lock-in


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Related to lock-in: Lock-in amplifier, lock-in period

lock-in

[′läk ‚in]
(electronics)
Shifting and automatic holding of one or both of the frequencies of two oscillating systems which are coupled together, so that the two frequencies have the ratio of two integral numbers.

lock-in

(standard)
When an existing standard becomes almost impossible to supersede because of the cost or logistical difficulties involved in convincing all its users to switch something different and, typically, incompatible.

The common implication is that the existing standard is notably inferior to other comparable standards developed before or since.

Things which have been accused of benefiting from lock-in in the absence of being truly worthwhile include: the QWERTY keyboard; any well-known operating system or programming language you don't like (e.g., see "Unix conspiracy"); every product ever made by Microsoft Corporation; and most currently deployed formats for transmitting or storing data of any kind (especially the Internet Protocol, 7-bit (or even 8-bit) character sets, analog video or audio broadcast formats and nearly any file format).

Because of network effects outside of just computer networks, Real World examples of lock-in include the current spelling conventions for writing English (or French, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.); the design of American money; the imperial (feet, inches, ounces, etc.) system of measurement; and the various and anachronistic aspects of the internal organisation of any government (e.g., the American Electoral College).
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References in periodicals archive ?
One clear example of this is that today's undocumented migrants undertake lock-ins in churches to demand the granting of residency documents.
Unless a lender improves the price with a significant intraday rate decline, few lock-ins will occur.
In early 1992, Directors did launch a lock-in policy modification to try to prevent the refi business from displacing the more secure long-term purchase business.
Some lenders, including Nationwide and Abbey National, have decided to abandon mortgages with extended lock-ins.
But mortgage lock-ins are still costing homeowners dear, despite Government calls to end them and bank claims that they are on the way out.
We will never have lock-ins and nobody should accept a lock-in or pay fees for a remortgage," says Hedigan, whose firm (0800 358 8081) specialises in remortgages and charges no fees.
Drinkers were often stranded by snow and there were overnight lock-ins at a time licensing laws meant restricted opening across the country.
Grow your team with flexible skill-sets, no retainers or lock-ins.
5million is an underestimate - as thousands were watching at lock-ins in pubs and clubs, on cruise ships and even in prisons.
It has also emerged that South Wales firefighters have rescued three children from hot cars in separate incidents over the past few days although all involved accidental lock-ins with parents seeking help from the emergency service.
Slick transitions through everything from the value of pub lock-ins to the frustrations of life as a centaur, the routine resonated with an essentially social, human element.
Materials choice flexibility--no lock-ins to machines and materials