11 surprising sites that prove that Linux is everywhere even if we don’t realize it.
- Belkin slow cooker
- Underwater Tsunami Sensors
- Linux at 10,000 meters high
- Information screens
- International Space Station
- Scientific calculators
- Voluntary milking systems
- Your postal mail (if you live in the United States)
- Traffic light control stations
- Large Hadron Collider
- The New York Stock Exchange (or the London Stock Exchange)
You may not know it, but you probably use Linux on a daily basis. If you use an Android mobile you are in that group, but it is that even removing the Google mobile platform from the equation, Linux is everywhere.
Its open philosophy and the ability that anyone has to take it and adapt it to their needs without restrictions has made it possible to find Linux in all kinds of scenarios, some of them unsuspected. Its ubiquity is surprising, and here we have eleven examples to prove it.
Belkin slow cooker
It was unveiled at CES 2014, and this slow cooker Belkin was surprised by having WeMo technology, which allowed it to be controlled remotely via mobile.
However, there is another surprise inside, and that is the Linux presence at the heart of this platform home automation control. Belkin itself has a series of downloadable files that demonstrate compliance with the GPL license in all the company’s products that in one way or another take advantage of the power of this operating system.
Underwater Tsunami Sensors
These devices, called telesónars, have inside a modem that uses acoustic signals to transmit data under the sea.
In this case the applications are intended to alert of tsunamis to surface stations (often ships) equipped with transducers and models such as the Benthos SM-75 are based on Linux for its operation.
Linux at 10,000 meters high
If you have ever enjoyed the inflight entertainment systems What many airplanes are equipped with, you probably haven’t noticed, but most of them run thanks to Linux.
Airlines such as United, Delta, Emirates or Qantas make use of IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) systems based on Linux. Companies like CoKinetic develop the OpenIFE system and the AirPlay engine that make the flight more bearable, and in fact from time to time we could find screens like the one in the image that make it clear.
The information screens of many shops They tend to take advantage of versatile platforms for this type of option, and here Linux is once again the protagonist because it is used in many stores and chains of all kinds, restaurants included.
The image shows, for example, a screen in one of the restaurants of the Tim Hortons chain, but this type of system are widely spread and in many cases they take advantage of the power of Linux.
International Space Station
In addition to being found in less demanding sites, the ability to adapt to any environment makes Linux an especially interesting candidate for much more complex and delicate scenarios. The perfect example is the international space station.
Although not everything in the operation of the ISS is based on Linux, as early as 2013 one of the NASA engineers who migrated certain Windows systems to Linux He told the reasons: “we need a stable and efficient operating system, one that gives us local control so that if we need to patch it, adjust it or adapt it, we can do it.”
Texas Instruments knows how to make scientific calculators, and one of the most ambitious is their TI-Nspire CX CAS, a calculator oriented to mathematical and algebraic operations.
This device has a 320×240 pixel screen on which it is possible to represent graphical functions, and is governed by Linux. Not only that: there is an active community that strives to improve the Texas Instruments platform itself and also cross-platform emulators of this device and its options.
Voluntary milking systems
In 1883 the Swedish inventor Gusaf de Laval created the system with his name to try to increase milk production of cows with a unique idea: that they were the ones who decided when to be milked.
Based on this idea, the so-called Voluntary Miling System (VMS) was developed: when a cow decides that it wants to be milked, it enters an enclosure where it is identified and it is analyzed if enough time has passed since the last time it was milked. From that moment on, a robotic arm is placed under the cow using a laser and photosensors to do the process fully automatically. And the software behind the system is none other than Linux, of course. Wonders of science.
Your postal mail (if you live in the United States)
Linux may be the basis for many modern email servers, but we also find this operating system as fundamental pillar of the postal service (the traditional letters) in the United States.
The US Postal Service has been using Linux since 1999 to help, for example, classify more than 670 million letters that are managed daily in the 250 centers located throughout that country.
Traffic light control stations
That traffic light controlling traffic In various areas where you move, it could also be controlled by Linux. It happens of course if you use traffic controllers such as the ATC-1000 from the Peek company, which is based on this operating system.
There are actually many systems in this area, as explained on Quora, but for example in the United States (San Francisco is a good example) a very popular platform called 2070 Advanced Traffic Controller is used, which is based on a system called OS- 9 similar to Unix and therefore to Linux. There are even Linux-based implementations of said platform.
Large Hadron Collider
The ISS was a good example of a critical environment in which Linux demonstrated its versatility, but another good example is CERN and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator.
CERN makes use of the Open Source OpenStack platform and CentOS-based servers to manage the vast amounts of data that are generated in the experiments at this center. At CERN they actually collaborated with Fermilab to develop their own distribution called Scientific Linux, but they ended up migrating to CentOS because they weren’t modifying the kernel and therefore they didn’t need to invest resources in their own distro.
The New York Stock Exchange (or the London Stock Exchange)
In financial environments it also seems clear that the ability of Linux when it comes to manage large volumes of information very quickly it is very useful. This is what happens in two of the most important financial markets in the world.
The NYSE (NYSE) installed several Linux-based servers in 2007 to handle most of the transactions that take place there, and the same happened in 2011 when the london stock exchange it also migrated to Linux.