I do worry that the power consumption might be far too high for the amount of value you're getting out of it. I mean, a Raspberry Pi Zero probably has more computing power than an Apple II, while using a small fraction of the power. You could probably retrofit the software to work relatively well on an Apple II emulator on the Raspberry Pi, for that matter.
Increasingly I've been getting a bit worried about these "it gets the job done" mentalities; are the environmental externalities actually being properly accounted for?
Sure, but what's the carbon output to recycle the Apple II? What's the carbon output to build new rPIs? What's the carbon output to rebuild whatever software to run on the rPI?
Until we can measure these things with extreme precision, it's kind of a shot in the dark. You might be able to make some estimate of it currently, and then you could graph the cost of making an rpi and recycling the Apple II vs the power usage of the Apple II over time (- the power usage of an rpi).
So I agree with you, but there are externalities to replacing the Apple II with an rpi that need to be accounted for as well.
Interesting figures. BTW, the terminology is a mess, but I think what you're describing would most clearly be called "district heating", as "central" often just means that your house has one burner in the basement (as opposed to a fireplace in each room, originally). I hadn't stopped to think what the museum would have.
And, somewhere in here there's a parable about capitalism. The engineers are correct that the district heating plant has economies of scale... but it's only as clean as your town's politics, and even a squeaky-clean mayor has to make a terrifying giant decision about whether to upgrade it, once every 30 years. Instead of every owner gossiping with his neighbors about what works & what breaks, and whether double glazing was worth it.
yeah worked with a win3.1 box for a long time that was never shutdown on purpose (on a ups and we had back up generators). we ran midi tests of our hw with it. it was shutdown permanently in some time in 2010.
Sometimes, sometimes not. CNC (as someone noted) is just a control mechanism. For some use cases, the cams and levers of a World War II-era Screw Machine are faster and far more cost effective than a new, or even used CNC mill/lathe.
There are shops out there that will buy up old automated machine tools and dedicate each machine to a particular setup or product that they make in bulk. That 60 year-old hunk of cast iron and steel might have cost an eyewatering sum when it was new, but because CNC is all the rage now, it's available for the cost of scrap now and it may still be as precise as the day it was built.
Many CNC machines in operation are retrofits of WWII era manual lathes and mills. There are so many of those still in existence, and the demand for small scale machining is so small in the US these days that the market for high quality machining tools have effectively segmented into huge modern CNC machining centers worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, and many decades old refurbished tools for small scale, simple one offs and hobbyist tools.
(also, this is very symbolic. every former soviet union citizen knows that Lenin foresaw the advent of thinking machines, calling this as inevitable as an apple falling down from a tree - from Lenin Collected Works, letter to Julius Martov, 1903)
It is a made-up joke, partially grounded in a soviet tradition to supplement any thesis by some quote from Lenin Collected Works. Since Vladimir Ilyich had lots of opinions and was a very prolific writer - 5th edition of Collected Works ran 54 volumes 650 pages each - one could find virtually anything there. ANYTHING.
That's what I thought of when I read this in George Orwell's "1984":
"Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration."
Al Eisenstat, who accompanied [Steve] Jobs, recalled him talking about creating AI simulations of Soviet revolutionaries: “The one thing we can’t do is to ask them a question and get their current thinking. Ahh, but in the future you are going to have artificial intelligence and you’ll be able to ask Mr. Lenin a question or Mr. Trotsky a question.”
"His Collected Works comprise 54 volumes, each of about 650 pages, translated into English in 45 volumes "
i wonder what future we can already preview by training GPT-2 on it. Add to that a voice model built using his voice recordings and upload the combined model as a "Talk to/Ask Lenin" skill to Alexa... Caused the memory to dig out that USSR propaganda slogan - "Lenin is more alive than anyone living" (i kid you not - "Lenin zhivee vseh zhivyh").
In the years when it was produced the pun here would have resulted in "10 years in GULAG without right for communication with outside world". Not even speaking about intentional pun, to get how fearful people felt about making just accidental mistake - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_(1975_film) for example has a scene showing it pretty well.
I'm surprised by GP's translation and insistence. The translation is just simply incorrect language-wise. Just ask any Russian. While so totally incorrect the translation though has very deep Zen like qualities to it which would sound pretty profound in some other contexts and about some other persons. USSR and Lenin is just very far from Zen :).
I worked on at a company that was running all their billing software on DOS with FoxPro (I was there in 2012).
We eventually "upgraded" them to a VM running OS/2 on a Windows XP machine (I wasn't able to get it working with DosBox or FreeDOS)...Management didn't want to give us budget to rewrite it in a modern language, sadly.
> ...Management didn't want to give us budget to rewrite it in a modern language, sadly.
I fully agree with the management. The problem with software developers of today is that instead of being engineers and getting shit done they are more like script kiddies trying to do cool 1337 things. There are some golden rules in engineering: never touch a running system, if ain't broke, don't fix it and don't reinvent the wheel - just use it.
I don't think I agree with that at all. There aren't security updates, older hardware becomes harder and harder to get fixed.
It's easy to say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but in effect everything is breaking all the time. Hard drives fail, processors burn out, security holes are discovered, and the more out-of-date something is, the harder it is to replace or fix. If there were periodic attempts to modernize stuff, the blow of this is less severe.
Example, I'm sure the people running the Target POS devices five years ago had the mentality "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", and it led to a huge breach.
> I'm sure you'll be able to find billions of computers that can run OS/2 in a VM both now and in the future.
Fair enough, I probably could have gotten it working in DOSBox at some point as well, further increasing the compatible devices, but that still doesn't deter from the fact that no one really knows Foxpro anymore. It's hard to fix bugs in dead languages.
AFAIK FoxPro is part of the xBase family of database systems and while these aren't as popular as they used to be, there is still a lot of information about them out there (and they were meant to be easy to learn and use). There are even some open source implementations (Harbour). So it shouldn't be that hard to fix things, at least for a good programmer.
The hard part would be convincing said programmer to work on it :-P.
There's a chance that it could have been; none of the engineers still at the company knew anything about Foxpro and none of us really wanted to learn it; typically I (or anyone else suckered into fixing stuff) learned the very minimum required to find a bug.
However, until we finally got sign-off to do it in a VM it was a pretty big pain to log into the DOS boxes and fix stuff, so we were even less incentivized to become competent.
Even we had ported it over to Visual Foxpro or something, it was discontinued in 2007, meaning it would probably still have problems now...more even, since I'm reasonably certain that I could have gotten DosBox to work given enough time, which would at least effectively allow permanent free "operating system" updates.