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Yet Another Use for Linux

emmett posted about 15 years ago | from the rescue-911 dept.

Linux 82

TMOS writes "Well, more and more companies are using Linux, as if we all didn't know that. This is one that utilizes Linux to operate and maintain small to large telephone systems used by organizations such as the FAA and 911. It is nice to know that an underdog OS can be used to save lives."

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Hasnt this been done? (3)

shadow0_0 (59720) | about 15 years ago | (#1339802)

Hasn't this been done a while back? Have a look here [slashdot.org]

Re:WHEE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339803)

I once had a dog that was like that...

oh, wait! what am I saying?

911 call... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | about 15 years ago | (#1339804)

Well, let's be very glad they aren't running windows...

I can see it now...


"Allright, sir... now where are y... er... um, could you hold on a sec... I have to reboot..."

-- Dr. E --

Big news? Maybe. BIG news? Not really. (1)

zyqqh (137965) | about 15 years ago | (#1339805)

Once upon a time, all these systems had no computers to rely on whatsoever. And they managed. With all due respect to Linux for reaching yet another audience, we should keep in mind that every step like this is just a relatively small improvement for whichever group took it. Yea, windows boxen crashing daily on 911 systems isn't a pleasant thought -- but think of it as 0.01% cases falling through because of that being replaced by 0.0001% now.

GPL compliance (2)

vectro (54263) | about 15 years ago | (#1339806)

Presumably they have done some amount of kernel hacking on their systems. I don't see any GPL compliance information on their page though. Perhaps this is like tivo, prior to our pointing out that they need to provide source?

WHEE???? NOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339807)

I prefer real people. Cartoons? WTF are you thinking?

Re:WHEE (0)

vapour (102049) | about 15 years ago | (#1339808)

Isn't it about time you kind of people grew up ? Is it really that amusing to post drivel while hiding behind anonmous coward ? Why not go and talk to 13 year old boys masquarading a women behind the anonymity of their keyboards ?....oh, yeah, you ARE on of those 13 year olds, masturbating while apparently speaking to women !

Re:Hasnt this been done? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339809)

Jup, at least I know a company called Tecnomen www.tecnomen.fi [tecnomen.fi] .
Thats created voice message handling system, which can be used from implementing '911' (or 112 here in europe) to building a million client GSM answering machine. And they use Linux clusters for computing.

Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339810)

you have some issues.
Time to set an appointment with the shrink again!

Re:WHEE (0)

inosent1 (142433) | about 15 years ago | (#1339811)

why 13? why couldn't they be 14? or 12? perhaps they are adults that just can't get any and have to masturbate. don't even try to get out of the point that you masturbate. at least they're speaking to women...........

Why is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339812)

that all cartoons look alike.
Nice Sailor Moon site DICK

also known as a DSP 1000 (5)

troutman (26963) | about 15 years ago | (#1339813)

I work with a company that has one of these, and I have played with it a little bit. Pretty darn cool setup. They run mostly from RAM. The phone system has dual linux boxes (with some arbiting code) for fault tolerance -- if the primary linux box goes down, the secondary box picks up automatically, without dropping any calls in progress.

They can do all kinds of phone system statistics and reporting, using MySQL as a backend for the data. They have a full featured ACD as well. They have support for many flavors of CTI, and I have seen some pretty nifty CSTA based CTI stuff that works with this equipment (they use Delphi for software development).

From what I understand they will shortly have available email, text messaging, and voice over IP as available features, all routed/controlled by the linux based switch. For the next generation call center...

Re:Hasnt this been done? (3)

edhall (10025) | about 15 years ago | (#1339814)

Read their press release here [eoncc.com] ; note that this is hardly their first Linux-based project. In fact, they've been using Linux since 1997, back when SlashDot was little more than a gleam in Rob's eye...

Pretty impressive.


Attn: Emmett et al. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339815)

By this point, I suspect that the vast majority of the Slashdot community, including those who do not use Linux, are convinced that Linux is a robust operating system capable of handling critical applications. Hence, the marginal value of reporting stories of this type on Slashdot is zero. You are preaching to the converted.

Please, please, please could we get some stories that don't involve Linux being used in some obscure and utterly irrelevant way. I know this may be a big step, so as a transition, how about some stories about FreeBSD/NetBSD/OpenBSD being used for obscure purposes? I'm sure someone out there is using FreeBSD to control their high energy particle accelerator or something of the sort.

Re:Sounds like (0)

inosent1 (142433) | about 15 years ago | (#1339816)

what issues would those be? not as bad as our masturbating friend that i replied to.

