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Virgin America Uses Linux to Entertain Inflight

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the slow-steady-creep dept.

Software 117

anomalous cohort writes "CrunchGear has an interesting interview with the Director of Inflight Entertainment for the airline Virgin America, who discusses their adoption of Linux for the passenger's seat back computers. 'The ability to compose a music-video playlist is pretty cool and on the horizon. The READ section is also awesome in that it takes what is typically a bunch of wasted trees (excess newspapers, periodicals) and allows us to be more environmentally friendly and timely with things like news/event info/sports/entertainment etc.'"

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Ob (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903544)

Wheareas Arab airlines use 72 virgins...

Re:Ob (1, Troll)

Teppic_52 (982950) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903760)

Come on mods, that *is* funny, racist, but funny.

Re:Ob (1)

stderr_dk (902007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907858)

Posting to undo mod...

Re:Ob (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904318)

They're figs, I'm telling you, figs!

Is that a fig in your pants, or are you just dead?

male or female? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22904450)

Wheareas Arab airlines use 72 virgins...


Male or female?

Some suicide bombers may be in for a big surprised when they get to heaven.

--
Mort

Re:male or female? (0, Offtopic)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905464)

Some suicide bombers may be in for a big surprised when they get to heaven.

True, and even if they do happen to be the right sex, there's no guarantee they'll actually be attractive. I mean, who wants to spend eternity shagging a whale? There's a reason some people never get laid.

In any event, the promise of virgin sex seems to work well on male suicide bombers ... what I want to know is, what do they promise the female ones?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Re:male or female? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22908300)

You assume, of course, that women are people.

Old news (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903552)

Delta and Continental have been using linux based systems for years. I know this because they ended up rebooting a lot and you get to see a nice penguin when it does.

Microsoft Gorilla Propganda. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903568)

No. It was Windows. You see, Microsoft colluded with the developers of that software to crash and show the penguin. This was done to "show" all the business travelers that Linux is horribly unstable. See, you fell for it yourself. It was just FUD put there by Microsoft. Really.

Re:Old news (3, Informative)

Jafar00 (673457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903644)

Also Swiss Air, and Qatar Airlines from my recent experience. The Linux based in flight entertainment system is becoming a familiar sight and something I look forward to when flying longer haul sections of flight.

Re:Old news (1)

__NR_kill (1018116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903656)

Well, of course others had sex with Linux before, but now it's time for the virgin to take the tour.

Re:Old news (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903702)

Hey, Tux is a gentlepenguin, he always waits till the mood is right.

Re:Old news (4, Funny)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903804)

You kidding? He lets anyone and everyone see what hes hiding under his frontend, exposing himself like that.

Re:Old news (2, Funny)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905594)

Only if they look. Or use Gentoo.

Re:Old news (1)

Chess Cardigan (66841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903684)

Yeah, Malaysian Airlines is another one that uses Linux for their inflight entertainment.

Re:Old news (5, Funny)

alpharouge (1068214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903798)

On a finnair flight from Helsinki to Tokyo last summer they appeared to be running linux on the personal touch-screen devices too. It worked great and it was good fun watching a few flicks on it.
However, about an hour or two before the end of the flight they started rebooting over and over again - they were running some red hat variant on 266MHz devices if memory serves me right. The screens up at the end of the walkways rebooted at that time too, but seemed to be running windows, cant remember what variant though.

After ten minutes of rebooting I was secretly hoping the stewardesses would make an announcement to ask if there was a systems engineer on the plane... :)

Re:Old news (2, Informative)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904016)

If they all started rebooting, I'd say that it was a power issue... Not sure what generates the electricity on the plane, but I'd say it wasn't distributing the power correctly.

Re:Old news (2, Informative)

HonIsCool (720634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905646)

Finnair also uses Linux entertainment systems, and they are also really flakey. Not all of them start to reboot at once, but every once in a while the screen goes black for some passanger and they have to ask the flight attendent to reboot the system...
Well, I've only been on two Finnair flights as of late (fall of 2007) but I think there at least 5-7 crashes during the 9+ hour flights, in my compartment...

On the other hand, obviously the problem is not with Linux itself (count that as kernel or the base operating system) but rather the software that runs the entertainment system.

There was also a Linux-based karaoke machine in Tokyo that just wouldn't work for us... ^_^

Re:Old news (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906450)

The chain of events leading up to this is quite obvious:

Consultant: Entertainment is where it's at!
Executive: We need better entertainment.
resident tech guy: I'll make menus for them to pull up the movie they want.
Marketing: We already advertised that you can watch the next four years of movies on it, and that you can reach into the screen and feel the action.
resident tech guy: For sophisticated stuff, we need a whole OS.
Integration:(lies)I can give you hardware support.
tech guy: Where's that hardware?
Integration:you just have to modify the kernal to accept system calls via abacus, access security through our new IP 6.0 POTS interface, and oh yeah, the audio is from my Commodore 64.
tech guy(to executive): I did what I could, but we really need a whole re-do of the hardware.
executive: cost money? you're fired.

