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PostSubject: Hacker Word of the Day   Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:04 pm

Hey folks,
Just for something new and different copied over from my tradition with my Facebook status; I'd like to make a daily quotation from the hacker Jargon File; a dictionary of computer jargon and slang. I'll do one of these every day I'm around; feel free to comment and discuss. Very Happy

Note: These definitions are not my own creation. The Jargon File is in the public domain and may be freely copied, but in the spirit of Open Source, I'm placing the website where I find these definitions right here:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/

To begin, I'll quell any misconceptions of what the term 'hacker' means by providing that definition first. Smile

hacker: n.
[originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]

1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. RFC1392, the Internet Users' Glossary, usefully amplifies this as: A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.

2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.

4. A person who is good at programming quickly.

5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in ‘a Unix hacker’. (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)

6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.

7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.

8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence password hacker, network hacker. The correct term for this sense is cracker.

The term ‘hacker’ also tends to connote membership in the global community defined by the net (see the network. For discussion of some of the basics of this culture, see the How To Become A Hacker FAQ. It also implies that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker ethic (see hacker ethic).

It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe oneself that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an elite (a meritocracy based on ability), though one to which new members are gladly welcome. There is thus a certain ego satisfaction to be had in identifying yourself as a hacker (but if you claim to be one and are not, you'll quickly be labeled bogus). See also geek, wannabee.

This term seems to have been first adopted as a badge in the 1960s by the hacker culture surrounding TMRC and the MIT AI Lab. We have a report that it was used in a sense close to this entry's by teenage radio hams and electronics tinkerers in the mid-1950s.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:35 am

bogus: adj.
1. Non-functional. “Your patches are bogus.”

2. Useless. “OPCON is a bogus program.”

3. False. “Your arguments are bogus.”

4. Incorrect. “That algorithm is bogus.”

5. Unbelievable. “You claim to have solved the halting problem for Turing Machines? That's totally bogus.”

6. Silly. “Stop writing those bogus sagas.”

Astrology is bogus. So is a bolt that is obviously about to break. So is someone who makes blatantly false claims to have solved a scientific problem. (This word seems to have some, but not all, of the connotations of random — mostly the negative ones.)

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:58 am

Unix: /yoo´niks/, n.
[In the authors' words, “A weak pun on Multics”; very early on it was “UNICS”] (also “UNIX”) An interactive timesharing system invented in 1969 by Ken Thompson after Bell Labs left the Multics project, originally so he could play games on his scavenged PDP-7. Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of C, is considered a co-author of the system. The turning point in Unix's history came when it was reimplemented almost entirely in C during 1972—1974, making it the first source-portable OS. Unix subsequently underwent mutations and expansions at the hands of many different people, resulting in a uniquely flexible and developer-friendly environment. By 1991, Unix had become the most widely used multiuser general-purpose operating system in the world — and since 1996 the variant called Linux has been at the cutting edge of the open source movement. Many people consider the success of Unix the most important victory yet of hackerdom over industry opposition (but see Unix weenie and Unix conspiracy for an opposing point of view). See Version 7, BSD, Linux.

Some people are confused over whether this word is appropriately ‘UNIX’ or ‘Unix’; both forms are common, and used interchangeably. Dennis Ritchie says that the ‘UNIX’ spelling originally happened in CACM's 1974 paper The UNIX Time-Sharing System because “we had a new typesetter and troff had just been invented and we were intoxicated by being able to produce small caps.” Later, dmr tried to get the spelling changed to ‘Unix’ in a couple of Bell Labs papers, on the grounds that the word is not acronymic. He failed, and eventually (his words) “wimped out” on the issue. So, while the trademark today is ‘UNIX’, both capitalizations are grounded in ancient usage; the Jargon File uses ‘Unix’ in deference to dmr's wishes.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:52 am

hack mode: n.
1. What one is in when hacking, of course.

2. More specifically, a Zen-like state of total focus on The Problem that may be achieved when one is hacking (this is why every good hacker is part mystic). Ability to enter such concentration at will correlates strongly with wizardliness; it is one of the most important skills learned during larval stage. Sometimes amplified as deep hack mode.

Being yanked out of hack mode (see priority interrupt) may be experienced as a physical shock, and the sensation of being in hack mode is more than a little habituating. The intensity of this experience is probably by itself sufficient explanation for the existence of hackers, and explains why many resist being promoted out of positions where they can code. See also cyberspace (sense 3).

