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Angry Cat Productions

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Central Processing Unit. Period.

This is one of my pet peeves. As long as I've been around, has always stood for "Central processing unit", meaning a little chip inside the computer. Thankfully, according to Google, this meaning is mostly still intact. But increasingly, CPU has been used to refer to the tower as a whole. When I first heard this (in one of the Novacom Adventures in Odyssey episodes, I believe), I simply scoffed. "Gee, I hate that when they pretend to be all technical and stuff and end up sounding like a bad line from some techie horror movie." The line was "Give me the CPU and all the components!" Still a bad line ("and all the components?" Come on!) but the CPU part made me laugh. "So you only want the processor? That's gonna get you a long ways," I chuckled. But since then, I have often heard CPU used in a similar way. And it makes me want to carry around an AMD chip and whenever I hear someone refer to the tower as the CPU, whip it out and say, "(Pointing frantically) THAT is not a cpu. (revealing the chip) THIS is a CPU. Any QUESTIONS??" As I tore at my hair, I would then put the chip back in my pocket and let it lie dormant until the next misuse of this formerly geek-exclusive term. Because as far as I am concerned CPU is NOT shorthand for computer.
Ever so calmly yours,


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