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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RE[2]: Frys
by tanzam75 on Thu 18th Apr 2013 01:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Frys"
tanzam75
Member since:
2011-05-19

Pardon my ignorance, but what is a knuckle buster? Haven't heard that term before that I can recall.


Carbon-impression machines. This is why the digits on credit cards are embossed -- so that they can make an impression on carbon paper. The impression is then sent in to a central office, where it is processed manually. Just like it was done in the 1950s.

It's called a knuckle-buster because it's very heavy.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Frys
by anevilyak on Thu 18th Apr 2013 03:03 in reply to "RE[2]: Frys"
anevilyak Member since:
2005-09-14

Aha, now I know what you mean. I'd never actually heard a name for them though, much less the one in the OP's comment, good to know. Thanks!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Frys
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 18th Apr 2013 10:58 in reply to "RE[2]: Frys"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I didn't realize so few people were familiar With the term. If you'd. Used one for a period of time you'd understand the name. There was a heavy metal part that you had to rapidly move in the direction of a stationary metal part. If your hand wasn't in the right spot,you'd hit your knuckles.

The later iterations of the machines were lighter weight,but the name stuck.

Edited 2013-04-18 10:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Frys
by jweinraub on Fri 19th Apr 2013 13:38 in reply to "RE[2]: Frys"
jweinraub Member since:
2009-06-22

It took me a few seconds since it was a while since I been to CompUSELESS, but I remember towards the very end of their lifespan, they still did this with only Amex cards, iirc.

Though they still swiped the cards magnetic strip, I signed the digital POS pad, they still always made an impression of my Amex card, and Amex card only. I asked them about this and they claimed it was Amex's policy, which I called bollocks since nobody has ever done that since I was a child.

I remember Macy's used to toss out the carbon liner itself and toss it right in the bin adjacent to the register! With all the impressions I wonder how many card numbers got stolen in those days? Though I guess it isn't like today where making a clone is easy, especially with online shopping but even back then fraud must of been high due to the lack of security.

Reply Parent Score: 1