Whether our personal computers are faithful servants or imps, most of us soon realize there's much more going on inside those silent boxes than we really understand. PCs are secretive. Open their tightly sealed cases and you're confronted with poker-faced components. Few give any clues as to what they're about. Most of them consist of sphinx-like microchips that offer no more information about themselves than some obscure code printed on their impenetrable surfaces. The maze of circuit tracings etched on the boards is fascinating, but meaningless, hieroglyphics. Some crucial parts, such as the hard drive and power supply, are sealed with printed omens about the dangers of peeking inside-omens that put to shame the warnings on a pharaoh's tomb.

How do exactly you understand that phrase?

1 Answer 1


For stylistic reasons, the writer here has chosen to make several references to ancient Egypt: the enigmatic Sphinx, the indecipherable hieroglyphics, and the threats of supernatural punishment on graverobbers sometimes found on Old Kingdom tombs.

To put [something] to shame] means to outdo it spectacularly, especially when that something was already an exemplar.

the Burj Khalifa puts American skyscrapers to shame, both in height and in the improvidence of its financing.

The writer of your text is suggesting, rather hyperbolically, that the no-tampering stickers found on computer power supplies make the (famous, but apocryphal) curse on King Tut's tomb look pathetic in comparison.

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