Glossary of Macintosh Terms
(The Macintosh Bible 6th Edition)

C




Cache:  A temporary storage place for information.  Also see disk cache.

Cache Card:  A card that speeds up the Mac by supplying a small amount of high-speed memory (called static RAM, or SRAM) that the processor  can use to quickly store and retrieve data while it's working.

CAD:  Computer-Aided Design, a category of high-end draw programs used by engineers, architects, and designers.  Pronounced "cad".

Card:  A kind of board that has connectors on its edges, so you can plug it directly into an expansion slot on the Mac.  Cards add functionality, such as 24-bit color or an accelerator.  Also called an add-in board.

CCDs:  Charge-Coupled Devices.  Light sensors that convert the light energy to electricity.  Used in scanners and the Connectix QuickCam.

CD-ROM:  Compact disk, read-only memory.  A type of storage device that looks just like an audio CD (in fact, you can play audio CD's on a CD-ROM drive) and stores as much data as a large hard disk (600MB or so), making it a popular means of distributing fonts, photos, electronic encyclopedias, games, and multimedia offerings.  As the name indicates, however, you cannot save or change files on a CD-ROM, only read them.

cdev:  Control panel device, the System 6 name for a control panel.

Chimes of doom:  A heart-stopping sequenceof chords played during startup (instead of the usual boing) when a serious problem prevents the Mac from completing the startup procedure.  You'll usually also see the Sad Mac.

Chip:  The most essential electronic component of a computer: a tiny piece of silicon with an electronic circuit embedded in it.

Chooser:  A desk accessory that displays which printer and, on a network, which file servers and shared folders are available to yu.  You select a printer or other item by clicking its icon.  The Chooser is also where you turn background printing and AppleTalk on and off.

Chooser extension:  An extension that displays an icon in the Chooser window.  It's what enables the Mac to communicate (through its modem and printer ports) with networks and with devices such as printers and modems.

CISC:  Complex instruction set computing; pronounced "sisk."  The processor design used in the 68000-series Macs.  Compare RISC.

Clean Install:  Installing a system so that it makes a new System Folder instead of altering the existing one.

Clicking:  Pressing and immediately releasing the mouse button.  To click on something is to position the pointer over it and then click.

Client:  The computer which makes use of the services of a network server machine.  Your Mac is a client, for example, when it uses a Web browser to access a Web server, the computer whiich makes Web pages available on the Internet.

Clip Art:  Precreated graphics - from simple line art to full-color photographs -  that you can use, royalty-free, in publications and presentations.  Also called clip media.

Clipboard:  A temporary storage area in the Mac's memory that hold what you last cut or copied.  Pasting inserts its contents into a document.  Some programs have a menu item that lets you see wht's in the Clipboard.

Clipping:  A file that's created by dragging a selection to the desktop (or to a Finder window); using System 7.5's Drag and Drop capabilities.

Clock rate:  A measure of the performance of a computers CPU (or processor).  The CPU's operations are synchronized to a quartz crystal that pulses millions of times each second.  The rapidity of these pulses - measured in megahertz - is the clock rate (or speed).

Clones:  Machintosh computers made by companies other than Apple - which have licensed the technology for a legitimate product.

Color Management:  Any of several approaches - including Apples' ColorSync extension - tht attempt to provide a consistent match betwee the image colors you see on screen (or that are input from a scanner) and those that are printed on paper.

Command:  The generic name for anything you tell the Mac to do.  Commands are usually listed on menus or are invoked using keyboard shortcuts.

Communications Program:  Software that enables you to send and receive informtion through a modem.

Communications slot:  A slot made specifically for an internal modem.

Compression:  Making a file smaller (using a special utility for the purpose) so that it will take up less room on the disk.

Configuration:  1.  The components that make up a computer system (which model of Mac and what peripherals).  2.  The physical arrangement of those components (what's placed where).  3.  The software settings that enable two computer components to talk to each other (as in configuring communications software to work with a modem).

Control Panel:  In System 7, a control panel is a utility that lets you set basic parameters such as the speaker volume, desktop pattern, date and time, and so on.  Control panels are kept in a folder called Control Panels; one way to open it is by selecting Control Panels from the Apple Menu.  In System 6, control panels are called cdevs, and they're accessed through the Control Panel command on the Apple Menu.

Control Strip:  A collapsible palette that comes with current Macs and provides convenient, on-screen access to features such as volume, sleep mode, AppleTalk, file sharing, monitor, CD-ROM.

Coprocessor:  A chip designed specifically to handle a particular task, such as math calculations or displaying graphics on-screen.  A coprocessor is faster at its specialized function than the main processor is, and it relieves the processor of some work.  A coprocessor can reside on the motherboard (an FPU is one example) or be part of an expansion card, as with an accelerator.

CPU:  Central Processing Unit, the brains of the computer.  The CPU interprets and executes the actual computing tasks; one measure of its performance is the clock rate.  In the Mac, the entire CPU resides in the processor chip, which is located on the motherboard.  Also used to refer to the box tht holds the motherboard and its CPU.  Sometimes people use CPU as another word for the processor, motherboard, or the entire computer.

Crash:  A problem (often caused by a bug) thatcauses a program, or an entire operating system, to unexpectedly stop working.  If a program crashes, you sometimes can recover with the force quit commane, but you often have to restart the Mac.  Also see bomb and hang.

Cropping:  Trimming a photo or other image to eliminate irrelevancies or control the area of major emphasis.

Cross-platform:  Refers to software (or anything else) that will work on more than one platfor (type of computer).

Cursor:  1.  The little shape that moves around on the screen when you move the mouse.  The most common is the pointer, the black arrow that you use to select things on the desktop and from menus.  2.  The blinking vertical bar that indicates the insertion point in text.  (There's really no such thing as a cursor on the Mac - it's used on more primitive computers - but people often say cursor when they mean pointer.)
 

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