Author Topic: Remote Software Installation and Training  (Read 1551 times)

Barbara Donovan

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Remote Software Installation and Training
« on: May 15, 2020, 10:09:42 AM »
Under the present circumstances, our microprobe specialists have had to postpone our software installation and training at several labs around the world. This got us to thinking about potential options for remote installation and training as an alternative to on-site installation and training.

Interestingly in the past, quite a number of our customers have installed the Probe for EPMA and Probe Image software packages and successfully configured the communication with their EPMA instrument with only phone/email support from our specialists. We have previously viewed these "pre-installations" as an advantage, not only because the customer gets hands on experience in case they ever need to re-install the software again (new computer, etc.), but also because when the *on-site * training does actually begin, the software is already installed and configured, so they can dive right in with the software training and EPMA science details with our microprobe specialists.

So we already know that this remote installation process can work, and now we should think about how the training could also proceed remotely. Even without this pandemic, remote installation/training might be something some labs would find interesting. Certainly it will be a somewhat less expensive, but we do still believe that on-site training would be better experience for many customers. However, remote training opens the possibility to do the training over multiple sessions, with time between sessions for the user to absorb and apply the information. So, in this regard, remote sessions have the potential to be better for some labs depending on the logistical details (remote network access, time zones, language barriers, etc.).

But with everyone now gaining experience using various conferencing software, and after (remote!) discussion with our team of microprobe specialists, we feel this remote installation/training could be a very reasonable option for some labs. Obviously this won't be possible for secure labs where such communication software is not allowed, but for many labs where they can or already utilize TeamViewer, Skype, Zoom, or other desktop sharing software, this could be quite possible.

If your lab is looking at our Probe for EPMA and Probe Image applications for your EPMA instrument, and are possibly interested in this remote installation and training option, please email Barbara (, and we can discuss if this remote installation and training option would be a good fit for your lab, and we can provide a quotation for you to consider.

We've added a new web page for further information:

John Donovan

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Re: Remote Software Installation and Training
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2020, 01:59:34 PM »
In addition to remote software installation and training of our Probe for EPMA and Probe Image products for JEOL and Cameca instruments, we can also offer customized basic to advanced training on specific topics in EPMA for your staff, by our microprobe experts, for those labs that already have our software installed, and would like to expand their EPMA skill sets.

The following is a list of possible remote training that we can offer your lab via common desktop sharing applications such as TeamViewer, Skype, Zoom, RealVNC, etc. Please contact Barbara ( at Probe Software for more information on customized remote training for your EPMA lab needs.

Module: Calibration Curves (4 hours)
- Matrix matching standards
- Carbon in steel
- Background corrected vs. non background corrected calibration curves
- Zero point calibration

Module: Quantitative X-Ray Mapping (8 hours)
- Considerations for optimizing x-ray mapping throughput
- Spectrometer configuration for multi-pass mapping (more elements than spectrometers)
- Background corrections for maps (MAN vs off-peak)
- Mapping elements by different or by stoichiometry
- Quantification of x-ray maps
- TDI mapping for beam sensitive samples
- Pixel extraction from quant x-ray maps (cross sections, rectangular areas, polygon areas, etc.)
- Accuracy and "bulk" analysis of multi-phase materials
- RGB maps and image math
- Classification and modal analysis (area vs mass volume)

Module: Light element analysis (6 hours)
- Strategies for background models: when to use linear exponential, polynomial, MAN etc
- Spectral interference corrections in Probe for EPMA
- Peak shifts and peak shape changes: APF, peak scan
- Matrix correction methods in Probe for EPMA and when to use them
- Empirical mass absorption coefficients (MACs)

Module: Trace element analysis (8 hours)
- Calculating counting times and detection limits in Probe for EPMA and CalcZAF
- Strategies for background models: Acquiring and using wavescans vs. MAN
- Blank correction: Improving accuracy at low concentration levels
- Aggregated intensities with duplicate elements for improved sensitivity
- Specified concentrations and elements by difference

