We have another PDP whose only purpose in life is to provide spare parts to the one we keep running. What are the oldest file formats still in use? “I think the record was over one Christmas-New Year holiday when [Harwell/WITCH] was all by itself, with miles of input data on punched tape to keep it happy, for at least ten days and was still ticking away when we came back,” says Jack Howlett, who worked with WITCH in the 1950s. It is also known for being used in low latency applications. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. It’s often easy to forget that during the ‘70s and ‘80s there was also a serious business side to computing. He also has a huge collection of cables. The new system is as modern as you can get, but the old magnetic tape, with the single database, still exists as a backup and is still maintained by IRS staff. According to the column, MOCAS is currently believed to be the world's oldest computer program that's remains in active use. Short Bytes: MOCAS is the world’s oldest computer program that’s still in active use. It seems that MOCAS (Mechanization of Contract Administration Services) is still used by the United States Department of Defense running on an IBM 2098 model E-10 mainframe. (Last year NASA put out a call for a FORTRAN programmer to upgrade the probes' software.) We strongly encourage you to read our updated PRIVACY POLICY and COOKIE POLICY. PCMag Digital GroupExtremeTech is among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. This question came up on Slashdot the other day and I wasn't really satisfied with the answers being given. The New York subway Metro Card system still uses OS/2. Apparently, some 70% to 80% of UK plc business transactions are based on Cobol. Playing on a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari consoles and so on is like being a child again, and recalling the sounds, feel, and smell of overheating electronics. They’re apparently very good at it too, since they’ve doing it from 1928. The military gets too much cash not to swap their > > > equipment out every decade at the latest so I rule them out. It used an Orthogonal Instruction Set that dir… The oldest computers still in use in the military are probably DEC PDP-11s dating back to 1970, enormous computers by our standards, but remarkably compact considering what they were capable of at the time. One of the most recently developed tape drives can squeeze a modest 185TB of data on to its layer of superfine crystal particles, and it’s said to last for at least sixty years. Magnetic tape was first used to store data in 1951, and was capable of storing 128 characters per inch on eight tracks. What it lacked in speed, though, it made up for in accuracy and perseverance — WITCH didn’t make mistakes, and it could be left alone for hours or days without any human interaction. It was also used to calculate the likelihood of developing the H-bomb, one of the most powerful weapons ever tested. Of course, the computers aboard the earliest space probes (Pioneer, Voyager) and American ICBMs (Minuteman) are also very old, and still in operation today — in the case of the LGM-30 Minuteman, which entered operation in 1970, the US plans to keep them in operation until at least 2030. I use a 15" early 2011 MBP and it's still a very quick, very capable computer. Amateur radio, or Ham radio, users share a common spirit with computer enthusiasts. Its main use is to read the old antique (now obsolete) tapes from very old customer systems so that we can get their old applications when we upgrade them to a new system. David has spent most of his life tinkering with technology, from the ZX Spectrum, getting his hands on a Fujitsu VPP5000/100 supercomputer, and coding on an overheating Raspberry Pi. Up until recently I used an old PhotoShop that was probably older but running CS now. The truth though was that these were excellent, hardwearing machines. Now, if we can only find a company that still uses a ZX Spectrum…. Posted by Lauren Johnson. The oldest computer that is still being used right now is the DEC-PDP-11s. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. These are computers that are put up back in the 1970s. Being one of the oldest computers, this is also one of the first computers used for the purpose of war. The oldest computer I still have up and running is ZX Spectrum +2A which is a late model, made after Sinclair's computer business was acquired by Amstrad, but it's still pretty nice to have and it's as close to the original as I can get. 10 Ancient computers that are still in use today. These systems are still in use today, in fact there’s even a company, which the US military hires, who specialises in using modern hardware to emulate the HP 3000 based missile system. Designed to work continuously for many years. These systems are designed in such a way that they rarely fail. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. The HP 3000 series of minicomputers were released in 1972, and featured such revolutionary concepts as an operating system, RISC processors, and you could easily interface with the mainframes of time and large storage arrays. A bus company in Brisbane, the MYER Centre Bus Terminal to be exact, used, up until 2010, a C64 as their main monitor display for the bus timetable. Linguistic Equivalent: Sanskrit. 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