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2 definitions found
 for magic cookie
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  magic cookie
   n.
  
      [Unix; common]
  
      1. Something passed between routines or programs that enables the receiver
      to perform some operation; a capability ticket or opaque identifier.
      Especially used of small data objects that contain data encoded in a
      strange or intrinsically machine-dependent way. E.g., on non-Unix OSes with
      a non-byte-stream model of files, the result of ftell(3) may be a magic
      cookie rather than a byte offset; it can be passed to fseek(3), but not
      operated on in any meaningful way. The phrase it hands you a magic cookie
      means it returns a result whose contents are not defined but which can be
      passed back to the same or some other program later.
  
      2. An in-band code for changing graphic rendition (e.g., inverse video or
      underlining) or performing other control functions (see also cookie).
      Some older terminals would leave a blank on the screen corresponding to
      mode-change magic cookies; this was also called a glitch (or occasionally
      a turd; compare mouse droppings). See also cookie.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  magic cookie
  
     1. Something passed between routines or programs that enables
     the receiver to perform some operation; a capability ticket
     or opaque identifier.  Especially used of small data objects
     that contain data encoded in a strange or intrinsically
     machine-dependent way.  E.g. on non-{Unix operating systems
     with a non-byte-stream model of files, the result of "{ftell"
     may be a magic cookie rather than a byte offset; it can be
     passed to "{fseek", but not operated on in any meaningful
     way.  The phrase "it hands you a magic cookie" means it
     returns a result whose contents are not defined but which can
     be passed back to the same or some other program later.
  
     2. An in-band code for changing graphic rendition (e.g. inverse
     video or underlining) or performing other control functions.
     Some older terminals would leave a blank on the screen
     corresponding to mode-change magic cookies; this was also
     called a glitch (or occasionally a "turd"; compare mouse
     droppings).
  
     See also cookie.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1995-01-25)
  

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