Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Gizmodo)   C:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe   (gizmodo.com) divider line 202
    More: Fail, USAF, AFSPC, air forces, Lesley Stahl, floppy, air launch  
•       •       •

15192 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2014 at 2:44 PM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



202 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-04-28 03:49:45 PM  

flucto: dittybopper: A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe

Nope. Too many chars in the file name. Try msslcmd.com


Yeah, I know.  Been a while.
 
2014-04-28 03:49:53 PM  

KidneyStone: iheartscotch: Meh, I still deal with a couple of original IBM DOS green screens.

/ THEY BELONG IN A MUSEUM

Shiat, you got me beat.  The worst I have to deal with is a couple of NT 3.5 workstations that 'cannot' be upgraded due to a) The coder is dead, b) source code is long gone, c) the 'product' doesn't justify a dime spent on it and "it's going away soon" (that was 4 years ago), and d) some jackass agreed to a contract that specifically states the hardware cannot be changed EVAR!!11!!.  Seriously.

/At least we virtualized them


Yeah, not only do non-technical people use these specific machines; they actually preform scheduling and SSH activities on them.

/ They interface with the oldest rack server in existence; an all original IBM.

// luckily; those machines are beasts and rarely require direct intervention
 
2014-04-28 03:50:07 PM  

vudukungfu: dittybopper: WelldeadLink: 1. MS-DOS didn't have directories until they copied the feature from Unix.

Actually, I distinctly remember MS-DOS (and TRS-DOS, it's clone) having directories, and I got into it pretty farkin' early, so it must have been MS-DOS 1.0 or something.

I have thousands of pirated games on the 5 inch discs.
I have an "Apple II" that was built from parts in a junkyard to play them on.
I can also load windows 2 on the system.


Worth the 12 minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noEHHB6rnMI
 
2014-04-28 03:52:24 PM  

AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


Furthermore, this system is on antiquated equipment and probably uses a code developed only for the launch controls, making reverse engineering difficult. Also, good luck trying to smuggle out an 8-inch floppy diskette. You can't slip this in a Lady Gaga CD case, and you cant tape one to your back or stomach under your clothes without risk of bending or breaking the diskette, and ANY patdown will discover the diskette. So I don't care if it's low tech--It's secure and it works, so it's not stupid.


PainInTheASP: LOAD "missilecmnd.exe",8,1


I luled.
 
2014-04-28 03:52:37 PM  
Back during the Cuba Missile Crisis, my father was in SAC and on a bomber crew. He had just got home from having flown an Operation Watchdog mission (airborne for 72 straight hours with two flight crews aboard) and was bone tired. We didn't live far from the base and we heard the alert klaxon go off. A couple of minute later, our phone rang and my dad had to report back to the base immediately. By the time he arrived, the USAF had already cut all land-line communications and external power to the base. Reporting personnel could enter but no one was allowed to leave. When my father learned what was going on, he slipped under a fence and found a pay phone off base to call my mother and tell her to "get the kids in the car and get them the hell out of here now!" (stupid man. They'd have shot him if they had caught him.) This was at just after 9:00 pm. About a half-hour later, the alert B-52s and KC-135s launched. I knew my father was in one of them. I didn't see him again for four days. He never would tell me how they communicated with SAC HQ in such situations. I had to find this out when I served.
 
2014-04-28 03:53:05 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: dittybopper: Nope, it's on a floppy, so:

A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe

Came here to say this.

Also - 8 inch floppies???  HOLY CRAP!  I haven!t seen one of those in decades!


Probably a Series/1 IBM minicomputer. We used a "field version" of this in the Marine Corps in the late 80s, and our office (ISMO, MCAS Beaufort, SC) had a Series/1 linked to the mainframes in Camp Lejeune that we used to process reports for distribution to the units on the air station.

It is a bit shocking that it hasn't been upgraded in decades, but an 8in floppy isn't 60s tech, as stated in the comments section of that article. Shugart (I had an uncle who used to work for them) didn't really start rolling on floppies until the mid-70s, and IBM moves very slowly with "enterprise" hardware.

Ah... thankfully I haven't had to code a line of EDL code in 25 years.
 
2014-04-28 03:54:28 PM  

mistrmind: The issue is who is still manufacturing 8-inch floppy disks these days?


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Floppy-Disks-8-2-boxes-20-Disks-Un-0pened-Sea l ed-Boxes-VINTAGE-MEMOREX-/181392311397#ht_1703wt_1175">http://www.eba y.com/itm/Floppy-Disks-8-2-boxes-20-Disks-Un-0pened-Seal ed-Boxes-VINTAGE-MEMOREX-/181392311397#ht_1703wt_1175

Your welcome.
 
