Do you know your jargon?

A new pocket dictionary called The A2Z of IT Bullshit aims to debunk the jargon that permeates our industry. Ross Bentley invites...

A new pocket dictionary called The A2Z of IT Bullshit aims to debunk the jargon that permeates our industry. Ross Bentley invites you to test your knowledge with a quiz based on the book.







Artificial intelligence


Basic


Bluetooth


Browser


Clip-art


Cybersquatters


Downtime


Drag and drop


Footprint


Gigo


GUI


Hard disc


Hot-key


IBM


Janet


Kermit


Least significant bit


Michelangelo Virus


Net surfers


OLE


Patch


Peer-to-peer network


Quicksort


Rom


Screen dump


Stuffit


Token Ring


Voice mail


Wordwrap


Yaper


Zip


The A2Z of IT Bullshit , compiled by David Albert and illustrated by Clive Collins, is published by Athena Press, ISBN 1-84401-013-9, price £9.99

Definitions for the IT industry:

Artificial Intelligence



Basic


Bluetooth


Browser


Cybersquatters


Clip-art


Downtime


Drag and drop


Footprint


Gigo


GUI


Hard disc


Hot-key


IBM


Janet


Kermit


Least significant bit


Michelangelo virus



Net surfers


OLE


Patch


Peer-to-peer network


Quicksort


Rom


Screen dump


Stuffit


Token Ring


Voice mail


Wordwrap


Yaper


Zip
When David Albert, a sales executive for an IT training firm, realised that the language used in the IT industry was starting to diverge from that used by "normal" people, he decided to bridge the gap by writing a pocket dictionary of IT terms. However, rather than simply enlightening the techo-illiterate masses with a staid list of acronyms, The A2Z of IT Bullshit reveals what people outside the industry may believe our jargon to mean. The result is an amusing insight into the way we in IT are creating a whole new lexicon for ourselves. As a bit of fun, and to allow you to test your knowledge of the language of IT, we have compiled a quiz based on Albert's book. To the right are definitions of IT words, acronyms and phrases. Of course, they are not genuine definitions - if you think they are, it could be time for a career change - but what do they really mean? The answers are listed below. The illusion that computers are clever Bill's attempt to seize industry control Keeping your partial denture in the fridge Someone who hangs around libraries The skill of smacking someone around the ear Homeless Martians sitting on top of a PC Period between leaving the aircraft and realising you have no parachute Saucy nightclub act being sacked Something to indicate you are not alone on a desert island A one-legged gigolo First three letters of an Irish stout Any Motorhead CD We've got access to an empty flat for a party I blame Microsoft A friend of John Has been in computers ever since he was a tadpole A husband at his wedding Ceiling painter with flu Californian fishermen The cry at a Spanish bullfight Article of clothing worn by pirates over one eye Dukes, earls, viscounts and baronets all communicate this way What intelligent bouncers do outside nightclubs Two Roms don't make a write A cemetery for monitors; what Customs officers have to do when a suspect swallows the goods Say this to your boss and see who doesn't have a job tomorrow A rushed engagement; something to do with Hobbits The singing postman A lawyer's favourite game Programmer with verbal diarrhoea A trouser-based device for preventing indecent exposure Devices and applications that exhibit human behaviour Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code is a simple programming language developed in the 1960s An open standard for short-range transmission of digital voice and data between mobile and desktop devices Software facility that allows a user to easily access and search through text or a database People who register, traffic in, or use a domain name in bad-faith, intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else Pictures and graphics for desktop publishing The time a computer system is not available To pull an icon or other object across the screen using the mouse The space taken up by a piece of hardware Garbage in, garbage out Graphical user interface A rigid, aluminium, magnetic disc for storing data A special key that activates a program International Business Machines The Joint Academic Network, which links colleges across the world Method of switching files between different systems The last number at the right-hand side of a binary set, which affects it least A virus that destroys data on a hard disc if the computer's system date is 6 March (the birthday of Michelangelo) People who use the Internet Object linking and embedding allows objects such as a spreadsheets or video clips to be put into a document Software to correct program errors. Usually a temporary or quick fix A communications environment that allows all computers in the network to act as servers and share their files with all other users on the network A rapid sorting algorithm Read-only memory Sending the text or graphics on a computer screen straight to a printer or file A utility for compressing Mac files A Token Ring network is a local area network in which all computers are connected in a ring or star topology. The Token Ring protocol is the second most widely-used protocol on Lans after Ethernet Electronic mail that consists of digitised speech In word processing and desktop publishing, a feature that ensures that a word is not split over two lines Young, arrogant programmer A small, portable disc drive.
This was last published in January 2003

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