Module: Analyzing complex materials (6 hours)
- Spectral interference corrections
- Multi-point backgrounds
- Using virtual standards
- Calculating and correcting for secondary fluorescence boundary effects

Module: Beam-sensitive materials (6 hours)
- Using Time-dependent intensity corrections in Probe for EPMA
- Using TDI scanning: Time-dependent intensity in Probe Image
- Calculating sample temperature rise

Module: Low voltage analysis (4 hours)
- Low voltage vs. low overvoltage analysis
- Using non-traditional X-ray lines for quantification
- Defining empirical mass absorption coefficients (MACs)

Module: Integrated WDS and EDS (if available) (4 hours)
- Setting up integrated WDS and EDS analyses in Probe for EPMA (Thermo, Bruker and JEOL EDS systems)
- Calibration strategies for EDS

Module: Productivity and report writing (4 hours)
- Using MAN backgrounds to increase productivity by reducing analysis time
- Using specified or by difference concentrations
- Export options in Probe for EPMA and Probe Image
- Report options in Probe for EPMA
- Creating documentation in Probe for EPMA
- Creating customized documentation in Golden Software Grapher and Surfer
- Utilizing previous analysis setups in Probe for EPMA values for new samples

Module: Thin Film and Particle Quantitative Analysis (4 hours)
- Sample preparation for thin films
- Using Multi-Voltage Analysis (MVA) for thin specimens
- Automated MVA acquisition
- Thin film reprocessing (STRATAGem and/or BadgerFilm)
- Using geometric corrections for particle analysis
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 02:39:34 PM by John Donovan »
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John Donovan

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Re: Remote Software Installation and Training
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2020, 09:05:22 AM »
It should also be mentioned that for those labs that are unable to allow a desktop sharing connection to their instrument on-line computer, it would also be possible to provide some (or all?) of this remote training on a home or office computer, simply by running Probe for EPMA in simulation mode.

The simulation mode in Probe for EPMA is quite realistic (we use it for teaching EPMA students in the classroom), but in any case, actual data from the instrument could subsequently be re-processed on any off-line computer, if the EPMA on-line computer is not accessible remotely.
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John Donovan

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Re: Remote Software Installation and Training
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2020, 09:27:54 AM »
Just wanted to let you all know that Probe Software recently completed 10 hours of remote training on Probe for EPMA, Probe Image and CalcImage (4 separate days with ~2.5 hours on each of the days) for one of our existing customers.

We used their university's Zoom account, and it worked great for him to share his screen on his microprobe with us, so we could guide him through the menus and buttons.  Doing these 4 training days over a period of a couple of weeks gave him time to play with the software on his own after each session and acquire more datasets for us to work on together.

We covered mean atomic number (MAN) background and blank corrections in the first part, then multi-point backgrounds (MPB) and shared MPB backgrounds in the second session. Then we moved on to setting up standards and quant x-ray map acquisitions in the 3rd session, and in the 4th session re-processed the quantitative x-ray maps and output them to Surfer and utilized the Classify and Modal analysis features, and also the pixel and shape extraction features in CalcImage.



"Shared" MPB:

Probe Image:


He was very impressed with these software features that he hadn't previously utilized, and was very happy with the training.  We were both pleased with how much fun we all had!

So in the current situation of travel restrictions we would again encourage you all to think about getting your Probe Software installation and training using these remote methods.  We think it is a very viable process that can quickly get you up to speed with our software.

If you are a current Probe Software customer, please contact us and we can design a customized training schedule specific to your laboratory needs. If you are a new customer awaiting installation and training from one of our expert consultants, please contact Barbara or them to arrange for the installation and training to be performed remotely with you in the lab, while learning how it is all done.  If you are a potential customer interested in what Probe Software can do for your JEOL or Cameca EPMA instrument, again contact us and we can help you understand how this remote installation/training process can get you up and running with the world's best EPMA software quickly and easily.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 09:37:56 AM by John Donovan »
John J. Donovan, Pres. 
(541) 343-3400

"Not Absolutely Certain, Yet Reliable"