Fix on Failure cannot work : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Fix on Failure cannot work.

If this were a possible option, you could simply take the system to a recover site, run it in the future with a few test records, watch for the failures, and in a few hours or days, completely repair the system.

The reason that remediation and testing has been scheduled for months and years is that it really, really does take that long to find and fix the problems.

When the rollover occurs, the systems that fail will take months or years to repair.

The question is, what happens to society and civilization when the large complex systems that run everything no longer operate?

How bad will it be? If you have any ideas on the consequences and solutions, please draft an article for the DC Y2K Weather Reports. You can email to

-- cory hamasaki (cory@you.know.where), February 09, 1999


Our current 'large systems' require man to mimic machines, to subsume the essence of human dignity so as to better become a cog, a cipher. The machine systems do not ask the worker to also be a poet, or a painter, or a story-teller, or to be noble. Such activities are viewed as entirely superfluous to the machine/system process, which is to generate Barbies, or twinkies, or Volvos, or sector fund info. Man is called upon to be 'efficient,' a word that describes the behaviour of machines and complex chemical systems, but does disservice to human concepts as love, compassion, fidelity. Our economy, too, celebrates efficiency at the expense of humanity. Human landscapes, composed of integrated, caring families, have entirely disappeared from modern society, excluding reprobates such as the Amish. This abandonment of a human-based social fabric has led to a terrible alienation from life itself: we see it in widespread alcoholism, drug-addiction, violence, the loss of individual autonomy. Corporations, those great creatures of finance and industry, are organized specifically to be immortal, as long as the lifeblood of profit is available. Soulless, corporations have no qualms about 'downsizing' thousands of workers to enhance profitability. If the Directors failed in this task they would be replaced, just as lowly worker cogs are replaced. Lacking individuality, they are emminently replaceable. The system pays lip service to human dignity, but in fact demands reproducibility, reliability, punctuallity; machine qualities all. I could go on in the vein for hours, years...many others have sounded the alarm, from Jacques Ellul (Technology) to Wendell Berry (What Are People For?). Perhaps when the dust of the looming catastrophe settles, I can tell tales of the Old Days to the kids gathered at my knee. My prayer is that these future children will know what it is to be part of a human, caring community, where the individual is valued not for his ability to mimic a machine, but for his value AS an individual; in short, a human being. To hope for anything less is a failure of vision, if you ask me.

-- Spidey (, February 09, 1999.

Fix on failure is the first Achilles Heel of Y2K remediation. It would be bad enough if we were only talking about enterprise systems (which are basically the ball game all by themselves). Now add:

... The so-called 70% or so 'non mission-critical systems' which will, by explicit decision due to lack of schedule, be fixed on failure.

... The millions of SMEs (heck, some nations) that have explicitly decided to fix everything they have on failure.

... The unknown spectre of embedded systems failure which will ricochet its effects crazily across all systems, compliant or not.

-- BigDog (, February 09, 1999.

Spidey are you on welfare or something? Does the world owe you something? Why do you hate business for downsizing? As painful as it might be (and VPs don't enjoy that part of the job unlike what you think), getting rid of positions, no longer needed makes for efficiency. You are free to start up your own small business and watch it grow. Do you have your own business? Why, afraid of the risk? Well, CEOs took the risk and succeeded. Why don't you compete with them to show them how to do it right? If you don't like this philosophy, there are many other countries who "take care" of their citizens. However be aware, the income tax is 50%. Would you like to pay 50% in taxes? I know I wouldn't; I think government is too big as it is. Stop looking for a handout.

Back to the original question. Fix on failure doesn't work for non- remediated systems but it does for systems with embedded systems. Systems that do not make it by Dec have little chance. The solution becomes replacement and work arounds.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (, February 09, 1999.

Dear Miss Troll: I pay over 50% in tax, when I add my federal, NY State, Sales, Property and School taxes up, not to mention cap gains. More like 60%, dearie. I am not a Captain of Industry like yourself, and neither am I a shill for a corrupted ethic that serves neither me nor my community. The idea of industrial capitalism serving the needs of the poorest--ha! Why do you think women are forced to MURDER their unborn children if not because of the utter poverty of vision our 'wonerful, wonerful' economic system foists on them? Remember your lessons from Feminism 101? "Women must be empowered biologically to make economic decisions about child-bearing: BMWs, not babies...Waterford crystal, not wails in the night...Ann Taylor, not diaper-changes..." THIS is the economic triumphalism you defend? Rather Pathetic. Oh, and I it or leave it...brilliant and original argumentation, Archie Bunker. You defend the very system that is about to destroy you. You should rethink your categories, starting with why man was placed on earth (evolve from an amoeba, dear?), because all the categories are about to be swept away. Love to you and yours, Your friendly neighborhood etc.

