viernes, 29 de marzo de 2013

The World IS Changing...Ask Robots

Today, I read how the United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor, started a migration from Windows to Linux here.  The article includes this interesting comment by Keith Chuvala:

"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.”

This makes one wonder why they did not opt by the "great" security of Windows 8.

But more than that, I wonder why it is easier for space specialists to migrate key operations to Linux than it is for my colleagues at the university to type documents in an office suite other than Microsoft Office.  Shouldn't it be the other way around?  You know, the United Space Alliance is migrating key operations as in "if this crashes, the space station crashes" or, better yet, "if this fails, the shuttle goes to the Sun instead of Mars".

However, I realized that not all is lost.  If professors aren't flexible to change, ironically, robots are: there will be a conference on robotics and several robotics workshops at my university (this sounds like science fiction in my country).  Remarkably, I read this:

"Para los talleres es importante llevar su computadora, preferiblemente con Ubuntu o Debian instalado." (It is important to bring your own computer to the workshops, preferably with Ubuntu or Debian installed).

What? Are they implying something there?

Well, R2, the first robonaut, runs on Linux according to the article on the United Space Alliance...  Maybe we are on the right track down here at the university where I work after all.

This reminds me of a comic strip I saw in 2009, when I migrated to Linux.  It's Tira ECOL #393: "Robotito con Windows (tm)".  You can see the original (in Spanish) here.

Translated from Tira ECOL #393
Note: Colgarse (lit. "to hang oneself up")= to crash :P

1 comentario:

  1. It is amazing to see that Linux is becoming more and more popular in mission-critical environments but some people still think that it is unreliable. The worst part is that in education, policy makers are still tied to Windows because they apparently think they know better while in reality they are the least technology-knowledgeable sector.


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