Carbon-Based Error

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What Does Carbon-Based Error Mean?

A carbon-based error refers to a problem with a computer or a program that is caused by the user rather than the machine. All life on earth depends on carbon, which forms the molecular bonds that make life possible. Therefore, to say that an error is carbon-based is another way of saying it was caused by a computer’s human user. Carbon-based errors are a common problem for IT professionals, particularly when it comes to inexperienced users.

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Techopedia Explains Carbon-Based Error

This slang term is most frequently used by IT professionals and other tech-savvy individuals who are always being called upon to fix errors that have nothing to do with the technology. Calling something a carbon-based error is essentially telling the user that they are doing it wrong. That said, a disgruntled user can always come back with a buzzword in his or her defense by claiming the technology or program in question isn’t user friendly.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.