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Comment: Re: Delete? (Score 1) 114 114

That is certainly a very secure way to do it - but of course they probably would have a backup of their index, and thus the keys. At some stage, you have to declare "good enough!" - and for 40+ years the removal of the index entry has been a "delete". We go to extra lengths for a "secure" delete, and they would have to take some extra steps here as well... but it is hard to speak intelligently without knowing the details :)

Comment: Re:Delete? (Score 1) 114 114

So long as there are no links to the image, it is effectively "deleted". Same as magnetic storage. You just null the index, you don't actually go back and wipe the data back to zeros. Technically the offending bits still reside on the disk, but it's close enough if there is no way to access the data short of using forensic tools.

Comment: Re:plastic is for junk (Score 1) 265 265

Where I grew up, it was the same but the dick contest was with off road vehicles. The biggest, shiniest off road vehicle they could afford with the largest tires. They never went off road, but that wasn't the point.

SOME guys went off road - but their trucks looked like they had rolled over (and they had).

Comment: Re:"Venerable"? (Score 1) 173 173

"Venerable" does not quite mean "decrepit". The meaning is more like respect for an elder. "Official standard" or not, it has been around as a real language since the early 90s (Borland?), which definitely makes it an elder in computer land. I mean, Windows is written in C++ and it definitely gets the "venerable" title by now.

Comment: Re:Why not future proof the application? (Score 1) 257 257

I'm apparently obsolete in my thinking :)

My familiarity is mostly with older installs and the problems in keeping older infrastructure working. There is a whole cottage industry built around that very problem... lots of things out there like serial to Ethernet converters. You can slowly modernize this kind of a system, but at some point you have to start moving things over to a more modern controller.

Comment: Re:Why not future proof the application? (Score 1) 257 257

If we are talking control systems, then the best bet is to go browse the popular offerings from Schneider or Siemens. Those will be around and supported for a very long time, and you won't be the only idiot out there building a factory with it. You naturally want to update things - that's the whole point of this question - but it is not like you are going to be continuously upgrading the core architecture over the 25 year life. I would not be surprised at all if the same architecture is in place for 25 years at a single installation. Sure, you'll swap out parts and maybe even the controller a few times - but it will all look very familiar to the guy who originally spec'd it, and new people will roll their eyes and laugh at it.

If it is something in IT land, that is out of my field. There are many suggestions on here - but I'm betting that anything popular (Linux, Windows, BSDs, mainframes) will run in emulation going forward. I'd probably avoid Oracle, Apple, or other proprietary hardware - even though I told you to go with proprietary stuff for the factory :)

Comment: Re:Why not future proof the application? (Score 1) 257 257

I think we're talking past one another. The original poster is asking about future-proofing his development, not freezing development. Naturally you want the system to be adaptable and as easy to update as is possible - but the basic architecture is probably going to be pretty much frozen in time. "Upgraded" equipment is usually compatible with the same interface, and they tend to make popular interfaces for a very long time. Even when the interface becomes obsolete, there is usually a very long period with transitional hardware. At some point - unless you are lucky - you are looking at replacing the controller, and that can be quite painful so it makes sense to (a) put that off as long as possible, (b) spend time up front picking a popular and flexible platform.

Comment: Re:Why not future proof the application? (Score 1) 257 257

Heh, don't buy stock in that company.

I'm doing a very minor thing at work right now in the same vein. We have some ancient equipment that would cost $60-70k to replace. It still works, but the data collection PC just died. It had a workflow involving macros, Windows 2000, and several serial ports. I need to get it all working with the Win7 replacement - but at least it is all simple serial communication and the equipment seems amenable to USB adapters, and the communication is well-documented. There are two stations, so it isn't exactly time-critical - but I totally get why people would not want to spend money until absolutely necessary.

Comment: Re:Why not future proof the application? (Score 1) 257 257

I don't think many people would wait until their last spare to start retrofitting their system. At the same time, you want to stretch your investment as long as you can get away with it.

In the case of old style PLCs, there have been a number of transitional technologies, since so many people were in the same situation.

"Intelligence without character is a dangerous thing." -- G. Steinem