Ancient History

Of all the things I needed this afternoon, with a busy evening planned (of which, possibly, more anon), and an hour or so to kill in town, having the cash machine to decide to reboot itself in the middle of giving me some cash, was probably somewhere between ‘a hole in the head’ and ‘a slap in the face with a wet fish’.

Adding insult to injury, was the fact that, as it rebooted itself and I stood there staring at it, only just coming to terms to the fact that I was about to be left with no cash and no means of getting cash and no means of buying anything without cash, I noticed that the cashpoint was running on OS2 Warp.

For those of you of tender years, OS2 Warp was the operating system IBM brought out in the early nineties to challenge Windows and my first ever proper job in IT was porting software onto it, which will tell some of you just how ancient I really am, and certainly in IT years.* It was a steaming pile of matters arising then, and I don’t imagine it’s much better now. ‘Isn’t rebooting something supposed to make it work again?’ asked the other half when I texted him to bring me over some cash. From what I remember of OS2 Warp, nothing short of percussive maintenance with an axe was going to make a cash machine running OS2 Warp better which – curiously enough – was exactly what I wanted to do.

And how was your afternoon?

*Only last night I was reminiscing happily about the Y2K panic, which some of you may have heard your grandparents talk about.

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3 Responses to Ancient History

  1. john gibson says:

    OS2 Warp, I’m not of tender years and I do not remember it.
    John

  2. charles says:

    One floppy drive for software, one for the work you were doing. Improbable jokes about floppy discs and the new stiffy discs. The wonders on WinZip for sticking large files together…I worked on an apple lisa in Namibia in 1988 and I had to take it to the instrument shop to clean it out with clean compressed air. No it was not an abacus…an abacus would have been quicker!

    I was the last generation to go through engineering at university without computers. Famous quote, you have to do this complicated and impossible equation, of course in theory if you had a powerful digital computer you could work it out, but that will never happen…remeber log tables. Oh the amount of useless information I know. Sorry touched a nerve – I bet it was an RBS cash machine, famous both for antiquated technolgy and a modern service culture.

  3. disgruntled says:

    @John – it didn’t exactly take the market by storm.
    @Charles – … typing the code for a game into your BBC Computer from out of the back of a magazine… (they never did work)

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