As an engineer for the U.S. Digital Service, Marianne Bellotti has encountered vintage mainframes that are still being used in production — sometimes even powering web apps. Last month she entertained a San Francisco audience with tales about some of them, in a talk called “7074 says Hello World,” at Joyent’s “Systems We Love” conference.
Created under the Obama administration, The U.S. Digital Service was designed as a start-up-styled consultancy to help government agencies modernize their IT operations, drawing engineering talent from Google, Facebook and other web-scale companies.
Or, as President Obama put it last March, it’s “a SWAT team — a world-class technology office.”
So it was fascinating to hear Bellotti tell stories about some of the older gear still running, and the sometimes unusual ways it was paired with more contemporary technology…