In the development of a file management module for our program controllers, I encountered several instances where it was necessary to launch external programs and batch files from the RealBasic program. With the combined quirks of RealBasic and Windows DOS commands, the procedures involved some subtleties that I will share in this article.
Task: Open a external [...]
I worked as a pulsed-power experimentalist in laboratories through the 70s and 80s. During that time, we bought a lot of equipment: pulse generators, delay boxes, vacuum systems, power supplies,…. If we were buying an oscilloscope, we might ask questions like: What’s the frequency response? What’s the absolute accuracy and linearity? What’s the fastest trace that [...]
Distance units are a potential source of confusion in scientific work. It is often convenient to work in convenient units like centimeters or microns, but we must ensure that the physical calculations are performed in consistent SI units. Rules for using units in our software are discussed in several sections of the instruction manuals. I thought [...]
One of my all-time treasured possessions is a Gerber Variable Scale  (Fig. 1). It was an absolute must-have if you were doing science in the 60s and 70s. The idea was straightforward — the device was a ruler consisting of a precision spring that you could adjust to any length to match graphs or oscillographs . [...]
We’ve added a lot of content to our website at www.fieldp.com in 13 years. In fact, there’s so much material that the site might intimidating to first-time visitors looking for software or educational resources. To help, we’ve added a short overview video on the home page. Here it [...]