[time-nuts] Beaglebone NTP server
jimlux at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 11 10:33:09 EST 2014
On 12/11/14, 7:04 AM, Paul wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 9:45 AM, Chris Albertson <albertson.chris at gmail.com>
>> Your logic would disqualify EVERY computer made today. What will still be
>> in production in 10 years?
> The ones you make yourself. Or if you're a nation-state the ones you have
> made to your specifications which include N years of support, or the ones
> you make yourself.
> Most time-nuts are hobbyists who will buy used gear or repurpose things.
> That's not a commercial/governmental profile.
Most national labs are more like time-nuts hobbyists for many of the
A big business (think cellphone provider) depreciates and amortizes
their gear, so they cycle through in 3-5 years, and *build the update
process into the budget*. They also buy in large quantities.
National labs are like hobbyists: they buy things and expense them in
the year purchased and use them until they fall apart. They have a
succession of independent projects which come into existence, then go
away, generally without any provision for "sustaining engineering". The
research is done, the report published, move on. They're doing things in
small volumes and repurposing is a way of life.
The "support" is "original builder". And as long as it keeps working,
things are great. When it stops working, then you're hoping
a) the original builder is still working or alive
b) that you have a charge number to use
Much like a hobbyist. The Z3801 GPSDO in the garage will probably run
for a good long time. If my daughter needed the 10 MHz output for a
personal project (unlikely, she's a molec bio person) and it failed her
options would be:
a) Hope I'm alive and interested in fixing it. There's no substantive
documentation on the power supply I used (surplus, of course) or the
cabling (bare molex pin shoved into the connector on the Z3801) or the
RS422-RS232 mod (jumpers inside the box).
b) Hope her budget allows buying a replacement and adapting to the
replacement, or finding someone willing to fix it.
Even for things done in the context of a big mission, there's typically
no mechanism for continuing support. You built a nice phase noise test
setup to characterize the oscillators for a space radio that's getting
put into a Mars rover. You've finished the oscillators and delivered
them to the next higher level of integration. Your budget ends. Your
test set gets put in a closet, left on a bench, passed on to another
project, but whatever the case, there's no funding to improve, maintain,
modify, update, etc.
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