In article <19990606204656.02091.00001...
@aol.com (Max565) writes:
> They are controlled by large, mainframe computers, using dozens of
> different languages, and over the years they've been maintained by hundreds of
> different programmers, who didn't keep very good records of their maintenence
*ahem* excuse me as I butt into this non-rail thread, but I happen to
be one of those "hundreds" of programmers who wrote programs for
computers used in nuke plants, Westinghouse to be specific. Rather
than mainframes, the power plants tended to use rather smallish
Sparcstations from Sun. Mainframes are totally unsuited for the
real-time requirements of many (nuke and conventional) power plant
There's also very little in the way of date functions that would cause
nuke plants (or any other power generating plant for that matter) to
Since you seem to be an expert on the topic, though, I'd like to see a
list of the "dozens of different languages" used by these mythical
> They didn't begin fixing the computer code until mid 1997,
> mostly because of the bureaucracies that run the places.
There certainly is a hesitation to upgrade because of the regulatory
paperwork it entails, but when it becomes time to bite the bullet...
> This has been compounded by the fact that this kind of
> project is commonplace among large software users, but there has NEVER been an
> immovable end date until now.
Programmers are continually dealing with modifying software to meet
"immovable end dates." Compliance with government regulations which
come into effect on a certain date is a prime example, e.g. new
reporting requirements for the IRS or Immigration or a host of other
government agencies which businesses deal with on a daily basis. The
Euro is another example. Y2K compliance is just a variation on that
theme; it's nothing new.
> If they shut down all of the nuclear power generation facilities, all
> those that remain will be of the analog, (READ: older, conventional technology
> using coal fired or moving H2O as power), type.
Illinois for the past two years was without a significant portion of
its power generating capacity because all of Edison's and Illinois
Power's nuke plants were offline. The utilities had some problems
meeting peak demand during the summer months, but was doing just fine
for the rest of the year.
Allow me to restate that: peak demand is in the summer, during the day
-- not on a cold night in the middle of winter.
> you can't qualify a
> nuclear facility as analog, simply because of it's use of analog equipment.
> It's the plutoneum that causes the danger.
Oh I get it, plutonium is what's digital.
Mr Larsen, my intention here is not to flame you, but do you realize
you lose all credibility when you use this language about "analog"
versus nuclear power plants? You sound like the car mechanic that
tries to tell the customer that the berryllium overthruster in the
shiftomatic converter needs to be replaced. It's nonsense language
that tries to sound technical.
>> The plant that was damaged by the tornado receives, or
>>received, three trainloads a day of coal from Wyoming on the Union
>>Pacific. Indeed, it is a sufficiently large customer that it is
>>a place named in the UP employee timetable as "OG&E Spur" and is
>>the south end of CTC on that line.
Ooops, rail-related. We can't have that here :-) But it's been
an amusing diversion.