We use a lot of older tools on my project. For example, we are still at Visual Studio 6.0. This tool came out in 1998. Since then Microsoft has come out with Visual Studio 2002, 2003, and 2005. That makes us three version behind the current version. Pretty soon Visual Studio 2008 will be coming out putting us further behind the curve.
There was an opportunity to move to a more recent IDE when the system was being re-engineered a couple years ago. Unfortunately the powers that be decided to switch to Java. The price was right since the Java IDE was free. However the re-engineering effort failed and we had to resurrect the Visual Studio 6 version of our code.
Currently there is not a huge business case to get the client to invest in Visual Studio 2005. That will require money to purchase the licenses for our entire team. A higher cost will be the work to port the current code to the new compiler. All of this will provide little to no benefit to the business users of our application suite.
I am thinking that, as some of the developers gain subject matter expertise, a good reason to upgrade is to keep the developers happy. It is a no brainer that hiring replacement employees is expensive. If we can tie the upgrade to a crucial business enhancement as well, we may have a slam dunk proposal.
A Little Bit of Crypto - I have been trying to figure out to "collision resistant" some of these standard hash functions are. It is a tough concept to get my head around. I figure...