Sunday, November 1, 2009

My airplane seat runs Linux - 10/31/2009

My flight finally started boarding at 8:10 pm. I was on the plane and seated by 8:35 pm. The plane is a 777-300. It is really nice on the inside. We passed through the business class section where instead of seats there are these funny looking pod things set at 45 degree angles to the main aisleway. It looks like they convert into narrow beds. They look very futuristic. According to the diagram I looked at online, there are actual full size beds in the first class cabin. I found my way to my seat, 38C. Shortly after sitting down a middle aged Turkish couple came behind me. They looked at their seats by the window and asked if I would move to the window. I told them I preferred to sit on the aisle, but then I said if they didn’t mind me getting up for the bathroom, I would take the window. I think they misunderstood me, because they said OK and took the seat by the window anyway.

After sitting down, I think I experienced the longest taxi wait ever. We were moving slowly for what seemed like an hour. I passed some of the time playing with the fancy movie screen thing embedded in the seat in front of me. I browsed through all the movies. There weren’t many that were particularly new, and there were several foreign films that I had never heard of. I then investigated the other options, including some TV and some games. I tried my hand at some Freecell but got bored pretty quick. I then tried this Berlitz language game  that uses flash cards. I set it to Turkish mode and started playing. I got 10/10 on the first game (tren=train, otel=hotel). Not bad, I am thinking, and then it freezes up completely. None of the buttons are working. I tried to no avail to find some kind of reset button. Great, I think, I guess God doesn’t want me to play games and watch movies for my 9 hour flight :) So I open my Bible and start reading where I left off. By the time we actually took off, I was feeling really sleepy and just shut my eyes.

After we got to altitude, they turned up the lights and I started to wake up from my near doze. Then the screen in front of me starts acting funny, like when you hit reset on your PC. Sure enough, it looks like the system was rebooting itself. And, to top it off, it was a Linux boot screen, apparently some embedded RedHat distribution (RedBoot). There was even an X11 startup screen. (Yes, I am quite the nerd!) So now I am set again with my entertainment, but I think I am going to have to skip the Berlitz language program.

While I was writing this, they handed out menus, some headphones, and some eye cover things. That is really nice considering I was trying to find those last night at Target without success. Here is the menu for the flight:

First Service:

  • Mozarella Peyniri (grilled eggplants / mozarella)
  • Taze Mevsim Salatasi (garden fresh seasonal salad)

A choice of:

  • Tavuk Fileto & Sote Ispanak (chicken breast & sauteed leaf spinach) or
  • Kiymali Firin Makarna (baked maccheroni with minced lamb)


  • Muslili Yogurt (yoghurt with muesli)
  • Beyaz Peynir, Gouda Peyniri & Siyah Zeytin (feta cheese, gouda cheese & black olive)
  • Cirpilmis Yumurta (Scrambled eggs)
  • Izgara Tavuk Sosis / Kizarmis Patates (grilled chicken sausage / fried potato)
  • Taze Ekmek Cesitleri (ovenfresh bread selection)
  • Tereyag / Recel (butter / jam)

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