= N =
nano /nan'oh/ n.
[CMU: from `nanosecond'] A brief
period of time. "Be with you in a nano" means you really will be
free shortly, i.e., implies what mainstream people mean by "in a
jiffy" (whereas the hackish use of `jiffy' is quite different
-- see jiffy).
[SI: the next quantifier below micro-;
meaning * 10^(-9)] Smaller than micro-, and used in
the same rather loose and connotative way. Thus, one has
nanotechnology (coined by hacker K. Eric Drexler) by analogy
with `microtechnology'; and a few machine architectures have a
`nanocode' level below `microcode'. Tom Duff at Bell Labs has
also pointed out that "Pi seconds is a nanocentury".
See also quantifiers, pico-, nanoacre, nanobot,
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.