When Rebooting Is Not An Option

from the figuring-out-where-the-problem-is dept

It’s a standard refrain. When anything goes wrong with your computer, the first thing everyone expects you to do is reboot and see if that fixes the problem. However, as computer systems and networks become more ubiquitous and more decentralized what if you can’t reboot? If your entire home is automated, and the phone suddenly stops ringing, do you restart the whole house? What if it’s a problem at your neighbors that’s impacting your house? The article is interview with Larry Rudolph at MIT, looking at some of these issues. Rudolph is trying to work on systems that will help to detect where the problem is, thus making it easier to repair. Right now, when there’s a problem, it’s often difficult to tell what’s causing it – and that only gets worse when you have more points of potential failure. He also makes a good point about how wireless makes this all more difficult. When everything is a wired connection, you can easily disconnect wires to try to isolate the problem. When everything connects automatically, you no longer have that option (or, at least, it’s not as simple to disconnect).

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