This was told to me by my mother (say she's wrong and I'll kick yer ass), and I chose to believe it to this day as mother is never wrong. Yes mother, I'll just finish on my computer then I'll kill them - I'll kill them all for you mother!!!

Take for example the average television or computer monitor. It is happily doing its thing, when suddenly the smoke starts to escape out of it somewhere. Something that holds its precious smoke has ruptured and the smoke starts escaping, and the damn thing stops working. So when the smoke escapes, it doesn't work anymore.

The only exception to this rule is the toaster, which has an almost endless supply of smoke (obviously held in a pressurised canister by the amount that comes out of it at times), and some ovens - my one in particular.

As a computer engineering student, I'd have to say this is a truism. Anyone who has been through an electronics lab has probably had an experience with what I learned in my first lab class to call "Releasing the Magic Smoke". It's the magic smoke which causes the ICs and transistors to function. Indeed, you first see smoke, then it stops functioning. (Usually. Sometimes the smoke is delayed.)

Now I have to figure out how exploding transistors and sweating transistors fit into the picture.


(for the solution to this "dilemma", read correlation does not prove causation).

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