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3 definitions found
 for tanstaafl
From V.E.R.A. -- Virtual Entity of Relevant Acronyms (September 2014) :

  TANSTAAFL
         There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (slang, Usenet)
         

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  TANSTAAFL
   /tan'stah?fl/
  
      [acronym, from Robert Heinlein's classic SF novel The Moon is a Harsh
      Mistress.] ?There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch?, often invoked when
      someone is balking at the prospect of using an unpleasantly heavyweight
      technique, or at the poor quality of some piece of software, or at the {
      signal-to-noise ratio of unmoderated Usenet newsgroups. ?What? Don't tell
      me I have to implement a database back end to get my address book program
      to work!? ?Well, TANSTAAFL you know.? This phrase owes some of its
      popularity to the high concentration of science-fiction fans and political
      libertarians in hackerdom (see Appendix B for discussion).
  
      Outside hacker circles the variant TINSTAAFL (?There is No Such Thing...?)
      is apparently more common, and can be traced back to 1952 in the writings
      of ethicist Alvin Hansen. TANSTAAFL may well have arisen from it by
      mutation.
  

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

  TANSTAAFL
  TNSTAAFL
  
     /tan'stah-fl/ (From Robert Heinlein's classic "The
     Moon is a Harsh Mistress") "There Ain't No Such Thing As A
     Free Lunch".
  
     Often invoked when someone is balking at the prospect of using
     an unpleasantly heavyweight technique, or at the poor
     quality of some piece of free software, or at the
     signal-to-noise ratio of unmoderated Usenet newsgroups.
     "What? Don't tell me I have to implement a database back end
     to get my address book program to work!"  "Well, TANSTAAFL you
     know."  This phrase owes some of its popularity to the high
     concentration of science-fiction fans and political
     libertarians in hackerdom.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1995-02-28)
  

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