Now the programmers in the audience could probably think of like 10 different specific things that could be coded into the system to prevent that from happening, but this company didn't. Which really isn't too surprising. I asked one of the devs on the ground systems team if the ground systems was using GMT or UTC. His answer was "What's the difference?" I was able to infer from his answer that it was most likely GMT, and that did appear to be the case. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the system there was presumably some piece of code written by an Indian contractor with a math degree adjusting times for leap seconds, but it wasn't in any code that anyone knew about.
The early history of that company read like a Monty Python sketch. The first satellite exploded on the launch pad. The second satellite fell over and then exploded. The third satellite burned down, fell over, exploded and then sank into the swamp. The forth satellite got into orbit and was promptly bricked by sending the wrong version of Windows(!) to it. To be fair they only had to do that because they launched it with the wrong version of Windows(!!) in the first place. One would think that ANY version of Windows would be the wrong version of Windows to shoot into space, but that's why you're not the head of a billion dollar satellite company.
Mostly I make my career out of fixing other people's tech mistakes. Which is not something that uni taught me how to do. Man I'm glad I got out of that place before I ran up any significant student debt. Did I mention I trash talked a uni on a news blag website?
More to the point, the skills I've picked up skydiving are not ones that are going to go away at any point in my life. Even if I quit the sport, I'd still be able to hop into the wind tunnel at any point and fly. Contrast that with the ability to, let's say, run Molten Core. Anyone in a guild who did that during vanilla WoW spent way more time learning how to do that than I did skydiving. Keep in mind that my actual freefall time at the time I got my A license was less than an hour. And that's with wind tunnel time. The hypothetical guild probably spent several times that much time wiping on trash to get to the first boss. Three years later, I'm still building on my skydiving skills. Three years later, the hypothetical guild's shiny purple crap has been obsolete for three expansions and if anyone runs Molten Core anymore, it's 1 or 2 people going for some vanity drop. That's a significantly less rewarding experience, and I know that first-hand.
I'm still pretty interested in the VR headset technology. Seems like the Microsoft Holo Lens is what the wearable computing guys really needed for augmented reality a decade and a half or so ago. And I'm looking forward to being able to take an audience along for a jump with a 3D camera. It'll really be much more intense than just watching it on a flat screen on YouTube. Even that's a pretty amazing technology, though. For around $400 someone can give you a window into a world that most people will never see. And they want to see it. Pretty much everyone I talk to about it says skydiving's on their bucket list, but only a tiny percentage of them will ever do so much as a tandem jump.
For my hardware class, I brought it in, took it apart and handed the chips around the class. At the end, I reassembled the whole thing and booted it back up. Fun little presentation. That old hardware could really stand up to a lot of abuse.