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1997-11-03 22:44:40


Rate for Significant Problems: 5% to 50%


This Nov. 3 posting on Peter de Jager's discussion forum by Prof. Leon Kappelman is important. If his low-end estimate of thesignificant problem rate is accurate, this poses enormous problems, given the tens of billions of chips embedded in operating systems. If his high-end estimate is correct -- well, I wouldn't want to be the manager of THAT system! He directs system operators to the nonprofit SIM site aimed at helping solve the embedded chip problem.

* * * * * * *

What can be shared is on the SIM Year 2000 Working Group's online conference website ( Most of the embedded systems I am personally aware of are in oil&gas, petrochemical, nuclear, communications, and power generation -- non-disclosures preclude my saying anything more specific than this. The significant problem rate is about 5% although sometimes as high as 50%. Many of the vendors are not able to offer much information and tests are usually required.

This results in a regretable situation because the very ugly fact is that much time is being wasted and much work duplicated because of competitive and litigation fears. We are all sending the same letters to the same vendors and creating a morass of papers while VERY LITTLE REAL WORK IS HAPPENNING. BUSINESS AS USUAL MAY BE THE DEATH OF US THIS TIME!!!

The not-for-profit SIM Working Group has a free open-to-the-public website where such information can be shared, not just for embedded systems but for all hardware and software -- Vendors and their customers are welcomed to use it. We will be happy to provide more categories or whatever to facilitate the sharing of such information. . . .

Given the present rate of progress we are not on a viable path to preventing significant economic and social disruptions, even deaths. It's time to move beyond business as usual. We are spending so much effort covering our behinds we are at risk of losing our heads.

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