Talk:Black box (systems)

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A good idea[edit]

Would it be a good idea to include information about the quantum mechanical concept of black box (often refered to as black body) radiation?

Black boxes are designed to specifications. The specification defines the inputs and outputs. It also defines the tools to replace the unit (usually nothing more than a #2 Phillips-head screwdriver), and the bulk and weight (they always need to be carried by one man, and fit through a door, if possible).

So philosphers are coming up with abstract theories about the mind as an object that can be removed using a screwdriver and is small enough to be carried by one man. No wonder philosophy doesn't pay much - I could have told you that! Though I'd use a scalpel and a drill myself. Verloren

This article could do with refactoring:

  • it doesn't say what a BB actually does on a ship / plane (I know of Black Box recorders on planes, but I infer from the article that there are other types)
  • which came first, the philosophy BB or the technological BB?
  • maybe seperate out the two concepts, starting with the earlier use of the term. -- Tarquin

Seems like a very avionic slant to me. I suggest Black Box flight recorders, the game, and phone phreaking should be different articles. That leaves some fungus proof, easily removable with a #2 phillips-head philosophies to deal with. - MichaelHiggins

To split[edit]

I wanted to split this up into a couple of articles and a disambig, but I couldn't figure out whether or not the first section talks about the same thing as the second section. -Smack 04:08 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I modified the definition because I felt the previous definition was too narrow. I'm basing my definition on the way that the term was used in my electrical engineering classes at MIT over 40 years ago. People may have a very good idea of what is inside a black box; however, in the context that they are using the term, they don't want to bother with these details. Of course, one hopes that the input/output characteristics are well understood but this is not always the case. -- Ivar Y 09:14, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"open source" == "free" (as in freedom)[edit]

Hi, a link to the article free software has recently been removed and the edit summary shows that it was removed due to a misunderstanding. I will re-add it for the reason that it was removed due to a misunderstanding, in the hope that by clearing up the misunderstanding here, it will not be an issue. If it is again removed, but for another reason, I will leave it.

The misunderstanding, to quote the edit summary, is "open-source does not mean free". This is exactly why there must be a link to free software where there is a link to open-source software. "free", in the phrase "free software", does indeed mean "open source". In fact, it meant "open source" 15 years before "open source" (the term) came into existence. Further, "open source", in the words of it's own promoters, is a marketing term for "free software". So "open source" does mean "free", and vice verse, and the only way to curb the misunderstanding is to link to Wikipedia's "free software" article and hope that people follow the link. I've written this in a hurry, but I'll respond tomorrow to any questions/comments etc. Gronky 00:07, 14 November 2005 (UTC)


Knowful, referenced as a trade station developer, just links to a search engine? 05:35, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


Should there be some reference to computers? I have heard quite a few people mention computers as black boxes (They use computers constantly, but have no idea how computers work.).

I agree there should be a reference to electronic devices (black boxes) used in conjunction with software systems in which thru-put via a black box is expected. As an IT Software Tester (QA and UAT), I have tested the input and output from devices such as a clamshell fitted over a handheld device. I was validating the output from the handheld based on what the clamshell gathered and fed to the handheld device as well as what was downloaded to the handheld. I was not expected to know what the firm-ware within the clamshell or the software within the handheld was actually doing, only that it output the expected results based on the data that was input. Any mechanical, electronic or software problems noted were referred to the engineers.

Language translations at the bottom corrupted or vandalized ?[edit]

The language translations at the bottom of the wiki source seem to have been damaged: [[ta:*************************** ******************]] [[zh:******]] I'm not sure what's supposed to be there, but that looks wrong; can someone knowledgeable take a look? Billgordon1099 04:41, 2 December 2007 (UTC)