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handle

1. <jargon> (From Citizen's Band amateur radio slang) An electronic pseudonym or "nom de guerre" intended to conceal the user's true identity. Network and BBS handles function as the same sort of simultaneous concealment and display one finds on CB.

Use of grandiose handles is characteristic of crackers, weenies, spods, and other lower forms of network life; true hackers travel on their own reputations rather than invented legendry.

Compare nick.

2. <programming> (Macintosh) A pointer to a pointer to dynamically-allocated memory. The extra level of indirection allows on-the-fly memory compaction (to cut down on fragmentation) or garbage collection of unused resources, with minimal impact on the (possibly multiple) parts of the larger program containing references to the allocated memory.

Compare snap (to snap a handle would defeat its purpose). See also aliasing bug, dangling pointer.

[Jargon File]

(1995-02-28)


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