Highway POS System

Why one petroleum company decided to use Linux for its new point of sale computers.

Currently, we've got Linux 2.0, demand loadable kernel modules and connectivity to Windows, Novell and AppleTalk. Most importantly, we never hear the words, “Hmmm, it looks like an OS problem.” We still have the occasional problem with an application or utility, but it's rarely anything critical, and, if it is, we always have the source code and access to the author.

We aren't the only retail petroleum POS vendor to come up with a PC-based solution. We are, however, the only Unix-based one. There have been attempts based on Windows 95, OS/2 and even DOS. So far, no one's really succeeded. Our product will hit the streets around mid-year (1997). It's already done wildly better than expected in its first field trials. We have confidence that it's going to be a winner, due in large part to Linux.

Marc L. Allen works for Schlumberger Technologies, designing top-of-the-line POS systems for the retail petroleum industry. Using Linux on the job gives him enough trouble-free time to support his Duplicate Bridge habit without upsetting his wife. He can be reached at allen@chesapeake.rps.slb.com.