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Rare: factorial; exclam; smash; cuss; boing; yell; wow; hey; wham; [spark-spot]; soldier. Rare: literal mark; double-glitch; ; ; dirk; [rabbit-ears]; double prime. Rare: [double-oh-seven].

Rare: cross; [intersection]. Rare: ; [tail]. Rare: [worm]; option; dak; bithorpe. Common: dot; point;. Rare: radix point; full stop; [spot]. Rare: diagonal; solidus; over; slak; virgule; [slat]. Rare: dots; [two-spot]. Rare: weenie; [hybrid], pit-thwong. Rare: quadrathorpe; [half-mesh]. Rare: whatmark; [what]; wildchar; huh; hook; buttonhook; hunchback. Common: at sign; at; strudel. Rare: each; vortex; whorl; [whirlpool]; cyclone; snail; ape; cat; rose; cabbage. V Rare: [book].

Rare: bash; ; reversed virgule; [backslat]. Rare: score; backarrow; [flatworm]. Rare: backprime; [backspark]; unapostrophe; birk; blugle; back tick; back glitch; push; ; quasiquote. Common: bar; or; or-bar; v-bar; pipe; vertical bar. Rare: ; gozinta; thru; pipesinta last three from UNIX ; [spike]. Rare: approx; wiggle; swung dash; enyay; [sqiggle sic ].

The U. Some other common usages cause odd overlaps. Hardware and software from the U. ASCII art: n. O ACK! There is an important subgenre of humorous ASCII art that takes advantage of the names of the various characters to tell a pun-based joke. Within humorous ASCII art, there is for some reason an entire flourishing subgenre of pictures of silly cows. A parsec parallax-second is 3. This unit is reported to be in use though probably not very seriously among hackers in the U.

Automatically, but in a way that, for some reason typically because it is too complicated, or too ugly, or perhaps even too trivialthe speaker doesn't feel like explaining to you. It is characterized by C-like syntax, a declaration-free approach to variable typing and declarations, associative arrays, and field-oriented text processing.

A hole in the security of a system deliberately left in place by designers or maintainers. The motivation for this is not always sinister; some operating systems, for example, come out of the box with privileged accounts intended for use by field service technicians or the vendor's maintenance programmers.

Historically, back doors have often lurked in systems longer than anyone expected or planned, and a few have become widely known. Ken Thompson's Turing Award lecture to the ACM revealed the existence of a back door in early UNIX versions that may have qualified as the most fiendishly clever security hack of all time. Normally such a back door could be removed by removing it from the source code for the compiler and recompiling the compiler.

And having done this once, he was then able to recompile the compiler from the original sources, leaving his back door in place and active but with no trace in the sources. Some people prefer to use the term for processing that they have queued up for their unconscious minds a tack that one can often fruitfully take upon encountering an obstacle in creative work. Back up. Used to suggest that someone just said or did something wrong. Common among APL programmers. Occurs usually when making the transition between major releases.

Something that can't possibly result in improvement of the subject. This term is always capitalized, as in "Replacing all of the baud modems with bicycle couriers would be a Bad Thing". This has apparently created a mainstream idiom on the British side of the pond. An extension to an established hack that is supposed to add some functionality to the original.

Usually derogatory, implying that the original was being overextended and should have been thrown away, and the new product is ugly, inelegant, or bloated. Also v. That's just a bag on the side of C Something, such as a program or a computer, that fails to work, or works in a remarkably clumsy manner. What a bagbiter! A person who has caused you some trouble, inadvertently or otherwise, typically by failing to program the computer properly. To fail in some manner.

Notional sound made by a person or object teleporting in or out of the hearer's vicinity. This term, like macrotapes themselves, is still current but visibly headed for obsolescence. Used by hackers in a generalization of its technical meaning as the volume of information per unit time that a computer, person, or transmission medium can handle.