WTF? This is as bad as the olympics... (5)

Score Whore (32328) | about 15 years ago | (#1339817)

It is nice to know that an underdog OS can be used to save lives.

This is getting seriously tiring. It seems like everytime anyone mentions that they made a product based on Linux it has to be announced on slashdot like some massive personal hurdle has been overcome. Next thing we're gonna hear is that Linux was the youngest OS in a family of 13 living in a mud floored one-third bedroom home with only a bucket in the corner to piss in. Father died in a coal mining accident when Linux was only six days old and the mother had to turn tricks to support the family. And all Linux ever dreamed of was to be able to take care of the family like pa would have wanted it to. It's just such a touching story I'm going to have to cry now.

Can't we just realize that the shit is there. Linux has "made it." There's no need to act like every little product is an accomplishment in the face of worldwide adversity.

Linux -- The OS of the Millenium (1)

NatePWIII (126267) | about 15 years ago | (#1339818)

It doesn't surprise me that Linux is getting into as many far-reaching industries as it is. Computers are practically involved in everything today, from driving your car to ordering a pizza. Everyone of these computers needs some form of operating system that is fast, efficient, and can be easily configured or optimized for the task at hand. Linux fits all of these bills!
I think we've only began to see the beginning of the proliferation of Linux into mainstream applications and business. Forget about Jini and Microsoft CE. They are both things of the past. Linux's power comes from its open source model which makes it readily available to every developer out there.
I wouldn't be surprised if we see such applications as MP3 players for cars which run on Linux, or even home theater systems that utilize the power of Linux. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg.
I mean look at the new processor Crusoe. Combine the speed and power saving features of this processor with the efficiency and stability of Linux and you have a winning combination. Say good-bye to "WinTel". Thats just my two-cents on the matter.

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
NPS Internet Solutions, LLC


NatePWIII (126267) | about 15 years ago | (#1339819)

Your right Linux is hardly the be all and end all of OS's. We run our servers on FreeBSD since we found that it is even more stable than Linux and is also more scalable for industrial applications, such as database admin and even for serving up web pages. When it comes to a really serious OS I think Linux still has a way to go yet.
Linux tends to get a lot of the spotlight but it is just another version of Unix. Its basically a marketing thing. You get the name out then everyone starts talking about it which gives it even more publicity and pretty soon the whole thing snowballs into a huge "monopoly" for lack of a better word.
Windows is a prime example, just too bad it sucks so bad.

Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
NPS Internet Solutions, LLC


Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339820)

Yet Another Fucking Yet Another Use For Linux Story.

Re:Linux -- The OS of the Millenium (2)

maelstrom (638) | about 15 years ago | (#1339821)

"I wouldn't be surprised if we see such applications as MP3 players for cars which run on Linux"

I wouldn't be suprised either. In fact, its already been done! :)

Linux is a winner -- it takes the Olympic Gold (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339822)

Sour grapes. The people who are most jealous of Linux are those who are emotionally tied to a certain family of failed operating systems like you know who. The failed family of operating systems struggle to stay afloat while Linux soars among the stars. We all know that Linux succeeded, and that you know who has failed. Deal with it.

Re:911 call... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339823)

I'm sure it's more like... "SOMEONE IS TRYING TO KILL ME!" "Just a minute sir, I need to edit my whattodo.rc file then recompile my kernel to support life saving, then I need to read some How-to's and man pages on how to use it all. Give me 10 hours or so okay?"


Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339824)

If you think this is bad, check out ApostropheColon [ubersoft.net] .

Today's lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339825)

Okay kids, today we're going to learn about Taco Corporate Speak. It's not difficult, just listen carefully:

> I get a nice flamey email about once a week from some ass who calls me a hypocrite and slams me for not getting out a new release.
> My usual response is to tell them that I delay the release by 24 hours each time someone asks me when a new Slash tarball will be out.

"If you're not from Andover I don't give a damn what you want from me. (Alternate hidden meaning: I don't know how to use tar )"

> Seriously, there are only 3 people who really know how much work a source release for this is: CowboyNeal, Patrick and Me.
> And the three of us have been working on a lot of stuff. As I write this, we are bugfixing and documenting and preparing for a source release.
> There is a private CVS server that one day soon will be publicly read only.

"This code is a steaming pile of spaghetti, I would get an F- for it in school. Since releasing it would be ultimate embarrasment, it probably wouldn't be bring me too much fame and fortune, so just forget it."

