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Re: [midatlanticretro] PDP-11 Programmers WANTED!

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  • Mike Hatch
    ... We are in the middle of refurbishing several EIA 2050 Missile Range Plotters - http://www.yesterdaystechnology.com/html/catalog.html - (image 20/21 down
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 20 2:35 AM
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      On 19/06/2013 22:31, Dan Roganti wrote:
      >
      > There's all kinds of original equipment still used in mission critical
      > operations.

      We are in the middle of refurbishing several EIA 2050 Missile Range
      Plotters -
      http://www.yesterdaystechnology.com/html/catalog.html - (image 20/21
      down the page), still used for missile tracking and required for at
      least another 5 years. Electronic manuals still exist but no mechanical
      drawings so the mechanics has had to be redrawn from scratch.

      Mike.



      There's still almost 2 acres of floor space in the
      > datacenter with 2 dozen systems from SEL and two CDC Cyber 840's still
      > kicking at Vandenberg AFB. This is still running after 35years and it
      > was designed as a result of the SALT-II treaty and began operations in
      > 1978. I recently heard from an old colleague that our systems will still
      > be in service for another decade after the contract renewal. Frankly,
      > it's more cost prohibitive to replace systems with this level of
      > reliability without undergoing extensive (and expensive) regression
      > tests all over again - that's a requirement - we're not talking about
      > some POS system for your local dept store. Sure they can replace Tape
      > drives and Hard drives with compatible equipment, but the computer
      > hardware and software have to be proven, eg. no bugs (hard or soft). Of
      > course they make newer reliable equipment, but that may be fine only for
      > new mission critical projects, but try to get an approval for defense
      > contract or FAA certification to replace a 30+yr old system that's still
      > a reliable diehard - only because you like to open your Facebook acct
      > while the missile is streaming off course.
      > U.S. Air Force Western Space and Missile Center (WSMC
      > <http://www.titan-ii.com/VAFB.html>), Vandenberg AB
      > http://www.rogtronics.net/computers_mini_gallery_tips.html
      >
    • Mike
      Regarding the SEL systems-32, I recently noticed that somebody has come up with a SEL software compatible system, so potentially the HW could be replaced with
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 20 4:44 AM
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        Regarding the SEL systems-32, I recently noticed that somebody has come up with a SEL software compatible system, so potentially the HW could be replaced with something more modern and the software reused. Presumably it runs on a modern processor in emulation. Like you say, it would still have to be re-qualified, but I imagine maintaining those old systems will only get more expensive as time goes on. They are also still in use in flight simulators. I have also seen some SEL systems-32 cards on ebay with fairly high prices, given the age and relative obscurity of the system.

        regards,
        Mike Willegal

        --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Dan Roganti <ragooman@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM, Dave McGuire <Mcguire@...> wrote:
        >
        > > On 06/19/2013 09:42 AM, brian_cirulnick wrote:
        > > > Dunno if you've seen this article, but it turns out that Nuclear Plants
        > > are going to keep their existing PDP-11's running until 2050, so right now,
        > > GE is scouring Vintage Computer forums in search of PDP-11 programmers....
        > > >
        > > >
        > > http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/19/nuke_plants_to_keep_pdp11_until_2050/
        > > >
        > > > Yes boys and girls, vintage computing is alive and well in places like
        > > Insurance, Banks, and Nuclear Power. Funny how things that are CRITICAL to
        > > running our infrastructure aren't running Windows.
        > >
        > > Yup. And in that industry, it isn't "vintage computing". It's just
        > > the way it's done, the right tool for the job.
        > >
        >
        >
        > There's all kinds of original equipment still used in mission critical
        > operations. There's still almost 2 acres of floor space in the datacenter
        > with 2 dozen systems from SEL and two CDC Cyber 840's still kicking at
        > Vandenberg AFB. This is still running after 35years and it was designed as
        > a result of the SALT-II treaty and began operations in 1978. I recently
        > heard from an old colleague that our systems will still be in service for
        > another decade after the contract renewal. Frankly, it's more cost
        > prohibitive to replace systems with this level of reliability without
        > undergoing extensive (and expensive) regression tests all over again -
        > that's a requirement - we're not talking about some POS system for your
        > local dept store. Sure they can replace Tape drives and Hard drives
        > with compatible equipment, but the computer hardware and software have to
        > be proven, eg. no bugs (hard or soft). Of course they make
        > newer reliable equipment, but that may be fine only for new mission
        > critical projects, but try to get an approval for defense contract or FAA
        > certification to replace a 30+yr old system that's still a reliable diehard
        > - only because you like to open your Facebook acct while the missile is
        > streaming off course.
        > U.S. Air Force Western Space and Missile Center
        > (WSMC<http://www.titan-ii.com/VAFB.html>),
        > Vandenberg AB
        > http://www.rogtronics.net/computers_mini_gallery_tips.html
        >
        > Dan
        >
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