adj. 1. Unpredictable (closest to mathematical definition); weird. "The system's been behaving pretty randomly."
2. Assorted; undistinguished. "Who was at the conference?" "Just a bunch of random business types."
3. Frivolous; unproductive; undirected (pejorative). "He's just a random loser."
4. Incoherent or inelegant; not well organized. "The program has a random set of misfeatures." "That's a random name for that function." "Well, all the names were chosen pretty randomly."
5. Gratuitously wrong, i.e., poorly done and for no good apparent reason. For example, a program that handles file name defaulting in a particularly useless way, or a routine that could easily have been coded using only three ac's, but randomly uses seven for assorted non-overlapping purposes, so that no one else can invoke it without first saving four extra ac's.
6. In no particular order, though deterministic. "The I/O channels are in a pool, and when a file is opened one is chosen randomly."
n. 7. A random hacker; used particularly of high school students who soak up computer time and generally get in the way.
8. (occasional MIT usage) One who lives at Random Hall. J. RANDOM is often prefixed to a noun to make a "name" out of it (by comparison to common names such as "J. Fred Muggs"). The most common uses are "J. Random Loser" and "J. Random Nurd" ("Should J. Random Loser be allowed to gun down other people?"), but it
can be used just as an elaborate version of RANDOM in any sense. [See also the note at the end of the entry for HACK.]
n. An unexplainable misfeature; gratuitous inelegance. Also, a hack or crock which depends on a complex combination of coincidences (or rather, the combination upon which the crock depends). "This hack can output characters 40-57 by putting the character in the accumulator field of an XCT and then extracting 6 bits -- the low two bits of the XCT opcode are the right thing." "What randomness!"
v. To (metaphorically) screw someone or something, violently. Usage: often used in describing file-system damage. "So-and-so was running a program that did absolute disk I/O and ended up raping the master directory."
v. 1. To persist in discussing a specific subject.
2. To speak authoritatively on a subject about which one knows very little.
3. To complain to a person who is not in a position to correct the difficulty.
4. To purposely annoy another person verbally.
5. To evangelize. See FLAME. Also used to describe a less negative form of blather, such as friendly bullshitting.
n. 1. A commercial user. One who is paying "real" money for his computer usage.
2. A non-hacker. Someone using the system for an explicit purpose (research project, course, etc.). See USER.
REAL WORLD, THE
n. 1. In programming, those institutions at which programming may be used in the same sentence as FORTRAN, COBOL, RPG, IBM, etc.
2. To programmers, the location of non-programmers and activities not related to programming.
3. A universe in which the standard dress is shirt and tie and in which a person's working hours are defined as 9 to 5.
4. The location of the status quo.
5. Anywhere outside a university. "Poor fellow, he's left MIT and gone into the real world." Used pejoratively by those not in residence there. In conversation, talking of someone who has entered the real world is not unlike talking about a deceased person.
n. See RECURSION, TAIL RECURSION
RIGHT THING, THE
n. That which is "obviously" the correct or appropriate thing to use, do, say, etc. Use of this term often implies that in fact reasonable people may disagree. "Never let your conscience keep you from doing the right thing!" "What's the right thing for LISP to do when it reads '(.)'?"
adj. 1. (of a program) Badly written.
2. Functionally poor, e.g. a program which is very difficult to use because of gratuitously poor (random?) design decisions. See CUSPY.