Footnote: Whence the Term "Smoke Test"?
Smoke Test: According to the Online Computing directory:
(See http://www.instantweb.com/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?smoke+test )
- A rudimentary form of testing applied to electronic equipment following repair or reconfiguration, in which power is applied and the tester checks for sparks, smoke, or other dramatic signs of fundamental failure. See also magic smoke.
- By extension, the first run of a piece of software after construction or a critical change.
There is an interesting semi-parallel to this term among typographers and printers: When new typefaces are being punch-cut by hand, a "smoke test" (hold the letter in candle smoke, then press it on to paper) is used to check out new dies.
Magic Smoke: A substance trapped inside integrated circuit packages that enables them to function (also called "blue smoke"; this is similar to the archaic "phlogiston" hypothesis about combustion). Its existence is demonstrated by what happens when a chip burns up - the magic smoke gets let out, so that it doesn't work any more.