No Computers? No software?


This article discusses the prospect of what our world today would be without software. We depend on software so such much, and it discusses and highlights the significant threats that exist today – that many people will not be aware of.


Think for a minute how we all rely on software in our work, play, home, communications and all aspects of human life. What if we did not have the luxury of software – say it had not been invented – the computer had been a myth. Our lives, progress and human qualities of life would be very much different. We would still be perhaps back living our lives in the beginning of the 1900’s – permanently. That is unthinkable.

We take our software very much for granted – expecting it to work seamlessly without any problems and curse and swear when software fails or is out of date. One reason for that is software is unseen – and the silicon chips, semiconductors – or just chips are everywhere running our software. In our cars, toasters, Phones, TV’s, Tablets, and name what you will. Our governments now depend on software to communicate with its citizens, and other Governments.

Manufacturing all the items we need would be impossible without software driving the process and distribution of goods and services. If we did not have such a streamlined food distribution facilitated by software, then we might go very hungry.

Our military is heavily dependent on software from everything from bullets to super sonic aircraft, as well as the “Soldier of the Future “which will use new military software technologies.

Then there is the Internet which sprang up in the mid 1990’s and has changed all our lives. As a result, billions of people have been exposed and perhaps educated to get access to amazing new and sometimes free software driven technologies. Just imagine for a moment if the Internet did not exist – so software – no Internet – no progress.

Let’s not forget the social media phenomenon such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all others. Here 4.7 billion users ( or 60% of the Global Population )communicate each day with others, discuss issues, argue, share photos and all the benefits of instant communication. Social media user numbers continue to grow with over 200 million a year – and that number is increasing rapidly – year on year.


Software bugs, errors, and oversights have been blamed for hundreds of deaths in recent history
Any technology that is effective or has a large number of users will also be used by criminal gangs, hackers and governments intent on doing harm or stealing money.

Software does have a dark side with criminal gangs stealing billions of dollars each year. For example, take the Boeing 737 Max disaster where two fatal plane crashes involving Boeing aircraft brought to light that the company’s proprietary software had been a responsible for the crashes, in which 346 people were killed. in March 2019, regulators around the world — from China to the European Union and several other countries — grounded the global fleet of over 200 the plane for 20 months causing hundreds of billions in lost revenue.

Between 1985 and 1987, at least 5 patients were killed (and others critically injured) when a software-controlled radiation therapy system, the Therac-25, inadvertently administered massive overdoses of radiation — over 100 times the prescribed dose.


A 1.4 Megaton bomb launched about 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most of the electronics that were not protected in the entire Continental United States.

All the benefits we have come to accept with Software are under threat today from a military type of bomb. A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (commonly abbreviated as nuclear EMP, or NEMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation created by a nuclear explosion. The resulting rapidly varying electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical and electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.

The first known example of EMP was in 1962 when In July 1962, the US carried out the Starfish Prime test, by exploding 1.44 Mt (6.0 PJ) bomb 400 kilometers (250 mi; 1,300,000 ft) above the mid-Pacific Ocean. This demonstrated that the effects of a high-altitude nuclear explosion were much larger than had been previously calculated. Starfish Prime made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometers (898 mi) away from the detonation point, disabling approximately 300 streetlights, triggering numerous burglar alarms and damaging software microwave links.

Society has entered the information age and is dependent on electronic systems that work with components that are very susceptible to excessive electric currents and voltages. Many of these electronic systems are controlled in some way by semiconductors. Semiconductor devices fail when they encounter an EMP because of the local heating that occurs. Failure of semi-conductive chips could destroy industrial processes, railway networks, power and phone systems, and access to water supplies and multiple other applications – result? – No software.


In another example, according to a statement made in writing in June 2020, by the Chinese military, the country has super-EMPs and has discussed their use in attacking Taiwan. Such an attack would debilitate all software information systems in the nation, allowing China to move in and attack it directly using military forces – air, Navy and Army. The Taiwanese military has subsequently confirmed Chinese possession of super-EMPs and their possible destruction to their power grids, and all Taiwan military software applications, munitions and defence systems.

The United States has EMP weapons in its arsenal, but it’s not clear in what form and is a highly classified secret. Much of the United States’ EMP research has involved high power microwaves (HPMs). There has been widespread speculation that they do exist and that such weapons could be used in a future wars.


If we could imagine a world with no software, it would show us just how reliant we really are on it – all the time. We do take technology very much for granted, even the Internet because it’s just there, providing access to freely available information. We don’t really stop to think how these things got there. But just accept it. EMP is not just another threat, it allows the military to disrupt a country without direct loss of life. For sure it will be used soon!