"[The Computer Contradictionary] is ultimately a manual
to our industry, computer history, and much of your universe as it
really ought to be. It is also the first dictionary you're likely to
read in one sitting. Enjoy!"
-- Andrew Binstock, UNIX Review
"With his mind-numbing grasp of English, literature, computer history,
and programmer culture, Stan is the Umberto Eco of programming."
-- Ron Burk, Windows Developer's Journal
"Ascertain the meaning before consulting this
dictionary," warns the author of this collection of deliberately
New computer cultures and their jargons have burgeoned since this
book's progenitor, The Devil's DP Dictionary, was
published in 1981. This updated version of Stan Kelly-Bootle's romp
through the data processing "laxicon" is a response to the "Unix
pandemic" that has swept academia and government, to the endlessly
hyped panaceas offered to the MIS, and to the PC explosion that has
brought computer terminology to a "hugely bewildered, lay
The original dictionary, an urbane and witty pastiche of Ambrose
Bierce's famous work, parried chiefly the mainframe and mini-folklore
of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. This long-awaited revision adds over
550 new entries and enhances many of the original definitions. Key
targets are "a host of new follies crying out for cynical lexicography
[including] the GUI-Phooey iconoclasts, object orienteering, and the
piping of BLObs down the Clinton-Gore InfoPike."
ack n. [Origin: back-formed negation of nak.]
A signal indicating that the error-detection
circuits have failed.
computer science n. [Origin: possibly Prof. P. B.
Fellgett's rhetorical question, "Is computer science?"] A study akin
to numerology and astrology, but lacking the precision of the former
and the success of the latter.
multimedia n. An application attacking all five
senses of the user -- sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch -- but