Attention span. An exclamation signifying roughly "I have achieved enlightenment! To stress-test a piece of hardware or software: "I banged on the new version of the simulator all day yesterday and it didn't crash once. I guess it is ready to release. Thus, for example, the path! Bang paths of 8 to 10 hops were not uncommon in Late-night dial-up UUCP links would cause week-long transmission times.

Bang paths were often selected by both transmission time and reliability, as messages would often get lost. Typically includes user or account ID information in very large character-graphics capitals.

A similar printout generated typically on multiple pages of fan-fold paper from user-specified text, e. Real bare-metal programming involves things like building boot proms and BIOS chips, implementing basic monitors used to test device drivers, and writing the assemblers that will be used to write the compiler back ends that will give the new machine a real development environment.

This sort of thing has become less common as the relative costs of programming time and machine resources have changed, but is still found in heavily constrained environments such as industrial embedded systems.

There, the term usually refers to bypassing the BIOS or OS interface and writing the application to directly access device registers and machine addresses. Term of disgust. Like, euwww! To say "Barf! To fail to work because of unacceptable input.

May mean to give an error message. Examples: "The division operation barfs if you try to divide by 0. An exclamation, expressing disgust. On seeing some particularly bad code one might exclaim, "Barfulation! Who wrote this, Quux? Feature-encrusted; complex; gaudy; verging on excessive. Said of hardware or esp. BASIC: n. A programming language, originally designed for Dartmouth's experimental timesharing system in the early s, which has since become the leading cause of brain-damage in proto-hackers.

As it is, it ruins thousands of potential wizards a year. Performance of dreary tasks all at one sitting. Accumulation of a number of small tasks that can be lumped together for greater efficiency. Bits per second. Hence kilobaud or Kbaud, thousands of bits per second.

Most hackers are aware of these nuances but blithely ignore them. The garbage one gets on the monitor when using a modem connection with some protocol setting esp. A term of mild annoyance. Any electronic bulletin board; esp. At CMU and other colleges with similar facilities, refers to campus-wide electronic bulletin boards.

Thousands of local BBS systems are in operation throughout the U. Fans of USENET and Internet or the big commercial timesharing bboards such as CompuServe and GEnie tend to consider local BBSes the low-rent district of the hacker culture, but they serve a valuable function by knitting together lots of hackers and users in the personal-micro world who would otherwise be unable to exchange code at all. This term seems to be preferred among micro hobbyists.

A Macintosh. An inaccurate measure of computer performance. Berkeley Quality Software: adj. It usually has nonexistent, The Firesign Theatre - The Bride Of Firesign (CDr), or incorrect documentation, has been tested on at least two examples, and core dumps when anyone else attempts to use it. Not used at Berkeley itself. Hence, a Berserker-Wizard is a player character that has achieved enough points to become a wizard, but only by killing other characters.

Mainstream use of this term in reference to the cultural and political peculiarities of UC Berkeley as a whole has been reported from as far back as the s. Anything that is new and experimental is in beta. Historical note: More formally, to beta-test is to test a pre-release potentially unreliable version of a piece of software by making it available to selected customers and users.

This term derives from early s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the industry. These themselves came from earlier A- and B-tests for hardware. The A-test was a feasibility and manufacturability evaluation done before any commitment to design and development.

The B-test was a demonstration that the engineering model functioned as specified. The C-test corresponding to today's beta was the B-test performed on early samples of the production design. The most detailed and authoritative reference for a particular language, operating system, or other complex software system.

BiCapitalization: n. BIFF's location is a mystery, as his articles appear to come from a variety of sites. To notify someone of incoming mail. Big Gray Wall: n. A full VMS kit comes on a pallet, the documentation taking up around 15 feet of shelf space before the addition of layered products such as compilers, databases, multivendor networking, and programming tools. Large, expensive, ultra-fast computers. The power switch on a computer, esp. Big Room, the: n. The extremely large room with the blue ceiling and intensely bright light during the day or black ceiling with lots of tiny night-lights during the night found outside all computer installations.

