- Bit bucket
The bit bucket is
jargonfor where lost computerized data has gone, by any means; any datawhich does not end up where it is supposed to, being lost in transmission, a computer crash, or the like is said to have gone to the bit bucket — that mysterious place on a computer where lost documents go, as in:
: "What happened to that important
spreadsheetthat I was just editing?"
: "Oh, it went into the "bit bucket"."
Originally, the bit bucket was the container on teletype machines or
IBM key punchmachines into which chad from the paper tapepunch or card punch was deposited; the formal name is "chad box" or (at IBM) "chip box".
The term was then generalized into any place where useless bits go including the
trash canor rubbish bin. In Unix, Linux, and unix-like operating systems, this term is used to refer to /dev/null. In OpenVMS, this term refers to SYS$NULL:. On Univac 90/60operating systems such as VS/9, it was referred to as "*DUMMY". On DOSand Windows, it is referred to as "NUL".
The bit bucket is also used in discussions of bit shift operations. When the width of a given
binary numberis fixed, one or more bits are lost when performing a simple shift. These bits are said to have "fallen off" or to have "fallen into the bit bucket".
Such a device is sometimes referred to as a "write once read never" or WORN device (named after the
magneto-opticalWORM devices used during the 80s), and was indeed implemented as such as an Easter egg in early versions of Atari BASIC.
The WORN is related to the
FINO"First In Never Out" stack and the WOM " Write Only Memory", implemented by Signeticsin 1972.
Black hole (networking)(Unix jargon)
Null route(Cisco jargon)
* [http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/B/bit-bucket.html Bit Bucket entry from The Jargon File (version 4.4.7)]
* [http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue95/056_1_INSIGHT_ATARI_THAT_MONTH_AGAIN.php A "Write Once Read Never" device available on
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