Data Processing Definitions

Access Time

The time between the instant at which information is called for, and the instant at which management expects the final report.

Assembler

One who drops his card deck.

Assumed Decimal Point

Located two positions to the right of a programmer’s current salary in estimating his own worth.

Bit

The increment by which programmers slowly go mad.

Breakpoint

The point at which programmer increments past last bit available.

Chaining

A method of attaching programmers to desks to speed up output.

Checkpoint

The location from which a programmer draws his salary.

Core Storage

A receptacle for the center section of apples.

Counter

A device over which martinis are served.

Crash

What a detached (q.v.) programmer would dearly love to do, for at least eight hours.

Default

De line west of which de state of California will float off to sea at de next major quake.

Detached

What programmer becomes after third day without sleep.

Device

Medieval torture instrument such as thumbscrew, iron maiden.

Disassembler

An unattended five year old child.

Diskettes

A group recently formed from old members of the rockettes.

Documentation

A manual which tells you how to use a program, system, or utility one version ago, and which is now unsupported.

Error

What someone else has made when he disagrees with your computer output.

External Storage

A wastebasket.

Fixed Word Length

Four-letter words used by programmers in a state of confusion.

Floating Control

A characteristic exhibited when you have to go to the restroom but cannot leave the computer.

Floating Point

The absolute limit before floating control is lost.

Flow Chart

A graphic representation of the fastest route to the restroom.

Hardware

Nuts, bolts, and circuit boards “left over” after repairman has reassembled cpu.

Host

Person who insists on keeping visiting programmer up until 4 am with trivia.

I/O Device

Note you sign for the bank in/order to get loan for new (old) car.

Input

Food, whiskey, beer, asprin, etc.

Library

An organized collection of obsolete material.

Load

What you dump after reaching floating point.

Low Order Position

The programmer’s location in the chain of command.

Macro

The last half of an expression of surprise: “Holy Macro”.

Memory Dump

Amnesia.

Mainframe

Primary person who just got set up for the blame of the system crash.

Microsecond

Amount of time needed for a program to bomb.

Off-Line

Uncharitable remarks programmer makes to wife or husband upon being phoned at 9pm to come in because system just crashed.

On-Line

Programmer trying to deal rationally on phone with management at 9pm.

Peripheral

Now you see it, now you don’t…

Printout

A document to verify data you know is wrong anyway.

Programmer

A red-eyed, mumbling mammal capable of conversing with inanimate objects.

Source file

One which was “appropriated” from one of the competitors.

Switch

When management changes its mind.

Terminal

Condition of detached programmer three days further along.

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