St. Louis Post: Linux revolution takes root at factory

[ Thanks to Jeremy
for this link. ]

“Two years ago, Owens-Illinois computer specialist Matthew
Chappee recommended that the company use the Linux operating system
to run the plant. … But there was one hurdle. There was no
software program running on Linux to manipulate the massive Oracle
database that holds the information that makes the plant tick. No
problem, Chappee said. He would write it. And he did, all 45,000
lines of code in the C programming language.”

“Since 1998, the Linux-based system has run without a
, said Streubing, information systems manager for the
plant. He chuckles at the thought of what has been achieved by
Chappee and his two Linux-fan colleagues, software developer Wayne
Hoxsie and system administrator Jeremy Brenner. “We’ve got a couple
of bleeding-edge guys here,” Streubing said. “We’ve got a very
open-minded boss,” the 28-year-old Chappee responded.”

“Meanwhile, the company has stopped leasing the massive
mainframe from Hewlett-Packard, and instead bought a small server
specialized for running Linux from VA Linux Systems.
bottom line, according to Chappee, is that Owens-Illinois so
far has saved an estimated $226,833 by switching to Linux hardware
and software systems.”

“In keeping with the open source software movement that gave
birth to Linux, Chappee makes his software available to anyone at
his Web site — www.orasoft.org. He also has used comments from
Oracle employees and others to improve the software. Chappee said
he relishes the fact that computer users at Microsoft have
downloaded his software 12 times.”

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