= F =
funny money n.
1. Notional `dollar' units of computing
time and/or storage handed to students at the beginning of a
computer course; also called `play money' or `purple money' (in
implicit opposition to real or `green' money). In New Zealand
and Germany the odd usage `paper money' has been recorded; in
Germany, the particularly amusing synonym `transfer ruble'
commemmorates the funny money used for trade between COMECON
countries back when the Soviet Bloc still existed. When your funny
money ran out, your account froze and you needed to go to a
professor to get more. Fortunately, the plunging cost of
timesharing cycles has made this less common. The amounts
allocated were almost invariably too small, even for the
non-hackers who wanted to slide by with minimum work. In extreme
cases, the practice led to small-scale black markets in bootlegged
computer accounts. 2. By extension, phantom money or quantity
tickets of any kind used as a resource-allocation hack within a
system. Antonym: `real money'.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.