> This isn't like other projects: it has been custom fit to our hardware and to our needs. It doesn't have install scripts or help or even comments in the code.

"Man, I'm having nightmares about debugging it"

> We're just too busy to play tech support helping dozens of people compile mod_perl and tune Apache.

"Let's try another lame excuse"

> We've decided to squash the bugs and make a clean release rather than rush it.

"I've decided to try yet another lame excuse"

> It's really easy for someone to complain that I didn't release a new version of the source code every week.

"Somebody finally tell me how to use fscking tar"

> Its also easy to forget that in the last 6 months we've doubled in traffic and we've had to optimize our code and hardware to handle that.

"It's also easy to forget that in the last 6 months I've doubled my income and I had to find a good bank to handle my money"

> A new source release is secondary: Our job is running Slashdot. We want to release new versions of Slash, but it is a definite second priority to keeping Slashdot moving.

"'Money money money , must be funny ...' - mmm money "
Alternate translation:
"Shut up and click the nice banners"

> Finally, it's coming soon.

"Cool, there is a manpage for tar !"

> It'll be out when its finished. And if you ask me again I'll postpone it again.

"Acting like a 6 year old will probably scare away those bad-bad people"

Thank goes to previous interpreters for inspiration.

Free Slash !

"YOU'RE" right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339826)

Learn to write!

"you're" = you are

milleNNium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339827)

MILLENNIUM = one thousand years

MILLENIUM = one thousand assholes

And you're one of them, unless you learn to spell!

Get an account (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339828)



Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339829)

Click here! [dhs.org] Someday she'll be petrified, and life will be good again.

Re:WTF? This is as bad as the olympics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339830)

It's easy to be the picked on underdog who should be given allowances for failings because you've been held back. It's hard to stand up on your own merits. Or linux evangelists just have an inferiority complex.

Just the mindset that tearing something down is easier that building something up.

Luke, the problem is in the AntiPatterns (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339831)

By Jimminy and by the Force, Taco's problem is in the AntiPatterns [antipatterns.com] . He is suffering under the Spaghetti Code AntiPattern [antipatterns.com] .

Re:Today's lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339832)

Dude. Quit complaining. If there's anything I've learned, it's that human beings can't be reasoned with, the only way to get your point across to most people is to transform them into nude marble statues.

Therefore I propose that CmdrTaco be transformed into a nude marble statue, and the source taken by FORCE!!


Ghandi once said, "If peaceful petrification of CmdrTaco is the only way to obtain the source code,t hen peacefully petrify CmdrTaco. So be it, so it is, and so it will be."

Bless you, Ghandi.

I personally don't care about the Slash source, but I DO think it would be cool to see CmdrTaco turned to stone!

Have a nice day.

Sadly not. (3)

Sarah_Serious_Bitch (142785) | about 15 years ago | (#1339833)

Just generally on medical devices.

Most medical devices use a custom built OS. For good reason too.

They require such outstandingly specialised features, run on such peculiar platforms and the developers also want to feel that they can 'own' the entire device.

Take an MRI machine, for example. That has its own customised platform, etc... why you ask? Because it would need fault tolerance, self diagnostics, etc... that are hardly available off the shelf, or would require such re-engineering to an open source product you may as well build you own damn OS.

Also, it gives you such great control over your own OS. Linux doesn't offer the developers the feeling that they 'own' their OS and have access to it, etc... and nobody interfering.

This is why I think linux will never make it into that area. Its a stuck mindset, and with good reason, imho.

With 911. You have an arguement. However, I still think vast majority will run on customised platforms. Linux is stable. Sure. However, when it comes to healthcare and other industries. you don't need stable, you need un-crashable or at least have such unbelievable fault tolerance and self diagonistics. There are some things that can't be left to chance.

Anyone for a ride on a warship running linux? I sure wouldn't. I'd want its own OS, and i'm sure its builders would too.

Re:Big news? Maybe. BIG news? Not really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339834)

That is a big step.

Going from perhaps 1000ppl to only 10ppl is a big deal. It is a only 1 out of 100 before.

rot in hell bitch (0)

inosent1 (142433) | about 15 years ago | (#1339835)

how can that be a three? that had to be the most fucking inane comment i've ever heard. which variety of crack were the moderators smoking at this time? oh right, ass-crack. very good guys.

Liability (1)

ariux (95093) | about 15 years ago | (#1339836)

If the system fails and someone dies, who could be sued? For that matter, who's really responsible?

The GPL makes a point of disclaiming all warranties and establishing a use-at-your-own-risk understanding.