Some aspects of hacker etiquette will appear quite odd to an observer unaware of the high value placed on hack mode. For example, if someone appears at your door, it is perfectly okay to hold up a hand (without turning one's eyes away from the screen) to avoid being interrupted. One may read, type, and interact with the computer for quite some time before further acknowledging the other's presence (of course, he or she is reciprocally free to leave without a word). The understanding is that you might be in hack mode with a lot of delicate state (sense 2) in your head, and you dare not swap that context out until you have reached a good point to pause. See also juggling eggs.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:49 am

win
[MIT; now common everywhere]

1. vi. To succeed. A program wins if no unexpected conditions arise, or (especially) if it is sufficiently robust to take exceptions in stride.

2. n. Success, or a specific instance thereof. A pleasing outcome. “So it turned out I could use a lexer generator instead of hand-coding my own pattern recognizer. What a win!” Emphatic forms: moby win, super win, hyper-win (often used interjectively as a reply). For some reason suitable win is also common at MIT, usually in reference to a satisfactory solution to a problem. Oppose lose; see also big win, which isn't quite just an intensification of win.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:55 am

Bad Thing: n.
[very common; always pronounced as if capitalized.] Something that can't possibly result in improvement of the subject. This term is always capitalized, as in “Replacing all of the DSL links with bicycle couriers would be a Bad Thing”. Oppose Good Thing. British correspondents confirm that Bad Thing and Good Thing (and prob. therefore Right Thing and Wrong Thing) come from the book referenced in the etymology, which discusses rulers who were Good Kings but Bad Things. This has apparently created a mainstream idiom on the British side of the pond. It is very common among American hackers, but not in mainstream usage in the U.S. Compare Bad and Wrong.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:25 am

GIYF: n.
Abbrev: Google Is Your Friend. Used to suggest, gently and politely, that you have just asked a question of human beings that would have been better directed to a search engine. See also STFW.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:02 pm

programming fluid: n.
1. Coffee.

2. Cola.

3. Any caffeinacious stimulant. Many hackers consider these essential for those all-night hacking runs. See wirewater.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:40 am

bring X to its knees: v.
[common] To present a machine, operating system, piece of software, or algorithm with a load so extreme or pathological that it grinds to a halt.: “To bring a MicroVAX to its knees, try twenty users running vi — or four running EMACS.” Compare hog.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:45 am

quantum bogodynamics: /kwon´tm boh`goh·di:·nam´iks/, n.
A theory that characterizes the universe in terms of bogon sources (such as politicians, used-car salesmen, TV evangelists, and suits in general), bogon sinks (such as taxpayers and computers), and bogosity potential fields. Bogon absorption, of course, causes human beings to behave mindlessly and machines to fail (and may also cause both to emit secondary bogons); however, the precise mechanics of the bogon-computron interaction are not yet understood and remain to be elucidated. Quantum bogodynamics is most often invoked to explain the sharp increase in hardware and software failures in the presence of suits; the latter emit bogons, which the former absorb. See bogon, computron, suit, psyton.

Here is a representative QBD theory: The bogon is a boson (integral spin, +1 or -1), and has zero rest mass. In this respect it is very much like a photon. However, it has a much greater momentum, thus explaining its destructive effect on computer electronics and human nervous systems. The corollary to this is that bogons also have tremendous inertia, and therefore a bogon beam is deflected only with great difficulty. When the bogon encounters its antiparticle, the cluon, they mutually annihilate each other, releasing magic smoke. Furthermore 1 Lenat = 1 mole (6.022E23) of bogons (see microLenat).

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:31 am

programming: n.
1. The art of debugging a blank sheet of paper (or, in these days of on-line editing, the art of debugging an empty file). “Bloody instructions which, being taught, return to plague their inventor” (Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 7)

2. A pastime similar to banging one's head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.

3. The most fun you can have with your clothes on.

4. The least fun you can have with your clothes off.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:37 am

barf: /barf/, n.,v.
[common; from mainstream slang meaning ‘vomit’]

1. interj. Term of disgust. This is the closest hackish equivalent of the Valspeak “gag me with a spoon”. (Like, euwww!) See bletch.

