Computer Glossary

Computer Glossary



Glossary of Computer Terms For Dummies.


1.2.3.
Key chapters missed out of the Lotus Symphony manual.

3270_PC
Seven functions at once. As long as only one is a PC function.

3270_EMULATION
Add-in card costing almost as much as a real 3270 terminal.

3274_CONTROLLER
Device for turning expensive, powerful PC's into dumb
terminals. See DUMB TERMINALS.

404
Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web message "404, URL 
Not Found," meaning that the document you've tried to access can't
be located. "Don't bother asking him...he's 404, man.

486
One of them fancy imported cars.

640K BARRIER
The finish line in a mega-marathon

ACCESS TIME            
Foreplay

ADVANCED DESIGN
Upper management doesn't understand it.

ADVANCED SUER
A person who has managed to remove a computer from its 
packing materials.

ALL NEW
The software is not compatible with previous versions.

ALPHA
Software undergoes alpha testing as a first step in getting
user feedback. Alpha is Latin for "doesn't work."

ALPHA TEST VERSION
Too buggy to be released to the paying public.

ALT KEY
For calling up extra functions. Conveniently placed where you'd
expect to find the SHIFT key, it let's you delete entire documents
when all you wanted was a capital L.

AMERICAN MADE
Assembled in America from parts made abroad.

AMIGA
A Merely Insignificant Game Addiction 

ANALOG
What Ana tosses into the fire

AOL
Almost On-Line

APPLE:
Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity 

APPLICATIONS GENERATOR
Enables you to write any kind of program you want - 
as long as it's a database.  See PROGRAM GENERATOR.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Man-made method for making a machine even more
irrational than man.  See EXPERT SYSTEM.

ASCII
Ancient god of Telecommunications. Rumored to give vast amounts 
of data to believers. Hence, the phrase "ASCII and you shall 
receive."

ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE
Put tab A into slot B, then put tab C...

ASYNCH
A place to wash your hands.

AUDIT TRAIL            
what the IRS does

AUTOEXEC.BAT
 A sturdy aluminum or wooden shaft used to coax AT hard disks into 
performing properly.

AUTOEXEC.BAT.CONTROL CHARACHTER
Prison Guard

BACKING-UP
Mythical ceremony, often discussed, but rarely encountered.  

BACKUP
Don't worry, it'll never hapen...
The duplicate copy of crucial data that no one bothered to make; 
used only in the abstract.

BANDWIDTH
Limited by the size of the stage

BAR CHART:
A list of places to go to when it's Miller time.

BASIC:
Bill's Attempt to Seize Industry Control 

BATTERY BACKUP
Going in reverse in a golf cart

BBS
Tall tales told by insects that produce honey.

BENCHMARK
What happens when your saw hits the bench

BETA
Software undergoes beta testing shortly before it's released.
Beta is Latin for "still doesn't work."

BETA TEST VERSION
Still too buggy to be released.

BIGGER ICONS
Large pictures on PC's screen which don't infringe Apple's
copyright.  See ICONS.

BIOS:
Legal term for the method used by IBM to settle out of court with
it's competitors over copyright problems.

BISYNCH
The place where Elton John washes his hands.

BIT
A word used to describe computers,as in 'Our son's computer
cost quite a bit'
Similar to a nibble. Commonly eight nibbles in a mouthful.  
See Byte.

BLOCK PARITY
One heck of a good time.

BOOT
What your friends give you because you spend too much time
bragging about your computer skills.

BOOTING
Arcane term for the aching delay as the PC dutifully checks 
that it's got all it's bits and pieces.

BREAKTHROUGH
It nearly booted on the first try.

BROADBAND
An all female rock group

BUBBLE MEMORY
A derogatory term, usually referring to a person's intelligence.
See also Vacuum Tube.

BUG
What your eyes do after you stare at the tiny green computer
screen for more than 15 minutes. Also: what computer magazine
do to you after they get your name on their mailing list

BYTE
A mouthful, as in "How many bytes in a Big Mac?"
What bugs do.