Would that stand up in court though? Perhaps some liability can't be disclaimed. Who is sued then? Say they bought a distro. Is the distributor at fault? If they got it free, can they blame who gave it to them? Does getting it free erase giver's liability?

Could they hunt down the person responsible for the offending code and sue them?

Should this company be responsible for verifying that every line of the OS works right? Hell no - that's impossible for a single company that didn't design it. Should they then be using an OS that NOBODY has checked in this way?

Should the Linux community stand up and tell them, "this isn't a good idea. Nobody is ABSOLUTELY sure this code won't fail. Someone could die unless you use a better-checked product"?

Perhaps someone should hire marketing, distribution, and QA engineers, and sell a fault-checked Linux.

Re:GPL compliance (1)

Erik Hensema (12898) | about 15 years ago | (#1339837)

Why would they want to hack the kernel? Even if they're using a proprietary interface board, they could simply use a closed source module. Linus allows it. I don't see any other reason why they would want to use some kernel hacking, a lot of telephony devices just run stock Solaris or SCO. It isn't that special, you know.

Re:911 call... (1)

arivanov (12034) | about 15 years ago | (#1339838)

I can get downmarked for flamebait for this but whatever:

911 is helpless if a crime is to be comitted besides the few cases when police is allowed preemptive action. These are mostly cases that do not deal with crime against individuals.

So you may cry to 911 (or 999 or 112 in other countries) as much as you wish. Before that someone has actually attacked you police cannot do a thing. And than it is usually too bloody late.

This makes these number to be quite useless for anything but medical emergencies, reporting accidents and fires. Their crime fighting capabilities are largely overrated.

Accepting liability (1)

jedrek (79264) | about 15 years ago | (#1339839)

Someone is always liable. Now, whether this is actually the company who's implementing the GPL system, the decission maker or the company who develops the system, someone is responsible. Responsibility usually doesn't seem to be binding until money changes hands.

On the other hand, knowing the maerican legal system all hell could very well break loose.


Re:Liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339840)

Perhaps someone should hire marketing, distribution, and QA engineers, and sell a fault-checked Linux.

Many of your points are worthwhile, but I have to admit that I was touched by your naivete. Only an American would take this knee-jerk attitude that the answer to such an obvious public sector problem. The answer is clearly for the public authorities to take it upon themselves to produce a fault-tolerant, checked, stable operating system and then stand behind it. After all, Linus is God and all that, but at the end of the day, one guy, plus his mate Alan, can hardly compare to the massed resources of the government. After all, with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow, and who has more willing warm bodies than a government agency?

It reminds me of the old days of British computing, when Sir Clive Sinclair was messing around trying to squeeze performance out of the old Z80 chips with his ZX80 and Spectrum [lovely.net] (Timex to the Yanks). Then the good old British Broadcasting Corporation came out with the BBC Micro and showed the private sector how it should be done. It's only this fetish with "the market" that blinds Americans to it, and the historical fluke that the transistor happened to be invented in Bell Labs that meant that the computer revolution started there.

An OS provided by Uncle Sam would be stable and secure (it could even benefit from being verified as secure by the NSA, unlike Linux), and would immediately replace all forms of *nix, and Windows, and Mac OS. It's the logical solution.

And once you've solved that, perhaps Bill Gates and Linus could turn their "entrepreneurial and technological genius" toward creating a healthcare system that provides more than shiny white teeth and an infant mortality rate worse than Lithuania!

Bad for Linux. (2)

Mullen (14656) | about 15 years ago | (#1339841)

My thought now is that Public Enemy (That Rap Group) is going to have to change their famous song, "911 is a joke" to "Linux is a joke" if this company makes a bad product.

I can just see Flavor Flav on MTV with the changed lirics, "Get up, Get Get Get down, Linux is a joke, a joke in yo' town".

Or better yet!
When someone is hurt, you run over to another person by a phone and say, "Quick! Someones been hurt, call L-I-N-U-X!"

You are so far from being funny - (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339842)

I pity you, and your parents and anybody who has to hear your crap day in, day out;.

Re:Liability (1)

Arashi (36201) | about 15 years ago | (#1339843)

Reading the web page of the provider concerned, they are using Linux as their engine, on a custom platform, with some nice switching software running on top (which they wrote themselves).

I'd guess that they would assume commercial liability for any systems they sold, but would either get a linux guru on retainer, or buy Alan much beer :-)

I believe that the reliability of Linux is much better suited to running switches and PBX's than current NT offerings. Who knows what Windows 2000 will be like in five years.

