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Nuke plants to rely on PDP-11 code UNTIL 2050! • The Register

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Steph, three things:

1. You worked on this?

2. Wouldn't 2050 be past the lifetime of anyone who had worked on this?

3. Is there anything that makes you very afraid, knowing that code is still in use for 37 years?

1. it depends on which -11.  I did micro -11s in early-mid 80s.  Some of our systems were in GE sub reactors so there's a decent chance they are also in these.

2. I plan to live much longer than that :-)  I also taught 3 years worth of undergrads in the mid 90s how to hand assemble PDP-11, and the USSR was using were using copied -11s for much longer so maybe they can pick up where we leave off.

3. No.  DEC knew 'inarguably complete' in a way that is a completely lost art.  We never shipped a board with a wire nor software that wasn't an upgrade.  On the other hand, this perfectionism became tragic.  Our velocity remained aligned with the expectations set by the VAX 11/780 launched in 1977, and only really upgraded 10 years later in 1987.

Whew. Thank you. I sleep a little easier tonight.

Some of the work I did at NASA in the 1990s ended up in the fault tolerance code for the international space station, and I have had trouble sleeping ever since.

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