= W =
washing machine n.
1. Old-style 14-inch hard disks in
floor-standing cabinets. So called because of the size of the
cabinet and the `top-loading' access to the media packs -- and, of
course, they were always set on `spin cycle'. The
washing-machine idiom transcends language barriers; it is even used
in Russian hacker jargon. See also walking drives. The thick
channel cables connecting these were called `bit hoses' (see
hose, sense 3). 2. [CMU] A machine used exclusively for
washing software. CMU has clusters of these.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.