Our Unutilized Dictionary defines “legacy hardware” as “anything you can’t afford to replace any time soon.”
You may have seen this item from my Facebook page yesterday:
Thursday, of course, was named after Thor, who had that big hit “If I Had a Hammer.” If he still has it, I have some hardware I’d like to decommission.
The hardware in question is one of the workhorse matrix printers, which for the last several weeks has been dropping jobs like they’re hot, sending the cryptic message “Command Reject” to the console. (“Who the hell are you to reject a command?” I would shout.) I could live with that every thousand pages or so. Maybe even six hundred. When it got down below 40, I had to call in a trouble ticket.
The device’s own error log contained the slightly less cryptic notation “Serial Line Parity Error.” Holy RS-232, Batman, do we have to go through stop bits and such all over again? Twinax is bad enough. But twinax is what we have, and if you follow it into the back of the machine, sure enough, there’s the dreaded DB-25 connector.
After a round of de rigueur cable-swapping, it was decided that either the machine’s serial card or the actual DB-25-to-twinax adapter was failing, and both were ordered, presumably at a price that justifies the four-digit-per-year service contract we have on this beast. The serial card proved to be wonky, and the replacement seemed to work just fine. When the printer was wheeled back to its home location, though, it refused to talk to the tower. Apparently we’d swapped one too many cables. Or maybe it was four too many. There comes a point in any service call when it becomes difficult to tell.