Small mistake; big win! Most of the world follows the Internet standard and writes email addresses starting with the name of the computer and ending up with the name of the country. In the U. In particular, the address above could be in the U.

More generally, any very large number. There's bignums for you! Sense 1 may require some explanation. If you want to work with numbers larger than that, you have to use floating-point numbers, which are usually accurate to only six or seven decimal places. Computer languages that provide bignums can perform exact calculations on very large numbers, such as !

For example, this value for ! It is said "You can tell a bigot, but you can't tell him much. A mental flag: a reminder that something should be done eventually. More generally, a possibly incorrect mental state of belief. One speaks of setting and clearing bits.

Transmission of data on a serial line, when accomplished by rapidly tweaking a single output bit at the appropriate times. Input is more interesting. May connote either tedium or a real technical challenge more usually the former.

The universal data sink originally, the mythical receptacle used to catch bits when they fall off the end of a register during a shift instruction. The place where all lost mail and news messages eventually go. Routing to the bit bucket is automatically performed by mail-transfer agents, news systems, and the lower layers of the network. The ideal location for all unwanted mail responses: "Flames about this article to the bit bucket.

Excuse for all mail that has not been sent. This term is used purely in jest. It is based on the fanciful notion that bits are objects that are not destroyed but only misplaced. Any imbalance results in bits filling up the bit bucket. A qualified computer technician can empty a full bit bucket as part of scheduled maintenance. People with a physics background tend to prefer this one for the analogy with particle decay. The theory explains that bits decay as if they were radioactive. As time passes, the contents of a file or the code in a program will become increasingly garbled.

There actually are physical processes that produce such effects alpha particles generated by trace radionuclides in ceramic chip packages, for example, can change the contents of a computer memory unpredictably, and various kinds of subtle media failures can corrupt files in mass storagebut they are quite rare and computers are built with error-detecting circuitry to compensate for them.

Software rot is the effect, bit rot the notional cause. Aimless small modification to a program, esp. In order to avoid making the thing more of a Rube Goldberg kluge than it already was, the design had to group characters that shared the same basic bit pattern on one key.

Looking at the ASCII chart, we find: high low bits bits ! When electronic terminals became popular, in the early s, there was no agreement in the industry over how the keyboards should be laid out. Some vendors opted to emulate the Teletype keyboard, while others used the flexibility of electronic circuitry to make their product look like an office typewriter. To a hacker, the bit-paired keyboard seemed far more logical and because most hackers in those days had never learned to touch-type, there was little pressure from the pioneering users to adapt keyboards to the typewriter standard.

The doom of the bit-paired keyboard was the large-scale introduction of the computer terminal into the normal office environment, where out-and-out technophobes were expected to use the equipment. Both uses are borderline techspeak. Examples: "I need some bits about file formats. Machine-readable representation of a document, specifically as contrasted with paper: "I have only a photocopy of the Jargon File; does anyone know where I can get the bits? A computer sufficiently small, primitive, or incapable as to cause a hacker acute claustrophobia at the thought of developing software for it.

A few others have been reported. The implied metaphor of email as interstellar travel is interesting in itself. A technique that works, though nobody really understands why. Usage: uncommon. Often used in "Ugh, bletch". Disgusting in design or function; esthetically unappealing. This word is seldom used of people. Front-panel diagnostic lights on a computer, esp. Derives from the last word of the famous blackletter-Gothic sign in mangled pseudo-German that once graced about half the computer rooms in the English-speaking world.

Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken.

Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen. In a further post, we will go over some nuances here about torture. Labels: Hollywoodnational defense policypolitics. In a remarkable turnaround, over 14, signatures were added to the petition to Obama to start building a Death Star by The current total signatures is 26, as of PST on December 13, Thanks to all of you who responded to our urgent appeal on this important matter. It has to reach the 25, signature mark by Dec 14th, e.

The petition requests that the US commit to start building the Death Star by Labels: humornational defense policypoliticssarcasm. Not to mention typographical and grammatical errors which I can not see because blogspot made the type the same color as the background.

