10 years of Control Design

As we approach the celebration of our 10th anniversary in June, we’re devoting a special section on ControlDesign.com to a look back at how machine automation has changed since our inaugural issue in 1997.

Rick PedrazaBy Rick Pedraza, Managing Editor, Digital Media

That was the year that was
Control Design Editor in Chief Joe Feeley looks back at how machine automation has changed since our inaugural issue in 1997. We can’t help but wonder what you remember about 1997. Take the quiz in this article if you think your steel-trap memory is in fine working order.

Also in January, our intrepid columnist Jeremy Pollard reflected on the way Microsoft-based technology changed the face of machine control during that period ("A Look Back at Microsoft in Manufacturing")

In February, Pollard took a look at what’s happened over the past 10 years to the venerable PLC and its supporting cast ("Back to the books: PLC easy reader").

10th AnniversaryIn March, Control Design Executive Editor Jim Montague examined how machine-related standards have changed over the past decade in "Making Sense of Standards."

Each month, another feature will be added to this 10-year anniversary section, along with a new flashback list of significant news events that occurred during the past 10 years. Significant events of the past 10 years include:

January 1997-2007 Flashback

  • Jan 3, 2000 – The last Peanuts comic strip is created by Charles Schulz.
  • Jan 4, 1999 – Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as governor of Minnesota.
  • Jan 10, 1999 – The Sopranos airs its pilot episode on HBO.
  • Jan 10, 2000 – America Online announces an agreement to buy Time Warner for $162 billion, the largest corporate merger in history.
  • Jan 12, 1997 – HAL of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame becomes operational. The date was stated as January 12, 1992 in the 1968 movie release, but 1997 is the date used in both the novel and the original screenplay.
  • Jan 15, 2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
  • Jan 20, 1997 – Edith Haisman the oldest survivor of the Titanic, dies at 100
  • Jan 26, 1997 – Super Bowl XXXI: Green Bay Packers beat New England Patriots, 35-21 in New Orleans.

February 1997-2007 Flashbacks

  • February 1, 2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing seven astronauts.
  • February 1, 2004 – Janet Jackson suffers wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl half-time show, prompting "Nipplegate" controversy.
  • February 12, 1999 – President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the U.S. Senate in his impeachment trial.
  • February 12, 2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touchdown in the saddle region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.
  • February 13, 1997 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes above 7,000 for the first time, closing at 7,022.44.
  • February 13, 2000 – The last original Peanuts comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies.
  • February 14, 2003 – Dolly the sheep, first cloned mammal (b.1996), dies of premature aging.
  • February 16, 2005 – Kyoto Protocol comes into force, following its ratification by Russia.
  • February 17, 2000 – Microsoft released Windows 2000.
  • February 19, 2004 – Former Enron Corp. chief executive Jeffrey Skilling is charged with fraud, insider trading and other crimes in connection with the company’s collapse.
  • February 23, 2006 – The one-billionth song is downloaded from the iTunes Music Store.
  • February 25, 2006 – The world's estimated population reaches 6.5 billion.
  • February 27, 2003 – Mr. (Fred) Rogers, American children's television actor (b.1928), dies.

March 1997-2007 Flashbacks

  • March 2, 2004 – United Nations’ weapons inspection teams states Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction of any significance after 1994.
  • March 11, 2002 – Two columns of light soar skyward from ground zero in New York as a temporary memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
  • March 15, 2005 – Former WorldCom chief, Bernard Ebbers, convicted of engineering largest corporate fraud in U.S. history.
  • March 19, 2003 – U.S.-led coalition launches war against Iraq. 
  • March 20, 1999 – Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones first to fly a hot-air balloon non-stop around the world.
  • March 20, 2004 –U.S. military charges six soldiers with abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
  • March 23, 2001 – Russia's 15-year-old Mir space station plunge into South Pacific.
  • March 26, 2000 – Vladimir Putin was elected president of Russia.
  • March 27, 1998 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Viagra.