[FoRK] A thought on Design and Quality

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Wed Oct 7 10:16:34 PDT 2009

--- On Wed, 10/7/09, Dave Long <dave.long at bluewin.ch> wrote:

> On the other hand, what about a system that would reboot
> quickly (and persistently?) enough that rebooting could be
> the default error recovery?  (I've even had occasion,
> on AVR, to have code where rebooting was part of the normal
> control flow.  Never resetting the watchdog timer
> allows one to have confidence in the recovery path...) 
> Has the recovery-oriented computing crowd come up with
> anything recently?

I used to develop realtime alarm and control (SCADA) systems. Reboot was a standard part of recovery. That was back in the 70's. I would also be interested if they've come up with anything better/different.

The crucial difference, of course, is that such systems are designed to run unattended, usually in remote locations.

Upon seeing my original posting an ex-Softy was kind enough to clarify a couple of things.

First, it's known as the "Secure Attention" key. It is highly recommended in the UMPC standard, where a UMPC might not even have a keyboard so such a "key" would appear as an icon on the touchscreen interface.

Second, this single combined function is central to a number of current features of the enterprise versions of Windows, such as log on and opening the Security Manager (or the Task Manager in consumer versions).

In the recent versions of Windows it doesn't do a reboot any more. That's actually the reason it was chosen for the "secure attention" function; no application would use this key sequence.

So now I know.


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