Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
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.
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.