= R =
Random Number God
1. Unpredictable (closest to mathematical
definition); weird. "The system's been behaving pretty
randomly." 2. Assorted; undistinguished. "Who was at the
conference?" "Just a bunch of random business types."
3. (pejorative) Frivolous; unproductive; undirected. "He's just a
random loser." 4. Incoherent or inelegant; poorly chosen; not
well organized. "The program has a random set of misfeatures."
"That's a random name for that function." "Well, all the names
were chosen pretty randomly." 5. In no particular order, though
deterministic. "The I/O channels are in a pool, and when a file
is opened one is chosen randomly." 6. Arbitrary. "It generates
a random name for the scratch file." 7. Gratuitously wrong, i.e.,
poorly done and for no good apparent reason. For example, a
program that handles file name defaulting in a particularly useless
way, or an assembler routine that could easily have been coded
using only three registers, but redundantly uses seven for values
with non-overlapping lifetimes, so that no one else can invoke it
without first saving four extra registers. What randomness!
8. n. A random hacker; used particularly of high-school
students who soak up computer time and generally get in the way.
9. n. Anyone who is not a hacker (or, sometimes, anyone not known
to the hacker speaking); the noun form of sense 2. "I went to the
talk, but the audience was full of randoms asking bogus
questions". 10. n. (occasional MIT usage) One who lives at
Random Hall. See also J. Random, some random X.
11. [UK] Conversationally, a non sequitur or something similarly
out-of-the-blue. As in: "Stop being so random!" This sense
equates to `hatstand', taken from the Viz comic character "Roger
Irrelevant - He's completely Hatstand."
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.