2. vi. To say “Barf!” or emit some similar expression of disgust. “I showed him my latest hack and he barfed” means only that he complained about it, not that he literally vomited.

3. vi. To fail to work because of unacceptable input, perhaps with a suitable error message, perhaps not. Examples: “The division operation barfs if you try to divide by 0.” (That is, the division operation checks for an attempt to divide by zero, and if one is encountered it causes the operation to fail in some unspecified, but generally obvious, manner.) “The text editor barfs if you try to read in a new file before writing out the old one.”

See choke. In Commonwealth Hackish, barf is generally replaced by ‘puke’ or ‘vom’. barf is sometimes also used as a metasyntactic variable, like foo or bar.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:29 am

boxen: /bok´sn/, pl.n.
[very common; by analogy with VAXen] Fanciful plural of box often encountered in the phrase ‘Unix boxen’, used to describe commodity Unix hardware. The connotation is that any two Unix boxen are interchangeable.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:36 pm

droid: n.
[from android, SF terminology for a humanoid robot of essentially biological (as opposed to mechanical/electronic) construction] A person (esp. a low-level bureaucrat or service-business employee) exhibiting most of the following characteristics: (a) naive trust in the wisdom of the parent organization or ‘the system’; (b) a blind-faith propensity to believe obvious nonsense emitted by authority figures (or computers!); (c) a rule-governed mentality, one unwilling or unable to look beyond the ‘letter of the law’ in exceptional situations; (d) a paralyzing fear of official reprimand or worse if Procedures are not followed No Matter What; and (e) no interest in doing anything above or beyond the call of a very narrowly-interpreted duty, or in particular in fixing that which is broken; an “It's not my job, man” attitude.

Typical droid positions include supermarket checkout assistant and bank clerk; the syndrome is also endemic in low-level government employees. The implication is that the rules and official procedures constitute software that the droid is executing; problems arise when the software has not been properly debugged. The term droid mentality is also used to describe the mindset behind this behavior. Compare suit, marketroid; see -oid.

In England there is equivalent mainstream slang; a ‘jobsworth’ is an obstructive, rule-following bureaucrat, often of the uniformed or suited variety. Named for the habit of denying a reasonable request by sucking his teeth and saying “Oh no, guv, sorry I can't help you: that's more than my job's worth”.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:45 pm

ping
[from the submariners' term for a sonar pulse]

1. n. Slang term for a small network message (ICMP ECHO) sent by a computer to check for the presence and alertness of another. The Unix command ping(8 ) can be used to do this manually (note that ping(8 )'s author denies the widespread folk etymology that the name was ever intended as an acronym for ‘Packet INternet Groper’). Occasionally used as a phone greeting. See ACK, also ENQ.

2. vt. To verify the presence of.

3. vt. To get the attention of.

4. vt. To send a message to all members of a mailing list requesting an ACK (in order to verify that everybody's addresses are reachable). “We haven't heard much of anything from Geoff, but he did respond with an ACK both times I pinged jargon-friends.”

5. n. A quantum packet of happiness. People who are very happy tend to exude pings; furthermore, one can intentionally create pings and aim them at a needy party (e.g., a depressed person). This sense of ping may appear as an exclamation; “Ping!” (I'm happy; I am emitting a quantum of happiness; I have been struck by a quantum of happiness). The form “pingfulness”, which is used to describe people who exude pings, also occurs. (In the standard abuse of language, “pingfulness” can also be used as an exclamation, in which case it's a much stronger exclamation than just “ping”!). Oppose blargh.

The funniest use of ‘ping’ to date was described in January 1991 by Steve Hayman on the Usenet group comp.sys.next. He was trying to isolate a faulty cable segment on a TCP/IP Ethernet hooked up to a NeXT machine, and got tired of having to run back to his console after each cabling tweak to see if the ping packets were getting through. So he used the sound-recording feature on the NeXT, then wrote a script that repeatedly invoked ping(8 ), listened for an echo, and played back the recording on each returned packet. Result? A program that caused the machine to repeat, over and over, “Ping ... ping ... ping ...” as long as the network was up. He turned the volume to maximum, ferreted through the building with one ear cocked, and found a faulty tee connector in no time.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:46 am

snarf: /snarf/, vt.
1. To grab, esp. to grab a large document or file for the purpose of using it with or without the author's permission. See also BLT.

