vintage computers in active use

Dave G4UGM dave.g4ugm at
Fri May 27 11:59:55 CDT 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Swift
> Griggs
> Sent: 27 May 2016 16:11
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> <cctalk at>
> Subject: RE: vintage computers in active use
> On Thu, 26 May 2016, Dave Wade wrote:
> > Assembler on a Series/1 is a problem as it's a closed system. Can't be
> > run under emulation. No modern replacements available.
> You make some excellent points about the hardware and the difficulty of
> emulation et al. When it comes to firing nuclear weapons, personally I'd
> to see computers *removed* from the equation as much as is practical.
> The protocols for firing should be as embedded as much as possible in
> chain of command and the Missileers, not the computers. The controls are
> currently physically isolated and require simultainous key-turns by two
> individuals etc.. I have much more faith in something like that than in
> software or computer hardware. Anatoli Bugorski can tell you all about the
> effectiveness of "safety software".
> If they putting Windows boxes in missile silos, well... Prepare for WWIII.
> It's a bit like the last time I was in an ER and they couldn't accept
> because their Windows machines kept blue-screening due to a virus.
> Windows in an ER? Yep. This insanity is now the norm.

For some reason Windows computers in Hospital seem especially prone to viral
When I worked in a Windows shop the usual source of nasties was down level
JAVA which was frequently needed for obsolete software..

> -Swift

As far as I know Computers have been managing missiles for a long time now.
I can see issues dating back a long time reported here:-

I remember I was on a Honeywell course, must have been around 1980, when one
of these happened. 
The performance of the machine we were using on the course was somewhat less
than sparkling, or at least our batch jobs were being held in queues for a
long time.

We joked that if the WWMCCS

was running anything like as well as our GCOS systems (which were basically
the same) the US had no chance.....

... wake the President, give him terminal, he logs in ....

USER: Mr.President
Password" **********
Launch Missiles
Thank You Mr.President, your job L1A is at position 100 in queue .atest9...
Estimated time to execution 1 Day 4 Hours....



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