cycle crunch

n. A situation where the number of people trying to use the computer simultaneously has reached the point where no one can get enough cycles because they are spread too thin and the system has probably begun to thrash. This is an inevitable result of Parkinson's Law applied to timesharing. Usually the only solution is to buy more computer. Happily, this has rapidly become easier in recent years, so much so that the very term `cycle crunch' now has a faintly archaic flavor; most hackers now use workstations or personal computers as opposed to traditional timesharing systems.