In The Spirit of Mark Twain
Virginia City, Nevada
Sayings Inspired by Computer Jargoncirca 1996
To be exploited and oppressed by your boss. Derived from the experiences of Dilbert, the geek-in-hell comic strip character. "I've been dilberted again. The old man revised the specs for the fourth time this week."
The process by which links on a web page became as obsolete as the sites they're connected to change location or die.
A euphamism for old computers destined to be scrapped or turned into decorative ornaments. "I paid three grand for that Mac SE, and now it's nothing but chip jewelry."
A badly written or profoundly useless Java applet. "I just wasted 30 minutes downloading this stinkin' crapplet!"
A new hire who doesn't need any training. "The new guy, John, is great. He's totally plug-and-play."
World Wide Wait
The real meaning of WWW.
A hard-core CGI script programmer with all the social skills and charisma of a plastic action figure.
Feelings of emptiness and dissatisfaction triggered by addictive substances that lack nutritional content. "I just spent six hours surfing the Web, and now I've got a bad case of Dorito Syndrome."
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."
Corporate-speak for sleeping with your eyes open. A popular pastime at conferences and early-morning meetings. "Didn't he notice that half the room was glazing by the second session?"
Someone who's clueless. From the World Wide Web 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, man."
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..."
Scanning the net, databases, print media, or research papers looking for the mention of your name.
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."
People who work at home or telecommute.
Squirt The Bird
To transmit a signal up to a satellite. "Crew and talent are ready...what time do we squirt the bird?"
A biproduct of a bloated mind producing information effortlessly. A burst of useful information. "I know you're busy on the Microsoft story, but can you give us a brain fart on the Mitnik bust?" Variation of old hacker slang that had more negative connotations.
A World Wide Web Site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead web page.
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.
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."
Career-Limiting Move (CLM)
Used among microserfs to describe an ill-advised activity. Trashing your boss while he or she is within earshot is a serious CLM.
The peak year of something's popularity. "Barney the dinosaur's Elvis year was 1993."
The most knowledgable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."
The rarified organizational layers beginning just above the rack and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.
People who are taking training classes just to get a vacation from their jobs. "We had about three serious students in the class; the rest were tourists."
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!" (Also used as "Head Crash")
Older, experienced business people hired by young entrpreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.
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."
Nickname for AOL's less-than-full-featured Web browser.
The brief siezure people sometimes suffer when their beepers go off, especially in vibrator mode. Characterized by physical spasms, goofy facial expressions, and stopping speech in mid-sentence.
The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed in the end.
This email of "cyber-sayings" has floated around in our email box since 1996 and now we have some place to post it. If you wrote it and want to claim credit, email our editor.
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