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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


Software industry inspires cartoonists & vice versa

Nikhil recently posted a Dilbert comic strip on 'featuritis'. He wished the comic strips were available with full text search, something I would love as well. It would be cool if search engines had a feature to return cartoon strip images matching keywords in them.

It is interesting how the software industry has inspired cartoonists and vice versa. Here is a list of Dilbertisms related to computers & Internet -
  • Keyboard Plaque - The disgusting build-up of dirt and crud found on computer keyboards.
  • Mouse Potato - A couch potato with broadband.
  • Three-fingered Salute - The Ctrl+Alt+Delete combination required to reboot old versions of DOS, bring Windows 95 back to the real world, and log on in Windows NT/2000/XP.
  • Chips and Salsa - Chips = hardware, Salsa = software, as in 'Well, first we gotta figure out if the problem's in your chips or your salsa'.
  • Screenager - An online teen (18-24) that grew up in front of a TV or computer screen.
  • PEBKAC - Fault code used by helplines and call centres. Stands for 'Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair' - ie, a meatware issue.
  • Percussive Maintenance - Beating an electronic device with a stick in an attempt to get it to work again.
  • Uninstalled - Euphemism for being sacked. Heard on the voice-mail of a vice president at a downsizing computer firm, eg: 'You have reached the number of an Uninstalled Vice President. Please dial our main number and ask the operator for assistance' (also quoted as 'de-installed') (Synonym = decruitment).
  • 404 - Clueless. From the HTTP error code 404 (page not found).
  • Alpha Geek - The most knowledgeable, technically proficient person in an office or work group.
  • BSOD - Known by Microsoft as a 'stop error' and by everybody else in the world as the 'Blue Screen Of Death', this is Windows' number one way of spoiling your day.
Keeping up with the times, the Dilbert site has a Mashups feature that lets registered users replace Scott's punchline with their own. The text is filtered for obscenities and converted into &@*$#!s. Not just that it even let's other user's rank, comment on user submitted ideas and flag offensive content.

"I’m surrendering myself to the realities of the Internet," Scott Adams is reported to have said. "People can already doctor strips. We’re just making it easier so people have more reason to visit the site."

Randall Munroe creator of XKCD on the other hand doesn't use submitted comic ideas.

Also see:
Al Jaffee's MAD mag Fold-Ins in Flash

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