Yes, you read that right, despite living in 2015, the GRPS has a bunch of schools whose heating and air-conditioning are regulated by a 1980s Commodore Amiga computer. To top things off, it seems that the code written for the system was actually written by a high school student when the computer was installed in the 1980s.
Thankfully that student still lives in the area so should any issue arise with the system, they can easily get in touch with him. More amazing is the fact that prior to the use of the Commodore Amiga, the school used a computer that was the size of a refrigerator so even though it hardly seems like it today, it was a significant upgrade.
Unsurprisingly parts for the computer are hard to find, according to GRPS Maintenance Supervisor Tim Hopkins who spoke to WoodTV. According to Hopkins, the device still uses a 1200-bit modem which can sometimes interfere with their maintenance communications radio. “Because they share the same frequency as our maintenance communications radios and operations maintenance radios — it depends on what we’re doing — yes, they do interfere.”
That being said the school district is looking into replacing the system but such a system would easily set them back $1.5-2 million, but hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?
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