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2 definitions found
 for Big Red Switch
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  Big Red Switch
   n.
  
      [IBM] The power switch on a computer, esp. the ?Emergency Pull? switch on
      an IBM mainframe or the power switch on an IBM PC where it really is
      large and red. ?This !@%$% bitty box is hung again; time to hit the Big
      Red Switch.? Sources at IBM report that, in tune with the company's passion
      for TLAs, this is often abbreviated as BRS (this has also become
      established on FidoNet and in the PC clone world). It is alleged that the
      emergency pull switch on an IBM 360/91 actually fired a non-conducting bolt
      into the main power feed; the BRSes on more recent mainframes physically
      drop a block into place so that they can't be pushed back in. People get
      fired for pulling them, especially inappropriately (see also molly-guard
      ). Compare power cycle, three-finger salute; see also scram switch.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  Big Red Switch
  BRS
  
      (BRS) IBM jargon for the power switch on a computer,
     especially the "Emergency Pull" switch on an IBM mainframe or
     the power switch on an IBM PC where it really is large and red.
  
     "This !@%$% bitty box is hung again; time to hit the Big Red
     Switch."
  
     It is alleged that the emergency pull switch on an IBM 360/91
     actually fired a non-conducting bolt into the main power feed; the
     BRSes on more recent mainframes physically drop a block into place
     so that they can't be pushed back in.  People get fired for
     pulling them, especially inappropriately (see also molly-guard).
  
     Compare power cycle, three-finger salute, 120 reset; see
     also scram switch.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (2014-08-10)
  

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