[TenTec] Re: Jupiter firmware problems...NOT! (SO!... )

Howard smith jsmith20@wi.rr.com
Mon, 02 Sep 2002 18:06:21 -0500

Hi Bob,
I want to disagree with what you said in a recent post:
"I'd agree. I recall loading and running Windows 1.01 and all the revisions
that followed. Just recently I've changed to Windows XP from ME from 2000.
Still have bugs that I recall were in V 3.1. Also use NT on our network
servers. More bugs. Just the nature of software in my opinion."

I don't really think this is the nature of all software.  I think it is the 
nature of Windows software.  Here are a couple of examples the I know of 
which have well written, reliable software sets.

The Engine Control Modules (ECM) used by all of the auto makers are all 
microprocessor based, and their software does not appear to have the 
magnitude of bugs that windows software does.  If they did, the highways 
would be littered with the pistons, rods, etc, that came out of the engines 
when the software failed.

The second example is the software that is used on the shuttle 
missions.  That software has a documented error rate that is something less 
than 5 bugs per 1 million lines of source code.  I think the big difference 
here is the fact that the software engineers meet with the astronauts to 
design the software.  Everybody there seems to know that a software bug 
could mean that some of the people in the meeting may not be returning from 
the mission.  That is a rather large incentive to get it right the first 
(and only!) time.

My point is that software does not have to be done poorly.  It can be done 
so it is reliable.  I have never understood why the Information Technology 
community has not taken Microsoft to task over the quality issue.  The IT 
people are the ones who suffer the loss of productivity as they are always 
tracking down some new bug.

Howard Smith, WA9AXQ

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