[time-nuts] Maintaining boatanchors

J. Forster jfor at quik.com
Sun Oct 24 12:02:01 EDT 2010

I buy a lot of 10-20 year old test and other gear. When I try to get info
on some things the reaction is usually, "Oh, we havn't made that thing for
AGES now. It turns out "ages" is anything over about 3 months. "We now
have the xxxx model which is SOO much better than that old POS, and it's
only $25,000 more w/o options".

At that point I ask to speak to the oldest engineer or srevice tech.


BTW, I have started and joined a number of Yahoo Groups because sharing
and pooling info is now easy electronically, and in many cases is the only
source of information, other than suppliers of scanned or copied manuals,
like Artek Media.




> On Sat, Oct 23, 2010 at 02:44:51PM -0700, J. Forster wrote:
>> Very true, except it's more like 5-10 years.
> 	These days John is absolutely right... likely none of the
> developers, none of the equipment, perhaps not even the corporate
> shell of the division or department that designed the product and
> wrote the software survives.   Probably the source code was thrown
> out with the old servers that were sold for scrap... or just carted off
> to be shredded with all the other paper and electronic records...
> 	Horror stories abound about organizations that need to make some
> minor patch or change to source code of a popular product for some
> important customer even just a few years after its release and nobody
> can find the right source code or the right build environment
> (compilers, libraries, OS etc and the hardware they ran on) or if they
> can be found it takes many many hours of expensive time and talent to
> reconstruct the right stuff to actually make a code image that matches
> what is shipping.
> --
>   Dave Emery N1PRE/AE, die at dieconsulting.com  DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass
> 02493
> "An empty zombie mind with a forlorn barely readable weatherbeaten
> 'For Rent' sign still vainly flapping outside on the weed encrusted pole -
> in
> celebration of what could have been, but wasn't and is not to be now
> either."

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