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New Year – Old Computers

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So Happy new year everyone. Its been a great Christmas hasn’t it?

Here at the Bunker we are sweeping up the last of the paper chains (over 6 miles of paper chains to be put in the recycling bin)  and are busy getting the Nostradamus Awards for this year and writing down our predictions.

In the mean time, here’s an interesting story on BBC.

So the DWP are looking to recruit a CTO to help update and ultimately upgrade some of their 40-year-old infrastructure

let’s think about this for a second:

some of the architecture used in the Department for Work and Pensions is over 40 years old.

Remember back in 2006 the discovery  Natascha Kampusch, who had been abducted in 1998, then aged 10 years old by Wolfgang P?iklopil.  P?iklopil stored a lot of his files on a commodore 64 and this caused a lot of problems for police trying to retrieve potential evidence from his computer without some form of loss.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/sep/05/austria.markoliver

even an earlier posts here on the bunker about cultural entropy, but also the recovery of Early Warhol works on Amiga disks and the problems they encountered getting data of old data storage,

lets not forget these 2 systems are not too old Amiga was released in 1985,  the C64 in 1982 so 30 and 33 years respectively

Imagine then for a second some of the problems that will no doubt be faced trying to transfer data or preserve data on parts of a system that is 40 years old!

now take a second to think about this:

this is one of many government departments. the reality is there are probably many departments all with crumbling infrastructures

and in the BBC article, journalist Mark Ballard, warned against large IT updates, and rightly so, the last thing a government in power needs is a costly IT failure, especially if they lambasted the previous administration for doing the same

Here’s the thing though. I am convinced that spending on IT systems is seen as a political decision and as the success or failure of IT systems have become a political hot potato. Governments would rather limp along with older technology instead of investing updating what they have for fear of it going wrong or being seen as squandering money on updates.

I am not for a second saying that yearly updates of terminals is going to keep the system in tip-top shape, but regular maintenance and updating of infrastructure would surely be a good thing. If you where to say that no one piece of hardware can be say over 20 years old and that servers are replaced on a rolling basis every few year,swapping out the older servers, you could very well reach a situation where government departments become faster and more efficient. if we had this policy in place right now, none of the hardware in the department should be older than the 90s,  heck if you said that nothing could be over 10 years old, it would still be millennial software and hardware you would be using – the late lamented pc that died last year was bout 6 years old, and I know as soon as I get a new desktop I will be amazed at the lightning fast speeds it will be capable of.

 

 

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