April 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Dictionary entries

From the Techie’s Dictionary, or People I Have To Deal With At Work:

The ID10T: A person with so little computer knowledge and skill that no matter what they do, they will somehow manage to break something. They also tend to fill your day up with inane tasks that they could conceivably manage, were they actually to stop and think for more than 10 seconds. See also “Starfish” and “Luser”.

The Power User: Someone who knows just enough about computers to get themselves in serious trouble. Signs a Power User has been ‘customizing’ a computer include error messages on startup, virus/spyware infections and a sheepish look on their face as they explain that “the problem came out of nowhere” instead of admitting that they were fucking with the registry.

The haxorz, 1337 and script kiddies: Quite often your teenage neighbors, who have spent enough time on the ‘net to learn how to download illegal software and spend most of their time flexing their ‘muscles’ by kicking people offline in IRC and utilizing cheat codes to camp on your respawn point. Indicator signs include ‘modder’ cases slapped together with poor technique bearing tell-tale traces of Mountain Dew and keyboards with the “Z” rubbed off.

The Executives: Easily spotted by their lack of ability to perform the simplest computer task, such as reading their email – followed by reams of printed emails scattered about their office, produced by their secretary who has given up on ever teaching them. Forever status-minded, however, they will insist on having the choicest kit in the office.

The Grandparents: Their well-meaning children have given them hand-me down units, and they cannot grasp the fact that there is simply no hope of keeping them alive due to obsolescence. Watch for the incredulous eyebrow-jump as they plead “but it’s only 5 years old!” It’s not their fault, kids, they grew up in a kinder time when things didn’t change weekly. Be nice to them.

The Sales Guy: Battered notebook case, power suit and bluetooth cordless headset for their cell phone gleaming in their ear, they strut into the shop and demand immediate solutions – at least, I think that’s what they want, it’s hard to understand the buzzword-ese sometimes. These tend to be steady customers who don’t balk at throwing down plastic to cover the priority rates.

The Clueless Business: Having never had an IT person, their office is a mad mish-mash of off-shelf name brand computers that happenned to be on sale when they were forced to expand, running everything from Win98 Beta to WinXP (but usually Home Edition). Whatever network they have managed to cobble together is barely functional and completely unsecure. They will require much hand-holding during the refit, but will be very happy once they see the performance increase.

A Windows Timeline:

Bill Gates has this great idea for an operating system – it must have come to him in a dream, since we all know he has way too much integrity to steal ideas from Apple. In any case, he invents Windows and begins marketing it. Amazingly enough, it sells and other people begin writing software to make use of it’s features. I am told that while it had some issues, it was generally useful and beat using a command line for routine tasks.

Windows For Workgroups 3.1.1
–The oldest version I have ever seen in person, and have only seen once on some poor old thing my former father-in-law picked up in a pawn shop. Generally put in the same category as a dentist visit. Painful, put you had to do it.

Windows 95
–The Marketing department takes over the corporation, stating that the product will be shipped on time, no matter how bad it is. With the stranglehold MS was already consolidating on the PC world, the user didn’t have a chance. Win95 was shipped in so bad a state that MS was forced to fast-forward their development and bug-fix cycle, resulting in Win95b, which shipped 6 months later.

Windows 98
–Once again, product was shipped long before it was ready. Still, a huge improvement over Win95. I think the term “undocumented feature” came about during this time as a Politically Correct rephrasal of “program bug” – kinda like calling a quadraplegic “challenged” instead of “crippled”. MS started playing up the “Windows Update” website to make it less painful for the consumer to get a product actually working.

Win98 Second Edition was introduced within a year to make up for some of the faults of the original. By no means a perfect product, it was an improvement.

Windows NT
–The business and server side of the MS camp. While Win95 and 98 had been targeted at the end-user, the NT line was aimed at the techies in the MIS labs. Nothing ever ran on it.

Windows 2000
–An enlightened attempt to blend the end-user elements of the 98 line with the security of the NT line. It worked for the most part, but was incompatable with many Win98 software titles, which pissed everyone off. Entire corporations were forced to re-purchase updated versions of their productivity software after a system upgrade.

Windows Millenium Edition
–MS hadn’t originally planned to release an update for the end-user version at this time, but decided to ramp one out quickly to keep folks interested or something. The OS is Win98 with some minor additions and several changes borrowed form the project that was to become Windows XP. Generally considered a step backward in terms of reliability due to it’s slapdash construction.

Windows XP
–MS merged the two lines together under one banner, but released it in two flavors: Home Edition and Professional Edition. Almost identical, Home just has some networking and security features disabled. Compared to Win95, this is the holy grail of computing. In reality, Bill Gates has still convinced the world that were a computer your car, it would still be ok for your computer to randomly cease to function and burst into flames. It doesn’t happen anywhere near as often as it used to, but there it is.

One reply to “Dictionary entries”

  1. Kylanath Says:

    Cute. I’ve seen a box for Windows 1.1 at Half Price Books one time. And I can remember using Windows for Workgroups. How sad is that? It just proves that I’m really turning geezer here.