Hmm, it must be karma. I say nasty things about GUI design and look what happens! What is their real motivation? Why are they doing something nice? I am very opinionated on user interfaces, having been victimized by them most of my life. User interface design and implementation is an easy target, because they are so badly done most of the time. Abomoniably and inexcusably done. Unfortunately, there are many plausible reasons why this can happen, most of them variations on a generic "constraints on the project that we know nothing about and aren't apparent from The Firesign Theatre - The Bride Of Firesign (CDr) the device but were very important during development", such as "you have to use this software package" or "this company is going to do this, we only get to do that", that sort of thing.

Once you have the device in hand, and without any knowledge of what happened behind the scenes, it is easy and even somewhat emotionally satisfying to strike back at being victimized by the bad result, we can only judge what we see. Nevertheless, it seems that only Apple can do a product with a good user interface a slight exaggeration. Here is Audri's article on the Intel blog, please click on it to give her page hits which no doubt her management tracks. Labels: bad user interface designdwi alumniRobert Abel and Associates.

This post will showcase two designs for a future human-computer interface from two different movies, one from and I think that they both hold up remarkably well for being over 50 years old. The second film also illustrates the importance of a good voice actor, in this case one of my favorites, Paul Frees. When you make a film about the future, or about an alien visit to earth, almost by definition you have to show sets, props, costumes and so forth in that future world.

Which means of course you have to design the future, or what the future will look like in the context of the film you are trying to make. Whenever a character has to interface with technology, then you have a man-machine interface or in this case a humanoid-computer interface HCI. In other words, you have trapped yourself into a situation in which you are forced to show the entire world how limited your imagination is, and how badly you failed to predict the future, there on the screen for everyone to see.

Your humiliation, inevitable and unstoppable, is assured unless you come up with a solution that convinces the audience that they are seeing the future or an unknown technology that lasts the test of time. And this time around you may not be able to use giant robots to get out of this mess, either.

A notable recent example of a humanoid interface is the multi-touch display in Minority Reportalthough not enough time has passed to be able to judge how it will hold up. But for me, the best of the best is still "the button" at work in The Jetsons from Hanna Barbera. George got tendinitis of his button pushing finger decades before people in the computer industry started complaining.

Its not perfect, notice the use of a CRT, but the design is so great that it doesn't bother me at all. Push the button faster, Jetson! But most films do a lousy job of this. They don't have the money, or they just don't care. So they design something that looks silly, but not silly in a good way. Its a hard problem and for many reasons including: things e. It is also used as another excuse to substitute visual effects for design or story in many films. But rather than emphasize the negative, here are two examples from films that are quite old now, that I think stand up pretty well, at least to some extent.

The original Day the Earth Stood Still is actually a fairly interesting film hiding inside a black and white science fiction movie. The plot turns on a visitor from another world who brings a message from the local galactic union about Earth's place in the universe, a message he has trouble delivering because he wants to deliver it to all the nations of the world simultaneously.

Why doesn't he just broadcast it to the world from space, one wonders. My guess is that the alien humanoid grew up in a nice family of space humanoids in a more courteous civilization and believes that bad news needs to be delivered in person. Anyway, getting back to our HCI, it turns out that our visitor must arrange for a dramatic demonstration that catches everyone's attention and forces them to listen.

To do this, he must go to his ship and arrange the events that give the film its title. This is the only time in the movie that we see inside the ship, beyond a tiny glimpse through the open door and one giant robot whose design does not hold up at all well. I expected the worst.

But what we see is not incredibly technological at all, it is simple, minimal, and darkly lit. It suggests more than it shows. We see that the circular design motif of the ship itself is repeated throughout: a circular access corridor, a circular control room, a circular workstation of some sort where our hero probably sits when navigating, and a control console with circular panels.