Re:Old news (1)

steevc (54110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904572)

I was on a Virgin flight a few years back and they had to reboot the unit next to me. So I got to see Tux then. I seem to remember it being a pretty nice system to use. It was way ahead of others I encountered around that time.

Re:Old news - Cathay too (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904998)

To add to the list - Cathay Pacific also uses Linux, Ubuntu if I remember correctly, for their entertainment system, and I also learned this when the system was having trouble and the nice stewardess rebooted it for me. Good to see the Tux is everywhere.

Malaysia and Singapore as well. (1)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906068)

I'm not sure it's full blown Linux though. I think it might just be Busybox.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22906158)

TSA uses Red Hat on their machines that check for explosives, so it all works out. Linux owns the world and we're just living in it.

Re:Old news (1)

Sillygates (967271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906568)

Same on VirginAmerica. When I flew on VA earlier this year, their systems were extremely unstable. I probably saw half a dozen of them kernel panic, and reboot.

They also had a bunch of open source games available, like Xmahjongg.

Re:Old news (1)

Noodlenose (537591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22908032)

..and Singapore Airways.

Oh dear. (5, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903558)

Why do articles like this always remind of those people who used to write into Amiga Format saying they saw an Amiga in some movie or television show?

"It even had the A570 expansion next to it, but the machine itself was the A1200 which is incompatible! It was AWESOME!"

Re:Oh dear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903566)

they used to be on casulty on the bbc! man i loved that show!!!!11!!

Re:Oh dear. (3, Funny)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903642)

Amiga shamiga

In my day we handy Tandy Color Computers with cartridges and all of our games came from Disney on cassette. It cost $800 for a 10mb hard drive and you worshiped the damn thing. If a download was over 100kb you begged your parents to stay off the phone.

Point is, who cares what the plane has? As a business traveler I have everything I need in my handy laptop bag.

Movies or TV - Check
Games - Check
Music - Check
In-Flight Bathroom Entertainment - Check

But I do have a secret obsession with watching that little airplane travel over the map...even though I'm sitting in the goddamn plane, in the window seat, but still watch the little plane go over that goddamn map.

But I forgot the point of this thread

LINUX!!!!!!!!

Re:Oh dear. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22905666)

Point is, who cares what the plane has? As a business traveler I have everything I need in my handy laptop bag.

Maybe it's the 90% of travellers who're not business travellers.

Lots of fun with GPS on an airplane window seat (1)

KWTm (808824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22908250)

If you really enjoy (or are obsessed with) having that flight map tracking your location, you might want to consider bringing a GPS on board. I bring my clunky Garmin on board, and you can see the ground speed, the vertical ascent rate, etc. I'm training myself to estimate, based on what I see out the window, the altitude of the airplane, distances on the ground (how far is that tall building from the edge of the lake there?), etc. Also, it hadn't fully hit me before using the GPS that the airplane makes a *huge* loop around the destination before coming in for landing.

Since the GPS only receives signals and transmits none, no one can accuse you of generating signals that interfere with the aircraft function. Of course, the flight attendants still have to announce the rules that "anything with an on-off switch must be turned off, or the airplane will crash" (yes, yes, I'll turn off my wind-up alarm clock), but then I just bundle up my still-powered-on GPS in my jacket and put it against the window, leaning my head against it pretending to use it as a pillow. I can check out the breadcrumb trail later.

Now if only GPSBabel were compatible with my laptop USB port ...

Re:Oh dear. (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903692)

And did you see what they are featuring on those seats?

Original DOOM baby!!! YaY! WoHooo! Linux RULZ!
It is going to be so AWESOME!!!

Re:Oh dear. (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904090)

Doom? They should at least be running a flight simulator of some sort. That way they never have to ask "by the way, does anyone here know how to fly a plane?". They can just check the flight sim stats and tap the person with the best score on the shoulder...

that figures (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903562)


Virgin the ultimate middlemen
they own nothing (no assets) except a brand name

so using free Linux is an obvious choice, but where is the source code ? have they contributed ? i think not

their entire business is based on re-selling other peoples stuff (music/mobile/broadband/planes),
why deal with them when you can buy direct ?

skip the middleman

Re:that figures (3, Interesting)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903608)

Virgin the ultimate middlemen
they own nothing (no assets) except a brand name

so using free Linux is an obvious choice, but where is the source code ? have they contributed ? i think not


Arguably they contributed the only thing they own, a brand-name.
Associating Linux with a successful brand is a Good Thing for Linux

their entire business is based on re-selling other peoples stuff (music/mobile/broadband/planes),
why deal with them when you can buy direct ?

skip the middleman


I tried that once, but no-one wanted to lease me 1/300'th of a Jumbo...

Re:that figures (4, Funny)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903654)

Associating Linux with a successful brand is a Good Thing for Linux
But we already have people associating Linux with virgins. Hardly a contribution.

Re:that figures (5, Funny)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903696)

But we already have people associating Linux with virgins. Hardly a contribution.br
http://www.bbspot.com/News/2000/9/linux_laid.html [bbspot.com]

Read it and weep bitter, bitter tears of envy!

