Re: The Airplane Example (was Re: Streaming XML)
On Thu, 6 Jan 2005, Elliotte Harold wrote: > Benjamin Franz wrote: > > >> Just because it doesn't have any 'moving parts' doesn't mean it doesn't >> wear out: EVERYTHING wears out sooner or later. > > Yes, but there's a point at which a quantitative difference becomes a > qualitative one; and I think the orders of magnitude difference between a > computer wearing out due to cosmic rays and thermal fatigue and a car engine > wearing out due to mechanical friction crosses that line. The difference is only about 1 order of magnitude in my experience. Not enough to call it a qualitative difference. I was an electronics tech with the US Navy for several years in addition to having been in the computer field for 25 years: Believe me when I say electronics fail. A lot. My _job_ was repairing failed electronics. Good maintenance and operational practices help a lot, but even when you do everything right, electronics break. If we were speaking face-to-face I could go on for more than an hour just listing the electronics failures I've seen in the last 25 years. Everything from transistor failures to having a pair of 25-foot HF antennas literally go up in flames due to an electronic component failure (a shorted capacitor). The most recent was just last week. I plugged a retail 800VA APC UPS (I've had it about 8 months, well treated, not abused or overloaded) in and turned it on and something (probably a capacitor) literally _blew up_ inside with a loud double bang 5 to 10 seconds later. Fortunately I hadn't yet turned on the computer attached to it. It was the second UPS I've had blow up after being turned on (the first was while I was in the Navy about 12 years ago). -- Benjamin Franz "All right, where is the answer? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you click and we both serve pages - and find out who is right, and who is slashdotted." - David Brandt
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