Thermwoods run on Windows why not Linux

Discuss Thermwood 3-axis Machinery, Controller, and Software.

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Neville Bastian
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Thermwoods run on Windows why not Linux

Postby Neville Bastian » Mon, Oct 29 2018, 9:56PM

I was wondering why Thermwood has stuck with Windows when they keep dropping support of Windows versions when they get old. I believe they are changing what they consider old as support for Win 7 is close to being dropped.If you had open sourced Linux would that make the Thermwood range future proof?
Dont want to get a whats best debate but I guess someone would know the reason for Microsoft support within Thermwood Corp. Just curious as it must drive them mad when they have 20 year old plus machines in the work place.

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Brad McIntosh
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Re: Thermwoods run on Windows why not Linux

Postby Brad McIntosh » Tue, Oct 30 2018, 9:51AM

If I am not mistaken - The discontinuation of Windows Support on a particular Windows OS version does not mean that that operating system version no longer functions. The discontinuation of support just means that security patches are no longer developed and distributed. Based on the basic requirements of the THM control application at the time of manufacturing, the older OS is usually sufficient to support it.

We have a few clients running machines that are 20+ years old - and those that have not retro'd their machine would be running the original IBM OS/2 (at the time, possibly among the best preemptive/multi-tasking OS for a machine control). Usually those clients have not updated their control because - well - the machines are still working and performing the task(s) assigned to them acceptably. In order to update them to a more current Windows operating system and the latest THM control system, they would have to update the 20 year old computer hardware (CPU, RAM, storage, network cards, external connectivity, etc) not only for the newer OS, but for the demands on the latest THM application. Sometimes drivers for the old hardware are not even available under the newer OS releases.

I am not a Linux expert but...

If Thermwood offered a Linux based system then, based on recent THM application resource requirements, would not a 5-10-20 year old Linux based system also need hardware upgrades (CPU, RAM, etc) - possibly even to run the latest Linux distribution?

Just my thoughts...
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Jeremy Schiffer
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Re: Thermwoods run on Windows why not Linux

Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Mon, Nov 05 2018, 10:08AM

If I am not mistaken - The discontinuation of Windows Support on a particular Windows OS version does not mean that that operating system version no longer functions. The discontinuation of support just means that security patches are no longer developed and distributed.


Microsoft no longer allows Windows XP to be activated. Sure, the OS still works, but if you need to reinstall it, you will NOT be able to activate it, thus rendering it useless. I have had this problem on my CS41. Needed to reinstall everything, and it went fine, but then Windows had to be activated of course. No longer possible, which pretty much turns the machine into a $100k paperweight. Sure, we could upgrade controllers, but that's rather akin to buying a new car when the tires wear out.

Neville is correct about Linux - since it does not need "activating", then there is nothing to stop you using a 20 year old distro over and over. It would solve these problems. Of course, I doubt Thermwood is going to switch to Linux-based controllers because of other logistical issues, but it would definitely "future-proof" the machines if it were to be done.
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Gerry A Brown
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Re: Thermwoods run on Windows why not Linux

Postby Gerry A Brown » Sun, Nov 18 2018, 5:38PM

I do drive images at regular intervals. (I use Acronis true image) If I run into a problem I restore the drive image that is the most recent and if I have problems with that I keep going back in time until I get a stable install.

You do need to restore the tool database and a few other files to insure the controller is using accurate information.

XP is getting to be a bit of a lame duck though with replacement hardware and drivers hard to find.


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