Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Computer, Heal Thyself!

Wired: "Microchips are like potato chips: More of them come out of the oven broken than whole. And of the chips - micro, not potato - that make it to market, many have built-in weaknesses that eventually cause them to fail. Most people don't care. The useful lifespan of an electronic device is only about three years, and it's hard to consume just one. By the time your cell phone's processor melts down, you've already bought a newer model.
But if you're planning to send a computer on, say, a 10-year mission into deep space, then you need more staying power. The best option� used to be to send lots of spare processors and cross your fingers. As your probe flew silently� through the night, you would dream about chips that could fix themselves."

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