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Thread: 12/31/1999

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    BOA has somehow managed to transition from computers printing balances in passbooks to telephone banking, online banking, credit and debit cards, and mobile banking, but they are just going to keep their legacy backend computer system running essentially forever? I suppose they will the one of the guys paying IBM or whoever boatloads of money to keep legacy systems. You can still pay Microsoft to patches for old versions of Windows, but it isn't cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    They likely upgrade the hardware, and the OS. Programming languages such as COBOL (and APL for that matter, still heavily used in ATM swiping last I heard) are not tied to the OS. Both are still around, although it's been a while since either had an updated version.
    I'm no IT guy either, but I'm going to guess the REASON these languages haven't been updated is a simple one: They Work. Exactly why I jump thru hoops to keep my 7's running
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    I was on call.

    I worked in IT.

    Only one call came in near midnight. It was from the Ohio Lottery. I called them to see what the problem was, but, the person that placed the after hours holiday emergency call ($250) had left ang gone home.

    Whoopee!!! I made an easy $50 just for taking that call.

    Looking back on Y2K....
    Time flies quickly. Two decades have passed and doesn't feel like more than a few years.

    I joined a boarding school in 9th grade in July 1999. December was the first vacation from school. Schools reopened in first week of January. End of December was going back preparation time (shopping, packing, home food eating etc).

    Back then New Year meant light fireworks, sending/receiving greeting cards, trunk calls to relatives etc. TV used to have special new year programming, which everyone watched. As far as I remember, that was one of the few days kids were awake after midnight.

  3. #33
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    I'm no IT guy either, but I'm going to guess the REASON these languages haven't been updated is a simple one: They Work. Exactly why I jump thru hoops to keep my 7's running
    Actually - they don't work. Nothing in the computer world really works.
    The entire IT world is driven by - - patches & workarounds.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Meyer View Post
    I have a friend who learned COBOL in the military, and became a programmer for Bank of America. He worked for them for years, then switched to doing projects on a series of 9 month contracts. A few years ago, he told me that Bank of America commisioned a feasibility study of converting all their COBOL based systems to something newer. The projected cost was over 1 trillion dollars. So, Bank of America will be on COBOL systems for eternity and there will always be a need for COBOL programmers.
    I have seen similar estimates in a very large insurance company for which I used to do consulting work. In their case, it was claims processing systems, and due to their growth by acquisition and a long habit of independent IT in independent business units, they had over 500 claims processing "engines." So, the question was, how much to replace all of them with one? The estimates, done by one of the big five consulting firms, were astronomical.

    But in reality, they got down to a handful of claims processing systems, including one that was a major rewrite of their core system for a fraction of that estimate, not by duplicating all the idiosyncrasies built into the requirements for those 500+ systems, but by migrating their business and data (they managed over 70,000 separate insurance plans) over time to the new system.

    I've also done work for more one than bank or insurance company that couldn't fix or update a core system on which they relied, because they didn't have the source code for the system any longer - either because they had written the system and lost it, or because it relied on code from long-gone software vendors and they had mismanaged (or not managed at all) escrow of the vendor's source code. In at least one case, they had the source code, but no one had "escrowed' the compiler required to "interpret" it. I believe it has now been fixed with replacement code, but one of the missing-source-code systems was a core transactional system inside of SWIFT, the international payments clearing house.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Actually - they don't work. Nothing in the computer world really works.
    The entire IT world is driven by - - patches & workarounds.
    I'm reminded of the (very) early days of networking at my jobsite. Internet access was subject the the whims of a makeshift DNS server, running on a woefully underpowered surplus PC in the sysadmin's cubicle. It's the kind of thing that gives "infrastructure" a bad name.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  6. #36
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    Our IT guys thought Y2K was a joke. Our fiscal year ended in Q3 so Y2K for us happened in October. The sky didn't fall, the computers didn't crash, and our world didn't end.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Actually - they don't work. Nothing in the computer world really works.
    The entire IT world is driven by - - patches & workarounds.
    And you just hit on EXACTLY the basis of my paranoia concerning self landing jumbo jets and gawd help us all, self driving cars, RV's and semi trucks...
    I don't even LIKE computers. I only use them because they're necessary. By "they work" I only barely mean 'as well as can reasonably be expected'

    My 'smart phone' gets used maybe 4 times a month, to call/get called by- the wife. I got a 'better' replacement for it almost a year ago, haven't bothered to activate it. I've took a few pics with it...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #38
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    There's a huge difference between consumer devices and 6 9s devices. There's also a huge difference between a programming language and an operating system.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    There's also a huge difference between a programming language and an operating system.
    Unless you're working on an LMI LISP machine...I still have occasional flashbacks about that (mercifully short) phase of my career.

    Someone way up the food chain declared, "We should have an AI lab. Hey, what could go wrong?"
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  10. #40
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    I have worked in enterprise IT for 21 years now. We are running into lots of issues these days where the OS is out of date and needs to be upgraded or replaced. This often means the application development environment needs to go to the latest version too. Many times some code changes are required with the upgrade application development environment. Our applications team is always too busy to fix their code to work on the newer OSes so we sit with stuff on unsupported OSes.

    Now, I know the mainframe world is a lot of different, but I assume every new model of mainframe or mainframe OS is not going to be 100% backwards compatible with the previous OS and/or hardware.

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