-------------------------Monitor------------------------ The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control Issue 140 www.windmill.co.uk March 2010 --------------------ISSN 1472-0221---------------------- Welcome to Monitor, the data acquisition and control newsletter. I hope you find it useful, but should you wish to remove yourself from our mailing list please go to http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html CONTENTS ======== * Monitor Survey Results * Windmill Notes: Versions of Windows * Excel Corner: Using Logarithmic Charts * DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Monitor Survey Results ________________________________________________________ Thanks to all of you who returned our survey (http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor138.html#survey) Your answers were very helpful and we hope to cover most of the points you raised in this and upcoming issues. One thing that kept cropping up was how much you liked our case studies. For these we need your help. As you can download the Windmill software for free we rarely find out how people are using it. We would really appreciate it if you could share details of you our software, so we can continue with our application stories. fil in the form at http://www.windmill.co.uk/application.html We asked if you would prefer the newsletter in text or HTML format. 59% of you voted in favour of keeping the plain text format, 25% didn't mind how we presented it and just 16% preferred HTML. The Excel corner was very popular so we will be continuing to include our spreadsheet tips. If you have any Excel problems which you would like us to cover, or solutions you have found which would benefit other readers, please get in touch. Several of you wondered if there was an index of past issues by subject. There is indeed and it is at http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitorindex.html If there is anything else we can help you with, please let us know. If you haven't yet done so please fill in our survey and tell us what you think: we look forward to hearing from you. http://www.windmill.co.uk/monitor138.html#survey ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Windmill Notes: Versions of Windows ________________________________________________________ Since Windmill was first launched there have been many incarnations of the Windows operating system. Just as you're used to one, another comes along. Here is a guide to Windmill's compatibility with Windows. There are two suites of Windmill software currently available: Windmill 4.3 which is free to Monitor subscribers and the later Windmill 7. This table summarises their compatibility. Windows Windmill Version Compatibility ================================ 7 (64-bit) WM7 7 (32-bit) WM4.3, WM7 Vista WM4.3, WM7 (note 1) XP WM4.3 (note 2), WM7 2000 WM4.3, WM7 98 WM4.3, WM7 NT WM4.3, WM7 95 WM4.3, WM7 3.1 WM4.3 note 1: To run Windmill under Vista, install it in its own top level directory, for example c:\windmill\. Don't install it into a sub-directory of Program Files. note 2: Windmill 7 works with XP. On some computers Windmill 4.3 works well with Windows XP, but on others it doesn't. If there appears to be an intermittent fault then make sure you don't open an Explorer window when Windmill is running. If you still have problems using Windmill 4.3 with XP we recommend upgrading to the Windmill 7 package. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Excel Corner: Using Logarithmic Charts ________________________________________________________ Last week one of our readers was having problems making his Excel chart X axis logarithmic and asked our help. One of the problems was that his chart was not an x-y scatter chart. An x-y scatter chart uses values on the X axis, but other Excel charts use the X axis for categories of information. On a line chart, for example, the X axis labels are spaced equally no matter what their value is. This is obviously no use for a logarithmic chart. To set the X axis to logarithmic 1. First make sure your chart is an x-y scatter chart (right click the chart and choose Chart Type). 2. Right-click the x axis and choose Format Axis. 3. Click the Scale tab. 4. Select the Logarithmic scale check box. A logarithmic scale has intervals going up in orders of magnitude. For example, equal distances on the axis may ascend as 1, 10, 100, 1000, etc; rather than the linear 10, 20, 30, 40 etc. You may have a situation where you want a logarithmic scale on the Y axis and a linear scale on the X axis. This is useful, for example, for comparing percentage changes rather than absolute amounts, or when you have very high and very low values. This is called a semi-logarithmic chart. In this case you can use a line chart to display the data. In a semi-logarithmic chart, what would have been an exponential curve appears as a straight line. Further Reading =============== Excel charting tips http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/excel-charting.html Excel data acquisition tips http://www.windmill.co.uk/excel/ If you have an Excel question you would like answering, please let us know. ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ DAQ News Roundup ________________________________________________________ Welcome to our roundup of the data acquisition and control news. If you would like to receive more timely DAQ news updates then grab our RSS newsfeed at http://www.windmillsoft.com/monitor.xml. Read http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsfeed.php for notes on how to display the live news on your own web site. More is merrier for wireless power supply A coil embedded in a wall or ceiling could efficiently beam power to several gadgets in the same room. Using magnetic induction to send electricity to devices is more efficient when more than one machine is involved. Researchers have found that power transfer is 10 per cent more efficient with two devices receiving rather than one, regardless of how efficient the transfer was to begin with. Source: New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/ Distributed Control System Market to Grow The world market for distributed control systems is projected to exceed $17.2 billion by 2014, according to IMS Research. The growth of this market will primarily be driven by the power, oil and gas, and water industries. Source: IMS Research http://tinyurl.com/controlsystem Zigbee Wireless Standards Available for Downloaded The Zigbee wireless alliance has made two of its popular standards, Zigbee Home Automation and Zigbee Remote Control, available for public download. Source: The Zigbee Wireless Alliance http://tinyurl.com/zigbee1 Laser adds extra dimension to lab-on-chip A European research project has shown how to build optical sensors directly into the structure of labs-on-chips. The breakthrough paves the way for on-the-spot medical diagnostics. Source: ICT Results http://tinyurl.com/ictresults Industrial Wireless Transmitter Powered by Heat Wireless sensors are rather inexpensive and can be deployed almost anywhere. Deploying more sensors would lead to safer and more efficient process control, and much reduced maintenance cost - if cost and effort of battery maintenance could be obviated. Energy harvesting is used by ABB and Micropelt to replace the battery with an unlimited, green, sustainable, maintenance-free power supply. Source: Micropelt http://www.micropelt.com/ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ * Copyright Windmill Software Ltd * Reprinting permitted with this notice included * For more articles see http://www.windmill.co.uk We are happy for you to copy and distribute this newsletter, and use extracts from it on your own web site or publication, providing the above notice is included and a link back to our website is in place. An archive of previous issues is at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html and an index of articles at http://www.windmill.co.uk/newsletter.html Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office, Manchester, M8 8QR, UK Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782 Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190 E-mail: [email protected] http://www.windmill.co.uk/ http://www.windmillsoft.com/
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