Cool Console

I recently read Greg Ferro's Cool Consoling Guide post and thought it was good enough to share.

In short, Greg ended up using a 20 year old DEC VT420 terminal to configure something he was working on. You might be thinking "So what's the big deal?". Well, the big deal is that a 20 year old piece of equipment was 1) still working and 2) still USEFUL, doing exactly what it was designed to do and what Greg needed it to do. So, stop and think about that for a moment. How many things do you use today that will still be 1) useful in 20 years and 2) useful in the same capacity then as they are today? My guess is not many. So, as much as anything this is a shout out to the viability of well designed equipment and tools that do things so well that they don't get replaced. Sure, we may upgrade to something else that emulates them, but we are still emulating them, or doing the same thing that they did. Now you might be thinking to your self that "Maybe we should find a better way to do something in 20 years time.". But I counter with "why should we re-invent the wheel if it works and it works well?

As an aside, I find it ironically humorous that serial communications has outlasted parallel communications which later and was supposed to supplant serial. When was the last time you had a parallel printer cable in your hand? I had one in my hand about two weeks ago as I was going through old cables. After neatly coiling cables, I kept exactly one parallel Centronics printer cables ... along with the half a dozen serial cables in various incarnations, null modem, straight through, LapLink, extension, etc.