2014-04-28 03:55:01 PM  
8" Floppy? Security through obscurity.

//Was a KayPro luggable Dealer
 
2014-04-28 03:57:46 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: And I would think it would be:

C:> a:

A:> misslecmnd


depends on your path statement, version of DOS
 
2014-04-28 04:00:31 PM  
Subby you forgot that missile operators are not power users so they would not type full paths. Try "vc.com tap-tap-tap msslcmd.com"

/although I think they would prefer dn.com, it had a built-in Tetris game
//*wipes tears*
 
2014-04-28 04:03:30 PM  

dittybopper: Yeah, I know. Been a while.


I bet the company making those floppies is earning a fortune from them.
 
2014-04-28 04:03:33 PM  

PluckYew: d23: yeah right.  More libby lib lib mumbo jumble.

We all know it's major high tech down there...

[img.fark.net image 310x163]

I mean, shiat.. look at ALL THOSE LIGHTS!

Can't you get them to blink in sequence?

[i1.ytimg.com image 480x360]


Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, PluckYew. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're *flashing* and they're *beeping*. I can't stand it anymore! They're *blinking* and *beeping* and *flashing*! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug!
 
2014-04-28 04:04:17 PM  
img.fark.net

Aund thats allh i gots to say about that.....
 
2014-04-28 04:04:42 PM  
MrBallou:
The old ones only held about 1 Mb, so I'm assuming they're used as system keys. It's not that crazy, because it adds to security to use an odd and specific hardware. Another advantage is that would be harder for bad guys to make a copy, real or fake, since the 8" drives are probably extremely rare these days.

Nah, the bad guys would just have to know how to buy things on e-bay.
 
2014-04-28 04:08:47 PM  

flucto: dittybopper: Yeah, I know. Been a while.

I bet the company making those floppies is earning a fortune from them.


Somewhere, I've got a bunch of pristine, uncut punch cards.

I just haven't seen them in a few years.
 
2014-04-28 04:10:31 PM  
Heh. I work with multimillion dollar ROVs. Our OS is still DOS.
/the last thing you need at 10,000 feet deep is the blue screen of death.
 
2014-04-28 04:12:56 PM  

Lord Dimwit: cannotsuggestaname: dittybopper: Nope, it's on a floppy, so:

A:\ users\ USAF\AFSPC\ launch\ missilecmnd.exe


actually those aren't PCs... it is probably an AS400 or something similar on the back end, or maybe even a mainframe.

WRKF or WRKCMD would probably be used.


IDNWTV

OS/400 (or OS/i or i System or whatever the hell they're calling it now) is a beautiful operating system from an engineering standpoint, but who the hell thought that WRKSYSSTS is an "easily-memorable and understandable command" is a damn sociopath.

(WRKSYSSTS is "Work With System Status", obviously)


i.ytimg.com


the last company I worked at ran all of their back end AND front end on i5 550 and i5 570. I have no idea what they were thinking, but watching Tomcat and Apache running on an i5 was interesting to say the least.
 
2014-04-28 04:13:52 PM  

Gig103: missilecmnd.exe is too long for an MS-DOS based file system. missil~1.exe


This way of shortening long filenames was introduced with MS Windows 95. Are you suggesting those computers are running THAT?

/oh noes
 
2014-04-28 04:16:18 PM  

TheEdibleSnuggie: Blues_X: AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


That. It's secure, and it works.

Provided nobody has a magnet...


...or a source of ionizing radiation...
 
2014-04-28 04:17:13 PM  
c:> a:
a:> uudecode hotchick1.uue
a:> uudecode hotchick2.uue
a:> uudecode hotchick3.uue
a:> uudecode hotchick4.uue
a:> uudecode hotchick5.uue
a:> uudecode hotchick6.uue
a:> combine hotchick1 hotchick2 hotchick3 hotchick4 hotchick5 hotchick6
a:> c:
c:> lview.ext a:\hotchick.jpg
 
2014-04-28 04:18:47 PM  

TheEdibleSnuggie: Well, wait...How do we know the floppy isn't being used in conjunction with a program already stored on a hard disk or other permanent storage medium?  The floppy could just be a reference disk for the program at hand!


This.

Or this is just the stuff they trot out for reporters. The real missile infrastructure is hidden in our nation's shopping malls.
 
2014-04-28 04:20:15 PM  

iheartscotch: Meh, I still deal with a couple of original IBM DOS green screens.

