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Linux Hits the Road

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the roadkill dept.

Linux Business 207

An anonymous reader writes "Vicroads does regular surveys of the roads in Victoria, Australia, to determine where they need to be patched or otherwise repaired. It used to be done in a vehicle travelling at 20 kph: slow, tedious, and hazardous to the traffic around it. Now, thanks to Linux, it's being done at speeds of 80 to 100 kph. The Melbourne Age has the details. Short version: the cost has fallen from $1.2 million Australian to $850,000. Not bad..."

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GNAA!! WOOT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663228)

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Re:GNAA!! WOOT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663262)

If I join the gnaa do I get a script that will get me FP?

Re:GNAA!! WOOT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663271)

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1st (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663230)

1st post

YOU FAIL IT TO THE GNAA! TROLLKORE FAILS TOO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663242)

First Post!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663231)

eat me slash dot!

YOU FAILED IT! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663253)

The GNAA pwnz your ASS!

RTOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663233)

Why aren't they using a RTOS?

Re:RTOS? (1)

femto (459605) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663272)

Because the application doesn't need a real time operating system. (As proven by the fact that it works, and doesn't use a RTOS)

Re:RTOS? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663318)

In NSW would they be using RTA-OS ? (for non-Aussies, RTA is the Roads and Traffic Authority)

Re:RTOS? (3, Interesting)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663337)

Why aren't they using a RTOS?

Cause they don't need one. The shutters are triggered every metre (or 20 metres) and it works just fine.

Forgive me for asking such a silly question but did you actually read the article?

Go figure (0, Flamebait)

f13nd (555737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663234)

Linux make something better?

unbelievable!

Re:Go figure (0, Troll)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663263)

Yeah, who would have thought that you could do something like this faster and cheaper with Linux. Perhaps NASA should take a lesson from Linux (e.g. it can be done faster, cheaper, and more reliably). ;)

Re:Go figure (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663305)

Yeah, who would have thought that you could do something like this faster and cheaper with Linux. Perhaps NASA should take a lesson from Linux (e.g. it can be done faster, cheaper, and more reliably). ;)
Except that... It's faster, better, and cheaper because of improved video processing software. The operating system is incidental at best if not irelevant.

Re:Go figure (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663378)

From the article:
"My experience with Windows is limited."

Were it not so, he would be able to join the rest of us in saying:
"My experience with Windows is limiting."

Before Linux hits the road... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663236)

Never mind about Linux hitting the road for a second, I have a real question.

When are you slashdot people going to fix the single white pixel appearing at the top of the page just below the banner ad? You have in your code something buggy, because you are generating an IFRAME tag of size 1x1 that has nothing in it.

Whats worse, you have totally failed to fix this, despite it running on your PRODUCTION server for weeks now. So much for open source software being more reliable. Sheesh.

Re:Before Linux hits the road... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663257)

It's called a web bug, something the editors have hypocritically been against while using them at the same time.

Re:Before Linux hits the road... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663268)

<iframe width=1 height=1 border=0 frameborder=0></iframe>

WTF is that?

Re:Before Linux hits the road... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663408)

It's some type of tracking thing. Write a script to extract the link you see (which is different from the one I see) and put it in every story as a comment. We'll all click on each other's links and that should fuck 'em ! No sneaking in goatse's.

hun (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663238)

hun

Linux is like a blonde. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663241)

It Hits the road, hitches a ride, five minutes later it's fucked.

Re:Linux is like a blonde. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663284)

Except unlike a blonde, once it starts fscking, it takes it a fucking hour to finish. Then it comes up for about an hour before spontaneously rebooting. Then you have to wait another five minutes to reboot and discover it needs to fsck again.

For added fun, if you do manage to shut it down properly before it runs out of memory, it fails to unmount the file systems so you have to fsck anyway. Windows ME was a better server than Linux.

Map makin'? (0, Offtopic)

serial frame (236591) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663244)

Let's map them potholes. 'nuff said.

