Donald Knuth

<person>

Donald E. Knuth, the author of the TeX document formatting system, Metafont its font-design program and the 3 volume computer science "Bible" of algorithms, "The Art of Computer Programming".

Knuth suggested the name "Backus-Naur Form" and was also involved in the SOL simulation language, and developed the WEB literate programming system.

See also MIX, Turingol.

Last updated: 1994-11-04

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Domestic Communications Assistance CenterDOMFDonald Knuthdongledongle cracker

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dongle

<hardware>

/dong'gl/ (From "dangle" - because it dangles off the computer?)

<security>

1. A security or copy protection device for commercial microcomputer programs that must be connected to an I/O port of the computer while the program is run. Programs that use a dongle query the port at start-up and at programmed intervals thereafter, and terminate if it does not respond with the expected validation code.

One common form consisted of a serialised EPROM and some drivers in a D-25 connector shell.

Dongles attempt to combat software theft by ensuring that, while users can still make copies of the program (e.g. for backup), they must buy one dongle for each simultaneous use of the program.

The idea was clever, but initially unpopular with users who disliked tying up a port this way. By 1993 almost all dongles passed data through transparently while monitoring for their particular magic codes (and combinations of status lines) with minimal if any interference with devices further down the line. This innovation was necessary to allow daisy-chained dongles for multiple pieces of software.

In 1998, dongles and other copy protection systems are fairly uncommon for Microsoft Windows software but one engineer in a print and CADD bureau reports that their Macintosh computers typically run seven dongles: After Effects, Electric Image, two for Media 100, Ultimatte, Elastic Reality and CADD. These dongles are made for the Mac's daisy-chainable ADB port.

The term is used, by extension, for any physical electronic key or transferable ID required for a program to function. Common variations on this theme have used the parallel port or even the joystick port or a dongle-disk.

An early 1992 advertisment from Rainbow Technologies (a manufacturer of dongles) claimed that the word derived from "Don Gall", the alleged inventor of the device. The company's receptionist however said that the story was a myth invented for the ad.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1998-12-13

2. A small adaptor cable that connects, e.g. a PCMCIA modem to a telephone socket or a PCMCIA network card to an RJ45 network cable.

Last updated: 2002-09-29

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dongle cracker

<security>

Someone who enables software that has been written to require a dongle to run without it.

Last updated: 2007-06-11

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Donald Knuthdongledongle crackerdongle-diskDon't do that then!

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dongle-disk

/don'gl disk/ (Or "key disk") A kind of dongle consisting of a special floppy disk that is required in order to perform some task. Some contain special coding that allows an application to identify it uniquely, others *are* special code that does something that normally-resident programs don't or can't.

For example, AT&T's "Unix PC" would only come up in root mode with a special boot disk.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1998-12-13

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dongledongle crackerdongle-diskDon't do that then!donuts

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Don't do that then!

<humour>

(From an old doctor's office joke about a patient with a trivial complaint) A stock response to a user complaint. "When I type control-S, the whole system comes to a halt for thirty seconds." "Well don't do that then!"

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1998-12-13

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dongle crackerdongle-diskDon't do that then!donutsDooced

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donuts

(Obsolete) A collective noun for any set of memory bits. This usage is extremely archaic and may no longer be live jargon; it dates from the days of ferrite core memories in which each bit was implemented by a doughnut-shaped magnetic flip-flop.

[Jargon File]

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dongle crackerdongle-diskDon't do that then!donutsDoocedDOOMDOORS

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