Five more completely nerdish jargon words you might hear online
- like kicking dead whales down the beach: Describes a slow, difficult, and disgusting process.
First popularized by a famous quote about the difficulty of getting work done under one of
IBM's mainframe Operating Systems. "Well, you could write a C compiler in COBOL, but it
would be like kicking dead whales down the beach."
- like nailing jelly to a tree: Used to describe a task thought to be impossible,
especially one in which the difficulty arises from poor specification or inherent slipperiness
in the problem itself.
- cruft: a. An unpleasant substance. The dust that gathers under your bed is cruft.
(The Tech Model Railroad Club Dictionary, written circa 1959, correctly noted
that attacking this substance with a broom only produces more.) b. Excess; superfluous junk.
Especially used of redundant or superseded program code.
- spam: To crash a program by overrunning a fixed-size buffer with excessively
large input data. In other words, excess noise or unwanted garbage overfilling a system.
- bitty box: a. A computer sufficiently small, primitive, or incapable as to
cause a hacker acute claustrophobia at the thought of developing software on it. Especially
used of small, obsolescent, single-tasking personal machines such as the Atari 800,
Osborne, Sinclair, VIC-20, TRS-80, or IBM PC. b. More generally, the opposite of `real computer'.
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Copyright © 1994, 1995, 2004 by Kevin Savetz. The information in this book was collected in 1994-1995 and has not been updated since.