CACHE MEMORY
Remembering how much you spent

CAPABILITY MATURITY MODEL
A method of determining to what extent the developer can reasonably be 
blamed for the inevitable failure.

CARRIER DETECT
"I see the mail man!"
Raison d'etre for premarital blood tests.

CASE
24 bottles

CD-ROM
Consumer Device, Rendered Obsolete in Months 
The place in the bank where they sell retirement accounts.

CHARACTER DENSITY
The number of very weird people in your office.

CHIP
The fattening, non-nutritional food computer users eat to avoid 
having to leave their keyboard for meals.  What to munch on.

CLEANROOM
A management technique that applies to horizontal interfaces what the 
mushroom technique applies to vertical interfaces.

CLONE
One of the many advanced-technology computers IBM is beginning 
to wish it had built.

COBOL
Completely Obsolete Business Oriented Language 

COBWEB SITE
A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time.
A dead web page.

CODE
Usually lasts three to five days, accompanied by a sore throat
and runny nose.

COMMAND
Statement presented by a human and accepted by the computer
in such a manner as to make the human feel as if he is in
control.

COMMAND DRIVEN
Term used to describe the way a data management package works.
You tell it to do one thing, and it does something else.

COMM PORT
Russian submarine base.

COMMUNICATIONS
Method of combining incompatible software working to incompatible
standards to produce difficult to understand results.

COMPATIBLE PRICE CUTS
Example of largesse on the part of manufacturers of PC compatible 
microcomputers.  Nothing to do with IBM price cuts.  
See IBM PRICE CUTS.

COMPILE
A heap of decomposed vegetable matter. 

COMPILER
A tool for adding an exciting amount of uncertainty to the size, speed 
and correctness of a program.

COMPUTER
instrument of torture. The first computer was invented by Roger 
"Duffy" Billingsly, a British scientist. In a plot to overthrow
Adolf Hitler, Duffy disguised himself as a German ally and 
offered his invention as a gift to the surly dictator. The plot 
worked. On April 8, 1945, Adolf became so enraged at the 
"Incompatible File Format" error message that he shot himself. 
The war ended soon after Hitler's death, and Duffy began working 
for IBM.

COMPUTER HUMAN INTERFACE
The means by which the program conditions the user into never trying 
all the things that don't work.

CONCURRENCY
The facility to handle several tasks at one,  without doing any
of them properly.

CONSULTANT
A former sales associate who has mastered at least one tenth of 
the dBase III Plus Manual.

CONVERTIBLE
Transformable from a second-rate computer to a first-rate doorstop 
or paperweight.  (Replaces the term "junior".)

CONVENTIONAL MEMORY
Remembering what you did at COMDEX

COPY
What you have to do during school tests because you spend too
much time at the computer and not enough time studying

COPY PROTECTION
Stops thieves from stealing it and genuine PC users from
running it.
A clever method of preventing incompetent pirates from stealing 
software and legitimate customers from using it.

COPYRIGHT
Opposite of copy wrong

COST MODELING
A means of convincing the customer to pay for whomever you need to 
keep employed this year.

CPU
Central Processing Unit. The CPU is the computer's engine. It
consists of a hard drive, an interface card and a tiny spinning 
wheel that's powered by a running rodent - a gerbil if the 
machine is a 386, a ferret if it's a 486 and a ferret on speed 
if it's a Pentium.

CURSOR                 
A garbage mouth. What you turn into when you can't get your 
computer to perform, as in "You $#%&%$#%$% computer!"

CUSTOMER
A primitive life form at the bottom of the food chain.

DAISY CHAIN
A dog's leash

DAISYWHEEL PRINTER
Slow, letter-quality output device designed to seriously
impair the hearing of the people who work near it.

DATABASE MANAGER
A program that allows users to manipulate data in every conceivable 
way except the absolutely essential way they conceive of the day 
after entering 20 megabytes of raw data.

DATAPAC
A size 14 girl in a size 8 bikini.

DATA PROCESSING DEPARTMENT
Part of a large company whose job it is to discourage 
the use of PC's.