-- Spidey (, February 09, 1999.

Fix-on-failure will not work for Y2K problems, period, regardless. Indeed, they will not work for non-remediated (software) systems, because when code that has not changed for a long time suddenly starts urping, it suddenly becomes a needle-in-a-haystack problem. You know, the kind that takes programmers going through every line of code, etc.

Fix-on-failure will also not work with remediated systems. Because now you have code that has had a lot of changes applied in a relatively short period of time. So, its like the story of the leprechaun that has its pot of gold discovered, which is buried by a tree in a forest. The bandit ties a yellow ribbon around the tree and forces the leprechaun to swear not to remove it. When the bandit returns with a shovel to dig up the gold ... he finds that the clever leprechaun has tied a yellow ribbon around all the trees in the forest!

Fix-on-failure will not work with embedded systems. Again, its a needle-in-a-haystack situation, everything was working, nothing changed, then pow! And we are talking important stuff here, like electricity.


-- Jack (, February 09, 1999.

Jack, I guess we disagree on a couple of points. The remediation process includes the assessment phase through the test phase, going throught every line of code. In the end the corporation has a true picture of the enterprise architecture. This architecture shows how the systems interact and aids in fault isolation.

All software goes into production with problems; the corporation fixes those problems. Just because something fails doesn't mean the company stops existing. People find solutions every day and they will find solutions in the year 2000.

Spidey, you need to stop drinking coffee. Cool down. Maybe you ought to move out of New York, dearie.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (, February 09, 1999.

You are right, Troll Maria, let me clarify: I should have said that fix-on-failure will not work for remediated code that has not been tested (which, with time running out so fast, many places are claiming that they will simply do the code fixing, and then count on fix-on-failure in lieu of testing). Thanks for catching that.

-- Jack (, February 09, 1999.

I'm sorry everyone, I've got to say something, this Tia Maria slapper cannot be for real can she? - Tia Maria (for you've been drinking too much of it), go back over the last couple of months and re-read your post dearie... every time you open that great big cavern of yours you put your foot in it don't you (on top of insulting people along the way, if you don't like this country leave it etc. - grow up will ya?)

Are you on crack - is that it???

"Fix on failure doesn't work for non- remediated systems but it does for systems with embedded systems."

Oh. I get it. A refinery like Bhopal that blows up due to a faulty chip in a valve control system, or a factory like Ford's last week that goes offline for days (and f***ks up the supply chain to it's sister factories thus shutting THEIR production) - these are wonderful examples of your scalpel-like mind in action are they?? This is how you approached YOUR companies' y2k efffort is it??

Ye gods!

Well, all I can say Tia Maria is YOUR company is in safe hands with you on board, yes sirree!

Then why are three refineries being shut down in Venezuela in December '99?? Because they know damn well that these refineries are unsafe and the embedded systems will do untold damage, that's why.

Same for US nuclear plants that are not compliant by July 1st '99.

So, my shrill little motormouth... When embedded systems shut down the grid - be it minor or major - how are those companies suffering from chip problems that haven't been damaged irreparably going to fix on failure without power??

How are so-called remediated companies like yours going to do likewise?

And I'm not even bothering to factor in the myriad of other interdependencies that will squash you're sorry ass at rollover - how are you going to work around those you blithering idiot?

Enough of your nonsense I say - don't bother replying, you will only dig yourself in deeper, as you've proved countless times since you've graced us with your laser-like mental processes...

The world is a safer place without you in the military my dear, but not your Company.


Two digits. One mechanism. The smallest mistake.

"The conveniences and comforts of humanity in general will be linked up by one mechanism, which will produce comforts and conveniences beyond human imagination. But the smallest mistake will bring the whole mechanism to a certain collapse. In this way the end of the world will be brought about."

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1922 (Sufi Prophet)

-- Andy (, February 09, 1999.

And Spidey - Bravo Sir! - couldn't have said it better myself.

Tia Maria is a prime example of a brainwashed robot - notice how she always reverently refers to "The Corporation" - it makes me f*****g sick.

I hope "The Corporaion" feeds, waters, clothes and warms you in 2000 you pathetic excuse for a woman.

