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- C -

C -- The name of a sophisticated computer language commonly used for the creation of professional-grade applications. C is distinguished from other computer languages by its usage of pointers, variables that point at locations in memory. It was invented by Dennis Ritchie in the early 1970s.
This is the C version of "Hello World":
#include "stdio.h"
main() {
printf("Hello World!");
}

C++ -- A computer language based on C that uses objected-oriented programming design principles.

cascade -- A series of reply posts to a USENET message, each adding a trivial or nonsense theme to the corpus of previous replies. Some consider this art; there is a USENET newsgroup devoted to propagating this self-expressive form (alt.cascade).

cc: -- Abbreviation for Carbon Copy. To cc: an email message to someone is to send them a copy of the email message.

CD -- 1. Abbreviation for compact disk.
2. Abbreviation for change directory, a command in both the UNIX and DOS operating systems that assists in navigating a hierarchical directory structure.

Central Processing Unit -- (abbreviation: CPU)
The main silicon chip that runs a computer's operating system and application software. It performs a computer's essential mathematical functions and controls essential operations. Intel CPUs in PCs were numbered by generation: 286, 386, 486. This numbering scheme was abandoned by Intel with the Pentium CPU, which would be the 586, and the Pentium Pro, which would the 686. Motorola PowerPC CPUs have maintained a consistent numbering convention: 601, 603, 604.

CGI -- See Common Gateway Interface.

chat -- A form of interactive online communication that enables typed conversations to occur in real-time. When participating in a chat discussion, your messages are instantaneously relayed to other members in the chat room while other members' messages are instantaneously relayed to you.

chat history -- A transcript of a chat session.

chatter's block -- A condition characterized by excessive anxiety about sending chat messages. The chatter with chatter's block feels that every message he types in a chat must be perfectly worded and perfectly timed. By striving to meet these standards of perfection, the chatter constantly erases and rewords his messages, often deciding not to send the messages at all. The cure for chatter's block is to relax. Everyone in a chat is expressing (and typing) ideas quickly and no one will blink an eye at the odd typo.

checksum -- A mathematical calculation applied to the contents of a packet before and after it is sent. If the "before" calculation does not match the "after" calculation, there were errors in the transmission.

churn -- The turnover of users on an online service, especially after the expiration of a free trial period.

churning -- Describes a computer taking a long time to process a particular operation. When a computer is churning, it may seem to be doing nothing.

client -- Any computer system that requests a service of another computer system. A workstation requesting the contents of a file from a file server is a client of the file server.

client-server model -- A configuration in which one computer, designated as a "server", sends information to a number of other "client" computers.

clipboard -- A holding area that temporarily stores information copied or cut from a document. Both the Macintosh and Windows operating systems support this feature.

collision detection -- The process by which a node on a network monitors the communications line to determine when a collision (two nodes attempting to transmit at the same time) has occurred.

commercial online service -- A computer network that supplies its members with access to chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other online content on a monthly fee basis. Commercial online services include America Online, CompuServe, The Microsoft Network, and Prodigy. In addition to their own proprietary content, most commercial online services also provide access to the Internet.

Common Gateway Interface -- (abbreviation: CGI)
A standard used by programmers that allows their programs to interact with the World Wide Web. CGI scripts can be written in many computer languages, but Perl and C are the most common.

compile -- To have a computer translate code written in a computer language into an executable form.

compression -- A technology that reduces the size of a file. Compression programs like WinZip and UNIX compress are valuable to network users because they help save both time and bandwidth.

Compuserve -- A commercial online service.

computer literacy -- Knowledge about and the ability to learn about computers.

congestion -- A state occurring in a part of a network when the message traffic is so heavy that it slows down network response time.

connection -- When two computers have established a path through which the exchange of information can occur.

cookies -- Small files that are downloaded to your computer when you browse certain web pages. Cookies hold information that can be retrieved by other web pages on the site. Some cookies are programmed with an expiration date so that they are automatically deleted after a period of time.

coopetition -- The phenomena of computer companies cooperating with their competitors on a project-by-project basis.

copy protection -- A software lock placed on a computer program by its developer to thwart piracy. This preventative measure was widely used in the mid-1980s but later abandoned by many developers because of numerous customer complaints.

CPU -- See Central Processing Unit.

cracker -- A malicious hacker who breaks (or cracks) the security of computer systems in order to access, steal, or destroy sensitive information. "Hacker" is often incorrectly used instead of cracker, especially by the media. See also hacker.

crossload -- To send an attached file via email. See also upload and download.

cross-posting -- To post a single message simultaneously to multiple newsgroups or discussion groups. Gratuitous cross-posting is considered poor Netiquette.

crunch -- To efficiently process large amounts of information. A number cruncher, for example, is a routine or device optimized for and dedicated to processing numbers.

CU-SeeMe -- Pronounced "See you, See me," CU-SeeMe is a publicly available videoconferencing program developed at Cornell University. It allows anyone with audio/video capabilities and an Internet connection to videoconference with anyone else with the same capabilities. It also allows multiple people to tie into the same videoconference.

cube -- An original NeXT computer. The motherboard and drives for this machine are packed into a 12-inch matte black cube.

cyberpunk -- 1. A subgenre of science fiction inspired by William Gibson's 1982 novel "Neuromancer".
2. A lifestyle characterized by computer games, Internet surfing, and large doses of attitude.

cyberspace -- 1. The place where computer networking hardware, network software, and people using them converge. Defined by John Perry Barlow as the place where a telephone call happens.
2. The prefix "cyber" is often combined with other words, as in "cyberpunk".


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