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Jargon used in computing

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'Snooze: /snooz/ [FidoNet] n. Fidonews, the weekly official on-line newsletter of FidoNet.
   As the editorial policy of Fidonews is "anything that arrives, we print", there are often
   large articles completely unrelated to FidoNet, which in turn tend to elicit {flamage} in
   subsequent issues.

(TM): // [USENET] ASCII rendition of the trademark-superscript symbol appended to phrases
   that the author feels should be recorded for posterity, perhaps in future editions of this
   lexicon.  Sometimes used ironically as a form of protest against the recent spate of
   software and algorithm patents and `look and feel' lawsuits.  See also {UN*X}.

-oid: [from `android'] suff. 1. This suffix is used as in mainstream English to indicate a
   poor imitation, a counterfeit, or some otherwise slightly bogus resemblance.  Hackers will
   happily use it with all sorts of non-Greco/Latin stem words that wouldn't keep company
   with it in mainstream English.  For example, "He's a nerdoid" means that he superficially
   resembles a nerd but can't make the grade; a `modemoid' might be a 300-baud box (Real
   Modems run at 9600); a `computeroid' might be any {bitty box}.  The word `keyboid' could
   be used to describe a {chiclet keyboard}, but would have to be written; spoken, it would
   confuse the listener as to the speaker's city of origin.  2. There is a more specific
   sense of `oid' as an indicator for `resembling an android' which in the past has been
   confined to science-fiction fans and hackers.  It too has recently (in 1991) started to
   go mainstream (most notably in the term `trendoid' for victims of terminal hipness).
   This is probably traceable to the popularization of the term {droid} in "Star Wars" and
   its sequels.

   Coinages in both forms have been common in science fiction for at least fifty years, and
   hackers (who are often SF fans) have probably been making `-oid' jargon for almost that
   long [though GLS and I can personally confirm only that they were already common in the
   mid-1970s --- ESR].

-ware: [from `software'] suff. Commonly used to form jargon terms for classes of software.
   For examples, see {careware}, {crippleware}, {crudware}, {freeware}, {fritterware},
   {guiltware}, {liveware}, {meatware}, {payware}, {psychedelicware}, {shareware},
   {shelfware}, {vaporware}, {wetware}.

/dev/null: /dev-nuhl/ [from the UNIX null device, used as a data sink] n. A notional `black
   hole' in any information space being discussed, used, or referred to.  A controversial
   posting, for example, might end "Kudos to, flames to /dev/null".
   See {bit bucket}.

120 reset: /wuhn-twen'tee ree'set/ [from 120 volts, U.S. wall voltage] n. To cycle power on
   a machine in order to reset or unjam it.  Compare {Big Red Switch}, {power cycle}.

2: infix. In translation software written by hackers, infix 2 often represents the syllable
   *to* with the connotation `translate to': as in dvi2ps (DVI to PostScript), int2string
   (integer to string), and texi2roff (Texinfo to [nt]roff).

@-party: /at'par`tee/ [from the @-sign in an Internet address] n.  (alt. `@-sign party'
   /at'si:n par`tee/) A semi-closed party thrown for hackers at a science-fiction convention
   (esp. the annual Worldcon); one must have a {network address} to get in, or at least be
   in company with someone who does.  One of the most reliable opportunities for hackers to
   meet face to face with people who might otherwise be represented by mere phosphor dots on
   their screens.  Compare {boink}.

@Begin: // See {\begin}.

\begin: // [from the LaTeX command] With \end, used humourously in writing to indicate a
   context or to remark on the surrounded text.  For example:

     Predicate logic is the only good programming language.
     Anyone who would use anything else is an idiot.
     Also, all computers should be tredecimal instead of binary.

   The Scribe users at CMU and elsewhere used to use @Begin/@End in an identical way
   (LaTeX was built to resemble Scribe).  On USENET, this construct would more frequently
   be rendered as `<FLAME ON>' and `<FLAME OFF>'.

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This page (jargon2.html) was last modified on Sunday 27/01/2013