Re:that figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903790)

the conclusion - blow something to get blown

Charisma (2, Interesting)

srobert (4099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905862)

I laughed when I read that page, but the reason it's funny is because it resonates as having a certain truth to it. If Microsoft really wants to bring an end to Linux, they could have no bigger impact than by spreading the meme that developing (or even using Linux) is like wearing a pocket protector and tape on the bridge of your glasses. They'd be able to do it too if Apple wasn't already in the business of doing the same thing to them with those television spots featuring John Hodgman as the PC. If you want the use of Linux to spread then you have to not only make it a good reliable OS (which it already is) but you have to make it seem charismatic. Advertising agencies understand this intuitively. Of course, then we wouldn't be talking about it on Slashdot: News for Nerds.

Re:Charisma (1)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906880)

If Microsoft really wants to bring an end to Linux

I was _really_ expecting you to add
flood the next LCA with bimbos and himbos to distract developers.

Re:that figures (1)

apt-get moo (988257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904594)

This association actually seems to help with Muslim airlines. During my Thailand flight with Royal Brunei Air, I discovered their Inflight Entertainment System runs on Linux. And does that since at least 2004.

Amazing entrepreneur (1, Informative)

concernedadmin (1054160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903574)

Richard Branson [wikipedia.org] is an unconventional man with tremendous wisdom. This seems to fit right at home with his way of doing things.

His $25M prize for solutions to global warming (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903710)

Let me find you a link... Well the Google search offers a wide range of article choices [google.com] . From the Philanthropy News Digest [foundationcenter.org] :

The Virgin Earth Challenge prize will be open to entries for five years, with ideas assessed by a panel of judges that includes Branson, former vice president Al Gore, U.S. climate scientist James Hansen, British environmental writer and former diplomat Crispin Tickell, British scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock, and Australian environmentalist Tim Flannery. The winning solution will be expected to remove one billion metric tons of carbon gases a year from the atmosphere for ten years -- with $5 million paid at the start of that period and the remaining $20 million to follow at the end of the ten years. If no winner is identified after five years, the judges can extend the trial period.

(Emphasis mine.)

My first idea was to genetically engineer a super-vigorous form of algae and throw it in the ocean. But my biologist wife said it would do more harm than good; water that is polluted by fertilizers from agricultural runoff gets choked with algae, which also consumes oxygen, and asphyxiates the fish.

Re:Amazing entrepreneur (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903720)

He's very rich and successful, true (although Private Eye has been pointing out major issues with the capital structure of Virgin and the accounting tricks they use for years.) But tremendous wisdom? Puh-lease. He's a manic self-publicist with an ego the size of Marvin's brain.

Not the best idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903598)

to use the words "virgin" and "linux" in the same sentence. Hits a little close to home *goes back to recompiling the kernel on Friday night*

Air Canada uses Windoze (1)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903610)

I don't know this for certain, but I do know that from time to time I saw a cursor consisting of an arrow with the familiar hourglass next to it.

I fear to think that they might be running a whole OS instance for each seat.

Yeah it's kind of sad (2, Informative)

amake (673443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903678)

I just flew Air Canada for the first time last week and you're right, the seatback entertainment systems are running Windows. And poorly. There are terrible delays when responding to touches (when it responds at all) and interface elements like buttons are slow to draw on the screen. On both flights (round trip), the staff warned us beforehand that we should "be patient" with the system as it's slow to respond, and "too many touches may cause it to crash," which requires a reset (of just the crashed console, thank god) that takes up to 15 minutes.

I also got booted out of a movie in the middle of it. It just kicked me back to the menu screen, and all attempts to begin playback again were met with "This selection is currently unavailable" errors. I saw a lot of people around me, but not everyone, with similar problems. It started working again a couple hours later.

In summary, it was way better than Northwest Airlines's horrible seatback system that isn't on-demand at all (shows are played on a loop on various "channels"; if you miss the beginning of something you have to wait for it to start over again). But it still needs a lot of work.

Re:Yeah it's kind of sad (2, Informative)

MentalMooMan (785571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903794)

Actually, I had a trans-atlantic flight with NWA in February, and the seat-back systems in their Airbus A330 were running linux, and were on-demand. They had to reboot the system once or twice, and I got kicked out of my film once (into what seemed to be like a looping analogue video channel - maybe they were running both systems at once?), but other than that, the system worked rather well.

Air Canada uses Linux not Windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22905716)

I flew air Canada a few years ago between Hong Kong and Toronto.
The seat back entertainment screens were definitely running Linux.
I know, because they rebooted the system and everybody watched the
familiar Linux boot process run on the seat backs, even with a little
Linux Penguin graphic at the top!

Oh my! (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903628)

The first things that came to mind when I read "Virgin America Uses Linux to Entertain Inflight" were:

"So they are holding an install party?"

and

"Hackers on a plane!"

Time to wake up and get some coffee. :S

Virgin America... (5, Funny)

spidr_mnky (1236668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903630)

Virgin America Uses Linux...
Just for a moment, I thought this referred to a demographic.

Re:Virgin America... (0)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903744)

Just for a moment, I thought this referred to a demographic.
That just gave me a visual that was utterly unpornographic!

