Campus digital workhorse running final laps after 35 years, by Barbara Palmer, Stanford Report, 2003
The remarkable thing is not that the mainframe will be retired — the 35-year-old system is “like a jet slowly losing its engines,” said Dick Guertin, a software developer who has worked at Stanford since 1970. What is amazing, say those whose work lives have spanned much of the computer revolution, is that the mainframe system and the ground-breaking applications designed here to run on it have held up so well for so long.
At its peak, there were 30,000 accounts, including noncampus users, on the mainframe. Some of what McWilliam is doing requires real detective work, since many of the people who opened the accounts have long ago left Stanford or retired.
The mainframe era officially ended on December 15, 2003 when the last of the mainframe accounts was closed down.