Re:Map makin'? (1)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663290)

Let's map them potholes. 'nuff said.

Heh. I thought you said, "Let's map them open ports" with Linux! Silly me staying up late at night.

Re:Map makin'? (2, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663326)

The problem with mapping potholes is that they are always in development. Patches often are applied, but they brake things. Sound familiar?

Re:Map makin'? (1)

serial frame (236591) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663464)

I hate to reply to my own post, but I don't see why using this technology is not relevant to doing something such as, say, mapping those potholes. Why the offtopic moderation?

As a sibling post says, yeah, the map will not be accurate for more than two days, but hey. The map could be generated by the city yearly, perhaps to help manage funds for city works such as repairing the damned potholes.

I could probably do an hours worth of digressing here, but, bleh.

Where's the "open" source? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663254)

Hmm, the article stated the "technical" term for the "road ahead" is called "pavement". I did NOT know that until now. :p

So, this was designed with open source, so where in the living FUCK are the motherfucking open sores then!? I haven't been able to find them. These fuckers are code hoarders.

car video guidance (3, Interesting)

bryanthompson (627923) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663256)

I've been wanting to build a system that'd use cameras to find the lines on the road and keep my car between them. Now GPS would probably be an easier way to guide a car down the road, but i'd still like to see if it's possible, safe, and reliable.

Re:car video guidance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663304)

Remind me not to catch a lift home with you!

Re:car video guidance (4, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663311)

I have often dreamed of a system whereby I could have four missiles stored in the quarter panels of my car. They would be vertical launch tubes with caps painted the same color as the car, to be less conspicuous.

At the appropriate moment, I could press a steering-wheel mounted firing button to launch the missile. The missile would launch, locate the double yellow line in the middle of the road, and track it until it found the person blocking traffic. It would then break left till it circled around, slightly above traffic levels, do a pop-down maneuver, and lay into a slight up-angle as it strikes the driver's side rocker panel of the offending vehicle, knocking it off the road.

Unfortunately, I don't believe the kinetic energy imparted by a small missile of the 50 lbs variety can actually do that to a 2 ton SUV (it's a given that someone in an SUV is blocking traffic. Ok, maybe a minivan). But I can dream, can't I?

In the process of thinking about this, I realized a couple things that may be of interest to you. First, not all roads have the same kinds of painted lines. Some have shoulder marks. Some have buzz strips. Some have single yellow lines, and some have double. Some have single yellow lines with a dashed line on the other side (signifiying a passing lane). Assuring an optical sensor would be able to digest all these differing inputs would be challenging, to say the least.

Also, what happens when a road has a middle passing lane with double yellow lines, dashed on the inside? Those confuse human drivers, I can guarantee an optical sensor would not be happy with that.

What about turn lanes? NJ is famous for those stupid jug handles. Obviously a 'turn/go straight' decision would have to be made. But what happens when the primary road turns slightly at the point of the turn lane? Some interesting behavior of your automated system could result.

I also doubt that GPS has the resolution to actually handle driving down a road. The promised CPE is big enough that you could ram into a telephone pole at just about any time.

This is a really tough problem. I ultimately think that a passive response device along the lines of an RFID would be necessary to keep vehicles travelling in the correct direction. These would need to be installed along all road surfaces. For those which aren't equipped, we'd be stuck with the current method.

Re:car video guidance (1, Interesting)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663412)

Ever considered that a bike has several advantages over a car:

1) You'll get your daily exercise. It does not stress your joints so even if you're overweight you can start cycling straight away.
2) No more getting stuck in a traffic jam, breathing the fumes and sweating your ass off.
3) It's environmentally friendly.
4) It's inexpensive.

Re:car video guidance (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663446)

5) The constant pressure of the bike seat on your taint will eventually make you impotent, thus improving the quality of the gene pool.