Re:Virgin America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903864)

Too much personal trans-positioning, me thinks.

Sorry guys... (-1, Troll)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903638)

If you want to be more environmentally friendly, stop working in an airline company and stop bugging us with this "Hey look! We spew our yearly CO2 quota flying forth and back between LA & NY but it's cool because we replaced newspapers with Linux machines" crap.

Thank you.

Re:Sorry guys... (1)

mh1997 (1065630) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903956)

If you want to be more environmentally friendly, stop working in an airline company and stop bugging us with this "Hey look! We spew our yearly CO2 quota flying forth and back between LA & NY but it's cool because we replaced newspapers with Linux machines" crap.

Thank you.

...and only use your computer for important things like posting self-rightous BS like "Hey look! I made a comment that on the surface sounds insightful, but actually contains no substance, but it's cool because I am 43 years old and live with my mom."

Thank you.

Unix-like OS's are common in that application (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903640)

A guy I work with showed me a picture he took of a seat back system which had crashed with a kernel panic. That one definitely wasn't Linux. I thought it might have been something like SCO.

Re:Unix-like OS's are common in that application (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904864)

I don't care if it is just in-flight entertainment. You need to be seriously suicidal to get into a plane containing anything SCO

Re:Unix-like OS's are common in that application (1)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22908072)

Notwithstanding the company behind it, I imagined SCO Unix variants to be fairly reliable, while probably not a caliber of say Solaris or Linux, I figured it was better than windows...but IANAUnix Guru so feel free to enlighten me...

And Now (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903650)

Linux America uses Virgin

Fail! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903688)

You missed such an easy one-liner:

"Linux America Uses Virgins to Entertain Inflight"

Doom sucks on a dpad (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903658)

I can assure you. Otherwise, I enjoyed that entertainment system a lot, and for that matter, flying on Virgin America. Recommended.

Re:Doom sucks on a dpad (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905710)

I found the "Red" system quite entertaining. Very slick. Trying to get root access with key combinations kept me busy whenever I wasn't playing Mahjong.

My TV set runs Linux (2, Interesting)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903686)

The LG TV [pcworld.com] I picked up last week runs Linux, which I noticed because the last page of the manual credits various GPL and open source software used in the TV, including Linux and Busybox and other projects. Props to LG for going beyond the call of duty in crediting their suppliers.

Re:My TV set runs Linux (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903722)

If I were you I'd be opening it up with the intent of getting X on it.
Think of the possibilities. :)

Re:My TV set runs Linux (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903816)

Heh. My aging sony tv (2 year old LCD) is running Linux, and their user interface is running on X. It is very funny to see it crap out after blinking several times when I connect a notebook to the vga port and start testing out video modes, although frankly I'm not quite sure why would it crap out that way.

I am too lazy to look it up and link, but you can download the whole set of software running on the TV from their website.

More nn topic (in glorious AOL me-too style), I've seen the Linux logo (on reboot) on Malaysia, on Austrian and at least one more European airline which I don't remember now. I saw it for the first time maybe in 2004, so it is definitely a slow Saturday.

Re:My TV set runs Linux (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906754)

...and by the way, note that the pcworld reviewer who wrote that negative review got 483 thumbs down for his efforts. On Amazon the set is highly rated [amazon.com] , and I am more than pleased with it. Ideal match for a PS3.

Makes sense (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903766)

After all, American Linux users are Virgins.

Virgin UK using it for years (2, Interesting)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903820)

I flew with Virgin from London to Tokyo about five or six years ago and Linux, specifically Slackware, was being used then for the personal entertainment systems. I found a way of causing my client to restart and passed a happy five minutes watching the boot messages.

Re:Virgin UK using it for years (1)

theonlyaether (1146549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22903886)

Neat, and there I had read that they were using

Flavors of Red Hat & Fedora (we have embedded seat-back units, seat & distribution boxes and a head-end that consists of some file servers)

which is not only redundant, but an annoyingly stupid answer. You'd think that as long as they're talking about linux they'd get someone who wouldn't say something to the effect of "a mix of microsoft and windows" or for the oblig car analogy, "a mix of ford and thunderbird"...

Re:Virgin UK using it for years (1)

MADCOWbeserk (515545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904668)

I disagree. Remember that there are file servers and seat back computers, they could be running different distros. They could have slightly different setups in different planes. Second of all, Fedora and RHEL/RHED are quite different. Fedora is more bleeding edge, RH is more carefully tested and is fully supported. Your analogy of a parent brand vs its product is a little off. Fedora is its own brand even if it is developed by and sharing tech with Redhat, think a mix of "Ford and Mercury". Even if VA was only using one or the other, he found a nice way to credit both parent company and project in the press.

Could Jesus microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?

Re:Virgin UK using it for years (1)

theonlyaether (1146549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905378)

Yeah, my analogy was bad, and I have to admit that from a PR perspective it works well enough. I just found that the statement "Redhat and Fedora" was redundant, being that Fedora is Red Hat. However yes, I am sure that he meant RHEL/RHED + Fedora... I'm just happy that I'm sober now and finally found the arrogant poorly written post I knew I made, whee!

