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The "I'm Alive" Story
The first Tandem systems were created in the year 1974, and a special feature built into these computers is the "I'm Alive" messaging system. Each CPU sends this message to each other CPU, thus indicating that the CPU is doing well. Additionally all CPUs look for and monitor the "I'm Alive" messages from all other CPUs, to be reassured of their well being. This makes a set of CPUs in the Tandem computers tightly integrated with each other, wherein each CPU "cares" for the other CPUs.
What's more amazing is what happens when one CPU stops sending the "I'm Alive" message. In this case, the remaining CPUs realize this and then take over the load of the failed CPU, thus continuing to serve the end user well.
Now contrast this with the present day human society. We have started disintegrating at the very core of the "caring" culture. We no longer send out the "I'm Alive" messages to our near and dear ones, unless we have some selfish motive behind it. Nor do we lookout for the "I'm Alive" messages of our family and friends. This has resulted into a "don't care" culture - we being no longer concerned about the wellbeing of our near and dear ones.
Let's learn the culture of caring (for each other) and sharing (the load, when needed) from Tandem computers!
- inspired by a chat with Mr Yogendra Sampat, an old Tandem hand
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