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Denver Airport's automated baggage system (finally!) shutting down

Ah, Denver Airport. For many years - a decade, really - those of us in the computer field have read of delays and problems with their massive automated baggage handling system. Truly one of the great boondoggles of computer systems. They're finally pulling the plug - and replacing this failed hi-tech system with human baggage handlers.

The cost is not just hundreds of millions of dollars, but hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of person-hours wasted. Spent, gone, kaput, fruitless labor. And a depressing number of software projects end up the same way - it's estimated that almost one quarter of software projects are total failures, and half suffer from cost or schedule overruns, or feature reduction to make it out the door.

Remember, kids: when you set out to automate something, be damn sure you understand how hard the task is.


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