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[cyberpunk SF, refers to flattening of EEG traces upon brain-death] also "flatlined". 1. To die, terminate, or fail, especially irreversibly. In hacker parlance, this is used of machines only, human death being considered somewhat too serious a matter to employ jargon-jokes about.
2. To go completely quiescent; said of machines undergoing controlled shutdown. "You can suffer file damage if you shut down Unix but power off before the system has gone flatline."
3. Of a video tube, to fail by losing vertical scan, so all one sees is a bright horizontal line bisecting the screen.