The Register guide to acronyms

Or how to misunderstand PC speak

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We have been asked by many readers to provide a guide to the thicket of acronyms that obscure the PC industry. So here it is.

.9999999 Almost perfect but recurring and occurring a little too much. See also Q and HP.

1394 Mistaken date for the Battle of Hastings. See Battle of USB.

2LA Fully mirrored version of Los Angeles. See TLA.

Au Symbol in chemistry for gold, as in Goldmine, the symbol at Intel for Coppermine, as in Cu (qv) and Ag (silver). All that glitters is not gold...

Al Symbol in chemistry for aluminium, as in the interconnect technology that Intel's Cu (qv) technology is using. Q (qv) is using copper interconnects on Alpha machines which are fabricated by Intel because a US department said it had to. (qv Q).

AMD A vessel that makes more noise than its size would suggest it could, as in the phrase: AMD vessel makes more noise.

AMIGA Someone who can't speak Spanish (see DOS) thinks this is the singular of friends (amigos).

ARM Very highly valued limb attached to a human body from Cambridge that is connected to a hand which signs the licensing deals which makes its share price soar every couple of weeks.

BOFH The Bastard Operator from Hell, no less. Cult columnist from NZ.

CA Clerical Assistant who regularly buys up lots of companies.

CISC Abbreviation for a company which has a market cap of $250 billion and is also known as Netzilla.

CLM Chipzillaspeak for a Career Limiting Move. One of the finest of Intel's fabled TLAs (qv) an example might be an Intel spin paramedic actually using their brains and offering journalists useful advice and guidance, rather than simply parroting prepared statements.

CPU The expensive moron at the heart of your computer.

Cu Symbol for copper in chemistry but not at Intel's HQ, where Cu is the symbol for aluminium (See Ag, Al).

CUJimmy Phrase used in Silicon Glen, Scotland to alert employee of incoming fist.

DETLA not to be confused with DELTA A doubly extended three letter acronym. (See FLA).

DIMM A reader suggests, You, which we suppose must mean Us.

DOJ US government department which regularly says Microsoft is guilty. See also FTC.

DOS Verb. To sleep rough on the streets.

DRAM Small drink of whisky.

DUX Ugly ducking on a little pond that became transformed into a beautiful swan called Tru64.

ETLA Extended three letter acronyms (see TLA). This is an acronym that avoids the need to use FLA (qv).

FAQ Off the cuff document.

FTC US government body which regularly says Chipzilla is innocent of all charges.

HP Human particulate first created in a garage in Cupertino.

HP/UX Unexploded human particulate operating system.

IA32 Half the amount of IA64, unless you count the letters of the alphabet as numbers.

IA64 Double the amount in price of IA32 (qv).

IBM Type of relatively intelligent footwear worn by Lou Gerstner.

IEEE Pronounced Aye Triple E in Scotland, this is a request for illicit substances north of the English border.

IO Greeting made by Seven Dwarves on their way to work.

ISDN It still does nothing... but in droves (reader contributed)

JPEG A very dangerous image that can land you in gaol if you're not careful.

LAN Capital of the country WAN.

LED This really means a light emitting diode but someone suggests instead that it's Plumbum, otherwise known as lead.

MB Not to be confused with Mb (qv).

Mb Must not be confused with MB (qv

MITEL Mike and Terry's Lawnmowers.

MTFLA More than four letter acronym. See 2LA.

MACINTOSH Machine Always Crashes If Not The Operating System Hangs. Only too true, only too true.

MMX An Intel processor with an AMIGA (qv) blitter inside, according to some.

MP3 Third MP to stand up and say he supports Ken Livingstone for London mayor as well.

MPEG A very dangerous acronym of the moving image (VDAMI), similar to JPEG (qv), which could also land you in the clink.

NGIO Sound made by the Seven Dramurai on their way to work. See IO.

PC Expensive machine which not only never seems to work properly but needs to be replaced every couple of years.

PCMCIA or PC Card A humorous gentleman who first says he's from the police, and then shows you his card which shows he's an employee of the CIA. A reader suggests this VETLA (very extended three letter acronym) stands for People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms.

PENTIUM Produces Erroneous Numbers Through Incorrect Understanding of Mathematics (contributed by a reader).

Q Line of people waiting for Compaq Wildfire servers to launch.

Q PR Firm that does the spin paramedicking for Q (qv)

QPR English football Team sponsored by Compaq until a few years back. Not to be confused with Q PR (qv)

PR Press relations, which often happens when groups of young journalists get drunk together on a press trip.

RAMBUS You wait ages for one arrive, and then three of them arrive at once, all of them going to Caminogate, which is the wrong destination.

RIMM The edge of the glass that holds your DRAM (qv)

RISC A reader suggests Reject Important Stuff into compiler. Needs to be contrasted with CISC (qv).

RTFM Read The F**King Manual. What Tech support really thinks of you.

SAN Storage device that holds your lawnmower (see MITEL).

SCO First three letters of English word Scottish. Pronounced ess-see-oh, otherwise you're fined $15.

SCSI System Can't See It (contributed by a reader) but not to be confused with SCSI-2 - system can't see it again.

SDRAM Smaller drink of whisky than a DRAM (qv).

SIMD, Screaming Instruction set that can't stop making a noise because of the additional multimedia instructions.

SKU Stock keeping unit. A component you can never get hold of when you need it.

SO-DIMM Much thicker than a DIMM, and takes far longer to understand the acronym because of the extra two letters and a hyphen.

TIFF A file image that never stops arguing with you.

TLA Three Letter Acronym. Intel is especially fond of abbreviating things and uses TLAs whenever possible. Examples are ROI (Return on Investment), CLM (Career Limiting Move) (qv), ICP (Intel Celeron Processor) and P3P (Pentium III Processor). Sometimes Intel insiders get carried away and start using FLAs, such as RTFM, as well.

TPLA Three plus letter acronym. See MITEL.

UNIX Make of wood found in France.

UPS Courier company which keeps your PC system going if you suffer a brownout.

USB A slow protocol that at least has the advantage of being a three letter acronym rather than a number, such as 1394.

VAR Value added reseller. A dealer who charges more than other dealers for the same thing.

WAN Country whose capital is LAN (qv).

WAV The hand movements of Her Majesty the Queen, translated into sound.

Puzzled by acronyms or have any of your own that might be helpful? Now send them here to contribute more. (We're grateful for the contributions, many of which we've added). ®

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