State-of-the-art facilities

  • The text of this ad claims that the "state-of-the-art facilities" at teaching hospitals will be hurt by funding cuts, but the image clearly shows an IBM PS/2 386. I really hope that this is an old stock photo and not the actual state-of-the-art in medicine.

    This image appeared as part of a full page ad on page A5 in the New York Times on August 4, 2008.

  • There are a lot of "embedded" type systems where the front-end is a PC running MS-DOS and communicating with the high-end equipment with a serial cable. They've almost died out but I bet there are a few still being made. USB interfaces are not nearly as easy as RS232 and the high-end equipment usually has a design lifetime longer than MS Windows.

    However, the rest of the equipment (is that a dot matrix printer on top of a CGA monitor?) and the clothing+hair style suggests it's an old photo. Perhaps they're trying to highlight that they can't afford to hire a photographer?

  • You make a good point. A lot of scientific equipment is still being shipped with RS232 ports. However, instrument manufacturers like to show off their fancy control software and that requires a little more muscle than the PS/2 can provide. It probably doesn't hurt to have a math coprocessor too.

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