/ THEY BELONG IN A MUSEUM


www.cinemablend.com
 
2014-04-28 04:23:16 PM  
Does anyone remember the much larger 107-foot floppy disk?
 
2014-04-28 04:32:50 PM  

special20: [i.imgur.com image 263x63]


My favorite Commodore 64/128 game:

www.orphanedgames.com
 
2014-04-28 04:38:14 PM  

AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


I came to say this. I'd be a lot more worried if they had cloud technology instead of 8 inch floppies.
 
2014-04-28 04:39:39 PM  

Linux_Yes: What is even more horrifying is that they probably still use Windows on some of their equipment.  the Navy has learned the errors in its ways and moved from windows to Linux. same with the International space station.

and the NSA loves their Open Source snoop tools like Snort, etc.


This is pretty amusing actually...

I had heard, many moons ago, that the military was still using Windows 3.1, because it was old, tested, reliable, and stable.
It made me wonder even back then, why the hell haven't they switched to UNIX?  If they are looking for something that is age tested, I think you can do no better, really.
 
2014-04-28 04:45:13 PM  

MrBallou: TheEdibleSnuggie: Well, wait...How do we know the floppy isn't being used in conjunction with a program already stored on a hard disk or other permanent storage medium?  The floppy could just be a reference disk for the program at hand!

The old ones only held about 1 Mb, so I'm assuming they're used as system keys. It's not that crazy, because it adds to security to use an odd and specific hardware. Another advantage is that would be harder for bad guys to make a copy, real or fake, since the 8" drives are probably extremely rare these days.


Old programs lacking flashy GUIs did not take up a lot of space. I assume their software is written in C or something comparably old. Those floppies may hold entire programs.
 
2014-04-28 04:46:32 PM  

Linux_Yes: What is even more horrifying is that they probably still use Windows on some of their equipment.  the Navy has learned the errors in its ways and moved from windows to Linux. same with the International space station.

and the NSA loves their Open Source snoop tools like Snort, etc.


Fascinating, as I work on the Navy intranet, home to over 400,000 PCs running Windows, and you statement seems to be complete bulls hit.
 
2014-04-28 04:47:31 PM  

kendelrio: Heh. I work with multimillion dollar ROVs. Our OS is still DOS.
/the last thing you need at 10,000 feet deep is the blue screen of death.


Abort/Retry/Fail isn't much better...
 
2014-04-28 04:48:01 PM  

AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.


This. Low tech means safer.
 
2014-04-28 04:55:20 PM  

jst3p: Stratohead: FTFA " launch silo"

WRONG.

a "launch silo" is where you store and launch a missile from.
a launch "capsule" is where the Missileers (or "turnkeys) reside while pulling alerts. if they sat inside the launch "silos" not only would that be counter to the redundancy protocols (things spread out far enough apart that no one strike can cripple our retaliatory capabilities) but it would kill the Missileers once the missile launched.

Wouldn't separating them cause two single points of failure?


no. the missile launch silos are miles apart from each other, scattered all across the us West/Mid-West. In the case of the MinuteMan squadrons...each Launch Capsule controls the launch of up to 10 MinuteMan missiles.
All components are hardened against EMP and theoretical deep enough underground to function if hit.
In reality...probably not... my preference is never to find out how well that shiat works.
 
2014-04-28 04:56:50 PM  
I don't see the problem.
 
2014-04-28 04:57:06 PM  
Can't be hacked.

/think about it
 
2014-04-28 04:57:33 PM  

Destructor: Destructor: What, 100K or something?

Wow. According to Wikipedia, they could store a megabyte. That's "miraculous" by 70's standards.


I just got done reading that myself, with jaw open. Whole machines measuring four feet high and four feet wide storing the same amount as a 3.5" floppy.

But then I reminded myself again that they weren't using graphics, they only had a need to store text data and programs. And that was a lot of space back then!
 
2014-04-28 04:59:59 PM  
Given I am still--as of this year--converting stores running inventory management systems on Z80-based systems to a modern one--there is a lot of old crap out there. That said, the fact that 30+ years later they are still in constant use is a bit of a testament to their longevity.

The systems I'm converting, if rumors are true, have only one living programmer left, and he's been retired for decades.
 
2014-04-28 05:00:16 PM  

bikerbob59: I've got your 8" floppy right here!


Yeah, but my 3.5" microfloppy can store about 50% more data. Further proof that bigger isn't always better.

//and girls tell me it's cute
 
2014-04-28 05:00:45 PM  
partners.nytimes.com
 
2014-04-28 05:07:23 PM  
So that's what a $600B defense budget will buy you?
We need to triple the budget, so we can store data on cds.
 
