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04-03-2012, 07:02   #166
himnextdoor
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No. There used to be - there still are - a lot small companies around writing bespoke systems for businesses. A lot of this stuff can be bought off the shelf now days, but there was a time people would buy in systems that had been written completely from the ground up.



It's not the languages that are the problem. It's what programmers will do. And many professional programmers with years of experience can be awful. They create systems that work, but are laden with bugs. Sometimes even, programmers will work for years and still not be able to get what should be a relatively straight forward database project to work.

Programmers are still crap. They'll take something like IBM's DB2, and write millions of lines of Berkeley standard code in C, and create a mess that's unmaintainable and impossible to upgrade.



If you want to use the long year, you'll have to use more than 8 bits. The year after 1999, or 99, is not 100.

If you use the short date, you can fit day, month, year, all into 16 bits. If you want to use the long date, you're looking at using 32 bits. 8 for the day, 8 for the month, 16 for the year.
No. You don't understand how computers work out the date. Did you ever notice that you don't have to specify the day? That's because the software works it out. Short date, long date; there is no such thing; there is a program that works out the date from stored and constantly updated date. There was never such a shortage of memory where one extra byte would have to be saved and necessitating the need to write a program to deliberately become redundant after the year-count reaches 99. The same number of bytes could have taken us from 1900 to 2028 - the year 2000 was not a special year from a binary point of view.
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04-03-2012, 20:35   #167
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I'm surprised at you. That Wikipedia article also acknowledges that the Y2K problem had possibly been overestimated.

So, in the eighties, while people were getting 25-year mortgages - not a single report of software failing to make the correct forecast.

Also, are you aware of how fast software is updated? Do you remember 'Wordstar'? A word-processor for BBC, the Spectrum, Commodore 64? By the time I had moved from Sinclair to Amstrad, it was up to version 5.

Software is updated regularly for commercial reasons. Internet Explorer 5.0 was an update that needed updating as it invited 'viruses'.

The Ferguson 3V23 VideoStar VHS video recorder had no problem going to the year 2000. Computer programs that have a problem with dates are due to bad programming. If it was the case that programmers had screwed it up then they should have been held responsible. No-one was.

Would it help if I wore a white coat?
Again, I find this strange. First you say wikipedia is wrong, then you say it supports what you have been saying. Is this an admission that you are wrong?

I do not remember Wordstar. I did not exist when such programs were released, but anyway: Of course it is a case of programmers screwing up.

http://articles.cnn.com/2000-01-03/t...pco?_s=PM:TECH

(An example of Y2K+10 bug)
http://www.crn.com.au/News/163864,ba...1k-glitch.aspx

and of course it is not a world-stopping problem. I never made such sensational comments. I said it was an issue that (most but not all) companies avoided by taking action.
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06-03-2012, 22:14   #168
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Dude, your credibility just went BANG!!!

Won't you question Wikipedia? Of course you won't question CERN..
Had to comment on this. I'd have to say in terms of credibility Morbert's is quite high. With regards to CERN this excellent blog post should give a friendly impression of the intricacies involved in particle physics and measurement.

Last edited by Turtwig; 06-03-2012 at 22:17.
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07-03-2012, 03:53   #169
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Had to comment on this. I'd have to say in terms of credibility Morbert's is quite high. With regards to CERN this excellent blog post should give a friendly impression of the intricacies involved in particle physics and measurement.
Yes. I agree.
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07-03-2012, 04:06   #170
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Again, I find this strange. First you say wikipedia is wrong, then you say it supports what you have been saying. Is this an admission that you are wrong?

I do not remember Wordstar. I did not exist when such programs were released, but anyway: Of course it is a case of programmers screwing up.

http://articles.cnn.com/2000-01-03/t...pco?_s=PM:TECH

(An example of Y2K+10 bug)
http://www.crn.com.au/News/163864,ba...1k-glitch.aspx

and of course it is not a world-stopping problem. I never made such sensational comments. I said it was an issue that (most but not all) companies avoided by taking action.
Fair enough but you also fail to acknowledge that the Y2K bug was nothing more than a money spinner. If you think that programmers in the eighties didn't realise that the 'short year' format was rapidly coming to its sell by date then you underestimate the intelligence of those programmers.

Sure, there may have been software houses that said 'don't worry about it; we can charge fifty quid to 'fix' it but I never came across any BIOS in even the oldest IBM machine that didn't report the correct day for the first day of January 2000. Nor did I find a problem with any VCR that I came across at that time.

In other words, I made a conscious attempt nearly twenty years ago to show that the Y2K bug was nothing more than an exercise in scaremongering.

