Talking about the era of disks, I recently noticed that the icon for saving Word files (in the upper left-hand corner) is a floppy disk. Funny that's still the image that Word uses all these years after the disk era.
The other big change is that back then the Maintenance Station was considered a tool for the Maintenance Department, just like their meters and scopes. Same thing for the "lunchbox" computers (i.e., the precursor to the laptops and tablets) that were used for system support. Today's systems for those functions require multiple layers of signoff by IT.
Reading through all the things you had to do in that era brings back memories. The third party memory manager, the floppy disks to transfer data. The problem with the magnetized screwdriver... Much has changed, and improved, since those days. Fortunately, the storage devices we now have are much more resilient.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
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.