/seks/ [Sun Users' Group & elsewhere] n. 1. Software
EXchange. A technique invented by the blue-green algae hundreds of
millions of years ago to speed up their evolution, which had been
terribly slow up until then. Today, SEX parties are popular among
hackers and others (of course, these are no longer limited to
exchanges of genetic software). In general, SEX parties are a
, but unprotected SEX can propagate a virus
See also pubic directory
. 2. The rather Freudian mnemonic
often used for Sign EXtend, a machine instruction found in the
PDP-11 and many other architectures. The RCA 1802 chip used in the
early Elf and SuperElf personal computers had a `SEt X register'
SEX instruction, but this seems to have had little folkloric
DEC's engineers nearly got a PDP-11 assembler that used the
`SEX' mnemonic out the door at one time, but (for once)
marketing wasn't asleep and forced a change. That wasn't the last
time this happened, either. The author of `The Intel 8086
Primer', who was one of the original designers of the 8086, noted
that there was originally a `SEX' instruction on that
processor, too. He says that Intel management got cold feet and
decreed that it be changed, and thus the instruction was renamed
`CBW' and `CWD' (depending on what was being extended).
Amusingly, the Intel 8048 (the microcontroller used in IBM PC
keyboards) is also missing straight `SEX' but has logical-or
and logical-and instructions `ORL' and `ANL'.
The Motorola 6809, used in the U.K.'s `Dragon 32' personal
computer, actually had an official `SEX' instruction; the 6502
in the Apple II it competed with did not. British hackers thought
this made perfect mythic sense; after all, it was commonly
observed, you could (on some theoretical level) have sex with a
dragon, but you can't have sex with an apple.