A permanent record of physical location. Placed all over the USA by the USGS (United States Geological Survey), these little numbered brass plates are used as standards by which other geologic features' locations are measured. The marked center of a plate is a 'corner' by which locations can be determined through triangulation. This method is increasingly being deprecated in favor of GPS technology.
You can often find your city's official benchmark set into the concrete in front of the local City Hall.
bells whistles and gongs = B = Berkeley Quality Software

benchmark n.

[techspeak] An inaccurate measure of computer performance. "In the computer industry, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and benchmarks." Well-known ones include Whetstone, Dhrystone, Rhealstone (see h), the Gabriel LISP benchmarks (see gabriel), the SPECmark suite, and LINPACK. See also machoflops, MIPS, smoke and mirrors.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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