Windows Vista & XP Glossary: C
cable: A means of accessing the Internet that runs through your cable TV coaxial connection.
Caps Lock: A key on a keyboard that, when pressed to make active, causes letters to appear capitalized on the monitor’s display when you press the corresponding letter key on the keyboard.
capture card: A video upgrade card that can capture incoming analog video signal and convert it to digital video.
cartridge: The container that stores ink or toner for use in a printer.
Cat 5: A Category 5 networking cable used to connect a computer to a network hub.
CD: Compact disc; a removable storage medium that can hold data, text, and graphics.
CD/DVD recorder: A type of drive that you can attach to your computer in order to copy data from your PC to a recordable CD or DVD.
chassis: The metal frame on which your computer’s internal components and circuits are mounted.
chip: An integrated computer circuit containing many elements connected on a single unit.
chipset: The collection of computer chips on a single motherboard.
circuit: An electrical device that provides a path for electrical current to flow.
ClearType: ClearType is a special anti-aliasing tool developed by Microsoft to improve the appearance of fonts on high-resolution LCD flat-screen monitors.
codec: A codec (short for coder-decoder or compressor-decompressor) is a small program that converts data from one form to another so that the data can be played on a media player.
command prompt: A traditional DOS-like text interface that allows you to input instructions to the computer.
compatibility mode: A Windows option that allows you to trick an older program into thinking it is running in a previous version of Windows.
compressed file: A folder containing multiple files that have been packed in such a way that all excess space is eliminated.
console: The main computer box; also called the system unit.
controller: The circuits that control data transfer to and from a disk drive (floppy disk, hard disk, or optical disc).
cookies: Tiny files that are used by Web sites to track your online activity and recognize you whenever you access the site.
corona wire: A charged wire in a laser printer that draws the toner off the drum onto the paper.
CPU: Central processing unit; A computer component, often called a processor and microprocessor, whose speed determines how fast your PC operates.
crossover cable: A cable that allows two computers to connect to each other as a network without having to set up an actual Windows network.
CRT: Cathode ray tube; an older type of computer monitor that offers better color quality than an LCD monitor.
cursor: The blinking icon on the computer screen that shows you where the characters you type appear; also called an insertion pointer.