It’s mid December which means two things: (1) you are on a mad scramble to pick up last minute holiday gifts and (2) you have a whole suite of company, friends, and family holiday parties to attend.
Well, good news! We are here to help you prepare for both.
First, in the gift department, give a gift that lasts forever: the gift of education! Check out the Skillcrush Holiday Gift Bundle and give your friend or family member a fresh career start in the New Year.
Second, for those holiday parties, what you need are some fun anecdotes and silly facts in your arsenal for when that awkward pause starts to draaaaaag out.
10 of the best techy cocktail party facts
Do you say GIF with a soft g, as in gin, or GIF with a hard g, as in graphic? Both are right according to the OED. That said, Compuserve, the original creator of the GIF, called it GIF like JIFF peanut butter because “Choosy developers choose GIF.”
It isn’t called “MySQL” because it’s yours – it’s actually named after the daughter of the main developer, My, which is a common Finnish nickname!
We can cover most of the alphabet with programming languages: A, B, D, E, F, G, J, K, L, M, Q, R, S, and T are your basics, and then you can throw in P#, J#, F# .NET, X++, C–, A++ and a plenty more!
Want more funny sounding tech-y slang? Allow me to introduce you to grok’s cousin, glark. Glark means to be able to figure out the meaning of something, particularly based on it’s context. Glark, you might say, is techie for discern.
For example, you might find yourself saying something like:
“I was able to glark the meaning of grok, given the way that Skillcrush was using it.”
Learn more from The Jargon File.
Up until the mid-1980’s, computer programs were written on cards with holes punched in them (punch cards). If we still used them today, a single iPhone picture would take up over 9,000 punch cards!
“Domain hacks” aren’t about that kind of hacking, instead they’re some clever tricks you can use when picking a domain name.
For example, the domain .us is the country-based TLD for the United States, and could be used for normal domains like example.us or nike.us. If you wanted to be clever, though, you register a domain like delicio.us and suddenly you’ve got a great-named site! delicio.us beats out delicious.com any day in the fun-sounding department.
While referring to problems as ‘bugs’ dates back to Thomas Edison in the 1870′s, the term was popularized in the 40′s. Legend has it that one of the early computers, the Mark II, was acting up, and the cause was a moth that had worked its way into a relay!
Now when you run into someone wearing a “There’s no place like 127.0.0.1” t-shirt, you’ll know that its not gibberish, its a Wizard of Oz joke! Most IP addresses are used to talk to far away computers, but 127.0.0.1 is the standard IP address for your computer to talk to itself, which some of us might just call home.
While the first telephone call will live on forever – Alexander Graham Bell’s “Mr. Watson, come here I want you.” – email’s birth is not nearly so memorable. The first email was a test sent by Ray Tomlinson, who says it was something like “QWERTYUIOP”. Not one for the history books!
Little pieces of data have been called cookies since way before Lou Montulli thought to try using them in the Netscape browser (read about the history of cookies). Stories of how the name originated vary, but the most popular explanation is that it was inspired by the Sesame Street Cookie Monster and that it began as a joke between some silly software developers who rigged their co-workers computer to re-direct to a screen that demanded a cookie and would not relent until the poor guy typed in “Oreo.”
Further evidence that most web jargon started as part of some joke, but eventually became internet lingua franca!