From: Andy Ferguson (ilug at domain moil.demon.co.uk)
Date: Wed 25 Aug 1999 - 01:51:35 IST
On Tue, 24 Aug 1999, Niall O Broin wrote:
> > 3. can linux talk to the BBC network?
> as a gateway. But I'd have to ask - why would you do it ? I had and loved a BBC
Hmmm, there's a question and I'm struggling for a sensible answer;
The original purpose of the BBC network was as data collection nodes
in a large lab usually for simple graphical massaging. However, with
the attached Unilab devices as input sensors or output controllers
there may be more potential.
Perhaps more pertinent is whether there is any sense in installing
the network at all (I have a year to decide as we build a new lab
block). Or where can we draw the line when scrap kit really becomes scrap
kit? This particular kit was replaced with £20,000 of PCs and some
custom-built electronics giving not much better results but with
prettier graphics which begs the question as to why it was scrapped
in the first place.
As for the GITS project, can linux be used to extend the lifetime of
such kit and is it really worth doing? This may lead to a curious
and none too pleasant conclusion - the alternative to buying new kit
is to use the manpower and human expertise of a local LUG. This
seems to suggest that technical expertise is effectively of minimal
or zero value - a bizarre reversal of man vs machine roles.
For any GITS like project to really work employing linux to
bolster old kit, the solution must be almost totally
self-maintaining or trivial to manage and install; it would require
some very clearly defined and rudimentary steps and a neat bundle of
tried and tested software tools/apps.
When was the last time you saw anything on linux which comes close
to this? Even now Linux means the beginning of a steep learning
curve which never seems to stop. Even upgrading from Suse 6.0 to 6.1
was agonisingly non-trivial and I can claim experience going back to
0 series kernels.
I think the key to a successful GITS will be to freeze all software
versions at a convenient point and keep it there for some time,
possibly until it becomes obsolete ;)
Sysop MOIL BBS +44-1247-273357
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