One in a million is subsequent Tuesday (2004)

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Abet after I was a wee younger lad, new from college, I idea I knew all the pieces there used to be to perceive.

I’ve since been disabused of that belief, somewhat painfully.

One amongst the most sensible came about very early on, back after I was engaged on DOS 4. We bumped into some extra or much less save of dwelling (I’ll be gorgeous and whisper that I don’t be conscious what it used to be). 

I was trying into the bug with Gordon Letwin, the architect for DOS 4. I seemed on the code and commented “Almost definitely right here’s what used to be going down? But when that had been the case, it’d engage a one in a million likelihood for it to happen”.

Gordon’s response used to be simply: “In our commercial, one in a million is subsequent Tuesday”.

He then went on to commentary that on the speeds which up-to-the-minute computer systems characteristic (4.77 MHz be conscious), issues came about so fleet that something with a one in a million likelihood of incidence is likely to happen in the next day to come or so.

I’m no longer certain I’ve ever got better recommendation in my profession. 

It has completely stood the take a look at of time – regardless of how miniature the likelihood of something going down, with up-to-the-minute computer systems and up-to-the-minute working systems, in actuality every possible speed situation or impasse will likely be stumbled on within an more cost-effective timeframe.

And I’ve seen some absolute doozies in my time – speed instances on MP machines where a non interlocked increment occurred (one variant of Michael Grier’s “i=i + 1” bug). Files corruptions on story of you luxuriate in one non true get entry to to a recordsdata building. I’m regularly amazed on the NT scheduler’s uncanny capability to context swap my utility at gorgeous the gorgeous time as to speak my recordsdata synchronization bug. Or to speak gorgeous how I will get my recordsdata constructions deadlocked in hideous ways.

So on the present time, at any time when anybody comments on how no longer likely it is a long way for some event to occur, my answer is purely: “One in a million is subsequent Tuesday”.

Edit: To fix the spelling of MGrier’s title.

Edit: My wife pointed out the following and acknowledged it belonged with this put up:

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Ava Chan

Ava Chan

I'm a researcher at Utokyo :) and a big fan of Ava Max

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