1. <programming, operating system> A simple item of data that identifies
a resource. For example, a Unix file handle identifies an open file and
associated data such as whether it was opened for read or write and the current
read/write position. On the Macintosh, a handle is a pointer to a pointer to
some dynamically-allocated memory. The extra level of indirection allows
on-the-fly memory compaction or garbage collection without invalidating
application program references to the allocated memory.
2. <jargon> An alias used intended to conceal a user's true identity in
an electronic message. The term is common on Citizen's Band and other amateur
radio but, in that context usually means the user's real name as FCC rules
forbid concealing one's identity.
Use of grandiose handles is characteristic of crackers, weenies, spods, and
other lower forms of network life; true hackers travel on their own reputations.
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