[sdiy] Durability of measurement equipment, was: OT: DMM recommendations

Jay Schwichtenberg jschwich53 at comcast.net
Thu Mar 8 00:16:38 CET 2018

I do HW/SW consulting and in the last 13 years spent most of the time working in T&M (Test and Measurement).

One of the projects that I worked on we had an issue with Windows licensing. It was based on Windows 98 and we needed to do a SW update to resolve some issues in the instrument. But because of the Microsoft OEM license with the manufacture we needed to update the OS to Windows XP since 98 was obsolete. This required a new hard drive since the original one was to small and more memory. So instead of a free SW maintenance upgrade it became about a $2K upgrade.

In the high end of T&M there may be a real reason for using Windows, there is where I worked. Actually a lot of customers want this. They do not just use the instrument as standalone unit but as an acquisition device. They acquire data and then run their own code on it to do analysis and test out their algorithms. I've seen this done a lot for memory/bus interfaces for eq algorithms and for RF signal demodulation/noise algorithms. After this you're probably going what about Linux? Well that's not what the customers wanted, most of their engineering teams are Windows based.

Jay S.

-----Original Message-----
From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org] On Behalf Of Ingo Debus
Sent: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 12:57 AM
Subject: [sdiy] Durability of measurement equipment, was: OT: DMM recommendations

> Am 06.03.2018 um 22:15 schrieb rsdio at audiobanshee.com:
> There is a significant cost difference between manufacturing something that will last a lifetime versus something that is easily broken, discarded, and simply replaced.

This doesn’t apply to DMMs, but to the more expensive oscilloscopes: often there’s a Windows operation system built in. How long are these supposed to be used? These days scopes aren’t lifetime buys any longer, but when I spent that much money I’d want to use it for at least 20 years. Any 20 years old Windows computers out there that still are doing their jobs?

Once I read the license agreement of a really expensive scope (I think it was a LeCroy). It was said that the user was responsible for security, keep virus scanners updated and things like that. How is one supposed to do that once the scope is ten or twenty years old?

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