ISS Switches To Linux

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posted on May, 12 2013 @ 10:08 PM
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Each OS has it's place in the world. I am glad for both as I have made quite a lucrative career out of them along with having a job I really enjoy 18 years into my career. I could list my certs like the other people here and it wouldn't mean anymore than the others.

I am sure the people running the ISS had their reasons for running MSFT and now running Linux.

I just cant agree though with people that speak in absolutes about which OS is better.
Opinions are just opinions. It doesn't make you more l33t because you are running the latest build of Mint nor does it mean you are a computer Novice because you are running windows 7.

That is the beauty of the era we live in.. You can run what you want and through apps like VBOX or dual booting you can run both on the same machine.




posted on May, 14 2013 @ 07:49 PM
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reply to post by opethPA
 

Not all of us I think, were speaking in absolutes. At the end of the day it comes down to this one simple, irrevocable and currently undeniable fact.

When controlling something as important as the ISS, Windows is not a choice. Why? Closed source. In other words, it's like a black box or contains black boxes which you cannot "see" into. With Linux (and other similarly licensed OS's) you can see everything, and change it as you see fit. When something goes wrong, you need to see where, when, why, how, and maybe some other things too. A closed source binary (complete with "No disassemble!" license) will not help you as much as transparent source code. At least, this seems to be the general consensus as far as I am aware.

Microsoft make fantastic products that billions of people use every day. I am just not one of those people any more. Ii grew up with DOS, Win95, NT, 2000, X yada yada. Been there, done that, still use it occasionally, but not much.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 03:19 AM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
When controlling something as important as the ISS, Windows is not a choice.

Apparently, it was a choice, and it worked for all these years, as the ISS is still up there.


When we are using a program that doesn't need access to specific OS features, what need do we need to have control of the source code? You only need absolute control of the program's source code.

Although I see the need for absolute control of the OS on some computers, a computer that only has a database of equipment aboard the ISS just needs to work.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 

I checked the OP, just to be sure but it seems the computers being replaced do more than just simple (or complex for that matter) database tasks. Even so, database server licenses can cost a pretty penny and NASA being the cash-strapped (from what I gather) org that it is, a few thousand dollars saved here and there could allow more pressing matters to be addressed. I can point to at least 3 opensource, commercial-grade databases that can all do what Microsoft's SQL software can, off the top of my head.

As for source code, it would enable NASA engineers to "support themselves", instead of having to pay a company to look into their secret, patent-protected, locked down tighter than Fort Knox, black box.

But regardless, good news for Linux, great news for Debian and hopefully the NASA users will notice an improvement too. I like Microsoft, they make easy to use products that usually just work, no fiddling required. Unfortunately, it has taken many years of trials, fines, new legislation and brow-beating to force Microsoft to be as "open" and co-operative towards other companies to get to where we are today. To say nothing of all the legal fees.



posted on May, 15 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
I checked the OP, just to be sure but it seems the computers being replaced do more than just simple (or complex for that matter) database tasks.

That's one of the things I have been looking for, what kind of work those computers do, but I haven't found anything specific.

One thing that I found, but from some years ago, was that the non-US side of things uses different computers.


Even so, database server licenses can cost a pretty penny and NASA being the cash-strapped (from what I gather) org that it is, a few thousand dollars saved here and there could allow more pressing matters to be addressed. I can point to at least 3 opensource, commercial-grade databases that can all do what Microsoft's SQL software can, off the top of my head.

That depends, for databases smaller than 4GB anyone can use SQL Express 2012, I have been using the free versions of SQL Server since 2000 (when it was called MSDE).


And yes, it's good news for Linux, unless things follow what happened in some German town, that some years ago announced that they were to replace of Windows computers with Linux. The next year they went back to Windows because they couldn't find enough support personnel (I think it was).





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