Windows 3.11 trundles on as job site pleads for 'driver updates' on German trains

Remember making Windows and DOS talk to a network? You could go back to the future with this assignment

If you were thinking about forcing an AI to write a job ad for an administrator of an obsolete operating system, it looks like somebody has beaten you to it with a vacancy for a Windows 3.11 techie.

The ad turned up on the job site and has since been removed, presumably because there are so many Windows 3.11 administrators around; filling the position did not present a problem.

Some sleuthing by German publication Heise indicated that the position at Deutsche Bahn was likely with Siemens' rail tech division. Sadly, neither the DB and Siemens nor the job site has responded to our requests for clarification.

Windows 3.11 recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and, among other things, included fixes for the network issues of Windows 3.1. Or, at least, a partial fix. After all, anyone forced to make Microsoft's not-quite-an-operating-system play nicely with networks will remember the joy of mixing and matching DOS and Windows to access that all-important network resource.

The job listing appeared to be concerned with maintaining and keeping the old systems running and presenting a train driver with technical information in real-time. Or at least as close to real-time as Windows 3.11 can get.

Knowledge of MS-DOS and Windows for Workgroups was apparently beneficial, as was experience with the Siemens train control system, Sibas. A familiarity with the railway sector was also handy. A Register reader based in Germany commented: "Old tech is a thing here."

We'd contend that old tech is a thing everywhere.

While amusing, the concept of ancient and obsolete hardware being used by rail operators is not new. Remember, the remnants of the 1938 London Underground tube stock were only withdrawn from the Isle of Wight's Island Line in 2021, making Windows 3.11 seem like a comparative spring chicken.

Considering the service time expected from trains and the cost involved in replacing systems compared to keeping them limping on ad infinitum, it is unsurprising to see Windows 3.11 popping up this way.

Tech companies might spend their time pushing the latest and greatest, however, the job posting is a reminder that not everyone is on the express train to modernization. ®

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