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Jargon used in computing

= X =

X: /X/ n. 1. Used in various speech and writing contexts (also in lowercase) in roughly its
   algebraic sense of `unknown within a set defined by context' (compare {N}).  Thus, the
   abbreviation 680x0 stands for 68000, 68010, 68020, 68030, or 68040, and 80x86 stands for
   80186, 80286 80386 or 80486 (note that a UNIX hacker might write these as 680[0-4]0 and
   80[1-4]86 or 680?0 and 80?86 respectively; see {glob}). 2. [after the name of an earlier
   window system called `W'] An over-sized, over-featured, over-engineered and incredibly
   over-complicated window system developed at MIT and widely used on UNIX systems.

XOFF: /X'of/ n. Syn. {control-s}.

xor: /X'or/, /kzor/ conj. Exclusive or.  `A xor B' means `A or B, but not both'. "I want to get
   cherry pie xor a banana split."  This derives from the technical use of the term as a
   function on truth-values that is true if exactly one of its two arguments is true.

xref: /X'ref/ vt., n. Hackish standard abbreviation for `cross-reference'.

XXX: /X-X-X/ n. A marker that attention is needed. Commonly used in program comments to
   indicate areas that are kluged up or need to be.  Some hackers liken `XXX' to the notional
   heavy-porn movie rating.

xyzzy: /X-Y-Z-Z-Y/, /X-Y-ziz'ee/, /ziz'ee/, or /ik-ziz'ee/ [from the ADVENT game] adj. The
   {canonical} `magic word'. This comes from {ADVENT}, in which the idea is to explore an
   underground cave with many rooms and to collect the treasures you find there.  If you type
   `xyzzy' at the appropriate time, you can move instantly between two otherwise distant
   points.  If, therefore, you encounter some bit of {magic}, you might remark on this quite
   succinctly by saying simply "Xyzzy!"  "Ordinarily you can't look at someone else's screen
   if he has protected it, but if you type quadruple-bucky-clear the system will let you do it
   anyway."  "Xyzzy!"  Xyzzy has actually been implemented as an undocumented no-op command on
   several OSes; in Data General's AOS/VS, for example, it would typically respond "Nothing
   happens", just as {ADVENT} did if the magic was invoked at the wrong spot or before a
   player had performed the action that enabled the word.  See also {plugh}.

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