Microsoft disables navy ship
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 98 13:40:35 -0700
Subject: Microsoft disables navy ship
From: Erik T Ray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By Gregory Slabodkin
Government Computer News
13 July 1998
This article is very disturbing. Not only does it represent the first claim
I've heard where a Windows NT system failure has actually disabled a Navy
ship, but it reveals in an interview, that unnamed political forces are
pressuring the Navy to use Windows even when it is clearly not the best
choice. Um... what's going on?
According to [Anthony DiGiorgio, a civilian engineer] who in an interview
said he has serviced automated control systems on Navy ships for the past
26 years, the NT operating system is the source of the Yorktown's computer
NT applications aboard the Yorktown provide damage control, run the ship's
center on the bridge, monitor the engines and navigate the ship when under
"Using Windows NT, which is known to have some failure modes, on a warship
is similar to hoping that luck will be in our favor," DiGiorgio said.
Pacific and Atlantic fleets in March 1997 selected NT 4.0 as the standard
OS for networks and PCs as part of the Navy's Information Technology for
the 21st Centure Initiative. Current guidence approved by the Navy's
chief information officer calls for all new applications to run under NT.
Ron Redman, deputy technical director of the Fleet Introduction Division
of the Aegis program Executive Office said there have been numerous
software failures associated with NT aboard the Yorktown.
"Refining that is an ongoing process," Redman said. "Unix is a better
system for control of equipment and machinery, whereas NT is a better
system for the transfer of information and data. NT has never been fully
refined and there are times when we have had shutdowns that resulted from
The Yorktown has been towed into port several times because of the systems
failures, he said.
"Because of politics, some things are being forced on us that without
political pressure we might not do, like Windows NT," Redman said. "If
it were up to me, I probably would not have used Windows NT in this
particular applications. If we used Unix, we would have a system that
has less of a tendency to go down."
© 1998 Peter Langston