2. [in the Unix community] To fetch a file or set of files across a network. See also blast. This term was mainstream in the late 1960s, meaning ‘to eat piggishly’. It may still have this connotation in context. “He's in the snarfing phase of hacking — FTPing megs of stuff a day.”

3. To acquire, with little concern for legal forms or politesse (but not quite by stealing). “They were giving away samples, so I snarfed a bunch of them.”

4. Syn. for slurp. “This program starts by snarfing the entire database into core, then....”

5. [GEnie] To spray food or programming fluids due to laughing at the wrong moment. “I was drinking coffee, and when I read your post I snarfed all over my desk.” “If I keep reading this topic, I think I'll have to snarf-proof my computer with a keyboard condom.” [This sense appears to be widespread among mundane teenagers —ESR] The sound of snarfing is splork!.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:48 am

You know you've been hacking too long when
The set-up line for a genre of one-liners told by hackers about themselves. These include the following:

- not only do you check your email more often than your paper mail, but you remember your network address faster than your postal one.

- your SO kisses you on the neck and the first thing you think is “Uh, oh, priority interrupt.”

- you go to balance your checkbook and discover that you're doing it in octal.

- your computers have a higher street value than your car.

- in your universe, ‘round numbers’ are powers of 2, not 10.

- more than once, you have woken up recalling a dream in some programming language.

- you see the word “Oxford” and mentally trip over the fact that ‘r’ is not a hex digit.

- you realize you have never seen half of your best friends.

A list of these can be found by searching for this phrase on the web.

[An early version of this entry said “All but one of these have been reliably reported as hacker traits (some of them quite often). Even hackers may have trouble spotting the ringer.” The ringer was balancing one's checkbook in octal, which I made up out of whole cloth. Although more respondents picked that one out as fiction than any of the others, I also received multiple independent reports of its actually happening, most famously to Grace Hopper while she was working with BINAC in 1949. —ESR]

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:58 am

chad: /chad/, n.
1. [common] The perforated edge strips on printer paper, after they have been separated from the printed portion. Also called selvage, perf, and ripoff.

2. The confetti-like paper bits punched out of cards or paper tape; this has also been called chaff, computer confetti, and keypunch droppings. It's reported that this was very old Army slang (associated with teletypewriters before the computer era), and has been occasionally sighted in directions for punched-card vote tabulators long after it passed out of live use among computer programmers in the late 1970s. This sense of ‘chad’ returned to the mainstream during the finale of the hotly disputed U.S. presidential election in 2000 via stories about the Florida vote recounts. Note however that in the revived mainstream usage chad is not a mass noun and ‘a chad’ is a single piece of the stuff.

There is an urban legend that chad (sense 2) derives from the Chadless keypunch (named for its inventor), which cut little u-shaped tabs in the card to make a hole when the tab folded back, rather than punching out a circle/rectangle; it was clear that if the Chadless keypunch didn't make them, then the stuff that other keypunches made had to be ‘chad’. However, serious attempts to track down “Chadless” as a personal name or U.S. trademark have failed, casting doubt on this etymology — and the U.S. Patent Classification System uses “chadless” (small c) as an adjective, suggesting that “chadless” derives from “chad” and not the other way around. There is another legend that the word was originally acronymic, standing for “Card Hole Aggregate Debris”, but this has all the earmarks of a backronym. It has also been noted that the word “chad” is Scots dialect for gravel, but nobody has proposed any plausible reason that card chaff should be thought of as gravel. None of these etymologies is really plausible.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:44 am

Borg: n.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation the Borg is a species of cyborg that ruthlessly seeks to incorporate all sentient life into itself; their slogan is “You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.” In hacker parlance, the Borg is usually Microsoft, which is thought to be trying just as ruthlessly to assimilate all computers and the entire Internet to itself (there is a widely circulated image of Bill Gates as a Borg). Being forced to use Windows or NT is often referred to as being “Borged”. Interestingly, the Halloween Documents reveal that this jargon is live within Microsoft itself. See also Evil Empire, Internet Exploiter.

