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Thanks to your support, 2015 marks 30 years of the FSF! In the next 30 years, we want to do even more to defend computer user rights. To kick off in that direction, we're setting our highest-ever fundraising goal of $525,000 by January 31st. Read more.

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Software Terms

Define your terms for software releases:

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
		stealing software 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.

Videotex:  A moribund electronic service offering people the privelege of
		paying to read the weather on their television screens instead
		of having Willard Scott read it to them free while they
		brush their teeth.

Warranty:  Disclaimer.

Workstation:  A computer or terminal slavishly linked to a mainframe that does
		not offer game programs.

(The previous list of terms was furnished by copied from the
Government Computer News, November 21, 1988 issue.  The
original data was provided by the WIC Connection.)

Other humor in the GNU Humor Collection.

Disclaimer

The joke on this page was obtained from the FSF's email archives of the GNU Project.

The Free Software Foundation claims no copyright on this joke.

 [FSF logo] “Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software users.”

The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. Support GNU and the FSF by buying manuals and gear, joining the FSF as an associate member, or making a donation, either directly to the FSF or via Flattr.

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