Re:car video guidance (-1, Offtopic)

dhawton (691348) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663482)

You breathe more fumes riding a bike as the cars pass you than you do while inside a car thanks to air filters.

Re:car video guidance (1)

BigDish (636009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663313)

It's been done before, at least on highways. Years ago I've seen on TV this had been done by universities, so I'm sure it's still progressing today.

Re:car video guidance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663328)

First popular application : On your way to work (or to the grocery store) - one hand downloading pr0n, the other, well, you know.

Re:car video guidance (1)

Linux Freak (18608) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663355)

GPS-based navigation? Hell, my girlfriend bought a Car Navi for her car (here in Japan); the map software revision is less than a year old. Yet, roads are changed and added so often, that the map shows us driving in places where we really have no business being (like, in the middle of parks, empty lots, driving through large buildings, etc). Also, her car is rather large (station wagon), and some streets in Tokyo are incredibly narrow. Yet the Navi has on many occasion led us into really snaky narrow "streets" with 90 degree turns and no place to go -- resulting in white knuckle backing up from where we just came from. :p Perhaps if maps would generated in real time by satellites or something this might work, but as it stands I wouldn't feel very comfortable relying on GPS-based navigation. ;-)

Re:car video guidance (1)

onya (125844) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663360)

i've been wanting to build some sort of time travelling cyborg to assasinate my political rivals.

now winning an election would probably be easier, but i'd still like to see if it's possible and reliable. safety isn't really one of my primary concerns.

Re:car video guidance (1)

occamsarmyknife (673159) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663368)

Check out the NAVLAB 5 [cmu.edu] project, and other [cmu.edu] NAVLABS, there's some pretty impressive results although its hard to tell from the webpages.

Re:car video guidance (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663419)

You can't use GPS. It doesn't have the resolution to keep you between the lines. I played with some mapping software once, that always showed me running parallel to the roads. I believe the gov't still makes the civilian frequencies fuzzy intentionally. I did hear that they did make it better in the last couple years though.

I've been dreaming of a system like that for a while now. Just remember, lines may be obscured, poorly drawn (adding and removing lanes), unmarked roads.

Also, remember to put proximity sensors of some sort on. It's good to know your range and closing speed to objects ahead of you, plus range and closing speed of vehicles on your sides (cars changing lanes or coming at intersections).

You'll need a bit of visualization too, to spot for stop signs and red lights. California is great, it's the only state I've ever seen that has traffic lights (red-yellow-green light) on it's expressways.

Blindly following the lines, making sure you avoid other cars, and properly obeying traffic control devices, and you're driving better than most people on the road. :) I suppose obeying the speed limits would take a good bit of programming. :)

Volvo had the proximity part done on one of their prototypes (shown here on /. a while back), but it was just for collision avoidance. Too bad they were using Win95 machines in the trunk to manage it. They kept crashing (software, not vehicular).

They have this... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663466)

I cant remember what company, but some luxury manufacturer (caddy?) has a very new system that does this to a degree, i dont rememebr if it notices your drifting and just alerts you or corrects itself. Anyone have any more information on this, its late/early, i cant rememebr any specifics.
Ok, its BMW, 8th paragraph [automfg.com] .

You know it's late... (5, Funny)

kgarcia (93122) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663259)

Does it also map roadkill streaks?

Slashdot's 50 comment spillover is FUCKED. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663266)

Did slash get an upgrade in the past month or so? Because, if you set your preferences to Flat mode (any other mode sucks dick, so I always use flat), and if you get that Slashdot overload 50 comment limit, if you hit the 2nd page, 3rd page, etc. link you get the SAME cocksucking page as the 1st page. You have to move several pages beyond before the page change -- and then several articles are missing. I've seen the next page links go up to like 20 before. This is a new bug.

FIX IT, YOU STUPID FUCKERS!

