SF’s Market Street Subway Runs on Reagan-Era Floppy Disks
The use of floppies is hardly some previously unknown fact; for starters, Tumlin explicitly told KQED that his agency has to retain staff with skills honed to what amounts to the programming equivalent of Ancient Babylonian. But Twitter users on Thursday expressed surprise that a city known as a global tech capital would be so reliant on a storage format that lacks the capacity to store a single hi-resolution photograph.
Relay racks extend down a cramped hallway nearly 15 feet deep, where dozens of 4-inch copper filaments clatter up and down like teeth. The speedy “click, clack” sound signifies a smooth running Muni light rail automatic control system, which commands the J-Church, K-Ingleside, L-Taraval, M-Ocean View, N-Judah and T-Third Street trains through the tunnels. The clapping beat signifies the proper alignment of the railway’s 83 axle (controls) and numerous other track switches.