Where did the “three fingered salute” come from?

Where did the phrase “three-fingered salute”, meaning to press CTRL-ALT-DELETE on the keyboard, come from? As the “two-fingered salute” appears to be a mainly British gesture, I suspect the three-fingered variety is British too. But suspicion isn’t evidence. Answer Esteemed writer Charles Petzold used the term in a PC Magazine article back in 1986. He … Read more

Alternatives to “computationally expensive”?

The current version of a sentence I’m writing has the structure: Computing [such and such] is the most computationally expensive part of [algorithm]. At the moment, I cannot think of a better phrase to replace “computationally expensive”. I know it is legitimate to say this (“computationally expensive” has been published numerous times). However, it sounds … Read more

Is domain-specific meaning acceptable/advisable when used in a document directed outside the domain?

Here’s the problem. Many common terms in the programmer’s lexicon–i.e., used in information communication and in published texts–are identical to everyday words; others are slight ‘distortions’ of everyday words (so that if you saw them but weren’t a programmer, you’d swear they were misspelled or used incorrectly). It’s this latter category that’s the focus of … Read more