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"Pipping" as an ancient computer term

Posted by Brian from Shawnee on September 10, 2003

In Reply to: Re: 'pipping' posted by GPP on September 10, 2003

: : : : : I've noticed at least a couple of times where rather than continuing an existing thread, you seem to prefer to make a new fork by responding directly to a question, ignoring earlier posts which then appear below rather than above yours. Do you have a special reason for doing this? My own opinion is that it makes it confusing for everyone.

: : : : My apologies. I believe the fault lies in either my slow typing or tendancy to edit myself. I am not ignoring earlier posts. Those posts did not exist when I began to answer the question.

: : : : I had no intention of misleading or confusing anyone. I thought I had some valid contribution to make. Since my responses seem to be generating more argument or confusion than help, I will post no more.

: : :
: : : Oh, please, no, no, no!! Please don't go away; we all enjoy your posts.

: : : That's called 'pipping'--we were both looking at the same question, and I 'pipped' you by posting before you saw mine. The best way to avoid that, whenever you think a reply might take a while to think about or to type out, is to keep two windows open to the same site, and refresh the one you're NOT working in before posting, to make sure you haven't been pipped. I apologize.

: : BTW, I liked your take on the thumb--that interpretation had never occurred to me.

: Now that I try googling the term 'pip' in this sense, I'm finding only this one definition so far, at the site shown below:

: "Pip": A verb meaning to beat someone in responding, to post a message moments before another person says essentially the same thing.

: That might be a unique usage; does anyone know a different term for this situation?

Well, I don't know another word for "pipping" in the message board sense, but I know of another, archaic use for that word.

Dating from the 1970's there were several related computer operating systems made by Digital Equipment Corp (or DEC, which has been absorbed by Compaq) that shared a utility called Peripheral Interchange Program, or PIP. When transferring a file from disk to disk or disk to tape, you'd have to invoke the PIP program and then enter your commands. The verb for doing such a transfer was "to pip".

There may be a few PDP-11 computers still out there running RSX-11M, RT-11, or RSTS/E that still use the PIP utility. Computer guys with grey beards may still remember it, but nobody uses it today.