Kicking off the New Year with the January 2013 issue of ISA Transactions: The Journal of Automation, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ahmad Rad writes in his 50th Celebration ISA Transactions message from the editor: “ISA Transactions turned 51. The fine tradition starting in 1962 continues and the hard work of many individuals in the last 50 years has facilitated establishing a solid foundation for even further growth.”
In the issue is an article titled, ISA Transactions 50th Year Recognition – And Some Perspectives, written by Dr. Rad’s predecessor, Prof. Russell Rhinehart, which Dr. Rad encourages people to read. “The article is a fast journey to evolution of the journal and implicitly the history of control and instrumentation.”
In his introduction, Rhinehart covers the history of the journal itself:
“… ISA Transactions started in 1962 as a quarterly repository of the best papers selected by the editors from ISA conferences within the U.S. Then, most articles were from industrial authors, revealing the applicability of new products. Now, ISA Transactions has grown to offer six issues per year. It also has a worldwide reputation, with most authors presenting methodology innovations from the research and development community, and each manuscript vetted with a critical review by several subject matter experts. Although the focus has shifted from devices to methodology, and although manuscripts reveal more equations; articles retain the practical and applications aspect that characterized our beginning.”
He then takes us down memory lane with a historical view of technology:
“From a historical perspective, ISA Transactions is an interesting story where its articles trace the early days of automation technology. One article from 1962 described the use of key-punch tape, a paper tape, about 1-inch wide, with holes punched into patterns that represented data or simple computer programs. Fed to a teletype machine, the data could be transmitted over telephone wires to a remote time-shared mainframe computer for processing. Results were eventually transmitted back to be noisily typed on paper, or more tape. It could take several minutes to transmit each message, and several hours for a response. But, this was a huge advance over the time to key-punch a deck of cards, to have them courier-delivered to the mainframe operators, and a paper printout delivered back. In 1963, an article discussed the remarkable advances (speed, capacity, and noise) of magnetic tapes. Today, some ISA Transactions articles describe autonomous wireless sensor and transmission systems, representing another stage in the remarkable improvement in data fidelity, speed, capacity, power, and reliability.”
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