And I can assure you that I am arguing from a position of authority in this case.

In the mid-nineties my local newspaper had a two-page centre-spread written by the head of technology of Leeds City Council that claimed that all modern equipment from toasters to washing machines, from irons to computers were susceptible to the millenium bug.

Yet, not a single report of a toaster or washing machine or computer going wrong. Despite what krd claims.
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07-03-2012, 04:38   #171
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Again, I find this strange. First you say wikipedia is wrong, then you say it supports what you have been saying. Is this an admission that you are wrong?

I do not remember Wordstar. I did not exist when such programs were released, but anyway: Of course it is a case of programmers screwing up.

http://articles.cnn.com/2000-01-03/t...pco?_s=PM:TECH

(An example of Y2K+10 bug)
http://www.crn.com.au/News/163864,ba...1k-glitch.aspx

and of course it is not a world-stopping problem. I never made such sensational comments. I said it was an issue that (most but not all) companies avoided by taking action.
I find it strange too: I think that you are clever Morbet but that doesn't mean that I am stupid. Wikipedia is not a convincing argument for anything but it can set you off on a journey toward truth. I would merely point out that Wikipedia often contradicts other accepted works or references; it not not immune to error any more than you are.

All that I have suggested, in a nutshell, is that CERN or those under the umbrella of CERN have a vested interst in how funding is allocated. By opening up the question of FTL, CERN have guaranteed that research will be carried out into the implications of FTL travel. Others will try to reproduce the experiment and CERN know that they will come to different conclusions: They have to put their hands up to getting this wrong because it will come out when no-one else can achieve FTL travel and BANG goes CERN's credibility.

This is a valid argument and so far in this thread, no-one has shown that this is not the situation. In fact, most posters here support my view judging by the comments that have been thanked.

Remember, there is a lot of money in science and where you find money you will find corruption. It's a human thing.

Wordstar was one of the first word-processors available to the general public; I had a copy for my Spectrum but it was also available for the BBC model B, the Commodore 64, etc. It went through a number of updates and each one dealt with 'bugs' or, as they actually were, a lack of functionality. The date was never a problem for Wordstar.

I will go and look at the links you posted.

I must point out; I love the difference between discussions here and on the Christian forum; it kind of makes me glad to have an open mind.
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07-03-2012, 04:47   #172
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Okay, do you seriously want to analyse this article?

In case you do, what do you make of the bit where it says 'the cause of the problem is still under investigation'?

I said that I was arguing from a position of authority so could you point out why the date would be set to Feb 6th 2036 by virtue of the Y2K bug?
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07-03-2012, 04:54   #173
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(An example of Y2K+10 bug)
http://www.crn.com.au/News/163864,ba...1k-glitch.aspx

and of course it is not a world-stopping problem. I never made such sensational comments. I said it was an issue that (most but not all) companies avoided by taking action.
I see the problem; it is a failure to distinguish between a 'virus' that has a particular effect at a particular time by design and a problem that could occur due to some kind of 'short-date format'.

Any computer problem could be put down to a Y2K bug by this kind of misunderstanding.

I don't accuse you of sensationalism but you seem to fail to acknowledge that many companies avoided Y2K problems by taking no action at all.

Have you heard of the 'placebo effect?
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08-03-2012, 01:46   #174
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Also, assuming that memory came as 7-bits per byte then 99 would be just as easy to represent as 127. 99 is not a special number. But even back then memory was arranged as 8-bit bytes - with 256 possible arrangements.
In fairness BCD was used a lot so 99 was the highest number you could store in a byte

but the real problem was programmers and those higher up in the food chain being lazy or budget concious - 9/9/99 was used as a "forever" date on some systems , understandable back in the 1950's and perhaps 1960's when memory was expensive and the century wasn't going to happen until long after you and the systems had expired. Totally unforgivable in the 80's


dow jones hitting 10,000 was a biggie that happened before Y2K people were worried that automatic trades might be triggered ..


Lets hope we can all survive excel & Co. crashing and burning at 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038.



Of course the really big issue is what happens any machines still running VMS at 02:48:05.47 on 31-JUL-31086

or if we are still stuck with 64 bit times on our existing 64bit OS's at 15:30:08 on Sunday, 4 December 292,277,026,596

but by then we will know a lot more about the shape of the universe as we'll see stuff even further away by then
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08-03-2012, 10:10   #175
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Lets hope we can all survive excel & Co. crashing and burning at 03:14:07 UTC on Tuesday, 19 January 2038.
<New plan: retire December 2037, need to increase pension contributions>
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