Author Topic: Equipment running Windoze?  (Read 22170 times)

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Offline deisenberg

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #75 on: April 01, 2013, 07:54:34 pm »
I am on the OP's side when it comes to MS, I do my best not to spend a dime on them for my company and myself. That said it has it's place and it will always be around.

Personally I've run into the Windows issue with a tektronics tla622 logic analyzer. It runs windows 2000 pro on a proprietary motherboard. Great machine, but if windows crashes/hdd dies I am SOL as I've tried to reinstall Windows 2000 pro on another drive for a clean system, no go only half the system works. The motherboard is a nightmare, if it dies the system is pretty much done.. The truth is that it's not a windows issue in the end it's a design flaw, the system was not designed to last 5 years. The same would be true for Linux depending on if the company open source'd their drivers or had a wrapper for them.

So what's my point? Consider what you're buying and how long you expect it to last, regardless of the OS. This is a real investment that in the end you can't change the OS, drivers or anything if the company goes out of business or decides not to support the unit any more. This is one case I would strongly encourage you not to put conviction in front of. I am pro Rigol, I have a few of their units, scope, wave generator, and a dm3068 coming. I went with Rigol, because this is a hobby and the Agilent units are top quality, the price is just not justifiable. Go with what works.

 

Offline Hydrawerk

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #76 on: April 01, 2013, 07:57:46 pm »
And here some scopes all produced by Siglent. Please see the completely identical front panel layout. The plastic case is only a bit different.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 07:59:56 pm by Hydrawerk »
Amazing machines. https://www.youtube.com/user/denha (It is not me...)
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #77 on: April 01, 2013, 08:01:44 pm »
I prefer open source software in the same way you prefer schematics to the tools on your bench. It allows you to fix it when/if it breaks. You can understand what a tool is good for, simply because the schematic / source shows that it was intended for a particular purpose.

Yes, and i understand that. But , Agilent is making a machine... the hardware is the brunt of the engineering and where the cost is. The software algorithms are money makers ...

The underpinning operating system is a 'necessary evil' as in: not having to spend time writing one... prepackaged windows is easy. buy licence , launch setup.exe ... done.
linux? not so ...  what are you going to install ? red hat ? gentoo ? ubuntu ?

These machines are going to do LXI for remote control , or lan connectivity with shared folders to transfer data and waveforms.. this means it has to be plugged on a corporate network.... good luck going to IT and getting your linux box on the network.. especially if one machine runs ubuntu , another red hat ... you will get a swift NO as an answer. corporate IT are generally big blobs of jello... push em and they wiggle a bit but in the end nothing happens.

all this interoperability requirements would require testing and maintenance.... they simply don;t want to deal with it.

Quote
You pick a kernel version that you like and a userland that fits. Open Embedded, for instance, has a buildchain that makes it possible to quickly setup a taylored distro. Networking and usb require little userland support, file exchange a bit more. Display drivers depend on how standard the hardware is.

again , this may be fine for you. for an instrument maker it isn't. Can you imagine a test setup with a signal generator having ubuntu , a scope running red hat and a logic analyser with kde. That is another problem with linux distro's they all look different as the windowing system uses different icons graphics. on windows : not so.

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You are right that going this route means more software selection, manual configuration and maybe even custom programming. If that is not your cup of tea, so be it. Don't dismiss it for all of us though...  ^-^. You can get a tight ship with little or no superfluous code and no license money that needs to change hands at the end.

i'm not dismissing it for anyone. i'm simply saying that , as an equipment manufacturer all that stuff is extra work that does not help my time to market and costs me money. all that stuff or, paying 5$ to microsoft ? ... the decision is easy ... 5$ it is.
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #78 on: April 01, 2013, 08:09:30 pm »
Reply from Agilent.

The DSO6000s and DSO1000s do not run any version of Windows.    :-+

Now that all the major players have chimed in, it's decision time...

Offline nctnico

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #79 on: April 01, 2013, 08:51:06 pm »
I prefer open source software in the same way you prefer schematics to the tools on your bench. It allows you to fix it when/if it breaks. You can understand what a tool is good for, simply because the schematic / source shows that it was intended for a particular purpose.

