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If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Paleotechnology

By bmitol ·
Much of my work is in field service, rust belt field service. I have encountered control scenarios that could shiver anyone's timbers. At one end of a process line is controlled by the latest version of Infalink or Wonder-ware with a wireless OPC server and at the other end is an MG set with Clark relays controlling its field to control line speed. In between there is a Square D PLC that will only communicate with an OLD version of RS232 and a DOS version of its software. Rather than retire old PCs Ive had to pull them from dumpsters to replace old school HMIs. I could go on with stories about plant managers wont even stop production to do maintenance let alone upgrade. They claim "If it ain't broke don't fix it"! I enter plants with a Tecra in one hand and a 386 luggable in the other. Just last year I upgraded a CNC control running on a 8088 that would only run the CNC software in the slow (4.7 Mhz) mode. He needed an 87 chip to be able to smooth out some of his radius operations. I would not be at all surprised to walk into an office that was running Word-star on a Kaypro with a closet full of 5 1/4s. And by the way the 88 machine used 5 1/4s. I have often thought of sending in some dinosaurs to the TechRepublic just to find out that "I'm gonna need them". It's a jungle out there.

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