Mind you, if you want _really_ long uptimes, you should try VMS ;-)

stop whining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339844)

you are just crabby because you don't have a shilling for the gas meter.

that's right folks, the great english society has meters (like parking meters) in their homes where they have to put coins into to get gas.

what fun!

Re:stop whining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339845)

Why do they need gas in the home ? To power the generators or something ? I just don't get it.

From what I have seen on TV though, England looks like a pretty neat place to live, apart from the fog, and the way they don't seem to be able to speak English very well there.

Re:Bad for Linux. (2)

thimo (36102) | about 15 years ago | (#1339846)

Oke, this is a joke, I'll bite. I think PE would never pee on Linux because they support the openness and freedom Linux stands for. They are pretty interesting in this field. On a CD back in 1995 Harry Allen (PE's spokesman) was talking about new technologies that were coming along that would enable artists to be their own distributors. The technology didn't really exist at that time ("or was still in crude form"), but would come along later. Now we all know what MP3 and the internet has done for artists and most will remember that /. announced that PE was selling their album on the internet in MP3 form. I was about to submit the written text for that song to /., but always wondered if it would be news. Maybe I'll still do it one day...


PS: To the "people who know", I'm talking about number 20 on the 1995 CD ("Muse sick'n hour mess age", IIRC!!!) and it is the voice of Harry Allen on Chuck's answering machine.

Re:Liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339847)

Actually you are correct. I am quite familar with the UK, being an avid PBS subscriber, and having spent 2 days in London when I was 12, so I like to think I have a handle on the whole socialism/Europe thing.

It is clear, that Linux could only have emerged from Europe, and if it is to avoid being co-opted by the machinery of capitalism, led by Bill KKKLinton (backed up by Bill Gate$) the only proper reaction is legislation to enforce open source.

Of course, without funding, this plan cannot fly, but since most people pay $$s for their distro, I propose that any vendor selling Linux must pay a "Linux Tax" to the English government. This tax could then be spent by a commitee appointed by the government, consisting of technology experts such as Sir Clive, and Alan Sugar (of Amstrad). In this way, the true intent of the GPL can be enforced.

Underdog OS? (1)

T-Punkt (90023) | about 15 years ago | (#1339848)

I wouldn't call the OS that gets second
most press, hype and F.U.D. an "Underdog OS".

Open Source devel for critical apps (1)

the way (22503) | about 15 years ago | (#1339849)

Anyone for a ride on a warship running linux? I sure wouldn't. I'd want its own OS, and i'm sure its builders would too.

While I agree that standard Linux isn't a great choice for life-or-death systems, your argument doesn't support the conclusion that such systems should have their own OS.

Through an open source development environment, such projects could be far more reliable, and feature rich. The standard arguments still hold--more eyes peering at the code seems particularly important for critical applications.

...developers also want to feel that they can 'own' the entire device...

Yes, I think that's the real reason!

Better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339850)

Anything is better than my company's computer system at the moment. My company just upgraded to Windblows 4.0 with Novell. This is a upgrade for the phone systems as well. This upgrade had been taking place since Febuarary of 99. And of course the voice mail system is still not working throughout the company. I even had the luxury to recommend Linux and a Unix based phone and server operating sysyem only to be looked at like windows was the only alternative. I just laughed and went on my way. It would have been nice to save the company a couple of thousand dollars, probably more. Oh well it is not my company.:)

How many are dead because of Windows? (0)

The Future Sound of (60863) | about 15 years ago | (#1339851)

How many people have been killed as a direct result of relying on Windows?

Alternate use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339852)

i have an another use for grits. you can eat them. but its better to pour them down your pants. thank you.

Re:Sadly not. (wrong) (3)

Juggler (5256) | about 15 years ago | (#1339853)

I disagree, and my employers do as well (I work for a company which *maintains* software for the air traffic controllers in Iceland. Alot of traffic passes thorugh our air space.). I'm doing Linux stuff.

Having a specialized platform, with specialized features, is all well and good - but 5-10 years down the line it becomes a major liability. Unless your "specialized platform" is widely used and supported, you're going to run into serious trouble when the hardware you were using becomes hard or even impossible to buy, and nobody has created any drivers for the hardware you can buy.

With Linux (or other open source solutions) it seems you can have your cake and eat it too - you can customize and debug and hack it to suit your needs, while still having a huge community that supports and maintains all the commonly used stuff, like ethernet adapters and video hardware.

If people are devoting resources to creating an uncrashable system (which some people do need), then basing it on a widely used, widely supported open source solution makes a lot of sense.

