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Geek Speak

Have you ever been at a party with a bunch of "software industry" people and overheard a conversation that included something like this:
"I was sitting in the cube farm checking out the dead tree edition of the Times when some idea hamster comes in to ask for my help on a project. I told him I didn't have enough bandwidth to support him--that he should go find some gray matter to help him out."
Sound like a different language? It is. An entire lexicon of "geek speak" has emerged from the world of hardware and software. But the next time you feel left out at a party full of mouse potatoes, you can show your savvy by speaking the lingo. If you do it well enough, you might even be mistaken for the alpha geek.

Alpha geek: The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group. "Ask Larry, he's the alpha geek around here."

Bandwidth: The ability to juggle or handle an excessive amount of stuff. "I'm really busy and don't have the bandwidth to dedicate to your issue right now."

Cobweb site: A World Wide Web site that hasn't been updated for a long time. A dead Web page.

Cube farm: An office filled with cubicles.

Dead tree edition: The paper version of a publication available in both paper and electronic forms, as in: "The dead tree edition of the San Francisco Chronicle..."

Doorstop: A computer that is no longer considered fast enough or to contain insufficient storage, etc. for use in normal work. All 286's and 386's are doorstops. Most 486's are now doorstops. Soon we'll see Pentium doorstops.

Egosurfing: Scanning the net, databases, print media, or research papers looking for the mention of your name.

Gray matter: Older, experienced business people hired by young entrepreneurial firms looking to appear more reputable and established.

Idea hamsters: People who always seem to have their idea generators running.

Keyboard plaque: The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards. "Are there any other terminals I can use? This one has a bad case of keyboard plaque."

Let's take this off-line: Let's talk about this later, after the meeting.

Liveware: Slang for people. Also called wetware or jellyware, as opposed to hardware, software, and firmware.

Mouse potato: The online, wired generation's answer to the couch potato.

Nonlinear Inappropriately intense negative response. "I told him we didn't have any Starbucks' Gazebo Blend and he went totally nonlinear."

Ppen-collar: workers People who work at home or telecommute.

Plug-and-play: A new hire who doesn't need any training. "The new guy, John, is great. He's totally plug-and-play."

Randomize: To divert someone from his or her goal with tertiary tasks or niggling details. "Marketing has totally randomized me by constantly changing their minds about the artwork."

Stress puppy: A person who seems to thrive on being stressed out and whiny.

Total disconnect: An extremely low-bandwidth human interaction. "It was a total disconnect. I spent half an hour explaining how this stuff worked, and he just didn't get it."

Uninstalled: Euphemism for being fired.

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