DAT
The opposite of DIS

DEADLY EMBRACE
Making love to King Kong

DEBUG
The act of placing shoe leather against a small creeping
creature.

DEBUGGER
The person who sold us our system.
A tool that substitutes afterthought for forethought.

DEC
Do Expect Cuts 

DECISION SUPPORT
Special software package which includes business plan,
darts and blindfold.

DEFAULT DIRECTORY
Black hole. Default directory is where all files that you 
need disappear to.

DELIMITER
Someone who says, "Stop, that's enough"

DENSITY
How to measure IQs of blondes

DESIGN
The activity of preparing for a design review.

DESIGN REVIEW
a process for ensuring you know exactly what it is you won't build.

DESIGN SIMPLICITY
It was developed on a shoe-string budget.

DHRYSTONES
The stones that were tossed out of the water

DIGITAL
Like those numbers that flip on your alarm clock.

DIP SWITCH
How my sister gets a new boy friend

DISK
What goes out in your back after bending over a computer
keyboard for seven hours at a clip

DOCUMENTARY HYPOTHESIS
The discredited notion that software is the outcome of a systematic 
and rational process of development, rather than the result of divine 
inspiration.

DOCUMENTATION
A process for converting trees into entropy, usually applied to provide 
busywork for the people whose employment cannot be justified by cost 
modelling.

DOMAIN
A class of applications where failure on one project gives you an 
advantage in bidding on the next.

DOS
Defunct Operating System 
Do it Our-Selves.

DOT MATRIX
John Matrix's wife.

DOT PITCH              
"Dorothy winds ups, and delivers a knuckleball"

DOWNLOAD
Gettin' the firewood off the pickup.

DUMB TERMINAL
Exactly what it says. See 3274 CONTROLLER.

DUMP
The place all your former hobbies wind up soon after you 
install your computer

EASILY EXPANDABLE
Minimum price configuration is unsuitable for practical use.

EASY TO INSTALL
Difficult to install, but instruction manual has pictures.

EASY TO USE
Not very powerful.

EDCDIC
Similar to herpes

ELECTRONIC MAIL
Method of sending messages between PC users, rather than
letting them talk to each other.

EMS
Happens just before PMS
Emergency Medical Service;  often summoned in cases of apoplexy 
induced by attempts to understand extended, expanded, or enhanced 
memory specs.

ENCRYPTION
A powerful algorithmic encoding technique employed in the creation 
of computer manuals.

END USER
A prisoner's cell mate

ENHANCEMENT
Breaking what you did right and getting paid for it. 
see also: maintenance

ENTER
C'mon in!

ENTROPY
The universal process of things changing for the worse.  
See UPGRADE.

ERGONOMICALLY DESIGNED
Has highly unusual appearance.

ERROR
What you made the first time you walked into a computer
showroom to 'just look'

ERROR MESSAGE
Terse, baffling remark used by programmers to place blame 
on users for the program's shortcomings.

ESCAPE SEQUENCE        
Distract guard. Dig tunnel. Cut fence...
Lash computer securely to desk. Pull out plug. Detach
parallel printer cable and tie one end round desk leg.  
Open window. Throw other end of cable out of window.  
Climb down cable, and make way to nearest airport.

ETHERNET 
Used to catch Ether
A device for catching the Ether Bunny.

EUROPEAN HEADQUARTERS
The only branch of a US software company not to employ
any knowledgeable product support staff.

EXCLUSIVE
We're the only ones who have the documentation.

EXECUTIVE CURSOR CONTROL
Joystick.

EXPANSION SLOTS
Sparse resource quickly used up by clock/calenders, games
adaptors and mouse cards.
Specially contrived means of cramping PC users' style by
limiting the number of options available for expansion.
See EXAPANSION UNIT.

EXPANSION UNIT
The new room you have to build on to your home to house 
your computer and all its peripherials.
Enormous, obtrusive box which houses IBM's specially 
contrived expanion slots.

EXPERT SYSTEM
Program that duplicates your mistakes, only faster. 
See ARTIFICIAL INTELEGENCE.

