Advanced User: A person who has managed to remove a computer from its packing materials.
Power User: A person who has mastered the brightness and contrast controls on any computer monitor.
American Made: Assembled in America from parts made abroad.
Alpha Test Version: Too buggy to be released to the paying public.
Beta Test Version: Still too buggy to be released.
Release Version: Alternate pronunciation of "Beta Test Version".
Sales Manager: Last week's new sales associate.
Consultant: A former sales associate who has mastered at least one tenth of the dBase III Plus Manual.
Systems Integrator: A former consultant who understands the term AUTOEXEC.BAT.
AUTOEXEC.BAT: A sturdy aluminum or wooden shaft used to coax AT hard disks into performing properly.
Backup: The duplicate copy of crucial data that no one bothered to make; used only in the abstract.
Clone: One of the many advanced-technology computers IBM is beginning to wish it had built.
Convertible: Transformable from a second-rate computer to a first-rate doorstop or paperweight. (Replaces the term "junior".)
Copy Protection: A clever method of preventing incompetent pirates from
and legitimate customers from using it.
Database Manager: A program that allows users to manipulate data in every conceivable way except the absolutely essential way they conceive of the day after entering 20 megabytes of raw data.
EMS: Emergency Medical Service; often summoned in cases of apoplexy induced by attempts to understand extended, expanded, or enhanced memory specs.
Encryption: A powerful algorithmic encoding technique employed in the creation of computer manuals.
FCC-Certified: Guaranteed not to interfere with radio or television reception until you add the cable that is required to make it work.
Hard Disk: A device that allows users to delete vast quantities of data with simple mnemonic commands.
Integrated Software: A single product that deftly performs hundreds of functions that the user never needs and awkwardly performs the half-dozen he uses constantly.
Laptop: Smaller and lighter than the average breadbox.
Multitasking: A clever method of simultaneously slowing down the multitude of computer programs that insist on running too fast.
Network: An electronic means of allowing more than one person at a time to corrupt, trash, and otherwise cause permanent damage to useful information.
Portable: Smaller and lighter than the average refrigerator.
Support: The mailing of advertising literature to customers who have returned a registration card.
Transportability: Neither chained to a wall or attached to an alarm system.
Printer: An electromechnical paper shredding device.
Spreadsheet: A program that gives the user quick and easy access to a wide variety of highly detailed reports based on highly inaccurate assumptions.
Thought Processor: An electronic version of the intended outline procedure that thinking people instantly abandon upon graduation from high school.
Upgraded: Didn't work the first time.
User Friendly: Supplied with a full color manual.
Very User Friendly: Supplied with a disk and audiotape so the user need not bother with the full color manual.
Version 1.0: Buggier than Maine in June; eats data.
Version 1.1: Eats data only occasionally; upgrade is free, to avoid litigation by disgruntled users of Version 1.0.
Version 2.0: The version originally planned as the first release, except for a couple of data-eating bugs that just won't seem to go away; no free upgrades or the company would go bankrupt.
Version 3.0: The revision in the works when the company goes bankrupt.
Workstation: A computer or terminal slavishly linked to a mainframe that does not offer game programs.|