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Core Dump May 12, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in computers, Fermilab, life, SLAC.
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A little bit of fluff. I suspect about half the people who read this blog already know this. I keep forgetting it — though I use the words “core dump” almost everyday (hey – right now I’m working on ATLAS software!).

The term “core dump” relates to an old type of computer memory, in use before the advent of silicon chips, which used grids of tiny magnetized rings to store information. When a computer program in such a system crashed, a record was created about the state of the memory. “Core dump” has come variously to mean any fatal error in a program, as well as slang for getting the long version of a story from someone.

This is from the SLAC today web mailing. The Fermilab version is a bit depressing right now: any day now the layoffs will be announced – and that day is going to be depressing when it finally arrives.