[TUHS] Windows roots and Unix influence (was Re: Happy birthday, Ken Thompson!)

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Tue Feb 6 00:31:37 AEST 2018

The unit, the MX20 is really nothing more than a supporting instrument.   It can bring up charts and other information but obviously there are backups.

Indeed, it has given me the (upside down) blue screen of death.   It’s also auto rebooted itself a few times for errors it caught (either watchdog timer or user-mode protection faults).

The thing is kind of memory starved I think and really involved weather radar downloads tend to crash the thing.


I’ve done some other stuff in planes, not related to flight systems.    We built up a couple of image systems and one situation monitor, and later video gear.  There’s rules for what goes in planes (at least for the military).   We used some real time Linux variants at times.


I did actually interview with GE right out of college to work on the 767 flight controls.    Now that is some scary bit of software.   There were two units, if one fails, the other takes over.   If both fails, it writes the error code into non-volatile memory so it can be retrieved from the wreckage.

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