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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My two
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 18th Apr 2013 22:27 UTC
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After reading that article, I feel a lot better about the one main legacy system that I have to maintain. It's web-based application written in the late 90s (Perl/MySQL), originally setup to run on its own dedicated server. I could (and have) rewritt(en) 95% of the application in PHP, but it has some functionality for dynamically generating PDF files that would be a royal pain to rewrite. So up until about 3 years ago, I was maintaining a P3 450 running Mandrake 6.1 0. Then it finally dawned on me that I could just convert the stupid to a virtual machine & stop stockpiling decade-old replacement hardware.

On the flipside, I've seen a situation where a system that worked perfectly was replaced by something much heavier and less functional. My first year of university happened to be the last year for their original electronic course registration system. It had been custom written by their computing services people, who were mostly old-school AIX and Solaris greybeards. The system worked great, it had a web interface - and it was simple/light enough that the on-campus registration was done through (IIRC) dumb terminals that displayed the web interface through Lynx.

Then at the start my second year, that system was scrapped and replaced by some monstrosity that required ActiveX and only supported the latest/greatest version of IE. And unlike the old system, it was a 3rd-party product - so it lacked support for some of the university's offerings, E.g. full-year courses. To register for one of those, you had register twice: once for the first semester, and once for the second. Of course, many people didn't do that, so it lead to some amusing situations - E.g. I managed to sign up for the second semester of a full year course, but I couldn't sign up for the first semester because it was already full.

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