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First post, by kiacadp

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Hey guys. Thought this would be an interesting read 😀

https://www.techradar.com/news/mars-probe-run … ter-two-decades

Reply 1 of 6, by VileR

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Lolwat? Running an interplanetary probe on Win98 sounds positively nutty. I'd hope that the actual critical systems are managed by something else.

The space agency didn’t go into a great deal of detail regarding the specs of the hardware receiving the update, however Tom's Hardware speculated it could have a Pentium 90 processor, meaning it could potentially run classic games such as Doom as well as explore the secrets of Mars.

Better hope there isn't a copy of Doom in there... no need to let the Martians know that we Earthlings were aware of their shady doings on Phobos and Deimos all along, hmm?

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Reply 2 of 6, by kiacadp

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🤣 my thoughts exactly
I'm actually wondering about the specs: 90mhz Pentium processor sounds rather under-powered for such a machine. Then again these things take years to complete so Windows 98 does make sense that way. Windows 98 remote update in 2022, on Mars no less!

Reply 3 of 6, by jmarsh

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The choice of an x86 CPU sounds weird enough, let alone running windows 98 when windows CE is quite common for dedicated purpose machines.

Afaik most of the stuff that gets sent to Mars uses RAD750 CPUs, radiation hardened version of the PowerPC 750 (same CPU as the GameCube and Wii).

Reply 4 of 6, by rmay635703

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Reminds me of French airports running 3.11

There are mil and space spec x86 chips, most common being good ol 386dx chips which were found on space telescopes.

Harris 286-25 came in a mil / aerospace spec as well

Reply 5 of 6, by weedeewee

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from https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Operatio … n_water-spotter ...

“We faced a number of challenges to improve the performance of MARSIS,” says Carlo Nenna, MARSIS on-board software engineer at Enginium, who is implementing the upgrade. “Not least because the MARSIS software was originally designed over 20 years ago, using a development environment based on Microsoft Windows 98!”

They mention nothing of the system actually running windows 98.

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Reply 6 of 6, by kiacadp

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I think the specs was more of a guess on the author's part. Probably worked it by the OS. I think from when they started building that thing and by the time they finished it , Windows 98 got around so that's what they used I guess. I don't know, just speculating but they could be near the specs if not quite accurate.