Yes, and i understand that. But , Agilent is making a machine... the hardware is the brunt of the engineering and where the cost is. The software algorithms are money makers ...

The underpinning operating system is a 'necessary evil' as in: not having to spend time writing one... prepackaged windows is easy. buy licence , launch setup.exe ... done.
linux? not so ...  what are you going to install ? red hat ? gentoo ? ubuntu ?
You really have no clue about Linux do you... If you put Linux on a piece of equipment you roll your own using Openembedded or Buildroot. The look of the GUI is a simple matter of putting a GTK theme together (thats just a text based config file). Been there, done that. To the IT department its just another black box connected to the network. They don't even need to know it runs Linux.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 08:52:41 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

alm

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #80 on: April 01, 2013, 09:32:19 pm »
These machines are going to do LXI for remote control , or lan connectivity with shared folders to transfer data and waveforms.. this means it has to be plugged on a corporate network.... good luck going to IT and getting your linux box on the network.. especially if one machine runs ubuntu , another red hat ... you will get a swift NO as an answer. corporate IT are generally big blobs of jello... push em and they wiggle a bit but in the end nothing happens.
I disagree. Any embedded Linux/WinCE/VxWorks/etc box is likely to be treated as a black box by IT. They might restrict it to a measurement subnet, but in general they will just register its MAC/port and assign it an IP and be done with it. If you tell them the box runs a desktop Windows version, they will insist you install the corporate security and management software, and apply the standard security policy. It's especially fun if you tell them it runs a no longer supported version of Windows, or does not receive the security updates mandated by the security policy. Connecting a similar vintage box that runs some unnamed embedded OS is much easier.
 

Offline madshaman

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #81 on: April 01, 2013, 09:44:27 pm »
The thing with UNIX is that people think it's rock-solid.

I'll only comment quickly, most solid OSs, qnx, windows, macosx, NetBSD and friend, Linux etc. *are* rock solid.  Most system instability comes from driver failures or user programs (the desktop UI/chrome I include in this) choking up resources.  Occasionally it's open source software linking against a standard library, high or low level, where the implementation on the host OS is buggy or doesn't truly conform to its contract.

PS: I'm not one for Linux or Windows or BSD or OSX or ... I believe all OS has their respective uses,
and blaming a certain type for problems are childish and stupid. Nowadays most operating system reached
the maturity needed for widespread use on different architectures. So now it only boils down to personal preferences
which i think should be accepted and respected[/i]

I share this view, the right tool for the right job.  My lab machine (my only currently active windows machine) runs windows 8 because so much electronics-related software is windows-only.  To supplement this I run NetBSD in a VM on the same machine to take advantage of all the unix and x-based open source software.

All my other machines are Macs, I enjoy the UI experience and having a BSD unix at the terminal is a big win, so is being able to run remote x applications without hassle.  My windows gaming machine is only out of use because my main iMac runs all the games I play just fine (mostly sc2 ^^), but a windows machine is the way to go for gaming, no doubt.

I also have a number of VPSs which all run Linux distributions.  This is because I'm more comfortable configuring and installing reliable server software (web/mail/svn/random things like a mumble server) in a unix environment.  I'd choose NetBSD instead (but few providers support this) because I like it better as a unix, it's more vanilla in its configuration and I can jump into /etc and edit a file knowing exactly what the result will be.  That's only personal preference, if one finds administrating Linux easier, that would be the right choice.
To be responsible, but never to let fear stop the imagination.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #82 on: April 01, 2013, 11:07:58 pm »
Personally I've run into the Windows issue with a tektronics tla622 logic analyzer. It runs windows 2000 pro on a proprietary motherboard. Great machine, but if windows crashes/hdd dies I am SOL as I've tried to reinstall Windows 2000 pro on another drive for a clean system, no go only half the system works. The motherboard is a nightmare, if it dies the system is pretty much done.. The truth is that it's not a windows issue in the end it's a design flaw, the system was not designed to last
A side note: moving a harddrive from one PC to another with WIndows is not going to work unless the motherboard is approximately the same. Your problem is not the hardware itself but the approach. If you manage to connect a CD-ROM drive to the logic analyser you can install from there. I had the same issue with a TLA704 logic analyser and I managed to install Win2k on it. The drivers for the VXI bridge come with the logic analyser software you can download from Tektronix.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Bryce

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #83 on: April 02, 2013, 12:05:24 am »
The underpinning operating system is a 'necessary evil' as in: not having to spend time writing one... prepackaged windows is easy. buy licence , launch setup.exe ... done.
linux? not so ...  what are you going to install ? red hat ? gentoo ? ubuntu ?

