By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Data is to an engineer or scientist as clay to a sculptor: a lump of potential. Sculpting "that is processing "your data to coax out information that leads to discovery and understanding is what separates the hacks from pros. This is why well-crafted software systems for data analysis are as critical for good engineering as is good judgment. And this is why I took notice of the newest releases of the Origin engineering scientific data analysis systems from OriginLab.
The thumbnail on Origin: It’s software for data analysis, publication-quality graphing, and programming with expertise in such areas as peak analysis, curve fitting, statistics, image analysis, and signal processing. It has functionality for creating 2D/3D graphs (more than 70 types), importing data, exporting results, building templates for routine jobs, and so forth. You can write your own Origin C code, and the software can act as an Automation Server for users of VB, C++, C# and LabVIEW.
A distinguishing trait of Origin, IMHO, is that it has been developed as a power tool without industrial-strength impediments to its use. Version 8.5.1 seems to reflect this philosophy. For example, 8.5.1 has a couple of things OriginLab calls Gadgets. Gadgets are easy-to-use, er, gadgets for doing analyses on a selected region of data right away. And there’s this cool thing called the Digitizer for checking your research against published results. What it does is let you import a scanned image of a graph that you can then manipulate to create datasets that come close to the original image data.
You can learn more about Origin 8.5.1 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Make sure to hit the links to the video tutorials. No registration is required to watch these, so, you can get an excellent idea of how this system operates on the cheap. Speaking of cost containment, you can sign up for a cost-free evaluation unit too. Pricing for this dot-one version is not listed online explicitly, but its predecessor started at $995, with a top end of $2,400 for the Pro version with an annual maintenance contract.
I’ve been learning about Origin since 1994. For everything I know and have heard, Origin is a solid system. Take a few minutes and begin your discovery then understanding of this tool.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering