Author Topic: Equipment running Windoze?  (Read 22154 times)

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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2013, 07:55:10 pm »
The 2xxx 3xxx and 4xxx run Windows CE. so does the 335xx series of function generators. so does many other an agilent instrument that has a full color lcd graphical interface with 320x240 or more...

This is what I needed to know, thank you. 

Agilent is out, my search continues.

Offline lewis

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2013, 07:58:33 pm »
The 2xxx 3xxx and 4xxx run Windows CE. so does the 335xx series of function generators. so does many other an agilent instrument that has a full color lcd graphical interface with 320x240 or more...

This is what I needed to know, thank you. 

Agilent is out, my search continues.

Just out of curiosity, why the beef with Microsoft?
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2013, 08:12:24 pm »
The 2xxx 3xxx and 4xxx run Windows CE. so does the 335xx series of function generators. so does many other an agilent instrument that has a full color lcd graphical interface with 320x240 or more...

This is what I needed to know, thank you. 

Agilent is out, my search continues.

i don't get that attitude. you never get in contact with the OS. you don't even see it ! at startup no microsoft logo is shown and the icons or UI doesn't look like microsoft.
if nobody would have told you you would have been none the wiser. i got many agilent machines 54831 54832 33521 54845 54825 . they all run windows. my oldest beast the 54845 runs windows 95 on a PIII-150... it boots in under 20 seconds and never ever bluescreens or freezes. the thing is 15 years old. it just works.
Keep in mind that these are 'sealed' installs of windows. this is not your home version. these machines boot from a clean state. you cannot alter that system image unless you reformat the drive and install a new image coming from agilent. Same principle as deep-freeze uses. the older agilent scopes use ghost for that.
at powerup the critical system area is overwritten from the known good install. it can be completely fubar because of user stupidity. ( like people installing games or other crap that has no function on a scope ) . powercycle : system is back to factory.

i had a rep coming to show me a 4xxx series scope. He was bleating on about how good this was because it was running linux and not windows. And how all the agilent machines were running linux and were so stable, fast and crash free. i turned the machine around and pointed to the little label that said Microsoft Windows CE... and had a good laugh. -BUSTED-

anyway, good luck with the search. all you will find are the crappy machines.
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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2013, 08:12:41 pm »
Just out of curiosity, why the beef with Microsoft?

Brief response in Post #22.  Saying anymore would begin the MS vs Others debate, we might as well argue which religion is best at that point :D

Offline c4757p

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2013, 08:16:37 pm »
There are only two possibilities that I can think of for your reason for avoiding MS here.

1) You have a moral objection to them. In this case, it's silly because they are not going to be missing the $5-$10 they are getting as a result of you purchasing a Windows CE device. A one-man boycott does nothing.

2) You dislike using Windows. In this case, it's silly because you never see the Windows interface on these things.

Put simply, I think you're being silly.
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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2013, 08:17:09 pm »
i don't get that attitude.

Because buying it would send money to MS, for the CE license, which I will only do if no other option is available.

Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2013, 08:19:24 pm »

1) You have a moral objection to them. In this case, it's silly because they are not going to be missing the $5-$10 they are getting as a result of you purchasing a Windows CE device. A one-man boycott does nothing.

Put simply, I think you're being silly.

There is nothing silly about conviction.  Many people lack such these days.

Offline free_electron

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2013, 09:29:42 pm »
i don't get that attitude.

Because buying it would send money to MS, for the CE license, which I will only do if no other option is available.
you are also sending money to MS every time you fuel up. most petrol pumps, atm machines and other stuff run windows....
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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2013, 09:42:32 pm »
you are also sending money to MS every time you fuel up. most petrol pumps, atm machines and other stuff run windows....

I have yet to purchase a petrol pump or ATM machine.  But rest assured when I do I'll research what OS it is based on.

Offline free_electron

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2013, 09:53:15 pm »
Using that pump required someone buying it. they bought it with the profit made from the fuel you are buying. so indirectly you send money to microsoft....

this is like that 7 degrees game. even if you buy a linux based machine you may be sending money to microsoft. some linux makers have bought licences from microsoft ...

Don;t block yourself from having the best possible scope just because 2 $ may go to microsoft. you are shortchanging yourself.
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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2013, 10:11:40 pm »
If there is any truth to this I should be able to find what I need:

http://www.effectivebits.net/2011/08/to-run-windows-or-not-to-run-windows.html


Offline Someone

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2013, 11:05:32 pm »
Rigol has a rather large booth at the Dayton Ham fest coming up soon in May, I plan to drill their sales guys on what equipment runs what, hopefully they have some knowledge on the base OS.

I've read through much of the supporting documentation on the Rigol, no mention of the OS.  However my bet is the Agilent does run CE, bummer...

The supporting software is a very valid concern.  In the past I've had good luck with Wine, but only on the instruments with serial output, which includes pieces with FTDI based USB, which is very well supported under Linux.

Thanks again
We pushed the Rigol engineer who demoed a prerelease 4000 series to us, they said it ran linux but we got no further details beyond that.

