Re: What Makes Software Safe? (was Concord Loses #3)

From:         richstrong@aol.com (RichStrong)
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Date:         30 Jun 95 03:47:08 
References:   1
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I have heard others emphasize the weakness in software as due to
integration and system engineering interface related, rather than "errors"
in code. Huge amounts of code are said to be amenable to modularization
for testing and verification. Personally, I was asked to input recommended
checks on one sheet of paper and so I jotted down the most common problems
Id encountered. Briefly, they revolved around hardware such as outages and
software inputs that were out of range, such as zeros, spikes, and so on.
One that I've been intrigued by from various applications is loss of cabin
pressure affecting hard drives that are not hermetically sealed so that
the head loses its air cushion and crashes the disk drive. Check cooling,
also.
At the end of the day, the system architect will be a computer that checks
itself, but who can say what it will do when it finds itself irrepairable?

Dick Strong, Safety Analysis Systems Co., 800-COSMIC-Operator