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The software design of an executive which performs general purpose data acquisition, monitoring, and control is presented. The executive runs on a memory-based mini or micro-computer and communicates with a disk-based computer where data analysis and display are done. The executive design stresses reliability and versatility, and has yielded software which can provide control and monitoring for widely different hardware systems. Applications of this software on two major fusion energy experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be described.