2014-04-28 05:09:13 PM  
As late as 1992, I worked on mainframe systems for the Navy that used 8" floppies.  Yeah, they had disks, and tapes, and optical drives, and remote terminals.

You know what the 8" floppy was for?  When you booted the system, it loaded its microcode from the floppy.

Flash RAM hadn't been developed to the point it is nowadays, and 'updating firmware' was not a standard practice, especially on Mil-rated mainframes.

Using a floppy was a reasonable way for the vendor to allow the microcode to be easily updated.

(Yes, we had backups - and backups of backups - of the disks.)
 
2014-04-28 05:09:43 PM  

durbnpoisn: Linux_Yes: What is even more horrifying is that they probably still use Windows on some of their equipment.  the Navy has learned the errors in its ways and moved from windows to Linux. same with the International space station.

and the NSA loves their Open Source snoop tools like Snort, etc.

This is pretty amusing actually...

I had heard, many moons ago, that the military was still using Windows 3.1, because it was old, tested, reliable, and stable.
It made me wonder even back then, why the hell haven't they switched to UNIX?  If they are looking for something that is age tested, I think you can do no better, really.


I was at Ft. Lee in the early 2000's when we tested upgrading the Logistic systems from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95. They would still drop back into DOS emulation to run the actual program. The back-end server they connected to ran on Solaris.

I'm sure they have upgraded to Windows 2000 by now.
 
2014-04-28 05:10:12 PM  
Floppies!? I see they've upgraded in the past few years.

Ritzy.
 
2014-04-28 05:10:30 PM  
I have an 8 Inch Floppy, it is floppy at least Part of the Time.
 
2014-04-28 05:14:02 PM  

LesserEvil: Linux_Yes: What is even more horrifying is that they probably still use Windows on some of their equipment.  the Navy has learned the errors in its ways and moved from windows to Linux. same with the International space station.

and the NSA loves their Open Source snoop tools like Snort, etc.

Fascinating, as I work on the Navy intranet, home to over 400,000 PCs running Windows, and you statement seems to be complete bulls hit.



i should have been more specific, dinky.  google Navy Drone+linux and learn something.  the U.S. Army uses more Red Hat Linux than anyone.

and, yes, the International Space Station had to switch to Linux because their windows laptops,etc had picked up viruses.  do the research and learn something.  Google runs all its blades on Linux too.
 
2014-04-28 05:15:13 PM  
Gary-L: Destructor:  What's their backup? Cassette tape?

Magnetic tape is a more reliable and stable backup medium than CD.  Imagine trying to adapt those mainframe launch systems to backup to a RAID setup.


It's called a 'Controller Emulator'.  One of our Navy mainframes had a series of the old 9-track open reel tape drives - and read/write Magneto-Optical drive.  The controller for the M-O emulated a tape controller, so the system 'thought' the M-O drive was just one more tape drive, and was happy as a clam with it.
 
2014-04-28 05:16:34 PM  
EDLIN A:\missilec.bat
*L

1: @echo off
2: cls
3: prompt $p$g
4: path=c:\missile1
5: mc.exe
6: cls
7: echo on
 
2014-04-28 05:17:01 PM  
Anyone who has an 8" floppy has my respect.
 
2014-04-28 05:17:40 PM  

durbnpoisn: Linux_Yes: What is even more horrifying is that they probably still use Windows on some of their equipment.  the Navy has learned the errors in its ways and moved from windows to Linux. same with the International space station.

and the NSA loves their Open Source snoop tools like Snort, etc.

This is pretty amusing actually...

I had heard, many moons ago, that the military was still using Windows 3.1, because it was old, tested, reliable, and stable.
It made me wonder even back then, why the hell haven't they switched to UNIX?  If they are looking for something that is age tested, I think you can do no better, really.



the military as a whole is gradually moving their stuff to Linux for security/reliability reasons (and it saves the government the microsoft license tax).  course, they don't advertise that.
 
2014-04-28 05:18:24 PM  

RoxtarRyan: Anyone who has an 8" floppy has my respect.



i have a hard drive, but not 8 inches long.
 
2014-04-28 05:21:36 PM  

KatjaMouse: AirForceVet: This old technology possesses one advantage mentioned during 60 Minutes last night. It's cyber-secure according to tests as it's a closed system, independent from Internet access.

Came here to say this. I used to date a military contractor who had to relearn DOS because the military puts some of its most sensitive information on it so it can be hack proof.



assembly is where its at these days....lol
 
2014-04-28 05:25:24 PM  
 
Displayed 50 of 202 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report