With no disrespect intended to the armies of IT tech support
workers whose constant labor keeps America's computers running, IBM thinks
they've found someone who can do the job even better-the computers themselves.
The company (www.ibm.com) last
week announced it was beefing up the automated online support for its
IntelliStation(TM) workstations, and packaging new computers with "automated
problem resolution." Their goal is to reduce customers' time spent on tech
support by enabling the workstations to provide enhanced-assistance on service
calls, or even to perform the fixes themselves. The new "self-healing"
technology can identify its own systems' problems, then correct them by
performing software diagnostics on its configuration and applications.
These "enhanced e-support solutions" use technology licensed from
Support.com Inc. (www.support.com) for the
IntelliStation, ThinkPad notebooks, NetVista desktops, and eServer xSeries
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.