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wizard

1. a male witch or a man who practises or professes to practise magic or sorcery
2. Computing a computer program that guides a user through a complex task
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Wizard

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The word "wizard" was applied in the past to a male magician or sorcerer and, occasionally, to a male Witch. The word comes from the Middle English wis, meaning "wise." According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley, the term first appeared in 1440 and was synonymous with "wise man." By the sixteenth century, it was applied to alchemists, blessers, cunningmen, sorcerers, Witches, and others. William West, in his Simboleography (1594), stated that, "Soothsayers and wizards. . . divine and foretell things to come, and raise up evil spirits by certain superstitious and conceived forms of words. And unto such words as be demanded of them, do answer by voice, or else set before their eyes in glasses, crystal stones or rings, the pictures or images of things sought."

In England the Witchcraft Acts of 1542, 1563, and 1604 made felonies of such practices as fortune-telling and divination, conjuring spirits and making love charms. Despite this many wizards continued to operate, protected by the fact that their clients were very close-mouthed about their dealings with them. The word is not used in Wicca nor in ceremonial magic.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

wizard

(1)
A person who knows how a complex piece of software or hardware works (that is, who groks it); especially someone who can find and fix bugs quickly in an emergency. Someone is a hacker if he or she has general hacking ability, but is a wizard with respect to something only if he or she has specific detailed knowledge of that thing. A good hacker could become a wizard for something given the time to study it.

wizard

(2)
A person who is permitted to do things forbidden to ordinary people; one who has wheel privileges on a system.

wizard

(3)
A Unix expert, especially a Unix systems programmer. This usage is well enough established that "Unix Wizard" is a recognised job title at some corporations and to most headhunters.

See guru, lord high fixer. See also deep magic, heavy wizardry, incantation, magic, mutter, rain dance, voodoo programming, wave a dead chicken.

wizard

(4)
An interactive help utility that guides the user through a potentially complex task, such as configuring a PPP driver to work with a new modem. Wizards are often implemented as a sequence of dialog boxes which the user can move forward and backward through, filling in the details required. The implication is that the expertise of a human wizard in one of the above senses is encapsulated in the software wizard, allowing the average user to perform expertly.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

wizard

A software utility that provides a graphical interface with step-by-step dialogs that the user fills in to accomplish a task. For example, rather than typing a series of commands, an installation wizard eases the process of developing an install package. It converts the dialogs to the commands that the developer would have had to type. Wizards are also used to troubleshoot software or hardware problems, offering a sequence of questions and multiple choice answers. Ease of use is the primary attribute of a wizard. See help system.
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