Re:Slashdot's 50 comment spillover is FUCKED. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663278)

OFF-MOTHERFUCKING-TOPIC!? When a fucking gaping bug in Slash actually cocksucking PREVENTS people from reading the on-fucking-topic comments, then I would not motherfucking consider a heads-fucking-up about the cocksucking motherfucking bug to be very much off-fucking-topic, you god damned cocksucking motherfucking asslicking moder-fucking-ators!

Re:Slashdot's 50 comment spillover is FUCKED. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663400)

It happens in other modes two. Like the nested one I use. I think they started trying to make it keep each thread whole, so a tree rooted with an original reply wouldn't be broken. If you get a FP with more than 50 replies it all goes to hell. It should be fixed before GNAA or CLIT Army or whoever realizes this and starts doing it on purpose.

BFD (5, Funny)

hazman (642790) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663269)

Short version: the cost has fallen from $1.2 million Australian to $850,000. Not bad..."

So what. So they saved $36.83US. What's the big deal?

Re:BFD (1)

OzJimbob (129746) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663294)

http://www.x-rates.com/d/USD/AUD/graph120.png

How many $US a $AU has buying. Up up up. I think the US currency is the one that's in trouble ;)

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663335)

Short version: the cost has fallen from $1.2 million Australian to $850,000. Not bad..." So what. So they saved $36.83US. What's the big deal?

I've got $36.83US here that I'll swap ya for only 1 million AU! Bargain!!

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663371)

Let's see... 1.2mil (1,200,000) - 850,000 = 350,000, which according to hazman is worth $36.83US (9503.12 AUD/USD). So explain to me how one million AUD for $36.83US (27151.78 AUD/USD) would seem like a bargain to him =/

Re:BFD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663440)

So what. So they saved $36.83US. What's the big deal?

They saved $228,688 US dollars.

look up xe.com

best line (4, Funny)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663274)

It was expected that the solution would be one involving Windows and written in Visual Basic...I don't think that I would have undertaken a task like this, where a computer is on the road, using anything but a robust operating system.

hey steve, start booking that flight!!!

Multiple FireWire cameras under Linux? (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663281)

I'm amazed they got that to work. The FireWire hot-plugging support in Linux is a mess, doesn't handle the hard cases, and needs a complete redesign. Camera support is ugly, with a wierd interface between the application and the driver.

(I wrote FireWire camera support for QNX, and looked at the Linux code to see how to do some things. It didn't help much.)

(Windows support for FireWire is painful in a different way. It's incredibly complex, and has far too much kernel code, to allow for DRM. And the Video for Windows retrofit for FireWire is flakey.)

Re:Multiple FireWire cameras under Linux? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663349)

I'm amazed they got that to work. The FireWire hot-plugging support in Linux is a mess, doesn't handle the hard cases, and needs a complete redesign. Camera support is ugly, with a wierd interface between the application and the driver.

Just curious, when was this?

I'm not heavily involved with Linux firewire, but I've been tracking it vaguely, and I understand that they've actually got a proper solution for the hotplug thing that works against 2.5 (and presumably, now, 2.6).

Now, I'm not *using* 2.5 or newer, and haven't looked at this code myself, so I have no firsthand knowledge here... it's just something I think I recall seeing mentioned in the mailing list archives within the last few months.

Penguin (3, Funny)

olderchurch (242469) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663282)

I like the title of the pictures:
The penguin road patrol

But where will this technology go from here? (5, Interesting)

cvk (696855) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663289)

This high-speed video capture is definitely the way to go for a first step, but of course the situation will be hugely improved when all that data can be taken back to the lab an scanned for drivability by software instead of by human brainpower.

Perhaps when the sun is low shadows would be cast over potholes that would lead to lower temperatures inside the crater than on the surface of the road. That would make infrared cameras an obvious choice for picking out the cold-bottomed potholes.

Or perhaps a rear vehicle could shine a light at an acute angle to the ground that would turn potholes into shadowy pits for easy detection by a forward vehicle on the other side of the pothole?