EXPERT USER
People who break other people's computers.

FAX
Non-Fiction.

FCC-CERTIFIED
Guaranteed not to interfere with radio or television reception 
until you add the cable that is required to make it work.

FIELD TESTED
Manufacturing doesn't have a test system.

FILE
What your secretary can now do to her nails six and a half 
hours a day, now that the computer does her day's work in 
30 minutes.
A document that has been saved with an unidentifiable name. 
It helps to think of a file as something stored in a file 
cabinet - except when you try to remove the file, the cabinet 
gives you an electric shock and tells you the file format is 
unknown.

FILE TRANSFER
Procedure followed by INFORMATION CENTER staff who are 
tired of their present jobs.

FIXED DISK
A broken disk that comes back from the shop

FIXED DISK DRIVE
Difficult-to-back-up storage device sold by IBM to make it 
easy for PC users to lose large amounts of valuable data.

FLASH EPROM
What they have on 90210 (Flashy Proms)

FLAT BED SCANNER
A hooker looking for loose change.

FLAT FILE
A file with all the air out of it

FLEXIBLE
Difficult to use.

FLIGHT SIMULATOR
Microsoft game which mimics a light aircraft, said to be
the ultimate test for PC compatibility.

FLOPPY
The condition of a constant computer user's stomach due to
lack of exercise and a steady diet junk food (see "Chips")

FLOPPY DISCS
A defect occurring in all 1982 disc drives, necessitating
a factory recall.
Whatcha get from pilin' too much firewood.

FOOLPROOF OPERATION
All parameters are hard coded.

FOOTMOUSE
Not a joke, but a genuine American PC product. The input 
device that responds to your every toe prod.

FORMAL VERIFICATION
The construction of an incorrect proof isomorphic to an incorrect 
program.

FOURTH GENERATION
Technology that would have been appreciated in 1905.

FULL DUPLEX
A 2-family house with 16 occupants

FUNCTION KEYS
Outmoded hardware devices passed over by software authors 
in favour of complex combinations of CONTROL KEYS and 
mnemonic codes.

FUNCTION POINT ANALYSIS
Cost modelling a program by what it won't do, rather than by 
how big it won't be.

FUTURISTIC
It only runs on the next-generation supercomputer.

GATEWAY
Ingenious and expensive upgrade that allows PC users on a local
area network to switch from easily corrupting each other's data
to easily corrupting the data on a main-frame computer.  
See LOCAL AREA NETWORK.

GRAPHICS GAME
Describes matchstick men fighting upside-down pound signs.

GROUPWARE
Clothes swapping

HACKER
A heavy smoker

HALF-HEIGHT DRIVE
A midget's sexual capacity

HAND SCANNER
Singles bar prowler looking for wedding rings

HANDS-ON-TRAINING
Where groups of would-be users huddle round a single PC for
two days, and watch someone else use it.

HARD DISK
Device enabling naive PC users to lose vast amounts of data 
quickly and easily.

HARD DRIVE
Gettin' home in a snow storm.

HARDWARE
Tools, such as lawnmowers, rakes and other heavy equipment
you haven't laid a finger on since getting your computer.
Collective term for any computer-related object that can 
be kicked or battered.

HAYES COMPATIBLE
Prone to riding with a grizzled old cowhand who sings off-key.
Gene Autry is the industry standard.

HEAP
What I drive

HELP
The feature that assists in generating more questions. When 
the help feature is used correctly, users are able to navigate 
through a series of Help screens and end up where they started
from without learning anything.

HIGH DENSITY DISKETTE
A very stupid floppy

HIGH-LEVEL LANGUAGE
For penthouse programmers

HIGH LEVEL OF FUNCTIONALITY
Does some of the thing's it's claimed to.

HIGH RESOLUTION GRAPHICS
Reasonable-quality full colour charts and graphs.

HIGH RESOLUTION GRAPHICS(IBM):
Black and white graphs.

HOME COMPUTER
What you tell your computer when it follows you

HOUSEKEEPING
Just like the real thing, doesn't get done.

