Saturday June 6, 2020

The transaction machines

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a rash of reports about creaking, ancient mainframes running vital parts of the economy. Jason Walsh investigates

10th May, 2020
IBM factory floor

If we were asked to think of a computer, most of us would probably visualise the laptop on our desk or even the phone in our pocket. Some might even go so far as to imagine a rack-mounted server, a router or an internet-of-things device.

There was a time, though, when the word ‘computer’ meant only one of two things: an accounting clerk, or a room-sized machine used by boffins to do hard sums....

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