The Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel in downtown St. Louis, Missouri had to shut down its slot machines this Wednesday morning after a software upgrade the previous night went badly, a story in the St. Louis Today reports. The slot machines were shut down from 0800 to 1130 when they were brought back on-line.

The casino reportedly brings in an average of $23,100 per hour while it is open. Wednesday morning is not a busy time so the losses were likely less than that or conversely, what could have occurred over a weekend.

An intriguing bit of the story was that IBM technicians were called in to fix the problem, which wasn't described in any detail. I may be wrong, but I don't think  IBM is in the slot machine software business, so I suspect the problem had to do with some networking software connecting the slot machines themselves.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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