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Ontario Technoblog

Ontario Emperor technology blog.

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Location: Ontario, California, United States

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Monday, September 18, 2006

You think your software is old...

John Soat at InformationWeek was asking businesses about the oldest operating system(s) in their establishment. The winner:

"I am running DOS 3.2 on a NetWare file-and-print server. It's been running for 13 years--no Y2K patches, no hiccups, no beeps or bumps or blue screens of death in the middle of the night ... just keeps running."

And Soat found plenty of Windows 95, Windows 98, etc. systems out there. The explanations? Vertical applications, and no funding for revisions:

[M]ost responses referred to simply one or two systems, most running in small businesses or in niche areas of big businesses, like this: "We still have two computers running Windows 95 and one running Windows 3.1 for some old, specialty programs that we occasionally have to use."...

"We have government equipment that runs [specialized] software," wrote one respondent, "with no funding to upgrade the specialized software so it will work on a newer OS. There are several systems running each of these versions: DOS, WFW 3.1, Win 95, Win 98, Win 98se, Win NT, Win 2000, Win XP, Server 2003."


Another explanation, which we saw with the DOS 3.2 app - if it ain't broke, don't fix it:

Representative of several responses was: "A touch screen point-of-sale system that runs under DOS 6.22." Another respondent said: "Still do my billing with DOS 6.22 on an Epson Equity II. Works just fine."

Surprisingly--or perhaps not--MS-DOS still has a devoted following. "Data recovery work is done at my little shop using DOS. Plain old DOS 6.0 works best for the way the app is programmed. And no, it can't work in a Windows DOS box, either."

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