Geeks churn out more new terms than hip-hop aficionados, skaters and surfer dudes combined. No longer do the digitally enlightened merely talk about software (that invisible stuff consisting of programs that fire up, crash and sometimes allow the user to get things done). That is so last century - so Windows 3.1. Just as these days coffee comes as a latte, cappuccino, moccachino, sloppachino, or whatever, software falls into a strange spectrum of classifications. However, some things do not change. All are formed by the addition of the suffix 'ware' and, with the exception of revengeware, appear designed to antagonise. Here are the main offenders: Freeware. After your heart rather than your wallet, freeware entails no charge or registration. The catch? There is often no support. Oh, and, do not expect mind-blowing quality. Nagware. This has to be one of the worst of the lot, imbued with all the charm of a marketeer's courtesy call. This is a strain of shareware (software downloaded and redistributed for free) that displays a large screen at the beginning or end to remind you to register and pay. Begware. The poor sister of nagware, begware is actually even more excruciating. No occasional discreet reminder here: it bombards you with messages pleading with you to pay for your copy. Crippleware. No, not a variety that mangles your motherboard but a program with one of its major functions removed. For instance, a crippled interactive game may allow you access to only a restricted number of levels. If you really want to test yourself, and struggle onwards and upwards to meet the peak of your game-playing potential, you will have to cough up. Spyware. Vindication for the paranoid, this surveillance technology is usually secretly attached to software, and sends information from your computer without your knowledge, whenever you connect to the Net. A variant, the charmingly named 'scumware', sticks links into a web page with or without the webmaster's consent, stealing traffic and generating fury. Bannerware. A sober presence in the weird world of ware, all this does is advertise other software. It needs to get a life or be removed from yours, just like spyware by a banner blocker. Revengeware. If you think this must be a sham, think again. A company calling itself 21century-ecommerce.com offers this to those with a grudge against the unsolicited virtual junk-mail pests known as spammers. 'Did you get spammed today?' the sales blurb asks. 'We have the tools you need to fight spam and have fun doing it! This is not simple 'filtering' software, this is your digital weapon, to gain revenge!' The product further promises to make the spammer's life a misery. Abandonware. It sounds rather Zen, suggesting programs that present the user with blank screens and running water in an attempt to foster ego-lessness. In reality, abandonware is has-been technology: an operating system that is no longer marketed or distributed by the company that created it, but is obtainable to diehards from some other source. Shovelware. To steal from The Word Spy (wordspy.com), this term means content from an existing medium (such as a newspaper or book) that has been dumped wholesale into another medium. Think the contents of, say, Britain's Lindisfarne Gospels ripped and burned onto a CD-ROM or the Web. Trashy. Vaporware. This term caustically designates software and hardware products that have been announced and advertised but are not yet available. Pure hype. Remember Digiscent's iSmell: the digital aroma technology supposedly capable of delivering the scent of roses or coffee to your desktop? Me neither.