A stoppage of play in a sport, either because requested by one of the players/teams, because there is a condition that temporarily prevents play (such as an injured player down on the field), or a rule-mandated stoppage.

The requested timeouts in a sport are usually limited to a certain number for each side per game or playing period.

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A disciplinary technique in which a child who misbehaves is sent to be alone for a few minutes so as to calm down before returning to work or play and "think about what you've done."

When it comes to computers the number of timeouts per player, team or user are usually not limited. Instead, a timeout is forced after a period of time. Oh God, so often this makes me angry.

Timeouts are usually forced to make sure no idle user, connection or program consumes computer resources. Another reason is to prevent a process from awaiting a reply of some kind forever - for the case of an error in the object that should respond.

I mostly confront the frightening timeout with the word connection. As "Connection timeout", to be specific. This usually happens when a web page on a slow site gets slashdotted. What happens is the Slashdot effect - the slow site gets so busy for serving all the intrested people around the world that you are cut off. Or it may as well be that there was no one listening at all for your connection. You tried to poke at the wrong hole, to formulate it for the streets.
So frustrating, isn't it?

Even more frustrating is to see messages like "Timeout waiting for TX in eth0", or alike in your logfile or -tty. This means that the driver of your network interface card is not able to recognize a transmitting signal. This is most likely to be caused by a buggy driver - or worse, buggy hard- or firmware in your card. Anyway, what happens in practise is that some of those tiny bits that were originally meant for you are lost somewhere in the tummy of a bug, and that a piece of data either has to be re-sent or has totally disappeared.
That's like the nature is, isn't it?

The most frustrating timeout, however, happens with a remote terminal connection. More often than not I have an ssh connection disconnected since there is no traffic over the link. Oh boy! Go have a pee and have your connection cut off - 10 kilobytes of poetry in C++ sent down the same drain you had you urine.
Yes, you get to know the C-x C-s

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