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Eldorado

US Military stops using 8-inch floppy disks

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Eldorado

"The US military has decided to retire the use of 8-inch floppy disks for its nuclear missile control system.

"The archaic storage solution was cutting-edge at the time the USA’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS) was developed – back in the 1960s/1970s.

"The system controls launch silos around the country from where the most powerful military in the world can deploy nuclear missiles. A report from defence site C4isrnet explains the weapons of mass destruction are now controlled by a ‘highly-secure solid state digital storage solution’.

"Apparently, the switch happened back in June, according to Lt. Col. Jason Rossi, commander of the Air Force’s 595th Strategic Communications Squadron."

Full monty at the UK Metro:  https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/24/us-military-decides-stop-using-8-inch-floppy-disks-nuclear-missile-system-10973878/?

And at C4ISRnet: https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2019/10/17/the-us-nuclear-forces-dr-strangelove-era-messaging-system-finally-got-rid-of-its-floppy-disks/

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Gwynbleidd

Woah....they sure took their time about it.  :unsure: 

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susieice

I haven't seen an 8" floppy in decades  :huh: Many are in UM that wouldn't even know what this is! You would think they would have at least used a 3 1/2. They held a little more.

Edited by susieice
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third_eye

No money, use floppy... 

~

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'Walt' E. Kurtz

Anyone who remembers these I remember playing games like Xerox and digger on 8 inch discs :-) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_floppy_disk

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RabidMongoose
17 hours ago, Eldorado said:

"The US military has decided to retire the use of 8-inch floppy disks for its nuclear missile control system.

"The archaic storage solution was cutting-edge at the time the USA’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS) was developed – back in the 1960s/1970s.

"The system controls launch silos around the country from where the most powerful military in the world can deploy nuclear missiles. A report from defence site C4isrnet explains the weapons of mass destruction are now controlled by a ‘highly-secure solid state digital storage solution’.

"Apparently, the switch happened back in June, according to Lt. Col. Jason Rossi, commander of the Air Force’s 595th Strategic Communications Squadron."

Full monty at the UK Metro:  https://metro.co.uk/2019/10/24/us-military-decides-stop-using-8-inch-floppy-disks-nuclear-missile-system-10973878/?

And at C4ISRnet: https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2019/10/17/the-us-nuclear-forces-dr-strangelove-era-messaging-system-finally-got-rid-of-its-floppy-disks/

The reason why the military stick with older technology is because they understand it, they understand its weaknesses, and they know they can rely on it.

Its not classified information that the F-22 which began its initial design phase in the 1980s uses a 2mhz cpu from that era. The American government stockpiled several hundred of those processors for the production of the jet paying over $6 million per piece. The high price was because they required the manufacturer to open up a production line to make just those old cpus.

The problem with current cpus is they are so complex no one can be sure what is under the lid and they haven't been tried and tested for 30-40 years.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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weaselrunner

The military was surprised to find vacuum tubes used in the mig-25 and other soviet equipment. It's old but it works and less effected by emp effects than modern solid state electronics.

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Jon the frog
4 hours ago, 'Walt' E. Kurtz said:

Anyone who remembers these I remember playing games like Xerox and digger on 8 inch discs :-) 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_floppy_disk

I had an Atari 800 computer, and playing Encounter on a magnetic tape cassette  or Tunnel of doom on the TI99 ! It was so fun !

 

Edited by Jon the frog
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Seti42

NASA's probes and rovers use 'outdated' tech too. Sometimes old but solid and rigorously tested is better for critical stuff than the latest shiny new iProduct.
If it does what it needs to do, securely and efficiently, it's good.
That said, yeah...An upgrade to something solid state that isn't a consumer product might be a good idea.

PS: I'd love to come upon a stack of pristine 8" floppies. I've wanted to do a small series of 70's and 80's cyberpunk inspired paintings on them for ages now...

Edited by Seti42
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S I N

So the military has this massive budget but it costs to much to upgrade ?

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ThereWeAreThen
On 10/27/2019 at 7:06 AM, susieice said:

I haven't seen an 8" floppy in decades  :huh: Many are in UM that wouldn't even know what this is! You would think they would have at least used a 3 1/2. They held a little more.

Behave ! Children may use this site.:D

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highdesert50

There are also legacy systems, written in what we might now describe as spaghetti code, that are complex. These can be easier to maintain than to rewrite especially so when iterative modifications have occurred over years and there is the potential of loosing some nuance.

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