Killer Micro N. [popularized By Eugene Brooks] A Microprocessor-based Machine That Infringes On Mini, Mainframe, Or Supercomputer Performance Turf.

HomeFortune CookiesJargon File

killer micro n.

[popularized by Eugene Brooks] A
microprocessor-based machine that infringes on mini, mainframe, or
supercomputer performance turf. Often heard in "No one will
survive the attack of the killer micros!", the battle cry of the
downsizers. Used esp. of RISC architectures.

The popularity of the phrase `attack of the killer micros' is
doubtless reinforced by the title of the movie "Attack Of The
Killer Tomatoes" (one of the canonical examples of
so-bad-it's-wonderful among hackers). This has even more
flavor now that killer micros have gone on the offensive not
just individually (in workstations) but in hordes (within massively
parallel computers).

[1996 update: Eugene Brooks was right. Since this term first
entered the Jargon File in 1990, the minicomputer has effectively
vanished, the mainframe sector is in deep and apparently
terminal decline (with IBM but a shadow of its former self), and
even the supercomputer business has contracted into a smaller
niche. It's networked killer micros as far as the eye can see.