Hugh Pickens writes "In 1991 Stewart Alsop, the editor of InfoWorld, predicted that the last mainframe computer would be unplugged by 1996. Just last month, IBM introduced the latest version of its mainframe, and technologies from the golden age of big-box computing continue to be vital components in modern infrastructure. The New York Times explores why old technology is still around, using radio and the mainframe as perfect examples. 'The mainframe is the classic survivor technology, and it owes its longevity to sound business decisions. I.B.M. overhauled the insides of the mainframe, using low-cost microprocessors as the computing engine. The company invested and updated the mainframe software, so that banks, corporations and government agencies could still rely on the mainframe as the rock-solid reliable and secure computer for vital transactions and data, while allowing it to take on new chores like running Web-based programs.'"