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SJ Mercury: NASA, partners strive to build glitch-free, people-proof computers

Dec 04, 2000, 06:33 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chuck Carroll)

"Computers that always work without a glitch?"

"To long-suffering computer users worldwide, that concept might seem an oxymoron, a dream as fanciful as everlasting life. Nevertheless, some of Silicon Valley's top names in high technology are getting together under the auspices of NASA/Ames Research Center for a long-term effort to try to figure out how to build and run computers that even people can't screw up."

"Although some experts are skeptical about prospects for success because of cost constraints, organizers say they have little choice but to try."

"As computers become more of an everyday item, people are just not going to tolerate unreliable systems," said James Morris, one of the main organizers and dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. The wide-ranging, multidisciplinary initiative could prove crucial to maintaining the edge U.S. companies have in the growing global competition for high-tech dominance, he said."

"On Dec. 11, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Carnegie Mellon and several major corporate partners will formally announce their plans to form a ``high dependability computing consortium'' in Silicon Valley, according to officials at CMU."

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