Instant Fulfillment Promises Fast Access to Product Information

Want information on products advertised in Control Engineering but don't have the time for mail-in reader service? The answer is Instant Fulfillment.In addition to the current process of mailing in a reader service card and waiting for more information through the mail, readers can also access more information "instantly" on the web.


Want information on products advertised in Control Engineering but don't have the time for mail-in reader service? The answer is Instant Fulfillment.

In addition to the current process of mailing in a reader service card and waiting for more information through the mail, readers can also access more information "instantly" on the web. (For those who do not have web access or prefer receiving information through the mail, Free Product Information cards are still provided in every issue.)

Through the Instant Fulfillment program, advertisers in Control Engineering provide web addresses (URLs) so readers may access online versions of company product brochures. These on-line brochures provide buttons for users to "page" through. Other buttons on Instant Fulfillment pages link to a company's e-mail, website, and listing in Manufacturing Marketplace's directory. So instead of waiting for product information, readers get more information "instantly." The ad index in the back of every issue of Control Engineering also lists advertisers' Instant Fulfillment URLs as well.

Manufacturing Marketplace:

The newly redesigned Manufacturing Marketplace website allows users easy access to a wide variety of manufacturing information. The home page features more direct links to featured content found in Manufacturing Marketplace's magazines, such as Design News , Plant Engineering , and Modern Materials Handling . The site features links to each magazine's directory of products and services, new products, latest news, and other magazine pages as well. Users can access Manufacturing Marketplace at, or by way of the Control Engineering home page (

Preparing for the millennium

Jan. 1, 2000. On that day, some prophets of doom predict that the Year 2000 problem (or Y2K for short) will cause all computers to crash, threatening the civilized world. Others believe Y2K is an easy fix. Whichever view a person subscribes to, it isn't a problem that will fix itself (see CE , Feb.'98, pp. 61-68).

One thing is certain: Time is running out to solve the problem, and both small and large companies need to determine how it may effect them. They also need to know how to determine whether their systems are ready for 2000. Numerous sites on the World Wide Web provide information on Y2K for companies just starting to prepare, as well as companies well along in their efforts to stave off disaster.

The web site of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (U.K.) provides detailed information on its "The Millennium Problem in Embedded Systems" page ( guide/home.htm). The site provides de-

tailed information, starting with a definition of embedded systems and ways Y2K can effect them. It also provides guidelines for checking hardware and software compliance and how to test systems for it.

Another useful Y2K web site is from the MITRE Corp. (Bedford, Mass.), a not-for-profit systems engineering and integration company that runs two federally funded research facilities, and the Electronic Systems Center of the US Air Force Material Command, This site provides guidelines for evaluating software and hardware compliance, and sample testing plans. It also provides helpful articles, such as estimating the costs of problem resolution. Links to compliance pages of several PC manufacturers are also available.

To provide a means of communication among industrial automation users, Automation Research Corp. (Dedham, Mass.) runs its Year 2000 Discussion List. The Year 2000 Discussion List is a mailing list that provides users a way to "communicate and exchange their Y2K-related experiences." Interested users can subscribe to the list at y2k.htm.

Author Information

Matthew Bellm

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