Which Mac to get (to control Nuclear Power station)

geese

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 23, 2003
525
0
London, UK
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
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
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:
 

Link

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2005
54
0
Connecticut
mkrishnan said:
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:
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.
 

feakbeak

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2003
925
1
Michigan
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.
 

ChemicalGeoff

macrumors member
May 20, 2005
42
0
Coventry, UK
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.
 

ChemicalGeoff

macrumors member
May 20, 2005
42
0
Coventry, UK
mkrishnan said:
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but neutrons fly right through me.
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.
 

Link

macrumors member
Jan 26, 2005
54
0
Connecticut
ChemicalGeoff said:
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.
And then there are cosmic rays, like those that affected the Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom.
:cool:
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
ChemicalGeoff said:
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.
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....
 

ChemicalGeoff

macrumors member
May 20, 2005
42
0
Coventry, UK
mkrishnan said:
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....
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
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
ChemicalGeoff said:
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
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
 

Viv

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2003
137
0
Normandy, France
ChemicalGeoff said:
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.
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
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,210
432
NY
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
 

ChemicalGeoff

macrumors member
May 20, 2005
42
0
Coventry, UK
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*