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Legacy

Pioneer in Obsolescence Management and Legacy Sustainment for embedded technology

  • What does Brooks Stevens have to do with “Planned Obsolescence”?

    Creative Commons License by cpence. Some rights reserved. Licensing applicable to image only.

    The original Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, in the Henry Ford Museum

    You may not know about Brooks Stevens, and today is his birthday.

    Clifford Brooks Stevens, born June 7, 1911, was an American industrial designer of home furnishings, appliances, automobiles and motorcycles— as well as a graphic designer and stylist. At the time of his death, he was considered “a major force in industrial design.”

    If Google was to do a custom sketch for his birthday, it would probably be the widely recognized Oscar Mayer “Wienermobile” or the Harley-Davidson motorcycles body he designed in the 60s (production of new bikes are still based on Stevens’ body designs).

    But how many will reference a topic sure to light a fuse in any frugal consumer? Planned Obsolescence.

  • Who says obsolete equipment is junk?

    Sometimes we can get a little carried away with our work here at GDCA.  From embedded boards to trains, we love talking about all things legacy and EOL; and we know that no matter which industry we pick, there is a lot riding on keeping “obsolete” boards and systems running smoothly. Through the past 25 […]

  • GDCA: Celebrating 25 Years of Legacy Support

    1987 takes us back: a dozen eggs were 65 cents, a gallon of gas was 89 cents, you and the family may have tuned-in to watch the premiere of a show called The Simpsons.  The last 25 years have been exciting for everyone. Technology has evolved at an amazing rate, and we are honored to support the legacy of this growth. It is because of this technology evolution that GDCA exists.

    In 1987, the embedded industry was only just beginning to feel the early pains being caused by the growing gap between obsolescence and the support needs of long-life systems.

    Foreseeing the difficulty and expensive this would mean for both OEMs and their customers to support what eventually became known as legacy applications, Martin Plotkin recognized the embedded industry needed an alternative.

    This vision paved the way for us to bridge the embedded obsolescence/legacy gap. We are proud of how far we’ve come in the 25 years since we opened our doors as GD California.  Today, as GDCA, we are still a quality manufacturer of legacy products, but with an accumulated track record and experience that provides insight and support for businesses worldwide.

  • Vehicle Electronics and the U.S. Army’s New VICTORY Standard

    You can see in the picture of this Humvee (HMMWV), with all the bolt-on equipment there is barely room for the driver.

    Imagine, in order to do your daily job, you had Linux for email, an Apple II for web browsing, an old Windows 95 tower for excel spreadsheets, and a DOS machine for word processing. Rotary phones only work for some people you need to call, and you need a cellphone for others. Floppy drives, zip disks, punch cards, tape spools, fax machines, scanners, and a dot matrix printer… and the various hardware is all proprietary, yet necessary.  Not only is there no room for you at your desk, you seem to spend a lot of time (on your touch-tone phone) with technical support.

    Like the image above, modern combat vehicle electronics can resemble a bowl of hardware spaghetti.  Different “bolt-on” devices and adaptors are stitched together by multiple suppliers who may be using different standards and interfaces.  With barely enough room for a soldier wearing body armor, integration and interoperability have become key concerns.

  • What does obsolesence, trains, and Embedded World 2012 have in common?

    The low-speed Birmingham International Airport maglev shuttle was in operation for less than eleven years before obsolescence problems made it inoperable.

    I must admit, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Embedded World 2012 presentation on Model Based Design and Testing of Embedded Systems for the Train & Transportation Industry by Franck Corbier, with Dassault Systèmes.

    Why? Because I have an old-fashioned side of me that loves nothing more than hours on a train, traveling across country.

    The first successful locomotives were built by Richard Trevithick, in 1804. Since then the train and railway systems has been an invaluable resource when it comes to transporting passengers and heavy commercial loads across towns, cities and even nations. And with the emergence of embedding computing technology, everything from train operation, to signaling, to track switching relies on ever growing embedded systems that few of us ever think about.

    In countries like France and Britain, it isn’t unusual to see 30-50 year old legacy systems that need to be maintained, being integrated with increasingly more sensitive and sophisticated systems with significantly shorter life-cycles.

  • Reflecting on VITA’s Embedded Tech Trends (ETT 2012)

    Reflecting on VITA’s Embedded Tech Trends (ETT 2012)

    Following its development in the late 1970s by Motorola, VME bus continues to see wide use across many different equipment industries today. In fact, the first COTS VME boards to enter the domestic market (c 1983) were the MVME101 CPU and MVME110 CPU, both of which are still supported by GDCA today (though no one’s asked in a while).

    Founded in 1984 from the VME Manufacturers Group, the VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA) champions working groups formed to develop specifications and standards important to designers of critical embedded systems around the world.

    Considering our VME legacy and long-standing support for the folks at VITA, you can imagine how excited we were when VITA debuted their new, member-only conference, Embedded Tech Trends, January 16th and 17th, in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

    Formerly known as the Bus and Board Conference, Embedded Tech Trends (or ETT 2012) is the “business and technology forum for critical embedded systems.” This year’s focus was VITA technology applications, and the “fruits of the spec-developer’s labor.”

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