So many possibilities. (So many challenges!)

A "bumpy" problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663331)

Why do all that? Think about the problem for a second (easier if you think this in 2D). A pothole is a deviation from a particular norm (level road).
Maybe a sonar transducer combined with a neural net (smooth out some of the variables, and increase accuracy) would have worked better. It would have also reduced the amount of data that needed storing.

Re:A "bumpy" problem. (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663432)


Like, take one of those depth-finder/fish-finder boxes, and watch for deviation.. Sounds like a good plan. If the road goes higher or lower, log it.

Re:But where will this technology go from here? (3, Funny)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663431)

Or perhaps a accelerometer input on an axle to register potholes. Actually , a pretty good gauge of road surface (gravel size etc) could be sensed with a decent accelerometer, as long as your tyres are fairly well pumped up.

(Car hits pothole - ka-THUNK!!!!)

Computer : Crikey! Didja feel that!?! Stone the flamin' crows, who was the bushwhacker that built this goat-track? Strewth!!

(Computer makes note of position for future reference.)

That way, subtle potholes (eg small depressions in road with no sharp edges) could be picked up fairly well.

And I hold the patent for "a method for use of Australian Slang to accurately measure and describe road defects", so no getting any ideas ;-)

Re:But where will this technology go from here? (2, Interesting)

EvanED (569694) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663493)

That misses the potholes you don't run over directly with your wheels.

All because of one man's experience. (0, Troll)

man1ed (659888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663291)

I'd say it was good for everyone that the lecturer who happened to have the know-how to make this system was more experienced with Linux than Windows. Otherwise, they would have an expensive, buggy VB implementation, we wouldn't have another Linux success story, and every car in Austrailia would be driving over potholes that made security holes look like nothing!

Linux not the answer (5, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663297)

Actually reading the article shows that Linux is incidental to the 'breakthrough'. The improvement comes from video processing software, not from the operating system of the computers that perform the processing.

Re:Linux not the answer (4, Informative)

pc486 (86611) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663486)

Well, the project manager Viner thought that the project would be based on Windows but after talking to Dr. Tim Ferguson, Viner let Ferguson base it on Linux. Viner was so impressed with the way that Linux preformed the video capture and monitoring that "The experience has made Viner a firm Linux convert. 'The office is moving over to Linux and we are looking at getting some form of network-attached storage for our clients,' he said."

And Ferguson said it best at the end of the article: "Development using open source software means the developer is totally in charge. You can do what you like, and customise things to your own needs. There are downsides, like the problems I faced with the firewire drivers. But then you'll generally find that you are not alone in this; there will be others to contribute little bits of knowledge until the jigsaw is complete."

So to say that Linux is "incidental" is a little bit of an understatment.

This is a newspaper article?!? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663298)

A newspaper article about Linux that backs up its claims with details, has not one hint of FUD.

Soeriously now, an nwspaper article that mentions
limitations in the firewire drivers.

I mean the readers are expected to know what drivers, RAM, firewire, is.

They call Linux robust and hint that windows isn't.

There is no catch!!!

Now this is unbelievable!!
This must be a hoax article.

You don't really get stories like this in the newspaper

And you foreigners wonder ... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663350)

Why we like to live in Oz :-)

Re:And you foreigners wonder ... (1)

cranos (592602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663458)

Yup we love to live here, its the guys in charge that have us worried though.

favorite comment (4, Funny)

skydude_20 (307538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663299)

just to make sure we all understand the proper terminology:
the road ahead (what is technically called the pavement)

sweet advert for OSS... (5, Insightful)

cubal (601223) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663302)

And, surprisingly honest. I'm quite impressed with how honest they were about the problems they faced.

And that's where OSS evangelism has to happen... showing that OS is better even with its problems, not that proprietary is worse and OS is perfect. Good for them :)

I use linux... (4, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663303)

... but this artice is pretty ridiculous:

"My experience with Windows is limited. I have been a Linux user since 1993 and I have considerable experience in programming in that environment," Ferguson said. "In any case, I don't think that I would have undertaken a task like this, where a computer is on the road, using anything but a robust operating system."

