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The New Hacker's Dictionary

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411

*[4842]fortune cookie:

*[4843]forum:

*[4844]fossil:

*[4845]four-color glossies:

*[4846]frag:

*[4847]fragile:

*[4848]fred:

*[4849]Fred Foobar:

*[4850]frednet:

*[4851]free software:

*[4852]freeware:

*[4853]freeze:

*[4854]fried:

*[4855]frink:

*[4856]friode:

*[4857]fritterware:

*[4858]frob:

*[4859]frobnicate:

412

*[4860]frobnitz:

*[4861]frog:

*[4862]frogging:

*[4863]front end:

*[4864]frotz:

*[4865]frotzed:

*[4866]frowney:

*[4867]FRS:

*[4868]fry:

*[4869]fscking:

*[4870]FSF:

*[4871]FTP:

*[4872]-fu:

*[4873]FUBAR:

*[4874]fuck me harder:

*[4875]FUD:

*[4876]FUD wars:

*[4877]fudge:

413

*[4878]fudge factor:

*[4879]fuel up:

*[4880]Full Monty:

*[4881]fum:

*[4882]functino:

*[4883]funky:

*[4884]funny money:

*[4885]furrfu:

*[4886]fuzzball:

---

Node:face time, Next:[4887]factor, Previous:[4888]eyeball search, Up:[4889]= F =

face time n.

[common] Time spent interacting with somebody face-to-face (as opposed to via electronic links). "Oh, yeah, I spent some face time with him at the last Usenix."

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Node:factor, Next:[4890]fairings, Previous:[4891]face time, Up:[4892]= F

=

factor n.

414

See [4893]coefficient of X.

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Node:fairings, Next:[4894]fall over, Previous:[4895]factor, Up:[4896]= F =

fairings n. /fer'ingz/

[FreeBSD; orig. a typo for `fairness'] A term thrown out in discussion whenever a completely and transparently nonsensical argument in one's favor(?) seems called for, e,g. at the end of a really long thread for which the outcome is no longer even cared about since everyone is now so sick of it; or in rebuttal to another nonsensical argument ("Change the loader to look for /kernel.pl? What about fairings?")

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Node:fall over, Next:[4897]fall through, Previous:[4898]fairings, Up:[4899]= F =

fall over vi.

[IBM] Yet another synonym for [4900]crash or [4901]lose. `Fall over hard' equates to [4902]crash and burn.

---

Node:fall through, Next:[4903]fan, Previous:[4904]fall over, Up:[4905]= F

=

fall through v.

(n. `fallthrough', var. `fall-through') 1. To exit a loop by exhaustion, i.e., by having fulfilled its exit condition rather than via a break or exception condition that exits from the middle of it. This usage appears to be really old, dating from the 1940s and 1950s. 2. To fail a test that would have

415

passed control to a subroutine or some other distant portion of code. 3. In C, `fall-through' occurs when the flow of execution in a switch statement reaches a case label other than by jumping there from the switch header, passing a point where one would normally expect to find a break. A trivial example: switch (color) { case GREEN: do---green(); break; case PINK: do---pink(); /* FALL THROUGH */ case RED: do---red(); break; default: do---blue(); break; }

The variant spelling /* FALL THRU */ is also common.

The effect of the above code is to do---green() when color is GREEN, do---red() when color is RED, do---blue() on any other color other than PINK, and (and this is the important part) do---pink() and then do---red() when color is PINK. Fall-through is [4906]considered harmful by some, though there are contexts (such as the coding of state machines) in which it is natural; it is generally considered good practice to include a comment highlighting the fall-through where one would normally expect a break. See also [4907]Duff's device.

---

Node:fan, Next:[4908]fandango on core, Previous:[4909]fall through, Up:[4910]= F =

fan n.

Without qualification, indicates a fan of science fiction, especially one who goes to [4911]cons and tends to hang out with other fans. Many hackers are fans, so this term has been imported from fannish slang; however, unlike much fannish slang it is recognized by most non-fannish hackers. Among SF fans the plural is correctly `fen', but this usage is not automatic to hackers. "Laura reads the stuff occasionally but isn't really a fan."

---

416

Node:fandango on core, Next:[4912]FAQ, Previous:[4913]fan, Up:[4914]= F =

fandango on core n.

[Unix/C hackers, from the Iberian dance] In C, a wild pointer that runs out of bounds, causing a [4915]core dump, or corrupts the malloc(3) [4916]arena in such a way as to cause mysterious failures later on, is sometimes said to have `done a fandango on core'. On low-end personal machines without an MMU (or Windows boxes, which have an MMU but use it incompetently), this can corrupt the OS itself, causing massive lossage. Other frenetic dances such as the cha-cha or the watusi, may be substituted. See [4917]aliasing bug, [4918]precedence lossage, [4919]smash the stack, [4920]memory leak, [4921]memory smash, [4922]overrun screw, [4923]core.

---

Node:FAQ, Next:[4924]FAQ list, Previous:[4925]fandango on core, Up:[4926]= F =

FAQ /F-A-Q/ or /fak/ n.

[Usenet] 1. A Frequently Asked Question. 2. A compendium of accumulated lore, posted periodically to high-volume newsgroups in an attempt to forestall such questions. Some people prefer the term `FAQ list' or `FAQL' /fa'kl/, reserving `FAQ' for sense 1.

