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June 03, 2013


Well it's emerged that 1970s computer are still involved in running nuclear plants, and will do so until 2050: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/19/nuke_plants_to_keep_pdp11_until_2050/

And, apparently, banks still use 1970s code, some written in assembler, engine control units in cars are built on existing software because everybody is too frightened to change what exists, there are industrial control systems in factories dependent on Windows 98 machines...and I could go on.

But I still don't understand what's going on with your criminal justice system. If they can modify the existing penal code why can't they introduce the new one? Or why isn't "many years" enough time to build a new IT system from scratch, if that's what necessary? (I don't expect you to be able to answer these questions, but maybe your politicians should.) Saying it still runs NT 4.0 isn't an explanation. Saying "we spent ten years building a IT system that was completely useless and doesn't work and are still stuck using our old NT 4.0 system" would be an explanation. Saying "the new penal code is so radically different that we will have to scratch build a system, and nobody has given us the funds" is an explanation. But randomly blaming NT4 is not.

Anyway, I have NT 4.0 disks, development tools, and experience from that era - if that would help... ;-)

Maybe you should volunteer to help, for a decent fee of course :-) A new IT system was supposed to be in place some time this year, but I think the completion date has been postponed. If I understand the situation corrctly the problem is that the old IT system probably can't handle new type of sentence categories, such as for terrorism, and in genereal is not able to handle today's needs. I hear stories of police having to log in every other minute, are unable to use the system on mobile devices etc. But I'm not sure if they have tried to amend the situation by building a new system from scratch, I think, from the stories I've heard, that, at least for a long time, they've been trying to just patch up and build on the old system. Obviously, lack of funding could be a major culprit here, but also lack of IT-competence. We see a similar situatuion, though perhaps not quite as dire, in the public health care sector in Norway: The IT-infrastructure is hopelessly out of date/ unable to meet today's needs. So much so it can affect life and death situations negatively. The fax machine still plays a major role in hospital + GPs communiacation...

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