All controls are activated by gesture and voice. He enters the ship, uses gestures to activate the systems, which respond with light, and issues commands by voice. The feedback is in devices that light as activated and in an abstract display. It is completely understated and minimal. In The Time Machinethe H. Wells and George Pal masterpiece, our hero is trying to figure out what has happened to earth and civilization in the future.

The vague and blonde kids who live there can't tell him and couldn't care less, just like teenagers today. After a while, the classically blonde romantic interest tells our hero about "rings that talk". What do they talk about, he asks. Things that no one here understands, she says. The rings turn out to be encoded audio, and the power for playback is generated from the energy used to spin the rings centrifugally on a table that illuminates when they are spun.

As the ring loses energy and slowly decays to the table, the voice slows down with it. The technology appears to be robust, survivable, and works without any power but the power you use to spin it. I am pretty sure this design comes from the Wells book itself, and is realized well and simply here in the movie. The voice is the voice of Paul Frees, one of my favorite voice actors of all time, and noted previously on this blog. In both of these cases, at least, the "advanced technology" did not look completely stupid a few years later, which is more than we can say for many films.

The moral of the story may be that in predicting the future, showing less and letting the imagination fill in the gaps is a plausible strategy. Of them all, I still think that George Jetson's button at work is the best. Labels: autobiographybad user interface designCombat Correspondenthistory of visual effectsPaul Freesprognosticationstupid use of computersUSMCvoice. The following image was brought to my attention by Clark Anderson and has been making the rounds on the Internet.

The peacock is the classic example in evolutionary circles of an out-of-control, positive-feedback loop in selection. Peahens like flashy peacocks and mate with them, resulting in more males with flash and more females who like males with flash.

So it is believed. It is also the case that the peafowl as they are known to non-gender-biased zoologists does not have many predators where they live, and the predators that they do have only eat them when they can not find anything else. But getting back to our photograph, what we have here is one in a series of photographs in India of a peacock who was jumping around that day in the presence of a persistent photographer who, with his trusty telephoto and probably image stabilized lens, was able to get a number of pictures when the peafowl was very briefly in flight.

So what I think you are seeing here is an unusual pose of the peacock in the process of leaping up, the foreshortening of the telephoto lens, and possibly the benefit of a camera that takes many photos as quickly as it can. Then, one of these photographs, which happened to catch a nearly full jump of the peacock, was cropped, color timed, and probably had contrast modified and some sharpening.

Thus a very iconic and graphic image was created from an image of something that does exist in nature, although you are never likely to see it this way yourself, even if you lived near a flock of peacocks.

It has never been the case, that photography simply recorded what was there in an objective and unmodified manner. Photographers have always added their own spin and point of view, but usually it results in something that is not quite so dramatically graphic. Photorealism is a style of painting, not of photography. Here is a photograph from the same series of photographs of our jumpy peacock as found on Wikipedia. Here are nine pictures from the same series:.

Labels: aphorismsphotographyphotorealismRobert Abel and AssociatesVisual Effectswriting sample. I find animal behavior fascinating, and I have no doubt that animals are intelligent, even though scientists, or some scientists, claim that they are not sure. I think most dogs are more intelligent than many people I know and they are certainly of a better character. One reason this topic has come up, is because there has been a low level effort to find a mascot or symbol for the field of visual effects and computer animation in the motion picture industry.

A bulldog might symbolize determination, an eagle might symbolize vision and integrity, a zombie might indicate mindless devotion, and so forth. After all, doctors have their snake, California has its bear, the Orioles have their bird, maybe we should have a mascot too. Ideally any mascot chosen for visual effects would communicate something about the field and people in it, and not just be chosen because it is cute. Lou Ferrigno has not aged.

Whenever I see TV-folks in person, I am usually struck by how tiny they are Good grief, I always wonder if I'd look the size of a polar bear on TV. Below are some of the vendors, artists, writers and colorful characters I encountered at DragonCon.

