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Understanding the Roles of ECM-SDMS and LIMS

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by Robert Pavlis | Articles | Comments

Electronic integration can provide significant value Robert Pavlis This article will explore the roles that enterprise content management (ECM)/scientific data management systems (SDMS) and laboratory information management systems (LIMS) fulfill in the laboratory and how these systems can be leveraged so that they not only coexist, but also complement one another to provide maximum value to the laboratory

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Weka Machine Learning Workbench Review

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

I had originally intended this review to be subtitled "Data Mining on the Cheap" as this is freeware, but not wanting to bias attitudes against free software that is actually very powerful in its own right, and planning to do more freeware reviews, a more dignified title was mandated. In future, there will be a short column review on the WinBugs Bayesian analysis program and a longer review on the 'R' language.

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Operation: Furious Speed Bump

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by Bill Weaver, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Systematic impediments to laboratory integration Bill Weaver, Ph.D. Twenty years ago this month, I was a junior undergrad taking a course in laboratory instrumentation. As I recall, our project involved the development of a visible absorption spectrometer using a 12-volt auto lamp, some theater gels and a photodiode. We hooked it up to an analog-to-digital converter circuit that was ported into a 1-MHz Commodore64 personal computer running its...

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Quick & Easy Integration with Mathematica Link for Excel

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Mathematica Link for Excel 3 is a much-needed link between the two programs that serves the user well in both directions of export. For those of us who use Microsoft Excel on a regular basis, we appreciate the data manipulative characteristics and ease-of-use features, but cringe at the thought of doing anything but routine statistical and mathematical analysis in that software.

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64-Bit Operating Systems Enter the Mainstream

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by Mike Neal | Articles | Comments

A look at the impact of Microsoft Windows Vista x64 on engineering and scientific applications Mike Neal Scientists and engineers increasingly use commercial off-the-shelf PC technology in both research and industry to bring new products to market faster and at lower costs. As a result, the introduction of new PC technologies often has unforeseen and potentially disruptive consequences. No new technology promises to cause more change than the...

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Securing the Future of e-Science

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by David Berg | Articles | Comments

Network access control holds the key David Berg The advent of Web 2.0 and the key principles characterizing Web 2.0 applications, such as the Web as a platform, data as the driving force, network effects created by an architecture of participation, and extensive use of folksonomies (in the form of tags, or annotations, as referred to within the scientific community), are driving the scientific community to embrace a scientific research...

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HPC Balance and Common Sense

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | by Rob Farber | Articles | Comments

Maintain ratios that work and improve on those that don’t Rob Farber With the advent of new processors and technologies, the current state of flux in the HPC community is a boon for scientists. Ever more capable supercomputers are being procured, and the performance increases promised by multi-core processors, increasing memory bandwidths, new communications fabrics and exotic computer architectures can significantly reduce the time-to-solution...

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LabWare LIMS

January 31, 2007 7:00 pm | LabWare, Inc. | Articles | Comments

LabWare LIMS is a customer-configurable LIMS with a variety of optional modules that extend the application's functionality to address the needs of specific market segments

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Under the Hood: A look at the HP 50g graphing calculator

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by John A. Wass, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

After the last calculator review, I had told myself no more; but it’s so much fun playing with these computational toys that my self-restraint flew out the window faster than a New Year’s resolution! After taking this calculator through its paces, however, I will at least examine the press releases to ensure a major upgrade next time. While a beauty to look at, and possessing truly powerful computational and graphics capabilities, ...

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Implementing the Federal Enterprise Architecture Records Management Profile

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by Kathleen Kummer | Articles | Comments

Four challenges to achieving an effective system Kathleen Kummer Compliance with federal reporting regulations has emerged as a significant requirement for publicly traded companies in the private sector. Much has been said about corporate compliance risks and fears. However, a new twist in the tale is the federal government’s effort to set tougher compliance rules for its own managers. Now it turns out that the regulators are also becoming the...

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Minimizing the Pain of Transition

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | Articles | Comments

PCI Express eases migration from buses to fabrics Paul Gaudreau The peripheral component interconnect (PCI) bus has been the mainstay of computing since shortly after its advent in the early 1990s, and it has spread well beyond its desktop PC roots to provide a common expansion-board interface for all types of equipment — from modest home computers to sophisticated servers and everything in between. With the latest crop of multiGHz...

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Laboratory 3.0

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by Bill Weaver, Ph.D. | Articles | Comments

Upgrading laboratory processes in a flat world Bill Weaver, Ph.D. I recently had the great fortune of viewing an online MIT OpenCourseWare presentation of a talk given by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Thomas L. Friedman. He was addressing students on the topic of his book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century , now available in an updated and expanded edition published in April 2006. Friedman is the foreign-affairs...

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Birds of Prey: Informatics planning limits deadly crashes

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by Randy C. Hice | Blogs | Comments

The landscape is littered with the remains of failed projects that could have been saved if just a few key elements were addressed Randy C. Hice Preparation for informatics projects is at least half the battle, if not 80 percent of it. Successful projects require up-front planning prior to the rubber meeting the road. 

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Where Can We Get HELP?

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by Siri H. Segalstad | Articles | Comments

Quality Standards and LIMS Siri H. Segalstad LIMS are an important and complex system used in laboratories in many different types of organizations. There are several systems on the market, and this article is not specific for any of them. It is not always easy to know how to handle such a system in a quality way, but there are standards that can help us

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Tomorrow’s Successful Research Organizations Face a Critical Challenge

December 31, 2006 7:00 pm | by Scott Deutsch | Articles | Comments

R&D collaboration is becoming the difference between success and failure Scott Deutsch Market research studies have found that, of a researcher’s time, approximately 31 percent is spent communicating with others, 24 percent is wasted waiting for decisions to be made or for something to happen

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