I should have guessed it was an FDA request, tekochip. Awhile back, we did a story about Medtronic's development of an implantable defibrillator. In the story, there was a photo of a Medtronic employee standing next to the stack of paper that composed their FDA application. It towered over her.
No, it didn't come from Legal, it is part of the 510(k) from the FDA. It was just so alien to me to be aware of a problem and NOT fix it. Anytime there has been a bug that couldn't be immeadiatly cured it has always been something very dangerous like buffer overruns, stack corruption, or even silicon faults (NXP).
That reminds me, I had one engineer I had to watch closely because he would "fix" software without understanding what had cured the symptom. On one occasion I found the cause, it was an I2C ISR driver that wasn't using the hardware properly.
That's really strange, tekochip. The form you describe is essentially asking people to identify mistakes that they didn't bother to fix. This sounds like a very clumsy attempt to cover themselves legally.
"of course MS will claim thyat their product should not be used for industrial control systems. That is a universal cop-out line."
I don't see it as a cop-out. It is undisputable that Windows was developed as a desktop operating environment (I won't even call the early versions an operating system, because it was actually developed as a DOS application as graphical user interface, not as an OS) It migrated to a full OS over time. As such, why would they expose themselves to the risk of marketing it as a control OS? It wasn't designed for that.
"That must be why they have offered versions tailored for control systems."
Perhaps it is, and I don't know that I would say that they have been successful in marketing an OS that is really mission critical enough to fly on. Windows CE may be as close as they have come, and it doesn't seem to have a large user base.
"Of course, the fact that they have systematically and very deliberately killed off most organizations that would compete with them may also have something to do with why their OS finds it's way into controls computers."
I don't know whether or not the first part of this statement is a fair characterization or not, but I don't agree that the lack of competition is why Windows has penetrated the controls market.
I would say that it has penetrated the market because of the development tools, software, and hardware that are supported by Windows. At some point one becomes frustrated trying to do increasingly complex tasks with tools that are inadequate for the task, and decides to seek out more suitable tools. That is where Windows comes in.
As time has progressed, the expectations of control systems expanded, particularly in the area of data collection, analysis, storage, presentation, and distribution. Traditional industrial controls are simply inadequate for some of these functions. If you want to collect even one shift worth of data in a typical PLC, it might not be possible due to things like memory size, data table addressing restrictions, etc. Collecting years worth of data is easy to do with the tools available in Windows.
Windows as a control platform has many down sides, but when the tasks become complex enough, you choose to live with the downside to have tools available that are up to the job.
ttemple, of course MS will claim thyat their product should not be used for industrial control systems. That is a universal cop-out line. That must be why they have offered versions tailored for control systems. Of course, the fact that they have systematically and very deliberately killed off most organizations that would compete with them may also have something to do with why their OS finds it's way into controls computers.
The first time I submitted a product to the FDA was shocked to see a question on the form asking me to list all the known bugs in the code. I couldn't believe that anyone would submit a medical product with known bugs in the code.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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