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Old 06-07-2017, 01:27 AM
Banksiaman Banksiaman is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 599
Another criterion could be sensitivity to performance. If as Mr Vaughan says supercomputers are nothing much, and just amalgams (amalga?) of bits, then they are no different to an average car.

A measure of sensitivity would be how little it takes for any component to fail and completely disable the function of the whole - in other words something that has to be more than the sum of its parts.

Cassini would rate here , but so would a big clock like Big Ben. Lots of components, all having to work in complete precision or the failure of a single one neutralises the overall effect of the remainder. I don't know much about computers or satellites but would every single component have the potential to completely kill the machine if it failed?