Re:Virgin UK using it for years (1)

ParanoidJanitor (959839) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905958)

Virgin Atlantic has also been using it for at least four years. It crashed 2-3 times on the flight that I took. It was nice in the fact that you could select the movie you wanted to watch and have it play right then and there, without waiting for the next showing like some airlines do.

A380 uses Linux also (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22903994)

A couple of days ago I had a flight on the Singapore Airlines A380, and their seat back entertainments system uses Linux too, with openoffice suite to let you work on documents. Whilst all of the file dialogs limit file access to just your USB drive, there are other ways to accesses the real filesystem of the unit. Looks like they make plenty of use of multicasts for video and audio, plus rtp for on demand personal video. Here is some interesting tidbits I discovered, amongst other:

bits from syslog messages:

Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Detected 800.223 MHz processor.
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Using tsc for high-res timesource
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Console: colour VGA+ 80x25
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Dentry cache hash table entries: 65536 (order: 6, 262144 bytes)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Inode-cache hash table entries: 32768 (order: 5, 131072 bytes)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Memory: 482924k/503744k available (2839k kernel code, 20248k reserved, 752k data, 164k init, 0k highmem)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Checking if this processor honours the WP bit even in supervisor mode... Ok.
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Calibrating delay using timer specific routine.. 1602.20 BogoMIPS (lpj=801102)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Mount-cache hash table entries: 512
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: CPU: After generic identify, caps: 0381b93f 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: CPU: L1 I Cache: 64K (32 bytes/line), D cache 64K (32 bytes/line)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: CPU: L2 Cache: 64K (32 bytes/line)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: CPU: After all inits, caps: 0381b93f 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 000000dd 00000000
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: mtrr: v2.0 (20020519)
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: CPU: Centaur VIA Nehemiah stepping 08

Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: hda: STI Flash 7.2.0, CFA DISK drive
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: Probing IDE interface ide1...
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: hdc: TOSHIBA MK4006GAH, ATA DISK drive

Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: input: Panasonic Avionics Corp PAC USB Keyboard/Credit Card Reader Ver. 1.01 as /class/input/input0
Jan 1 00:01:46 (none) kernel: input: USB HID v1.01 Keyboard [Panasonic Avionics Corp PAC USB Keyboard/Credit Card Reader Ver. 1.01] on usb-0000:00:10.0-1

Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: asyncint.c@605: announce power-on override-0 alert-0x0
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@2234: Cabin_Zone=3, PA_Zone=2
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@2272: register TDII Callback
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@622: decompression off
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@850: cabin smoke detected-off
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@870: wow-on
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@890: engine stopped-on
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@900: all doors closed-off
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@968: PA_State_Callback_ii: received 0x00
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1025: PA: state=off volume=0, video: IP=0.0.0.0 port=0 audio: IP=0.0.0.0 port=0
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1085: PA_Audio_Address_Callback_ii: IP:239.192.1.2 port=60739
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1136: PA_Video_Address_Callback_ii: IP:239.192.3.2 port=52242
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1313: zone-2 entertainment-0
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1394: zone-2 infomode-0
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1197: OH_Remap_MID_Callback_ii: MID=50004
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1211: OH_Remap_PGM_Callback_ii: PGM=2
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1245: OH_Remap_Multicast_Address_Callback_ii: IP=239.192.0.20 port=50010
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1412: received time to destination
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1556: received destination id
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1565: received departure id
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1574: received flight number
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1592: received destination baggage id
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@1601: received departure baggage id
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@649: Boeing NFS Link Status
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@817: Route ID: called back
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@793: Open Flight
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: tdlib.c@766: Estimate Arrival Time
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@6007: enable pss
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: asyncint.c@199: announce td flight status
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) last message repeated 2 times
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4630: pa off zone-2
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: dsp_stream.c@1382: start mpeg: video dsp :0, audio dsp :0 mid-0 lang-0
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: dsp_stream.c@296: DSP_Validate_Message: V_Play error(Command_Rejected)
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: asyncint.c@199: announce td flight status
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@2183: Turning wifi on
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@2183: Turning wifi on
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4359: ** Process_OH_Remap **
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4371: ** Save the original Video_Program
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4378: A=239.192.3.19, P=52016 MID=32
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4378: A=239.192.3.20, P=52018 MID=32
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4378: A=239.192.3.104, P=52270 MID=32
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4436: ** Copied remap data to shmem: Pgm=2 A=239.192.0.20 P=50010 MID=50005
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: icore.c@4462: ** Don't tune dsp (bcstVid=0 PA=0 CurPgm=0 OHRemapPgm=2)
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) icore: asyncint.c@234: announce td flight data route:0 Dest (W:0 T:0)
Mar 28 21:08:11 (none) last message repeated 6 times

extract of seat configuration file: // sdu172.17.148.227.cfg, (246) // // DPP_Version = 0.0.0 // DB_Part_Number = RD-AK44SQ114 // DB_Rev_Number = 20 // Customer = SIA // wDBMT_Version = 01.03 // Date = 2007-12-19 //
Part_Number = "RD-AK44SQ113";
Version = "20";

