Capacitor: A small electric element that is used to temporarily store electrical charge.
CardBus: 32-bit industry standard used for devices that fit into a laptop PC slot.
CAT5: Referring to Category 5 Ethernet cabling, the CAT5 standard allows for data transfers up to 100 Mbps.
CAT7: Category 7 quality cabling is needed for Gigabit (Gbps) Ethernet transmissions.
CD-R: Recordable CD technology for data and music storage using a low-cost disc that can be written only once.
CD-ROM: Compact Disc Read Only Memory - A compact disc format used to hold text, graphics and hi-fi stereo sound. The audio CD player cannot play CD-ROMs, but CD-ROM players can play audio discs.
CD-RW: CD ReWritable - A rewritable CD technology. CD-RW drives can also be used to write CD-R discs, and they can read CD-ROMs. A CD-RW disc can be rewritten over a thousand times and read on MultiRead CD-ROM drives or CD-RW compatible Audio CD players.
Cloud: (Cloud Servers) Virtualized servers running Windows or Linux operating systems that are instantiated via a web interface or API. Cloud Servers behave in the same manner as physical ones and can be controlled at an administrator or root level, depending on the server type and Cloud Hosting provider.
CMOS: Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor - a chip that packs many components into a very small semiconductor.
CNR: Communications Network Riser - Small slot next to the PCI slots which a modem or sound riser card plugs into.
Coax: Referring to coaxial cable, Coax is similar to TV cabling. Used for older 10Base2 Ethernet networks.
CompactFlash: A very small removable mass storage device that relies on flash memory technology, a storage technology that does not require a battery to retain data indefinitely. CompactFlash cards can support 3.3V and 5V operation and can switch between the two, in contrast to other small-form factor flash memory cards that can only operate at one voltage. There are two types of CompactFlash cards to accommodate different capacities: Type I cards are 3.3mm thick while Type II cards are 5.5mm thick. The card was designed based on the PCMCIA PC Card standard and can fit into a PCMCIA slot with an adapter.
Cookie: A small file placed on your hard drive by a website to identify you when you visit again. For example, these can store user information such as your username and password to the website or keep track of ads you have been shown. While many cookies can be good, some now track where you go and report this information back to the tracking website. See spyware for more on this.
Corona: Another AMD DDR Athlon board reference name. Also a great beer, even better with lime.
Corrupted: When data gets damaged and can no longer be used.
CPU: Central Processing Unit - Your processors, for example, Pentium IV, AMD Athlon. It is your computer's brain, taking requests from applications and then processing, or executing, actions or operations. The faster your processor, the more operations it can execute per second. The more operations you have per second, the faster things happen in your applications. Often people refer to a computers tower as the "CPU" but as explained above, the CPU is simply one of many parts in that tower.
Crack: is the modification of software to remove or disable features which are considered undesirable by the person cracking the software, usually related to protection methods: copy protection, trial/demo version, serial number, hardware key, date checks, CD check or software annoyances like nag screens and adware. The distribution and use of cracked copies is illegal in almost every developed country.
Crossover cable: Cat 5 cable in which the internal wiring crosses over; used to connect computer-to-computer or when no uplink ports are available on a hub.
CRT: Cathod Ray Tube - the glass portion of any traditional monitor. Operates by shooting electrons through a screen which enables images to be projected on the back of a phosphorescent coating on the screen.