From: Jack Peacock <peacock_at_simconv.com>
Date: Tue Apr 7 15:26:38 1998

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hotze [mailto:photze_at_batelco.com.bh]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 1998 12:42 PM
> To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
> Subject: Re: FW: Y2K
> It very well might be running today. Not doing the hardlabor
> tasks that it was origiohnally made for, but possibly as someone's
> Anyway, five years, and accelarating is a odd estimate. PC's nearly 3
> 4 years old are used day to day, as primary computer systems. The
> origionally cost around $2,000, and now can be effectively replaced
for around
> $500-$800, yet they haven't. Sure, high end servers are still being
produced, and in some institutions (even if I can't name any) are
updated monthly or so with their server technology.

Being from the Big Iron era (Univac 1100s and CDC 6000s), I can assure
you no one ever believed any of those machines would last for 30 years.
We knew the "fourth generation" computers based on large scale
integration were coming, although what was expected was the bit slice
type logic, not integrated microprocessors. No one ever questioned
using 2 digit dates, because the programs weren't going to be used for
30 years. After all, how many 30 year old computers were still running
in 1975? Back then a "legacy" program was supporting Autocoder from the
60s. Ten years was ancient and obsolete.

Even in the 80's I saw very few software applications that switched to 4
digit dates. Our company converted to all 4 digit year dates in 1987,
primarily because we were revising our major packages, plus we wanted to
be compatible with some applications we OEMed along with our own
software. Even in 87 I didn't think our programs would still be in use
in 2000, but suprise, they will be. Was it brilliant foresight we
converted way back then? Not really, more like plain dumb luck. But
disk and memory were getting much cheaper by then, we could afford to
use the extra space. When we only had 5MB drives and 16KB partitions
the savings on 2 digit dates was significant, but once we had 100MB+
drives and virtual memory that was no longer an issue.
        Jack Peacock
Received on Tue Apr 07 1998 - 15:26:38 BST

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