16 November 2009

50 Types of "Computerware"

. . . Silly, cute, and standard terms for types of hardware and software. My one rule for collecting terms for this list is that the term must end -ware.

1. abandonware. another name for orphanware.

2. adware. 1) any software that includes, as part of its function, displays of advertising. For example, some freeware includes ads, with the option of upgrading to a paid version in order to rid yourself of the ads. In such packages the ads typically update themselves via automatic download. 2) any program that secretly downloads, installs, and displays advertising on your computer. Compare annoyware, guiltware, nagware.

3. ageware. video game originally developed for an early game console but which has been converted for play on a contemporary game console. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.)

4. annoyware. any shareware that pops up a lot with ads or requests for payment.

5. betaware. version of a software package that is nearly ready for general release and is currently undergoing one final round of testing and debugging, called "beta testing." Also called a beta version. (During this phase of development, software companies often invite members of the general public to use the software free and to report bugs which are then fixed by the designers before final release; such users are called "beta testers.")

6. bloatware. general term for any software that uses up an enormous amount of diskspace and memory, far out of proportion with its functionality.

7. brochureware. any vaporware that is accompanied by aggressive marketing including brochures.

8. cardware. any type of freeware for which the designer requests that the user only need send a him/her postcard as payment, sometimes with a request for a certain type of postcard. Also called postcardware. Compare mailware.

9. careware. 1) charityware. 2) freeware for which the designer requests that the user do a "good deed" as payment.

10. CDware. 1) promotional software given away free on a compact disk, such as AOL software. 2) freeware for which the designer requests that if the user likes it, s/he sends the designer a CD.

11. censorware. software designed to block certain websites from being downloaded.

12. charityware. shareware that requests a donation to a charity for use of the software. Also called careware, char-ware, donateware.

13. crimeware. general term for any malware that is designed to extort money or other liquid assets from computer users.

14. crippleware. general term for any software that has been deliberately disabled by the manufacturer or distributor by the removal of a major component, so as to encourage users to purchase the full version.

15. crudware. virtually useless software; a general term for most of the freeware circulated by hackers.

16. demo-ware. simplified version of a software product, missing one or more of the main features, intended to allow prospective purchasers a chance to "try out" the program before buying it. Also called liteware, crippleware.

17. donationware. 1) software given away ostensibly for free, but including a request from the designer for a freewill donation. Also called donateware. 2) charityware.

18. firmware. software embedded in a hardware device. Modems, for example, contain firmware, as do many modern cars, phones, television sets, etc.

19. freeware. software given away free. There are many types, including shareware. (Term was trademarked by author and programmer Andrew Fluegelman.)

20. fritterware. software with capabilities that serve no useful purpose, and that usually manage to get users to waste huge amounts of time using it with no noticeable gain.

21. guiltware. general term for any freeware that includes text giving a long sob story about how horrible the user is if s/he does not send the designer some money. Compare adware.

22. hardware. 1) general term for durable goods. 2) general term for building supplies and fixtures. 3) general term for computer machinery and parts; the opposite of software.

23. liteware. another term for demo-ware.

24. liveware. 1) human beings, specifically the ones using computers. 2) another term for wetware: the human brain.

25. mailware. a type of freeware for which the designer requests the user to mail him/her a letter. Compare cardware.

26. malware (Latin: mal = bad). any software that contains malicious programming, such as stealthware, or a computer virus. Also called slimewear.

27. meatware. another word for wetware: the human brain

28. nagware. 1) adware. 2) annoyware. 3) any software that opens with a popup asking you to purchase the software; you have to click through this screen to use the program.

29. oppressionware. software, hardware, or mechanisms in an operating system, used to oppress a co-user, such as restricting programs, capabilities, and features. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.)

30. orphanware. any software that has been discontinued and is no longer available for commercial purchase; either the original designers cannot be located or the company has gone out of business. Users of orphanware are thus unable to get help or support for the product. Also called abandonware.

31. payware. software that must be paid for. Most software is payware. The opposite is freeware or shareware.

32. postcardware. another name for cardware.

33. psychedelicware. software designed only for making pretty pictures, often in a kaleidoscope fashion. Also called a "display hack."

34. registerware. software that requires the user to register, usually for free, in order to use the software. Registration is usually via internet and usually includes personal information.

35. requestware. software in which the designers request users to do something voluntarily as "payment" for the software. Examples include charityware and postcardware.

36. rogue adware. a software product that claims to be an anti-adware fix, but is actually spyware.

37. rogue spyware. a software product that claims to be an anti-spyware fix, but is actually spyware. Some rogue spyware actually attacks your computer's other protections.

38. scumware. any software that intrudes upon the user, or the user's computer, by stealth, in order to further the aims of the software company.

39. scuttleware. general term for any software, including freeware or shareware, that has a time limit built in and self destructs or ceases to function after the time limit has been reached. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.) Also called trialware.

40. shareware. 1. any software that is given away free, but the user has to pay a fee to get support or to get all the features. 2. any free software for which the user is expected to pay a fee after they have decided to keep it; otherwise it will expire. Also called trialware. 3. any commercial software that can be downloaded from the internet; most also require payment via the company's website before the software can be used.

41. sisterware. software, usually freeware, in which the designer requests that you send him "photos or lingerie of your lovely sister!" (sic)

42. shelfware. 1. software that ends up on the shelf; that is, it is never used. 2. software that is developed but never released; it is "shelved" instead.

43. slimewear. another term for malware.

44. software. computer instructions; information directing the operation of a computer. Software packages are written in many different computer languages and are designed for doing many different tasks, from simple typing to designing magazine layouts, cataloging collections, paying bills, tracking sales, operating industrial robots, etc. (In the early days of computers, programming was built into the machine and could not be changed. If you wanted a computer to play chess, you built one to play chess. If you wanted one to do calculus, you built another one to do calculus. It was a breakthrough when software was invented, allowing one computer to be able to do more than one task.)

45. spamware. software used for sending out spam. (Spam is an internet term for unwanted advertisements, usually found in email form, that are sent all over the internet by unscrupulous persons. The term reportedly comes from a Monty Python sketch in which customers at an eatery are unable to order anything that doesn't have Spam in it.)

46. spyware. software that secretly installs files on the user's computer, or secretly collects data on the user, such as financial info or websurfing history, and secretly sends it to the manufacturer or a third party when the user connects to the internet. (This activity is called "covert monitoring.")

47. trialware. software that has a limit on time or number of uses, and will cease to run properly after the limit expires. Trialware often gives you the option to purchase it after it expires. Also called scuttleware. See also shareware.

48. vampireware. general term for any project capable of sucking the lifeblood out of anyone unfortunate enough to be assigned to it; a project which never actually sees the light of day but nonetheless refuses to die. Not necessarily related to computers. (Term found at Wiktionary as a "protologism" or coined word.)

49. vaporware. software that is announced as "coming soon" but is never released; that is, it "vaporizes." In many cases vaporware is not even developed; it is announced merely to generate interest in the company or some other product. Also spelled vapourware. See also brochureware.

50. wetware. humorous term for the human brain. Also called liveware, meatware.


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