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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
go flatline
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[Cyberpunk SF, refers to flattening of EEG traces upon
brain-death] also "flatlined". 1. To die, terminate, or
fail, especially irreversibly. In hacker parlance, this is
used of machines only, human death being considered somewhat
too serious a matter to employ jargon-jokes about.
2. To go completely quiescent; said of machines undergoing
controlled shutdown. "You can suffer file damage if you shut
down Unix but power off before the system has gone flatline."