The Jargon File

A Chronology...The Jargon FileComputer Dictionary
v. 1. To process, usually in a time-consuming or complicated way. Connotes an essentially trivial operation which is nonetheless painful to perform. The pain may be due to the triviality being imbedded in a loop from 1 to 1000000000. "FORTRAN programs do mostly number crunching."
2. To reduce the size of a file by a complicated scheme that produces bit configurations completely unrelated to the original data, such as by a Huffman code. (The file ends up looking like a paper document would if somebody crunched the paper into a wad.) Since such compression usually takes more computations than simpler methods such as counting repeated characters (such as spaces) the term is doubly appropriate. (This meaning is usually used in the construction "file crunch(ing)" to distinguish it from "number crunch(ing)".)
3. n. The character "#". Usage: used at Xerox and CMU, among other places. Other names for "#" include SHARP, NUMBER, HASH, PIG-PEN, POUND-SIGN, and MESH.GLS adds: I recall reading somewhere that most of these are names for the # symbol IN CONTEXT. The name for the sign itself is "octothorp".
(city) n. The terminal physically associated with a computer's operating console.
[from the DEC acronym CUSP, for Commonly Used System Program, i.e., a utility program used by many people] (WPI) adj. 1.(of a program) Well-written.
2. Functionally excellent. A program which performs well and interfaces well to users is cuspy. See RUDE.
(day'mun, dee'mun) [archaic form of "demon", which has slightly different connotations (q.v.)] n. A program which is not invoked explicitly, but which lays dormant waiting for some condition(s) to occur. The idea is that the perpetrator of the condition need not be aware that a daemon is lurking (though often a program will commit an action only because it knows that it will implicitly invoke a daemon). For example, writing a file on the lpt spooler's directory will invoke the spooling daemon, which prints the file. The advantage is that programs which want (in this example) files printed need not compete for access to the lpt. They simply enter their implicit requests and let the daemon decide what to do with them. Daemons are usually spawned automatically by the system, and may either live forever or be regenerated at intervals. Usage: DAEMON and DEMON (q.v.) are often used interchangeably, but seem to have distinct connotations. DAEMON was introduced to computing by CTSS people (who pronounced it dee'mon) and used it to refer to what is now called a DRAGON or PHANTOM (q.v.). The meaning and pronunciation have drifted, and we think this glossary reflects current usage.
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