For some applications you do care what the OS source is, for instance how often do you think patches would be pushed out to an embedded open source OS that contains a dozen or more independent open source projects? Is the manufacturer of the device really going to spend the time testing the patches and resolving compatibility problems with them or will they just leave it as is because it works? Having a single source supplier for the OS can take a lot of ongoing support off the manufacturer, just look at the new wave of companies packaging linux into an embeddable format and then licensing it to OEMs.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 11:07:41 pm by Someone »
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2013, 11:11:30 pm »
they said it ran linux but we got no further details beyond that.

which is like saying it runs on petrol....  whether texaco ,esso, bp, q8, shell , valeo , chevron is an unknown ...

But the point is : it's a car. it is supposed to take you from point  a TO B ... do you care whether esso or bp gets your money ?
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2013, 11:18:59 pm »
We pushed the Rigol engineer who demoed a prerelease 4000 series to us, they said it ran linux but we got no further details beyond that.

The DS4000 oscilloscopes? Pretty sure I saw a teardown of one of them and it used a Blackfin DSP just like the other Rigol scopes. Seems that "Linux" (heavily modified) can run on them, but it looks like one of those little pet hacking projects that doesn't go anywhere. I'd be surprised if Rigol is running Linux on little DSPs.
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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2013, 11:42:39 pm »
Agreed that Rigol isn't quite what Tek/HP/Ag is in terms of quality, they appear good enough.  The 4000 series is well within my price range, it doesn't have to run Linux, just can't run Windows.

I'm going to wait until after the Dayton Ham fest in May to make my decision.  I've got several emails out to various manufactures, if they reply I'll post it here.

Thanks

Offline nctnico

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2013, 02:07:23 am »
IMHO trying to avoid regular Windows on test equipment does make sense. Windows needs lots of updates for it to be safe to connect to a network or worse access the internet. And then there is the problem that Windows gets slower and slower and slower over time. Maybe Microsoft does that on purpose so their new Windows seems to be faster. Also the standard PC motherboards just add a lot of complexity and quality issues you could do without. Intel desktop boards are just a bit above consumer grade. OTOH being able to print to a network printer and exchange files over a network does make life a lot easier but that doesn't really need Windows. My previous logic analyser ran some 68k Unix flavor. It had no problem printing to my network printer and file transfer was easy enough through FTP.
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2013, 02:12:22 am »
IMHO trying to avoid regular Windows on test equipment does make sense. Windows needs lots of updates for it to be safe to connect to a network or worse access the internet.

They update it because they care about safety, not because it's unsafe. Same with Linux. And if they use some custom network stack implemented by God knows who, then there's no reason to suspect it will be safe.

Quote
And then there is the problem that Windows gets slower and slower and slower over time.

Sure, if you install piles of crap on it. The Windows CE system on an oscilloscope will not do that.

Quote
Also the standard PC motherboards just add a lot of complexity and quality issues you could do without. Intel desktop boards are just a bit above consumer grade.

Windows CE is an embedded system, and many of the things I've seen running full desktop Windows used a custom board.
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2013, 03:03:44 am »
I looked at getting a Tektronix MSO5000 series scope before opting for Agilent, and that runs Windows 7. As in the complete Windows 7 with a start menu and internet explorer and minesweeper and everything. The scope had a mini mATX PC inside with Intel Core i-something processor and removable 2.5" hard drive. It was pretty cool being able to surf the web on your scope, but the big thing that put me off it was the inclusion in the box of a CD with "Windows 7 Recovery Disk" loudly printed on the sleeve. Call me old fashioned, but if a £20000 scope needs it's OS recovering, ever, then I'll give it a miss.

Maybe you should have considered that the main reason why recovery disks are included are not because Windows needs to be reinstalled every 6 months (which was a silly myth even in Win95 days), but because these scopes contain hard drives or these days SSDs which do have a very finite life time, and it's a nice thing when a commodity part breaks down (which can replaced for cheap) that you don't need to call the scope manufacturer's support to reload the software (for a notable fee of course) because your only copy of the scope software was on the dead hard drive.

I think half the problem with Windows isn't the OS itself in its pure form,as you would install if you were a PC builder,but with the
"crippled" OEM versions which substitute silly,clunky, "HP" or "E- Machines",or whatever alternatives to many of the Windows inbuilt features.
As these don't have much relationship to the MS versions,most of the available information is useless.
I particularly hate it,when they don't give you "administrator " status.

Our desktop is an "E-Machines" (OK-El Cheapo) device,which "crashed " repeatedly.---no OS software disc provided,of course!
Eventually,in desperation,I forked out for a  MS  Windows 7 disc,& did a clean re-installation.
The beast hasn't missed a beat since!


 
 

Offline gregariz

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2013, 03:52:46 am »
You can't even post this thread without violating your spirit there, since the computer/laptop/tablet you're using is made in China.  :-DD

Moving to Montanan, new life as a barren hermit.  :D

In all honesty, m$ has screwed me 100000000000x over what any device made in China has.