Other companies, notably Intel and UUNet, have also occasionally been equated to the Borg. In IETF circles, where direct pressure from Microsoft is not a daily reality, the Borg is sometimes Cisco. This usage commemorates their tendency to pay any price to hire talent away from their competitors. In fact, at the Spring 1997 IETF, a large number of ex-Cisco employees, all former members of Routing Geeks, showed up with t-shirts printed with “Recovering Borg”.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:08 am

hello world: interj.
1. The canonical minimal test message in the C/Unix universe.

2. Any of the minimal programs that emit this message (a representative sample in various languages can be found at http://www.latech.edu/~acm/helloworld/). Traditionally, the first program a C coder is supposed to write in a new environment is one that just prints “hello, world” to standard output (and indeed it is the first example program in K&R). Environments that generate an unreasonably large executable for this trivial test or which require a hairy compiler-linker invocation to generate it are considered to lose (see X).

3. Greeting uttered by a hacker making an entrance or requesting information from anyone present. “Hello, world! Is the LAN back up yet?”

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:59 am

Good Thing: n.,adj.
[very common; always pronounced as if capitalized. Orig. fr. the 1930 Sellar & Yeatman parody of British history 1066 And All That, but well-established among hackers in the U.S. as well.]

1. Self-evidently wonderful to anyone in a position to notice: “A language that manages dynamic memory automatically for you is a Good Thing.”

2. Something that can't possibly have any ill side-effects and may save considerable grief later: “Removing the self-modifying code from that shared library would be a Good Thing.”

3. When said of software tools or libraries, as in “YACC is a Good Thing”, specifically connotes that the thing has drastically reduced a programmer's work load. Oppose Bad Thing.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:34 am

Forgot my ritual here. I must have 404ed. Wink

404: //, n.
[from the HTTP error “file not found on server”] Extended to humans to convey that the subject has no idea or no clue -- sapience not found. May be used reflexively; “Uh, I'm 404ing” means “I'm drawing a blank”.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:26 am

stomp on: vt.
To inadvertently overwrite something important, usually automatically. “All the work I did this weekend got stomped on last night by the nightly server script.” Compare scribble, mangle, trash, scrog, roach.

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Song Quote of the Arbitrary Time Period: "I drown in hesitation, my words come crashing down, and all my best creations burning to the ground. The thought of starting over leaves me paralyzed. Tear it out again another one that got away. I wither and render myself helpless; I give in and everything is clear; I breakdown and let the story guide me; I wither and give myself away."
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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Wed Sep 16, 2009 7:05 am

cruft: /kruhft/
[very common; back-formation from crufty]

1. n. An unpleasant substance. The dust that gathers under your bed is cruft; the TMRC Dictionary correctly noted that attacking it with a broom only produces more.

2. n. The results of shoddy construction.

3. vt. [from hand cruft, pun on ‘hand craft’] To write assembler code for something normally (and better) done by a compiler (see hand-hacking).

4. n. Excess; superfluous junk; used esp. of redundant or superseded code.

5. [University of Wisconsin] n. Cruft is to hackers as gaggle is to geese; that is, at UW one properly says “a cruft of hackers”.

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PostSubject: Re: Hacker Word of the Day   Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:04 am

all your base are belong to us
A declaration of victory or superiority. The phrase stems from a 1991 adaptation of Toaplan's “Zero Wing” shoot-'em-up arcade game for the Sega Genesis game console. A brief introduction was added to the opening screen, and it has what many consider to be the worst Japanese-to-English translation in video game history. The introduction shows the bridge of a starship in chaos as a Borg-like figure named CATS materializes and says, “How are you gentlemen!! All your base are belong to us.” [sic] In 2001, this amusing mistranslation spread virally through the Internet, bringing with it a slew of JPEGs and a movie of hacked photographs, each showing a street sign, store front, package label, etc. hacked to read “All your base are belong to us” or one of the other many supremely dopey lines from the game (such as “Somebody set up usthe bomb!!!” or “What happen?”). When these phrases are used properly, the overall effect is both screamingly funny and somewhat chilling, reminiscent of the B movie “They Live”.

The original has been generalized to “All your X are belong to us”, where X is filled in to connote a sinister takeover of some sort. Thus, “When Joe signed up for his new job at Yoyodyne, he had to sign a draconian NDA. It basically said: All your code are belong to us.” Has many of the connotations of “Resistance is futile; you will be assimilated” (see Borg). Considered silly, and most likely to be used by the type of person that finds Jeff K. hilarious.

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