[LMB] OT: Antique Geekitude

Scott Raun sraun at fireopal.org
Fri, 7 Nov 2003 17:26:46 -0600

On Fri, Nov 07, 2003 at 01:55:40PM -0500, Peter H. Granzeau wrote:
> Legacy code reminds me of a situation which I read about:

OK, that reminds me of my dad's 'code come back to haunt me' story.

Dad was working for the electric company in Akron, Ohio, in the
late-50's/early-60's.  While he was there, he wrote a Fortran program
to analyze power grids.  In the mid-70's, Dad was working for the
electric company in Duluth, MN.  He needed a program to do some
specific distribution analysis.  He went digging into the library of
analysis software, and found one program that would do what he needed
with just a little tweaking.  He opened the source code, and what
should he find but the program - after having gone through many hands
- that he had written 20+ years before.

He said the worst part was looking at the one section of code that was
going to have be tweaked, realizing that the section was untouched in
20 years ("I remember writing that code!"), and not having the
faintest idea how it worked.  He ended up ripping out the module
completely and re-writing it from scratch.

Scott Raun
sraun at fireopal.org