Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

  • Archives

  • Pages

  • Subscribe

  • Meta

Posts Tagged ‘computers’


Posted by Admin on August 31, 2010

The digirati are the elite of the computer industry and online communities, and are perceived as being extremely knowledgeable about computers. The word digirati refers to the movers and shakers within the industry and is synonymous with such words as “technorati” and “geekerati.”

Digirati was used in an article written by John Markoff for the New York Times in an article entitled “Pools of Memory, Waves of Dispute” published on January 29, 1992:

Igniting the Kendall Square controversy was an article by the economist George Gilder, published this month in a narrowly circulated but closely read Silicon Valley magazine called Upside. Mr. Gilder, perhaps best known as the supply-sider whose book “Wealth and Poverty” provided the intellectual underpinnings of the so-called Reagan revolution, has no experience in computer design. But he has written widely on the subject in recent years and his opinions, though often controversial, are taken seriously among the computer digerati.

Some of the digirati include: W. Daniel Hillis, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Thinking Machines Corporation; Stewart McBride, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of United Digital Artists; Kip Parent, Founder of Pantheon Interactive; and Lew Tucker, Director of JavaSoft’s Corporate and ISV Relations for Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century, Idioms from the 21st Century | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hand In The Cookie Jar

Posted by Admin on July 28, 2010

The phrase “hand in the cookie jar” refers to being observed or apprehended for a theft of money or other valuable items from the rightful owner who is unaware of the fact that he or she is the victim of theft.

Although there is no exact date for when people began to keep money and valuables in cookie jars, the phrase became popular in America during World War II.

The term “cookie jar accounting” was coined in the late 90s in America and pertains to a certain business practice of storing up profits from good years to create a reserve which can be used to increase profits in bad years.

As technology continues to advance, the cookie jar on a computer is an area of memory set aside for storing digital cookies.  Programs can detect specific information by searching the contents of the jar.  If this is done without the consent of the owner of the computer by unauthorized individuals or businesses and it is traced back to the individual or the business, the individual or business has been caught with his/her/their “hand in the cookie jar.”

This sort of illegal behaviour may lead to serious criminal charges or it could lead to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Garbage In, Garbage Out (or GIGO)

Posted by Admin on March 25, 2010

This term is from old-school computer days.  In 1964,  the term was shortened to GIGO.  Both the term and the acronym refer to the fact that a computer will process any input data regardless of whether it makes sense and what results is gibberish for output.  A well written compute program will reject input data that is obviously incorrect however such programs require considerably more effort to create.

The term and the acronym is the response most IT people will use when a non-IT person complains that a program didn’t perform as anticipated despite the fact that incorrect information was inputted.  Over the past few years, the term and acronym have also been used to describe misfires in human decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information.

Posted in Idioms from the 20th Century | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »