A newbie is a newcomer to a particular field, the term being commonly used on the Internet, where it might refer to new, inexperienced, or ignorant users of a game, a newsgroup, an operating system or the Internet itself. The term is generally regarded as an insult, although in many cases more experienced/knowledgeable people use it in purposes of negative reinforcement, urging "newbies" to learn more about the field or area in question.
In some contexts, such as on Usenet and in online multiplayer video games, newbies are discouraged from the group. Newbies may ask questions that seem extremely simple to experienced users, or disrupt normal order with their lack of skills or etiquette in a certain type of technology. For example, video game players may dislike newbies because they think newbies will hurt or bring down the collective efforts of a team game. Usenet posters may dislike newbies for bringing up off-topic discussion or violating netiquette. Noobs also ask questions with answers that can easily be found in the options menu of the game they are playing.
In some groups, the term "newbie" is used by experienced users to refer to any newcomer, whether the newcomer acts ignorantly or not. In this case, the regulars assert their position with a sort of hazing (sometimes called pwning in video games). Even if a newbie is actually a veteran of a particular game and has just started to play online, he may still be considered a newbie.
Now this kind of surprises me because it seems to have taken on quite a negative connotation. I used "newbie" years ago in the army, but not in a negative sense. I mean, a newbie is a newbie -- period. Everybody is new at something at some point in time. Why should that take on an ugly side. I noticed that the definition up there even uses the term "insulting".
Just wondering if any of you have time to comment.