Terminology

Interesting terms heard at work over the past few weeks.  Some of them have specialized technical meaning, in context, but have entirely different meaning if heard elsewhere.

  • Perishable Skills – Skills that you have to practice, otherwise they get lost over time.  I am an Eagle Scout and used to know how to tie all sorts of knots.  These days, I remember a handful–square, clove hitch, lark’s head, bowline–but, for the life of me, cannot remember the figure-8 knot because it has been too long.
  • Alchemy – Used to describe my tea making ritual.  I scoop some loose-leaf tea into a funky Adagio Teapot, fill it with water, wait, and later set that on top of my mug, releasing tea through a valve in the bottom.  Everyone else just drinks from the office coffee machine or uses tea bags.
  • Soft Core – No, not porn.  A chip with reprogrammable gates that can be instantly configured to emulate any number of processors via software.
  • Endian – Not dots, not feathers, but something as boring as byte-ordering of the numbers used by chips.
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