Oldest computer still in current use

From: chris <cb_at_mythtech.net>
Date: Sun May 11 00:01:00 2003

>I dont understand your logic.

Logic plays no role... this was nothing more than a question I posed
(almost a week ago non the less). Therefore in looking for answers, I can
allow or disallow anything I please for any reason I please. That doesn't
make it valid or invalid for anyone other than me. If others want to tag
onto my 2 questions, then they can use whatever criterea they desire to
see if something is a valid answer for them.

>The Voyager is ruled out because it might be
>too far away to have its valid data (stuff it was made to send back on
>purpose) get back to us, but the recieving equipment that will never get any
>data back since the signal isnt getting back is still a valid system?

The big strike Voyager has against it in my book is that no one can tell
if it is still running. Its not valid to me, because it might be mythical
(not the craft, but rather the fact that it is still functioning).

The ground computers on the other hand are valid, because they can be
verified and someone each budgeting cycle has to make the decision if
they want to continue to spend money having them operate. So they are
still doing their original job... listening for data from Voyager.

Of course, its all pretty irrelivant as I'm sure the original ground
computers for Voyager have long since been shut off and removed. NASA may
still be listening, but if they are, I'm sure the task has been lumped in
with other newer monitoring systems.

>Would an old obsolete college computer that runs a 300 baud bbs still be
>valid if nobody knows about it, or even called it and the college forgot to
>shut it down in the last 40 years?

If it is running ONLY because no one knows its running AND no one knows
it exists... then its a mute point. If a tree falls in the woods...

Although, I would still, for my original question, consider it not valid.
Because it isn't in normal use. The simple fact that no one knows about
it removes it from use (no one dials in to the BBS anymore, and the sysop
forgot it is there so isn't leaving it up just in case someone stumbles
on it).

If on the other hand, a sysop knows about it and IS leaving it running
just to see if someone hits it, then I might consider it valid. At least
it is still serving a function. But I would have to hunt for a better
answer, something that is a bit more in use. (I would also probably hunt
for a better answer than Voyager ground monitoring computers for the same
reason, they may be valid, but they are a poor example).

>If somebody fires up an old 50's analog computer in a museum just to see if
>it still kicks is it really "in use"?

No, because my ORIGINAL question was, what is the oldest computer still
in normal use. So for MY question, that is, the answer I am looking
for.... I will only consider a computer that was put into service when it
was reasonably new, and is still functioning today. I will also accept an
old computer that was put back into service either as a replacement for
one the died, or because it was needed to do a job, and it was the best
option for the job.

So I wouldn't consider a collector or museum that has put an old machine
into service just because they can (although that would still be
interesting to know, but for my question, I would consider that a
different catagory). This of course is 100% acceptable as an answer for
my 2nd question that was: Whats the oldest computer connected online and
preferably hosting a site that can be visited. Its very acceptable to me
that the best answer for this is one that is doing it for no other reason
than because someone wanted to see if it could be done with one of their
old collected computers.

But for my first question, 'm looking for the type of answer along the
lines of "Company XXX still uses YYY for their ZZZ process".

Received on Sun May 11 2003 - 00:01:00 BST

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