Computing Jargon

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


404 - 1.) An HTML error resulting from missing links, "404 - Page not found"; 2.) A clueless person implying a lack of brains


alpha Geek - The most techologically advanced persona. Syn: Guru.

asbestos underwear - A notional garment implored by those who post potentially flammable (see flaming) comments on a post, forum, or thread.

ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange. The character encoding based on the English language.

ASCII Art - "Character Graphics". The art of creating an image using ASCII characters.


black hole - The mysterious place that "lost" data seems to fall into. When IP packets are dropped, or a file mysteriously disappears.

bloatware - Software that consistently has features (usually unneccessary) added in order to make it "feature rich" thus requiring more system resources and user frustrations.

blog - Short for "web log". The stream-of-thought public postings of an internet poster similar to a journal or diary.

blogger - One who blogs.


cobwebsite - A web site that has not been updated in a long period of time.

compiler - A special application used to convert human readable source code into machine readable binary language for the computer to execute.

crapplet - [from crap + applet] a poorly written small application, usually referring to java applets

crippleware - A special case of nagware that has features removed or lacking in order to extract payment from the user. (see nagware)


dead code - routines that are not called in a program because all their calls have been removed or are missing

dropping packets - To silently discard IP packets whether through error or administrator request. Syn: Black Hole.

drop on the floor - To silently discard user data through error or administrator request. Syn: Black Hole.


easter egg - Hidden surprises in programs, games, or other media usually requiring some form of unlocking scheme.

egosurfing - searching the internet looking for references to your name, also called "googling yourself".

emoticon - A small icon or graphic that is used to convey an emotion. Ex. :)


flame - An inflamatory post on a newsgroup, forum, or thread used to incite other members into arguments. Syn: flame-bait.

flame-bait - (see flame)

flaming - Posting flames to newsgroups, forums, and threads for malicious purposes, starting arguments amongst users, or degrading another user's character. (see trolling)

free (gratis) - Done without monetary exchange. also: "Free as in beer."

free (liber) - Done without imposed restrictions. With liberty. also: "Free as in speech."

freeware - Software that is given away for free (gratis).


geek - One who persues technical prowess and imagination rather than mainstream social acceptance. Usually attributed with social ineptitude.

guru - A computer expert. One who exemplifies seemingly magical skills in programming or troubleshooting. Syn: Wizard.


hackitivism - The act of hacking websites for a political or organizational means

hello world - The basic, minimal test program used to teach programming or to test compilers.


icon - A small graphic or symbol used to represent a file mime-type, an application, or other function.

"It's not a bug, it's a feature" - A purported Microsoft excuse used to give discredit to software bug reports. Used to ease frustrations with software.


Luddite - Anyone who is adamantly opposed to technology. Anonym: Geek.


nagware - A computer program or application that constantly reminds you to pay/register/activate the software.

nettiquette - [net + ettiquette] conventions of politeness to be used in cyberspace

newbie (alt: noobie) - An inexperienced computer/software user. Also referred to as a newb, noob, or n00b. Newbs are truly inexperienced and appreciate legitimate assistance, while n00bs is usually reserved for insulting the capacity of the user.


payware - Commercial (for profit) software.

pipe - A metaphor for a computer's connection to the internet. Ex: A fat pipe is better than a modem connection.


raster burn - A condition of reddened, burning eyes usually caused by staring at a low refresh rate CRT monitor for long periods of time.


script-kiddie - A person who doesn't understand the inner workings of a piece of hardware or software, but can use the basic functions of it.

snail mail - Mail that is delivered through a physical postal system

spam - Junk mail.


technocrat - [technology + aristocrat] A reputable, influential supporter of technology--especially if one has familial interest in technology.

threadjack - [thread + hijack] To break the flow of a thread by posting offtopic posts or flames.

treeware - Books, manuals, and other media made from paper.

Troglodyte Mode - Programming with sunglasses on, lights off, screen colors inverted because you have been staring a computer so long that your eyes hurt or are strained. Usually accompanied by loud cyberpunk music.

troll - A individual who posts inflammatory, demeaning, or disruptive posts in a forum, newsgroup, or thread for the purpose of threadjacking or to incite users to an argument. (see flamer)

Turing test - [Alan Turing] A theoretical test given to determine whether the subject is a human or a machine


wizard - A person who knows and understands how a complicated piece of hardware or software works and can manipulate it with ease. Anonym: Script-Kiddie