Fortran Ftw

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by cube, May 26, 2016.

  1. cube macrumors G5

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    #1
    Old does not necessarily mean bad.

    Something new could be big trouble.

    Proper assessment required.
     
  2. Populism macrumors regular

    Populism

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  3. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #3
    If I were king of the world, everything would be done in Assembly. Our programmers should be made to suffer. :mad:
     
  4. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #4
    Aslong as it's 68k I can live with that :)
     
  5. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #5
    No, that's too easy.
     
  6. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    totally cool
  7. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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  8. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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  9. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #10
    To be serious for a second, that doesn't concern me too terribly much. When it comes to failsafe technology, newer is rarely ever better.

    There's a reason why NASA uses what are basically late 90's era computers for their long range satellites and nuclear powered rovers. It's because they're simple, predictable, and easy to work with.
     
  10. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #11
    The problem comes around when there is nobody left who knows how to support and maintain the old systems.
     
  11. cube, May 26, 2016
    Last edited: May 26, 2016

    cube thread starter macrumors G5

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    #12
    That particular system is getting replaced soon, I'm not saying it shouldn't.

    From arstechnica, it would seem that they choose wisely, but maybe are somewhat short on budget, especially considering cybersecurity.

    Just that things can derail when it gets political.
     
  12. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #13
    This is true. Even people who started out in the ancient days of computers have probably forgotten how to use them properly, or at least aren't as skilled as they used to be.

    There probably does come a point where you need to consider upgrading at least a few years in advance of what you currently have. Though the question remains: how does one safely do that with a nuclear launch program?
     
  13. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #14

    You probably retire accompanying infrastructure and weaponry together. Note that many of our nukes aren't serviceable. We'll never get to use them, and we have more than we could really drop. It's just a waste of money at this point as it doesn't provide security. They're closer to a liability than anything else.
     
  14. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #15
    The nested parens
    Promised us friendly AI
    No jetpacks either
     
  15. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #16
    Good point. Though I'd hate to think of the costs of supporting such a program. Considering the layers of security and absolute precision required just to update the entire program to turn of the century standards...

    ...it won't be cheap.
     
  16. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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    #17
    There's always younger people interested in arcane stuff, but it takes time to train them. You need to have a good knowledge transfer pipeline.

    More of a problem is unsupported stuff.
     
  17. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #18
    That seems like the best way. We really should use the option of getting rid of some of our aging and mostly useless nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip with Russia, and focus instead on maintaining the ones that are actually useful.
     
  18. Renzatic Suspended

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    #19
    Yeah, though most of them would consider it more a hobby than a focus. Concentrating on old tech that isn't used in anything except for incredibly specialized systems that have been around for decades does give you some advantages in certain fields, but also greatly limits your other job prospects in the long run.

    And this. I remember reading a list of various computer components people just don't know how to properly make anymore, at least not to the point you can assure 100% swap-out compatibility with whatever they're designed to replace.
     
  19. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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    #20
    All cutting edge technology becomes obsolete sooner or later. Perpetually upgrading critical systems to a new -soon to be obsolete- system doesn't make sense, considering the problems it could create, as long as it works and is safe.
     
  20. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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    #21
    Pushing JavaScript, HTML, and CSS might make you good money, but it can get pointless and boring.
     
  21. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #22
    True. This is one of the reasons why I'm always such a huge advocate for cheap education. It allows people to become more knowledgeable, and thus more flexible and creative.
     
  22. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #23
    That's not too surprising. In 2009 I toured the 2nd Squadron at Schriever AFB and learned that the airmen controlling the entire GPS satellite constellation use code written in Borland Pascal running on MS-DOS boxes. I'm sure they've upgraded to XP by now.
     
  23. cube thread starter macrumors G5

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  24. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    #25
    in scientific computing, programmers need to be able to manipulate large vectors and matrices. For various technical reasons, C and C++ arrays incur more memory overhead than Fortran arrays. (It's faster to manipulate the stack than it is to manipulate the heap; fortran arrays are column major rather than row major as in C/C++, etc).
    I haven't paid attention to those issues in years, so the advantage might be substantially diminished, but fortran code used to be twice as fast as C/C++. C++ Templates were intended to solve this problem.
     

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