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2 definitions found
 for bit bucket
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  bit bucket
   n.
  
      [very common]
  
      1. The universal data sink (originally, the mythical receptacle used to
      catch bits when they fall off the end of a register during a shift
      instruction). Discarded, lost, or destroyed data is said to have gone to
      the bit bucket. On Unix, often used for /dev/null. Sometimes amplified
      as the Great Bit Bucket in the Sky.
  
      2. The place where all lost mail and news messages eventually go. The
      selection is performed according to Finagle's Law; important mail is much
      more likely to end up in the bit bucket than junk mail, which has an almost
      100% probability of getting delivered. Routing to the bit bucket is
      automatically performed by mail-transfer agents, news systems, and the
      lower layers of the network.
  
      3. The ideal location for all unwanted mail responses: ?Flames about this
      article to the bit bucket.? Such a request is guaranteed to overflow one's
      mailbox with flames.
  
      4. Excuse for all mail that has not been sent. ?I mailed you those figures
      last week; they must have landed in the bit bucket.? Compare black hole.
  
      This term is used purely in jest. It is based on the fanciful notion that
      bits are objects that are not destroyed but only misplaced. This appears to
      have been a mutation of an earlier term ?bit box?, about which the same
      legend was current; old-time hackers also report that trainees used to be
      told that when the CPU stored bits into memory it was actually pulling them
      ?out of the bit box?. See also chad box.
  
      Another variant of this legend has it that, as a consequence of the ?parity
      preservation law?, the number of 1 bits that go to the bit bucket must
      equal the number of 0 bits. Any imbalance results in bits filling up the
      bit bucket. A qualified computer technician can empty a full bit bucket as
      part of scheduled maintenance.
  
      The source for all these meanings, is, historically, the fact that the {
      chad box on a paper-tape punch was sometimes called a bit bucket.
  
      [75-10-04]
  
      A literal bit bucket.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  bit bucket
  
      1. (Or "{write-only memory", "WOM") The universal
     data sink (originally, the mythical receptacle used to catch
     bits when they fall off the end of a register during a
     shift instruction).  Discarded, lost, or destroyed data is
     said to have "gone to the bit bucket".  On Unix, often used
     for /dev/null.  Sometimes amplified as "the Great Bit Bucket
     in the Sky".
  
     2. The place where all lost mail and news messages eventually
     go.  The selection is performed according to Finagle's Law;
     important mail is much more likely to end up in the bit bucket
     than junk mail, which has an almost 100% probability of
     getting delivered.  Routing to the bit bucket is automatically
     performed by mail-transfer agents, news systems, and the lower
     layers of the network.
  
     3. The ideal location for all unwanted mail responses: "Flames
     about this article to the bit bucket."  Such a request is
     guaranteed to overflow one's mailbox with flames.
  
     4. Excuse for all mail that has not been sent.  "I mailed you
     those figures last week; they must have landed in the bit
     bucket."  Compare black hole.
  
     This term is used purely in jest.  It is based on the fanciful
     notion that bits are objects that are not destroyed but only
     misplaced.  This appears to have been a mutation of an earlier
     term "bit box", about which the same legend was current;
     old-time hackers also report that trainees used to be told
     that when the CPU stored bits into memory it was actually
     pulling them "out of the bit box".
  
     Another variant of this legend has it that, as a consequence
     of the "parity preservation law", the number of 1 bits that go
     to the bit bucket must equal the number of 0 bits.  Any
     imbalance results in bits filling up the bit bucket.  A
     qualified computer technician can empty a full bit bucket as
     part of scheduled maintenance.
  
     In contrast, a "{chad box" is a real container used to catch
     chad.  This may be related to the origin of the term "bit
     bucket" [Comments ?].
  
     (1996-11-20)
  

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