Flashback to the late 1970s, when this military agency is using highly classified mainframe systems that use punch cards to boot the machine, according to an IT pilot fish at one remote site.
"But then the vendor came up with a way to do startups using magnetic tape," fish says. "In the bowels of the Pentagon, there was a rather high-level civilian employee whose sole job was to manage the punch-card boot decks -- something that was managed on a part-time basis by military personnel at our site.
"I was in a meeting where my counterpart in the Pentagon was describing the change to several support teams.
"When the nature of the change was described, you could almost see the light bulb going off in the civilian employee's head: Oh, no! What's going to happen to my job?
"But the whole room cracked up when one of my support team members leaned over to the civilian employee and said, 'You can toss all of your punched cards now, but you need to keep the holes.'"
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