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Re: OT: Programming (was Re: word creation algorithm)

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Sunday, January 27, 2008, 22:15
On Jan 27, 2008 12:49 PM, ROGER MILLS <rfmilly@...> wrote:

> Would this have arisen in tribute to an early Arthur C. Clarke story > (IIRC), > in which a computer runs amok, and is only stopped when the command "I > tell > you three times!!" is given?
More likely in response to a race condition (real or perceived) where the system might not be in the right state to act on the command the first time around, but it is hoped that the attempt to do so will put it in a more receptive frame of mind. The three-times-means-I-mean-it thing doesn't seem like a very secure system design to me - we computer geeks always try things multiple times when they don't seem to be working. (Something about definitions of insanity springs to mind...) In a similar vein, for a long time the standard idiom to reboot a UNIX system was to run the command "sync", then run the command "sync" again, and only then run the command "reboot". The "sync" is supposed to "sync"hronize the portions of the file system buffered in memory with the actual files on disk, so that the system comes back up in a consistent state, but it actually only puts a request for a sync operation in the OS's processing queue, so if you do the reboot right away it might not have done anything yet... -- Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>


Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>