BN.com Gift Guide

Fatal Defect: Chasing Killer Computer Bugs

Overview

More than ever, our society depends on the reliable - if not always correct - functioning of computers. Computers amplify not only our genius but our flaws, sometimes to intolerable extremes. Author Ivars Peterson traces the lurching history of software development and describes how misconceptions and mistakes have become an inextricable part of computer programs and systems. He creates fascinating and colorful profiles of the people who hunt down these elusive computer bugs and struggle to make an inherently ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (25) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $6.49   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 3 of 4
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$6.49
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(30)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Excellent Buy!!!

Ships from: Pleasant View, TN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$32.71
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(320)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$74.95
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(2)

Condition: New
New York 1995 Hardcover Stated First Edition/second printing. New in new jacket ISBN: 0812920236. [4to] xxiii.260p. biblio. index. New in dj protected against wear and tear in ... Brodart Archival Mylar. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Bloomington, IN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 3 of 4
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

More than ever, our society depends on the reliable - if not always correct - functioning of computers. Computers amplify not only our genius but our flaws, sometimes to intolerable extremes. Author Ivars Peterson traces the lurching history of software development and describes how misconceptions and mistakes have become an inextricable part of computer programs and systems. He creates fascinating and colorful profiles of the people who hunt down these elusive computer bugs and struggle to make an inherently fallible system less treacherous. He also offers dozens of detailed examples of how computer failures occur - some amusing, some annoying, others terrifying, even fatal. Each computer failure is a reminder that we all pay a price for sloppy thinking in software development, for making the rush to market a more important consideration than safety and reliability. No software can ever be guaranteed 100 percent bug-free, but if we analyze our past mistakes and rethink our approach to computers, we can defuse some ticking time bombs and create a more trustworthy next generation of computers.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Gilbert Taylor
When the computer crashes, taking the plane, spacecraft, or phone system down with it, the postmortem falls to "bug hunters," software experts whom "Science News" reporter Peterson has followed through some of their investigations and analysis. But nonhackers needn't expect an overload of cyberspeak: Peterson explains in clear English how the engineers find and squash bugs. The methods vary with the age of the beast: "program archaeology" involves reconstructing what the original programmer was thinking of, whereas new programs, especially those written for aerospace purposes, utilize "program verifiers" that monitor the program's status. But aside from methods, software-caused disasters are the eye-catching anecdotes Peterson offers, ranging from a radiation machine that killed patients, to France's accident-prone Airbus plane, to Russia's embarrassing loss of two Mars probes, to a disaster-in-waiting--come the year 2000, warns one bug hunter, "algorithmic anarchy" might reign, for business software wasn't designed to switch dates from 1999 to 2000. However shortsighted that design decision was, it well illustrates Peterson's theme: software defects are inevitable.
From the Publisher
"The book is both amusing and a quite serious argument for never assuming computers are flawless."

-- San Diego Union-Tribune"Peterson's book is an entertaining introduction to the problems of creating reliable computer systems."

-- Christian Science Monitor

From Barnes & Noble
In this survey of our computer dependence, the author traces the history of software development & assesses how mistakes & glitches have become an inextricable part of computer programs & systems, with consequences ranging from amusing to fatal.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812920239
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/30/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)