vintage computers in active use

Paul Anderson useddec at
Fri May 27 20:18:44 CDT 2016

Those were the days when Kelly came up with an idea that was needed now,
and most things were done at the Skunkworks. If something was farmed out,
the company probably had no idea what the product was for. Everything was
done quickly and efficiently, without most of congress knowing. I heard,
but never verified, that right out of school he designed the P38, and who
knows what else before the U2.

On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 10:41 AM, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at>

> On Thu, 26 May 2016, Toby Thain wrote:
> > We're pretty much already there.
> Agreed. You should hear one of my buddies talk about the air traffic
> control software he wrote which was replaced with some horror.
> > Audits of the F35 software found:
> >  * single points of failure (grounding global fleet)
> >  * security issues
> >  * that software is the single biggest risk to the project
> One of the principles of Unix: KISS, has been nearly completely lost.
> Nobody calls a meeting anymore to say "What can we get rid of? How can we
> simplify this? What is the *right* thing to do here?" It's more like "how
> big of a kickback will I get if I put in this nasty thing this vendor
> wants to sell?" or "Does the new system have buzz?"
> I worked on a gaming system one time (gambling) for embedded Linux
> systems. I recognized a few really critical bugs that might have even been
> exploitable. Neither the code shop or the clients gave a hoot. They
> responded with platitudes when I said "Can we go back and fix the most
> critical of our 300 bugs before we move on to new features?" The answer:
> "Not now, maybe later." That's one more lesson at the school of hard
> knocks, I guess.
> > It's not clear how much Microsoft is already in that loop.
> My guess is "a lot". The military seemed to have drank nearly the entire
> bottle of M$ kool aid, especially the Army.
> > While the existence of such projects is ... questionable to begin with,
> > one might think the continual under-delivery (across all military
> > boondoggles) might give taxpayers pause.
> 1 TRILLION (with big fat "T") dollars went into the F35 development
> (that's nearly half of one years tax revenue for the entire country), the
> results thus far have been pathetic if the news is to be believed. At
> least most of that money, boondoggle or not, is spent in the USA, I guess.
> However, I pine for the days when modest efforts produced the incredible
> SR-71 Blackbird (my all-time favorite aircraft). It was produced
> relatively quickly compared to the F35. Wikipedia says they started
> designing it in 1960 and it was flying by 1962. I'm no aviation expert by
> a long shot, but still that seems infinitely better than the current
> circus around the F35. I know that they aren't the same type of aircraft,
> and that the F35 is more "sophisticated" (but still way slower). I also
> understand that they had a zillion different design goals and basically
> were trying to please too many masters. I'm not sure who the blame rests
> with, but I'm right there with you calling the F35 a boondoggle. It hasn't
> seen battle yet (and I hope it doesn't have to) but I'm a little worried
> about the fact that it's beaten (badly) in simulations and exercises with
> much older fighter aircraft with much more "primitive" tech, including
> Russian aircraft, too.
> Aviation guys, am I all wet about the F35?
> -Swift

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