911 Calls Linux - For Reliable Service
In January 1998 I began testing linux for our 911 Center here in St. George Utah. We are the 911 Center for the South west corner of Utah. In November of 1998 Testing was complete with great success. I implemented Linux as the workstation for our 911 Center using RedHat 5.2 and AfterStep as the windows manager. These workstations get worked on 24 hrs a day seven days a week and run several apps on screen.
Some of the apps that we run our Eterm to connect to the main HP Server, X3270 for our State computer connection, WordPerfect for different reports the dispatchers create, and some custom apps I have written in C.
Our WordPerfect was given to us Mike Cowpland CEO of Corel. The WordPerfect 8 has worked perfectly. Thanks Mike.
Our uptime has been over 200 DAYS. This doesn't even come close to the reboot once a day with the Microsoft OS. I could give several horror stories of when the dispatcher is in the middle of a hot call, then had to reboot.
Linux has done so well, that I have unplugged the reset buttons and disabled the power switch. This was done to prevent finger glitch when they have to restart the NT box our radios work from (I just wish Motorola would switch over), that sits next to the linux box. Linux is the main console that the 911 Dispatcher works from, and has held up better than any I have ever seen. Linux has been doing great in the server end, but I have heard it's not very good at the client end. NOT TRUE. My installation time for the first pc was 45 minutes for full install with apps. By the time I got to the last set it was 30 minutes for full install. As a client it has worked great.
The only shutdowns have been from one power supply failure, and a kernel update for each. The workstations are still running great.
Officer Sherman Stebbins
St. George Police Department