or a company using a drowning mainframe with an army of legacy coders constantly plugging the leaking holes, or nightmare layers of integration
The private companies who aren't willing to save money by switching are one thing (apparently the market is okay with slow store management), but the US and British governments?
That's very scary.
Edit: far more than you wanted to know on the subject https://sites.google.com/site/militaryairworthiness/
The first rule of critical systems is to reduce complexity, and their current systems probably found the sweet spot between useability and simplicity decades ago.
The guy using the IBM accounting machines though... Dear god man! It sounds like the museum would've handed him a new system on a platter, in exchange for his old system. Take the upgrade!
I don't blame them for sticking with the DEC stuff :-)
The problem they had was that someone entered a zero in a form field that was not allowed to be zero. The application that received this zero used it as the denominator in a divide, and so incurred a divide by zero exception.
That application did not have a divide by zero handler, and so NT did the same thing pretty much every operating system does in that case, and it killed the application.
That application happened to be vital for engine operation, and so the ship was dead in the water and had to be towed to port.
It might seem shocking that they did not enforce important rules like "this field cannot be zero" on the data entry form, or that they did not handle divide by zero exceptions in a mission critical application (or at least have a procedure for restarting the application if it died), but this ship was a testbed for experimental software so maybe those things get added later, once they have determined that the new system works well enough to continue developing?
At least, I hope it was something like that, and not something like the subcontractor who did the data entry terminals thought the application would do the data validation, and the subcontractor who did the application thought the terminals would do it.
(I mean, in case anyone else was curious like I was.)
Kernel developer thread:
> That didn't affect NT either.
Much like the list of steam engine users, giving antique users free publicity guarantees that they'll do anything to make sure they do not upgrade. Even if they have to remove the boiler and rotate the steam engine by electric motor, or have to run the books on the URE and in quickbooks, they'll "have to" do it for publicity.
From the third page, I find this fascinating - does anybody know more about it? Is it an FTP or something else?
EDIT: here's his website, http://users.axess.com/twilight/sock/
(But more seriously, USB->Serial converters work with Mac OS X, I used one to connect a Palm m105 to a G3 iBook running Mac OS X 10.1 way back when. More currently, it seems the OS itself ships with drivers for FTDI's converter chips nowadays, although I haven't used that capability).
Everything new is old again. o_O
Then again, I guess one could potentially rig up a program that took gerber files for a many layered pcb design and have it output a 3d model for forming a chunk of multilayer plastic circuit board. You'd need a printer that has multiple heads for depositing conductive materials though. I'd question its reliability in such an environment as an old mini though.