Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Monday, June 06, 2011 :::

Often, a newer technology (or even a non-technological system) will be better than its predecessors, but the switching costs will be high enough that it isn't worth moving away from the older one. If you work at a large, old company, you may well work on a software system from the 1980s or before, and it probably frustrates you sometimes, but it may not be worth the company's while to get a new system up and running and tested, all of the existing data ported over, and you trained on it. This is even truer if there are network effects -- hydrogen-powered cars might be better than gasoline-powered cars, but until enough people adopt them that it's worth putting up hydrogen filling stations, it's not in any individual person's interest to switch over.

All of that notwithstanding, if you had told me 15 years ago that we'd be testing IPv6 in 2011, I would have been surprised that the costs of using IPv4 hadn't surpassed the costs of switching at least ten years earlier.

::: posted by Steven at 9:46 PM

Incidentally, I met someone at a party less than a month ago who works on a system that uses EBCDIC.
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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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