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High Speed Software, or the real movable type?

May 23, 2006

This weekend is the Grand Prix of Monaco. A principality barely a mile long, but a tax free haven that sports more millionaires per square inch than perhaps anywhere in the world. It also has fantastic history and equally good names for corners. Nothing against Nascar 3 or Indy 1, but Mirabeau, Beau Rivage and Sainte Devote exude emotion from a race fan that has seen decades of mano-a-mano on this course.  Nancy, there is better shopping here than anywhere you’ve been 😉

Most F1 courses have 100 kilometers of run off at turns for screw-ups or crashes. One wrong move here and it’s into the concrete wall, roughly a few hundred thousand to a few million dollars per wreck.


There are also more computers in this cramped place and more lines of software code and specialty chips than most data centers. They can monitor a sixteenth of a pound of tire pressure from across the city as it inflates due to stress of improper setup. Budgets approach $1 billion including full computer car design, wind tunnel testing at 1/4 scale, aerodynamics and communications capability that rival all but a few countries.

So I wonder, how is it that when they hit a bump between Casino and Mirabeau at over 100 MPH that would knock your fillings out, these cars which are moving software machines don’t miss a beat. For sure they’re not powered by Window’s because there is no Ctrl-Alt-Del in the cockpit.  I wonder if the teams consider uploading viruses to the launch control of their competitors?  Symantec? Norton?  no way.

I also wonder if there is a PHP script that monitors the traction control preventing wheel spin at 19,000 RPM’s? Is there a Perl script that handles shifting at close to a millionth of a second which is the reality of a F1 gearbox? Are the software programmers actually more valuable than mechanics, or are they the mechanics of the future?  It’s likely the Unix center of the universe.
If you think I’m going to be worrying about software while cars scream through the streets of Monte Carlo, with scenery like million Euro yachts and beautiful women in the harbor….


get a life.

From → geek, racing, technology

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