John Diebold, writer of the book Automation and huge advocate of using computers in business, has died at the age of 79.

Ford Motor Company originally coined the term "automation," short for "automatization," to refer to automatic handling of car parts. To Diebold, however, automation meant the use of programmable computers to revolutionize day-to-day business processes. 

While Diebold's work didn't apply specifically to the automotive industry, but rather across all disciplines, ultimately we have him to thank for everything from speeding up vehicle production launches (moving from clay prototyping to computer prototyping was huge!) to things as common as accounting programs and human resources databases used by the automakers.



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