Q: What is the oldest computer program still in use?

Bryan Brodie brb at appimatic.com
Wed Jun 1 22:21:47 EDT 2016

Hi Grant,

Funny you mention BASIC - I first learned programming on a Hewlett-Packard
2000 Time-Shared BASIC minicomputer, via dialup teletype (10 characters per
second, total RAM 4k).

One thing I immediately noticed about Omnis 3 was how "BASIC-like" it was,
but without the syntax errors - the user interface totally prevented them.

The HP2000 was widely used in public school education from the early 70s
until the Apple II killed it.

Unknown to me (I had graduated high-school by then), around 1980 our school
district hired a company to scrap the minicomputer and harvest the gold and
platinum circuitry embedded within.

The technician who did this made a full system backup beforehand. In 2008 I
encountered him completely by chance in an online forum dedicated to SIMH,
an open source hardware emulator of obsolete minicomputer and microcomputer
systems for Linux, Windows and Mac.

To make a long story short, the retired technician transmitted a copy of
the school district system backup and I restored it in emulation on my Mac.
For a time I even had a real teletype connected so that I could play
blackjack like I once did in high school.

"How is a raven like a writing desk?" - and how is an IBM mainframe 3270
green screen terminal like a browser?

More alike than most people realize... there's nothing new under the sun.

Bryan Brodie

> From: Grant Thiessen bookitinc <bookit at bookitinc.com>
> Subject: Re: Q: What is the oldest computer program still in use?
> I (and others) have been continually using my one Omnis program since
> 1987, when I first acquired Omnis 3.  I have continually rewritten and
> enhanced it ever since, but the core data structure, methodology, and
> concepts, can be traced back even further, to the first program I wrote in
> Basic (with machine language for sorting) in 1979 on an Apple II with no
> lower case.  In 1987, I converted much of the code in the Basic program
> into Omnis 3.
> Grant Thiessen
> > On 05-29-2016, at 4:39 AM, Bryan Brodie <brb at appimatic.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538966/what-is-the-oldest-computer-program-still-in-use/
> >
> > I once wrote an Omnis program that was in continuous use from 1991
> through
> > 2009.
> >
> > it began life on a network of Mac Pluses and AppleShare server, was
> > converted to Windows at the advent of Windows 95 and was replaced by a
> much
> > less functional web application in 2010.
> >
> > I've recently performed substantial modifications to an
> > Omnis-based commercial bakery production management program that's been
> > continually used on Macs by the original licensee since the 80s.
> >
> > I'm the 3rd developer to work on this code, which began life as an Omnis
> 3
> > Plus application.
> >
> > Say what you want about cutting edge, Omnis has been the parent of some
> > very stable code.
> >
> > I've been using it for 30 years and still enjoy myself!
> >
> > Bryan Brodie
> > _____________________________________________________________
> > Manage your list subscriptions at http://lists.omnis-dev.com

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