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Old 06-07-2005, 06:33 PM   #1
Ausar
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Casino's use XP. Thinking about introducing them to Linux. (Harrah's Gaming)


I wanted this to be a topic of its own but I can't fnd the post new thread button. The firewall at my job seems to be blocking it.

Anyays here goes.

I work in a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As you can imagine, these casinos have many computers that the casinos rely on. And guess what, all of these computers are Windows XP boxs!

I mean, many many many computers with windows xp intalled on them.

Now, weall know that casinos are "bottom line" business meaining they need to make as much profit as they can. Now this got me to thinking. With Microsoft, you have to pay a license fee for every XP os installed on every computer no matter what. Well, assuming that the casinos get deals on bulk licenses, that price still wouldn't beat free.

Linux is free. They could re-do all of their computers and only have to pay for a team of admins. I could gaurantee that the cost of paying the admins company wide would be cheaper than the cost of total OS licenses fees they have to pay company-wide.

What do you all think? I am thinking of running this by the Vice President of Harrah's Gaming (the biggest casino company in the world).

Do you think they would bite?


(BTW: I posted this in another thread because I was behind a company firewall which blocked the new thread feature.)



EDIT:

I fogot to mention that they alredy pay a team of XP admins to troubleshoot the PC's when tey go down (which is very often BTW. The entire customer rating system at the Trump Taj Mahal is shut down at least once per week due to software malfunctions. This also happens at Caesar's casino at least once every 2 weeks.)

So, I do believe that this could be a money saving venture for the Casinos.

BTW, sorry for my spelling. I am at work on one of those "Virtually Indestructible Keyboards" which is a pain to type on. And I am also behind a company firewall (WEBSENSE ENTERPRISE) that is blocking the "edit" and "new thread" functions.

I'll make a thread later about this.

__________________

Last edited by Ausar; 06-07-2005 at 06:35 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 06:34 PM   #2
Ausar
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(This is one of the replies in response to this questiuon in the other thread.)

Quote:
:Originally posted by J.W.
Perhaps you could also make reference to the security angle as another factor in Linux's favor. Paying for all those admins to maintain and secure the Windows boxes has got to be a non-trivial expense, plus running Windows exposes the casino to increased system vulnerabilities. Furthermore, Microsoft is constantly yapping about TCO, but what I'd like to know is how much of that TCO is directly related to dealing with all those wonderful trojans, worms, viruses, "critical" security patches, etc, that are out there. To say it another way, the portion of TCO on a Linux system to deal with things like MyDoom, Sasser, Nimda, etc, etc, is zero -- what's the corresponding figure for Windows? Clearly, it not only is non-zero, it's not negligible either.

In any event, even if your boss is skeptical about Linux, I'm hoping that you at least get permission to run a small pilot program, just to give your proposal a fair shot. If nothing else, you can say point blank that due to licensing fees, every Windows machine in the place would cost at least an estimated $400 over a similar Linux box (based on the assumption that XP costs about $150 and Office Professional costs about $250) and depending on how many boxes you have, that could add up pretty quickly. Good luck with it -- J.W.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 12:19 AM   #3
nadroj
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i didnt know a firewall could block something like 'new post'....?!

a major question is.. what software does it use? it is, i would think, most definetly not open source software that is compatible or has been ported to linux, correct?
there would be a large fee in having people write all your company/casino-specific software from scratch... i would think.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 05:23 AM   #4
Ausar
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Quote:
Originally posted by nadroj
i didnt know a firewall could block something like 'new post'....?!

a major question is.. what software does it use? it is, i would think, most definetly not open source software that is compatible or has been ported to linux, correct?
there would be a large fee in having people write all your company/casino-specific software from scratch... i would think.

