offer - OS/2 for the PDP-11
onymouse at garlic.com
Fri Jan 4 23:57:59 CST 2008
Jules Richardson wrote:
> jd wrote:
>> Jules Richardson wrote:
>>> (Having said that, some ATM machines in the UK ran OS/2 for years after
>>> it was a dead OS elsewhere - [snipsnip] )
>> It's been used in some ATM's in the States, too. People have mentioned
>> getting to the desktop or a shell and manipulating ATM's from there,
> Weird. I've certainly seen at least one UK ATM fall over and break out
> of its program (this was quite a few years ago) - but I'm amazed that
> anyone would design an ATM in such a way that the keypad buttons were
> directly readable by the native OS for just that reason.
Considering how naive about physical and electronic security just
about everyone was then, I would not be at all surprised. This was at
about the time OS/2 first came out and found it's way into industrial
equipment, I think. The KISS mentality was still in full effect and
hardware design for ATM's still consisted of collecting off-the-shelf
components and tossing them together. An ATM would have just one
console and that would be the front monitor and keypad, often by
default, and the rear monitor and keypad or keyboard, if so equipped,
that would require using a hardware or software switch, like those old
Inmac KVM-without-the-M switch boxes. Of course, for convenience, it
was possible to do stuff from the front keypad, such as use a
maintenance menu. Eventually, when ATM design evolved, such convenient
features faded into oblivion.
>> Apparently there's nothing better on the shelf.
> I'd heard that too, but I don't know how much of it's folklore. I
> suspect these days they all just run MS Windows, and any increase in
> failure rate is seen to be cheaper to handle than trying to support a
> 'dead' OS.
If experience is any indication, I would say it's true. Windows is so
ubiquitous and people are so accustomed to it breaking that it doesn't
seem to matter anymore: They're inured to the pain. Or perhaps numb.
Some people would be helpless without the pain, I suppose, even if it
saved tons of money to cast the demon out. It's very costly in terms
of cost of ownership and lost product.
Word was that IBM was going to give or sell some customers what they
needed to maintain their copies of OS/2. Since some of their customers
have invested a lot in installing OS/2 in their
quarter-to-half-million-dollar-plus-plus-plus products, it does not
seem likely that they would care to abandon OS/2 for at least a while.
Especially not after they got things working so nicely. They would at
least want maintenance--bug fixes, etc. Haven't heard since whether
IBM actually did give the customers anything.
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