10 years and change/use it or lose it

From: Mark Tapley <mtapley_at_swri.edu>
Date: Tue Nov 18 10:18:22 1997

Off-topic part of post, please ignore.
        Here's the way I remember these things:

BeeGee = 70's pop music group memeber
GeeBee = 30's racing aircraft

        Meantime, back to the computers;

1) I vote strongly in favor of keeping the 10-year rule. It's simple, it's
hard to start an argument over, and it has worked wonderfully so far. It is
a "moving window", but that's appropriate. Time is moving on...

2) On whether to mothball or use a system: if it's your second one,
mothball. If it's your first one of that type, follow Tony's good
suggestions regarding PS testing and then *use it*. Keep the packing
material, keep the manuals pristine, but get some time on it. Why? Nobody
is going to get passionate about a box in the closet. Five years from now
when the rest of your family needs more room in the closet, that box will
hit the streets or the dumpster if it's just a box. ("But you *never use
it!*") Worse, 5 years from now Tony may have been hit by a truck (er...
lorry. and no offense intended, Tony!) and no one will be able to help you
debug the power supply if you decide to fire it up and it fails its test.
        On the other hand, if it's the system you spend your nights hacking
on to try to port Mosaic or bring up a Mandelbrot-set displayer on, it's
*safe*. Your family will hit the streets instead :-). And if it's got an
infant-mortality problem, better to flush it out while this group is around
to help you.

Just my humble opnion. I play Tetris on my Rainbow and am planning to (real
soon now (TM) ) write a Mandelbrot set program on it. I use my Mac Plus for
the family finances and all sorts of games (it's getting flaky though.
needs work.). My NeXT is at my office and web-surfs and runs Mathematica
analyses for my job, in exchange for its IP address. (urk! wasn't I just
advocating the 10-year rule? Sorry. We'll be there soon!)
                                                - Mark
Received on Tue Nov 18 1997 - 10:18:22 GMT

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