Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Word of the Day: Deroach

I came across the word deroach back in my SRI days, when I often talked to people from the cable-television industry. In that industry, deroach referred to the process of refurbishing a set-top box after it had been returned by a customer. (Example usage: “Those boxes need deroaching.”)

Apparently, analog set-top boxes of the day sometimes ended up as unintentional roach motels, and thus the term. Unlike the better known debug, which brings to mind thoughtful diagnosis of a subtle problem, deroach is thoughtless disposal of an obvious problem—shake ’em out and move on.

I’m blogging this topic because when I searched Google for deroach, I was surprised to find only references to the word as a name for places and people. So for future searchers of the non-name deroach, perhaps you will find your answer in this entry.

And for the rest of you who have inadvertently read this far, that concludes today’s intersection of electronics, entomology, and etymology.

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