In October IBM purchased Red Hat, the company that does the Linux operating system, for $34 Billion. That's nice, but we make organ control systems, what's that got to do with us?

Linux is an open source operating system, which means anybody can down load any parts of Linux that they want, for free, and use it in their own computer systems. Many people also write 'modules' for Linux and make that code available for free as well. Linux is everywhere from automation, to big data, and self driving cars, in fact most of the major servers around the world use Linux, and not just because it is free, but because it is very good. Being everywhere means it is easier for two different devices to talk to each other, it's adaptable, you can use as much or as little as you need, depending on your situation, and there is a huge community of people who develop, teach, support, and build tools for Linux. Linux is also secure, because of the way it handles data, it makes it a lot less susceptible to virus than some other operating systems.

This is why we use Linux in our Maestro control system. it is a proven, stable platform, cost effective, and adaptable. When we were first looking to design a new control system, one of the parameters we had was it's life expectancy. Our Legacy system has been around for over 20 years, yes there have been updates and changes to the hardware and software over that time, but fundamentally it is still the same, we have simply been improving on what we already had. Linux gives us the same longevity, it's going to be around for a long time. It's adaptability means when hardware changes, which happens a lot in technology, we can adapt our software to fit the new hardware. In fact, we have already done this; the computer processor which we are shipping today, isn't the one we originally had in the gray box. When the old computer wasn't available anymore, we were able to select a new board 'off the shelf' and keep going, and when this board becomes obsolete, we will be able to adapt again.

Cathy

2018-11-29

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