Geek Lingo

by Joy Arrieta

[Tired of getting on the Net day after day, encountering hifalutin' Net words and not understanding just what they mean? Every month, you will be seeing here Internet terms and languages that you might find useful in your everyday trek in cyberspace and which will probably make a net geek out of you *G*.]



In nerdspeak, a "morph" is a digital picture that someone has altered with a software program. The Web is full of celebrity morphs; you can see some examples at Morph Me, at


A "crapplet" is what nerds often call a bad or anticlimactic applet. A crapplet can be an applet that doesn't work as advertised or one that takes hours to download and then doesn't do a whole heck of a lot.




When you want an Internet mail or a Web site hosting account, you turn to an ISP (Internet Service Provider). When you want to look like an ISP yourself but don't want to actually BE in the ISP business, you turn to a VISP (Virtual Internet Service Provider). Among other things, a VISP enables you to provide Internet access to customers who don't already have it.


OCR stands for "optical character recognition"--the type of software your scanner uses to transform the text on a printed page into text you can edit on your computer. While the first OCR programs left much to be desired, most OCR programs available today are between 95 and 99 percent accurate--which means they can save you a lot of typing.




Graffiti is a handwriting recognition software, used to transform into text the messages you scrawl onto your PalmPilot or other personal digital assistant (PDA). The hard-core nerds also refer to the scrawl itself as "graffiti" (with a small "g").


Just another in a long list of chat/e-mail/newsgroup acronyms,
KIT stands for "keep in touch.".




In nerdland, the word "platform" has been used so ambiguously that it now has several meanings. A platform can refer to a class of computer hardware, such as Intel (used in PCs) or SPARC (used in Sun workstations). It can refer to an operating system, such as Windows NT, DOS, or UNIX. Or it can refer to a combination of the two, such as Intel/DOS.


When one speaks of an angel in Silicon Valley, one is talking about
a person who invests in fledgling hardware or software companies.




Lynx is something you probably can no longer imagine: a TEXT-BASED Web browser. When you browse with Lynx, you can see all the text and tables in a Web site but not the pictures, animations, Java elements, mouseovers, and so on. With Lynx, you miss all the sizzle of the Web, but you often get to the steak faster.


A device is "hot swappable" or "hot pluggable" if you can add it to, or remove it from, your computer while the computer is running, without restarting the computer. Devices that you attach to the universal serial bus (USB) on newer computers are often hot-swappable devices.

Hot swappable / hot pluggable


Articles in WIRED! Philippines are copyrighted by the authors.
WIRED! Philippines is a monthly online magazine published and hosted by
Copyright 1999 All rights reserved.