Festive Season: Do you speak Geek?

'Tis the season! We've made a list and checked it twice. Now we're gonna find out who's naughty, who's nice... and who's really a geek!

'Tis the season! We've made a list and checked it twice. Now we're gonna find out who's naughty, who's nice... and who's a really holiday-oriented geek! Okay, maybe it doesn't rhyme, but we never claimed to be poets. If you qualify, we'll put your name on our Festive Geek of Distinction list: the December honor roll. This week, our gift to you is a tasty sampler of IT terms with tantalizing clues. Let us know how you did!

1. If Saint Nick ate all of these that we kids leave out for him, he might need extra RP (reindeer power) to get that sleigh airborne! On the Internet, it's information for future use that is stored by the server on the client side of a client/server communication.
What is it?

2. Sounds like the gift that always fits -- although generally, the bigger the better! In an Internet context, it's a storage area where automatically requested files are contained so they don't have to be downloaded each time.
What is it?

3. In a North Pole context, this is an extremely seasonal worker. In a communications context, however, it's a type of electromagnetic field having a frequency much lower than the frequencies of signals typically used.
What is it?

4. Nice in a festive beverage, but challenging for holiday travel: it also describes a Web page in which the primary content has a fixed width in pixel and assumes a left margin alignment.
What is it?

5. Does Martha Stewart liberally festoon her house with these for the holidays? On the Internet, this word is sometimes used to describe a Web site that is updated on a daily or other frequent basis.
What is it?

6. We usually remember these, although we might end up humming the rest of the carol! In audio production, this is one of the two standard audio effects defined by the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).
What is it?

7. Does the magnetic stripe on your card wear thin this time of year? Well, negative or positive, in physics it's a characteristic of a unit of matter that expresses the extent to which it has more or fewer electrons than protons.
What is it?

8. If all the stars at the top of all the decorated trees in your neighborhood could communicate with each other, what would you have? (Hint: this is also the term for a local area network in which all nodes are directly connected to a common central computer.)
What is it?

9. Migratory birds -- and disenchanted humans -- often fly south this time of year to avoid this seasonal phenomenon. In a computer context, however, it's a system for archiving data such as business records and reports to one or more optical disks in a compressed but easily retrievable format.
What is it?

10. This sounds a bit like a kind of soft lighting that is flattering to elves of "a certain age" -- fittingly, it's the standard unit of luminous intensity in the International System of Units.
What is it?

How many could you guess correctly without peeking? Let us know!

This was first published in December 2003

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