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Unread 04-28-2003, 02:43 PM
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Al Skierkiewicz Al Skierkiewicz is offline
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Software Magic Smoke

Here is an open question to all...
Why is there no "magic Smoke" in software? Electronics have magic smoke, motors and batteries have magic smoke, even joysticks have magic smoke. Why haven't I ever heard, "Look at that robot, it's software just released some smoke!" No software guy has ever been heard saying, "The magic smoke is out, so I have to replace the software before the next match." Anybody else notice this phenomena? Just checking...
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Unread 04-28-2003, 02:52 PM
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The reason, of course, is that it's a hardware problem!

Well, us software guys have segmentation faults, which is kind of close I suppose.

Stephen
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Unread 04-28-2003, 03:00 PM
KenWittlief KenWittlief is offline
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the most common cause of SW probems is a stack overflow

which would have been an interesting thing to see in this years game: "We built a stack 8 high, then the stack overflowed"

?!

BTW - mechanical parts are pumped full of noise instead of smoke. They are made in machine shops, where they pump the noise in.

When mechanical parts are being used, the noise is suppose to be let out a tiny bit at a time.

when all the noise has leaked out, the mechanical part will stop working - thats why, if its making a lot of noise, it wont last very long

the noise is leaking out too fast!

then you have to send it back to a machine shop - where they can put in on a noise generation machine - and pump it full again.

BTW - SW has no mass, therefore it can travel faster than the speed of light

also, since it has no mass, it is not ruled by the laws of physics, therefore it is also eternal!
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Unread 04-28-2003, 03:15 PM
Jnadke Jnadke is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz
Here is an open question to all...
Why is there no "magic Smoke" in software? Electronics have magic smoke, motors and batteries have magic smoke, even joysticks have magic smoke. Why haven't I ever heard, "Look at that robot, it's software just released some smoke!" No software guy has ever been heard saying, "The magic smoke is out, so I have to replace the software before the next match." Anybody else notice this phenomena? Just checking...

Because software people are infallible. Nobody really knows how it works except for the guy that created it. He just blames the problem on the hardware people, tells them to fix it, and installs the patch while nobody's looking.
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Last edited by Jnadke : 04-28-2003 at 03:23 PM.
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Unread 04-28-2003, 04:16 PM
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Matt Leese Matt Leese is offline
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I think the reason that there is no software magic smoke is that everyone expects the software to fail. No one expects the hardware to fail.

And I'll add a quote about that: If it's not on fire, it's a software problem.

Matt
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Unread 04-28-2003, 07:39 PM
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Software might not have magic smoke...but it CAN have gremlins...little errors in the code which are a pain to trace. Even if you get all of them, which I doubt is completely possible, you will STILL have the little buggers running around, hidden. Its part of the joys of programming.
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Unread 04-28-2003, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by A. Snodgrass
Software might not have magic smoke...but it CAN have gremlins...little errors in the code which are a pain to trace. Even if you get all of them, which I doubt is completely possible, you will STILL have the little buggers running around, hidden. Its part of the joys of programming.
...which reminds me:
Axiom #1: Every program has at least one bug.
Axiom #2: Every program can be shortened by at least one instruction.
It is, therefore, obvious that any program may be reduced to a single instruction which does not work.
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Unread 04-28-2003, 09:10 PM
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From my CS 2413 Data Structures Prof
"For every one line of code there are ten lines for error checking"

Also The concept of Magic smoke must be modified to suit the computer. Since motors are phsyical they relase phsyical smoke. Software is not physical but more 0's and 1's they leave differnt kinds of residue. More like dangling pointers and non deallocated memory left during the development process of your dynamicaly allocated doubly linked list class for 2413. These little nuggets of fun left by your software can lead to file system corruption. From my CS 2382 Discrete Mathamatics Prof "One of the most costly and dangerous operations in computers is alocating memory"

So in terms of the InnovationFIRST controller, not as much "smoke" as does other ways. But the use of the term software and talking about the the Fun leftovers of software you gotta go into more advaced software.
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Unread 04-28-2003, 09:48 PM
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..the best you can guarantee is that software "gives the appearance of working..."
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Unread 04-28-2003, 10:11 PM
KenWittlief KenWittlief is offline
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Computer SW has one MAJOR flaw:

100% of the time, no matter what - it does EXACTLY what you told it to do

instead of what you WANTED it to do

:c)
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Unread 04-29-2003, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KenWittlief
Computer SW has one MAJOR flaw:

100% of the time, no matter what - it does EXACTLY what you told it to do...
...unless it's a hardware problem. (Really! It happens! I've seen it myself! It was mostly back in the day... but it's got to still happen. )

That reminds me of a joke:
Quote:
"Two Irishmen walk out of a bar...

It could happen!"
(My apologies to my fellow Irishmen... Hey, I have a little Irish blood. )
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Unread 04-29-2003, 08:22 AM
KenWittlief KenWittlief is offline
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now you are talking about what is referred to as CS101 syndrome.

A freshman takes his first CS course, and his first assignment is to write a program that reads in 3 numbers, and prints the sum.

The program doesnt work, so after stareing at it for 10 minutes he reaches the ONLY possible conclusion:

"HEY! THE MAINFRAME IS SCREWED UP!"

:c)
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Unread 04-29-2003, 08:29 AM
KenWittlief KenWittlief is offline
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BTW - if the things an electrical engineer makes are filled with smoke

and the things mechanical enginners make are filled with noise

then what about stuff made by:

Civil engineers? [anti-gravity?!]

chemical engineers?

Bio-engineers / Genetic engineers?

aerospace engineers?

domestic engineers?

[remember, the critical essence only reveals itself when the creation fails]
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Unread 04-30-2003, 08:11 AM
Lloyd Burns Lloyd Burns is offline
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I think you are looking in the wrong direction: When motors are overloaded, they release magic smoke from their cases, but when software failed, it is the programmer who gets smoked !!!
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Unread 04-30-2003, 08:25 AM
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I know nothing of this programming stuff. SOME observations: 1.Software people are jumpy. 2.Software people hate to eat. 3.Software people love to eat. 4.Software people scream and grab their hair alot. 5.Software people don't have the energy to physicaly harm their computer just hit the screen limply. 6.Software people often muble things like, "WHAT??!!", "I'M BUSY!", "ARGGH" or "AHHH" or "EEK!", "Yeah I can do that!", "We can't do that!", "It's to complicated for you".

Oh and as for magic smoke out programmer has something called the "evil blue screen of death".
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