If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: Ancient Computers In Use Today
Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:16 PM
They might use more electricity but they don't appear to need faster or more complicated software on a computer and printer that will be lucky to last a decade, much less half a century.
Posted 20 February 2012 - 07:14 PM
Some people just don't understand when something is broken.
Sparkers old machine is doing what they need it to do, therefore it is not broken. It does the job, they know the machine, and to replace it with a modern machine would no doubt be pretty complicated.
Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:18 PM
Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:06 AM
Some people just don't understand when something is broken.
But, in these cases, they're not broken.
And, you've greatly underestimated the conversion costs.
For example, in the case of the IBM 402, how much do you think it would cost to acquire application software that would emulate their current procedures, and train the users.
What about the archived data? Do they pay to have all of that converted? Or, do they still maintain the 402, so as to have access to it, in which case they've no need of a newer system. Or, do they simply lose all that?
What are will be the future costs to maintain a new system compared to those of maintaining the current one?
Newer is not necessarily better.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:19 AM
Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:43 AM
Are you freaking kidding me? Are you telling me that John Kowalski, an ace programmer, doesn't know how to do stuff on a current computer!? This is the guy who, if you even read the entire article (yes, there is more than one page), wrote several PlayStation2 titles, where he used his trusted 8-bitter to check the calculations of the 3D engine that he was working on. Can you write a 3D engine for a 64-bit game console? No? Then STFU! You have no idea what you're talking about!
Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:43 AM
Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:51 AM
Not a drop of magnificence in your soul, is there?
Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:19 AM
There is a video clip of a segment of a Jay Leno show in which he had two 20 somthings with cell phones and two Ham Radio operators with telegraph keys and tone generators. The question is which would get the message through first, the 21st century cell phone technology by texting or the 140 year old 19th century manual telepgraph. Everyone in the audience thought the two guys with cell phones would win. It was not even close, the two Ham radio operators finished before the texting was even half done.
There is no way anyone using an on screen keyboard can beat an experienced operator with a full sized keyboard for speed. One of the reasons Apple never succeeded in the business world is that they refused to offer a keyboard with a numeric keypad. For someone entering numbers, do not discount the effectiveness of that simple 17 key arrangement. If you open a spreadsheet on an iPad and attempt to enter a column of numbers, I will be 5 or 6 rows down in Excel before you finish the first row. It's also one of two reasons I buy 17" laptops - they have a numeric keypad and a second drive bay. (But I still prefer my full size keyboard. But then I would also have to carry my 24" monitor and CPU as well.)
You don't need a high powered i7 system to run MS Office. You can install MS Office 2010 on a PC with Win2K and it will be a little slower opening file, saving files and recalculating, but not too much. All of the modern stuff has been for graphics and video. If you don't need fancy video or graphics, you don't need a new system, it's just that simple.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:24 AM
Since retiring from a major energy company, I've done a little work for some local small businesses. It is really amazing how inefficient and archaic some of them are. I'm not saying that is the case here though.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:46 PM
I'm guessing that you've no practical experience in the realm of DP for businesses.
Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:29 PM
It really shouldn't matter that companies use what some would consider outdated systems. They perform the tasks they were designed to perform. Training costs to the employer are kept low and the cost of upgrading hardware are saved.
Why do any of us upgrade in the first place? More than likely it is because we were told that the newer hardware, software or operating system will save time and money. I reality, money may need to be spent on retraining employees on the new systems. Another issue is code-bloat. Do these faster machines really perform the requested task any faster because of features that only the most adept power user might use 1% of the time are shrinking the available disk space and making the program load slower?
Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:35 AM
If they spend money to upgrade their computer system, the money doesn't come out of a corporate capital improvement budget, it comes out of the owners pocket. I would not be surprised if the equipment we are discussing was purchased at least second hand, maybe third hand. The owners when they need office furniture go to the second hand store, not Office Depot or Staples. They go their for their stock forms because they need them.
We had a local A/C service company that associated with a national franchiser in the hope of increasing their business. They had to meet several upgrades, they had to go to electronic tablets to record the service call instead of the paper multi-part forms they had been using, they had to get some new trucks, and the others they kept had to be re-painted. No more pickups with equipment in the back, all service vans. In order to cover this they had to raise their prices and as a result their business went down not up. If this company had been in Atlanta or Macon, it may have worked, but in a small south Georgia town, the competitors gained share on them. They terminated the franchise agreement and went back to their old name, but their costs are still high as they are still paying for all the electronics and re-painting their trucks - again.
The small businessman in the article has a choice of increasing his inventory or his computer equipment, he will choose the inventory every time. The customer cares about being able to get the parts, not how new and up to date his accounting system is. Small businesses operate in a completely different world than large or even the medium businesses do.