I very much doubt that. You'll probably end up in Montana as a uni-bomber style destitute hobo who may get some part time work at McDonalds to support your Chinese made Oreo habit. The reality is that you'll end up there because every time you buy a rigol you are contributing to the exodus of any type of mildly interesting job to China. At least Microsoft keeps a very large workforce next door in Washington. Nobody jumped off a building in Shenzen to bring you Windows 8.
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2013, 04:44:12 am »
Gidday dr,
Can't offer much help, but I support you 100% on your choice. I've had 40 yrs of the same ol' lame arguments over a
number of issues. The way I see it is - butt-plugs will also remain so :-). And as you say, no point in explaining your
opinion, nor do you need to justify it.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2013, 09:03:33 am »
Embedded OS is almost always never going to be upgraded or patched, so it will not matter what company did it, MS or Unix, linux or BSD. It will be treated like a light bulb, put in, turned on and then ignored until it dies. I have seen many ATM machines where the application has crashed and has left a desktop, showing vanilla XP no service packs and no updates since installation. Seen the same with some running OS/2 Warp, but those generally were BSOD with a kernel panic from a hard memory error. The BSD ones just would reboot, and carry on without a murmer until they died stuck in an endless reboot loop.

Generally it makes no difference in the software, junk written software is still junk, no matter how you get it, and almost always it will be buggy.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2013, 01:08:32 pm »
IMHO trying to avoid regular Windows on test equipment does make sense. Windows needs lots of updates for it to be safe to connect to a network or worse access the internet.

They update it because they care about safety, not because it's unsafe. Same with Linux. And if they use some custom network stack implemented by God knows who, then there's no reason to suspect it will be safe.
The problem is that a Windows update sometimes breaks stuff. A sudden power down may also cause problems due to problems in the registry which can produce any number of unfixable weird quirks.
Quote

Quote
And then there is the problem that Windows gets slower and slower and slower over time.

Sure, if you install piles of crap on it.
It does that by itself. Windows tries to optimise the system by preloading as much software in the memory and push everything into the swap drive. So even if you put lots of memory in a Windows system it will be slow and gradually get slower.
Quote

Quote
Also the standard PC motherboards just add a lot of complexity and quality issues you could do without. Intel desktop boards are just a bit above consumer grade.

Windows CE is an embedded system, and many of the things I've seen running full desktop Windows used a custom board.
Windows CE isn't Windows. The only resemblance is the name. And try designing a stable board which uses a modern day Intel processor. That is a hard task!
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Offline M. András

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2013, 02:33:21 pm »
a desktop windows just loves to make copies of stuffs store them in the temp folder and god knows what else it stores on those tmp files which grows every restart or shutdown event, mostly deleting those shits solves some speed isues, BUT if the scope boots up from an image which cannot be rewritten by the software, it will always be the same state when you first powered it up no matter what. i guess its running from ram too which when the power goes out its content will be gone. so i dont get that anti "windows" on a test equipment, if its just takes care of the user i/o stuffs not the actual measurements.
 

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2013, 02:46:39 pm »
This is what makes desktop Windows a bad idea for test equipment:
We strongly advise that all oscilloscopes be fully-equipped with antivirus software and updated definitions before any and every network connection is made. Agilent lists the ability to install virus scanners as an advantage of the Infinium 90k scope.

I have better things to do than worry about virus scanners and security updates every time I transfer a captured signal to my computer. The problem is not so much the Windows kernel, but the fact that they ship all of the complexity of a desktop computer and software. The vulnerabilities that require security updates are not so much in the core OS components, but in Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and other components that I don't need on a scope. A stripped down Linux, Windows CE or whatever other embedded OS will be much less vulnerable. Not because they are inherently more secure, but because they don't come shipped with a web browser and other crap.

Apparently Lecroy is now even making money by shipping crapware (trial versions of virus scanners) preinstalled on Windows scopes, just like HP and Dell do on desktop and laptop computers.
 

Offline lewis

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2013, 03:30:02 pm »
This is what makes desktop Windows a bad idea for test equipment:
We strongly advise that all oscilloscopes be fully-equipped with antivirus software and updated definitions before any and every network connection is made. Agilent lists the ability to install virus scanners as an advantage of the Infinium 90k scope.

I have better things to do than worry about virus scanners and security updates every time I transfer a captured signal to my computer. The problem is not so much the Windows kernel, but the fact that they ship all of the complexity of a desktop computer and software. The vulnerabilities that require security updates are not so much in the core OS components, but in Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and other components that I don't need on a scope. A stripped down Linux, Windows CE or whatever other embedded OS will be much less vulnerable. Not because they are inherently more secure, but because they don't come shipped with a web browser and other crap.

Apparently Lecroy is now even making money by shipping crapware (trial versions of virus scanners) preinstalled on Windows scopes, just like HP and Dell do on desktop and laptop computers.

This is the point I was trying to make in post #7 on page 1. But after shouting to myself "why the effing hell would anyone want bloody Windows 7 in their bloody oscilloscope?", I came across this link from another thread. http://www.effectivebits.net/2011/08/to-run-windows-or-not-to-run-windows.html which justifies it quite well if you're doing all sorts of waveform analysis stuff.

Edit - shit, it was this thread. Sorry for double post.  :palm:
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