Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ho ho ho, now I have a microscope

Santa Claus had a short pit-stop here today and dropped off a high powered microscope from Amscope :-) Unfortunately the 10 MP camera doesn't seem to work very well, which is a bummer and something I will have to fix. However, I'm still full of excitement about this :-)

Update: The camera isn't dead on arrival. It seems to be alive and kicking when plugged into an old XP machine. My OSX box didn't recognize the camera at all. Amscope advertise that this camera should be useful both for windows and OSX, but either that information is incorrect or something is missing.

My cellar office is definitely getting a "mad scientist" flavor now: That microscope is huge and it stands right in the middle of my desk where I previously had a big flatscreen monitor so it's kind of hard to miss :-) Now I need to kick the tires a bit to get the imager up and running, set up some processing pipelines from the cellar office (where the XP box is located) up to the interclouds where the images will be stored. Also I now need to aquire some kit to make interesting preparates to look at. So far i've just looked at paper, which is interesting enough for an evening, but it gets a bit tiresome after a while even at 2000 times magnification :-)

Update on the update: A quick email to amscope cleared things up a bit. The camera as shipped from amscope doesn't contain software for OSX, but they have software available for download here: I haven't tested it yet so I don't know how good or bad it is, but this is progress :-)

Update^3: I've now tested the osx software and basically, it sucks, but not so badly that it's unusable. The software from amscope is an application that seems to be reading directly from the USB connection and then allow images to be captured either as single frames or as movies. That's not so bad, but what's just stupid is that they haven't bothered to make an OSX driver for the camera, which means that all other imaging software for OSX is probably useless. That is stupid. It is possible to work around this, but it would have been much better not to.