NASA Shuts Down Final Mainframe

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NASA shut down its last mainframe computer earlier this month, ending an era for the agency, Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton said in a blog post.

Cureton wrote:

In my first stint at NASA, I was at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as a mainframe systems programmer when it was still cool. That IBM 360-95 was used to solve complex computational problems for space flight.   Back then, I comfortably navigated the world of IBM 360 Assembler language and still remember the much-coveted “green card” that had all the pearls of information about machine code.  Back then, real systems programmers did hexadecimal arithmetic – today, “there’s an app for it!”

But all things must change.  Today, they are the size of a refrigerator but in the old days, they were the size of a Cape Cod.  Even though NASA has shut down its last one, there is still a requirement for mainframe capability in many other organizations.  The end-user interfaces are clunky and somewhat inflexible, but the need remains for extremely reliable, secure transaction oriented business applications.

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Agencies, Departments, Linda Cureton, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
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