Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remote surveillance

Yes, I have joined the dark side.

With the increasing automatisation of my experiment (courtesy of my slave student R.), it is possible for me to  leave it running for two hours or so, gathering data. Pressure, voltage and oscilloscope are all controlled by the PC, via Labview (urg). Unfortunately there rests always the small possibility of the experiment gaining sentinence and taking over the world (or crashing and leaving the RF generator running at full power, which would melt my electrodes), so surveillance is a must.

Now, I could have delved deeply into Labview to find out how to write an interface to control it over the intranet. If you have ever used Labview, you know how much joy that would be. Or I could do the following:

The small round blob with the pink tape on the right? That's a webcam, aimed at generator and scope. I've got a small gadget running in my google desktop that shows it's picture, so I'll know at once if something iffy is going on...

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