n. 1. A measure of computing speed; formally, 'Million Instructions Per Second' (that's 10^6 per second, not 220!); often rendered by hackers as 'Meaningless Indication of Processor Speed' or in other unflattering ways. This joke expresses a nearly universal attitude about the value of most benchmark claims, said attitude being one of the great cultural divides between hackers and marketroids. The singular is sometimes '1 MIP' even though this is clearly etymologically wrong.
2. Computers, especially large computers, considered abstractly as sources of computrons.
"This is just a workstation; the heavy MIPS are hidden in the basement."
3. The corporate name of a particular RISC-chip company; among other things, they designed the processor chips used in DEC's 3100 workstation series.
4. Acronym for 'Meaningless Information per Second' (a joke, prob. from sense 1).