A test of new or repaired equipment by turning it on. If it smokes... it is not working! Originally coined when smoke was introduced to check for leaks in newly manufactured containers and pipes, the term also refers to testing a software application for the first time. See testing types.
A preliminary test on a newly-constructed piece of electronic equipment, consisting simply of the application of electrical power, to make sure that no egregious wiring errors exist which would cause the circuitry to emit smoke, catch fire, explode, etc.