Cray instability

A shortcoming of a program or algorithm that manifests itself only when a large problem is being run on a powerful machine such as a Cray. Generally more subtle than bugs that can be detected in smaller problems running on a workstation or minicomputer.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1994-10-13


/kray-oh'l*/ A super-minicomputer or super-microcomputer that provides some reasonable percentage of supercomputer performance for an unreasonably low price. A crayola might also be a killer micro.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1994-10-13

crayola books


A humorous and/or disparaging term for the rainbow series of National Computer Security Center (NCSC) computer security standards.

See also Orange Book.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1996-12-03


1. Someone who works on Cray supercomputers. More specifically, it implies a programmer, probably of the CDC ilk, probably male, and almost certainly wearing a tie (irrespective of gender). Systems types who have a Unix background tend not to be described as crayons.

2. A computron that participates only in number crunching.

3. A unit of computational power equal to that of a single Cray-1. There is a standard joke about this usage that derives from an old Crayola crayon promotional gimmick: When you buy 64 crayons you get a free sharpener.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 1994-10-13

Cray Research, Inc.


US manufacturer of large powerful mainframe supercomputers, co-founded by noted computer architect, Seymour Cray.

Quarterly sales $216M, profits $8M (Aug 1994).

Cray were bought by Silicon Graphics, Inc..

[More details?]

Last updated: 1999-10-19

Nearby terms:

crawlercrawling horrorCray instabilitycrayolacrayola books

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