you will find a comprehensive glossary of Internet and Computer terms with definitions that are helpful and easy to understand.
To find a term, click the letter of which the word begins with and scroll
alphabetically to find your term. For example, to find the definition for the
word "Media", click the letter "M", then scroll the list
alphabetically until you find "Media".
- Cable Modem:
A cable modem is a type of Internet connection that
is transmitted through a coaxial cable. The benefits of this technology
are that you are able to achieve much faster speeds through a cable
connection and that most homes are already setup with a cable TV setup,
making the Internet connection very simple.
A very high speed type
of memory that is similar to random access memory (RAM). The difference in
RAM and Cache is that the Cache memory is on the server side and the RAM is
stored in the computer system. Cache is much faster than RAM but they both
serve the same purpose and that is to remember previously accessed
information. Most commonly, the Cache memory is to remember the previously
visited web page so that the computer itself doesn't have to spend its
resources providing the page.
- Cache RAM:
Cache (commonly referred to as SRAM) is responsible for storing frequently requested
instructions and data. It is a small block of high-speed memory located between the CPU and the main memory. When your computer processor needs data, it will check the Cache first to see if it is there. If the data is not there, it will retrieve it from the slower main memory.
- CADD (Computer
Assisted Design and Drafting):
A graphics software designed to assist users develop on-screen projects,
usually rendering in either 2 or 3 dimensional imagery.
A method of connecting circuits together in series to make the output of
one, the input of the next. This kind of end-to-end connectivity is
useful in extending the distance of a network.
Community Antenna Television or Cable
TV system. Can be all coaxial or HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) based.
(Compact Disc Read-Only Memory) A durable and low cost circular
optical storage device widely used to store large amounts of information on
a personal computer.
A 36-pin parallel port interface standard that most printer manufactures
Stands for Color Graphics
Adapter. Introduced by IBM as their first microcomputer color standard.
This graphics card allowed a maximum of four colors at a resolution of 320 x 200 or two colors at 640 x 200.
The "Common Gateway Interface". CGI provides a gateway for HTML pages to
interact with other applications.
A channel in computing is a specific bandwidth and frequency combination.
The physical framework of a computer system that houses all of the internal
devices, wiring, and power supplies.
"Customer Information Control System". A general purpose IBM mainframe-based transaction management system.
CICS is one of IBM's most widely used database / data communications subsystems.
A client is commonly referred to as a program or a process that requests
information from other programs or processes. A web browser is a good
example of a client. Another example would be an email client such as
A temporary data (text and graphics) storage facility used when
transferring data to a new location.
- Clock Speed:
The clock speed is the frequency which determines how fast devices that
are connected to the system bus operate. The speed is measured in millions
of cycles per second (MHz or megahertz) and is generated by a quartz
crystal on the motherboard which acts as a kind of metronome. Devices that
are synchronized with the clock may run faster or slower but their speed
is determined by multiplying or dividing a factor by the clock speed.
An imitation or copy of the original. Usually refers to building a
computer system that is based on and compatible with another computer
In a Windows environment, Cluster refers to the allocated space within
files measured in units. A cluster is part of a group of a logical disk
sector. Depending on the disk size, a typical cluster size can range
from 1 to 64 sectors.
Cluster can also refer to a group of computers networked together and
used as a single unit.
This is a way of connecting two (or more) computers together using
clustering hardware so that they share the processing load. If ten computers
of equal processing speed are clustered together, you would in a sense have
a single computer with ten times the processing capacity. The most common
use of this technique is with search engines where it is used to provide
speedy search results. A couple of other common uses of clustering can be to
increase storage capacities or for networks that require load balancing to
increase a networks availability and stability.
Most commonly, CMOS refers to a battery powered chip that resides on the
Motherboard and is responsible for retaining certain system information
(date, time and some system setup parameters) when the computer system is
Cable Modem Termination System. Typically, this system is found in a cable
companies headend or distribution hub. Its purpose is to provide a
high-speed data service to cable subscribers.
Stands for Common Business
A computer programming language invented during the second generation of computers and designed to meet the needs of business.
Although less often used today, it was well-suited for writing programs that process large files and generate reports.
