Computer Reliability

Tom Kelliher, CS 200

Oct. 13, 2009




Read: Chapter 8.

Turn in answers to these questions: 1, 2, 5.

From Last Time

Computer and Network (In)Security

Coming Up

Professional ethics.

Chapter Summary

  1. ``My dog ate my homework'' has become ``My PC ate my homework''

  2. In class exercise: Question 31.

Discussion Questions

  1. My truck has a 100,000 mile warranty. My workstation (hardware) has a three year warranty Why doesn't my operating system or applications have a meaningful warranty?

    Is there something inherently different about software?

  2. Should all software have warranties? Especially life-critical software?

  3. Simulation: verification of software against a model; validation of the model against real-life behavior. Example: surgical simulation.

  4. Should software engineers be licensed? Characteristics of professions:
    1. Mastery of an esoteric body of knowledge.
    2. Autonomy.
    3. Formal organization.
    4. Code of ethics. See Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (
    5. Social function.
    Does software engineering exhibit all these characteristics?

  5. See text for further discussion questions.

Thomas P. Kelliher 2009-10-11
Tom Kelliher