Seat_Row = 52; // Actual (1-Based) Row = 53
Seat_Seat = 3; // Seat C

Seat_Deck = 1;
Seat_Room = 0;

Cabin_Zone = 2;
Cabin_Class = 2;
PA_Zone = 2;

Default_Audio_Channel = 0; //=

Minimum_PA_Volume = 28;
Heartbeat_Timeout = 60; //=

Handset_Available = 1;

Number_of_Handsets = 1;

Handsets =
{ // Type, Root_Bus, Root_Port, Level, Port, Device
        { 20, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0 } // 1
};

Handset_to_Row_Seat =
{ // Enable, Row, Seat, Not_Used
        { 1, 53, 'C', 0 } // 1
};

Number_of_Audio_Channels = 0;

Audio_Programs =
{ //
};

Number_of_Video_Channels = 3;

Video_Programs =
{ // MulticastAddress, PortNum, VideoPID, AudioPID, MediaType, Chan
        { "239.192.3.19", 52016, 0x20, 0x50, 0, "995" }, // 1
        { "239.192.3.20", 52018, 0x20, 0x50, 0, "996" }, // 2
        { "239.192.3.107", 52270, 0x20, 0x50, 0, "997" } // 3
};

Leave_Backlight_On_During_Smoke_Detect = 1;

mtab: /dev/loop/0 /mnt/seatAppBase.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/1 /mnt/seatAppsMeta.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/2 /mnt/seatAppsMetaFB.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/3 /mnt/dbutils_03.22.1.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/4 /mnt/gtk.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/5 /mnt/nbd_01.09.1.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/6 /mnt/paxus_01.10.a.cram cramfs rw 0 0 /dev/loop/7 /mnt/phone.cram cramfs rw 0 0

There is much more. It looks like its integrated with the plane systems quite tightly.

Re:A380 uses Linux also (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906380)

FWIW - I liked the USB port because I was able to recharge my iPod while listening. Very sweet feature for those very, very flight schedules. It's not uncommon that I'll need 28 hours to get from my door to my final destination. Kudos to Singapore Air for that USB port.

Re:A380 uses Linux also (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907102)

FWIW - I liked the USB port because I was able to recharge my iPod while listening.
Jetstar (Qantas low-cost subsidery) also uses linux-based personal video devices, the digEplayer XT [digecor.com] . They aren't built into the seats, but rather passed out (to those who shell out an extra $10 for it) at the beginning of the flight. I also found the USB port quite handy, as the devices are basically big batteries with screens the front. They've also got ethernet ports, but I didn't find a way to hack those...

Several features not available (2, Interesting)

sonofabeach (1168325) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904460)

I flew Virgin America last week from DC to California and back and overall the experience was good (good ticket price, too!). The in-flight entertainment left a few things to be desired, though. Aside from crashing two or three times during flight, many features (including the "READ" feature mentioned above) were simply "not available." A friend on another flight said she was on a plane that couldn't receive a single channel the entire flight. The song playlists were not very responsive, either, with long hesitations after touching the touchscreen.

So it seems like they've still got a few things to work out. The best feature that was not yet available was a "WWW" feature granting access to the internet.

If they can work out some of these issues, VA could have a real winner on their hands. The in-flight ordering system, though expensive for non-water and non-soda items, was the best I've ever seen.

Re:Several features not available (3, Interesting)

zenyu (248067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904966)

I have to agree. I flew VA a couple months back and the killer features, like web browsing were just not online yet.. The in satellite reception was also not so great, JetBlue does a better job there.

I did enjoy the classic games running in MAME. But that also lacked polish, they didn't do a good job mapping the keys for the various games, and you couldn't hit meta keys so you couldn't reconfigure the key bindings yourself.

They also used black 000000h as their XVideo chromakey, which meant that when the video kept going when you were in some other app the video would leak into that app. If they had used 010101h instead this issue wouldn't exist and you would still get a black screen rather than a nasty blue or green one when video was starting up.

Overall, it was a good flight. The flight attendants were amazingly attentive. Who ever did the hiring should get a gold star.

Re:Several features not available (1)

aviators99 (895782) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905886)

>The in satellite reception was also not so great, JetBlue does a better job there.

This is true, and also interesting. The satellite system they use is from LiveTV, which is the same system used by JetBlue, and in fact is *owned* by JetBlue.

Re:Several features not available (1)

stderr_dk (902007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907990)

Aside from crashing two or three times during flight,...

I hate when that happens.

Oh. You were talk about the entertainment system...

at use in other airlines as well (2, Interesting)

Nova (272) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904674)

I on a Qatar Airlines flight to Doha last month. Linux was in use there for their in-flight services (again, the penguin at the boot screen gave it away).
Immediately after I had a flight from Doha to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysian Airlines). Malaysian Airlines seems to use it as well as they seemed to be using the same system (at least with the plane I was in).

Wasted trees? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904758)

Please, please people, see through this old wives tale about paper "wasting trees", for the sake of combating intellectual dishonesty. It is a worthy fight.

