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The New Hacker's Dictionary

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arguments in 69 bletcherous ways. It must have been written by a real Unix weenie." 2. A derogatory term for anyone who engages in uncritical praise of Unix. Often appearing in the context "stupid Unix weenie". See [13896]Weenix, [13897]Unix conspiracy. See also [13898]weenie.


Node:unixism, Next:[13899]unswizzle, Previous:[13900]Unix weenie, Up:[13901]= U =

unixism n.

A piece of code or a coding technique that depends on the protected multi-tasking environment with relatively low process-spawn overhead that exists on virtual-memory Unix systems. Common [13902]unixisms include: gratuitous use of fork(2); the assumption that certain undocumented but well-known features of Unix libraries such as stdio(3) are supported elsewhere; reliance on [13903]obscure side-effects of system calls (use of sleep(2) with a 0 argument to clue the scheduler that you're willing to give up your time-slice, for example); the assumption that freshly allocated memory is zeroed; and the assumption that fragmentation problems won't arise from never free()ing memory. Compare [13904]vaxocentrism; see also [13905]New Jersey.


Node:unswizzle, Next:[13906]unwind the stack, Previous:[13907]unixism, Up:[13908]= U =

unswizzle v.

See [13909]swizzle.



Node:unwind the stack, Next:[13910]unwind-protect,

Previous:[13911]unswizzle, Up:[13912]= U =

unwind the stack vi.

1. [techspeak] During the execution of a procedural language, one is said to `unwind the stack' from a called procedure up to a caller when one discards the stack frame and any number of frames above it, popping back up to the level of the given caller. In C this is done with longjmp/setjmp, in LISP or C++ with throw/catch. See also [13913]smash the stack. 2. People can unwind the stack as well, by quickly dealing with a bunch of problems: "Oh heck, let's do lunch. Just a second while I unwind my stack."


Node:unwind-protect, Next:[13914]up, Previous:[13915]unwind the stack, Up:[13916]= U =

unwind-protect n.

[MIT: from the name of a LISP operator] A task you must remember to perform before you leave a place or finish a project. "I have an unwind-protect to call my advisor."


Node:up, Next:[13917]upload, Previous:[13918]unwind-protect,

Up:[13919]= U =

up adj.

1. Working, in order. "The down escalator is up." Oppose [13920]down. 2. `bring up': vt. To create a working version and start it. "They brought up a down system." 3. `come up' vi. To become ready for production use.



Node:upload, Next:[13921]upthread, Previous:[13922]up, Up:[13923]= U


upload /uhp'lohd/ v.

1. [techspeak] To transfer programs or data over a digital communications link from a system near you (espercially a smaller or peripheral `client' system) to one further away from you (especially a larger or central `host' system). A transfer in the other direction is, of course, called a [13924]download 2. [speculatively] To move the essential patterns and algorithms that make up one's mind from one's brain into a computer. Those who are convinced that such patterns and algorithms capture the complete essence of the self view this prospect with pleasant anticipation.


Node:upthread, Next:[13925]urchin, Previous:[13926]upload, Up:[13927]=

U =

upthread adv.

Earlier in the discussion (see [13928]thread), i.e., `above'. "As Joe pointed out upthread, ..." See also [13929]followup.


Node:urchin, Next:[13930]URL, Previous:[13931]upthread, Up:[13932]=

U =

urchin n.

See [13933]munchkin.



Node:URL, Next:[13934]Usenet, Previous:[13935]urchin, Up:[13936]= U


URL /U-R-L/ or /erl/ n.

Uniform Resource Locator, an address widget that identifies a document or resource on the World Wide Web. This entry is here primarily to record the fact that the term is commonly pronounced both /erl/, and /U-R-L/ (the latter predominates in more formal contexts).


Node:Usenet, Next:[13937]Usenet Death Penalty, Previous:[13938]URL,

Up:[13939]= U =

Usenet /yoos'net/ or /yooz'net/ n.

[from `Users' Network'; the original spelling was USENET, but the mixed-case form is now widely preferred] A distributed [13940]bboard (bulletin board) system supported mainly by Unix machines. Originally implemented in 1979-1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University, it has swiftly grown to become international in scope and is now probably the largest decentralized information utility in existence. As of early 1996, it hosts over 10,000 [13941]newsgroups and an average of over 500 megabytes (the equivalent of several thousand paper pages) of new technical articles, news, discussion, chatter, and [13942]flamage every day (and that leaves out the graphics...).

By the year the Internet hit the mainstream (1994) the original UUCP transport for Usenet was fading out of use (see [13943]UUCPNET) - almost all Usenet connections were over Internet links. A lot of newbies and journalists began to refer to "Internet newsgroups" as though Usenet was and always had been just another Internet service. This ignorance greatly annoys experienced Usenetters.



Node:Usenet Death Penalty, Next:[13944]user, Previous:[13945]Usenet,

Up:[13946]= U =

Usenet Death Penalty

[Usenet] A sanction against sites that habitually spew Usenet [13947]spam. This can be either passive or active. A passive UDP refers to the dropping of all postings by a particular domain so as to inhibit propagation. An active UDP refers to third-party cancellation of all postings by the UDPed domain. A partial UDP is one which applies only to certain newsgroups or hierarchies in Usenet. Compare [13948]Internet Death Penalty, with which this term is sometimes confused.


