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A number which requires nearly infinite patience to count to, at least for the greeks. It's the integer after -1 and before 1. Sometimes used as a baseline.

Zero is also my hero. But only because of Schoolhouse Rock.
It's an awful, awful number the Mayans/Chinese/Arabs had the audacity to think up. It has such properties as being the identity of addition, and makes division and algebra problems a pain in the neck, because it has the property of dividing infinately (or negative infinitely, for those of you who want to be number fascists) into any number. Try adding up zeros sometime, and see how far you can get. I got to Zero once, but it took me four hours and I don't sleep much... Anyhow, if you want to try other math stuff then adding, try taking yet another look at zero (note- feel free to node the answers if you like, I'm not doin it):

What is 0! ? (Answer)
What is 00? (Answer)
What is 0's relation to absolute value, and once you figure that one out, try | i |? (Answer)

It's a very important number, actually. With zero, we don't need to use Roman Numerals anymore - we can use base 10, or even base 2. With the advent of the zero holding digit (showing a lack of value for a certain power of the particular base one is working with), numbers simply start to make more sense. Try to remember how important that number is the next time you get it on a test or quiz, it's the ancient's way of telling you that there is no positive integer value to express how poorly you have done.
/dev/null = 0 = 1TBS


Numeric zero, as opposed to the letter `O' (the 15th letter of the English alphabet). In their unmodified forms they look a lot alike, and various kluges invented to make them visually distinct have compounded the confusion. If your zero is center-dotted and letter-O is not, or if letter-O looks almost rectangular but zero looks more like an American football stood on end (or the reverse), you're probably looking at a modern character display (though the dotted zero seems to have originated as an option on IBM 3270 controllers). If your zero is slashed but letter-O is not, you're probably looking at an old-style ASCII graphic set descended from the default typewheel on the venerable ASR-33 Teletype (Scandinavians, for whom Ø is a letter, curse this arrangement). (Interestingly, the slashed zero long predates computers; Florian Cajori's monumental "A History of Mathematical Notations" notes that it was used in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.) If letter-O has a slash across it and the zero does not, your display is tuned for a very old convention used at IBM and a few other early mainframe makers (Scandinavians curse this arrangement even more, because it means two of their letters collide). Some Burroughs/Unisys equipment displays a zero with a reversed slash. Old CDC computers rendered letter O as an unbroken oval and 0 as an oval broken at upper right and lower left. And yet another convention common on early line printers left zero unornamented but added a tail or hook to the letter-O so that it resembled an inverted Q or cursive capital letter-O (this was endorsed by a draft ANSI standard for how to draw ASCII characters, but the final standard changed the distinguisher to a tick-mark in the upper-left corner). Are we sufficiently confused yet?

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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