A 20-year old Laptop is McLaren’s backbone [Tech]

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20-year old Compaq 5280 is Mclaren's backbone

McLaren’s F1 cars internal circuits are maintained and updated with the help of the laptop with a configuration indicate a 32 MB RAM, 1.2 GB Hard Disk processed by Pentium 120 MHz runs under Windows 95 OS!!!! Hard to believe but True. The Compaq LTE 5280 manufactured during the mid-90’s plays a vital part in McLaren’s workshop operations.

The McLaren’s Operation Workshop depends on the laptop for communicating with their car’s electronic components. With changing times, the mechanical components of the cars have upgraded but the electronic components to control them have remained the same which seems the reason for the F1 team’s dependence on the aged laptop.


Professionals in the workshop mention accommodating age-old software for functioning isn’t the culprit; it’s the hardware part (electronic chips) – the real nemesis. To produce electronic chips that are obsolete and out-of-demand, it’s not only time-consuming  but also money and labor-consuming to produce outdated electronic chips.

It’s not just the McLaren at the backfoot, the U.S Navy pays million of dollars to Microsoft to hold over Windows XP as many of their software are completely dependent on that and an up-gradation of the Operating System would result them a terrible ordeal.


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