burn-in period

Slang Dictionary

burn-in period

n.
1. A factory test designed to catch systems with marginal components before they get out the door; the theory is that burn-in will protect customers by outwaiting the steepest part of the bathtub curve (see infant mortality).
2. A period of indeterminate length in which a person using a computer is so intensely involved in his project that he forgets basic needs such as food, drink, sleep, etc. Warning: Excessive burn-in can lead to burn-out. See hack mode, larval stage.

Historical note: the origin of "burn-in" (sense 1) is apparently the practice of setting a new-model airplane's brakes on fire, then extinguishing the fire, in order to make them hold better. This was done on the first version of the U.S. spy-plane, the U-2.
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Computing Dictionary

burn-in period definition


1. A factory soak test intended to increase the chance that components that fail early due to infant mortality will fail before the system leaves the factory.
2. When one is so intensely involved in a new project that one forgets basic needs such as food, drink and sleep. Excessive burn-in can lead to burn-out. See hack mode, larval stage.
[Jargon File]
(2007-01-17)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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