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Linux VEE

Question asked by VRFuser on Dec 14, 2001
Gentlemen,

I have to give the lawyer/company protection speech. I am an engineer, I
specify what I need and pray procurement does not hose it up, anything I say
can not be held against me, I will blatantly lie if my feet are held to the
fire, blah, blah, blah. This is also slapped together Friday after work to
give you something to chew on, it is not perfect.
With that out of the way, you can contact Phillip Stallcup, Agilent sales,
and ask about the Electromagnetics Lab at KSC. He could probably give
budget/spending history or other info on our lab, if you need it.

As for cost, we would prefer pricing comparable to the Windows licenses and
no .vxe charges. That said, the HP-UX prices would be acceptable to us and
if pressed we would probably pay for .vxe's, at least the 10 programs we
would have to port over from VEE/HP-UX to VEE/Linux.

We currently have 3 VEE/HP-UX licenses and could justifiably ask for 5
VEE/Linux licenses and pay to port the .vxe's we run on HP-UX now.

We have 15 3XX series machines, portable instrument controllers and remote
systems, running BASIC/UX or HP-UX 9.x that are now in the process of being
replaced. We have 8 B1xx machines running HP-UX 10.20. and at least one
725/100 running 10.20. These also will either need a new operating system
and the requisite software or have to be replaced en totale at some point
within ,I would guess, about 18 months.  

With the release of TAMS BASIC for Linux we are retiring the 300 series
machines for Intel based equipment. These are mission critical machines
which will run a stripped down kernel, TAMS BASIC/LX  and only the necessary
programs. We were attempting the same with HP BASIC for Windows on Win 95,
couple of years back, but that solution was unacceptable for security,
reliability reasons. Do you know how tempting it is for an operator stuck
for 4 to 12 hours in the middle of nowhere to load up a game on Windows?.
Win 2000, the newest addition to our mix, might do the trick. We have not
had time to work with it in depth at this point and it still leaves other
problems.
Linux also runs on 7xx, B1xx, and x86 based machines. While installation is
still not trivial for PA-RISC machines, it has been done, we are in the
process of freeing up a 725/100 to prctice on, and PA-RISC code is scheduled
to be mainstream in Debian's next release. Linux runs well on x86 based
machines.
If VEE is ported to Linux, we would be able to utilize most, if not all, of
our accumulated code, 10+ years of RMB and 5+ years of VEE, and a single OS
across multiple hardware platforms currently in use. We can change over the
OS and software a system at a time. Hardware becomes interchangeable;
upgraded only when needed with the most appropriate architecture for the
system in question.
If we went with, probably, Windows 2000, we would be forced to purchase
hardware and software up front, learn a new operating system, work out all
the software bugs in the lab, field everything en masse, and cross our
fingers. I dread the thought.  
I would have to say we are in a rather unique situation here in the lab and
Linux with a VEE port would provide us with an elegant solution to some
expensive, time consuming issues.

sincerely,
Carl 

Carl Boyette
Engineer/Scientist
Electromagnetic Effects
The Boeing Company
P.O. Box 21233 MC 721E-M123
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32815-0233
Telephone 321.861.8195
carl.b.boyette-iii@boeing.com

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