[MUD-Dev] R&D

Sean Kelly sean at ffwd.cx
Mon Jun 3 07:27:30 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>
> On Fri, 31 May 2002, Sean Kelly wrote:

>> Here's a useful axiom:

>>   "The more difficult it is to provide a direct correlation
>>   between an expenditure and a profit, the less likely that
>>   expenditure is to be approved."

>> It's no wonder the y2k problem wasn't addressed until practically
>> 1998, even by utilities in some cases.

> And yet very little actually went wrong. Executives have sound
> methodological reasons for their actions (most of them at
> least. They aren't idiots.), even if they don't always understand
> the details of a situation.

Very little went wrong because there was extensive work done on the
part of pretty much everyone...  So we'll never know just how badly
things could have gone.  Still, there were a few early y2k tests
before any fixes were done that went horribly wrong.  A power plant
testing a date change in hawaii had a systems failure that resulted
in the complete power loss for the entire island.  During a similar
test, the security system in a Ford manufacturing plant went haywire
and locked everyone inside.  I worked in the financial industry at
the time and their degree of paranoia probably exceeded everyone
else's... and not just because SEC compliance forced them to.  IMO
the y2k problem was a nonissue specifically because so much work was
done in the 11th hour.  Security expenditures are similarly
justifiable after a break-in.  But there is no similar hindsight
moment regarding r&d.


Sean

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