Big Red Switch: [IBM] N. The Power Switch On A Computer, Esp.

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:Big Red Switch: [IBM] n. 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
{TLA}s, 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}, {120 reset}; see
also {scram switch}.
-- The AI Hackers Dictionary