museumpeace writes "Tired of fixing your computer? What if your system broke down two billion miles from the nearest spare part or human? NASA has just held a colloquium where Ulster University computer science researcher Roy Sterritt was invited to present his ideas on Autonomic Computing. In the last few years,the leading system vendors have realized 'There is no less than a crisis today in three areas: cost, availability and user experience.' There has been a fair amount of academic research since customers like NASA see in it the potential to make remotely operated complex systems sustainable. It all makes for some very cool systems design work and there are lots of further research opportunities. Just don't forget what it may do to your job."