fat electrons

Computing Dictionary

fat electrons definition

electronics, humour
Old-time hacker David Cargill's theory on the cause of computer glitches. Your typical electricity company draws its line current out of the big generators with a pair of coil taps located near the top of the dynamo. When the normal tap brushes get dirty, they take them off line to clean them up, and use special auxiliary taps on the *bottom* of the coil. Now, this is a problem, because when they do that they get not ordinary or "thin" electrons, but the fat sloppy electrons that are heavier and so settle to the bottom of the generator. These flow down ordinary wires just fine, but when they have to turn a sharp corner (as in an integrated-circuit via), they're apt to get stuck. This is what causes computer glitches.
[Obviously, fat electrons must gain mass by bogon absorption - ESR]
Compare bogon, magic smoke.
[Jargon File]
(1996-12-08)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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