Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Apr 2013 23:30 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems "While much of the tech world views a two-year-old smartphone as hopelessly obsolete, large swaths of our transportation and military infrastructure, some modern businesses, and even a few computer programmers rely daily on technology that hasn't been updated for decades." Back when I still worked at a hardware and plumbing store - up until about 4-5 years ago - we used MS-DOS cash registers. They are still in use today. If it works, it works.
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When Old Technology is BETTER than New
by softdrat on Thu 18th Apr 2013 00:44 UTC
softdrat
Member since:
2008-09-17

Years ago I did a lot of traveling that necessitated staying at the same hotel many times. Originally check-in was done on a DOS system. All keyboard entry. Then management decided to "modernize" and switched to a Windows system. The need to keep switching between keyboard and mouse to navigate the screen caused check-in times to immediately double, and suddenly long lines at the front desk appeared where none had existed before. I don't think they ever returned to their original efficiency.

Reply Score: 4

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

The need to keep switching between keyboard and mouse to navigate the screen caused check-in times to immediately double, and suddenly long lines at the front desk appeared where none had existed before. I don't think they ever returned to their original efficiency.


The move to web-based systems has made things even slower. Now, in addition to mousing around, they have to wait for the server to send down the UI. At least now we have AJAX and CSS. Around the mid-2000s, it was really intolerable.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

tanzam75,

"The move to web-based systems has made things even slower. Now, in addition to mousing around, they have to wait for the server to send down the UI. At least now we have AJAX and CSS. Around the mid-2000s, it was really intolerable."

I've been involved in some corporate web transition projects, and the performance of web versions are nearly always disappointing compared against the older FAT-apps that had near instantaneous response times. Officially we'd claim that the overall experience was faster because users could do more per screen, which can be true. But personally I had to hide my disappointment over refresh latency between postbacks. The administrators don't notice it so much, but the end users certainly do as they become experts at using the system.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

softdrat,

"...I don't think they ever returned to their original efficiency."

Your point is well taken, the mouse often takes more time and effort than a quick muscle memory keystroke, particularly for repetitive tasks. Although it's not really a technology limitation, just a poor UI for the task at hand. The tablet version will fix everything ;)


In many of these cases it's pretty obvious the proprietors are using their old clunkers for sentimental reasons rather than objective ones. An electromechanical spreadsheet?!? I cannot stop laughing at that one. IMHO it's not really worth risking one's business data & operation on an irreplaceable computer relic. Do they even still make 5.25" floppy disks?

Reply Parent Score: 2

phoehne Member since:
2006-08-26

I'm not always sure that modern means more productive or even better. I've seen a lot of people get bitten on the ass by chasing the next shiny toy that came along. And I'm just as guilty equating old with bad.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The need to keep switching between keyboard and mouse to navigate the screen caused check-in times to immediately double


But that is not because they upgraded to Windows, it's because the developers of the new check-in system had no clue.

Reply Parent Score: 7

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

But that is not because they upgraded to Windows, it's because the developers of the new check-in system had no clue.

I suspect the developers had a clue, but the managers who mandated the change did not.

Many of these decisions are made for political reasons, not technical reasons. One more checked box on the old yearly goals list...

Reply Parent Score: 2