This lexicon itself serves as a good example of a collection of one kind of lore, although it is far too big for a regular FAQ posting. Examples: "What is the proper type of NULL?" and "What's that funny name for the # character?" are both Frequently Asked Questions. Several FAQs refer readers to this file.

---

417

Node:FAQ list, Next:[4927]FAQL, Previous:[4928]FAQ, Up:[4929]= F =

FAQ list /F-A-Q list/ or /fak list/ n.

[common; Usenet] Syn [4930]FAQ, sense 2.

---

Node:FAQL, Next:[4931]faradize, Previous:[4932]FAQ list, Up:[4933]= F

=

FAQL /fa'kl/ n.

Syn. [4934]FAQ list.

---

Node:faradize, Next:[4935]farkled, Previous:[4936]FAQL, Up:[4937]= F =

faradize /far'*-di:z/ v.

[US Geological Survey] To start any hyper-addictive process or trend, or to continue adding current to such a trend. Telling one user about a new octo-tetris game you compiled would be a faradizing act -- in two weeks you might find your entire department playing the faradic game.

---

Node:farkled, Next:[4938]farming, Previous:[4939]faradize, Up:[4940]= F

=

farkled /far'kld/ adj.

[DeVry Institute of Technology, Atlanta] Syn. [4941]hosed. Poss. owes something to Yiddish `farblondjet' and/or the `Farkle Family' skits on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In", a popular comedy show of the late 1960s.

418

---

Node:farming, Next:[4942]fascist, Previous:[4943]farkled, Up:[4944]= F =

farming n.

[Adelaide University, Australia] What the heads of a disk drive are said to do when they plow little furrows in the magnetic media. Associated with a [4945]crash. Typically used as follows: "Oh no, the machine has just crashed; I hope the hard drive hasn't gone [4946]farming again." No longer common; modern drives automatically park their heads in a safe zone on power-down, so it takes a real mechanical problem to induce this.

---

Node:fascist, Next:[4947]fat electrons, Previous:[4948]farming, Up:[4949]= F =

fascist adj.

1. [common] Said of a computer system with excessive or annoying security barriers, usage limits, or access policies. The implication is that said policies are preventing hackers from getting interesting work done. The variant `fascistic' seems to have been preferred at MIT, poss. by analogy with `touristic' (see [4950]tourist or under the influence of German/Yiddish `faschistisch'). 2. In the design of languages and other software tools, `the fascist alternative' is the most restrictive and structured way of capturing a particular function; the implication is that this may be desirable in order to simplify the implementation or provide tighter error checking. Compare [4951]bondage-and-discipline language, although that term is global rather than local.

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Node:fat electrons, Next:[4952]fat-finger, Previous:[4953]fascist, Up:[4954]= F =

419

fat electrons n.

Old-time hacker David Cargill's theory on the causation of computer glitches. Your typical electric utility draws its line current out of the big generators with a pair of coil taps located near the top of the dynamo. When the normal tap brushes get dirty, they take them off line to clean them up, and use special auxiliary taps on the bottom of the coil. Now, this is a problem, because when they do that they get not ordinary or `thin' electrons, but the fat'n'sloppy electrons that are heavier and so settle to the bottom of the generator. These flow down ordinary wires just fine, but when they have to turn a sharp corner (as in an integrated-circuit via), they're apt to get stuck. This is what causes computer glitches. [Fascinating. Obviously, fat electrons must gain mass by [4955]bogon absorption --ESR] Compare [4956]bogon, [4957]magic smoke.

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Node:fat-finger, Next:[4958]faulty, Previous:[4959]fat electrons, Up:[4960]= F =

fat-finger vt.

1. To introduce a typo while editing in such a way that the resulting manglification of a configuration file does something useless, damaging, or wildly unexpected. "NSI fat-fingered their DNS zone file and took half the net down again." 2. More generally, any typo that produces dramatically bad results.

---

Node:faulty, Next:[4961]fd leak, Previous:[4962]fat-finger, Up:[4963]= F

=

faulty adj.

420

Non-functional; buggy. Same denotation as [4964]bletcherous, [4965]losing, q.v., but the connotation is much milder.

---

Node:fd leak, Next:[4966]fear and loathing, Previous:[4967]faulty, Up:[4968]= F =

fd leak /F-D leek/ n.

A kind of programming bug analogous to a [4969]core leak, in which a program fails to close file descriptors (`fd's) after file operations are completed, and thus eventually runs out of them. See [4970]leak.

---

Node:fear and loathing, Next:[4971]feature, Previous:[4972]fd leak, Up:[4973]= F =

fear and loathing n.

[from Hunter S. Thompson] A state inspired by the prospect of dealing with certain real-world systems and standards that are totally [4974]brain-damaged but ubiquitous -- Intel 8086s, or [4975]COBOL, or [4976]EBCDIC, or any [4977]IBM machine bigger than a workstation. "Ack! They want PCs to be able to talk to the AI machine. Fear and loathing time!"

---

Node:feature, Next:[4978]feature creature, Previous:[4979]fear and loathing, Up:[4980]= F =

feature n.

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