The dated tech in the United State’s nuclear computer system is getting an upgrade as the military sunsets those gigantic old-school floppy disks.
It’ll be replaced with a digital solution of some kind.
60 Minutes exposed the monstrous floppy disks in 2014 when it ran a special on the nuclear mechanism — host Leslie Stahl called them “the really old kind.
They were mentioned again in a report from the Government Accountability Office, which said the disks were “a legacy system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces.” Last Week Tonight reported on it in 2014 as well, whereupon host John Oliver said, on seeing 60 Minutes’ footage of the disks: “Those things barely look powerful enough to run Oregon Trail, much less Earth-ending weaponry.”
C4ISRNET reports that the military is junking the disks in favor of a “highly-secure solid state digital storage solution.” The “legacy system” mentioned in the GAO report is the Department of Defense‘s Strategic Automated Command and Control System (SACCS).
It runs on the IBM Series/1 computer, which was first created in 1976.