How to fuck with airports - a 1 step guide for (Redmond) terrorists.

Bill Stewart bill.stewart at
Tue Sep 28 15:06:54 PDT 2004

At 11:37 AM 9/28/2004, Roy M. Silvernail wrote:
>Got to love the spin...
>"The servers are timed to shut down after 49.7 days of use in order to 
>prevent a data overload, a union official told the LA Times."
>That would be 49.710269618055555555555555555556 days, or (curiously 
>enough) 4294967295 (0xFFFFFFFF) milliseconds.  Known problem with Win95 
>('cept they call Win95 a "server").

I've heard some people say that there was a different problem
that was causing them to need to reboot about that often,
having to do with the applications rather than the core OS,
but I don't know enough of the details to be sure.

Either way, if they knew the system was going to crash every 49.7 days,
and they had a process to have a technician reboot it every 30 days,
and the technician shuts it down during quiet nighttime hours,
that guarantees that the 49.7 day crash will be at a _bad_ time of day.
They could at _least_ have done a workaround that tells the system
to shut itself down at 2am on Day 45, after giving the operators a
warning about "Hey, I need to shut myself down for an hour for maintenance
some time in the next 4 days, is now a good 
time?  Yes/No/Wait-5-min/Wait-1-hour"

Disclaimer: I worked on the FAA's AAS debacle in the 80s
(fortunately not on the unlucky "winning" contractor's team),
and a number of my coworkers worked on VSCS projects -
not sure if they won that round, or who their partners were.

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