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Fault Tolerance

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The faster the machine, the more nonsense it can produce in case of faulty operation. We are now asking for billions of correct arithmetic operations between errors -- [a] 1,000 people computing for a lifetime without error.


-W.J. Eckert, IBM Scientist, 1955



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That was in 1955, feel free to exponentially compound that number many times for today's average. Sometimes I don't think we fully appreciate where we are "at" today. I for one am glad I missed the punch cards, but at the same time that perspective, that transition is lost.

[Un]ironically, fifty five years later it's still "Garbage In, Garbage Out".

Just some food for thought.

5 Comments On This Entry

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alias120 Icon

14 August 2010 - 02:04 AM
I would imagine the programmers of that time have a certain appreciation for today's technology, one that most of us will never know. It is amazing how far we have come, but it is only the beginning. 60 years from now, programmers will be wondering how difficult it must have been to work with what we have today. As long as intelligent minds pursue the unknown, the rest of the world will benefit and grow from it.
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Mercurial Icon

14 August 2010 - 04:59 AM

alias120, on 14 August 2010 - 01:04 AM, said:

60 years from now, programmers will be wondering how difficult it must have been to work with what we have today. As long as intelligent minds pursue the unknown, the rest of the world will benefit and grow from it.

True, but not near the difference between present time and 1950's. Every science tree will keep on progressing, just not that intensivly like in the past 50 years.
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KYA Icon

14 August 2010 - 05:22 AM
Certainly, as Moore's Law is expected to "stop" around 2015.
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alias120 Icon

14 August 2010 - 04:25 PM

Mercurial, on 14 August 2010 - 03:59 AM, said:

True, but not near the difference between present time and 1950's. Every science tree will keep on progressing, just not that intensivly like in the past 50 years.


I agree, it must have been very exciting to be around at the dawn of modern computing. Or any scientific advent for that matter.

There might be a way out KYA. Since Moore's Law was based upon the amount of transistors on an integrated circuit board, won't Quantum Computing open the world to new possibilities? I am not intimately familiar with quantum computing, so I could be wrong.
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NickDMax Icon

26 August 2010 - 02:15 PM

KYA, on 14 August 2010 - 07:22 AM, said:

Certainly, as Moore's Law is expected to "stop" around 2015.



Actually with the discovery of memristance this may not be so. As interesting as memristors may be, the realization that they have such an influence at the nano-scale has started answering many questions about what was going on at that small a scale, so even without adding memristors to circuits just the knowledge of them will help engineers solve problems at the nano-scale which will result in smaller and smaller circuits at higher frequencies. Add to that new technologies that will of course take advantage of the unique properties of memristors.

I really think that anyone who imagines we only have five or so years left of Moore's law has not been keeping up with the news. we still have a long way to go yet.
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