DOS Still Rules ... at Least at the Fed

Given the economic climate, it seems any announcement from the Federal Reserve garners scrutiny from the world.

Given the economic climate, it seems any announcement from the Federal Reserve garners scrutiny from the world. The Kitty wonders, though, whether anyone besides bankers has noted the Feds announcement that its FedLine service has discontinued plans to adopt Windows NT. More than 10,000 financial institutions use the DOS-based FedLine to transfer billions of dollars daily.

The announcement to bankers stated that the "DOS-based FedLine will continue until a full complement of Web-based service offerings is available." A frustrated financial friend of the Furball said, "For years, they have been promising us bankers a replacement of the old DOS-based FedLine system for wire transfers. It was going to be a Windows NT platform using dial-up lines. After many years of development, including training seminars, deployment, etc., they have suddenly announced they are backing away from it."

The Kitty made several inquiries to the folks at the Fed, but, as of press time, no one El Gato spoke to could say whether security issues or other reasons prompted the announcement.

The announcement, which was sent to bankers and is posted on, would lead one to assume the Fed isnt ready to totally trust the Internet for its big money transactions any time soon.

Meanwhile, as Microsoft continues to claim security is its No. 1 priority, the word last week was that new security measures in Outlook may be inspiring virus writers to hunt for and attack breaches in the Windows Media Player for kicks, instead. "Its got to be as frustrating for Redmond as trying to plug a leaky roof," huffed the Hirsute Handyman. "Once you patch one spot, water starts pouring in through another."

A news story in the Feb. 11 issue of eWeek stated that EDS was quietly planning to outsource some of its Global Delivery desk-side support business. EDS was reportedly negotiating with DecisionOne to handle the task and was supposedly planning to transition as many as 400 technicians to DecisionOne in a subcontracting deal by the end of the first quarter. Now, El Gato has heard that the schedule has slipped, and EDS wont make that goal. No clue about what the holdup is, but a Tabby tattler claims that an EDS executives memo stated that employees should pay no attention to "rumors" and stories in industry newspapers. "Me-ouch," retorted the touchy Tabby. In the meantime, the tipster claims that EDS worker bees are hearing whispers and rumors in the halls that more layoffs may be due soon.

Spencer F. Katt can be reached at

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...