Author Topic: PictureSnapApp version 1.8.8  (Read 56488 times)

John Donovan

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.6.6
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2018, 05:47:54 PM »
The latest version of PictureSnapApp (v. 1.6.6) fixes the problem (on some systems) of "blinking" graphics. 

Download the app here:

http://probesoftware.com/download/PictureSnapApp.msi

Or simply use the Help | Update PictureSnapApp menu if you have it already installed on your computer. If you have any questions about this "visual notebook" application, please let us know.
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John Donovan

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.6.7
« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2018, 08:47:04 AM »
The latest version of PictureSnapApp fixes a Microsoft(!) memory leak issue in the GDI+ graphics. You'd only notice it if you left PictureSnap running for 4 or 5 days and had lots of images displayed.

Anyway, it's fixed now, so please use the Help menu in PictureSnapApp to update.
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John Donovan

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.6.8
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2018, 10:17:27 AM »
I just wanted to remind people that PictureSnapApp is $499 for the hardware communication enabled modes, which supports many instrument hardware interfaces for stage and FOV communication. These currently supported instrument interfaces are listed here:

JEOL SEM (EIKS)                  note: 7000 series JEOL SEMs only
FEI SEM (DCOM)
Cameca SX100/SXFive
JEOL 8800/8900 EPMA
JEOL 8100/8200 EPMA
JEOL 8500 EPMA
JEOL 8230/8530 EPMA
FEI TEM (DCOM)

For all other instruments not listed above, for example, Zeiss, Hittachi, Cameca SIMS, all LA-ICPMS, etc., PictureSnapApp can be downloaded *for free* and utilized in "Text Input" mode. This "Text Input" mode also includes the SEM and EPMA instruments listed above, that is if one is unwilling to pay the $499 for the hardware enabled version of PictureSnapApp!    :(



In "text Input" mode there is no direct hardware communication with the instrument and instead, the user simply navigates using the OEM software (OEM software simply refers to the software that the instrument manufacturer provides with the instrument), and enters the stage coordinates of the image calibration points using the keyboard.

Once the image is calibrated, the user then simply double clicks on the image (as one normally would in the hardware enabled modes, to automatically drive the stage to the desired sample location), but instead of moving the stage, the software pops up a dialog with the calculated stage coordinates as seen here:



One then simply enters these stage coordinates into the OEM software and drives to the designated sample position.  The point being that one can calibrate the "base map" image using easily identifiable features (the image calibration points) and then navigate to arbitrary sample locations with micron accuracy.

Please note that this Text Input mode still includes the Image Locator feature, which allows one to embed images captured using the OEM software, and then accurately display them on the "base map" image in PictureSnapApp as described in this topic:

http://probesoftware.com/smf/index.php?topic=1082.msg7245#msg7245

To utilize the Image Locator feature in Text Input mode simply:

1. Drive to the sample position for the desired image acquisition as described above using OEM software to drive the stage to the coordinates displayed in PictureSnapApp.

2. Then adjust the FOV (field of view) on the instrument using the OEM software, and acquire an image as usual, again using the OEM software. Then  save the acquired image as a JPG, BMP or GIF file format on the hard drive.  For ease of use, save the acquired image to a folder on the computer running PictureSnapApp, or to a shared (network) folder that can be accessed from the computer running PictureSnapApp.

3. Then adjust the FOV displayed in PictureSnapApp by using the up/down cursor keys, to adjust the displayed FOV to match the FOV displayed in the acquired image. For fine adjustments of the displayed FOV, hold the <shift> down while using the up/down cursor keys.

4. Then click the "Select Remote Image and Save to Current FOV" button in the Image Locator window and browse to the saved acquired image.

The acquired image will be loaded and displayed in the current stage position and FOV on the PictiureSnapApp main window. Again this Text Input mode of PictuyreSnapApp can be downloaded *for free* and utilized on *any* instrument with an X/Y stage!

You won't get a better deal at any store!    ;)

At the very least please download the latest PictureSnapApp software here:

http://probesoftware.com/download/PictureSnapApp.msi

and try it out in "demonstration" mode to get a feel for how it works. We think you will be quite pleased. And please do let me know if you have any questions at all regarding this new sample navigation product.  It's pretty cool if I do say so myself!   ;D
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 08:10:19 PM by John Donovan »
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John Donovan

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.1
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2018, 05:21:25 PM »
Because of the new secure connections in the Probe Software web site and forum pages, everyone will also need to download the latest PictureSnapApp.msi installer manually from here:

https://probesoftware.com/PictureSnapApp.html

and run the installer once to get the new secure connection download code.  After this one can update PictureSnapApp using the Help | Update PictureSnapApp menu as before.

