- Tactical Briefs
- Collaborative Manufacturing
- Control Panel Optimization
- Embedded systems & Trends
- Embedded Vision in Manufacturing
- Energy Efficiency
- Ethernet I/O Networking
- Factory Floor Network Deployment
- Factory Floor Network Reliability
- Fieldbus I/O
- Hands-on Guide to OEE
- HMI, From the Web to the Cloud
- Industrial PCs and the IoT
- Internet of Things
- Machine Safety
- Machine Safety Standards & Strategies
- Make a lasting connection
- Mechatronics @ Work: Insight & Technology Solutions
- Opening Up Your Gateway to Asia
- Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI)
- Robotics in U.S. Manufacturing
- Robots & Machines in Motion
- The Future of Industrial PCs
- The power of PackML
Trust in Oreo: Some Year-end Perspective
Aside from revolutions and game-changing new technology introductions, it often seems that most things in our world change very slowly throughout the course of our lives. But when you step back and look at a few key points, it turns out that almost everything changes dramatically in a relatively short period of time.
While doing some research yesterday, I got distracted by some other interesting information on the Internet (it happens more than I care to admit). The point of the information I came across was to underscore just how much things change in a relatively short period of time. We may not notice those changes with the proper perspective as we see them transpire; but those changes—when viewed with 20/20 hindsight—really highlight how much and how fast the course of our lives can be altered, even by events not directly connected to us.
So, without further ado, here’s a short list of the way things were just a little over a decade ago:
▪ Greece was strong.
▪ Russia was bankrupt.
▪ Oil cost $13 a barrel.
▪ AOL dominated the Internet.
▪ Smart economists thought the government would pay off the national debt by 2009.
▪ Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was a joke.
▪ General Motors (NYSE: GM) was at an all-time high.
▪ Mark Zuckerberg was in middle school.
▪ Y2K was a major worry.
▪ Fortune named Enron one of America’s “most admired corporations.”
To offer one more point from the automation side of things, I could add to this list that Ethernet was not considered by many to be a viable plant level network.
The takeaway, of course, is to demonstrate that whatever the circumstance today, odds are really good that circumstances will change dramatically in the near term.
As I write this, the clock is ticking on the few remaining hours of 12/20/12. Like most people, I don’t think 12/21/12 will be the end (it is already well into 12/21/12 in the eastern hemisphere and they’re still standing). So while this particular change may have taken more than 2,000 years to come to pass for the Mayans, we usually don't have to wait as long for meaningful change in our lives. And that can be good or bad … depending on your perspective.
All I have to say about all this after seeing the meme image posted with this article is: In Oreo I trust. At least until they stop being manufactured, which will very likely happen … eventually.
David Greenfield has been covering industrial technologies, ranging from software and hardware to embedded systems, for more than 20 years. His principal areas of coverage for Automation World focus on technologies deployed for factory and process automation. Contact David at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @DJGreenfield.
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