HYPERTEXT
Text on amphetamines

IBM:
I Blame Microsoft 
The kind of missile your family members and friends would like
to drop on your computers so you'll pay attention to them again

IBM COMPATIBLE
Term used to describe a microcomputer that might run some PC
software

IBM PRICE CUTS
Reduction of prices so that they're only slightly more
expensive than rival products.  See COMPATIBLE PRICE CUTS.

IBM's HIGH RESOLUTION COLOUR GRAPHICS
On the PC, black & white.

ICONS
Small pictures on the PC's screen that infringe Apple's 
artistic copy-right.  See BIGGER ICONS.

INCREMENTAL IMPLEMENTATION
Delivering several partial products each for the price of a 
complete one.

INDUSTRY STANDARD
Term used by suppliers which means "every one is out of step
except us".

INFRARED
Where the leftovers go when Fred's around.

INK JET
A plan used for sky writing

INPUT/OUTPUT
Information is input from the keyboard as intelligible data and 
output to the printer as unrecognizable junk.

INTEGRATED CIRCUIT
A circuit with black & white components

INTEGRATED SOFTWARE
Package with several functions-spreadsheet, graphics, and word 
processing-that only comes on four floppy disks.
A single product that deftly performs hundreds of functions that
the user never needs and awkwardly performs the half-dozen he 
uses constantly.

INTERFACE
The opposite of "Getouttamyface".

INTERMEDIATE USER
People who don't know how to fix their computer after they've 
just pressed a key that broke it.

INTERIM RELEASE
A programmer's feeble attempt at repentance.

ISDN:
It Still Does Nothing (requires little explanation)

IT'S HERE AT LAST
We've released a 26-week project in 48 weeks.

JUSTIFICATION
Method used in a personalised word processed letter to make
it look like a word processed letter.

K
A term used in employment ads to disguise how much they are 
really willing to pay.

KEYBOARD
Easy to use input device which fits snugly into the cassette 
socket at the rear of the PC - and then won't work.
Where you hang your keys.

KEYBOARD TEMPLATE
Ill fitting plastic devie which prevents the smooth working
of the PC's keyboard.  Also comes in delux cardboard model
which falls to pieces after a week.

KEY-PUNCHING
An activity similar in many aspects to cowpoking.

Lap Top
Where little kids feel comfy.
Smaller and lighter than the average breadbox.

LCD
Lousy computer display.

LETTER QUALITY MATRIX PRINTER
Output device that produces print quality that is unsuitable 
for real correspondance.

LISP
Lots of Infuriating & Silly Parentheses 

LOCAL AREA NETWORK
Highly complicated system that surrenders local control of 
personal computing to remote data processing department
Electronic means of allowing multiple users to destroy data
files simultaneously.

LOCAL BUS
Stops at every intersection

LOG ON
Makin' the wood stove hotter.

LOG OFF
Don't add no more wood.

LOST CHAINS
Euphoria experienced by the recently divorced

LOW-END
Usually found in a sentence like: "We've discovered a new 
market at the low-end".  Means they've been getting 
pulverised by the people at Software Publishing Corp.

LOW-LEVEL LANGUAGE
For basement programmers

MACHINE CODE
A language that's best left to machines.

MACHINE DEPENDENCY
An affliction of machine users

MACINTOSH
Most Applications Crash; If Not, The Operating System Hangs 

MAG TAPE
Tape used on the wheels of cars

MAINFRAME
Akin to "main squeeze"
The part of the house that holds the roof up.

MAIN MEMORY            
Remembering where the water line is

MAINTENANCE
Fixing what you did wrong and getting paid for it. 
see also: enhancement

MAINTENANCE FREE
It's impossible to fix.

MATH COPROCESSOR
The person you cheated from in math class

MATRIX PRINTER
Output device that produces print quality that even its makers
say is unsuitable for correspondence.

MEETS QUALITY STANDARDS
It compiles without errors.

MEGAFLOP
The worst play you ever saw

MEGAHERTZ
A very large car rental company.
When ya ain't careful downloading firewood (watch those toes).

