[from amateur electronics and radio]
n. A book of small code segments that the reader can use to do various magic things in programs. One current example is the 'PostScript Language Tutorial and Cookbook' by Adobe Systems, Inc (Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-10179-3) which has recipes for things like wrapping text around arbitrary curves and making 3D fonts. Cookbooks, slavishly followed, can lead one into voodoo programming, but are useful for hackers trying to monkey up small programs in unknown languages. This is analogous to the role of phrasebooks in human languages.