From what it looks like, they use a simple, custom database app. Doesn't look like it would be too dificult to port to Linux. Besides, the money they could save in the long run would outweigh the porting costs I would think.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 06:29 AM   #5
mjolnir
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Go for it Ausar, that would be neat. Embedded linux on the chip in the slots might be another idea. I dealt blackjack and roulette for Harrahs Metropolis.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 07:55 AM   #6
trickykid
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Re: Casino's use XP. Thinking about introducing them to Linux. (Harrah's Gaming)

Quote:
Originally posted by Ausar
(BTW: I posted this in another thread because I was behind a company firewall which blocked the new thread feature.)
In the future then, ask a moderator of the forum you posted a reply in to split it off into its own thread. Also since this is not a thread that technical asks a Linux technical questions as being more of a general Linux discussion type thread, it belongs in General, not Linux - General.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 09:07 AM   #7
Crashed_Again
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Funny, I used to work at Harrah's A.C. Although I didn't work in IT, it was my understanding that everything computer related was dictated by corporate in Nashville or where ever the hell the main office is. I was also under the impression that most of the server side stuff was AS400 to support SSDS and all the proprietary Bally's applications that crash more then a Windows NT server running java.

Your talking about everybodies client pcs? From my one year there it seems all people need is email and some sort of office suite(Open Office).

I say go for it and if they say yes hire me as a consultant. I already work in Atlantic City and it would be good to see the old gang again.

Tell Gary Loveman I said hi.
 
Old 06-11-2005, 06:34 PM   #8
Ausar
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Quote:
Funny, I used to work at Harrah's A.C. Although I didn't work in IT, it was my understanding that everything computer related was dictated by corporate in Nashville or where ever the hell the main office is. I was also under the impression that most of the server side stuff was AS400 to support SSDS and all the proprietary Bally's applications that crash more then a Windows NT server running java.

Your talking about everybodies client pcs? From my one year there it seems all people need is email and some sort of office suite(Open Office).

I say go for it and if they say yes hire me as a consultant. I already work in Atlantic City and it would be good to see the old gang again.

Tell Gary Loveman I said hi.

Yeah!? I don't work at Harrah's. I work at Caesar's (3 years) and Taj Mahal (8 years). Only reason I say Harrah's Gaming is because they bought Caesar's and will be taking over on June 13th 2005.

At Caesar's, the players at the tables are rated by computers at a few computers located throughout each pit. The Floor or Pit swipes the player's card trough the card reader and the player is then logged in to be rated for the duration. A player can use a card created at any specific (now) Harrah's Gaming property to get their play rated at all of the Harrah's Gaming properties. That means, if I have a Caesar's Card or Bally's card, I can use them at any Harrah's Gaming property.

I can only imagine how big their network is and how much of an impact it would have if they were to switch to Linux as their main OS.

The OS that the rating app runs on is Windows XP (I think PRO). These computers crash quite often and sometimes, the entire system crashes and the Floorpeople are forced to rate the players manually on paper.

BTW, do you have Skype? Maybe I can learn some things about linux from you. As a dealer, I am always asking my players if they are familiar with linux.

Send me your info in a PM. I will send you my Skype handle in a PM when I get home as I am on a computer at work.
 
Old 06-13-2005, 08:34 AM   #9
Crashed_Again
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ausar
Yeah!? I don't work at Harrah's. I work at Caesar's (3 years) and Taj Mahal (8 years). Only reason I say Harrah's Gaming is because they bought Caesar's and will be taking over on June 13th 2005.

At Caesar's, the players at the tables are rated by computers at a few computers located throughout each pit. The Floor or Pit swipes the player's card trough the card reader and the player is then logged in to be rated for the duration. A player can use a card created at any specific (now) Harrah's Gaming property to get their play rated at all of the Harrah's Gaming properties. That means, if I have a Caesar's Card or Bally's card, I can use them at any Harrah's Gaming property.

I can only imagine how big their network is and how much of an impact it would have if they were to switch to Linux as their main OS.

The OS that the rating app runs on is Windows XP (I think PRO). These computers crash quite often and sometimes, the entire system crashes and the Floorpeople are forced to rate the players manually on paper.