MEMORY
Of computer components, the most generous in terms of variety, 
and the skimpiest in terms of quantity.

MENU
What you'll never see again after buying a computer because
you'll be too poor to eat in a restaurant.
A bit like a real menu - full of things you don't understand.

MICRO CHIP
What's left in the bag when the chips are gone.

MICROSOFT
Most Intelligent Customers Relize Our Software Only Fools Teenagers 

MINICOMPUTER
The pier to Mickey's computer

MIPS
Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed 

MODEM
What the gardener did to the lawns
A contraction. Commonly used as in "Give me modem cookies."

MONITOR
Often thought to be a word associated with computers, this
word actually refers to those obnoxious kids who always want 
to see your hall pass at school

MOUSE
Hand-held controller that's even more embarassing for 
status-conscious executives to use than a keyboard.
What eats the horse's grain in the barn.

MULTIFUNCTION BOARD
Add-in card for a PC, packed with features you don't need.

MULTI-SYNC
Can be sunk more than once

MULTITASKING
A clever method of simultaneously slowing down the multitude of 
computer programs that insist on running too fast.

NATIVE MODE
Headhunting

NATURAL LANGUAGE
Like no other language anyone's ever heard of.

NETWORK
The occupation of a fisherman.
An electronic means of allowing more than one person at a time to 
corrupt, trash, and otherwise cause permanent damage to useful 
information.

NEW
It comes in different colors from the previous version.

NEW VERSION
Software release or hardware product that does most, but not 
all of what the original version was supposed to do.

NEXT VERSION
Not-yet-available relese of a softtware package that's claimed
to do all of the things claimed for the original version.  
Often turns out to be a NEW VERSION (see above).

NO SITE LICENSE
Method by which suppliers respond to corporate users who 
want discounts on software.  "NO".  

NON-FIXED FUNCTION WORKSTATION
Dumb terminal.

NOVICE USER
People who are afraid that simply pressing a key might break 
their computer.

NUM LOCK
One of the mysteries on the PC's keyboard.  Until you start 
typing you don't know whether it's switched on or not.

ON-LINE
Where the birds sit.

OPERATING SYSTEM
Difficult to understand piece of software which is supposed
to be 'transparent' to PC users.

OS/2
Obsolete Soon, Too 

OUTPUT
What people who talk backwards do with their cat.

OVERLAY
Chickens making too many eggs

PAPER FEED
Standard, chewy diet of dot matrix printers.

PCMCIA
People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms 

PENTIUM
Produces Erroneous Numbers Thru Incorrect Understanding
of Mathematics 
The thing that swings back-and-forth on a clock.

PERFROMANCE PROVEN
It works through beta test.

PLOTTER
A deceitful person

POP-UP MENUS
Little windows full of help messages that instantly cover 
up whatever it was you wanted help with.

PORT
Where sailers vacation.

PORTABLE PC
No such thing.
Smaller and lighter than the average refrigerator.

POSTSCRIPT
Grafitti on a pole

POWER USER
A person who has mastered the brightness and contrast controls \
on any computer monitor.

POWERFUL US FINANCIAL PLANNING PACKAGE
Doesn't display or print out pound signs.

PRINTER
A joke in poor taste. A printer consists of three main parts:
the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.
Someone who can't write in cursive.
An electromechnical paper shredding device.

PROGRAMS
Those things you used to look at on your television before
you hooked your computer up to it.
What software used to be, back when we knew how to write it.

PROGRAMMERS
Computer avengers. Once members of that group of high school 
nerds who wore tape on their glasses, played Dungeons and
Dragons, and memorized Star Trek episodes; now millionaires 
who create "user-friendly" software to get revenge on whoever
gave them noogies and wedgies.
One who is too lacking in people skills to be a software engineer.

PROGRAM GENERATOR
Package claimed to enable you to write programs without being 
a programmer as long as all you want to do is write database 
programs.  See APPLICATIONS GENERATOR.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The art of always knowing how badly you're doing your work and 
how late you're doing it.

PROMPT
What you wish the mail was.