Paper is farmed. Trees are planted based on projected demand. If you want more trees, use more paper.

Re:Wasted trees? (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907468)

Between habitat destruction, energy usage, and pollution, "farming" is probably one of the most environmentally damaging industries out there. Since it's the only way to feed cities, yes, it's good to farm food. But farming non-food products is absolutely not automatically environmentally friendly by any stretch -and doesn't mean more trees in the world.

There's a reason the same book freely downloaded from archive.org costs at least ten bucks to buy in dead tree form. It costs way more in terms of energy, resources and man power to distribute books rather than electrons. When you're talking about periodicals or news, which is generally turfed after a day, the waste is even greater.

NetBSD @ Panasonic Aviations (3, Interesting)

hubertf (124995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22904786)

FYI, Panasonic Aviations uses g4u, a NetBSD-based harddisk image cloning software to deploy their in-flight systems.

For more information on g4u, see http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/ [feyrer.de]

  - Hubert
      Author or g4u

"Inflight" is an adjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22904790)

To "entertain inflight" is grammatically nonsensical.

Better to spend more time on English homework, and less time surfing the Web.

Bleh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22904830)

...boring. Northwest Airlines has been doing this for years. How do I know? Every trip I took to Taiwan someone would need their seat rebooted. Yes, either the display would stop working or the massager in the seat would be stuck on or off. That's when you saw Tux.

Re:Bleh... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907250)

That's when you saw Tux.

In other words, it's possible to build a Linux system that's not very stable. The same can be said for any OS. Nothing to see here.

Re:Bleh... (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907964)

Yep - I fly them all the time, and on my last flight to Hawaii, they rebooted a whole cabin.

I think actually the AVOD manufacturer (Panasonic, maybe) chose Linux. And yeah, it's not necessarily as stable as your typical Linux desktop or laptop... but then, I haven't seen a Linux laptop with that cool "follow the plane" map program on it just yet. ;)

"World Business Class" has a lot of cool technology, between the AVOD (which is touch-screen, too) and the seat. NW's back-office IS/IT is even cooler, as far as I've been able to determine. Guess I'm one of the few to choose an airline because of a shared love of shiny tech stuff. :)

Thanks Virgin! (1)

lunartik (94926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22905266)

The READ section is also awesome in that it takes what is typically a bunch of wasted trees (excess newspapers, periodicals) and allows us to be more environmentally friendly and timely with things like news/event info/sports/entertainment etc.


Riiiight. Trees are biodegradable, renewable, grown for paper and lumber stock and have a positive impact on the environment. But hey, an electric gizmo on a jumbo-jet is better! The idea that we're "saving a tree" by recycling paper is harmless, but stupid.

Re:Thanks Virgin! (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907622)

In other words, only trees grown for paper have a positive impact on the environment. Trees that would have grown in rainforests that were cut down for plantations don't biodegrade or generate oxygen. Maybe they were ents instead?

I saw this on Delta too (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22906282)

I just saw this for the first time on a delta flight. I was really excited to see tux in the upper left while all the kernel messages ran down the little screen and seeing this happen on everyone else's screen. Every screen was not showing the exact same thing at the same time, so I'm thinking every seat has its own virtual machine. It seemed to be running an older version of redhat, but I don't remember what specifically I saw.

I thought it would be really cool to just play chess to pass the time until I tried and it wanted to charge me $5 for doing that.

Singapore Airlines - Star Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22906670)

I used (tried to use) StarOffice on the computers installed on the economy class seats of Singapore Airlines. Not sure what the OS was. But it is unlikely to be Windows.. The touch and feel of the rest of the user interface was more like Java..

Doesn't work yet (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907124)

I've tried out the Virgin America system. Half of the VA flights I went on lacked the hardware, but on the newer planes that have it, most of the features don't yet work.

There are billboards around SF touting its in cabin IM features (chat with other passengers), but they weren't working yet.

I tried ordering snacks, but that didn't work either.

Movies cost something ridiculous like $8 to watch.

Most of the system is just a placeholder. And please, a seatback display is maybe okay for watching TV video clips, but it is no replacement for a newspaper. This thing isn't going to save any trees by forcing users to squint at a tiny display two feet away.

I'd rather have in-flight WiFi and use my iPhone to do things that don't bill me per second (although the inflight WiFi likely would.)

10 Things to Remember About CanSecWest and Software Vulnerabilities [roughlydrafted.com]

Re:Doesn't work yet (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907218)

Ah, okay.

So rather than watch a small display in the back of your seat, you're saying a tiny display on your iPhone is better???

And does the iPhone happily feed movies and music to you all the way through an eight hour flight without a battery recharge?

I don't know about the Virgin system but I took an eight hour flight on Emirates from London to Dubai last year, I was in standard economy class and the back of the seat entertainment system was excellent. I have no idea what OS it was running on but there were several hundred albums to choose from and at least 50 movies as well and at least 30 games, all of it was free.

Plus it was the first time I was able to listen to music on headphones during take off - having the "Back In Black" album by AC/DC blaring at full volume in headphones as the plane taxied and took off was pretty cool!