Any of the above - you'll be no worse off than Windows. Or, if you know something about Linux, you pick one specialized for embedded stuff, and are better off in many cases.

especially if one machine runs ubuntu , another red hat ... you will get a swift NO as an answer.

Maybe if you're the one guy with an oscilloscope in a corporation of five hundred bean counters... test and measurement is, as has been alluded to, a hodgepodge of embedded OSes, Unixes, and Windows versions last supported in the previous century. Any organization with a substantial number of sophisticated instruments will surely be able to deal with this situation, maybe even intelligently.

all this interoperability requirements would require testing and maintenance.... they simply don;t want to deal with it.

In my experience, UNIX-based stuff tends to be standards-based and pretty easily interoperable. Modern Windows isn't bad either, of course; this is an era of standards, but  robust support for standard networking protocols is a traditional UNIX strength. It's really all about standards, regardless of OS: My somewhat elderly DOS-based HP 16500C from the early nineties can talk to my 2011 Mac and my 2009 Ubuntu-based laptop. (The latter via X11 even! Haven't got that to work on the Mac yet, but it can do telnet and FTP just fine.)

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again , this may be fine for you. for an instrument maker it isn't. Can you imagine a test setup with a signal generator having ubuntu , a scope running red hat and a logic analyser with kde. That is another problem with linux distro's they all look different as the windowing system uses different icons graphics. on windows : not so.

I'm sorry, but this is just nonsensical on several levels. KDE is a desktop environment, generally contrasted with GNOME; Ubuntu and Red Hat are Linux distributions.

You're going to end up staring at one application interface most of the time, designed by the instrument maker. It's that interface that is going to affect my judgement of the machine, not what the dialog box looks like when I go to save data to a USB stick or whatever. Let's face it, for the kind of simple stuff you do on a computerized instrument, GUIs of Windows and Linux all work pretty much the same way. It strains credulity to imagine that someone able to operate an oscilloscope or logic analyzer will be baffled if the 'Save' button is a different color from what they are used to on their PC!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 12:08:21 am by Bryce »
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #84 on: May 19, 2013, 12:30:05 am »
Just got back from the Dayton Hamvention, as usual a great show!

Anyhow, DSA-815-TG is now in-hand.  I passed on the DS4024 considering newer models are in the pipe with an ETA of ~2-months.

Note, about all the Rigol reps knew of/who Dave Jones!  All positive remarks (spent 30 minutes talking), after our conversation, Dave look for one of their new power supplies in the near future.

Online EEVblog

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #85 on: June 22, 2013, 01:51:13 pm »
As for Windows on oscilloscopes, the Tektronix DPO/MSO5000 and up does run Windows.  These products used to ship with a recovery CD, but now the drives ship with a recovery partition and Acronis to make the scope "like new".  Why?  Because there is extensive interaction between Windows and the acquisition hardware.  Many people install third party apps with no issue, but sometimes one of them messes up the scope application.

High end scopes like the Tek's and Agilent use full blown windows for the reasons mentioned.
But it's more than that. These high end expensive scopes are more than just a scope, they are measurement and analysis systems that have orders of magnitude more complex analysis software than a regular general purpose scope.
It is common for both the company and the user to write custom software for individual applications and run that on the scope, tied into the hardware and acquisition system.
Need a scope that can measure and analyse your 20GBbps custom serial interface in a production testing environment?
No scope on the market will do it with the built in tools, you have to write your own and run it, in real time on the scope.
These are not mainstream everyday use tools, they are high end non-mainstream tools designed to be extensively customised. So it makes perfect sense to run full blown windows on them for that reason alone.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Equipment running Windoze?
« Reply #86 on: June 22, 2013, 01:52:41 pm »
Reply from Agilent.
The DSO6000s and DSO1000s do not run any version of Windows.    :-+

The Agilent DSO1000 is not an Agilent product, it's a rebadged Rigol.
 


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