We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Speakers Corner


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

NASA dumps Windows.


LastChip
Resolved

Likes # 0

NASA are taking the bold step of replacing laptops on the International Space Station with Linux based machines - Debian, a long favourite of mine.

To quote: "We migrated key functions from Windows to Linux because we needed an operating system that was stable and reliable — one that would give us in-house control. So if we needed to patch, adjust, or adapt, we could."

The full report can be found here

What I find really interesting here, is not so much the replacement is happening (although that in itself is significant), but that it took NASA scientists (some of the best brains in the world) so long to understand just how powerful the system is.

Perhaps I'm ahead of my time ;-)

Like this post
Forum Editor

Likes # 0

"....it took NASA scientists (some of the best brains in the world) so long to understand just how powerful the system is."

It's not a question of 'dumping Windows' or of power - there will still be lots of Windows machines at NASA, and the routines that run on the space station itself are fairly low-tech in computing terms. Neither is it a totally new direction as far as the Space Station is concerned. Linux has been running on it since the day it was launched

The switch to Debian 6 is specifically so that the space station laptops can run an open-source operating system which NASA can adapt at will to suit the needs of the various scientific experiments that are conducted. These change at intervals, and NASA obviously can't start tinkering with the Windows code. Debian is known to be extremely reliable, and it will allow them to tweak and patch as they see fit, secure in the knowledge that if they break anything they can just start again.

Seems like a sensible approach to me.

Like this post
fourm member

Likes # 0

So, when I thought 'How are they going to take those super pictures of earth?' I'd misunderstood the title of the thread?

Like this post
Forum Editor

Likes # 0

It's an understandable mistake.

Like this post
spuds

Likes # 0

Well off subject, but I recall NASA sending out a world-wide plea for floppy disks to keep certain systems working. Nasa even offered to buy these, as their usual sources had dried up ;o)

Like this post  
natdoor

Likes # 0

"It's an understandable mistake".

Not when Windows starts with a capital letter!

Like this post
Aitchbee

Likes # 0

A simple [human] computer error [goof] crept into this NASA Mars Exploration Spacecraft back in 1999.

http://www.cse.lehigh.edu/~gtan/bug/localCopies/marsOrbiter

Accidents will [always] happen.

Like this post
interzone55

Likes # 0

I doubt NASA were unaware of the "power" of Linux, as they run some of the biggest super computers in the world, which generally run on Linux of one kind or another

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

OnePlus Two release date rumours: Something's happening on 22 July

IDG UK Sites

13in MacBook Air review, Apple's MacBook Air 2014 reviewed

IDG UK Sites

5 reasons to buy an electric car and 5 reasons not to

IDG UK Sites

Evernote Skitch: the best way for creatives to doodle feedback