Every geek I know hates buzzwords. Their main purpose seems to be that of misleading people. Here I'm trying to explain some less commonly considered buzzwords.

Bandwidth (when referring to digital data transfer capacity)

Bandwidth is a general concept in physics and engineering, with multiple uses outside digital communications. More on E2 and this Slashdot post.


Well covered already, along with other related terms. My web diary is definitely not a blog, it's just another escribitionist site.

Digital music (when referring to downloads)

Because a CD obviously carries analogue music.

Dual Core processors

Because, when you put two CPUs on a single die of silicon, it magically becomes one "CPU" with two "cores".

Well, "dual core" is a nice and compact way of stating the idea, particularly as it doesn't clash with any other meaning. That said, what kind of a person names a dual core chip "Core Duo"? Someone from Microsoft?-) Then again, better let marketing name a nice product in a silly way (I did buy a Core Duo after all), than let them design a CPU, like what happened with Pentium 4.


When I was a wee lad, we called it "playing a game". And we liked it! Then some of us grew up and stopped playing.

On the other hand, the computer in War Games asked "Would you like to play a game?". It was a dead serious matter, yet it triggered a child-like twinkle in every geek's eye.

To me, "gaming" means a commercially packaged piece of consumable entertainment, with a faint glimmer of the real playfulness you can find everywhere in your daily life. It signifies the duality of a boring, working life vs. a dream world one can escape into now and then. The alternative is that you can approach everything playfully. Treat your entire life as a game. Make your life into a play.

When somebody says they are a gamer, they are defining themselves by the pre-packaged products they like to consume. Of course, we all consume some things and we have our preferences. But is that how you want to present yourself? Look at me, I'm an eater of food!

Physical (when referring to permanent, mechanical storage)

What are electrons, photons and magnetic fields, if not physical entities? Mere figments of your imagination?


As used with computers, this does have some legitimate uses, but it is often superfluous and even misleading.

When I think of defining this word outside IT, I think of supporting a sports team. If you support a team, you're a fan. You're biased to act in favour of the team, to help them out. On the other hand, you're not solely responsible for their success. A bunch of fans cannot save a team that's inherently incompetent, but they can help a good team perform a little better.

In the same way, support in IT does not guarantee full success. More importantly IMHO, lack of support does not mean that something doesn't work. There's lots of hardware that doesn't support Linux, but Linux nevertheless runs on it, often better than the officially supported operating systems.

When it comes to computers, I'm interested in whether they work, not whether they have fans.

Therefore, by the useful kind of support I understand something like customer service. Support means I can complain if I have problems, and I get help; it's like a warranty. If there's no support, I'll just try and solve it myself, or with the help of others.

Risto A. Paju