PROTECTED MEMORY
Remembering to wear a condom

QUALITY ASSURANCE
A way to ensure you never deliver shoddy goods accidentally.

RAM
What you do to the side of your computer when it's not
working properly
A male sheep with horns.
The hydraulic thing that makes the woodsplitter work.
A crappy football player from St. Louis.

RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY
When you suddenly can't remember how much that antique 
tractor costs when your wife asks.

REAL-TIME
Here and now, as opposed to fake time which only occurs
there and then.
An attribute applied to software that's even more expensive than
can be justified by cost modelling.

RECOMMENDED FOR HARD DISK USE
A program that comes on 12 floppy disks.

REFERENCE MANUAL
Object that raises the monitor to eye level. Also used 
to compensate for that short table leg.

RELEASE VERSION
Alternate pronunciation of "Beta Test Version".

REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS
Determining what it is you can't do before failing to do it.

REQUIREMENTS ENGINEERING
Convincing the customer to want what you think you can build.

REQUIREMENTS REVIEW
Explaining what the customer won't get in language they don't 
understand.

RETURN
What lots of people do with their computers after only 
a week and a half

REUSE
Using an existing product in a new context; especially as applied 
to proposals, resumes, disclaimers and excuses.

REVOLUTIONARY
The disk drives go round and round.

RIGHT JUSTIFIED
Opposite of wrongly justified

RISC
Reduced Into Silly Code 

ROM
A Ram after a delicate operation. 

RECORD LOCKING
What you do to your Beetle White Album

SALES MANAGER
Last week's new sales associate.

SATISFACTION GUARANTEED
We'll send you another copy if it fails.

SCHEDULED RELEASE DATE
A carefully calculated date determined by estimating the 
actual shipping date and subtracting six months from it.

SCHEDULING
Identifying those parts of a project which you hope no-one 
will notice have been left out.

SCREEN
What you need for bug season.

SCSI
System Can't See It 

SEMI-CONDUCTOR
A person hired to lead an orchestra before he has graduated 
from the famous director's school.

SERIAL INTERFACE
A spoon and bowl.

SERIAL PORT
Hardware device that goes snap, crackle, then pops.

SERIAL PROCESSING
The procedure through which corn flakes are arrived.

SHARED PRINTER
Expensive peripheral that's always being used by someone else.

SHELL
Designed to come between PC users and the complexity of the OS.
Usually something you wish you'd left closed.

SIMPLE TO INSTALL
Installation procedure likely to invalidate IBM waranty.

SMOOTH SCROLLING
Slightly less juddery movement of text up and down the screen.

SOFTWARE:
Typically silk nightgowns, nylons: contrast with Hardware.
Them plastic eatin' utensils.

SOFTWARE ENGINEER
One who engineers others into writing the code for him/her.

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
A dicipline which ensures that the correct and useful
parts of a program are written in such a way that any
programmer can undestand how they work.  See ENTROPY.

SOFTWARE PIRACY
Stealing a ship's program

SPIRAL MODEL
A development model that allows you to fail in a small way several 
times over. see also: waterfall model

SPREADSHEET
How a hooker prepares for a trick.
   Spreadsheet:  A program that gives the user quick and easy access to 
a wide variety of highly detailed reports based on highly inaccurate 
assumptions.

STATE-OF-THE-ART
What we could do with enough money.

STATE-OF-THE-PRACTICE
What we can do with the money you have.

STATEMENT OF DIRECTION
We only think we know where we're going, but we're going 
to try and take you along anyway.

Stock item
We shipped it once before, and we can do it again, probably.

STREAMING TAPE
Party decorations

STRUCTURED WALKTHROUGH
The process whereby the false assumptions of one member become 
shared by an entire team.

SUBROUTINE
Not quite routine

SURGE PROTECTOR
A condom

SUPPORT
The mailing of advertising literature to customers who have returned 
a registration card.

SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR
A former consultant who understands the term

TECHNOLOGY TRANSITION
Helping people replace old useless processes, methods and tools 
with new useless processes, methods and tools.

