1. < person > Someone doing "real work" with the computer, using it as a means rather than an end. Someone who pays to use a computer. A programmer who will believe anything you tell him. One who asks silly questions without thinking for two seconds or looking in the documentation. Someone who uses a program, however skillfully, without getting into the internals of the program. One who reports bug s instead of just fixing them. See also luser , real user .
Users are looked down on by hackers to some extent because they don't understand the full ramifications of the system in all its glory. The term is relative: a skilled hacker may be a user with respect to some program he himself does not hack. A LISP hacker might be one who maintains LISP or one who uses LISP (but with the skill of a hacker). A LISP user is one who uses LISP, whether skillfully or not. Thus there is some overlap between the two terms; the subtle distinctions must be resolved by context.
2. Any person, organisation, process, device, program, protocol , or system which uses a service provided by others.
The term " client " (as in " client-server " systems) is rather more specific, usually implying two processes communicating via some protocol.
[ Jargon File ]