When the Blue Screen of Death Meets the Brick Wall of Death

Modern technology makes it easy to be anachronistic (See the article below). In all openness, I used to own a Ford with Sync, and it was sort of cool to a geek like me to plug a flash drive into my car to do a firmware update. I got over it really quick when I sat down and thought about it.
Being sheeple, as many of us are, we like to think that the software that goes into mission-critical systems (and I include automobiles in this category) has been carefully written, quality controlled, regression tested, verified, validated, and evaluated thoroughly before it ever goes into a production system. I’m afraid that it’s just not the case. Speaking again as a geek, I don’t personally want to buy the Windows ME or Vista version of a car. We had plenty of those in the 70s and 80s.
That sort of reminds me of a joke from quite a while back: Why does a Yugo have a rear window defroster? To keep your hands warm while you are pushing it.

Given this is the direction that most all new cars are going, it sort of makes me want a Caterham, based on a 50 year old Lotus design, and sold as a kit. There’s no better way to know your car than to build it yourself.

Ford Tests DIY Firmware Updates: wiredmikey writes “This month, Ford is borrowing something from the software industry: updates. With a fleet of new cars using the sophisticated infotainment system they developed with Microsoft called SYNC, Ford has the need to update those vehicles — for both features and security reasons. But how do you update the software in thousands of cars? Traditionally, the automotive industry has resorted to automotive recalls. But now, Ford will be releasing thirty thousand USB sticks to Ford owners with the new SYNC infotainment system, although the update will also be available for online download. In preparing to update your car, Ford encourages users to have a unique USB for each Ford they own, and to have the USB drive empty and not password protected. In the future, updating our gadgets, large and small, will become routine. But for now, it’s going to be really cumbersome and a little weird. Play this forward a bit. Image taking Patch Tuesday to a logical extreme, where you walk around your house or office to apply patches to many of the offline gadgets you own.”

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