A Glossary of Computer Terms

David Lubar

For those of you baffled by all the hardware and software jargon, here's an inside look at what the phrases really mean:

Easy to Use—The programmer got pretty good at using it while he was testing it for bugs.

User Friendly—Instead of saying, "File not found," the program tells you, "Sorry, file not found."

Fast—Not as slow as it used to be.

Extremely fast—Bearable as long as you're not in a hurry.

Lightning fast—See extremely fast.

Active Matrix Display—Something inside sort of moves around, but we're not sure what.

Passive Matrix Display—It was active, but it broke.

Ergonomically designed—designed

While Supplies Last—If we ever get rid of these, we're throwing a party.

Limited Quantity—Until we get rid of these, we can't store anything else.

Hot!—We've moved half of them, but the warehouse is still jammed.

Special purchase—Boy did we screw up this time.

New, Low prices—nobody bought one in ages.

Too many features to list—We sort of lost track of what we did.

Toner Sold Separately—Many of our customers never get the printer to run, so we decided to offer this as an optional purchase.

Works automatically with no user intervention—It doesn't do a thing, but you'll never know.

Constructed for the value-minded consumer—It will break the first time you breath on it.

Professional quality—your company is paying for it so we can jack up the price far beyond the point any sane person would accept.

Toll-free technical support—You get to listen to hours of music while you wait on hold, and it won't cost you a penny. If you have a speaker phone, you can use this service to replace your radio.

High performance—It probably works most of the time.

New and Improved—We finally found that really bad bug we've been working around for years.

World's Most Comprehensive CD ROM—there's so much stuff crammed on here, you'll never find any of it.

Copyright © 1997 by David Lubar

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