Thursday, August 27, 2009

Curmudgeon reviews obsolete techno-terms

A Businessweek article by Carolyn Duffy Marsan was featured on Yahoo! this morning. The 'tease' on the Yahoo! page intrigued me: "12 outdated tech terms you should drop."

I wondered how many of these apparently-now-obsolete terms I ever knew in the first place.

Herewith the list of terms and my best guesses about each (to read what Ms. Marsan has to say about each of these -- that is, to find out what they really mean -- or meant -- click the link in the lede):
  • Intranet -- Like intraumurals? Where an internet that got cut from the varsity can still play?
  • Extranet -- A spare internet?
  • Web Surfing -- This must be obsolete. I use this term all the time.
  • Push Technology -- No comprendo. I read Ms. Duffy's explanation several times now and still don't get what it is. Or was.
  • Application Service Provider (ASP) -- So that's what bit Cleopatra?
  • Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) -- Something Asimov wrote about.
  • Internet Telephony -- How do you tell a phony on the internet?
  • Weblog -- Hey! How can this be "obsolete"? I'm still here, right? (*Sudden realization dawns.*) Oh.
  • Thin Client -- As long as this doesn't refer to their wallets, I don't see why this is relevant.
  • Rboc -- The misspelled name of a shoe company?
  • Long-Distance Call -- Make a cross-country call from the wrong phone and you'll see how wrong it is to consider this obsolete.
  • World Wide Web -- We've expanded beyond?


Dave said...

A left turn comment: I know it's the lede; but, I don't like the word.

And what are a Rboc's and thin clients? I'm not looking them up.

The Curmudgeon said...

I initially thought the use of 'lede' was rather precious myself -- but the spelling makes the intended meaning clear -- and isn't that the point?

As for your other questions, from Ms. Marsan's article:

Thin client -- "You have to give Larry Ellison credit for seeing many of the flaws in the client/server computing architecture and for popularizing the term 'thin client' to refer to Oracle's alternative terminal-like approach. In 1993, Ellison was touting thin clients as a way for large organizations to improve network security and manageability. Although thin clients never replaced PCs, the concept is similar to 'virtual desktops' that are gaining popularity today as a way of supporting mobile workers."

I don't know that this explanation helps. I didn't understand it, anyway.

As for Rboc, Marsan wrote that this is an abbreviation for the "Regional Bell Operating Companies" a/k/a the Baby Bells. Some of those Baby Bells are all grown up now, having devoured their siblings. Marsan wrote, "Telecom industry mergers over the last 15 years have formed integrated local- and long-distance carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Qwest. This makes not only the term RBOC obsolete, but also the terms ILEC for Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier [i.e., GTE] and CLEC for Competitive Local Exchange Carrier [i.e., MFS]." So we don't have to learn those terms either....

Dave said...

Thanks, I think.

sari said...

I read this the other day and thought "I'm glad I work at home". All I have to worry about is if the baby or dogs have messed something up (again).