At an open source trade show

Jack (whispering): Why does Microsoft have a booth here?

Marcy (normal voice): They want to remind us that they think they control the industry.

Wally: Ma'am, I see you are interested in our new Windows 9 Jetro user interface.

Jack: Huh?

Marcy: Uhm, thank you, sir. You have a nice approach, but I'm kind of busy right now.

Wally: When you get a moment, can you come back? We can show you all the latest features.

Marcy: We'll see.

Jack: Chutzpah!

Marcy: Just a salesman. He has to try. We have better things to do.

Jack: Hey, there's the newest Core processor from Intel!

Marcy: Uhm, Jack, if we don't have time for Microsoft Windows 9, ...

Jack: Nine cores! 128 bit integer math!

Daryl: Sir, would you like to experience Fedora running on this processor?

Marcy: Jack, if you want to look at this, I'll see you over in the controls isles.

Jack: Later, I guess. Thanks anyway.

Daryl: Ya'll come back, now.

Jack: Thanks.

Marcy: Wow, this year there are two isles full of MariaDB and PostGreSQL applications. Mainstream.

Jack: Oracle's over at the end of that isle, still managing to keep a MySQL community going, I guess. Here we are, controls applications.

Marcy: We have four isles of controls stuff. Arm, SuperH, Cold Fire, .... The program even says there are a couple of OpenCore booths with applications. We're going mainstream here, too.

Jack: Robots. Washing machines. Vacuum cleaners. Refrigerators. Manufacturing equipment. What's this?

Takashi: Hello sir. Are you interested in compressor applications?

Marcy: As a matter of fact, yes. I see you have refrigeration equipment, but what's this?

Takashi: It looks like an ordinary doorway, doesn't it?

Jack: Yeah.

Takashi: Step through it.

Jack: You go first, Marcy.

Marcy: Oh, where is chivalry these days?

Jack: Equal rights?

Takashi: Shall I demonstrate it for you?

Jack (laughing): I'll give it a try.


Jack: Whoa! That's a sudden shot of air!

Marcy: What's it for?

Takashi: This is called an air shower. It blows the dust off your clothes.

Jack: I think you're right about that.

Marcy: I guess I'm still not seeing something. What's it for?

Jack: Clean room?

Takashi: Most of our customers are foods manufacturers.

Marcy: So, not semiconductor or biological clean room?

Takashi: Yes. This model can be fitted with medium grade air filters, but most applications just need a jet of ordinary air to blow dust and other stuff off the workers' clothes as they enter food processing rooms. Ordinary filters work fine for that.

Jack: So where does open source software come in?

Takashi: Air showers tend to get ignored. And not maintained. So this model is equipped with sensors and timers, to help meet regulatory requirements, and to report when there are certain kinds of problems.

Marcy: Report?

Takashi: Standard interfaces in use by many open-source plant control packages.

Jack: Problems?

Takashi: Filters need cleaning and replacing from time to time, of course. Plant operators need to be reminded that it's time to give the whole thing a good vacuum cleaning and wipe-down. And we have some failure mode testing, as well, so that if a motor goes bad and quits running, that will be reported.

Jack: No Linux running the air shower?

Marcy: That's silly.

Takashi: No, not running the air shower, just the plant control programs. But we do have Linux controlling some of our refrigerators.

Jack: Really?

Marcy: What does it do? Can you tell us about that?

Takashi: Some of our refrigerators can read RF tags and interface to bar code readers, to help automate stock maintenance. And some of our refrigerators can do things even more interesting.

Marcy: Such as?

Takashi: We can set up sections that are kept at different temperatures, and you can also change the maintained temperatures according to things like the time of day, and humidity.

Marcy: Wow. Cool.

Jack: Do you have a blurb or something?

Takashi: Sure. What kind of business are you in?

Marcy: We supply controller circuits. Are you by any chance interested in controller circuits?

Takashi: Do you have a booth? Maybe I or a co-worker could drop by.

Marcy: Yes. We're supposed to be there in a few minutes to take our turn. Maybe we could trade business cards?

Takashi: Sure. Here's a few of data sheets on representative products, and this is my business card. Do you have some data sheets with you?

Jack: Thanks. Not with us. Here's my business card. I think we can get Bob to bring some data sheets by, if that's okay.

Takashi: That would be fine. Or maybe I can get around to your booth a little later, when my relief comes.

Marcy: That sounds great. Oh, look at the time. Guess we have to go. See you around later on.

Takashi: Okay, take care.

Jack: You, too.

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