databases, bulletin boards, calendars, and other information services.

cyber-

A prefix taken from the word cybernetics (Greek kybernan, to steer or govern), and attached to other words having to do with computers and communication.

cyberattack

An attack on, or by means of, information technology.

cybercafe

A cafe where online services are available. Patrons can surf the Internet or play computer games, while meeting others with similar interests and sharing computer knowledge. Cybercafes originated in New York and are now available around the world; travelers can use cybercafes to connect to online services when away from home.

CyberCash

Electronic cash; a way of transferring funds in online transactions. Now in its trial period, but expected to become widespread soon.

cybercast

Using the World Wide Web to broadcast information or entertainment. Cybercasting uses push technology, in which the information is transmitted regardless of whether it is requested. (Another example of push technology is e-mail.) Another word for Web cast.

cybercitizen

A citizen of the worldwide online community.

cyberculture

The culture that has formed among those who use the Internet and other networks to communicate, and have formed social groups which meet and interact online and may never meet in real life. Cyberculture has its own customs, etiquette, mythology, and ethics.

cyberdefense

Defense of information systems against cyberattack.

cyberjunkie

A person who is addicted to computers and being online.

cybernation

The automatic control of a process or task by computers.

cybernaut

A cyberspace navigator; a person who travels in cyberspace.

cybernetics

The study of communication and the control of complex systems, especially concerned with comparing automatic control systems such as computers and the human nervous system.

cyberporn

Pornographic material available online; a major concern of parents, legislators, and free speech advocates since the Internet became available to the general public.

cyberpunk

A subgenre of science fiction which often describes post-apocalyptic or urban jungle environments populated by high-tech renegades, who in some cases use computer networks to connect minds in a semi-mystical way. The word cyberpunk now often refers to a fan of cyberpunk fiction, hackerdom, and Internet surfing, who follows the punk fashion trends of black leather, fluorescent hair and pierced body parts.

cybersoap

An interactive soap opera on the Internet.

cyberspace

A term coined by author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer. The prefix cyber- comes from the Greek word kybernan, which means to steer or govern, and is used with words related to cybernetics (communication and the control of complex systems, especially in comparing automatic control systems such as computers with the human nervous system). Cyberspace refers to the electronic space created by computers connected together in networks like the Internet. In a broader sense, cyberspace has been used to mean the world of interconnected minds. The places that can be visited by means of a computer network do not really have a physical existence, but they have some kind of existence; in the same way, the places and characters in literature and mythology, though they never exist “in real life,” have an existence in the domain of the human collective consciousness.

cybersquatter

A person who buys a domain name corresponding to a famous brand name or trademark, hoping to resell it for big bucks when the company wants to open a Web site.

cybersquatting

The practice of registering a domain name using someone else’s trademark, in the hope of later selling the domain to the trademark owner at a high price. Some domain name speculators have created offensive or pornographic sites using famous trademarked names. Legislation is underway to make the practice illegal.

cyberterrorism

A terrorist attack on, or by means of, information systems.

CyberZine

A combination magazine and online World Wide Web guide.

cyclic redundancy check

(CRC). A number derived from a block of data, and stored or transmitted with the data in order to detect any errors in transmission. It is similar to a checksum, but more complicated. A cyclic redundancy check is often calculated by adding words or bytes of the data. The receiving computer recalculates the CRC from the data received and compares it to the value originally transmitted; if the values are not the same, it indicates a transmission error. The CRC is called redundant because it adds no significant information to the transmission itself.

cypherpunk

A network user who likes to use encryption for privacy.

Cyrix

A manufacturer of microprocessors.

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