n. Old-style 14-inch hard disks in floor-standing cabinets. So called because of the size of the cabinet and the 'top-loading' access to the media packs -- and, of course, they were always set on 'spin cycle'. The washing-machine idiom transcends language barriers; it is even used in Russian hacker jargon.
See also walking drives.
The thick channel cables connecting these were called 'bit hoses' (see hose).