In Pictures: Computing fossils - Old tech holding on for dear life

Some ancient technology is still useful - and some just won't die

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Big Blue predicts blue skies Sometimes longtime government use of technology isn't the result of chaos and incompetence, but simple thriftiness. When it comes to weather predictions, satellites and doppler radar get all the press, but the National Weather Service still relies on good old-fashioned balloons -- and much of the data sent from those balloons is still processed by good old-fashioned IBM PC/XT machines, dating from the 1980s. It did turn out that 640 KB wasn't enough for everybody, but it seems that it's still good for many purposes.

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In Pictures: Computing fossils - Old tech holding on for dear life

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