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Glossary of Computer Terms PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 21 January 1996
People are always complaining about the confusing terminology that you have to understand in order to communicate with (or about) computers. No longer. This little glossary should help you understand much better.

TermWhat it means.
640K barrier the finish line in a mega-marathon
access time foreplay
analog what Ana tosses into the fire
assembly language put tab A into slot B, then put tab C...
audit trail what the IRS does
bandwidth limited by the size of the stage
battery backup going in reverse in a golf cart
BBS t-telling t-tall s-stories
benchmark what happens when your saw hits the bench
broadband an all female rock group
cache memory remembering how much you spent
carrier detect "I see the mail man!"
CASE 24 bottles
Control Character prison guard
conventional memory remembering what you did at COMDEX
copy protection wearing a rubber
copyright vs. copy wrong
cursor a garbage mouth
daisy chain a dog's leash
DAT the opposite of DIS
deadly embrace making love to King Kong
delimiter some who says, "Stop, that's enough"
density how to measure IQs of blondes
dhrystones the stones that were tossed out of the water
DIP switch how my sister gets a new boy friend
dot pitch "Dorothy winds ups, and delivers a knuckle ball"
EBCDIC similar to herpes
EMS happens just before PMS
end user a prisoner's cell mate
escape sequence Distract guard. Dig tunnel. Cut throw fence...
Ethernet used to catch Etherbunny
fixed disk a broken disk that comes back from the shop
flash EPROM what they have on 90210 (Flashy Proms)
flat bed scanner a hooker looking for loose change
flat file a file with all the air out of it
full duplex a 2-family house with 16 occupants
groupware clothes swapping
hacker a heavy smoker
half-height drive a midget's sexual capacity
hand scanner singles bar prowler looking for wedding rings
heap what I drive
high density diskette a very stupid floppy
home computer what you tell your computer when it follows you
hypertext text on amphetamines
ink jet a plane used for sky writing
integrated circuit a circuit with both black & white components
joystick (requires little explanation)
local bus stops at every intersection
lost chains euphoria experienced by the recently divorced
low-level language for basement programmers
high-level language for penthouse programmers
machine dependency an addiction of machine users
mag tape tape used on the wheels of cars
mainframe akin to "main squeeze"
main memory remembering where the water line is
math coprocessor the person you cheated from in math class
megaflop the worst play you ever saw
minicomputer the peer to Mickey's computer
modem what the gardener did to the lawns
multi-sync can be sunk more than once
native mode head hunting
on-line where the birds sit
overlay chickens making too many eggs
PCMCIA People Can't Memorize Computer Industry Acronyms
pentium the thing that swings back-and-forth on a clock
plotter a deceitful person
postscript grafitti on a pole
protected memory remembering to wear a condom
record locking what you do to your Beatles' White Album
right justified vs. wrongly justified
software piracy stealing a ship's program
spreadsheet a hooker's foreplay
streaming tape party decorations
subroutine not quite routine
surge protector a condom
token ring a group of people passing the bong
trackball what sprinters and runners often get
twisted pair tubes tied
word wrap black music
worksheet a prostitutes office
Ymodem because, modem

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Surprising Facts

  • No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, or purple.