1. [common] Software that has some important functionality deliberately
removed, so as to entice potential users to pay for a working version.
2. [Cambridge] Variety of guiltware that exhorts you to donate to some
charity (compare careware, nagware).
3. Hardware deliberately crippled, which can be upgraded to a more
expensive model by a trivial change (e.g., cutting a jumper).
An excellent example of crippleware (sense 3) is Intel's 486SX chip, which
is a standard 486DX chip with the co-processor diked out (in some early
versions it was present but disabled). To upgrade, you buy a complete 486DX
chip with working co-processor (its identity thinly veiled by a different
pinout) and plug it into the board's expansion socket. It then disables the
SX, which becomes a fancy power sink. Don't you love Intel?
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
1. Software that has some important functionality deliberately
removed, so as to entice potential users to pay for a working
2. (Cambridge) Guiltware that exhorts you to donate to some
Compare careware, nagware.
3. Hardware deliberately crippled, which can be upgraded to a
more expensive model by a trivial change (e.g. removing a
jumper). A correspondant gave the following example:
In 1982-5, a friend had a Sharpscientific calculator
which was on the list of those permitted in exams. No
programmable calculators were allowed.
A very similar, more expensive, programmable model had two
extra keys for programming where the cheaper version just had
My friend took his calculator apart (as you would) and lo and
behold, the rubber switches of the program keys were there on
the circuit board. So all he had to do was cut a hole in the
face. For exams he would pre-load the calculator with any
useful routines, put a sticker with his name on it over the
hole, and press the buttons through the sticker with a pen.