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washing machine

washing machine: n. 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).