I mean, is it *really* that much harder to grab some video in Windows vs Linux? Having never programmed in Windows, perhaps someone can enlighten me, but I would expect that software like this is 99% image processing, and the choice of OS makes little or no difference. I can understand, all thing being equal, using the OS you're more comfortable with... but jesus they make it sound like Linux saved the day here, when that's their only argument.

We always make fun of the retarded M$-funded cost-of-ownership studies. How about posting some stories that show the REAL benefit of OSS in everyday applications?

Re:I use linux... (2, Insightful)

OzJimbob (129746) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663319)

That's not their only argument. As was highlighted further along in the article, putting this system together on Windows would have meant purchasing expensive proprietary softare. In Linux: this wasn't necessary. Hence, the $400,000 saving. Cost savings are potentially more important than any "advantage" either OS might have had in terms of performance or stability.

Re:I use linux... (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663363)

No, they said that they rolled their own software in lieu of using a commercially available solution - that's all they said. If anything, this further undermines their argument in that their predetermined choice of OS simply ruled out readily available softwar0e (irrespective of cost).

I LOVE OSS, BUT THIS ARTICLE IS TRIPE.

Re:I use linux... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663379)

Listen, I'm a "Linux Freak" too, but the $400,000 savings has NOTHING to do with Linux vs. Windows. It's not like they evaluated Windows and chose Linux for the $400,000 savings. The $400,000 savings is from converting from a manual system to a Linux-based automated system.

Now, I have no doubt that they would have saved a great deal of money with this solution over a Windows based solution, but please. Don't try and take credit for things that you have no business taking credit for. :p

What idiot moderator.. (1)

Tediak (249766) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663332)

Mods this as a troll?

Re:I use linux... (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663333)

Generally speaking, *anything* in Windows costs you 10x more LOCs. For example, in Linux a simple concat() call does the job. In Windows you have to use CreateFile() with about 10 parameters, and some of those parameters are mind-boggling structures (like SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES) that must be created and initialized using separate API calls.

So indeed, in Windows you pay for layer upon layer upon layer of cruft. Once you are done, it works - but it takes a rocket scientist to get there.

With regard to video capture, in Linux you can do this:
$ cat videodata.raw
and it will give you some sort of raw video frames that you can easily process later. In Windows you first need to learn about 10 layers of software, each totally different, that allow you (in theory) to access the device. DirectX would be your first stop.

Re:I use linux... (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663342)

I just wonder why I typed open() and it became concat() after preview... either Slashcode or the latest Firebird are to be blamed.

Re:I use linux... (1)

usotsuki (530037) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663344)

I can't use my WinTV Go! in Win98SE, at all...but it worked out of the box in Red Hat 8.0 Linux.

So for me, yeah, it's easier to grab video with Linux. ;)

-uso.

Re:I use linux... (3, Interesting)

edwdig (47888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663345)

> I mean, is it *really* that much harder to grab some video in Windows vs Linux?

Although I've never tried video programming in Windows, I did try it in Linux. I ended up giving up fairly quickly, because although the individual V4L API calls are documented, there is no documentation stating which calls are necessary to get something to happen, or in what order you have to call the different functions. Getting something working involves a lot of trial and error. So I'm sure for video purposes, Windows would be easier to code.

Anyway, that completely misses the point of the line you quoted. The author chose Linux because he wanted an OS that wouldn't crash, not one that was easy to program for. If OS #1 provides an easy to use but crash prone API, and OS #2 provides a harder to use but stable API, #2 is the better choice.

Oh, and from my personal experience on lots of systems, Windows NT/2000/XP are terribly unstable when doing video capture. Both with consumer and professional grade capture devices.

