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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,858
Bill Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,858
Phys.Org has a report that many important systems are still running on obsolete computer systems. The US Strategic Automated Command and Control System is based on an IBM series 1 minicomputer from the 1960s. An Arduino microcontroller board, used by many enthusiasts, has more processing power. There are no big plans to change it, because it works and is stable. I guess the idea is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The story mentions that Cobol and Fortran, from the 50s and 60s are still used as the underpinning for many current systems. I know that I talked to a programmer with one of the high tech flight simulator companies here in the Tulsa area and he said that they use Fortran for their math routines.

Also I read a story (Midnight Riot {Moon Over Soho in Britain] by Ben Aaronovitch). In the story our hero meets the archivist for the magical police agency. The archivist keeps his records on an obsolete computer. He calls it 'security by obsolescence'.

The story is at Would you trust your nuclear missiles to a floppy disk?

Bill Gill

C is not the speed of light in a vacuum.
C is the universal speed limit.
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,136
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,136
Yes , I do.

the older computers and floppy disk are much more reliable
and trustworthy than the crap they make today.

it was just the other day that a floppy disk was the only way
that I could gain access to my windows server 2008 R2 OS
because every thing else except the external floppy drive and my disk diagnosis programs on floppy disk had become infected by a virus of some sort.

some one or some web site had installed a rootkit onto the hard drive.

the rootkit changed the MBR (master boot record) on the hard
drive and along with that a virus had disabled the video card
the dvd drive and the motherboard was reporting errors on initial
post and nothing at all worked ... the computer just would not
start up at all.

the computer would just beep out codes and no screen at all
to visualize what was wrong.

I pulled out the hard drive from the server and connected it
up beside an old 32 bit computer that I have win 3.1
still installed on along with win 95 , win ME , win XP
using Virtual PC.

win 3.1 couldnt read the disk because its a 16 bit OS.
win 95 32 bit couldnt read the disk because the file system is
win ME , XP (NTFS) could see the disk but none of the data on the
disk ... I tried all of my floppy disk repair disk and they
all reported that the disk was damaged or that there was no disk installed.

I just happened to find an old linux disk repair tool floppy and
I rebooted the machine with the linux disk in the floppy drive
and in a flash the linux disk was able to see the disk and reported that the disk was missing the MBR and asked if I wanted
to repair the MBR.

I typed Y for yes.

a few seconds passed and a message was displayed that the
hard drive has a rootkit installed on the hard drive
and then asked if I wanted to run a program called root kit revealer to delete the root kit from the hard drive.

I typed Y for yes.

instantly a message popped up stating that the root kit had
been removed and the MBR had been repaired and asked if I
would like to format the drive.

I typed N for no.

I disconnected the hard drive from the old computer and
gently placed it back into the server ... hit the power button
and the server started up perfectly.

everything worked fine after that as far as I can tell

I dont know where the virus went but I cant find it so I
havent connected the server back to the internet yet.

I have reinstalled the OS but Im thinking about formatting and
re-installing the OS to be on the safe side.

I really did want to find the virus to try and find out where
it came from but whoever made it made it to hide its tracks
really well.

all logs were wipped clean and the task manager had been
inoperable for a few weeks before this all occurred so there
really is no way to find out.

so I guess they get off scott free.

or do they?

3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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