*Computer Dictionary*

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imz
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*Computer Dictionary*

Postby imz » 29 Nov 2005, 19:48

AFJ
n. Written-only abbreviation for "April Fool's Joke". Elaborate April Fool's hoaxes are a hallowed tradition on USENET and Internet; see {kremvax} for an example. In fact, April Fool's Day is the *only* seasonal holiday marked by customary observances on the hacker networks.

AIDS
/aydz/ n. Short for A* Infected Disk Syndrome (`A*' is a {glob} pattern that matches, but is not limited to, Apple), this condition is quite often the result of practicing unsafe {SEX}. See {virus}, {worm}, {Trojan horse}

angry fruit salad
n. A bad visual-interface design that uses too many colors. This derives, of course, from the bizarre day-glo colors found in canned fruit salad. Too often one sees similar effects from interface designers using color window systems such as {X}; there is a tendency to create displays that are flashy and attention-getting but uncomfortable for long-term use.

bells and whistles
[by analogy with the toyboxes on theater organs] n. Features added to a program or system to make it more {flavorful} from a hacker's point of view, without necessarily adding to its utility for its primary function.

bomb
v. General synonym for {crash} (sense 1) except that it is not used as a noun; esp. used of software or OS failures. "Don't run Empire with less than 32K stack, it'll bomb."

Brain Dump
n. The act of telling someone everything one knows about a particular topic or project. Typically used when someone is going to let a new party maintain a piece of code.

brain fart
n. The actual result of a {braino}, as opposed to the mental glitch which is the braino itself. E.g. typing `dir' on a UNIX box after a session with DOS.

brain-dead
adj. Brain-damaged in the extreme. It tends to imply terminal design failure rather than malfunction or simple stupidity. "This comm program doesn't know how to send a break --- how brain-dead!"

bring X to its knees
v. To present a machine, operating system, piece of software, or algorithm with a load so extreme or {pathological} that it grinds to a halt. "To bring a MicroVAX to its knees, try twenty users running {vi} --- or four running {EMACS}."

chemist
[Cambridge] n. Someone who wastes computer time on {number-crunching} when you'd far rather the machine were doing something more productive, such as working out anagrams of your name or printing Snoopy calendars or running {life} patterns. May or may not refer to someone who actually studies chemistry.

chicken head
[Commodore] n. The Commodore Business Machines logo, which strongly resembles a poultry part. Rendered in ASCII as `C='.

Christmas tree
n. A kind of RS-232 line tester or breakout box featuring rows of blinking red and green LEDs suggestive of Christmas lights.

clustergeeking
/kluh'st*r-gee`king/ [CMU] n. Spending more time at a computer cluster doing CS homework than most people spend breathing.

computer geek
n. One who eats (computer) bugs for a living. One who fulfills all the dreariest negative stereotypes about hackers: an asocial, malodorous, pasty-faced monomaniac with all the personality of a cheese grater.

condom
n. 1. The protective plastic bag that accompanies 3.5-inch microfloppy diskettes. Rarely, also used of (paper) disk envelopes.

cough and die
v. Syn. {barf}. Connotes that the program is throwing its hands up by design rather than because of a bug or oversight. "The parser saw a control-A in its input where it was looking for a printable, so it coughed and died." Compare {die}, {die horribly}.

donuts
n.obs. A collective noun for any set of memory bits. This is extremely archaic and may no longer be live jargon; it dates from the days of ferrite-{core} memories in which each bit was implemented by a doughnut-shaped magnetic flip-flop.

double DECkers
n. Used to describe married couples in which both partners work for Digital Equipment Corporation.

drunk mouse syndrome
(also `mouse on drugs') n. A malady exhibited by the mouse pointing device of some computers. The typical symptom is for the mouse cursor on the screen to move in random directions and not in sync with the motion of the actual mouse.

featurectomy
/fee`ch*r-ek't*-mee/ n. The act of removing a feature from a program.

flush
v. 1. To delete something, usually superfluous, or to abort an operation. "All that nonsense has been flushed."

gang bang
n. The use of large numbers of loosely coupled programmers in an attempt to wedge a great many features into a product in a short time.

----more to come later----

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