|Thought for APRIL (fools day):|
|Computers, horses and the "Halting Problem"
Does your horse know how to halt, but doesn't, except to graze or to perform other bodily functions? A computer system diagram of the problem looks like this: ----------------->
|A computer systems engineer would say, "The user (rider) sometimes wants to interrupt a job (ride) without waiting for the system (horse) to abort it (become hungry or tired). If the machine (horse) has no stop or suspend facility (feelings) we recommend the use of the power-off switch (bit) rather than removing the power plug (jumping off). The latter action usually invokes a standby battery (yelling Whoa!) and your unwanted job or endless loop (runaway) will continue. Even the power-off switch (bit) will not always guarantee termination because of what we engineers call the "running on" problem. As with the analogous automotive problem, the cure is to clean all the contacts (change bits), check the timing (call the trainer) and try a higher octane (lower calorie) fuel (food) source (or sell the horse). Somewhat after Kelly-Bootle 1981 - The Devil's Data-Processing Dictionary.|
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