Which Mac to get (to control Nuclear Power station)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by geese, May 21, 2005.

  1. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm currently responsible for upgrading the old 1960's mainframe computers that are controlling the nuclear reactors at Sellafield power station, in the UK.

    I'm considering a Mac mini- do you think it'll be up for the job? Mind you, it cant crash otherwise KABOOM! Chernobyl over again!

    So, would a Mini with 512mb memory cover it?

    Also does anyone know of any freeware 'Reactor controller' software for the Mac? And does anyone sell any USB 'punch-card' readers that'll work on the mac?

    Thanks
     
  2. Link macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #3
    Actually, I think 256 megs of RAM would do it. ;)
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    You definitely want to use Windows 98 to get adequate stability for that kind of application...hmm...it's so demanding, I might even recommend WinME instead. :rolleyes:
     
  4. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #5
    agreed. do you really want to control a nuclear power plant with a $500 consumer computer? note to self: dont ever go near sellafield!
     
  5. Link macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #6
    I would actually suggest the much higher security of sticks and rocks. Just watch someone try and hack into them to get control of the plant.
     
  6. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Forget a computer, just hire some college kids to manually adjust the control rods for you. They might think that metal taste in their mouth is some sort of "buzz" - they'll enjoy it.

    They are easy to replace after the radiation begins to kill them. Plus, you won't have to worry about pension plans.
     
  7. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #8
    Well to be honest there has already BEEN a nuclear meltdown at sellafield (formerly named something else WestGreen or something) so any further meltdowns will simply compound the problem.

    I'd go with a Packard Bell running WinME if you want true stability. And add unpatched IE 4.0 if you can, just to add some spice

    EDIT:

    It was Windscale not WestGreen.
     
  8. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    #9
    I think you should stick with your tubes, or the engineers will get pissed off. ;) :D
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Sticks and stones will break my bones, but neutrons fly right through me.
     
  10. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #11
    You sure about this? I always thought beta particles could be absorbed by the body (with plenty ill effects).

    Gamma rays, though, are a different story.
     
  11. jer446 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
  12. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #13
    I doubt it, the UK budget for power stations is horribly low! They could never afford to pay for anything top end to control sellafield.
     
  13. Link macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #14
    And then there are cosmic rays, like those that affected the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom.
    :cool:
     
  14. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    Are you volunteering to adjust the control rods? :)
     
  15. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #16
    Awww man, bring those bad-boys on. I wanna spontaneously combust... that will learn those that oppose me.

    MUAHAHAHAHA
     
  16. john1123 macrumors regular

    john1123

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Down Under
    #17
    I, for one, think that geese is dead serious ;)
     
  17. Link macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #18
    Flame on! :)
     
  18. Link macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #19
    I do too, that is why I suggested the use of sticks and rocks instead of a computer.
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #20
    LOL I was kidding. Actually, yes, hydrogen has an excellent cross section for neutron scatter, and also absorbs a lot of the energy of fast neutrons, and so things full of water (like people) or plastics make good neutron absorbers.

    Gammas cause damage, but they're absorbed much better in things like lead than in low-weight elements like the ones that compose the body, AFAIK....
     
  20. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #21
    What do we learn from this?

    Stay the hell away from nuclear radiation!

    P.S. Need to get my particle physics up to scratch, you totally pwned my knowledge there
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #22
    Don't worry... I have an MS in Nuclear Engineering. But compared to anyone else who has one (and isn't studying psychology today, like I am), I probably don't know jack.... ;)

    And, in terms of staying away from nuclear radiation, definitely stay away from any nuclear power plant that changes it's reactor control system based on input from Macrumors!!! :eek: ;) :D
     
  22. Viv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    Normandy, France
    #23
    Yes Windscale, makes me feel old knowing it as that, there was a fire in a cooling tower section and ceasium and other stuff got dumped out in the plume, farmers for years had to dump milk as it binds to iodine or some such.

    Interesting that they wont admit to a cancer cluster any were in that region

    Viv
     
  23. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #24
    Not saying the mini is a bad computer but i don't think it was designed for controlling a nuclear power station. I would think a super computer like a dell would be better :rolleyes: ;)
    But seriously i think a powermac would be better, if not multiple PM g5
     
  24. ChemicalGeoff macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    #25
    Well i only know about windscale due to one of my many nights reading up stuff on Wikipedia. It's very easy to get trapped in a never ending run of interesting subjects on that damned site.

    As for particle physics, my degree requires that i know more than just the words "beta particle" but i have 2 weeks till my exams, i'm sure i'll be fine *starts to sweat*
     

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