My TV set (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663394)

Is my Win2K PC. The one thing keeping me from moving it to linux is the lack of a quality video solution like DScaler.

I've done hundreds of hours of video capture in Win2K with nary a glitch. Bad hard drives will screw things up, but that's a bandwidth and timing issue, not an OS issue. Hell, I used to run a capture every single night (Voyager) and surf the net at the same time - running win2k on a 450MHz PII machine.

Re:I use linux... (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663456)

Thanks for the "Troll" mod, guys. Yes, let's all suppress objective discourse to make room for the WHEE LINUX posts.

Re:I use linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663476)

Yes, let's all suppress objective discourse to make room for the WHEE LINUX posts.

So you're new here, eh?

Unfortuante name choice... (3, Funny)

drayzel (626716) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663315)


"...LINServo to capture and rate the video footage and PMSVideo for clients to look at the finished footage..."

I have 6 sisters, PMSVideo is not something I'd like to see. It sounds like a really horrible fetish video.

But then again after reading other details...

"...so far generated about 1.3 terabytes of video footage..."
"...Due to limitations of the Linux firewire drivers, only 896 meg of RAM gets used..."
"...we took out the air-conditioner and added a second alternator..." YIKES!

I can maybe see why it was named as such!

~Z

Re:Unfortuante name choice... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663497)

I still don't understand the second alternator thing. In an ambulance type of vehicle, they have lots of room. Why didn't they mount a generator externally, and have 110/220v and still be able to keep their air conditioning, without putting an extra load and dependance on the vehicles electrical system? People with RV's do it all the time. A generator can pull from the regular fuel tank, and run for quite a while (like a *LONG* time on a 20+ gallon tank). A friend had an RV, and they'd run the generator for days to power the roof mounted air conditioning, TV, refrigerator, etc, etc, etc..

MILLENIUM train (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663323)

Full day drive away in Sydney, we're suffering through the MILLENIUM train [news.com.au] fiasco, technology supplied by, no surprise, a Microsoft Operating system.

aarrh!

Won't Make Much Difference... (3, Interesting)

Victa (186697) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663324)

VicRoads recently resurfaced the main road near my house... After 4 weeks working on a 400m (1/4 mile) stretch of road they went away. Leaving a worse surface than they had started with...

It's fairly typical of VicRoads to resurface perfectly good roads regularly (every 6-12 months) and the roads that are actually in bad shape get ignored, or made worse... I guess it must have something to do with where the money lives...

Re:Won't Make Much Difference... (1)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663386)

Where I live here in NSW, two months before each state election the same stretch of road (The Esplanade, Warners Bay) get's resurfaced. It's on a fairly major route but doesn't effect traffic too much when the road works are going on. Something smells fishy but I can't quite firgure it out.

Re:Won't Make Much Difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663439)

its called sucking up to the electorate

Re:Won't Make Much Difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663465)

Yeah, but your RTA fucking sucks compared to VicRoads.

Try living in Albury/Wodonga. The moment you cross the border from Wodonga to Albury, and the roads get worse!

Re:Won't Make Much Difference... (1)

Snoopy77 (229731) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663484)

Hey, it's not my RTA, I'm a Victorian living too far from home.

But yes, you rattle down the Hume until the Murray River and then it is bliss. I think the sky is even bluer in VIC.

PMS? (2, Funny)

poptones (653660) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663348)

Pavement Management System? Penguin Movie System?

What an unfortunate acronym. Maybe when they get an editor put together they can call it STD Edit.

Not to take the metaphor too far but, (0, Offtopic)

veldmon (595009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663361)

Linux is the road. It is the road connecting to an intersection, a "T" intersection. Linux either stops its' phenomenal growth all at once, putters out after lawsuits, or grows to 25% of the world market share.

