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Stone knives and bearskins

(From the Star Trek Classic episode “The City on the Edge of Forever”) A term traditionally used to describe (and deprecate) computing environments that are grotesquely primitive in light of what is known about good ways to design things. As in “Don’t get too used to the facilities here. Once you leave SAIL it’s stone knives and bearskins as far as the eye can see”.
Compare steam-powered.
[Jargon File]


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  • Stone-lantern

    noun 1. (in Japan) an intricately carved lantern of stone, often placed in a garden or before a shrine. 2. a usually inexpensive reproduction of this, often made of cast metal.

  • Stone-lily

    noun 1. a fossil crinoid. noun 1. the fossil of any of several species of sea lily or crinoid

  • Stoneman

    noun, plural stonemen. 1. a stonecutter or stoneworker. The requirements, written by the HOLWG of the US DoD in Feb 1980, that led to APSE. [“Requirements for Ada Programming Support Environments: STONEMAN”, US Dept of Defense, Feb 1980]. (1995-01-24)

  • Stone-marten

    noun 1. a marten, Mustela foina, of Europe and Asia, having a white mark on the throat and breast. stone marten noun 1. a marten, Martes foina, of Eurasian woods and forests, having a brown coat with a pale underfur 2. the highly valued fur of this animal

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