Re: "34-year-old program"
"We haven't tinkered with this for a while...let's "improve" it"
Lets do it because we can. We can test it when we roll it out to the real users, bye bye in house testers (this happened to me). Its never finished, just like when Lucas had Star Wars. IT CAN NEVER FINISH, IT CAN NEVER BE STABLE AND MAINTAINED.
I remember a scifi story (I think it was a series of books) that were set on some huge starship. The crew were a generational one and maintained/improved the ship over many generations as needed. They had code going back hundreds of years, maintained and running. Unfortunately I cant remember whet the series or author was.