1. Short for Compressor/Decompressor. This technology is used for compressing and decompressing data. Codecs
are widely used in both hardware and software. A few examples of codecs are: Cinepak, Indeo
2. Also stands for Coder/Decoder in the telecommunications field. This is
a device that encodes or decodes a signal. A common use for this device
would be in telephone companies digital and analog networks. It is used to
convert binary signals to analog signals.
3. The transformation of a binary value into a voltage that can be transmitted over a wire.
A cold reboot also referred to as a hard boot. This occurs when a
computer user must switch the computer system off from the main power
switch. This process bypasses the normal shut down procedure of the
operating system. A cold boot can also be the result of a power failure
but is usually performed by the user as a last resort because of either
a system failure or a "hung" state.
This is a problem that is a result from two or more device attempting to
send a signal along the same channel. The usual result of a collision is a
garbled message. All computer networks have in place some sort of mechanism to either prevent collisions altogether or to
quickly recover from a collision if they were to occur.
Stands for Component Object
Module. This is a Microsoft standard created to allow for the
communication of computer components (or objects) on the same computer
system. This specification is very useful because of its ability to
integrate many distributed application services in one package.
- Command Line:
Commands you type to run an application. You can type commands at an MS-DOS prompt or in the Run dialog box in the Program Manager of Windows. Interfaces in which you type commands rather than choose them from a menu are often called command line interfaces. MS-DOS has a command line interface while the Macintosh does not.
This is an application that
converts a programming language into a machine language program.
This refers to the reduction of a file size. This technology is very
helpful in saving time and space. Example: When e-mailing a large
document, using a compression software to reduce the file size will
allow the file to be sent and received much faster.
The configuration file for DOS systems. Each time a DOS computer boots up, it reads
from the CONFIG.SYS file (if present) and will execute any prewritten commands.
A couple of the most common file held within the Config.sys are: BUFFERS=
and FILES=. These commands enable the system to specify the buffer size and
the number of files that are allowed to open at once. Commands can also be
held in the Config.sys that will install device drivers.
A data rule that limits a searches possibilities through preset
algorithms. The constraint could include an algorithm that would rule
out certain data relationships allowing the search to proceed much more
This is a dynamic range measurement method. It measures the contrast ratio
as it applies to images and text. Detailed images have a higher contrast
A controller is a device responsible for transferring data from a computer
system to peripheral device or in reverse. Each device within a computer
system has a dedicated controller. The controllers for a monitor and
keyboard are included when you purchase a computer system. If you were to
add additional devices, you may be faced with purchasing additional
controllers for these new devices. Care must be taken that the proper
controller is purchased that can communicate with the systems expansion bus.
In a DOS environment, this would refer to a memory portion that is made
available to DOS programs. In a typical DOS system, there is 1MB
(megabyte) of address space available. Conventional Memory is allotted
640K of the address space. The other 384K of memory is used by the
system and is called "high memory". Any memory beyond the 1MB is
This refers to ports or other equipment supplied by the manufacture so
that the end user can connect to a network. A typically supplied CPE is
either a switch or a router.
(Cost Per Thousand)
This is a calculation method involving 1000 advertisement impression
displays. The CPM rate of pay is calculated based upon these 1000
impressions. One scenario might be that a person would agree to pay you
ten dollars for each time the advertisement displays on your web page or
site one thousand times.
Central Processing Unit. In a microcomputer, a processor on an IC chip (called a microprocessor) that serves as the heart of the computer. It interprets and carries out instructions, performs numeric computations, and controls the peripherals connected to it. Often the entire system unit is called the CPU.
The scale or volume at which processes become self-perpetuating. In Web
publishing, it is said that after achieving a certain amount of material
and resources, it will create a self-sustaining chain reaction.
Stands for Cascading Style
Sheets. This is a language designed to work with HTML documents on
the Web. CSS is generally used to provide a specific appearance or style to
a web page or site. A common use for CSS could be that it is written to
specify the links rollover color in a web sites navigation structure. CSS is
becoming much more widely used by webmasters due to the file size benefit of
using style sheets.
A cursor is a blinking indicator designed to mark the place of text
where a person may be working within a document.
Author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer describes a more highly developed form of the Internet and who originally coined the term Cyberspace. The word Cyberspace is currently used to describe the whole
range of information resources available through computer networks.
The term Cyberpunk could be used to describe an individual that hacks
their way in to computer system with the intent of stealing or destroying
the information in the system. It term was actually originated by a science fiction writer
that described a lawless futuristic society dominated by computer