1
vote
1answer
79 views

Word/phrase origin of “StackExchange” [duplicate]

Because of the success of StackExchange.com I am having difficulty researching the term on the Internet. Where does it come from? I know the phrase comes out of computer programming, but my ...
4
votes
4answers
181 views

What is the etymology of “[computer] terminal”?

I suspect it's something to do with the fact that back in the Olden Days of computing, a terminal was connected to a mainframe computer system, and thus a user would be sat at the terminal end of the ...
5
votes
1answer
101 views

Provenance of 'deprecated' (in the programming sense)

What are some early uses of "deprecation" in computer science? When did the word enter common usage in the field of programming? Are there any particularly well-known examples of early deprecations ...
9
votes
1answer
565 views

When did “Easter egg” begin to mean “hidden feature”?

Can anybody trace the origins of 'Easter egg' for this meaning?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Etymology of “ping”

According to Wikipedia ping, the IP network utility, was named after the sonar "ping", which is apparently onomatopoeic. However, "ping" is now used in the vernacular in the sense of "pinging" ...
32
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is a “splash screen” so called?

Wikipedia describes a "splash screen" as such... "A splash screen is an image that appears while a game or program is loading." and its purpose... [Splash screens] are typically used by ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Etymology of “modal dialogs” in computerese

When programming you may deal with so-called modal dialogs — these are windows where you are supposed to provide information before you are allowed to proceed any further. A modal dialog blocks or ...
6
votes
3answers
269 views

Origin and scope of “cruft”

I just had to look up "cruft" (jargon for software or hardware that is of poor quality), as used in a comment to an earlier question. But I can't find any details of etymology, and I don't know how ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What does the word “hacking” or “hacker” come from? [closed]

Is there a history behind the word "hacker" and "hacking"? Could it have anything to do with "hashing" i.e. using a hash function?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin of the term “wizard” in computing

In computer user interfaces a "wizard" is a set of screens that guide the user through a process. Does anyone know the origin of this term? I personally associate wizards with magic more than a ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

call vs invoke - informatics context

Particularly in computer science and informatics, when should one use them? Is call the preferred form? For instance, call function invoke method Googling for "call operation" returns +300 000 ...
23
votes
3answers
9k views

Origin of the term “driver” in computer science

According to Wikipedia: … a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device. What is the origin of the term ...
5
votes
1answer
141 views

The origin of binary “image”? [closed]

I'm curious why a chunk of binary data is called image? Like disk image, boot image, Linux image, flash image, etc. In my brain, image is something two-dimensional, but binary data is a ...
5
votes
1answer
309 views

Who first used the term “bit rot”?

Wikipedia says: Bit rot, also known as bit decay, data rot, or data decay, is a colloquial computing term used to describe either a gradual decay of storage media or the degradation of a software ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the origin of “beta” to describe a “user-testing” phase of computer development?

It occurred to me that I use the term "beta" to describe a "release candidate" of a computer product that has passed all expectations of the development team, and is now being given limited exposure ...
43
votes
3answers
2k views

How “macro” in computer programming came about

The prefix macro- is normally used for large things like macroeconomics and macroscopic. How did it come to be used to describe text macros in the programming world?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the origin of != in the meaning “not equal to”?

As a programmer I have always assumed that using != as meaning not equal to when writing text (usually on the internet) came from programming languages. Is this true or is the origin different?
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Why “motherboard” is used to refer to main board of computer

Why is motherboard used to refer to the main board of a computer? What is the relationship with the word mother here?