I use some words in unusual ways to add meaning to some familiar terms, or as short handles for more nebulous concepts.  I'll define them here...

A/B/A swap test - a more thorough swap test that seeks to exclude side-effects of the change process (e.g. the re-seating of RAM vs. defect in the RAM itself) by re-challenging with the original configuration.

A/B/A//B/A/B swap test - a variation of swap testing where swapped components are exchanged in both directions between two systems, which often gives more data for given time where an unattended testing process is time-consuming.

Atomic - in the sense where "atom" means "that which should not be broken into smaller parts unless you want to end up with a large smoking crater".  The way I use this term, an atomic process is one that should not be interrupted (e.g. writing the FAT, directory and data cluster parts of a file update), and an atomic object is one that should not be partially restored (e.g. restoring an old copy of the FAT).

Attackment - term for "attachment" (as in "emaul attackment"), where I want to highlight the risks of attack that are associated with this.

Bland lame - term for "brand name" that I apply in contexts where I want to draw attention to the anaemic specs and crippling limitations (e.g. proprietary design, integration of components, non-installable OS) that pervade most brand name PCs, e.g. "you should be able to drop in a generic replacement motherboard, unless you have a bland lame system".

COAB - Crock On A Block; an expression denoting extreme confidence, e.g. "I'm COAB sure it isn't loaded... watch, I'll prove it to you..."

Dof - South African (Afrikaans) for "dim" or "dull", including aspirations on intelligence these words imply.  As in, "that's a really dof idea.  What was the other idea again?"

Duh-fault - the case that would apply were no other action to be taken, particularly where this (non)-choice is lacking in foresight and/or likely to cause problems.

Emaul - term for "email", where I want to highlight the risks of attack that are associated with this.  Reach out and kosh someone!

Formal - in contexts such as "formal virus check", an approach rigorous enough to avoid the desire to repeat the task should doubts set in later.

Hware - short form of "hardware" used to reduce the character count so that bullet lists don't sprawl onto multiple lines, etc.

Malware - software written with malicious intent, which is fully described in the page that most linked occurrences of this word would take you to.

Naked emperor - a short form of the story of the emperor who wore no clothes, yet the pretense of sartorial finery was upheld by sycophantic minions until some child cried out "why is the emperor naked?"   Used where assumptions of quality (usually with respect to another product deemed to be inferior) blinds advocates to shortcomings.

PITA - Pain In The Adenoids

Sane - that which is rational, or can be trusted to work predictably, or is internally consistent with itself.  For example, if I told you Fred was my father and I was Fred's mother, this would be an internally inconsistent and thus insane statement.

State chart - a troubleshooting aid that works by formalizing the search for and interpretation of clues.  State charts work best with a small number of variables (ideally reduced to two axes) and are particularly helpful when the testing process required to gather the data is so tedious that by the time you get the last result of the set, you've forgotten the first result, or what you were gathering the results for in the first place.   Often used with swap testing.

Startup axis - the collection of editable points whereby additional code can be caused to execute when a process is started.   Unless an application is specified, this refers to the system startup axis that is followed when Windows starts, and this is discussed in the page to which most linked occurrences of this word would take you to.

Swap test - a testing method where a suspect component is swapped out with another (usually known-good) component; useful when diagnostics are unavailable or inconclusive.

Sware - short form of "software" used either to reduce the character count so that bullet lists don't sprawl onto multiple lines, or in contexts where the happy confusion with "swearware" would seem appropriate.   I use it a lot.

Underfootware - that which runs underfoot.  Software vendors would prefer the more positive-spin "resident", but I prefer the appropriate negative connotations of "underfootware" that should be familiar to anyone who has ever tripped over a cat when carrying a fridge down some stairs.

Untestables - components for which no diagnostics are available, or for which diagnostic results are too unreliable to be considered exclusionary - thus usually requiring swap testing.

Vandor - concatenation of "vendor" and "vandal", denoting a vendor who is prepared to damage your interests should these be perceived to conflict with theirs.

Venn - taken from the classic set theory Venn diagram (resembling the MasterCard logo) of two overlapping circles to indicate two sets, neither of which wholly contains the other. I use this word to refer to unrelated data sets (usually where overlap is co-incidental), as in "the relationship between preference for spicy food and ingrown toenails is Venn"

This page is hell to spell-check   :-P


(C) Chris Quirke, all rights reserved - November 2001, December 2002

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