There's Linux Inside

Have you ever uncovered Linux hidden in a place you didn't expect or have you implemented it covertly? Here are some interesting stories from readers.

This submission comes from Andy in Vermont, USA:

"The gift-registry kiosks in Burlington Coat Factory stores are all driven by Linux. It's pretty hard to notice unless you're watching while the store manager turns them on. But if you look carefully at the cursors, you'll see that they have the Linux shapes."

This submission comes from an anonymous Linux enthusiast in Australia:

"It is a story of 2 ATMs in a shopping area on the Whitsunday Coast in Queensland, Australia. In the middle of making a withdrawal the power went off in the building with my card in the machine. Hanging around for 30 minutes or more hoping to get my card back I was at the machine when the power returned. The screen came back to life and a single sentence appeared: "This is a Linux programme".

The "Linux Programme" continued to load and the machine was again in business. The other machine bore a message that it was out of order until a technician could attend to it."

This submission comes from Kevin, who is serving in the U.S. military in Afghanistan:

"Not sure if you have heard this one before, but I have been using Linux in my Army helicopter. Both the U.S. and Australian military helicopters here in Afghanistan have the Blue Force Tracker system, a moving-map-with-icons communication and tracking system.

The heart of the system is a microrouter which coordinates all the networking and radio signals. It is self-booting and runs embedded Linux on a PC-card memory module. That is all the information I can pass on for
this equipment."

This submission comes from Chris in Ontario, Canada:

"Not too sure if anyone has sent this into you yet, but the 'MegaTouch' games that you see in bars (at least here in Ontario) are all running on Linux. I'm a bartender in Oakville, ON, and I've watched the service guy upgrade the machine, so I knew it was just standard PC parts inside. But last week the machine froze up so I had to "reboot" it, and there it was the familiar boot screen."

This tip comes from Eric in California:

"While surfing the Internet at a Barnes & Noble Wi-Fi hot spot, I got bored and started browsing their network. I noticed they had a machine running in their "wayport" work group, which was a Samba server running Debian. I couldn't access the machine to see what all it was doing, but it looked like it hosted their printing, among several other things I'm sure. I found it interesting nonetheless!"

Have you uncovered Linux in a hidden place? Leave a comment below.

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