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The US nuclear arsenal runs off computers with floppy disk drives

In news potentially more terrifying than handing over the trigger to presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump, the US government has revealed the computers used to command its nuclear arsenal aren’t exactly cutting edge.

According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (via Business Insider), some of the machines still have 8-inch floppy disk drives.

The report, aptly titled ‘Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems’ it was revealed some agencies are using 50 year old machines.

One of these machines the Pentagon’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System.

The report explains: “This system coordinates the operational functions of the United States’ nuclear forces, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear bombers, and tanker support aircrafts.

“It runs on an IBM Series/1 Computer — a 1970s computing system — and uses 8-inch floppy disk.”

That marvel of 1970s technology started out with 16KB of memory, by the way.

Related: Here’s our totally unrelated Fallout 4 review

Before you go running for the nearest nuclear bunker, like the one in Deep Impact, know that plans to upgrade to a system that doesn’t pre-date Ronald Reagan’s presidency are in play.

The report points out: “The agency is planning to update data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals, which are all scheduled to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017.”

Well, that’s good, we feel much better about that. We definitely won’t be digging a 50-ft deep hole in the backyard and building a shelter this weekend.

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