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burn-in period

burn-in period: n. 1. A factory test designed to catch systems
   with marginal components before they get out the door; the
   theory is that burn-in will protect customers by outwaiting the
   steepest part of the bathtub curve (see infant
   mortality).  2. A period of indeterminate length in which a person
   using a computer is so intensely involved in his project that he
   forgets basic needs such as food, drink, sleep, etc.  Warning:
   Excessive burn-in can lead to burn-out.  See hack mode,
   larval stage.