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  1. #1
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    Usually I say "my computer crashes" when the computer stops working suddenly. I just wonder if I can say "my computer is dead" to mean the same? I saw this expression on the web.
    Are these two expressions both used? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    Quote Originally Posted by chance22 View Post
    Usually I say "my computer crashes" when the computer stops working suddenly. I just wonder if I can say "my computer is dead" to mean the same? I saw this expression on the web.
    Are these two expressions both used? Thanks in advance.
    I have heard both.

  3. #3
    chance22 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I have heard both.
    Thank you. So it seems there's no difference when we use them?

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    Personally, I would only say "My computer is dead" when it is completely broken and unfixable and I have to throw it away.

    However, "dead" is certainly used to mean that it's just not responding but that might be a temporary issue. "I just tried to switch on my computer and it's completely dead". I wouldn't use it to mean that the computer was working fine but then suddenly stopped.

    When a computer crashes, that suggests that it was working fine but then, in the middle of doing something, it suddenly stopped working. You can use "crash" simply for when any program or software suddenly stops working.

    - I was halfway through writing my CV when Microsoft Word crashed.
    - Every time I try to load Outlook Express, it crashes.

    Something can also cause your computer to crash, in which case you can use it like this:

    - Whenever I load Microsoft Powerpoint, it crashes my computer!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
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    mathias_r is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    - not a teacher -

    In computer science there exists an effect called "deadlock", which means that at least two programs are blocking each other because they both need access to the same ressources. (You can find details on Wikipedia). In earlier days an operating system could easily freeze once a deadlock occured. You can escape the deadlock situation by killing some of the involved programs/processes which can in turn result in a system crash. All in all it seems plausible to me to refer to a computer as "dead" when its operating system crashes due to software problems only.
    Last edited by mathias_r; 14-Jul-2012 at 14:15.

  6. #6
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mathias_r View Post
    All in all it seems plausible to me to refer to computer as "dead" when a system crashes due to software problems only.
    I agree that in common usage this is so. But dead computers can be revitalised (often quite quickly), while dead carbon-based entities cannot be. Another difference is that, in computers, the software does not arise out of the hardware as it does in carbon-base forms.
    Perhaps when we have feeling robots, we will be more careful in describing their malfunctions.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I say the computer is dead when I want to express the idea of "crash"?

    For a terminal state of deadness I've heard kaput used (informally). When a new computer is delivered but shows no sign of life I've also heard the term 'DOA' used (= Dead On Arrival).

    b

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