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NewsForge: Linux Manufacturing a Lead in Asia

Jul 08, 2002, 09:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Bryar)

"Most people familiar with the history of computing can cite a variety of government and industrial applications that drove the early market for computers. The very earliest applications of all involved the automation of industrial processes. In fact, the granddaddy of all "data processing" applications allowed French garment manufacturers to automate the process of creating patterned sweaters -- back in 1801.

"In the 1970s and '80s IT pioneers such as Digital Equipment Corp. spawned an entirely new business focused on industrial automation, and heavy industry grew to become an important market for software developers. Over the last 20 years, American enthusiasm for computer assisted industrial control systems has faded, along with big chunks of the country's traditional manufacturing base.

"However, in the rapidly expanding industrial centers of East Asia, computer integrated manufacturing is alive and well, and increasingly a Linux-only environment. As vendors are quickly discovering, if you want to market computing systems to heavy industry, they'd better be Open Source..."

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