Data Acquisition: From "One PC/device to "PC-independent devices"

The two models above may not look that different, but they represent a fundamental change in the way external devices are used.

PC model

NC model

Each new device, such as an image scanner, densitometer, chromatography unit etc, requires the purchase of a PC to control it, and often the installation of a specialized card

The cost of the device includes the cost of a fully-configured PC.

Each device has its own internal Java processor and network card. The device is run from your computer account on the remote server, accessed from ANY nearby NC.

The device is cheaper, because no keyboard or monitor or disk drive is needed. It only needs enough of a processor to run Java.

Device requires a specific PC, Mac or other platform Device can be run from any computing platform.
Device must be run from the PC to which it is attached. Device can be run from any NC on the network.
Operation of several devices from one PC introduces both hardware and software conflicts. Since each device can work autonomously, there is no opportunity for conflicts to arise. Each device is just another IP address on the network.
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