Windows use in medical spaces (Re: vintage computers in active use)

geneb geneb at
Sat May 28 11:18:11 CDT 2016

On Fri, 27 May 2016, Toby Thain wrote:

> On 2016-05-27 8:38 PM, Cameron Kaiser wrote:
>>> You can hardly blame windows for the stupidity of people. This could also
>>> happen w/ discreet stupid devices
>> One word: Therac.
> Therac is not the same threat at all. What seems to be missing from the 
> process that leads to specifying Windows is, indeed, threat modelling. The 
> threat of a virus scanner disabling the machine is not the same as a virus 
> disabling the machine, and so on (a proper enumeration of threats would be 
> quite long).
> The point is that the threat model for a "discrete stupid device" is VERY 
> different from the threat model for Windows. Human error obviously appears in 
> both lists (and can be mitigated!) And these aren't the only 2 options, 
> either...
> I think we can all agree that when the outcomes are as bad as this, then the 
> engineering process was faulty. A virus scanner (or virus) is a very easily 
> foreseen problem.

What I don't understand is why Windows is being used on these devices at 
all.  It specifically states in the license that it's not to be used with 
life-critical systems or infrastructure (like nuclear plants).  I wish I 
could find a reference - I can't recall where I read that...

The funny thing is, I've been using Windows since Windows 95 and the only 
issues I've ever had with it were all self-inflicted.  I've never 
understood all the hate it gets.  (Well except for Windows ME and Windows 
8.0 - those were shit-shows. :) )


Proud owner of F-15C 80-0007 - The only one of its kind. - Go Collimated or Go Home.
Some people collect things for a hobby.  Geeks collect hobbies.

ScarletDME - The red hot Data Management Environment
A Multi-Value database for the masses, not the classes. - Get it _today_!

More information about the cctalk mailing list