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bit twiddling

bit twiddling: n. 1. (pejorative) An exercise in tuning (see
   tune) in which incredible amounts of time and effort go to
   produce little noticeable improvement, often with the result that
   the code becomes incomprehensible.  2. Aimless small
   modification to a program, esp. for some pointless goal.
   3. Approx. syn. for bit bashing; esp. used for the act of
   frobbing the device control register of a peripheral in an attempt
   to get it back to a known state.