Pete Zaitcev, a well-armed blogger with deep knowledge of all things anime and linux, says my recent commentary on Linux was “hilariously retarded“. My crime was my poor choice of examples of Linux hardware compatibility: USB thumbdrives and optical mice. He’s absolutely right, those are poor examples indeed (unlike, say, graphics cards, TV tuners, webcams, …). However, my broader point stands – seamless, plug and play compatibility of a generic USB device (or for that matter any peripheral) is not guaranteed with Linux. Were it otherwise, this site wouldn’t need to exist. All in all, I think my comments about Linux were rather optimistic, and hardly hostile.
Incidentally, Pete’s skepticism aside, GE MRI scanners do indeed run Linux on HP Intel workstations, starting with EPIC software release 11.0. Prior versions of EPIC ran on Octane workstations running some flavor of Onyx, IIRC (I did pulse sequence design for my dissertation on EPIC 9.1 – my initials appear in the source code for GE’s product diffusion tensor sequence).
What I was trying to do was simply plug a USB drive into the workstation, and then issue a standard cp command to get some image files off. There was no “medical stack” or “image export function” that Pete refers to – this was a straight attempt at copying raw data. The USB drive simply would not mount.