View Full Version : Glossary of Computing

September 7th, 2006, 08:27 PM
"Big iron": mainframe
"Bit Bucket": where the bits go when they fall off the end of a loose wire
"BRS Interrupt": rebooting the machine using the Big Red Switch
"Casters up": dead machine
"Dinosaur pen": the traditional glassed-in machine room
"dusty deck": old code
"Feature": bug
"FUBAR": Failed UniBus Address Register (DEC VAX)
"Gnarly": complex
"Grok": to understand
"Hairy": overly complex
"Heisenbug": a bug that disappears when you try to observe
"Hosed": in a bad state
"IBM": Inferior But Marketable, or I've Been Moved
"KISS": Keep It Simple Stupid
"Magic Smoke": The substance that makes ICs run. Don't let it get out of the chips.
"RTFM": Read The (Fine) Manual
"Three Finger Salute": CTRL-ALT-DELETE on a PC
"Wedged": frozen or hung

You get the idea ...

September 7th, 2006, 08:46 PM
Handy reference. Although I have the more common version of RTFM.....


September 8th, 2006, 02:09 AM
Some of these terms even were translated into other languages. Instead of just linking to jargon.txt, I can add some of my personal favorites.

Automagic: almost like automatic, but so complex and difficult to understand that it appears like magic.

COBOL fingers: small finger stumps, about one phalanx long after the rest of the finger has eroded from too much COBOL programming.'

ERROR 220 (110 in the US): what happens if you connect the power line to the data bus. Can result in some interesting light phenomenon.

If you say "Keep it simple, Sir" you can use it even towards superiors.

September 8th, 2006, 05:11 AM
Here is some more computer terminolgies (from the net):

State-of-the-art : Any computer you can't afford.

Obsolete : Any computer you own.

Microsecond : The time it takes for your State-of-the-art-computer to become obsolete.

Syntax Error : Hi, I want to buy a computer and money is no object.

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

Computer Chip : Any starchy food stuff consumed in mass quantities while programming.

Keyboard : The standard way to generate computer errors.

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

Floppy : The state of your wallet after purchasing a computer.

Hard Drive : The sales technique employed by computer salesmen.

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

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

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

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

September 8th, 2006, 05:41 AM
Ah, two different lists there. My list is more suited toward people in the industry, where your list is more suited toward people being victimized by the industry.

There are lots of these glossaries around. One of the better ones is at http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/tech/computers/TheHackersDictionaryofComputerJargon/chap0.html , and besides being fairly complete (for 1992) it also explains the origin of many of the terms.

September 8th, 2006, 08:21 AM
PEBKAC: Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

(I've used that in front of coustomers. So far, we're the only ones who know what that means....)

September 8th, 2006, 10:41 AM
Here is another set of terminologies for some folks (BTW, it is all done in
good taste, and I hope nobody would be offended):

Redneck Computer Terms (from the net)
BACKUP - What you do when you run across a skunk in the woods

BAR CODE - Them's the fight'n rules down at the local tavern

BUG - The reason you give for calling in sick

BYTE - What you pit bull dun to cusin Jethro

CACHE - Needed when you run out of food stamps

CHIP - Pasture muffins that you try not to step in

TERMINAL - Time to call the undertaker

CRASH - When you go to Junior's party uninvited

DIGITAL - The art of counting on your fingers

DISKETTE - Female Disco Dancer

FAX - What you lie about to the IRS

HACKER - Uncle Leroy after 32 years of smoking

HARD COPY - Picture looked at when selecting tattoos

INTERNET - Where cafeteria workers put their hair

KEYBOARD - Where you hang the keys to the John Deere

MAC - Big Bubba's favorite fast food

MEGAHERTZ - How your head feels after 17 beers

MODEM - What you did when the grass and weeds got too tall

MOUSE PAD - Where Mickey and Minnie live

NETWORK - Scoop'n up a big fish before it breaks the line

ONLINE - Where to stay when taking the sobriety test

ROM - Where the pope lives

SCREEN - Helps keep the skeeters off the porch

SERIAL PORT - A red wine you drink with breakfast

SUPERCONDUCTOR - Amtrak's Employee of the year

SCSI - What you call your week old underwear