So yes, I'd definately prefer a warship running Linux (or one of the BSDs) than one running its own written-from-scratch OS. The many eyeballs rule applies especially to highly critical systems. That doesn't mean I want the warship designers to cut corners - I want them to spend their time and efforts on the stuff that actually matters for the application, not drudgery like writing a whole new OS from scratch.

In other Underdog OS news (2)

bug_hunter (32923) | about 15 years ago | (#1339854)

*Beos was used to diffuse a highly volitile terrorist situation and freed 25 hostages.
*NetBSD showed a person on the edge of a high rise there was still reason to live.
*OS2/Warp performed a delicate medical procedure using only a ball point pen.

Re:Liability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339855)

If the system fails and someone dies, who could be sued? For that matter, who's really responsible?

It would be difficult to make a case for suing the author of the offending piece of Linux. The reason is that the author of the code, never accepted that kind of exceptional liability. Contracts require what is referred to as a meeting of the minds. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.) While it is clear that the programmers involved intended for the code to be used, they didn't necessarily intend it for life-critical situations. They weren't asked if it was robust enough for that, and they weren't given an opportunity to walk away from the situation. The disclaimer of warrantee would clearly indicate that they didn't believe that they could assure the user of that level of reliability.

Re:Sadly not. (1)

Le douanier (24646) | about 15 years ago | (#1339856)

Anyone for a ride on a warship running linux? I sure wouldn't. I'd want its own OS, and i'm sure its builders would too.

I would prefer it to have its own OS too but if I had to choose between a warship running Linux and one running NT I definitely would took the one running Linux, I would fear less to remain dead in the water [gcn.com] .

Big fucking deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339857)

A company comes along, that may not even have sold a single dollar's worth of merchandise, and they use Linux? Who fucking cares? Show me some enterprise class operations using Linux. Not some college kid who's playing admin. Not some village in Ethiopia. How about some BIG IMPORTANT companies using it for something other than a print server for a 10 person workgroup. You people are funny. Next, you'll be ranting about HAM radios replacing telephones! After all, I know somebody using one!!!!

Re:Big fucking deal! (1)

aTRaTiCa (141651) | about 15 years ago | (#1339858)

Every company starts from the bottom.... Don't they? ;)

Re:In other Underdog OS news (1)

aTRaTiCa (141651) | about 15 years ago | (#1339859)

and Microsoft blew up the world trade center *shrug*

Re:Better (1)

aTRaTiCa (141651) | about 15 years ago | (#1339860)

It's not your company but a little guidance never hurt anybody... espicially if it's going to help "the underdog operating system" become another spike in the kennel...

Re:WTF? This is as bad as the olympics... (1)

aTRaTiCa (141651) | about 15 years ago | (#1339861)

But what about the millions (AND MILLIONS) of The Linux fans around the world who achieve smiles at the use of their favorite product being used? It's like your favorite sports team winning a game or doing something great... When the Eagles beat the cowboys it made me smile every time I saw it on ESPN... (Of course with antoher losing season I should stop smiling, but hell). I love to hear who's using one of my favorite systems. It's rather interesting :) But I guess it's everyones opinion for themself

Re:Bad for Linux. (OT) (2)

thimo (36102) | about 15 years ago | (#1339862)

It's getting really off-topic, but way too interesting to keep for myself. I just found a snippet from an amazon.com (that we boycot it doesn't mean we can't read their interviews, does it? :) interview with Chuck D. Imagine this, in 1994 (!!!) they predicted what we now have with MP3 and the internet and the *wanted* it to be like this. These are mainstream artists, making big bucks...

Amazon.com: You're still finishing up the new album, There's a Poison Goin' On. How's it going?

Chuck D: It's going well. It's what we call 21st-century music. And in 1994 when I made Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age, we predicted that the ways of distributing music would change, that the music business would change. I mean, people can go to Muse Sick and find [that], on Harry Allen's interactive superhighway phone call to Chuck D, we mentioned everything that is happening now. And we made that record for 1999, but this record here, There's a Poison Goin' On, is definitely for the year 2000. So it's going really well.


Re:Big fucking deal! (1)

deaddeng (63515) | about 15 years ago | (#1339863)

Bite me, troll. Take your little NT CD and stuff it down your pants along with your grits. The more I read FUD like this, the more confident I am that shitheels like you are hearing footsteps...

http://www.realmagiclinux.com/mission-critical/i ndex.html


Re:Today's lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339864)

I'm with you.... now we just need someone in Michigan to use da magic!!!

