Another (Language) blast from the past
Roy J. Tellason
rtellason at verizon.net
Thu Sep 13 16:47:34 CDT 2007
On Thursday 13 September 2007 14:31, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 13 Sep 2007 at 10:56, Chris Kennedy wrote:
> > My interactions with it were mercifully brief. I recall that
> > diagnostics from the compiler were pretty much limited to printing out
> > the offending line followed by a new line and the message "Error above".
> > A subsequent version of the compiler had enhanced diagnostics,
> > replacing "Error above" with "Error above, eh?"
> I suspect that the real thrust of the article is that all the old
> flight-control software has gotten very creaky and patched so that
> very few people understand the operation in detail. The programming
> language is most likely a non-issue. This was (and perhaps still is)
> a common pattern in the military and the government.
> Perhaps the granddaddy of such boondoggle was the Air Force Logistics
> Command's effort back in the 70's to modernize their tracking and
> inventory system which was then implemented on some rather creaky
> 7080's. After hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain,
> Senator Proxmire finally threatened contempt of Congress charges at
> the general heading up the program and it stopped. The outcome was
> that AFLC went back to running their old 7080 code in emulation mode
> on, IIRC, S/370 hardware.
Speaking of such stuff, does anybody know what the deal is with the air
traffic control stuff used at most airports? I keep reading things about how
ancient and creaky the hardware is, how they're afraid to work on it for
fear of breaking it further, how it's supposed to be upgraded Real Soon Now,
and so forth...
Anybody know what they're using?
Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and
ablest -- form of life in this section of space, a critter that can
be killed but can't be tamed. --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James
More information about the cctech