-- Andy (, February 09, 1999.

Fix on failure can't work for large complex systems with no redundancy. These are of course exactly the systems that Cory works on. (They do of course have hardware redundancy -- I mean no fault tolerance at the software level).

It's the norm for the routine failures that happen every day in a telecoms or electricity distribution network. It'll work for Y2K PROVIDED there are sufficiently few serious points of failure on the day. That's a big proviso, especially since nobody really knows what "sufficiently few serious points of failure" really means, other than in the doubtfully applicable fields of natural disasters and war damage. The more remediation is done here, the less the likelyhood of disaster -- it's not all-or-nothing like it is with a big corporate mainframe package.

Fix-on-fail is also pretty much the norm for many small organisations that use computers in the shape of one PC with canned software. I've no idea what fraction of these will be recoverable (by doing an upgrade or by doing a bit of overtime) after they run slap-bang into Y2K with no preparation. The cautious ones with multiple backups going back years may be OK, as may those that keep everything on paper. Methinks their biggest worry will be the big companies that fail, either as suppliers or customers, rather than coping with the consequences of a glorified word-processor-cum-filing-cabinet that's gone haywire.

As for society: it all depends on the power grids. Provided they make it we'll muddle through, albeit probably via a 1930s-style depression.

-- Nigel Arnot (, February 09, 1999.

As has been often pointed out, not least by Cory, but Nigel, you're making me think of this, is that fix on failure is drastically compounded by the "noise" that will be trashing "signal" at that time. Not just within systems, but, worse, the supply chain.

To fix on failure, I need:

... employees that feel secure enough to come in to work.

... ditto subcontractors (and can I afford them when they know my survival is at stake)?

... replacement HW and/or SW (but are the companies that supply them Y2K compliant and/or still operating? if they are operating, am I standing in line for shipments, much as is happening with generators today?)

... to be able to keep the business itself going while all of the above is being juggled (can I do some things manually? can I get access to loans and capital to manage restricted cash flow? and so it goes)

Fixing on failure is the ultimate fool's game, especially for small business, who will be last in line for all the above. If you are a SME and reading this but planning to fix on failure, do yourself a favor and sell the business ASAP.

-- BigDog (, February 09, 1999.

I agree with you Big Dog. But the points you have made go into the contingency planning. Not only are we looking at our own systems (and people available) but we are looking at the upstream and downstream.

How many companies have actually stated a "fix on failure" without any assessment or remediation plan?

Andy, go have another beer you cry baby.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (, February 09, 1999.

Unexamined assumptions dept: Nigel made one of the most interesting comments: Provided they make it we'll muddle through, albeit probably via a 1930s-style depression.

Nigel, what say you, sir ? Today we have more than double the global population of 1930. Our expectations are many times higher. Our skills for self-sufficiency are abysmal or non-existent. In the 1930's, the Depression was a clear trigger effect for WWII. The same level of economic disruption next year, well, what say you, sir ?


-- Runway Cat (, February 09, 1999.

Only if you're buying, munchkin.

-- Andy (, February 09, 1999.

So Tia Maria,

You've learned a couple of things from these posts but in your usual arrogant way you've ducked the issue and changed the subject.

Are you - oh wonderous one - going to retract these ludicrous statements that you made above on this topic???

1. "Fix on failure doesn't work for non- remediated systems but it does for systems with embedded systems."

2. "The solution becomes replacement and work arounds."

3. "Just because something fails doesn't mean the company stops existing. People find solutions every day and they will find solutions in the year 2000."

As Cory said above, you buffoon, "Fix on Failure cannot work. If this were a possible option, you could simply take the system to a recover site, run it in the future with a few test records, watch for the failures, and in a few hours or days, completely repair the system.

The reason that remediation and testing has been scheduled for months and years is that it really, really does take that long to find and fix the problems.

When the rollover occurs, the systems that fail will take months or years to repair."

I'll have ten pints of Guinness since you're buying :)


-- Andy (, February 09, 1999.

Most people on this forum believe y2k will be a "5" or greater. On that scale a "5" has bank runs. Just who will be around to do the "fixing" for those companys who waited to "fix on failure". What kind of compensation are they going to be offered. They're not going to try to fix this thing for the good of America. Their loyality is to the almighty greenback, and if they ever get the idea that "greenback" has no valve, you won't have any "fixers" to fix what needs to be "fixed on failure". I think they'll be running around trying to "fix" their own personal situation, but will it be too late by that time to do any "preping".

