ESC Boston: ''Scalable'' also applies to shows

With the theme of ''Retool with Intelligence,'' Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston went into the books after its September 15-18, 2003 run at this city’s upscale Hynes Convention Center. The event attracted 3,257 attendees and 118 exhibitors.

10/09/2003



Show-floor exhibits and technology classes complemented each other in Boston’s neo-classic John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. (Photos by Frank Bartos, Control Engineering.)

With the theme of ''Retool with Intelligence,'' Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston went into the books after its September 15-18, 2003 run at this city’s upscale Hynes Convention Center. The event attracted 3,257 attendees and 118 exhibitors. Given today’s business climate, the show was successful, albeit in a smaller ''form factor'' compared to 2002 figures of 4,418 attendees and some 160 exhibitors, according to show producer CMP Media LLC (San Francisco, CA).

It should be noted that ESC’s East Coast venue has traditionally had a smaller scale than the main spring event in San Francisco. And focus remains on the conference’s educational forum, which presented 78 classes (47 of them new or updated) and eight full-day tutorials. These classes continue to be popular, evidenced by well-filled seating and occasionally standing room only.


Keynoter at ESC Boston was Jack Ganssle, experienced designer and author in the embedded systems field. His talk on ''Lessons We Haven't Learned'' drew on numerous examples of firmware/software ''crashes,'' causing failures mainly in aerospace applications. Examples were replete with failures attributed to untested software, due to short staffing and crazy hours (''tired people make mistakes''); inadequate error handling of code; insufficient version control; etc. ''Even 99.99% reliability is not acceptable in software,'' says Ganssle.

He cites three basic problem sources. Up front are software’s inherently problematic nature and poor quality of code produced. Ganssle also points to a disconnect between management’s goal of product schedules and engineers’ view of time needed to write code. His outlook is not a promising picture. ''We need to accept some bitter pills to make improvements,'' concludes Ganssle. ''Failure is a good thing if we can learn from it; a disaster if or when we don’t.''

More than 30 magazines and publications attended the event, including Control Engineering. Further coverage of ESC Boston appears in this newsletter and continues in the November edition.

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Sensor-to-cloud interoperability; PID and digital control efficiency; Alarm management system design; Automotive industry advances
Make Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things work for you, 2017 Engineers' Choice Finalists, Avoid control design pitfalls, Managing IIoT processes
Engineering Leaders Under 40; System integration improving packaging operation; Process sensing; PID velocity; Cybersecurity and functional safety
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
click me