Where have all the Players Gone?

With Apologies to Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass - The Walrus & the Carpenter

By : Jim Pinto,
San Diego, CA.

This was indeed my very first poem written for and about the industrial automation business. Where have all the Players Gone? was first published in Industrial Computing in July 1991, after Siemens had bought Texas Instruments' PLC business and Schneider had bought Square-D.

The warm response to this first poem prompted The Fieldbus Fiasco and others. Evidently, poetry is the best way to describe some of the stuff that goes on in this business - and certainly the most succinct.

'The time has come,' the Siemens said,
'To speak of many things :
Of purchase-price and market-share
Of cabbages and kings
Why TI sold their PLCs And whether pigs have wings.'

    'But wait a bit,' the A-B cried
    'Before we have our chat;
    For we are owned by Rockwell now
    And Rockwell's nice and fat !'
    'No hurry!' said Brit GEC.
    A-B thanked him for that.

'A small foothold.' the Siemens said,
'Is what we chiefly need:
A few Deutsch marks with Dollars cheap
Are very good indeed
Now, if you're ready A-B dear,
We can begin to feed.'

    'But not on me!' A-B replied
    Turning a little blue.
    'For daddy Rockwell that would be
    A dismal thing to do !'
    'The US market,' Siemens said.
    'Is worth the extra few'

'East Germany is hungry now,
And Russia's on the way !'
Brit GEC said nothing but :
'How much did Rockwell pay?'
If Schneider bought out Square-D then --
I'll bid too, if I may.'

    'I have TI,' the Siemens said,
    'Already on the hook
    Though AEG bought MODICON
    And GE joined Fanuc.'
    Brit GEC said nothing but
    'I'll take another look.'

I think I'll bite,' the Siemens said :
'The chance is really there
With A-B and TI in tow
We'll grow our market share'
They threw a few more Deutsch marks in
Which showed they really care.

    'O A-B,' said the Siemens now
    You've had a pleasant run!
    We shall find others by and by.'
    But answer there came none
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They'd eaten every one.

Another poem : The Fieldbus Quadrille Read The Fieldbus Quadrille, the dance of the "open" networks.

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