Re:Doesn't work yet (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907324)

You are arguing that you'd rather watch something on a seat back screen? Have you ever been on an airplane?

The "tiny" display on my iPhone can be held closer to your face. You can also double tap and pinch to make the tiniest text readable.

I can use my iPhone for as many hours as I like by plugging it into a standard USB battery pack via the dock connector. I can also plug it into my laptop and recharge it. I find that I prefer to watch movies on my tiny iPhone rather than pulling out my laptop and watching it with a huge thing on my lap, which other people can see and spill their drinks on.

Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America are both pretty slick, with nicely equipped planes and great service, but the VA in-flight system does not yet work as advertised.

Re:Doesn't work yet (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907418)

You are arguing that you'd rather watch something on a seat back screen? Have you ever been on an airplane?

There you go, you see? Typical Apple fanboi reaction - starts writing a response before finishing reading the OP. Please reread it properly, that will answer the second question for you.

As to the first question, given that I'm not allowed to bring my own flatscreen TV on a flight, the seat back screen I used on the Emirates flight (now you've reread my message) was excellent. As far as I recall, I listened to some music, had a meal and a drink, watched a couple of movies, had another meal and a drink, listened to a bit more music and I'd landed. Didn't notice the flight, end of story.

which other people can see and spill their drinks on.

I can't say I've ever watched anything on a plane that I'd be ashamed of someone else seeing over my shoulder. As for the drinks spilling, I can't speak for your own countrymen but I've never really had a problem with anyone sat next to me on a flight. To be honest, I find showing some courtesy and friendliness to anyone who is sat next to me generally makes the flight as comfortable as possible for both of us.

Re:Doesn't work yet (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907524)

Your need to call me names betrays the weakness of your point.

The question wasn't "did you enjoy your seatback video," but "you'd rather watch something on a seat back screen [than use something portable like the iPhone]?"

"Have you ever been on an airplane?" was a dismissive slap of your sense of reality.

Perhaps when you grow up you'll experience somebody in the seat next to you spilling something. You might also want to watch something semi-privately.

Re:Doesn't work yet (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907850)

Your need to call me names betrays the weakness of your point.

It was your need to question me about having ever been on an aircraft that kicked that off - especially since in my original post I had stated such was the case.

The question wasn't "did you enjoy your seatback video," but "you'd rather watch something on a seat back screen [than use something portable like the iPhone]?"

They are one and the same question, then, in my view. Yes I would rather watch something on the back seat screen on the basis that it won't fail from lack of battery power after a couple of hours and I won't get arm cramp as a result of having to hold it to my face for so long.

Perhaps when you grow up you'll experience somebody in the seat next to you spilling something. You might also want to watch something semi-privately.

I'm 46 years of age, in my business as a security consultant for a global telecoms equipment supplier, I fly long haul on business at least 3 times a year and travel to my home in Spain from the UK at least once a month. I've been in a techie/telecoms role for about 25 years and my business travel habits these days have lessened, if anything.

So, as an experienced air traveller, I repeat - I generally find that not being an obnoxious git to fellow air travellers makes the limited comforts of flying that much more endurable for all of us. I've never had a drink spilt on me and the only time I've ever even started to get angry with anyone on a flight was with my sister's kids on a flight to Florida when they were much younger and them constantly getting up to go the toilet every 10 minutes.

Common courtesy and friendliness goes a long way during a flight.

Re:Doesn't work yet (1)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22908090)

You are too old to be expressing yourself like you are 16.

By 46, you should know that time is valuable enough to avoid being a pedantic nut. You should also know the meaning of sarcasm and irony.

You should also be able to reasonably predict obvious risks. I haven't had anyone spill their drink on me in a plane yet (purposely or not), but I have spilled drinks on a laptop, and I have witnessed people spilling drinks on airplanes. In the last month, I managed to be sitting next to two different women who both managed to spill a drink all over themselves in various ways. Putting those tidbits of knowledge together, I recognize some threat related to exposed laptops, drinks, airplanes, turbulence, and hysterical and/or clumsy women. It has nothing to do with being genteel.

Oh dear, I believe I am fated to increasingly be stuck in pedantic conversations about ridiculous subjects on the Internet. Please don't take my remarks as a personal offense.

Mac Shot First: 10 Reasons Why CanSecWest Targets Apple [roughlydrafted.com]

Emirates had this years ago... (1)

NetSerf2000 (557252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22907658)

I was on a flight back to Australia on Emirates a few years back and the tv console I was watching crashed... It was linux :) I think that Virgin are just moving to a similar system to what Emirates has been using for years.

Song did this YEARS ago (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22909034)

Song [wikipedia.org] had a headrest system years ago that let you listen to music, see the plane's status, and (my favorite) play a cool trivia game against other passengers. On one flight they didn't boot up the systems until after the passengers were on and I saw it run through a standard Linux boot sequence, complete with Tux in the top left corner. My phone was already off and I figured they'd finish booting before I could dig it out, turn it on, and activate the camera, so I didn't even bother to try to get a pic. I flew with them in February and June of 2005 between Orlando and Vegas.
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