BTW, do you have Skype? Maybe I can learn some things about linux from you. As a dealer, I am always asking my players if they are familiar with linux.

Send me your info in a PM. I will send you my Skype handle in a PM when I get home as I am on a computer at work.
Do you know who makes the software for the table game rating system? I would suspect Bally's Gaming since they make the majority of the casino's software.

I have to be honest though, their software is extremly bad. In slots, everything is run through the SSDS system which Bally's created. It basically is the software behind the place where you put your card in the machine. It tracks a bunch of standard things like player name, comps, time in, time out, etc.

The only issue is that SSDS would get "overloaded" and crash thus creating madness from the slot players. They weren't getting comped for their play, the casino wasn't able to track them, and worst of all, everything went to "manual" mode. People waited up to an hour to get their money since everything is based off of SSDS.

When I asked the boss's that I worked for what the problem is and why they are still using this software they said, "They(Bally's) don't know what the problem is." and "Their isn't anything else out there." So basically, Bally's has a monopoly on the market and they are lousy in my opinion.

I agree with you that their is definetly a market for linux in the casinos. Amazingly, WMS Gaming, the third biggest slot machine manufacturer in the world, uses linux for their slot machines. I remember rebooting one of the machines one day and seeing kernel modules being loaded. Blew me away. I flew out to Reno to interview with them and it was awesome. They were testing a new progressive they were developing. They had 12 machines hooked up to one Fedora Core 1 box that just collected data 24/7 until the progressive was hit. I talked to the lead developer and they were using Linux/Apache/MySQL/Python to collect and display all the data.

I just went off topic here. I'm interested to see how this goes. Have you told anybody you work with about this? Any feedback from coworkers?
 
Old 06-13-2005, 05:34 PM   #10
Ausar
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Quote:
Originally posted by Crashed_Again
Do you know who makes the software for the table game rating system? I would suspect Bally's Gaming since they make the majority of the casino's software.

I have to be honest though, their software is extremly bad. In slots, everything is run through the SSDS system which Bally's created. It basically is the software behind the place where you put your card in the machine. It tracks a bunch of standard things like player name, comps, time in, time out, etc.

The only issue is that SSDS would get "overloaded" and crash thus creating madness from the slot players. They weren't getting comped for their play, the casino wasn't able to track them, and worst of all, everything went to "manual" mode. People waited up to an hour to get their money since everything is based off of SSDS.

When I asked the boss's that I worked for what the problem is and why they are still using this software they said, "They(Bally's) don't know what the problem is." and "Their isn't anything else out there." So basically, Bally's has a monopoly on the market and they are lousy in my opinion.

I agree with you that their is definetly a market for linux in the casinos. Amazingly, WMS Gaming, the third biggest slot machine manufacturer in the world, uses linux for their slot machines. I remember rebooting one of the machines one day and seeing kernel modules being loaded. Blew me away. I flew out to Reno to interview with them and it was awesome. They were testing a new progressive they were developing. They had 12 machines hooked up to one Fedora Core 1 box that just collected data 24/7 until the progressive was hit. I talked to the lead developer and they were using Linux/Apache/MySQL/Python to collect and display all the data.

I just went off topic here. I'm interested to see how this goes. Have you told anybody you work with about this? Any feedback from coworkers?
I have been off the last couple of days and I am still waiting for the Harrah's big wigs to make themselves known (which should be this week).

Hey, if by any chance they say I have anyone in mind that could run a pilot program, would you be interested?
 
Old 06-13-2005, 07:28 PM   #11
Crashed_Again
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Sure! My email address is in my profile. Keep me posted.
 
Old 06-13-2005, 11:04 PM   #12
Ausar
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^^^^

No Problem. I'll try to talk to them within the next 2 weeks for sure. How long they take to get back to me is unfortunately (lol) up to them.
 
  


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