On the conversion of working systems into warm bricks...

Operating systems development communities wind up inventing and using a fair bit of slang.  The existing Solaris development community within Sun tends to use one particular metaphor a fair bit: the brick.  That's what you get when you take your test machine, add your latest test bits, and, well, something goes wrong in a big way and your system (whether a low end PC or high end multiprocessor) winds up having all of the capability of a Warm Brick, at least until you get  a chance to reinstall it. 

Typical usage: "Oops, I bricked it."   "Hey, when you brickify a test machine, at least reinstall a good build on it before you move on..", and "Bugs in the packaging scripts may still result in brickification".

(Note: members of another OS development community have been known to use "brick" as short for  "throw a brick at".   As far as I can tell, these usages are completely unrelated).
Comments:

Very late comment, but just a note to let you know that the term "brick" or "brickify" in relation to rendering a particular device unusable is by no means new. The other community which uses it extensively is the embedded linux one, and more specifically OpenWRT's (http://openwrt.org) as flashing a broken firmware to a broadband router tends to have the described effect. Anyway, it's also included in the Jargon file: http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/B/brick.html

Posted by Ferdinand O. Tempel on August 09, 2005 at 12:37 AM EDT #

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