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Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Dave K Silver badge

"Thats never been the case, ever.

All software has bugs, some huge.

And hardware dies after 10 years."

Nowerdays, yes. However older hardware/software was generally better built IMO. These days, companies are too quick to release software knowing that they can easily patch it if there's bugs that turn up. Back in the 90s, this was far less common, and companies had to test their software more rigorously. Of course it also helped that software back then was simpler and less bloated which helped make testing more effective and the emergence of bugs less likely - the more code, the greater the chance of bugs in it, and the more effort needed to test it thoroughly.

As for hardware, I own an SGI Indigo2 (from 1995) that is still working fine. Plenty of these systems are still in commercial use today as earlier Indigo2s were commonly used to control expensive MRI machines. Hardware wise, they're built like tanks - a far cry from today's increasingly disposable hardware.

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