n. The Macintosh key with the cloverleaf graphic on
its keytop; sometimes referred to as `flower', `pretzel',
`clover', `propeller', `beanie' (an apparent reference to...
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View Definition: flush flush v. 1. To delete something, usually superfluous, or to abort
an operation. "All that nonsense has been flushed." 2. [UNIX/C]
To force buffered I/O to disk, as with an `fflush(3)' call.
This is *not* an abort or deletion as in sense 1, but a
demand for early completion! 3. To leave at the end of a day's
work (as opposed to leaving for a meal). "I'm going to flush
now." "Time to flush." 4. To exclude someone from an activity,
or to ignore a person.
`Flush' was standard ITS terminology for aborting an output
operation; one spoke of the text that would have been printed, but
was not, as having been flushed. It is speculated that this term
arose from a vivid image of flushing unwanted characters by hosing
down the internal output buffer, washing the characters away before
they can be printed. The UNIX/C usage, on the other hand, was
propagated by the `fflush(3)' call in C's standard I/O library
(though it is reported to have been in use among BLISS programmers
at DEC and on Honeywell and IBM machines as far back as 1965).
UNIX/C hackers find the ITS usage confusing, and vice versa.