Thanks to you, our readers, this year The Automation Blog surpassed its previous records with over 380K unique visitors and 680K page views.

And now that I’ve updated our Media Guide with our latest stats, I wanted to share with you our Top Ten most popular articles for 2023:

The Automation Blog:
Top Ten Articles of 2023

#10: Converting a VMware VMX file for use in VirtualBox

In a previous article we created a virtual machine from a legacy windows 2000 computer to be able to run it on a newer PC using VMWare Workstation.

In this article, we present another option to VMware Workstation – running Virtual Machines using free software called VirtualBox.

#9: PanelView Plus 7 – Reset to Factory Defaults

In today’s article I’ll walk you through resetting your PanelView Plus 7 to Factory Defaults:

Step 1) Plug a USB Keyboard into your PanelView Plus 7:

#08: How To Access The PanelView Plus Configuration Mode

PanelView Plus Configuration ModeWhen powering on a PanelView Plus for the first time, it will boot up to the main “Configuration Mode” menu screen. From there, the user has several options:

  • Load an application from internal memory, memory card, or from most USB Flash Drives…

#07: Timers and Counters Used In Mitsubishi PLCs

Like most programmable logic controllers on the market, Mitsubishi has its versions of both timers and counters.

These are similar but not necessarily set up the same as the other manufacturers…

#6: Studio 5000 – Resolve Fatal Application Error Encountered

As I was prepping to film additional lessons for my CompactLogix course yesterday, I ran into a completely new Studio 5000 Logix Designer “Fatal Error” that I hadn’t run into before.

After I duplicated the issue on two different PCs, each running two different Windows 10 VMs, I was convinced something was wrong with the software and not just my installation.

#5: PanelView Plus – Configuration Mode Menu: How To Access

1 PanelView Plus Configuration ModeSo you need to update your PanelView Plus time, date, screensaver, IP address, or other setting but can’t figure out how to access it’s configuration menu?

Well don’t feel too bad as Rockwell hasn’t always made this an easy task.

#4: TIA Portal – How To Download A Free Trial

TIA Portal (picture courtesy of Siemens)

Have you ever wanted to check out TIA Portal from Siemens to see how their PLCs and HMIs program?

Well the good news is anyone can get a free, twenty-one day trial of TIA Portal by creating a free account on the Siemens website without the need to call a salesperson or provide any personal information to a support representative (like other vendors require.)

#3: PanelView Plus – .MER Runtime: How To Edit .MER File

Recently a client asked how he would go about editing a PanelView Plus .MER file his customer had sent him.

Unfortunately there’ no simple answer to this question, so in today’s article we’ll cover the basic steps you need to take to extract ViewStudio projects from ME runtime files.

#2: Download RSLogix Micro, RSLinx, & Emulate 500 for free

RSLogix-MIcro-Starter-Splash-FiThe free “RSLogix Micro Starter Lite” software I show how to download in this article only works with the MicroLogix 1000, MicroLogix 1100, and free PLC Emulator.

The only other free A-B Programming Software is for the Micro800 series of PLCs, which you can learn about here.

#1: Studio 5000 – Pricing, Packages, Features & Bundles

In today’s article I’m going to take a detailed look Studio 5000 pricing, available packages and bundles, and what features are included with each as it stands today.

The “Mini” edition of Studio 5000 Logix Designer only programs the “CompactLogix” family of controllers, and only in the “Ladder Logic” programming language…

And those were the most popular articles on The Automation Blog for 2023! Thanks to all our readers who helped make 2023 our best year yet!

If you have your own favorite article you’d like to mention, or if you’d like to suggest we cover a new topic, please leave your comment below or use our contact form to get in touch!

Until next time, Peace ✌️ 

Shawn M Tierney
Technology Enthusiast & Content Creator

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at

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