REBOL Technologies

Time change and is software reliability really a good thing?

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
26-Oct-2006 18:34 GMT

Article #0307
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In a few days, we will be setting our clocks back to return to standard time. In recent years, I've come to dislike daylight savings time. There are too many clocks that must be changed... Clocks on ovens, microwaves, desktops, telephones, cars, VCRs, pump timers, cameras, handhelds, on and on. Sometimes, I think we should just spring forward 30 minutes, and leave it there. Forever.

But, if we did that, one of those little gotcha side effects would pop up: We would forget how to set a lot of our clocks.

For instance, the clocks in my car and on the microwave oven are not obvious to set. The twice-a-year ritual keeps those procedures fresh in my mind. It's an odd, twisted kind of advantage, isn't it?

Is that same "advantage" also true for software systems? If software fails often enough, then you remember how to work on it, right? Many of us know quite well how to edit the Windows registry, because we do it often enough. Otherwise, it might become a lost "art". Imagine that.

So, if software does not fail enough, then you forget about it!

That is precisely why some of you found a few of our REBOL/IOS servers (like Alliance) offline recently. A primary, secondary (UPS), and tertiary (generator) power outage took down one of our server locations. The REBOL/IOS servers on that machine had been running continuously since the initial server boot more than a year ago. In fact, it was found that the IOS boot script had never actually been added to the Linux OS boot sequence (rc.local), accounting for the fact those IOS servers did not come back up when power was restored.

So there you go. There's the proof. If IOS went down more often, such things would not happen.

This observation is perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek. But, I think there might be a grain of truth lurking in it somewhere. It's a corollary of the old "squeaky wheel gets the grease" syndrome. You know of it... it's that same syndrome that now runs all of our government, state, and local institutions. But, that rant is a story for another blog and another day. (Perhaps when I get a personal blog online someday.)

So, have fun setting all your clocks next week.

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