'net slang for incapacitating an electronic device by the use of or improper transfer of firmware into a nonvolatile memory such that the device cannot be recovered by the end user. Brick
possibly evolved as metaphor describing the future utility of a brick
Using the CVS build will brick your iPaq.
Most often used in the past tense, as few people endeavor to destroy their gadgets. Now starting to spread into other realms where firmware is being hacked (MP3 players, wireless routers
, cell phones, etc).
This term became popular among the crowd attempting to port Linux to the HP iPaq as downloading custom firmware required strictly following the procedure given by HP with their Linux release.
re: the Volvo connotation of this term... The Volvo 240 is probably the quintessential brickmobile, with its squared-off looks and boxy shape. The most popular color for this car was a maroon that evoked the color of a brick, helping this association take root. Modern Volvos, such as the S60 and XC90 are far less bulky in appearance yet still have a hint of the ninety-degree bias of the maker's former vehicles. Note that the famous P1800 was by no means a boxy car.