Do you have MS DOS and Windows 3.11 skills? German Railways offers a job

Do you have MS DOS and Windows 3.11 skills? German Railways offers a job

A German railway company has published a vacancy for a Windows 3.11 administrator.

In addition to working with Windows, experience with MS-DOS is welcome. It may seem a little alarming that modern railroads are still running on such ancient systems, but critical systems often follow the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy, Tom’s Hardware reports.

User Concretor published the specified vacancy on social network X and explained that the company that posted the vacancy is responsible for “railway boards for almost all of Germany”. These systems obviously rely to some extent on legacy MS-DOS and Windows 3.11 applications.

Tom’s Hardware says that such requirements have been removed for this job, but it states that the candidate must maintain and update legacy systems that are still critical to the railroad’s operations. Namely, what this software is responsible for “a display system for the driver’s cabin in high-speed and regional trains, which shows the driver the most important technical data in real time.”

That such old OSes are being used to deliver critical real-time data is somewhat worrying, but it’s not uncommon to find old mission-critical systems running on old software. In addition, the display can only provide data for information and not for safety critical systems.

Windows 3.1X was notable for being the first version of Microsoft’s GUI-based operating system with integrated networking and introduced the 386 secure-mode networking stack. Microsoft launched this networking OS back in 1992 and discontinued support for it on December 31, 2001.

According to some chats on the Hacker News forum, the aforementioned legacy system is currently in use on the German ICE 1 and ICE 2 trains. If so, the software that depends on MS-DOS and Win 3.11 may not be useful until 2030 or even longer

It was also reported that one of the rail systems running Win 3.11 has a BIOS from 1996 and has a 166MHz plus processor and 8MB of RAM.

Also read on ProIT: 5 Linux distributions that will breathe new life into old hardware.

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