U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

May 13, 2010 -

The United States Air Force bought 336 PlayStation 3 consoles in 2009 as an initial purchase to create a 53 teraFlop cluster for processing data. Impressed with the power of Sony's home console system, the Air Force decided to buy another 2200 consoles. The whole project cost the Air Force (and by proxy the U.S. tax payers) $663,000.

These PS3 systems were configured with the "Other OS" feature, allowing the Air Force to use Linux to do whatever heavy lifting the project needed, but Sony's recent firmware update that removed that option may prove to be problematic for this work in the future.

"We will have to continue to use the systems we already have in hand," said an Air Force rep speaking with Ars Technica. "This will make it difficult to replace systems that break or fail. The refurbished PS3s also have the problem that when they come back from Sony, they have the firmware (gameOS) and it will not allow Other OS, which seems wrong. We are aware of class-action lawsuits against Sony for taking away this option on systems that used to have it."

While the Air Force made no further comment on the Class Action Lawsuit, it would probably fair to say that it hopes Sony will not prevail and it won't have to worry about the infamous firmware update removing the features it needs to continue its work..

Source: Ars Technica


Comments

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

"Oh man, sorry about your car, Kaz.  If only our smart bombs had had just a few more brain Cells to rub together, they wouldn't have been so far off target..."

 

;)

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

Um.... yeah I would bet that the Air Force falls under a whole different sales department, a sales department that will make sure the systems that are sold to the Air Force will work for the Air Force.  Typical company sales structure, not sure why everyone is like "oh noes the air force!"

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

There was no contract, they just bought them.

using PS3s was immensely cheaper than building computers from any of the contracted sources.  those guys saved the taxpayers something to the tune of $1-2 Million.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

On one hand its sucks that replacing the ps3 will be difficult if one of them broke down since the other os feature was remove. On the other hand the Air Force should have used real supercomputers and not gaming consoles.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

Note: The cell processor, was developed for the Army, for the Roadrunner machine (impressive machine, actually).

Sony, just "jumped in" and helped develop it even further.

The Air Force, decided to design their own super-computer using PS3, like NASA do (NASA buy off-the-shelf computers and make clusters too, some people claim that the "Beowulf" cluster is NASA invention, to the point that I saw many people calling it "NASA-style" cluster). Clusters, are a cheap way to make supercomputer, they are the same, PS3 actually, work better as cluster cell, than as gaming console (because its low, but extremely fast ram for example...)

 

So, a supercomputer built with PS3, IS a real computer, it is not a toy, not a bunch of gaming consoles. And it is easier to program than Roadrunner too... (Roadrunner is hell fast, but it is annoying to use, because it mixes Cell processors with Xeon, and they have diffrent architecture and way to work, and need to interact to reach full calculation speed... Roadrunner is like a gigantic Sega Saturn...)

 

 

Actually, it is Sony that should have made a real console, instead of a supercomputer part that is hell expensive... (altough, I DO like PS3... I am dieing to get my hands in one... And do all sorts of experiments and gaming on it...)

 

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Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

These things are also popular for Clustering algorithms for dna sequences.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

They were likely trying to save some money.

 

If a fairly inexpensive device can do what a more expensive device can do, most would go or the less expensive device.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

That's exactly what they were doing.  IIRC, they stated that it would require a $2000 investment per computer to get a system built for them that can do what they need, as compared to a $600 per-unit PS3, which already had the ability, with the Other OS function.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

Hehe, and Sony said no one uses that feature?

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

I think Sony was refering to ther general public not private and goverment agencies. we Over here we have a cluster of 30 PS3s here on College. I'm sure the Air Force can get PS3s with that feature straight from Sony.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

No, no, no.  The Air Force already has those PS3's, and the firmware update removed the vital (for them) Other OS function, making their purchase of over $600,000 a complete waste, since they can no longer do what they needed them to do.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

I don't think that's what's being said jedi.  It reads like, "We have the PS3s and will continue to use them, but when we need to replace any, we're screwed."  I'd suspect they can get Sony to sell them PS3s with the old firmware though.

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

I'd LOVE to get a look at tha purchase contract Sony signed with the Air Force. At the time they probably weren't contemplating removing the "Other OS" function. There could be serious breach of contract issues depending on the language.

Re: U.S. Air Force Comments on PS3 'Other Os' Removal

I hope sony has to dish out repalcements for them......I doubt they will put it back...


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E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenDepends on if you consider Hatred misrated. I haven't played the game or seen the ESRB's rating summary so I'm undecided.05/28/2015 - 3:53pm
WonderkarpDidnt Fahrenheit have an AO?05/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Matthew Wilson@AE that is why I said it seems more moral panic to me.05/28/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - From what I've seen (just the trailers) the game is nowhere near as gory as many, many other games. But again, I'm guessing the AO rating comes from theme and tone rather than outright gore.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenKarp - It didn't show penetration or nudity.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
WonderkarpI'd say Mortal Kombat X has more Gore and Violence than Hatred.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhat I mean by worse in this case its not more gory/violent than others.05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
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Andrew EisenKarp - The Skyrim mods are external mods. The Hot Coffee mod unlocked content on the disc. Big difference. Still, the content that was unlocked was still perfectly in line with an M rating in my opinion.05/28/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenThemes are factored into ratings, not just mechanics. Still waiting for ESRB's rating summary. Very curious to see what it has to say.05/28/2015 - 3:46pm
Matthew WilsonHatred is a top down shooter though, and isnt any worse than other top down shooters?05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Wonderkarpyeah, San Andreases rerating was ridiculous. Why not rerate Skyrim with all its crazy sex mods out there? But yeah, ESRB is good as policing itself. 05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Andrew EisenManhunt 2 and Hatred though? Eh, there's an argument to be made for the higher rating.05/28/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenRerating San Andreas was a mistake though. That seemed to be the result of kowtowing to public pressure.05/28/2015 - 3:42pm
 

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