Re:Big fucking deal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339865)

That's sad. Just as I thought. No real companies using Linux for mission critical. What a lot of horseshit Linux is. Excuse me while I go jerk off looking at KDE.

How will they find qualified people ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339866)

Although on the face of it this seems like good news, I have grave reservations.

As a technical HR (Human Resources) coordinator at a major corporation, I see day in day out, just how difficult it can be to find _good_ quality MCSE's to adminstrate our networks. Recently, I have noticed that more and more of our departments are asking me to find Linux experts.

My big problem is this: The MCSE's I have spoken to claim that Microsoft's coverage of Linux in their curriculum (specifically on the NT4 Server Advanced techniques stream) is of a very low quality, leaving them in some cases with almost no knowledge whatsoever of Linux. I am worried that we will have our emergency services running on Linux, but with Non-MS Certified staff in control of the servers.

I am not really very technical (being in HR and all means I know all the TLA's but not what they mean :-) ) but I for one do not feel very comfortable about this state of affairs. After all, the whole point of certification is to prove the candidate has the skills for the job

Whilst running a "new and trendy" operating system such as Linux or even FreeBSD may result in short term savings, one has to wonder at the wisdom of running saftey critical systems on a platform where certified professionals are in such short supply.

I just hope when that Linux machine has a "general protection bug" (as I believe they are called) that the MCSE there knows how to reboot the Linux server, before someone has to die as a result of the drive for IT people to have the "latest and greatest".

Linux/ppc running phone systems (2)

haaz (3346) | about 15 years ago | (#1339867)

There's a Big 10 university (upper midwestern U.S.) whose phone system is run off a generic Linux/PowerPC system, and apparently has been for several years at this point. Cool stuff.

Re: "YOU'RE" right (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 15 years ago | (#1339868)

If the only rebuttal you can add is correcting the author's spelling, I guess he made his point then. ;-)


Y2038 ? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 15 years ago | (#1339869)

Seriously, is anyone fixing Linux so that it will roll-over to 2038 correctly?

If the problem has already been fixed, then please ignore this port.

Re:Sadly not. (by a long shot) (1)

jhines (82154) | about 15 years ago | (#1339870)

Waiting to be hooked up a machine to check the capacity and pressure dynamics of the bladder, I checked out the screen.

It was a Windows based application, running on a standard PC.

While I was watching, a DOS based screen saver kicked in, suspending windows, and giving a blank screen. When the nurse returns, she mutters "this machine is always doing this", and reboots it, giving the standard Win95 boot sequence, which loads a DOS based TSR screen saver, and finally the custom application full screen.

This does not inspire confidence in a person who is about to have said machine threaded into his privates.

Re:also known as a DSP 1000 (1)

Steelraven (58413) | about 15 years ago | (#1339871)

Yup, believe it or not, we use one of these to run 3 call centers at our site. One of the appealing aspects of this system is it's versatility, I have yet to encounter a configuration or situation that it can't be made to resolve. I've also been out to their site for training on their product and I continue to be amazed at the quality of their service.

It's a good system, that jsut so happens to run Linux.


Re:911 call... (1)

bmetzler (12546) | about 15 years ago | (#1339872)

I'm sure it's more like... "SOMEONE IS TRYING TO KILL ME!" "Just a minute sir, I need to edit my whattodo.rc file then recompile my kernel to support life saving, then I need to read some How-to's and man pages on how to use it all. Give me 10 hours or so okay?"

I hope you were trying to be funny...

That's an outrageous assertion. If you needed to do something with a computer you'd have it set up to do that before you needed it. That's whether it's Windows or Linux. Don't try to tell me that it's any easier/faster to do something in Windows, because that's not so. It takes several reboots to install *anything* larger then MS Works.

That'd be like having your car apart in a pile of pieces in the garage, and needing to assemble it before going anywhere. You'd have an OS ready to go, just like a car. Now, if your PC or car crashes, that's a different sort of problem that you don't want to deal with.


Re:also known as a DSP 1000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339873)

Very cool system. My best friend is the guy that actually installs the software on the computers, and repairs them if something goes wrong. He has brought home alot of info on these things. If I had a business with many phones, I would probably want one of these.

Re:Sadly not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339874)

With 911. You have an arguement. However, I still think vast majority will run on customised platforms.

Actually, 911 runs on pretty generic UNIX boxes. The version I was familiar with ran on a mix of Solaris and HP-UX.

