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Thread: Where to go from here?

  1. #1 Where to go from here? 
    Forum Freshman Steve Griffin's Avatar
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    Hello, I'm not so good at clever user persona creation but I am fairly well versed in several sciences, chemistry (analytical), laser surgery, fiber optics and biotechnology and can hold my own in physics and a few other topics. As you might guess from the moniker chosen, I work with fused silica glass.

    I'll be looking for help in newer technologies to advance my work. I run R&D and Engineering in the company that I founded 13 years ago. All of my production lasers run on...aarrgghh, I hate to even admit it...BASIC. I wrote all the code...never "took" BASIC, but was pretty good at FORTRAN back in the day and the two use the same strategies... All process computers are 486 or older, because my old software for using parallel ports to drive stepper motors is incompatible with the higher clock rates of modern computers. I am trying to enter the 21st century but may need a bit of help.

    I design and build fiber optic energy delivery systems of laser surgery, ordinance initiation, cutting and welding, etc. and for spectroscopy by fiber as well as capillary devcies for genomics, proteomics (GC, CE and related methods as well as interfaces to ESI-MS and fibers for MALDI-MS). Most of my patents are for laser surgery but a couple are in analytical chemistry and three of my applications in process are analytical chemistry.

    I finally got a server for the networked computers in 2000, got a software package to integrate accounting, production scheduling, materials tracking, QA lot tracking, job costing, etc. last year (still debugging and learning it), am installing bar code systems throughout the plant, instead of hand written task and lot tracking, etc... My goal is to upgrade the server and integrate the manufacturing computers (primarily control motions in the laser machining and forming equipment, but also collect dimensional and fiber efficiency data (transmission efficiency, spectral response, beam profiles) to the server so that scheduling can inform technicians at their manufacturing terminals what jobs to do, the required set-up, troubleshooting, etc. while collecting and analyzing production data in real time.

    Anyone have a suggestion of which forums to start lurking about within?


    Dr. Silica

    “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Ben Franklin
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  3. #2  
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    Just look in the forums that interest you.

    By the way, welcome to the forum. It's always great to have people who are not only interested, but knowledgable in different sciences here. Feel free to start topics, too!


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  4. #3  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Hey Steve, welcome to the forum.

    I think most people make posts on abstract ideas they want to explore with others. Based on your background I'm sure you would offer a great deal of knowledge to the forum.

    Worse case, just look up the thread on how to launch a cat
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  5. #4 thanks 
    Forum Freshman Steve Griffin's Avatar
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    Nice to be welcomed so quickly and warmly. I look forward to some level of escape within these walls. Initially, I tend to view most activities in the light of "how will this advance my work', but seems that there is a great deal more here than that. I am hoping that I can free some additional time to play within more. For now, i have to figure out the banner...can't be so bland, apparently.
    Dr. Silica

    “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Ben Franklin
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Welcome, Steve!

    The question that inevitably rises, is it possible to mount lasers on the heads of sharks? :P

    Mr U
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  7. #6 Re: Where to go from here? 
    Forum Sophomore DEChengst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Griffin
    All process computers are 486 or older, because my old software for using parallel ports to drive stepper motors is incompatible with the higher clock rates of modern computers.
    That's not too bad. There are companies that still rely on PDP computers to keep their production lines running On the other hand, a PDP is much nicer than a x86 based box 8)
    PDP, VAX and Alpha fanatic ; HP-Compaq is the Satan! ; Let us pray daily while facing Maynard! ; Life starts at 150 km/h ;
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  8. #7 Thanks 
    Forum Freshman Steve Griffin's Avatar
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    Hello, Mr. U --

    Sharks. Lasers. Humm. This is the inevitable compatibility question? Perhaps I am dense, but seems to me that a visable light laser, mounted on a shark's head and pointing in the direction of motion, would render the shark useless and it chased the beam as a dog chases it's tail...it might be humerous fo a while, but PETA would raise a stink. (Probably was PETA that stopped Edmund from selling those cool oragami aircraft to which one attached house flies for power. I particularly was fond to the B-52 and its four-fly power )

    And, DEC --

    I had a PDP back in grad school. Loved it and it provided great service, until a nimrod in our research group tried mounting something to the cabinet, drilling holes through the wall: metal chips everywhere! Had to learn to live with, and share, a Commodore 64 after that. Wrote my dissetation on an IBM typewriter (lots of "white out"). We did not have much funding, but in hindsight, that forced me to learn to do high tech with low tech tools and that has paid off in spades! (Had four bomb boys from Sandia in here a couple of days ago who confirmed my models for laser damage in optical fiber were correct -- my budget to reach the same conclusions as they was, how to put it, considerably smaller :wink:
    Dr. Silica

    “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Ben Franklin
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  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Ohh you guys just gave me the greatest idea.

    My dog loves to play chase the laser, so why not try the same concept with the dog Just mount it to her head so it's always visible when she stops. I can see it now, poor dog will pass out from exhaustion
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  10. #9 ah! 
    Forum Freshman Steve Griffin's Avatar
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    Better yet, I've used it to tire out my two-year olds...slept through the night. (They are now 3 and 5 so it is a differnet set of nightly issues.)
    Dr. Silica

    “The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” – Ben Franklin
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