Sorry for the trouble but going to https is pretty much required nowadays.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 03:47:38 PM by John Donovan »
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.1
« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2018, 11:52:33 AM »
We made up a new 1 page flyer for PictureSnapApp.

Please see the attached PDF below and let us know what you think (remember you need to log in to see attachments).
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.2
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2018, 10:49:11 AM »
Paul Carpenter recently tested the latest PictureSnapApp on his JEOL 8200 and reports that (after a few tweaks by us), it all seems to be working fine. Thank-you Paul!

So if you'd like to try PictureSnapApp on your JEOL 8900/8200/8500 please download the latest version (1.7.2) here:

https://probesoftware.com/PictureSnapApp.html

Once you install the software on a PC you can run it in "demo" mode or in "Text Input" mode without the hardware communication for free.

If you'd like to enable hardware support in PictureSnapApp for your JEOL 8900/8200/8500 (or JEOL 8230/8530 or FEI SEM or Cameca EPMA) instrument, go ahead and use the PayPal link in the above web page. 

Then send Probe Software the serial number that is generated the first time you make a connection to the instrument from the File | Stage Configuration menu, and Barbara will send you the registration code to allow you to complete the instrument communication connection.

See attached instructions for details.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 12:02:49 PM by John Donovan »
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.3
« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2018, 08:28:48 PM »
Owen Neill also suggested using a red color (in addition to white and black) for text and annotations on the image. For gray scale images this seems to be a good idea.



We also tweaked the code to deal with the fact that the JEOL SEM is actually an anti-cartesian stage orientation- just like the 8900/8200/8500/8230/8530 EPMA instruments.  Anti-cartesian meaning that the upper right of the stage coordinate system is the X/Y *minimum* limit.  That is the opposite of the Cameca stage orientation (Cartesian) which is where the upper right is the maximum X/Y limit.

For some reason we were laboring under the impression that the JEOL SEM stage was cartesian, but it is in fact, anti-cartesian.  We are also assuming that the JEOL TEM stage is also anti-cartesian and uses um units.  Can anyone confirm this?

Anyway, the latest PictureSnapApp 1.7.3 fixes this JEOL SEM stage orientation issue and has the red color option.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 08:59:09 PM by John Donovan »
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John Donovan

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.4
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2018, 03:57:07 PM »
Owen Neil recently discovered that PictureSnapApp was causing an error when the app was closed from either the File | Exit menu or the main window close window control on 32 bit operating systems.

The app ran fine, but when it was closed by the user on 32 bit XP or 32 bit Win 7, it caused one of those "the application caused an unexpected error" messages.  The app closes just fine on 64 bit systems.  This did not occur in the past and so may have been a system update issue from a recent Microsoft update having to do with the GDI+ graphics.

Anyway it is fixed now in v. 1.7.4 so please update from the Help | Update PictureSnapApp menu and all should be fine.  No need to update PSA if you are using a 64 bit operating system such as Win 7 64 bit, but it won't hurt to update PictureSnapApp either.

Thank-you Owen for finding and reporting this issue!
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.4
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2018, 09:20:12 AM »
We updated the PictureSnapApp web page a bit, added a new descriptive brochure and a download link here:

https://probesoftware.com/PictureSnapApp.html

From this page you can download the app for free, install it (in demonstration or text input mode) on any Windows PC. Then let us know what you think about the product.

If you like the app, you can continue to use it for free on any instrument in "text input mode". Or send us the serial number generated from the Stage Configuration menu dialog (when you select one of the supported instruments), and for $499 (PayPal) we'll enable the hardware communications for JEOL 8900/8200/8500/8230/8530 EPMA, Cameca SX100/SXFive EPMA, JEOL SEM (7000 series) and FEI SEM/FIB/TEM instruments.
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.4
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2018, 12:08:41 PM »
We (again) updated the PictureSnapApp web page, this time to include some "testimonials" from our customers.

