Bill described what appears to be a catastrophic failure of a 21st century personal computer's power supply, that apparently took all the other components with it, drives and video cards and of course the "motherboard".
David Gesswein addressed some issues of analog computers which used discrete transistors (as opposed to vacuum tubes, for example).
But the original question was about crow-bar circuits on power supplies, or tantalum capacitor failures.
My point in calling this sequence out, is that I caution against trying to draw broad conclusions from very specific kinds of repair problems, component failures, and types of design - conclusions across different eras of personal computers. I think broad conclusions and comparisons are not productive. and even harmful.
Without posting a lecture about it......I think it's more reasonable to focus a discussion of computer repairs, to a fairly specific class of computers - specific time and place, models, designs - than to go off to talk about a five-year old computer failure in the same thread as 40-year-old transistors in an analog computer. It's like talking about an engine breakdown from an oil leak in a 2009 Toyota Camery, in the same discussion as a head gasket leak in a Model T Ford engine. Those are good discussions, but not the SAME discussion, in my informed opinion; what you learn from one won't help much with the other.