I tend to view Linux's future in binary terms. It is either 0 (a failure) or 1 (a success). I think the failure will come if Linus ever adopts ReiserFS code in the kernel. The success will most likely come if the FSF updates the GPL to include a section where corporations can patent GPL'ed software. Patenting is what sparks innovation. We have a lot in OSS right now, but we'll have more if companies like Red Hat can patent large portions of their distribution.

Weak, time to give up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663384)

Look at your own posting history. A 5, with 3 replies ? Is that the best you can do ?

I think it is time for you to retire this nick, and sit back and review your failures and Tr***axor's tutorial. At this rate you will acheive a vaunted listing on the Assmaster's monthly sometime next decade, if at all.

I hate to say it, but maybe you just don't have the nack, and need to think about moving to easier hunting grounds, like k5.

I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663424)

I have failed in this arena. It is self evident. I will never give up though. If my calling is to be the one who fails at /., than so be it.

Maybe your criteria for success is out of whack with that of my own?

This has nothing to do with Linux ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663370)

...and everything to do with using a computer to replace a manual process. The OS (Linux, Windows, or other) has little to do with the success of the project. If, for example, Windows 2000 had been used rather than Linux the sub-heading would have been "short version: the cost has fallen from $1.2 million Australian to $849,800". Yawn.

moronic statement (3, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663375)

"In any case, I don't think that I would have undertaken a task like this, where a computer is on the road, using anything but a robust operating system."

I realize that MSWindows has a zillion bugs, but I never knew that its bits could shake loose from going over bumps.

scary experience... (4, Funny)

canning (228134) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663391)

"It was a scary experience when we got to the South Australian border and had a power supply in the PC fail," said Arya.

Sounthern Australia border?? I would assume that all that water wouldn't be good for them either.

Re:scary experience... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663460)

The state to the left of Victoria is called South Australia. That is the border being referred to there.

Re: Linux Hits the Road (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663399)

Hit the road Tux, and don't you come back no more no more no more no more, hit the road Tux, and don't you come back no more...

Sorry, couldn't resist. I wonder if yearly vehicle registration fees will decrease now? VicRoads charge ~$440 for a light vehicle, and ~500 for a medium vehicle. That's more than one weeks wage for many people.

Maybe if VicRoads switched all their systems and PCs to Linux; vehicle ownership would not be out of reach for so many. I should send them a Tux t-shirt with my next payment.

BladeMelbourne

And they can keep them... (3, Funny)

Spittles (670928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663414)

Linux mapping out our roads... SCO can probably lay claim to the speed-humps.

I can back this up.. (3, Funny)

slackingme (690217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663418)

I'm actually one of the guys operating these things (and that suggested Linux in the first place.) It's awesome to see Linux keeping up with its "cheaper, faster, and better" attitude.

We're so impressed with Linux, we're running one rig at >110 with 2.6.0-test3. We'll save hundreds of thousands of dollars more. It even has 802.11g, as I'm typing this ri--*eerrrrrrrrrr* *sqqqqqueeeeeellll* *BOOM*

*BANG*

*CRASH*

CSIRO did it first... (4, Informative)

quinkin (601839) | more than 11 years ago | (#6663435)

The CSIRO system that I assume this is built on top of/based upon has been receiving awards since 1998.

See here [csiro.au] for details.

Q.

This guy is a troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6663438)

From the article (on using Windows):

We probably would have had a computer that blue-screened on us at least once or twice a day.

Right after he admits having no knowledge of Windows systems. WTF? He's blown all of his credibility with that statement. Zero experience with Windows and he's insulting it. He's as bad as the Windows people who don't like Linux or BSD because they don't want to learn something new.

With buggy drivers, a Linux kernel panic is just as likely as a Windows blue screen - and don't tell me that KDE never crashes because it does from time to time. My Windows 2000 box currently has an uptime of 31 days from when I had a game crash on me (and the FreeBSD box next to it of 46 days from when we had a power cut).

Here's a hint: To win more Linux converts, stop insulting the competition - and by extension - users of the competition.
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