Programmers hold funerals for old code 
Associated Press 



DAYTON, Ohio ? Among the tiny graves on Blocker Hill, the wind echoes with 
the tortured cries of computer programmers. Beneath the eight grave 
markers, and perhaps in a rumoured unmarked grave nearby, lie reams of 
paper printouts of code for software that has left this mortal operating 
The cemetery is a quirky tradition among the programmers at LexisNexis, 
which provides on-line legal and business information. Rather than simply 
delete programs that are retired or replaced, they print them out for a 
proper send-off ? not always with fond regards.
"The code wakes us up in the middle of the night," said Doug Perseghetti, 
who recalls the many times his fellow systems engineers and technical 
support workers are called in the middle of the night to fix system 
The name Blocker Hill was picked because the outdated equipment and code 
represented roadblocks to the company's future.
"Some things die gracefully and other things we've had to kill," Mr. 
Perseghetti said. He said workers had to "drive a stake" through the heart 
of a poorly performing program named CCI, which received an ignominious 
burial beneath an emblem of a pig.
In 1992, up to 50 mourners followed pallbearers carrying a wooden coffin 
with a printout of the former Database Update Control System as a 
trumpeter played "Taps," project consultant Alice Kaltenmark said. 
Eulogies were said and chocolate cake served.


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