[rescue] Windows in the DoD

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Sat May 1 13:31:20 CDT 2004

Moving to geeks...

Fri, 30 Apr 2004 @ 16:48 -0400, ssandau at gwi.net said:

> The Navy has experimented with *ships* running Windows for navigation
> (I think). Now *that's* scary. There was one example of a ship
> controlled like that being dead in the water for hours.

The ship in question used to sit right outside the windows in my office
at Bank of America. 

USS Yorktown.  We watched them tow it back to port a couple of times.

Here == Norfolk, VA BTW.  I was working downtown when the incidents

> Right. Can't fire misslies until we *reboot* the guidance system...

Well, no, not that bad.

> Blue screen of death could really be the blue screen of <whistling 
> sound, large explosion> death...

The issues with the Yorktown are just the tip of the iceberg.

Windows is heavily into the whole bureacratic structure now.  They
keep saying it isn't in critical systems, but I wonder if they fully
understand how various systems interact with one another, especially in
a hot war.

Another example of a current/future problem is documentation.  As part
of a 'paper saving' initiative, a lot of documentation for warfighting
equipment is in PDF form only.  Worse, it is often an image scan instead
of a real PDF, and they almost never produce usable ascii versions.

Imagine lying in noxious fumes in a stricken submarine, in the dark,
trying to read a 14 inch laptop display of a scanned in manual for the
system you are repairing, while the enemy is trying to finish you off.

So what does everyone do?  Yep, they print out the manuals at N times
the cost of a published manual, and usually 3 times the size.

If the military wanted to save paper, why didn't they move to an
on-demand publishing system, and only print the copies they need?

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["The strength of the Constitution lies
entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it.  Only if every
single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the
constitutional rights secure." -- Albert Einstein]

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