-- thinkIcan (, February 09, 1999.

It's seems to me that typically computer professionals assume that "fix on failure" is reserved only to the IT systems issues. But, I see it as a much larger issue. In fact, y2k itself is a much broader issue. Don't get mixed up in the mud and muck of computer code and become limited in your vision. While, certainly, those systems will be the catalyst to problems the disruptions that occur because of them will not be limited only to those systems. I can't see how fix on failure can work in an environment where both human resources and replacement parts are limited. In fact, as problems begin to overlap more and more fix on failure will be impossible except for those entities which have large cash reserves and the ability to spend. That means that most small to medium businesses and corporations will not be able to fix on failure. However, those are just the first problems I see with fix on failure. There will be failures in supply chains, human resources, local, state and federal government, transportation availability, and other "more simple" systems which all rely on each other and compound each others problems. All systems will require a fix on each area of failure. Only the entities with great ingenuity and resources will be able to survive. If corporations and businesses and other entities are actually working hard on their contingencies then they have the best shot at working through their problems. But this does not mean they are guaranteed success. The interdependent and interconnected nature of every system will not allow for fix on failure to be possible if an entity is only focused on "getting by" or keeping the status quo. It seems to me that the ability to fix on failure for non IT systems will only be possible if those systems can run in a more streamlined and simplified form. How do you fix on the failure of the human resources supply chain? Will people stay home and protect themselves and their families above all else? Will it be safe for people to go to work? Will an employer be able to pay it's employees? How do you fix on the failure of confidence in a banking system? How do you fix on the failure of the medical industry to continue to provide service or the drug industry to provide product? How do you fix on the failure of the human psyche to comprehend the fact that yesterday is no longer possible and tomorrow may well be a much harder life? We're due for a big attitude adjustment. We're due for a major correction. We're due for a shift in the balance. That will be the real fix on failure. Mike =====================================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, February 09, 1999.

Hey Andy you can kiss my ass you bastard. You don't know shit about nothing. Keep your feelings to yourself ass hole when it concerns me. I can't stand you anyway and you know it. I bet you have a little one don't you.

Troll Maria

-- Maria (, February 09, 1999.

Calm down Andy - spread those 10 beers out over a couple of evenings.... and you'll certainly feel better in the morning.

T. Maria - generally correct comments, but let me caution you that your situation - by definition of the fact you are checking and remediating NOW - is very different that the 40% of the county, local, municiple and "school" government agencies who have no plan right now to do anything. By planning now, and fixing now, and testing now, you have placed yourself in exactly the position described above:

<< It'll work for Y2K PROVIDED there are sufficiently few serious points of failure on the day. That's a big proviso, especially since nobody really knows what "sufficiently few serious points of failure" really means, other than in the doubtfully applicable fields of natural disasters and war damage. The more remediation is done here, the less the likelyhood of disaster >>

Granted an assumption of power, health interests (workers' home life stable enough and no civil unrest) that would otherwise prevent workers from arriving at the plant or company. These remaining agencies haven't eliminated the trivial 60-70-80-90-95% (you pick) errors from the fatal flaws - including operating systems and networks. For example, many companies routinely update the user PC's regularly, so relatively fewer will fail outright - though even NT 4.0 apparently requires replacement or upgrade. But the network server (or printer driver) may sit ignored in the corner till it dies. Oopsy - no printing till that's fixed.

Process-level flaws may involve hundreds of tons of chemicals, molten steel, paper, pulp products, explosive residues or toxic by-products that "didn't finish" during the aborted run. Cleanup and recovery may be very painful and dangerous, if it can be done at all. Hundreds of pounds of molten plastic jammed into a machine may take days to clean and re-assemble. Only it will jam again if the wrong "failed" part is replaced during "fix-on-repeated-failure-and retest" sessions.

If repairs andremediation are completed, and if practice runs are included in testing, then the best that can be said is that company now has a chance of finding out the remaining problems that remained hidden, and probably can recover from them, and probably can remain in business.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, February 09, 1999.

Michael Taylor brought up a good point. It's more than computers. For example, I'm old enough to remember when I could fix my damn car myself. Now you need a mechanic with a computer. I remember when anyone with any mechanical ability could fix a broken (whatever). Now if something breaks, may as well shitcan it -- no replaceable parts. Ditto radios and TVs. Granted, today's stuff is more powerful, more feature laden, but is beyond the ability of the average person to fix, as compared to 40 or more years ago,

-- a (, February 09, 1999.

