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US House Decommissions Its Last Mainframe 152

coondoggie writes "The US House of Representatives has taken its last mainframe offline, signaling the end of an era in Washington, DC computing. The last mainframe supposedly enjoyed 'quasi-celebrity status' within the House data center, having spent 12 years keeping the House's inventory control records and financial management data, among other tasks. But it was time for a change, with the House spending $30,000 a year to power the mainframe and another $700,000 each year for maintenance and support."
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US House Decommissions Its Last Mainframe

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  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Saturday October 10, 2009 @05:18AM (#29702305)

    From Big Iron to VMs and dedicated Unix machines.

    I don't care what part of the political spectrum you fall under, that's change we can all get behind.

    Unless your job was supporting old, proprietary big iron.

  • Support costs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @05:32AM (#29702333) Journal

    Wow, that's some support bill - or was the House doing the usual Government thing and buying its 'Government Grade' punch tapes at $500 for a pack of 5!? I expect there was also one very highly paid guy who was the only living person left who knew the correct sequence of toggle key entries to start the IPL!

    A corporate for which I once did some consulting was transitioning their code from an ancient mainframe to a group of PC-based servers. For some bizarre reason, the Company decided to make their in-house hardware engineer/support guy redundant BEFORE they had finished the change-over! Suffice to say, his consulting daily (or part daily) rate to come back in and kick the old system back to life as needed during its last few months was *very* high as he was the only one who knew how to sweet-talk some of the bespoke hardware. I heard of times where a 10-minute site visit was netting him a 1/2 day fee of something mad like 700UKP

    No doubt the House mainframe's replacement is the $900 Dual Xeon unit previously used as a front-end processor for the mainframe's 32-port serial mux!

  • Re:Cloud? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Saturday October 10, 2009 @06:16AM (#29702461) Journal

    The Cloud = Mainframe V2.0?

    'scuse me while I try and calm down my hysterical laughter.

    (what U smokin'?)

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer