writes "It took us a long time, but the Air Force has finally moved off of the 1970's mainframe GPS control system and is now running on a new Unix-based Control System called AEP — Architecture Evolution Plan (its not a very good name is it? /Zoot). Its important to remember that current GPS satellites are pretty Miss South Carolina as far as satellites go. They're bascially solar powered iPod shuffles with atomic clocks that simply playback whatever we upload into them at a precise rate. They don't actually have any idea where they are — its the control system here at Schriever that does. So, the benefits of a modern, easy-to-maintain control system are legion — especially to US taxpayers. First of all, we hire 20 & 30-somethings like me instead of having to hire TRON-somethings at 4 times the price to operate and mantain the systems because we've actually heard of Solaris (wtf is jovial?) and the storage devices we now use aren't just 60's b-movie sci-fi props. (Yes, the old system actually uses 9-tracks.) Also, the new system will be a lot cheaper to support and modify since Sun stocks things like SATA drives while diging up Saturday Night Fever-era DASDs isn't as simple as a trip to newegg.com. AEP will also allow us to be ahead of the curve: we're basically good to go to fly the new IIF birds. There's other goodness as well, like redundancy, yada, yada, but I like my job, and don't want to get fired because i said something i'm not supposed to."