This post has been moved to blogspot. No further posts will be made to this location.
I read a sci fi story once where a group of people had to enter a space ship that had been gone for like 200 years and needed to interface with the ship remotely. They had emulators running emulators, down like 15 layers. That only works for software (and assuming that you keep all the emulators for years and years).
We're running into that problem now with hardware. Our printer is old as far as printers go and has a parallel (?) printer port. Of our computers, only Laura's has that port, and I'm expecting her computer to fail any time now (6+ year old laptop with a battery that lasts 3 minutes). That's not too bad since printers are so cheap and I can even get a usb to printer for cable for like 20 $.
The difficult part is not printing, but getting data. Yesterday Laura got a floppy disk in the mail. Yes, you read that correct. The ministry of health doesn't trust this new internet thing, and will only transfer data via dead trees, floppy disks, or dial up access. Something about security - and in some ways I understand that, but there are solutions to having a secure network.
The issue is that we don't actually have anything that will read a floppy... the last computer that had that I gave to my brothers and I think it's since been broken. So now I'm going to look for a usb / floppy drive to have on hand because it's going to suck to go buy a computer that must have a floppy...
Software emulation is great, but if you're much more screwed if it's hardware that's out of date.
Aside: it was hilarious to hear Laura rant "who sends a floppy?!? I mean really!". Even funnier when I started to picture her saying it in an Austin Powers voice when he was talking about Random Task throwing a shoe...Posted by jim at November 6, 2009 08:25 AM