Although it's best known as a hardware firm, Compaq Computer Corp. is making waves in the software industry. The Houston-based computer giant last month joined forces with Camstar Systems Inc., a maker of manufacturing execution systems (MES) to deliver a packaged system for the semiconductor and electronics markets. Compaq, which got much of its experience and customer base in the semiconductor trade through its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp., will offer the new systems on its ProLiant hardware platform. The package will include preintegrated, certified packages of Camstar's InSite MES, Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT Server software, and Compaq's BusinessBus software that serves to link the various systems. "The idea is to put the software on the hardware and ship it as a packaged solution to the end user or customer," says Dennis Phelan, industry director for Compaq's semiconductor and electronics industry solutions division in Nashua, N.H. Camstar, headquartered in Campbell, Calif., provides MES software to a variety of industries, including electronics, textiles, paper, metals, and food, to help manage and track the flow of products through the production process.