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A Glossary of Windows Terms – “C”

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 12/31/2008

Windows terms that start with the letter “C” and are used often in the BrightHub Windows channel.

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    Cable modem – the hardware used to transmit data to and from the Internet. Cable modems connect to the cable TV connection in a home or office.

    Cache – an area in the computer where information is stored temporarily.

    Card Reader – a generic term for any hardware than can read SD cards or other types of flash memory.

    Cat 5 (Cat 6) – an Ethernet cable standard for twisted pair Ethernet.

    Central Processing Unit (CPU) – a computers “brain” so to speak. The CPU processes information and basic instructions, as well as performing complex calculations.

    Certificate – in computer terms, a file that identifies as web site as “secure” and legitimate.

    Chrome – Google’s web browser.

    Clipboard – a section of temporary storage where information is stored that is copied or cut from a document or folder. It can also be a selection of an image, among other things. Users often use Copy or Cut commands to save the data to the clipboard, and then use Paste to insert it somewhere else.

    CMOS – Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. In computers, the CMOS battery offers the power needed to store the date and time, among other things, even when the computer is turned off.

    Coaxial Cable – a cable used for transmitting telephone and television signals. For the home user, it’s what connects the cable modem to the cable outlet in the wall.

    Codec – short for coder-decoder, a compression technology used with digital media. MPEG, AVI, WAV, and AIFF are codecs.

    Compression – a way to make files take up less space. Vista and XP both come with a compression utility, and there are third party compression utilities available, like WinZip.

    Control Panel – a feature of all Windows-based operating systems where users can modify settings and configure preferences.

    Cookies – information stored in a text file on your computer placed there by a web site to keep track of your name, preferences, and other data. Cookies from trusted sites are almost always harmless.

    Crossover cable – a cable used to temporarily connect two devices of the same type to each other using Ethernet ports.

    Crossplatform – software that can run on multiple computer systems. For instance, Microsoft Word can be run on both Windows and Mac computers.

    Cyberspace – usually refers to the Internet and is a generic, slang, term.