[rescue] Technology redefines life of the submariner [was: Compaq Proliant 8000]

Sandwich Maker adh at an.bradford.ma.us
Fri Apr 30 17:46:49 CDT 2004

" From: ssandau at gwi.net
" The Navy has experimented with *ships* running Windows for navigation (I 
" think). Now *that's* scary. There was one example of a ship controlled 
" like that being dead in the water for hours.
" Right. Can't fire misslies until we *reboot* the guidance system...
" Blue screen of death could really be the blue screen of <whistling 
" sound, large explosion> death...

truth is stranger and scarier than fiction.

" (EXCERPT) Machinist Mate Chief Don G. Rudelt, co-pilots on the
" simulator of the Virginia, a new class of submarine, at the U.S. Naval
" Submarine School in Groton, Conn.  Today the Navy will christen the
" sub.  Photo by Mort Fryman / The Virginian-Pilot, by MATTHEW DOLAN,
" The Virginian-Pilot ) August 16, 2003
" GROTON, CONN. -- The officer of the deck called out: ``Depth 700
" feet!''
" Chief Petty Officer Mitch Taylor had heard similar orders
" hundreds of times before -- first as a young helmsman and
" planesman, then as diving officer of the watch, and finally as
" chief of the watch.  In those jobs, he could turn a wheel, toggle
" a switch or twist a knob to coax a 7,000-ton undersea vessel into
" action.
" Sitting in a simulator for the nation's newest class of nuclear
" attack submarines this week, the wheel, switches and knobs were
" all gone.  So Taylor needed to practice what to do.
" He touched a new computer screen and a calculator-like image
" appeared.  He pushed his finger on the number seven, followed by
" two quick touches on the number zero.  Then he punched ``Enter.''
" Without realizing it, however, his finger twitched ever so
" slightly, entering an extra, and quite unintended, "0".
" ``700, ay!'' Taylor said, as the computer began to lower the
" simulated Virginia-class sub to the proper depth.
" ... or so he thought.  In reality, the sub was obediantly on her
" way to 7000 ft, some 5 times her maximum safe operating depth.
" Realizing his error, Taylor urgently tapped the "Cancel" button,
" but there was no response.  The computer was executing its built
" in command sanity check routine.  It had quite intelligently
" popped up a dialog box with the prompt "Highly dangerous command
" - are you sure (Y/N)?", but unfortunately this vital dialog box
" was hidden behind another box, one that said "7000, target depth
" out of range (OK)", which in turn, when he finally tapped it,
" revealed yet another box saying "Attempted sabotage detected
" (OK)", which in turn, when dismissed revealed still another box,
" this time one whose message was bone chilling: "Stack overflow in
" line 1,976,437 (OK)".  When he tapped this box, the entire
" display cleared to a strange solid blue hue with some white
" lettering, "System rebooting, estimated time required, 10
" minutes".
" Taylor quickly calculated in his head.  The boat was in a descent
" of some 400 feet per minute.  In no more than 5 minutes at the
" very latest, the tortured hull would rupture as the exterior
" water pressure developed a stress in the shell equalling the
" ultimate compressive strength.
" He was already looking in the back of the cabinet to see that it
" was held in place by tamper proof Torx fasteners.  Could he find
" the necessary tools in time, find the correct wire to cut to
" remove the diving-planes-down command, and the other wire to
" jumper, the one that would apply the diving-planes-up command?
" Was there an intrusion detection circuit that would release a
" spray of mace when he removed the backplate?  Would thousands of
" vital springs fly out, helter skelter?  Could he really hear a
" faint, distant, hysterical cackling?  Was he dreaming all this?
" He was muttering to himself, "Darn, they sure make these
" simulators realistic these days."
"  --
" Where would you like to go today?
" ... Bill Gates,
Andrew Hay                                  the genius nature
internet rambler                            is to see what all have seen
adh at an.bradford.ma.us                       and think what none thought

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