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The word “frobnicate” in IT is a kind of techie slang that describes tweaking or fiddling with physical parts of a technology. Frobnicate has been regularly abbreviated as “frob” or related to a piece of hardware architecture called a “frobnitz.”
The term “frobnicate” is often attributed to David R. Sawyer, an IT pro at MIT. The term grew in popularity over the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. It is often used very informally to talk about aimless or non-productive physical activity with technology. For instance, someone might say – “stop frobicating that switch,” or “stop frobnicating that lever” if they feel like the person is not using common sense in manipulating the technology, or that they are putting too much pressure on it or using it in inappropriate ways.