The most obsolete infrastructure money could buy - my worst job ever

A funny article by Juho Snellman about really existing legacy software engineering and PLT.

For example on my first day I found that X was running what was supposedly [the] largest VAXcluster remaining in the world, for doing their production builds. Yes, dozens of VAXen running VMS, working as a cross-compile farm, producing x86 code. You might wonder a bit about the viability of the VAX as computing platform in the year 2005. Especially for something as cpu-bound as compiling. But don't worry, one of my new coworkers had as their current task evaluating whether this should be migrated to VMS/Alpha or to VMS/VAX running under a VAX emulator on x86-64!

Why did this company need to maintain a specific C compiler anyway? Well, they had their own ingenious in-house programming language that you could think of as an imperative Erlang with a Pascal-like syntax that was compiled to C source. I have no real data on how much code was written in that language, but it'd have to be tens of millions lines at a minimum.

The result of compiling this C code would then be run on an ingenious in-house operating system that was written in, IIRC, the late 80s. This operating system used the 386's segment registers to implement multitasking and message passing. For this, they needed the a compiler with much more support for segment registers than normal. Now, you might wonder about the wisdom of relying on segment registers heavily in the year 2005. After all use of segment registers had been getting slower and slower with every generation of CPUs, and in x86-64 the segmentation support was essentially removed. But don't worry, there was a project underway to migrate all of this code to run on Solaris instead.