Article of the Month

3/8/2012 - Three computers

Here, Gary Feierbach is using three computers to develop instrumentation software. The computer on the left is running a logic analyzer program. The program in the center is running a Python simulation of an instrument which is connected by a usb simulating a RS232 serial bus to a laptop computer visible over his right shoulder. This Apple laptop contains the application written in Python, Javascript and HTML. The logic analyzer is sampling the communication between the other two computers.



     Make Your Instruments Amazing

Would you like your instruments to have a color screen with a touch interface? Would you like the programming be straight forward enough so that a guru is not necessary for maintenance and upgrade programming? Would you like to avoid paying Microsoft or another vendor lots of money for tools and packages? Would you like your application to be computer agnostic? This may sound like a pitch for a get rich quick scheme but the concept is simple; use free tools that are system agnostic.

There are five popular systems currently, Microsoft Windows, Apple's OSX, Linux, Google's Android and Apple's IOS. All of these systems support JavaScript and HTML and now Python. Python allows you to build a tiny HTML server that will provide access to mass storage and various peripherals. The Javascript and HTML provide a means to build professional GUIs and do the bulk of the processing that can be maintained without specialized programming skills. VIM is a free widely used editing tool that can be used for all three languages. Javascript and HTML are already interpreted by your browser and all the latest browsers (Crome, Safari, FireFox, Opera and Internet Explorer) handle Javascript and a very useable subset of HTML5 without special case handling.

Just such an instrument application is being developed in the manner described in the image on the left. Get it running quickly with an eye poping GUI