Legendary software. 70 years old and still working
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Old software that is still running. Discover all about it here
Oh! The old software! You can almost imagine it with a white beard.
Some are as old as our grandparents, and go back to the old times. However, even if it seems impossible, this software is still in operation.
In this article we will learn about some of the old software that is still active. Let’s have a round of applause for their developers.
MOCAS is the name given to the Contract Management Services Mechanization software, a program written in 1958 and still in service for the U.S. Department of Defense.
This program, quite surprising at the time, was developed by Grace Hopper in COBOL, on a punch card basis, and is dedicated to contract management.
Although during the following years the MOCAS interface was adapted to the new times (green phosphorous monitors were introduced, for example), the base of the program remains as in its origin.
And you may wonder… the program may be fantastic but why hasn’t it been updated by a more modern one after 60 years?
The truth is that this has already been projected on several occasions, but the amount of data accumulated by MOCAS, its criticality and the difficulties in making the transition to modern software are so high that all attempts have been postponed to… who knows when? The fact is, as long as you hold on, MOCAS will continue to wait for a replacement to facilitate your retirement…
– The software of the Voyager ships
This is one of the most legendary software out there. In 1977, the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft were launched out of the Solar System in order to explore further than any other.
Since then, and until today, the software on board ships, responsible among other things for sending to Earth the data collected on their journey, has continued to work, and although it has been improved, it has never been replaced by another different one.
As if the mythology of Voyager ships were not enough, even the movie industry has increased it. In the first of the Star Trek films, the Voyager enjoys a leading role (there is a SPOILER here).
During the tape, an immense cloud of energy goes to Earth, destroying several ships in its path. Admiral Kirk and his ship Enterprise, of course, are sent to resolve the situation. After multiple avatars, the crew of the Enterprise discovers the immense cloud is directed by a living machine that is inside and is called V´Ger. Shortly after the story is completed: the name V´Ger is derived from Voyager, one of the ships sent from Earth during the twentieth century that, after contact with an alien race of thinking machines, would have developed a consciousness of its own…
Although it doesn’t seem very likely that something like this could happen with the “humble” software on board the Voyager* ships… don’t you think the argument is outstanding?
(END OF SPOILER).
– Sparker Filters Software
And finally, let’s go with the existing software. This is the one used by Sparker Filter, a chemical filtration company.
The curious thing about this company, one of the most prestigious in the sector, is that it uses an IBM 402, a model that dates back to 1948 and that is probably the last one in active all over the planet.
And to use it, as you can suppose, it also makes use of software of the time. Specifically, the data that is entered into the machine is encoded through a huge IBM 029 punching machine.
Why hasn’t this equipment been exchanged for a more modern one? Apparently, the company’s employees are familiar with the machine, and it also keeps the accounting data for more than 60 years…
The fact is that, given the extraordinary situation, the California Museum of Computer History has already tried to get the company to donate the machine and its software and replace them with more modern ones, but it seems that, for the time being, it will continue in service for a while….
These are some examples of very old software that is still in operation today. Do you know more examples? We’d love for you to share it with all the blog readers. In order to do this, you can use the comment box located right at the end of this article.
However, before doing that, how about spending a few minutes to get to know Pandora FMS?
Although it’s not as old as the programs we’ve talked about, Pandora FMS also has a history behind it. Pandora was born in 2003, and has been developed over the last few years to become a reference among monitoring software. If you want to know its history a little better, you can click here.
And, besides, it can be very useful to you. In fact, it already is for many companies and organizations.
Pandora FMS is flexible monitoring software, which is capable of monitoring devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes.
Do you want to know what Pandora FMS can offer you? Click here:
Or you can also send us any query you may have about Pandora FMS. You can do this in a very simple way, thanks to the contact form that can be found at the following address: https://pandorafms.com/contact/
The Pandora FMS team will be happy to assist you!
The Voyager spacecraft mentioned in Star Trek was not one of those launched in the 1970s, but its number 6 version, launched in fiction at some point in the 20th century (which did not happen).
And don’t forget to have a look at the other articles that we have published in this blog, we are pretty sure that you will like them. What did you think of this article regarding old software?
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