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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
crash and burn
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jargon A spectacular crash, in the mode of the conclusion of
the car-chase scene in the movie "Bullitt" and many subsequent
imitators (compare die horribly). A Sun-3 displayscreen losing the flyback transformer and lightning strikes
on VAX-11/780 backplanes are notable crash and burn
The construction "crash-and-burn machine" is reported for a
computer used exclusively for alpha or beta testing, or
reproducing bugs (i.e. not for development). The implication
is that it wouldn't be such a disaster if that machine
crashed, since only the testers would be inconvenienced.