Random memory of a Soviet control room: in the late 1990s, the rave scene was booming in Estonia and I ended up wrangling an invite to a party called "Beast Feast"  arranged by fellow promoters VIBE. The venue was a giant old Soviet-era factory in the industrial zone of Liiva Keskus . The factory floor, complete with random, rusty machines, was used for a "fashion show" featuring models wearing only animal skulls, horns, tails etc, plus stacks of speakers reaching to the ceiling and a thousand-plus ravers dancing. The control room -- which looked exactly like the ones in the pictures -- was carpeted with mattresses, decked out with disco lighting, and there was a DJ playing chill-out music. One of the most memorable parties I've been to! Unfortunately I can't find any pictures of it online...
I took your post to suggest that Cybersyn used more sophisticated real-time mechanisms to run the economy and was hence quite different from other attempts at planned economies in the past. My point was that those mechanisms, in function, probably would just be an “ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of a market” at best anyway.
If anything’s a straw man argument, it’s the irrelevant discussion of “military juntas”, as if military juntas are fundamentally incompatible with using 1970’s-era computers to centrally plan and control a country’s economy.
What? We're talking about how Cybersyn was physically destroyed by Pinochet's junta after they overthrew Allende. That's what digi_owl was referring to with "Too bad they could not be allowed to succeed or fail on their own." This is about the coup and its aftermath, not just an economic policy.
Now, seeing this posted here makes me wonder if maybe there are others out there who share this particular quirk of mine.
I created a subreddit, maybe there are more of us? /r/ControlPanels/
There’s something about live production operations that software engineering - even on the ops/oncall side - doesn’t come close to. I’d seriously consider taking a significant pay cut to sit at a console with a headset and run something in real time.
It started for me when I first saw a calculator.
Not strictly related, but the Death Star control panel in the original Star Wars was actually a modified Grass Valley television switcher.
Albeit it's far, far roomier than any actual airliner I've ever been on.
I like to call it intellectual curiosity, but it's really poor impulse control. I'd push all those buttons. I couldn't help myself.
I have played at both hardware and software synths. I will never be productive, but I do have fun.
A friend also has a recording studio. (I used to play guitar as a source of additional income, some studio and some performance work.) There are so many buttons, sliders, and knobs! I will go play with them.
One of the reasons I enjoy my practice time (I still play but it's not for financial gain) is because it gives me time to play with the various settings.
It's kind of how I learn things.
This might seem off-topic, but I don't think it is. See, it's the love of poking buttons and moving sliders that has given me the 'hacking mentality.' It is the love of experimentation and willingness to press unknown buttons, metaphoric or real, that seems to be a trait of 'hackers.'
We may not like to admit it, but I suspect a large number of HN viewers would not fare well if locked in a baren room, devoid of everything vut single red button that said, 'DO NOT PUSH.'
I suspect that it is because of our willingness to poke these metaphoric buttons that we are driven to learn, create, and take risks. We gleefully push those buttons and learn more, create new processes, and discover.
Polite society probably calls it intellectual curiosity. Really, many of us just like buttons, knobs, and sliders - be they metaphors or nuclear control reactors.
I don't even care if it's a bright red button with warning labels saying, "DO NOT PUSH!" I'm still going to push it. I might even push it first.
It's a great way to learn software, but probably not so good in a nuclear reactor control room. Like you, I presume they have ways to weed people like me out. It's not that I'm evil, or anything. I'd just be like a five year old if I had access to that many buttons.
Right in the centre of the indicator wall here:
https://carlwillis.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/dscf0806_v1.j... (zoom in)
They're still using it 30 years later. She confirmed that her programming passed Y2K with flying colors.
The sliding doors with a "whoosh" sound are probably among the things every geek loves but is afraid to confess...
The signs on the top of each section says "air 40 psig" and "ref. air 10 psig", and this matches the capabilities described in the link: "The compressor can draw air from either an atmospheric intake, a 40-psig pressure source, or 10-psig refrigerated air system". The image also has GRC in its file name.
(It might be a complete miss, though)
To collapse the instrumetation and the controls onto a display the size of a piece of paper there would need to be a number of different screens and then I'd have to know what was where.
Wall sized multiple touch screens - now you are talking.
Sort of like that but with a system diagram instead of the sea...
I find it unlikely that they need to see all those dials at once, but without a modal system to switch between data views they need to show every data point. On a modern system you could achieve the same by having views specific to each task, and an alerting system for when a data point for that task goes out of range.
Here is an image from a modern Austrian steel factory run by 3 people - half of the screens on the top row are just showing CCTV images:
Personally I think a computer screen lowers intelligence temporarily as well. Or at least activates the UI grazing habit of looking for a control that is close to what you want and playing with it without thinking about it. Especially if you're not careful.
Though lots of really big screens, and UI/control screens that have limited options works nicely.
Posting memes would be a different story though - I'd probably bail at that point.
Flagging and voting has been very sufficient here.