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last spam for tonight: :p

A major breakdown in Southern California's air traffic control system last week was partly due to a "design anomaly" in the way Microsoft Windows servers were integrated into the system, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The radio system shutdown, which lasted more than three hours, left 800 planes in the air without contact to air traffic control, and led to at least five cases where planes came too close to one another, according to comments by the Federal Aviation Administration reported in the LA Times and The New York Times. Air traffic controllers were reduced to using personal mobile phones to pass on warnings to controllers at other facilities, and watched close calls without being able to alert pilots, according to the LA Times report.

The failure was ultimately down to a combination of human error and a design glitch in the Windows servers brought in over the past three years to replace the radio system's original Unix servers, according to the FAA.

The servers are timed to shut down after 49.7 days of use in order to prevent a data overload, a union official told the LA Times. To avoid this automatic shutdown, technicians are required to restart the system manually every 30 days. An improperly trained employee failed to reset the system, leading it to shut down without warning, the official said. Backup systems failed because of a software failure, according to a report in The New York Times.

The contract for designing the system, called Voice Switching and Control System (VSCS), was awarded to Harris Corporation in 1992 and the system was installed in the late 1990s, initially using Unix servers, according to Harris. In 2001, the company completed testing of the VSCS Control Subsystem Upgrade (VCSU), which replaced the original servers with off-the-shelf Dell hardware running Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server. The upgrade was installed in California last year, according to the FAA.

Soon after installation, however, the FAA discovered that the system design could lead to a radio system shutdown, and put the maintenance procedure into place as a workaround, the LA Times said. The FAA reportedly said it has been working on a permanent fix but has only eliminated the problem in Seattle. The FAA is now planning to institute a second workaround - an alert that will warn controllers well before the software shuts down.

The shutdown is intended to keep the system from becoming overloaded with data and potentially giving controllers wrong information about flights, according to a software analyst cited by the LA Times.

Microsoft told Techworld it was aware of the reports but was not immediately able to comment.
http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?NewsID=2275

oh and talk about ironic: :D
 

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Haha! The screen is great. But really? Why are they using Microsoft? :p You'd think people would know by now ... I guess those ads are really effective.
 

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"Insert witty title here"
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I would've switched to Linux long ago had it not been for all the mainstream programs coming out only for Windows :/. There's just too many cool programs that are Windows only(No, not Microsoft-made ones) :(.
 

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Canadian Spaceman
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Yeah just read this on neowin. It wasnt microsofts fault at all. It was the morons who forgot to reboot the server.
 

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There's some big-time sensationalizing going on here. First of all, the article title is misleading. If they set the system up to automatically shut itself down after 49.7 days of straight use, how can you consider it a crash if it does exactly as its told? The main component of this article seems to be related to human error. We see no mention of this "glitch" other than the article partially blaming it. It's purely coincidental that they were running Windows.
 

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I'm in despair!
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FLaRe85 said:
There's some big-time sensationalizing going on here.
You're right. Apparently, due to an coding issue with the application used, the system must be rebooted every 49.7 days or it'll crash. Sadly, it appears that the automated reboot process failed, and maintenance didn't check it before it was too late.

As for the reason the 49.7 day reboot is required, I guess that the application developer used a 32-bits variable for storing a milisecond counter.

2^32 miliseconds = 49.71 days.

[]s Badaro
 

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FLaRe85 said:
There's some big-time sensationalizing going on here. First of all, the article title is misleading. If they set the system up to automatically shut itself down after 49.7 days of straight use, how can you consider it a crash if it does exactly as its told? The main component of this article seems to be related to human error. We see no mention of this "glitch" other than the article partially blaming it. It's purely coincidental that they were running Windows.
Appearently that "issue" is related to this old win9x bug:

http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...port/kb/articles/q216/6/41.asp&NoWebContent=1
 

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It's nice to have a laugh at M$ from time to time ( :p ), but I've to agree with Flare's opinion here...
 

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No People, No Problems
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People just like to blame Microsoft. But as an experienced user of Windows and a computer support tecnician, i have noticed that Windows in fact is a very good OS, and most of the problems that arise are related to bad usage.
 

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People mistake microsoft and Bill Gates they really hate Gates and blame his company.
why does every serious crash happen on windows?
Because its used !!! and thought to be more user friendly...

(If i had his money i wouldn't give a f*** about all the crashes originated by bad usage of Windows...)
 

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_01_ said:
People mistake microsoft and Bill Gates they really hate Gates and blame his company.
why does every serious crash happen on windows?
Because its used !!! and thought to be more user friendly...

(If i had his money i wouldn't give a f*** about all the crashes originated by bad usage of Windows...)
Why blame Gates, though? In reality, he's likely one of the nicest and most generous people on this planet. How many other billionaires do you know that donate as significant a portion of their income as Gates? Not many. Believe it or not, but Microsoft does have other executives that make decisions. It's not all up to Bill. :p
 

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!!!METAL UNCLE!!!
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Radix865 said:
uhh... linux really isn't that good... trust me, nothing works fine...
If you dont know how to use it and where to use it, yes, nothing works.

I feel that my duty is to send this particular photo from some airport: :evil:
 

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That doesn't sound like Microsoft's problem, that's someone's poor attempt to code. Rest assured, if it was ported to Unix, it would have the same problem.

Honestly, you can create perfectly stable software to run on Windows. For example, I have an ancient Packard Bell 130 MHz PC running Windows 98. Still doing its job, hasn't rebooted in 5 years. That tells me quite a bit.

Not every problem is Microsoft's, it could well also be the developers writing the application. Unfortunately, to this day I haven't seen linux implementation that gets SMP working perfectly stable (I still occasionally get hard locks)... but there's some commercial unix implementations that get it working stably.

</end rant>Really, it all boils down to "the right tool for the job."
 

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No, I know how to use linux, it's just so crappy... Even though Windows is crappy too...

But for Air control, I doubt they use Windows in those important machines...

But I kind of love to see a topic in papers "Biggest aircrash in history, windows referred as quilty!"... HAAHHAAA haa...
 

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!!!METAL UNCLE!!!
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Radix865 said:
No, I know how to use linux, it's just so crappy... Even though Windows is crappy too...

But for Air control, I doubt they use Windows in those important machines...

But I kind of love to see a topic in papers "Biggest aircrash in history, windows referred as quilty!"... HAAHHAAA haa...
Also there is hundred different linuxes. Some are almost windows clones, where others are text type server command prompts or such.
 

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Okay... at least Red Hat linux didn't work well...

But like I said... I'd love it, IF there were another OS, that were at least as good as windows. And I'd love to see microsoft crumble... HEH HEH!
 
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