Dear IT Admins: What’s The Oldest Legacy System You Support?

Dear IT Admins: What’s The Oldest Legacy System You Support?

Earlier this week, we came across a thread on the Sysadmin subreddit that queried IT administrators about the oldest piece of equipment that they supported in their companies. We’ve pulled out a few choice responses and we’d love for any administrators lurking around on Lifehacker Australia to give us their answer to the question: What’s the oldest legacy system you’re supporting now?

The Redditor razorbeamz who kicked off the discussion talked about some Windows 2000 machines that he was still taking care of. But he was soon outdone by his Reddit peers.

There was the obscure piece of equipment:

methodical713: An Energy Onix 3,000 watt FM transmitter for one of our radio stations. It’s so old that the company that made it has gone under, the guy who ran the company has died, and his son who was supposed to inherit the kingdom is also gone. There is no support but we haven’t replaced it because it’s so reliable and simple enough to service the odds of a catastrophic failure are very low. It’s run for 20+ years with little more than regular maintenance. Of course for me, regular maintenance includes component-level replacement and biasing of FET’s. Only had to do that twice and failure of the device is graceful, so power reduces but it doesn’t go offline. On the other hand, I’ve got a 10,000w tube based transmitter that was acquired in 2008 and is a piece of shit that’s required more maintenance than the rest of my transmitters combined… Buy quality or pay for it after the fact. I guess, just a perspective from a different area…. broadcast engineering…

This Redditor is running a veritable antiques shop:

schizostatic: My Time To Shine!

  • LynxOS on version 2.
  • Windows NT 4 running million dollar manufacturing machines.
  • Windows 3.11 running electron microscopes.
  • DOS 5 running million dollar manufacturing machines.
  • Power Macintosh’s running 7.6.1
  • Solaris 2.1 machine
  • A Veeco/Sloan that no one knows what it is running, but still has a rocker power switch.
  • Several HP Vectras.
  • 1 IBM Personal Computer 100.
  • PBX = Nortel Meridian Option 61C from 1995
  • 2 OS/2 Warp machines as well.

Then there were the classics:

mxitup: Windows 95/98! 😀

Now, the one that hits home the most:

rcorriga: End user

In the spirit of this discussion, we want to hear about the oldest legacy system you are currently supporting in your organisation. Tell us all about it in the comments!

[Sysadmin subreddit]


  • Currently in a project where our shiny new piece of super powerful cloud software is going to be supported by/depend on a mainframe system which was constructed in the early 90s.

  • the oldest I ever supported was Windows NT 3.51 because the company had software written for them and the company that did that wrote it for NT 3.51. I’ve heard that it was still being used up to about 2005 I think when they were able to offered another company that could create them a new programme.

  • For me it would probably be legacy Solaris 7 systems running financial processing batch jobs that were written in the mid 90’s – god those are a pain to look after. Completely out of support, running on hardware that might break if you reboot it, and yet business critical. Go figure.

  • We have a rostering system that pays thousands of people which was developed in the mid to late 80’s and implemented in mid to late 90’s, which our last ‘major’ patch in early 2000.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!