In considering the real meaning of "fix on failure", lets not forget that Y2K problems do not always really mean failure, in the sense that something stops working (or "abends", as older computer types like to say [ABnormal ENDing]). Systems with Y2K problems may very well "work", its just that they produce garbage, which may or may not be real obvious. The "failure" that might have to be "fixed" might be of the form of someone coming in on Feb 1, 2000, with their bank statement showing that their account is absolutely, completely, and totally wrong.

Remember: a big impact of Y2K may very well be that computers will just plain be no longer deemed trustworthy by John Q. Public. Think about the implications of that....

-- Jack (, February 09, 1999.

This is one of those few threads where something more than regurgitation is going on, thanks.

a -- (which a are you anyway? :-), you are so right. Everyone used to "fix on failure" (I remember stories that ascribed a fair portion of U.S. WWII success on the ability of soldiers to scrounge parts from, heck, German tanks, to fix our own while German soldiers, who operated "by the book" couldn't/wouldn't make the attempt), whether it was computers, farm equipment or being able to add up figures on a grocery bill. That's gonzo .... hope we're not gonzo too.

TM --- agree with you and Messr. Cook. I maintain (it's a no-brainer, I'm not taking credit) that 75% of most Fortune 500 effort RIGHT NOW should be going to contingency planning up and down the supply chain, based on cold honesty about their status and 25% to remediation. I'm over-simplifying, since different parts of the org can do both, but I'll let that go.

I've always believed you (just "smells right") about your own org's work, but as Robert says, this is what should be happening, not, so far as we have evidence, what is happening.

-- BigDog (, February 09, 1999.

"fix on failure". What a joke. The brightest and most capable have their bug out bag ready (if they are still around), and at the first sign of trouble (if not before) will bolt for the door. I beat the rush and am now on the sidelines, soon to move back further from the crowd. All the kings horses and all the kings men will not be able to put humpty dumpty back together again.

-- out of the loop (soonto@be.broken), February 09, 1999.

Big Dog: I posted a few times as "A" at, but noticed that someone else had that "name" -- so I changed to "A" or "a" at
Useing "AisA" as in "A is A" (reality is reality) as "tribute" to Aristotle through Ayn Rand ("Atlas Shrugged").

-- A (, February 09, 1999.

Not only the general public wont't trust computers. I'm a programmer and I haven't trusted them or systems or apps software for years.

-- vbProg (, February 09, 1999.

> Nigel, what say you, sir ? Today we have more than double the global population of 1930. Our expectations are many times higher. Our skills for self-sufficiency are abysmal or non-existent. In the 1930's, the Depression was a clear trigger effect for WWII. The same level of economic disruption next year, well, what say you, sir ?

I've never believed that assertion about WWII. The causes were multifarious; the biggest was probably the utterly idiotic peace treaty reparations at the end of WWI that drove Germany into hyperinflation and bankrupcy a couple of years later. They were just recovering from that, when the great depression hit. This double loss made the population likely to vote for a maverick, and unfortunately the one they chose was insane (c.f. Mussolini and FDR, also both charismatic characters). Other factors were a widespread acceptance of Fascist ideology (even in GB and the USA), and economic policies that made the depression worse ("sound money", trade wars, and the gold standard).

The 1930s weren't the first Depression. They have been happening at the rate of about one per lifetime since the dawn of the market economy. My belief is that as soon as the last generation to have experienced one is no longer with us, we repeat the mistakes that led to it (mostly greed!). Wars do not noticeably fall into a cyclical pattern, they are more a manifestation of power politics.

As for self-sufficiency: people don't mend many things today because it's more cost-effective to replace. Change the circumstances and mend-it will again become commonplace.

Things impossible to mend? Certainly, there are components like that, but it's always possible to dismantle a failed assembly and keep the parts until something similar needs fixing. Go to a third-world country, and you'll find market stalls selling cannibalised spare parts -- and, I suspect, middlemen who make a living out of matching up buyers and sellers of what we'd probably call scrap. Go to a junkyard and buy three scrapped cars of the same make and model and approximately the same age. Anyone vaguely competent with auto maintenance and repair tools will be able to turn these into one, probably two, functional vehicles. Why don't we? Because most folks who can afford to run a car can also afford something better than a rust-bucket (which probably also breaks various safety and pollution regulations). It's a lot of work to make rather little money. But if there were no choice, that's what we'd do. If production of new cars collapses, it'll make the recycling of wrecks and rustbuckets a lot more attractive. The same argument applies to anything else manufactured.

