I don't like starting off the year this way, but I am saddened to report that Dennis Morin, founder with several others, of the seminal HMI company, Wonderware, now part of Invensys, passed away on the 31st after a long battle with cancer.
These days, everybody's HMI runs on Windows. Back in 1987, when Morin was laid off at Triconex and started Wonderware, HMIs were running in ASCII characters on proprietary processors, or they were running under MS-DOS, or, in one case UNIX, and in another case, that of National Instruments' Labview, on the Macintosh platform. There was one very small company doing Windows-based HMI. Wonderware literally exploded on the scene, and demolished this paradigm.
It is simply not possible to underestimate the importance of what Dennis Morin and Phil Huber did. They made it possible for anyone to customize the design of an HMI, whether it was for a machine or an oil refinery, and in large part made the entire profession of control system integrator practical.
Ave atque vale, Dennis.