TERMINAL
A place where you can find buses, trains and really good
deals on hot computers.

TERMINAL EMULATION
A function performed by a canary that lays on its back 
with its legs in the air.

TESTING
A process for ensuring that the product will work in all 
circumstances that anybody other than the user can imagine.

THOUGHT PROCESSOR
An eletronic version of the intended outline procedure that thinking 
people instantly abandon upon graduation from high school.

TOKEN RING
A group of people passing the bong.
A virtual engagement gift.

TOTAL BUSINESS SOLUTION
Jargon used by computer salesmen to make you believe
they understand what you're saying.
Give up business and move to Barbados.

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT
A way of teaching your managers five words of Japanese, without any 
risk that they will acquire an equivalent amount of competence.

TRACKBALL
What sprinters and runners often get.

TRANSISTOR
A sibling: e.g. a transbrother.

TRANSPORTABILITY
Neither chained to a wall or attached to an alarm system.

TWISTED PAIR
Tubes tied

UCSD.p
An opperating system that's more portable than most computers,
but isn't used by many people.

UNDER MOUSE ARREST
Getting busted for violating an online service's rule of conduct.  
"Sorry I couldn't get back to you. AOL put me under mouse arrest."

UNPRECEDENTED PERFORMANCE
Nothing ever ran this slow before.

UPGRADE
A new version of a program in which all the modules the programmers
could understand have been re-written.  See SOFTWARE ENGINEERING.

UPGRADED
Didn't work the first time.

USER
A four letter word. Used by manufacturers to describe someone 
who falls foul of their product.

USERS
Collective term for those who stare vacantly at a monitor. Users 
are divided into three types: novice, intermediate and expert.

USER-FRIENDLY
Of or pertaining to any feature, device or concept that makes 
perfect sense to a programmer.
Supplied with a full color manual.

UTILITIES
'Extra' pieces of software, more complicated than the problems
they're supposed to help you solve.

VACUUM TUBE
A derogatory term. See Bubble memory.

VAPOURWARE
Idea in a computer entrepreneur's mind and ad agency's copy for 
a product that doesn't actually exist.

VERSION 1.0
Buggier than Maine in June; eats data.

VERSION 1.1
Eats data only occasionally; upgrade is free, to avoid
litigation by disgruntled users of Version 1.0.

VERSION 2.0
the version originally planned as the first release, except for a 
couple of data-eating bugs that just won't seem to go away; no free
upgrades or the company would go bankrupt.

VERSION 3.0
The revision in the works when the company goes bankrupt.

VERSION II
Re-packaged program that does all that was prommised for the
origional product, but not as much as is claimed for in the
brochure.

VERY USER FRIENDLY
Supplied with a disk and audiotape so the user need not bother with 
the full color manual.

VIDEOTEX
A moribund electronic service offering people the privelege of paying 
to read the weather on their television screens instead of having 
Willard Scott read it to them free while they brush their teeth.

VOICE INPUT
A (pause) way (pause) of (pause) talking (pause) to (pause)
computers (stop).  Voice training courses are recommended to 
help PC users project over the thundering of daisywheel printers.
See DAISYWHEEL PRINTERS.

WARRANTY
Disclaimer.

WATERFALL MODEL
A development model that allows you to fail in a big way just once.

WINCHESTER
An old English town.

WINDOW
What you heave the computer out of after you accidentally erase
a program that took you three days to set up

WINDOWS
Will Install Needless Data On Whole System 
Software device designed to confuse lay end users by letting 
them run five programs simultaneously.
Windows - What to shut when it's raining.

WORD RAP
Black music

WORKSHEET
A prostitutes office

WORKSTATION
A computer or terminal slavishly linked to a mainframe that does 
not offer game programs.

WWW:
World Wide Wait 

WYSIWYG
(Pronounced `wizzy wig'). Usually describes a word processing 
package that lets you display fancy typefaces on the screen, 
but won't work with any of your printers.

XMODEM
A device on the losing end of a lightning encounter.

YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT
We finally got one to work.

YMODEM
Because, modem




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