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Hardware Technology

What's the Oldest Hardware You are Still Using? 1705

Posted by Cliff
from the oldies-but-goodies dept.
ScottBob asks: "Seeing the recent post about the vintage computer festival got me thinking about old hardware I'm still using in my 'modern' computer. I have a 1 ghz Celeryonion machine, but when I bought the mobo I specifically looked for one with an ISA slot so I could still use my old Zoltrix modem I bought in '97 when V.90 was adopted (when it probably would have been cheaper to buy an ISA-less mobo and a PCI modem). I've also moved a '93 model floppy drive from machine to machine, and it still works. Usually, monitors and power supplies survive the ravage Moore's law has on hardware, but what other things does everybody else save when they cruft together a new machine? Anybody ever do things like disguise a 4 GHz P4 in an ancient 8086 machine box? While on the subject, is anybody still running old DOS programs in a DOS box on a Windows machine (e.g. a database) because your company is too poor/cheap to upgrade or doesn't want to bother with any free alternatives?"
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What's the Oldest Hardware You are Still Using?

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  • P75 here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Motherfucking Shit (636021) on Monday October 13, 2003 @10:15PM (#7204626) Journal
    My firewall/dns/mail/local dev box is a p75, with 40 megs of ram and a whopping 1GB HD. It's one of the original IBM "Aptiva" models, and could barely run Win95 (it came with 3.11). Now it runs FreeBSD and couldn't be better suited to its purpose, though I have to admit I don't compile anything on it, everything - kernel included - gets compiled elsewhere and installed over NFS.

    FreeBSD isn't dying, but it does run on geriatric hardware!
  • Re:COBOL???? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkelectric (546685) <slashdot@monkele c t r i c . com> on Monday October 13, 2003 @10:53PM (#7205018)
    Bring me a programmer who knows COBOL, RPG, and AS/400 and I'll show you someone whose working.
  • by Mneme (56118) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @03:48AM (#7206542)
    In my office, across from my new 2GHz dual G5, I have a 1991 NeXT Workstation. Admittedly, I don't have it on all the time anymore, but I do turn it on once in a while to convert old WriteNow files and such. (Until July 2001 it was my main machine and in use daily -- I had to wait until OS X before there were machines up to the task of replacing it.)

    These days, one of my favorite uses of the machine is doing a side-by-side comparison with OS X. I compare the supplied Terminal, TextEdit and Mail applications on OS X and NeXTSTEP, showing that they're essentially the same programs, including details like the Font Panel and Color Picker. I then run OmniGraffle (2.0) on the Mac and Diagram.app on the NeXT -- again the two are essentially the same (OmniGraffle began as a Diagram clone and will read Diagram files). Finally, I run Abscissa (a graph-drawing program) on both and open the same file and show that it's exactly the same third-party app, just recompiled. Along the way I show things like live window dragging. It's pretty easy to see how OS X is in large part a continuation of NeXTSTEP.

    The NeXT is, of course, a little slower, but people tend to be surprised when I reveal that the NeXT has a 25MHz CPU, whereas the G5 has two 2000MHz CPUs (factor of 160 difference), the NeXT is maxed out at 32MB of RAM, whereas my G5 is only at 3/16ths capacity at 1536MB (48x more), and the NeXT has a 1GB internal drive whereas the G5 has a 160GB drive (another factor of 160). The NeXT is more than twelve years old and nevertheless holds its own pretty well -- it certainly doesn't seem like 1/160th of the machine my G5 is.

    Sadly, these days it takes a couple of tries before the internal 1GB hard drive spins up, and so I think one day it's going to go to that place in the sky that disk drives go to. That'll be a sad day, but not one I can't recover from -- at only 1GB, it's not like it takes much space to store a backup. :-)
  • by arkane1234 (457605) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @12:29PM (#7210037) Journal
    That would be X2 technology... not 2X.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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