Do utilities share y2k info.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Surely utility companies are likely to use the same or at least similar embedded controls. Once one electric company has audited its generating equipment etc why can't they make the findings available to the industry. Same applies to water. Time to pull together, perhaps they are, no need to duplicate investigative work.
-- Richard Dale (email@example.com), October 12, 1998
Good point and a strong reason for limiting liability for companies that share such information.
However, even though two companies may share the same 'embedded chip' (integrated in the 'same board, serving the same general function), that does necessarily imply that the software controlling the chips is exactly identical or that the board is installed and used in 'exactly' the same way. A good topic for consideration though - if redundant investigative work could be reduced reliably, it is worth doing (see my post "Embedded Systems: Comments on TAVA White Paper?")
-- Arnie Rimmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 12, 1998.
For what it's worth:
According to last month's NERC report to the DOE, embedded systems in the electric power industry have been heavily customized. This would reduce the value of any information which might be shared. The NERC sees this as an advantage, reducing common mode failures. I see it as a disadvantage, too. Customization means you need to test the system yourself for compliance, then replace or fix it if it fails tests. These are two sides of the same coin. It's interesting which side the NERC decided to show us.
Rick Cowles also made a comment recently about deregulation in the industry - it may cause companies to concentrate on competition rather than cooperation.
-- Mike (email@example.com), October 12, 1998.
The original question in this thread reminds me of a question that woke me up in the middle of the night: if the power does go out, how are the programmers/testers going to fix the problem? I mean, don't you need power to fix the computer systems that control the power? And just how long would they be able to go on generators, if that is a solution? Also, has anyone thought about the impact of the nuclear power plants in this country? From what I understand, in order to stop the chain reaction that creates the nuclear power, those core rods have to be manually removed? That one worries me, too....any possible answers?
-- K. Heckert (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 19, 1998.