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A concept of an active instrument controller with a script interpreter is proposed. It represents a gateway between the computer network and the instrument bus, but, in addition, it can locally execute the measurement script. This introduces distributed code execution in the measurement system, where time-critical measurement loops are locally executed with the main program running on a personal computer (PC). The local execution capability also allows stand-alone operation. We demonstrate the concept with a self-developed active general purpose interface bus (GPIB) controller that uses a CompactFlash (CF) slot. By inserting a communication or a storage card, the controller can operate in network or storage mode. Performance comparison of different operational modes shows a clear advantage of local script execution over conventional network use. Its execution speed is comparable to the commercial script performance implemented in some Keithley's instruments but, in contrast, is applicable to a wide range of different measurement instruments and setups.