Flex 6600m question

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Does the new lineup of products with integrated GUI device still include the Dell Venue tablet? or something else?

Trying to understand what the core O/S is now, and how will it (the O/S) be updated and patched on the 6600m in the future.
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Steven G1XOW

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Posted 2 years ago

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John - K3MA

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It has a new display device but I do not know if it is Dell or not.  I was there when Gerald was asked directly whom the manufacturer was and he declined to answer.
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Jim Gilliam

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Does the display system actually consist of a computer operating on the Windows platform? If so, it would seem it would update just like any other computer used to bring up the Flex radio. Will this new computer/display be immune to the bane of Windows updates?


Jim, K6QE

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Steven G1XOW

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Jim,

That's part of the reason for the question. The Maestro certainly has the Dell Venue 8 (windows 8) integrated.

Its one thing having PCs on your network that are vulnerable to infections, trojans etc, most can be seen and detected by good A/V software.

Its another storey to have the same potential issues with embedded (read hidden) hardware and software. If SSDR on the tablet boots immediately after Windows, how would you ever know or see what crud has hopped on to it via your LAN or WWW?
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Couple things on the "M-panel":


  • FRS wasn't saying who the partner was for the controller nor the new screen.

  • One FRS team member said Gerald led the design of the NEW interface for the "M-panel" which to me suggested it is a bespoke design, rather than an imbedded product.

  • I did not get a clear answer if the new device was running with shared resources from the radio, or an additional processor like the Maestro.  I don't think I asked the question in a way that made sense to them.


On the Maestro, please remember the embedded hardware is running a CLOSED commercial version of Windows and the FRS controls any updates/patches.  You can find other threads discussing this difference.

73

Steve K9ZW


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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I did not get a clear answer if the new device was running with shared resources from the radio, or an additional processor like the Maestro.  I don't think I asked the question in a way that made sense to them.

The front panel display runs an independent "client" that communicates with the radio back-end.  It does not share resources with the radio hardware.
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Thank you Tim for putting me right on this - I think I had asked Lou the question in a confusing way.  Not that the heat on Friday would do that to a person. 

Hats off to the FRS team for "weathering" that part of the event.  Think it was more a shock coming from part of the States still having overnight frost warnings.

73

Steve K9ZW

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Steven G1XOW

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"On the Maestro, please remember the embedded hardware is running a CLOSED commercial version of Windows and the FRS controls any updates/patches."

I don't see that as a positive thing. As someone who works in InfoSec, I would regard that as an even bigger risk. Anything or any company that could slow up to automatic and immediate dissemination of updates on Windows devices is bad news. i.e. when the next WannaCry like infestation happens, and the FRS team are enjoying their sunday BBQ, how quickly will every Flex device world-wide get a) detected and b) patched?
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Official Response
An embedded Windows system, such as the Maestro, typically includes only the functionality required by the platform (it's a "componentized" version of Windows). The system gets updates only under the control of the manufacturer - which should be rarely. The embedded system isn't subject to the same sort of malware infection as desktop systems, because embedded systems are almost always run "write protected." So, if there IS a malware infection, you just reboot the system and it's gone. No on-disk changes persist from boot to boot.

Windows runs in tens of millions of embedded systems every day. Among the ones I've personally worked on are: Medical imaging equipment, blood analyzers, military UAVs, financial clearing imaging systems, factory floor automation in all manner of industries, mass mailing systems, and almost every ATM on the planet.

So, relax. If Windows was really such a mess, the entire world would be in chaos. Your CT scan would be dangerous. Drones would fall from the sky. You'd never be able to get cash without waiting in line for a teller.

Your radio or your Maestro is in good hands.

Peter
K1PGV
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Peter is 100% correct and knows what he is talking about.  The OS is completely locked down and can only talk to our server.  We have complete control over all updates.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Well that puts that to bed....
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James Whiteway

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And your Garmin GPS would go crazy when you update it. ( amoung other brands of updateable GPS devices)
James
WD5GWY
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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The new integrated display devices in the "M" models are multi-sourced through OEM relationships.