Node:user, Next:[13949]user-friendly, Previous:[13950]Usenet Death

Penalty, Up:[13951]= U =

user n.

1. Someone doing `real work' with the computer, using it as a means rather than an end. Someone who pays to use a computer. See [13952]real user. 2. A programmer who will believe anything you tell him. One who asks silly questions. [GLS observes: This is slightly unfair. It is true that users ask questions (of necessity). Sometimes they are thoughtful or deep. Very often they are annoying or downright stupid, apparently because the user failed to think for two seconds or look in the documentation before bothering the maintainer.] See [13953]luser. 3. Someone who uses a program from the outside, however skillfully, without getting into the internals of the program. One who reports bugs instead of just going ahead and fixing them.

The general theory behind this term is that there are two classes of people who work with a program: there are implementors (hackers) and


[13954]lusers. The users are looked down on by hackers to some extent because they don't understand the full ramifications of the system in all its glory. (The few users who do are known as `real winners'.) The term is a relative one: a skilled hacker may be a user with respect to some program he himself does not hack. A LISP hacker might be one who maintains LISP or one who uses LISP (but with the skill of a hacker). A LISP user is one who uses LISP, whether skillfully or not. Thus there is some overlap between the two terms; the subtle distinctions must be resolved by context.


Node:user-friendly, Next:[13955]user-obsequious, Previous:[13956]user,

Up:[13957]= U =

user-friendly adj.

Programmer-hostile. Generally used by hackers in a critical tone, to describe systems that hold the user's hand so obsessively that they make it painful for the more experienced and knowledgeable to get any work done. See [13958]menuitis, [13959]drool-proof paper, [13960]Macintrash, [13961]user-obsequious.


Node:user-obsequious, Next:[13962]userland,

Previous:[13963]user-friendly, Up:[13964]= U =

user-obsequious adj.

Emphatic form of [13965]user-friendly. Connotes a system so verbose, inflexible, and determinedly simple-minded that it is nearly unusable. "Design a system any fool can use and only a fool will want to use it." See [13966]WIMP environment, [13967]Macintrash.



Node:userland, Next:[13968]USG Unix, Previous:[13969]user-obsequious,

Up:[13970]= U =

userland n.

Anywhere outside the kernel. "That code belongs in userland." This term has been in common use among [13971]Linux kernel hackers since at leat 1997, and seems to have originated in that community.


Node:USG Unix, Next:[13972]UTSL, Previous:[13973]userland,

Up:[13974]= U =

USG Unix /U-S-G yoo'niks/ n.,obs.

Refers to AT&T Unix commercial versions after [13975]Version 7, especially System III and System V releases 1, 2, and 3. So called because during most of the lifespan of those versions AT&T's support crew was called the `Unix Support Group', but it is applied to version that preand post-dated the USG group but were of the same lineage. This term is now historical. See [13976]BSD, [13977]Unix.


Node:UTSL, Next:[13978]UUCPNET, Previous:[13979]USG Unix,

Up:[13980]= U =

UTSL // n.

[Unix] On-line acronym for `Use the Source, Luke' (a pun on Obi-Wan Kenobi's "Use the Force, Luke!" in "Star Wars") -- analogous to [13981]RTFS (sense 1), but more polite. This is a common way of suggesting that someone would be better off reading the source code that supports whatever feature is causing confusion, rather than making yet another futile pass through the manuals, or broadcasting questions on


Usenet that haven't attracted [13982]wizards to answer them.

Once upon a time in [13983]elder days, everyone running Unix had source. After 1978, AT&T's policy tightened up, so this objurgation was in theory appropriately directed only at associates of some outfit with a Unix source license. In practice, bootlegs of Unix source code (made precisely for reference purposes) were so ubiquitous that one could utter it at almost anyone on the network without concern.

Nowadays, free Unix clones have become widely enough distributed that anyone can read source legally. The most widely distributed is certainly Linux, with variants of the NET/2 and 4.4BSD distributions running second. Cheap commercial Unixes with source such as BSD/OS are accelerating this trend.


Node:UUCPNET, Next:[13984]V7, Previous:[13985]UTSL, Up:[13986]=

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UUCPNET n. obs.

The store-and-forward network consisting of all the world's connected Unix machines (and others running some clone of the UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) software). Any machine reachable only via a [13987]bang path is on UUCPNET. This term has been rendered obsolescent by the spread of cheap Internet connections in the 1990s; the few remaining UUCP links are essentially slow channels to the Internet rather than an autonomous network. See [13988]network address.


Node:= V =, Next:[13989]= W =, Previous:[13990]= U =, Up:[13991]The Jargon Lexicon

= V =





*[13995]vanity domain:














*[14009]ventilator card:


*[14010]Venus flytrap:



*[14013]Version 7:



*[14016]video toaster:




*[14020]virtual beer:

*[14021]virtual Friday:

*[14022]virtual reality:

*[14023]virtual shredder:





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