Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

April 2007

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 105         April 2007
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

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* Windmill Tips: DAQ Programming Tools Checklist
* Excel Corner: See Quick Calculation Results
* DAQ News Roundup
* Data Acquisition Exhibitions

Windmill Tips: DAQ Programming Tools Checklist

Many people want to write their own data acquisition 
routines, and Windmill provide tools to help them.  The 
programming tools take care of all the hardware tasks, 
leaving developers free to concentrate on their 
applications.  These applications can be re-used with 
different instruments and devices.  

Programmers can use the Tools directly from Windows 
applications like Excel or Access, from JavaScript code 
running on a web page or when programming in Visual 
Basic or other langauges that can integrate ActiveX 

Checklist of Using IML Tools with JavaScript on a Web Page

1. Find your "CLASSID" which identifies the IML Tools.  
   From the Windows Start menu select Run.

2. Enter regedit and press OK. You will be shown a list 
   of registry entries.

3. Click on My Computer.

4. From the Edit menu select Find and search for 

5. You should find imltools.IMLtoolsV6 in

6. Download the example HTML page from and 
   edit the CLASSID to match your own.

7. Edit the example HTML page and JavaScript code to 
   suit your application.

Note: Your browser must support ActiveX controls, such 
as Internet Explorer.  For other browsers, like Firefox, 
you will need a plug-in for ActiveX controls.

Further Reading

The IML Tools User Manual

Instrumentation with Excel, JavaScript or Visual Basic

Excel Corner: See Quick Calculation Results

Want a quick calculation on a column of numbers but 
don't need to store the result? Use Excel's status bar.

You can see the minimum, maximum, average and sum 
values.  You can also see a count of values, and a count 
of numerical values. To change the type of calculation, 
right-click the status bar.

In Excel 2007 you can see several results at once.  
In earlier versions of Excel you can only see the 
results of one calculation at a time.  When you change 
your data selection in the worksheet, the calculation 
will be updated.

A handy way to make a quick calculation without 
modifying the spreadsheet.

For more tips on using Excel for data acquisition and 
analysis see

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  Read for notes
on how to display the news on your own web site, 
read it via e-mail, mobile phone or a newsfeed viewer.

New free compendium of electrotechnical terms
   The standards organisation, IEC, has launched its 
   electronic and electrical term database online.  
   Known as Electropedia, this makes it easy to find an 
   internationally-agreed technology term, in English, 
   French, German or Spanish.  Terms in other langauges 
   (Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, 
   Portuguese, Russian and Swedish) will be added later.  
   You can search or browse categories, and see 
   definitions of terms.
   Source: International Electrotechnical Commission

Fishbone sensor picks up emergency sounds
   Tokyo Electron and Tokyo University have created the 
   "fishbone sensor", an audio sensor using the 
   inner working of the human ear as a model. Each of 
   the 24 cantilevers of the fishbone sensor works like a 
   human ear membrane to pick up individual frequencies. 
   After receiving the individual frequencies, the sensor 
   automatically performs FFT (Fast Fourier 
   Transformations) for monitor display. The fishbone 
   sensor is designed to pick up emergency sounds in loud 
   Source: The Engineer

Sea sponge leads way to cheaper solar cells
   Marine sponges can harvest silicon from seawater and 
   use it to build spiky filaments all over their body, 
   inspiring the development of a cheap, low-energy 
   method of manufacturing solar cells. The current way 
   of making solar cells is done at high temperature and 
   very low pressure, making it an expensive and energy-
   intensive process. 
   Source: New Scientist

Solar Cells That Work All Day
   Solar cells generally crank out the most power at 
   noon, when the sun is at its highest point and can 
   strike the cell at a 90-degree angle.  Before and 
   after noon, efficiencies drop off.  But researchers 
   at Georgia Tech Research Institute have come up with 
   a prototype that does the opposite.  Their solar 
   cell, whose surface consists of hundreds of thousands 
   of 100-micrometer-high towers, catches light at many 
   angles and actually works best in the morning 
   and afternoon.
   Source: Technology Review

New Shock Testing Standard Released
   NIST has worked with industry, government, 
   professional societies and standards developing 
   organisations to release an international standard 
   for characterising mechanical vibration and shock. 
   The new standard published by the International 
   Organization for Standardization (ISO) should be 
   especially useful in environmental testing of 
   products and components in high-technology 
   industries such as computer and aerospace 
   ISO 18431-4:2007 "Mechanical vibration and shock-Signal 
   processing-Part 4: Shock-response spectrum analysis".
   Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology

Data Acquisition Exhibitions

Every four months we list the forthcoming exhibitions 
around the world related to data acquisition 
and control.

RFID Solutions Expo (RIDEX)
   Tokyo, Japan
   16-18 May 2007
   Radio Frequency Identification solutions: RFID tags, 
   Readers, writers, middlewares and integration 

Sensors Expo & Conference
   Rosemont, Illinois, USA
   11-13 June 2007
   The only industry event in North America exclusively 
   focusing on sensors and sensor-integrated systems.  
   The conference program examines innovations in 
   measurement & detection, emerging technologies & 
   applications, systems & embedded intelligence, 
   wireless sensing and low-power sensing.

Nepcon Malaysia
   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
   19-22 June 2007
   Event dedicated to Malaysia's electronics industry.  
   For state-of-the-art electronic components, 
   assembly, production and test equipment, PCB/SMT 
   microelectronics and semiconductor technology.

Nepcon Thailand
   Bangkok, Thailand
   21-24 June 2007
   Thailand electronics manufacturing including test and 
   measurement equipment and services.

* Copyright Windmill Software Ltd
* Reprinting permitted with this notice included
* For more articles see

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An archive of previous issues is at
and an index of articles at

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]

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