Click here to see what your colleagues are saying about PictureSnapApp:

https://probesoftware.com/PictureSnapApp.html

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.5
« Reply #55 on: November 03, 2018, 10:19:33 AM »
The latest version of PictureSnapApp (v. 1.7.5) now automatically displays the current stage limits in both the main and full view windows of PictureSnapApp as seen here:



Thanks to Gareth Seward for the suggestion.
john
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.5
« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2018, 09:51:33 AM »
John,

Thanks for this and for the continued and rapid incorporation of new ideas. The App gets better and better!

gareth

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.5
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2018, 05:57:06 AM »
Hi John,

Do you have any plans to incorporate the use of PictureSnapApp on non-E-beam instruments like LA-ICP-MS? Many of our researchers go from SEM to Probe to LA-ICP-MS in succession and I could see PictureSnap being very useful in running analyses on different instrumentation.

-dave
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Faculty of Science | School of Environment

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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.5
« Reply #58 on: November 06, 2018, 08:00:09 AM »
Do you have any plans to incorporate the use of PictureSnapApp on non-E-beam instruments like LA-ICP-MS? Many of our researchers go from SEM to Probe to LA-ICP-MS in succession and I could see PictureSnap being very useful in running analyses on different instrumentation.

Absolutely.

In fact Nick Botto at UC Davis uses PictureSnapApp for exactly this.  He runs the hardware enabled version of PictureSnapApp on his Cameca SX100 and runs the *free* PictureSnapApp in "text input" mode on their LA-ICP-MS.  In fact this is made rather easy by the fact that PictureSnapApp supports the "half-cartesian" stage orientations which are found on many LA-ICP-MS instruments.  That is cartesian in X and anti-cartesian in Y.

I guess this is because most LA-ICP-MS instruments use an inverting optical microscope, so they have the same stage orientation as the old ARL SEMQ microprobe!  At least these modern LA-ICP-MS instruments don't utilize 0.1 mm stage units like the old SEMQ did!   :)

In "text input" mode PictureSnapApp does not directly interface to the instrument, but instead one simply types in the stage calibration coordinates for the two or three calibration points using the keyboard, and then all is good.  Check the documentation for more info.  I've attached the PictureSnapApp installation (and instruction) documents below.  You should have Alan try it out on his system.  It's free!  What SEM system do you have?  If it's an FEI system, PictureSnapApp can directly connect to the hardware using a network connection.

Now if someone came to me with information on how to hardware interface to a LA_ICP-MS instrument, I would take a look and see what is involved. The hardware communication requirements for PictureSnapApp are very basic, simply read and set stage position and read FOV.  That is all.
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Re: PictureSnapApp version 1.7.5
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2018, 11:07:52 AM »
Hi Dave,

We've found success with using PSA on our multicollector upstairs. Which is a Nu Instruments LA-ICPMS with some laser ablation system hooked up to it, but they're not integrated other than I think the NU software controls the laser in tandem with the ICPMS, navigation is done by hand on a spot-to-spot basis, no automation (boo!). We got to beta-test the half-anti-cartesian mode as I was the one to discover it, so I can definitely say the software works well with that. Once everything was working properly, we were able to take the thin section maps upstairs, calibrate, and use them for navigation - the computer that runs the laser has XP and a tiny monitor, so we ran it on the other computer's second screen and just typed in coordinates manually. It was a vast improvement over the prior method of squinting at the thin section in relation to the targeting beam and guessing how far you needed to go to find your area of interest based on the relation to your scanned map.

My advice is to keep your maps constrained to about 4000 pixels on the longest edge, this seems to work well with RAM limited systems while still providing plenty of resolution. (Who loves 32-bit XP? We d*OUT OF MEMORY*)

If you have a 1080i screen the text labels are a little harder to read (someone donated an old 30" tv to our lab, which is our largest screen, and also displays the best color, and everyone *loves* seeing their maps all huge), but they look just fine on any non-interlaced signal.

This product, I have to say, is fantastic. I really couldn't be happier It's been a great year with this. Even using it in text based mode before we purchased it was such a major upgrade from the stabbing around in the dark it was well worth using, being able to double-click to drive is icing on the cake. Taking your maps to other instruments is getting ice cream with your cake.

John, I can get you information about the system we use here. It's a serial interface to control the stage + framegrabber for the microscope camera.
I'll see if there's anything special about the interface - it might be a generic motor control, might be something proprietary and as it's already out of circulation that's likely a dead end unless they by some miracle included an API. Also, you know what's really annoying about the inverted cartesian stage is they could have just inverted the video signal at the framegrabber level like the rest of the world. Ah well.

I will see if any of the other labs in our department that use LA run samples where mapping would be useful, and if they have newer lasers try to dig up some info on it for ya :) Some of them do stuff where everything's been plucked and aligned to a grid so it's simple enough to not need a map of anything other than "which grains are not of interest" eg sphene in the zircon mount.