In fact, the vast majority of telecom systems run on out-of-the-box OSs. I've seen NT, OS/2, HP-UX & Solaris. The most specialized systems I've seen use custom, very fault-tolerant, hardware running a customized version of Solaris or vanilla SVR5.

Most telecom systems are moving to using pretty generic hardware/OSs with redundancy provided at a higher level. It is becoming a lot cheaper to put extra capacity in the network and let the high-level routing mechanisms switch around any units which are out of service.

Re:Sadly not. (1)

toofani (40106) | about 15 years ago | (#1339875)

Anyone for a ride on a warship running linux? I sure wouldn't. I'd want its own OS, and i'm sure its builders would too.

Not the US navy, evidently. There is the famous story [slashdot.org] of a ship standing dead in the water because it's control system running on NT crashed. Proves your point.

Re:How will they find qualified people ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339876)

You put to much faith into the certification programs. I've seen people get their MCSEs by memorizing the question space - and you know that is how they did it because they didn't know the langauage the test was in. And why on earth would you be using a MCSE to support a linux system? I suppose the network exams may touch on using non MS systems for servers or clients. Hire someone who has experience with linux (or unix in general) and if you can't find someone with skills that wants to learn and then have them trained before putting them on mission critical stuff.

No mention anywhere... (1)

Krimsen (26685) | about 15 years ago | (#1339877)

Oh my God! What a touching story! However, I saw no mention of Linux's poor upbringing anywhere! Perhaps the documentation I have been reading thus far has not been as complete as it should have been...

Re:Sadly not. (by a long shot) (1)

Sarah_Serious_Bitch (142785) | about 15 years ago | (#1339878)

Ouch. You have my sympathy.

Re:GPL compliance (1)

lucky13 (123189) | about 15 years ago | (#1339879)

The system does not use a hacked kernel, as a standard Linux works just fine. The telephony hardware resides in a seperate chasis from the computers, interfaced via UDP/IP over Ethernet, thus no hardware drivers are needed.

The GPL issue may quite likely be valid in the future as we consider incorporating pieces of software such as that from www.openh323.org [openh323.org] , an open VoIP stack (actually under the Mozilla license). Any such source modifications will most certainly be made available.

As far as the web page, that's by a marketing department which wouldn't no what GPL is (-.

saving lives . . . ummmm (1)

new500 (128819) | about 15 years ago | (#1339880)

how exactly does an OS save lives? I mean surely you had better compliment the sysadmn on his/her job keeping flawless uptime too? but isnt this story just scraping the barrel of linux do good links? a Uk company called Andrews and Arnold ships perfectly good Linux based voice mail and call control software AS AN ALTERNATIVE to paying Lucent mega$ for WinCrap licenses (which are i think about $3,500 equiv just to get voicemail up) all on network alchemy hware. i bet someone somehwre willl diall 999 / 911 and save a life on that kit too. will that justify a story?

Re:Sadly not. (1)

lucky13 (123189) | about 15 years ago | (#1339881)

Having migrated a large project from a custom OS to Linux, a few comments on how they compare for use in such applications.

A custom OS does have the advantage of a certain degree of "determinism", based on having complete control over the system. For self contained, real time systems this can be usefull.

Linux ( or FreeBSD, etc. ) gives the developer access to a tremendous amount of software. Consider somthing as trivial as adding a new device. With a custom OS, every device driver must be hand coded, maybe fun but not very productive. The same goes for applications such as e-mail, SMTP, firewall functions, etc.

As far as reliability, this is kind of a toss up. In theory, the custom OS should be more reliable because its not constantly being "enhanced" to add new capabilities that might not be needed. But in practice, it's so difficult to get a sufficient quantity of good software engineers that custom OS's are often more buggy than they should be. Changing hardware can be a nightmare issue for reliability in custom boxes.

With time-to-market the huge factor that it is, I suspect custom OS solutions will become quite rare. Of course, a good real-time, embedded Linux would be sweet.

A Revolutionary Use for FreeBSD? (1)

AMDAxe (142674) | about 15 years ago | (#1339882)

My $1 LinuxMall FreeBSD CD is currently serving to prevent those nasty little water rings in the picture of wood that's glued to the top of my chipboard coffee table. It's still in the plastic sleeve, and therefore still usable for it's intended purpose (controlling high-energy particle accelerators)

CAD on Windows? or Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1339883)

I have never seen Computer Aided Dispatch (911) done on either. Try a Tandem or RS/6000. Since neither Linux nor NT is in that class for scalability, stability, and reliability I don't see either OS performing the task any time in the next several years.

Grow up people...
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