The Jargon File

A Chronology...The Jargon FileComputer Dictionary
[from "oxen", perhaps influenced by "vixen"] n. pl. The plural of VAX (a DEC machine).
adj. Unused, in reference to an instantiation of a program. "Let's bring up a virgin system and see if it crashes again." Also, by extension, unused buffers and the like within a program.
adj.1.Common alternative to LOGICAL (q.v.), but never used with compass directions.
2.Performing the functions of. Virtual memory acts like real memory but isn't.
n. One who hacks vision (in an AI context, such as the processing of visual images).
[probably taken from the story "Waldo", by Heinlein, which is where the term was first used to mean a mechanical adjunct to a human limb] Used at Harvard, particularly by Tom Cheatham and students, instead of FOOBAR as a meta-syntactic variable and general nonsense word. See FOO, BAR, FOOBAR, QUUX.
[shortened form of HELLO WALL, apparently from the phrase "up against a blank wall"] (WPI) interj. 1. "Wall??"
2. A request for further explication.
n. A file containing a listing (e.g., assembly listing) or transcript, esp. a file containing a transcript of all or part of a login session. (The idea was that the LPT paper for such listings was essentially good only for wallpaper, as evidenced at SAIL where it was used as such to cover windows.) Usage: not often used now, esp. since other systems have developed other terms for it (e.g., PHOTO on TWENEX). The term possibly originated on ITS, where the commands to begin and end transcript files are still :WALBEG and :WALEND, with default file DSK:WALL PAPER.
n. A deadly sport practiced mainly by Sussman's graduate students. It, along with chair bowling, is the most evident manifestation of the "locker room atmosphere" said to reign in that sphere. (Sussman doesn't approve.)
[As of 11/82, it's reported that the sport has given way to a new game called "disc-boot", and Sussman even participates occasionally.]
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