A very popular DragonCon spot! Beware sexist art, necrophilia jokes, etc. Fool Moon Treasures create fairy, goddess, dragon, Wicca and other designs out of lead-free pewter: "Our product categories range from aromatherapy to jewelry to sculptures to gift items. Our design themes concentrate on fairies, the Goddess, Wicca, dragons, as well as love tokens and floral. Tatua looks to be a movie about a tattooed serial killer, or something.

They were passing out snazzy temporary tattoos wearing one now! But there's no plot-description on the website, just a tattooed guy with knives and a lot of heavy metal, which doesn't look like a good sign. Included on the website is the video Revenge Destroys by Helmet. Taylorverse 8. We're with you, Sean! DVDs will be offered as well through Whirlwind, which releases "Back From The Shadows", enhanced with a video group interview, any day now. Rumors also persist that a deal with Laugh.

The burgeoning on-line company has just released a brand new Jonathan Winters CD and The Firesign Theatre - The Bride Of Firesign (CDr) making big moves in the comedy market. Firezine Productions also plans to offer up special editions of "Fighting Clowns Live" with a full version of the UMD show with an extra disc of interviews, "In The Firezone" with more Seattle '99 Shows, photos and rehearsal clips disc, and some other items to raise enough funds to print the remaining issues.

Originally released inthis recording has been out of print for 5 years and is now available again exclusively in this DVD package. Special thanks to Brian Curtis for this Heads Up!

Czech out the cover art here! Recorded off the board and sanctioned by the 4 or 5 to help get Firezine out of debt, this rare 60 min. This year so far has had little in the way of FT work. I have been busy on two major projects, the 4-hour adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the LA Children's Museum which will be completed by the end of September and distributed on radio by Public Radio International with national broadcast between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Website to be done by the Museum. This is an Otherworld Production, co-directed and produced by my wife Judith Walcutt. Otherwise, I have been working on collecting my various writing into volumes suitable for various kinds of publication. Also, three volumes, each about 50 pages, of my Selected Poems I'm hoping to finish an accompanying CD for the poems before the year's out.

Of course, the poetry is closely connected with FT - read on the radio and stage, performed by, and in some cases dedicated to the group or to individuals or friends. I'm most interested in writing about the The Firesign Theatre - The Bride Of Firesign (CDr) of FT and less interested in writing new comedy material not intended for use in the group efforts.

I've been writing for so many years now that I'm happily engaged in collecting it and making sure that it's not lost in my files 20 years from now. FT's show on XM radio next year will absorp a lot of new material, so I am planning ahead for that.

Otherwise, ya know, man - life is full and happy and my kids and grandkids and The Firesign Theatre - The Bride Of Firesign (CDr) and the rest of my family are what I care most about. And Andy Thomas is back on board to help us!

Children's Museum Arf! A Battle Fielde. Ye Byshoppe's Battle Tente. Boom Dot Bust Show Tracklist. Bill Williams Tornado Preserve. Shoes For Industry! CD2 Show Tracklist. The Holygram's Song Back From.


Worlds On Fire - The Bombers (8) - Aim High (Vinyl, LP, Album), На Дискотеку Сельскую - Красная Плесень - Профессор Бибизинский (Золотая Коллекция Том 2) (Cassette,, Love Me Or Leave Me - Various - Jazz & Big Band - April In Paris (CD), Public Enema Number One - Iron Maiden - No Prayer For The Dying (CD, Album), Retail Love - Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Heavy Manners (CD), The Situation, Power Important - Heavy-Current - Money-pulated (CD), Possessions - Retractor - No Resistance (CD, Album), She Drinks At Night - dust_in - Dust_in Anthology 8 Kbps (File, MP3), Half A Chance - Carly Simon - Another Passenger (Vinyl, LP, Album), Tavito - Rua Ramalhete (Vinyl), Berliner 6 Bahn - Dark Nights Compilation Volume: One (Vinyl), Bophuthatswana - Khutlo Tsenne - Hammanskraal Voices (Vinyl, LP), Smoke (38) - Carry On Your Idea (CD, Album)