Computer Definitions

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Someone who’s clueless. From the WWW 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."

The average IQ needed to understand a PC.

Alpha Geek:
The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or workgroup. "Ask Mark, he’s the alpha geek."

when a technology is overtaken in the market by inferior but better marketed competition as in "Microsoft betamaxed Apple right out of the market"

Blowing Your Buffer:
Losing one’s train of thought. Occurs when the person you are speaking with won’t let you get a word in edgewise or has just said something so astonishing that your train gets derailed. "Damn, I just blew my buffer!"

To take note of a person for future reference (a metaphor borrowed from web browsers). "I bookmarked him after seeing his cool demo at Siggraph."

CGI Joe:
A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the societal skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.

Chip Jewelry:
A euphemism for old computers destined to be scrapped or turned into decorative ornaments. "I paid three grand for that 6100/66, and now it’s nothing by chip jewelry."

Chips and Salsa:
Chips=3D hardware, salsa=3D software, i.e.: "Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem’s in your chips or your salsa."

Cobweb Site:
A Web site that hasn’t been updated for a long time. A dead web page.

A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I just wasted 30 minutes downloading this stinkin’ crapplet!"

Dead Tree Edition:
The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle…"

Disk Crash:
A typical computer response to any critical deadline.

Dropped carrier:
Losing contact/ignoring a person. Example: "I think you’re a doofus!" "That’s okay, I dropped your carrier hours ago!"

Dorito Syndrome:
Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. ("I spent six hours surfing the Web, and now I’ve got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome.")

Ego Surfing:
Scanning the Net, databases, print media, and so on, looking for references to one’s own name.

The state of your wallet after purchasing a computer.

Apple’s new Macs that make you say "Gee, three times faster than the computer I bought for the same price a Microsecond ago."

Graybar Land:
The place you go while you’re staring at a computer that’s processing something very slowly (while you watch the gray bar creep across the screen). "I was in graybar land for what seemed like hours, thanks to that CAD rendering."

What your computer becomes after spilling your coffee on it. (pronounced "gooey")

Hard Drive:
The sales technique employed by computer salesmen, esp. after a Syntax Error.

I/O Error
Ignorant Operator. Used by tech support in attributing problems not necessarily caused by the computer. Takeoff on Input/Output error.

It’s a Feature:
From the adage "It’s not a bug, it’s a feature." Used sarcastically to describe an unpleasant experience that you wish to gloss over.

JIP (Jargon Interface Protocol): When someone knows the technical meaning of acronyms such as http, tcp/ip, csu/dsu, etc. Example: They’re plugged into the JIP.

The standard way to generate computer errors.

Keyboard Plaque:
The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."

Legacy Media:
The traditional media, such as radio and television, but particularly newspapers. Term can describe Web sites that conform to traditional newspaper standards.

Link Rot:
The process by which links on a Web page become obsolete as they sites they’re connected to change location or die.

The physical world (as opposed to the virtual) also "carbon community" "facetime" "F2F" "RL."

The time it takes for your state-of-the-art computer to become obsolete.

An advanced input device to make computer errors easier to generate.

Mouse Potato:
The online generation’s answer to the couch potato.

Nickname for AOL’s less-than-full-featured Web browser.

Any computer you own.

Percussive Maintenance:
The fine art of whacking a device to get it working.

Plug and Play:
A new hire who doesn’t need any training. "The new guy John is great. He’s totally plug-and-play."

Portable Computer:
A device invented to force businessmen to work at home, on vacation, and on business trips.

Power User:
Anyone who can format a disk from DOS.

The coming convergence of movies, interactive TV, and computers, also "hollywired."

Square headed boy/girlfriend:
Your computer.

Any computer you can’t afford.

Syntax Error:
Walking into a computer store and saying, "Hi, I want to buy a computer and money is no object."

System Update:
A quick method of trashing ALL of your software.

Manuals and documentation.

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."

Euphemism for being fired.

Vulcan Nerve Pinch:
The taxing hand position required to reach all the appropriate keys for certain commands. For instance, the warm re- boot for a Mac II computer involves simultaneously pressing the Control key, the Command key, the Return key and the Power On key.

World-Wide Wait:
The real meaning of WWW.

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