Expectations many times higher? Good. The biggest danger in a depression is depression, coming to believe that it can't get better. Higher expectations should make for a faster recovery.

Personal digression

My dad lost the first joint of most of his fingers (and one eye) in an explosives accident. His physiotherapist suggested that to re- learn manual dexterity, he found a few broken (clockwork) clocks and worked out how to mend them. After clocks became straightforward, he moved on to pocketwatches. Then wristwatches. Then ladies' wristwatches. Never other than as a hobby and a challenge. Finally in his late 70s, someone told him that you couldn't mend quartz watches. He proved them wrong. (A hair in the gear chain - some things never change!)

A lesson to all of us, I think.

-- Nigel Arnot (, February 09, 1999.

Even U.S. political "leaders" (some of them, anyway) and the military used to recognize this problem:

In WWI and WWII, "we" were insulated geographically from war devastation. We could make things to go boom while the festivities were in process.

But, post WWII, with the advent of missiles, we were not isolated. Only what stockpile we would have at the start (for the most part) would be what we were going to have to play with. Capability to make more might not be available. He who has the most toys, wins.

A lot of stuff you may need after 2000-01-01 may not be available, or even capable of being made anymore. You don't get your oil off the surface of the ground in Pennsylvania anymore -- got to drill thousands of feet for it (and how you gonna find it without modern high tech instruments).

There ain't gonna be any fix on failure. stockpile stockpile.
Max your credit cards.
Consider "maxing" take home pay (see

-- A (, February 09, 1999.

Scavenging and making one or two cars out of three can work. But, in cars, as in computer systems, some parts are more important (mission critical) than others. You can get along without a window in a car. But how about a radiator -- you can plug leaks only so long before it has insufficient capacity to do the job. How about the computers in the cars that control firing timing. Take a hell of a mechanic to find and replace one of them with a distributor, if it can be done at all without a full-fledged machine shop.

Dirty gasoline -- how long your fuel injectors gonna last. Where get more? Etc Etc Etc

-- vbProg (, February 09, 1999.

Nigel: How nice to know we will be the next third world country.

-- out of the loop (soonto@be.broken), February 09, 1999.

Long ago (and far away) I did flow-systems consulting and troubleshooting for mfg. (and fulfillment). Fix on failure was usually the only reason they'd call a troubleshooter in the first place.

The biggest problems are immediately obvious: they are things that were problems, that nobody worried about, until they stopped you flat like a rock in a skateboard wheel, and the whole damn assembly line went down on its face.

Then while that area was waiting for spare parts to be ordered and delivered and installed, everything prior to that in the process piled up, while everything after that in the process was down as well. Of course. This is basic.

So eventually the problem -- usually something pretty straightforward, thank god.*, and usually something that had a vendor available and able to ship ASAP -- was fixed.

I imagine the problem being something truly obscure that has to be found like, as mentioned already, a needle in a haystack. God knows how long it would take just to find the problem in the first place.

Then I imagine that unless I have lots of spare cash on hand, and unless transportation is working fine, I may not have employees to help me find the problem in the first place.

Then I have to hope I have all the power or utilities I need to function, tools, etc., because if I don't I might be doomed.

Then I imagine that my vendors may or may not be available, may or may not have the parts I need, and if they do, they may or may not be able to get them to me with any speed.

Fix on failure works for simple manufacturing processes. The concept that most of our PLANET can do "fix on failure" all at the same time, when there will be any number of unpredictable problems in cash, personnel, transportation, utilities, or supply lines/ freight -- well, this is so illogical, to expect that this is going to be practical, I can't believe anybody really thinks it's going to work.

I think the funniest idea is power companies fixing on failure. Mmmmn. So until they have all their failures, find all their problems, get all their parts, get all their fixes, nobody ELSE (companies et al.) dependent on them can do jack anyway -- they're in the dark.

A zillion power companies want the same kind of part/chip/etc. at the same time, say. They're only made by some company in Missouri who isn't making jack because they have no power, and they have no power because their power company needs that part. I imagine things like this as a sort of black humor, I guess.

I'm getting a sense of humor about this, now that panic, depression and terror have passed. The future is going to be, as that Chinese curse goes, "interesting times."


-- PJ (, February 10, 1999.

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