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Re: (OT): 200-year software

by Stevie-O (Friar)
on Jul 16, 2004 at 21:16 UTC ( #375138=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to (OT): 200-year software

I can't remember where I read this, but I know I've seen it:

If architects made buildings the way computer programmers wrote programs, the first woodpecker to come along would mean the end of civilization.

One of the problems, I think, is marketing and timing constraints. Our company is building a machine very similar to a smartcard 'cash-on-a-chip' funding station. There are certain things that can go wrong with the mechanical side of things that we know could happen, but simply don't have time to compensate for before we have to get it to our client.

Contrast this with our transaction terminal that accepts these cards -- it has been in development for over four years, and since I took over its development from a contractor three years ago, the terminals have gradually gone from requiring a restart every two weeks, to running autonomously for several months without requiring maintenance on our part. (Right now I can see five devices that have been running since March 24th -- 114 days with no restart.)

$"=$,,$_=q>|\p4<6 8p<M/_|<('=> .q>.<4-KI<l|2$<6%s!<qn#F<>;$, .=pack'N*',"@{[unpack'C*',$_] }"for split/</;$_=$,,y[A-Z a-z] {}cd;print lc

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Re^2: (OT): 200-year software
by jZed (Prior) on Jul 16, 2004 at 21:22 UTC
    (Right now I can see five devices that have been running since March 24th -- 114 days with no restart.)
    Only (365.4*200)-114 days to go. :-)

    Vernor Vinge (an AI guy who writes intelligent scifi) has a book dealing with millenia-old software (_A Fire Upon the Deep_). Among other puzzles is that no one remembers what epoch 1970 was the start of :-).

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