Software undergoes alpha testing as a first step in getting user feedback. Alpha is Latin for “doesn’t work.”
Software undergoes beta testing shortly before it’s released. Beta is Latin for “still doesn’t work.”
Central Propulsion Unit. The CPU is the computer’s engine. It consists of a hard drive, RAM, interface cards, and a tiny spinning wheel that’s powered by a running rodent – a gerbil if the machine is an old 486 and a ferret if it’s a Pentium.
Black hole. The default directory is where all files that you need disappear to.
Terse, baffling remark used by programmers to place blame on users for the program’s shortcomings.
A document that has been saved with an unidentifiable name. It helps to think of a file as something stored in a file cabinet – except when you try to remove the file, the cabinet gives you an electric shock and tells you the file format is unknown.
Collective term for any computer related object that can be kicked or battered.
The feature that assists in generating more questions. When the Help feature is used correctly, users are able to navigate through a series of Help screens and end up where they started from without learning anything.
Information is input from the keyboard as intelligible data and output to the printer as unrecognizable junk.
A programmer’s feeble attempt at repentance.
Of computer components, the most generous in terms of variety, and the skimpiest in terms of quantity.
A joke in poor taste. A printer consists of 3 main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray, and the blinking red light.
Computer avengers. Once members of that group of high school nerds who wore tape on their glasses, played Dungeons and Dragons, and memorized Star Trek episodes; now millionaires who create “user-friendly” software to get revenge on whoever gave them noogies.
Fuzzy creature with horns that likes to eat. The rodent is NOT a fitness buff. It’s running to get away from the bytes of the RAM.
Object that raises the monitor to eye level. Also used to compensate for that short table leg.
Scheduled Release Date
A carefully calculated date determined by estimating the actual shipping date and subtracting 6 months from it.
Of or pertaining to any feature, device, or concept that makes perfect sense to a programmer.
Collective term for those who stare vacantly at a monitor. Users are divided into three types – novice, intermediate, and expert.
Novice users: People who are afraid that simply pressing a key might break their computer.
Intermediate users: People who don’t know how to fix their computer after they’ve just pressed a key that broke it.
Expert users: People who break other people’s computers.