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The quick guide to Register jargon

Chipzilla, The Big Q, and the rest

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The Register has gained so many readers this year that we've prepared a rough guide to the jargon we use, after receiving a couple of emails asking us what words like Chipzilla and The Big Q mean.

BOFH Bastard Operator From Hell.

Beast of Redmond, The Microsoft. 'Nuff (enough) said.

The Big Q Our new name for Compaq, which was formerly described as The Great Satan of Haircuts, this being a reference to Eckhard Pfeiffer, its former CEO, who seemed to have a change of hairstyle every so often. Compaq is now described as The Big Q because its logo is a big letter q.

Benchmarketing oops sorry Benchmarking Somewhere in the UK there used to be an uncryogenically cooled bit of material called the yard. This strange measure undoubtedly is related to other archaisms such as the furlong, the perch and the fathom. But, unlike the last, the process of benchmarketing is unfathomable.

Big Blur It's IBM, otherwise known as Big Blue, but when its marchitectural plans get disrupted, it gets known as Blur because no one knows what's going on, including its customers. It's hard to turn a big ship like Big Blur round as it's heading into the wrong port. DEC, also known as the Great Satan of Walk-in Wardrobes (qv), used to be known as Little Blur.

Blag Popular mockney expression beloved of the writers of British TV cop shows. To steal; a robbery; to have something away on one's toes. "The blaggers blagged the jewels in the biggest blag I've ever seen, sarge."

Boffin British tabloid term for a scientist. Not to be confused with buffoon.

Caminogate Camino was Intel's codename for the i820 chipset. The "gate" suffix was added to demonstrate the depths of the debacle into which Intel fell. qv Seven Dramurai.

Chipzilla One of our patois words for Intel, which is also variously described as The Great Satan of Chips, The Great Stan of Chips and Satan Clara. A cross between Godzilla and a dinosaur, Chipzilla is a carnivore which tramps over different landscapes and munches up small, harmless but competitive companies.

DeCadence The irresistible corruption of chip designer Cadence.

Dosh Money. Rhymes with nosh (qv). Sometimes, it is the name of a PC operating system when the person saying it is an old drunk.

E-Potato The online equivalent of the couch potato (people who laze all evening watching the TV).

Geezer and thus also Geezerette. A person of the humanzilla persuasion, usually old. Not to be confused with Geezerville, an Intel technology, where lots of old Geezers and Geezerettes discuss the future of mobile computing.

Gulag, The A place where old Intel chips go, otherwise described as the embedded market.

Great Satan of Taperecorders, The This describes AMD. Some years back, two staffers at The Register were astonished to find the PR flunky calmly switching on a tape recorder as we interviewed an executive at a very expensive restaurant. We started singing and refused to chat properly unless the machine was switched off. It was. AMD is also sometimes called Chimpzilla, after its CEO Jerry Sanders III compared his company to a chimpanzee and Intel to a gorilla. Other Great Satans in the PC industry include Microsoft (Software), Dell (Hardware), Cisco (Networks) and Apple (Fruit).

IT As in, "you're IT", or the "IT girl", or ITMA (It's that man again). Sometimes applied to information technology, which should really be misinformation technology (MIT).

Itanic Our name for Intel's IA-64 Itanium, formerly called Merced, which was kindly contributed to us by a reader.

Marchitecture Newly coined, this one is a combination of the words architecture and marketing. Companies with big PR departments and big budgets, such as Chipzilla (qv), can afford to spend big marketing bucks promoting things which might not necessarily be as good or as useful as other offerings from other people.

Mempolitik Like realpolitik, except it's the unrealpolitik of the combination of microprocessor firms, PC vendors and semiconductor manufacturers, which gives rise to strange anomalies which ultimately affect every one who uses a PC.

Mobo It's a motherboard. Coined by the self-referential hardware sites, it struck a chord with us because it reminded us that in Soho, in the sixties, there was a song that went "I've got my mojo working". In recent times, Athlon Powers, in the Hollywood presentation The i820 that Sagged on Me, re-jigged the song in the modern way.

Netzilla Cisco.

Nosh Food. Rhymes with dosh. (qv)

Oftel the winged watchdog. A mythical beast from days of yore and "powerful kings". Sometimes known as Offal, from the Norse word for "gutsy". Famous for the dogged determination with which it avoids confrontation.

Old Mother Shipton or Old Mother Chipton Legendary, cave-dwelling ancient Yorkshire lady supposedly able to foresee the future. Ms Shipton predicted three hundred or so years ago that the world would come to an end in 1999. Events proved her wrong and she was fired on the 1st of January 2000.

PFY Pimply Faced Youth.

Phonezilla AT&T.

Punter Originally a term for a person who went to racecourses and put bets on nags (horses) in the hope they might come in and win and save their individual financial bacon, the term is now, in Britain, extended to anyone who makes a bet on anything, whatever - such as whether their PCs will work. A punter in Britain is not, as one of our readers pointed out applies in his country, a Canadian kind of boat.

A reader contributes RegipaQ which he describes as "The cunning manipulation of a multinational hardware vendor by a web based IT site. The principal aim being to replace their overworked servers".

Rambust a memory company.

Spinola A sultan of spin, that is to say a public relations person, a sort of a combination between Spinoza and Payola. The best type of this species is known as a Paraspinmedic (qv).

Screaming Cindy or Screaming Sindie. A woman who seems to accompany every new release of a Pentium microprocessor and has various extensions which allow her to scream ever more loudly.

Suit An executive of a technology company, borrowed from the now defunct Great Satan of Walk-In Wardrobes (DEC). DEC (Digital) was taken over by The Big Q when it was still the Great Satan of Haircuts but was headed by Robert Palmer, who was rumoured to have a walk-in wardrobe in his office. Those rumours have never been substantiated. Palmer is now a director of The Great Satan of Taperecorders, otherwise known as Chimpzilla.

Seven Dramurai, The A hastily put together consortium of memory manufacturers which included Rambus Ink and Intel, intended to promote the benefits of Direct RDRAM. Three weeks after the Seven Dramurai was formed, Intel announced there was a problem with Rambus memory on its i820 mobos, and withdrew the lot.

Spin Paramedic An unusual sort of Suit (qv), who will go out of her or his way to save a journalists life. So far, only restricted to PRs in the pay of Chipzilla (qv). Not quite a spin doctor, but infinitely more useful if you're in a near-death experience.

Titsup Belly up, bankrupt.

T-Zilla, aka Tiranazilla or Tyrannazilla. The tyranny of either Mr Hoxha, former CEO of small Balkans country Albania, or AMD.

World+Dog This means everyone, as in the hackneyed phrase every man and his dog, and includes women with dogs too, which is why we turned it into a neutral phrase, not yet hackneyed.

Any other jargon you either don't understand or feel like contributing? Email us here

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