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Software Is a House of Cards

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Writer and programmer Peter Welch has penned an amusing and terrifying essay called “Programming Sucks,” which sheds some light on why so much software is unstable and insecure. A choice quote: “Not a single living person knows how everything in your five-year-old MacBook actually works. Why do we tell you to turn it off and on again? Because we don’t have the slightest clue what’s wrong with it, and it’s really easy to induce coma in computers and have their built-in team of automatic doctors try to figure it out for us.”favicon follow link


Comments about Software Is a House of Cards

Charlie Hartley  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2014-05-02 17:14
That was hilarious in a kind of scary way!

I remember dreaming about code, and waking up with the solution. And that was just in Applesoft Basic and Assembly Language. Now I just try hard not to think about web page design at night. Doesn't always work.
Pam Lund  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2014-05-05 16:41
Jeez, I just had a Maurice Chevalier moment with strains of "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore" streaming through my brain. It's not that I didn't perceive most of these revelations in some gossamer-glazed way. It's just that Peter Welch has interpreted it so deliciously with his cobbled analogies that I feel I finally get the horror of it. Honestly, I'm thinking of stashing supplies and hunkering down somewhere to await the inevitable cybergeddon. I'm old enough to remember when we thought we kinda knew what we were doing, and even then we recognized our naivety. So glad he still has a sense of humor. It's probably what keeps him from crossing that bridge he so colorfully describes.
Brilliant stuff, thanks for sharing.
Marvin Shapiro  2014-05-06 07:44
I’ve been programming for almost 60 years and I have to assume that Welch has a point, but I’m not able to manage his prose. It’s a lonely world when you get to my age.