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(computer science)
An unplanned program termination that occurs when a computer is directed to execute an instruction or to process information that it cannot recognize. Also known as blow up; bomb; crash.


/o'bend/, /*-bend'/ ABnormal END. Abnormal termination (of software); crash; lossage. Derives from an error message on the IBM 360; used jokingly by hackers but seriously mainly by code grinders. Usually capitalised, but may appear as "abend". Hackers will try to persuade you that ABEND is called "abend" because it is what system operators do to the computer late on Friday when they want to call it a day, and hence is from the German "Abend" = "Evening".


(ABnormal END) Pronounced "ahb-end." An unexpected termination that causes the computer to stop responding. An abend occurs either when the computer is presented with instructions or data it cannot recognize, or a program tries to address memory beyond a defined boundary. Abends are generally the result of erroneous software logic in the application or operating system (see anomaly).

Crash, Freeze, Lock Up and Hang
All the terms above refer to a program coming to an abnormal end; however, a "crash" occurs when the computer issues a "fault" and deliberately halts that line of execution. The terms "freeze," "lock up" or "hang" may refer to software that is actually still running but has erroneously wound up in an endless, internal loop that renders the program useless. In practice, the terms "crash," "freeze," "lock up" and "hang" are used synonymously. See infinite loop.

Bad Hardware Can Look Like Bad Software
A serious hardware failure will stop a computer that has no redundant components. For example, a short circuit on the motherboard will halt the operation; however, a failing memory cell can cause an instruction to point to an erroneous location, making it look like a software failure.

It Depends on the OS
If the abend occurs due to a bug in an application and the operating system is not resilient, the computer locks up and has to be rebooted. Modern operating systems attempt to halt only the offending application and allow the remaining applications to continue. As operating systems evolve through the years, they become more bug-free themselves and more tolerant of application bugs, and there is less rebooting when an application stops working. However, all operating systems are not 100% foolproof, and bad applications do cause operating systems to crash; a major motivation for virtualizing computers (see virtualization and virtual machine).

A Miracle It All Works
If you consider what goes on inside a computer, you might wonder why it does not crash more often. An ordinary home computer can easily have 32 billion memory cells. Every second, millions of them switch their status between charged and uncharged (1 to 0; 0 to 1). If only one cell fails, it can cause an instruction to be invalid, and an abend can occur. See head crash, GPF, active area and transistor concept.

The green blocks are machine instructions executed by the computer one after the other until a branch (jump) instruction breaks the sequence and points to an instruction elsewhere in the program. Abending (crashing, hanging, etc.) occurs when the program erroneously points outside of its address space typically due to bad logic.
References in periodicals archive ?
Die Drosselung der Ausgaben, die sieh vor allem in gehobeneren Restaurants und in trendigen, hochpreisigen Gastronomieeinrichtungen, die in erster Linie mittags und abends von Geschaftsleuten frequentiert wurden, bemerkbar maehte, war allgemein spurbar.
With these new products, BMC Software has automated allocation features to reduce the incidence of space-related processing problems and automated actions for the prevention and recovery from abends (failures), achieving higher levels of availability.
With these new products, BMC Software has automated allocation features to reduce the incidence of space-related processing problems, and automated actions for the prevention and recovery from abends (failures), ensuring higher levels of availability.
Abends sassen wir unter "Baumen / oder warfen Glanz uber die Cafetische.
In effect, my search for ABENDs was a precursor of those virtual reality pick-and-choose computer plots.
Segue's Silk products will complement ASG's existing solutions for testing and monitoring in mainframe environments including ASG-SmartTest(TM) for interactive testing and debugging, ASG-SmartQuest(TM) for trapping and analyzing application abends, and ASG-TMON(TM) for complete performance monitoring and management.
Fault Manager provides all the functions necessary for IT management to spot and eliminate recurring abends, resulting in higher quality applications.
Geht der Durchschnittsverbraucher jedoch abends essen, zahlt er ungefahr 13,10 $.
The DataVantage data management, editing and testing products complement ASG's SmartTest(TM) application testing and debugging solutions and ASG-SmartQuest(TM) technology for intercepting and capturing application abends.
We depend on Advantage CA-Optimizer/II to help us quickly resolve batch program abends," said Sharon Manno, Endevor Administrator, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
MAINVIEW SRM StopX37/II - Maintains continuous availability by proactively preventing or recovering storage-related ABENDs or failures, and allowing jobs to complete successfully the first time.
XPEDITER/CICS provides programmers with the ability to view and interact with source code online; create and edit DB2 and other test data with a full-function file utility; intercept abends and storage violations, access CICS Abend-AID/FX reports from within a debugging session; verify statement execution; and resolve production abends.