Roller Coasters/Embedded chips : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Interesting to note, Roller Coaster accidents and deaths the last few weeks have me thinking. When I worked at Great Adventure as a teenager, they were installing the new "FreeFall" ride. I was positioned at the gate, to answer peoples questions about the ride and when it would open. One thing I knew from the engineers constructing the ride, was operated and regulated with a series of computer sensors. Sensors that told the ride how much to break, and how much time to put between each car. Also, when to release the shoulder harnesses. There was another two deaths in Ocean City yesterday. The coaster "just didn't stop" and hit the car in front of it. Anyone thinking what I'm thinking?

-- kritter (, August 29, 1999


Personally, I've been wondering if all the computerization at Disney Land was y2k compliant....

-- mmmm (, August 29, 1999.

I'm thinking that many roller coasters will be shut down for the Winter during Y2K, so those potential hazards would not be prevalent up north.

People will ski to get their gravitational-pull fix.

-- Randolph (, August 29, 1999.

Here in Pittsburgh we had 2 roller coaster accidents on two different roller coasters this year. This amusment park is very safe. But they blamed them both on the ride operaters. Could this been a y2k thing also?

-- Missy2k (, August 29, 1999.

how the hell can it be y2k if the proms/eproms are not y2k compatible, they would fail on 1/1/2000, not before.


-- eprom (, August 29, 1999.

Maybe the UN Deathtroopers secretly reset the clocks in the chips on amusement rides in order to kill off the young thrillseekers so that they (the U.N.) will have less risistance in Y2K.

-- Mr. Nugget (nubuttet@better.mousetrap), August 29, 1999.


Ponder these phrases: "date horizon"; "joanne effect"; "scheduled maintenance".

-- PLC (, August 29, 1999.

PLC, how does the JoAnne effect affect an embedded system?

-- Rockafeller Skank (, August 29, 1999.

eprom and skank:

Good point, but it depends on the date programmed on the chip. Highly unlikely, but possible.



-- Z1X4Y7 (, August 29, 1999.

I realize that in common usage the phrase "jo anne effect" refers to fiscal-year systems in mainframes, and my understanding of the phenom comes straight from Cory H's material (see, for example, http://

But since we're all bein' speculative here, my thinking was this: what if the same microprocessor that controls the braking system, etc. also calculates scheduled maintenance, and protests when it first encounters a 2000 date?

In any case, kritter's hardly an idiot.

-- PH, aka. PLC (, August 29, 1999.

I have certainly never heard of so many amusement ride deaths before. It is scary for whatever reason it is happening. It is odd that it would be happening now though if it is Y2k related.

-- R (, August 29, 1999.

So maybe this is a really dumb question and I am probably just grasping at straws - but is there any way that these rides could be tied into the GPS? I know its ridiculous but that's the only thing that has happened recently.

-- R (, August 30, 1999.

Just for the record, the Thunderbolt accident at Kennywood was operator error. There's an automatic braking system for the trains entering the station. They stop, the train unloading clears, and an operator steps on the release to let the back train move up and unload while the front train is loading/preparing to leave. This is only if both trains are in the station at once. And if someone doesn't take their foot completely off the brake release, or releases the back train instead of the front one, they hit. Now, guess what happened? Computer error? On the Thunderbolt?!? This is a wooden coaster from what, the 20's? Get a grip.....

Harlanquin, if the Steel Phantom loses automatic braking, we'll have a very different scenario.....

-- Harl (, August 30, 1999.

Hey Randolph,

Gondolas, Ski lifts ... :)

Do ya feel lucky punk...

-- Andy (, August 30, 1999.


Have you ever been on one that failed? Just roll with the flow. If you are lucky you will survive. I did.



-- Z1X4Y7 (, August 30, 1999.


Maybe I just got carried away. I said I survived. I can't document that. I will go to the Web tomorrow and try to find URL's to prove my point. I will start a new thread this week on the subject.



-- Z1X4Y7 (, August 30, 1999.

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