Out of the barn

This easy-to-read compilation of a series of articles by PLC inventor Dick Morley covers eight entertaining topical sections, including floor level control systems and the history of the programmable controller.

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  By Richard Morley

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his easy-to-read compilation of a series of articles, authored by PLC inventor Dick Morley, originally appeared in MSI (formerly Manufacturing Systems magazine). The series ran from January 1992 through August 1997. In typical Dick Morley fashion, the book, Out of the Barn, covers eight entertaining topical sections, including Floor Level Control Systems; Industrial Computing: The Camel Has the Tent; Software: Indispensable Exasperation; Managing Manufacturing: Multi-Tasking Personified; Enhancing Corporate Wealth; Global Reports; Evaluating Entrepreneurship; and We Have Met the Enemy: They Is Us!

Inventor, author, consultant and engineer Dick Morley is best known as the father of the programmable controller (his PLC is now enshrined in the Smithsonian). He's an entrepreneur whose consistent successes in the founding of high technology companies has been demonstrated through more than three decades of revolutionary achievements.

For several years, Dick's column "Under Control" in the automation journal "Manufacturing Systems" brought up ground-breaking concepts, presented with characteristic Morley humor and make-you-think challenges. This little book gathers those wide-ranging columns in compatible segments, organized for easy reading. You can open the book and read any article, in any section, to be educated, challenged and entertained.

Here you'll find the history of the programmable controller -- when it was developed, how it got its name, it's rise & fall, and many interesting historical anecdotes. You'll find out what Morley was thinking and dreaming about, over several years, even as he is today. In short, article-length bites, you'll discover a variety of insightful ideas, concepts, predictions and prognostications, mixed in a tasty soup of Morley chit-chat and BS. Dick Morley himself will tell you that he is not sure which is which. But, it'll make you think!

If you know Dick Morley, you'll enjoy reading this to refresh your mind; if you don't know him, you will -- when you read this book!

Reviewer: James Pinto, San Diego, CA

Click here to purchase a copy of Out of the Barn.

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