Orin, I went to Maryland a long time ago (Physics) and can understand your professor's desire to get in some late night work. It was always much quieter then. In the Physics building, at least, you were not lonely late at night, but you could always find a place to work undisturbed. I used to go out for dinner (usually pizza) next to campus. Then I would get a bumper bottle (quart) of beer on the way back. Somehow it was legal to have open alchohol containers on campus. Those of my professors who were there late (usually a few) would often come by with a glass. It was a bit strange, but fun.
Back in the day, I was also a UMD "night owl" from time to time (physics and EE). The campus was an entirely different world at night (never a fight over an electronic terminal, with the loser left having to use the POS teletypes). As a commuter with a full time job though, it tended only to be when I absolutely HAD to get it done (or by invitation).
Of course, bypassing lock-outs is never good (usually this conversation revolves around generators and people who understand basic circuits but not fault modes).
That's a heck of a comment, William K. I did late-night work when I was in college as well. I worked on the university's daily newspaper. I'd come into the office after a play or concert and have to write a review that evening while the copy editors were waiting for my copy. They couldn't go home until I finished. What pressure. It was good practice.
Rob, actually, it was intended to be a sort of terrible pun.
But it is becoming very clear to me that there is a growing gap between the abilities of those who just use some tool and those who created the tools. The problem seems to be that the only engineers who seem to be interested in running the show are the ones who should not be running the show.
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.