OVER 2 YOU, 092 (06/08/02)
there any device or adaptor that I can connect to my computer to monitor the
various electrical signals running around inside my body, i.e. brain waves,
heart beat, nerve impulses etc?
Stevens, via email
German firm called Visiplex manufactures a range of biomedical devices and
software for use with a PC, you should have a look at ECG PCLink and CardioView
a look at the Brentwood Medical web site, it carries a range of heart
monitoring devices that plug into any IBM PC; you can find more details at:
Lee, via email
an amazing looking device called the Biograph at: http://www.biof.com/biograph.html.
This connects to your PC – any model will do, even old 486s – the subject wears
some electrodes and it displays a range of brainwaves and images. It can be
used in conjunction with training and teaching aids; the only trouble is it
costs almost £3,000!
Waverider Bioacoustic system turns your brainwaves into music! It’s a box that
plugs into the serial port on your computer, with some electrodes that attach
to your head, there’s more information at: http://cerebrex.com/bio.htm
Farrow, via email
voluntary civic society want to move our membership list to MS Access and
improve it at the same time. We want to incorporate all conceivable data such
as relevant skills, as well as the usual name, address and subscription amount.
However, members may be reluctant to divulge say ‘disabilities’. A difficulty is how to address the letters
when each partner has a different name, we used to be able to do Mr & Mrs
A.A. Smith but it now seems that another field must be included.
anyone recommend a suitable Access template for such a database or/and maybe
their own ideas of what to include? I
have approached other organizations but like us, most seem still to use old
card indexes! We only have about 200 members and no funds for dedicated
Merrin Molesworth, via email
I would be happy to have a go at setting up an
Access database, free of charge. I'm currently a full time mother, but in my
previous job I used MS Access and Excel. I'm keen not to lose my computer
skills while I'm at home and I would be glad of the opportunity to do some
Access work on a "real life" problem.
If Merrin Molesworth would like to email me I am
sure I could design an Access Database to meet most if not all requirements -
free of charge.
anyone recommend a computer program that will calculate football
many years I have dealt with this for my own League by using a spreadsheet with
appropriate formulae, but the Football Association have recently commissioned
who have produced integrated League Administration Software known as the WONFAS
(Web Orientated Nationwide Football Administration System). This is an
excellent system provided by the FA to all leagues free of charge. It will make
your fixture list if you wish, and produce all relevant statistics on your own
web site. It is excellent and very easy to use. The only drawback as far as I
am concerned is that it does not recognise Apple Mac or virtual PC, although
the FA have a policy for the provision of low cost PCs. Your County Association
will be able to provide full details.
the brilliant Ltrack by Nigel Thomas at www.ngthomas.co.uk.
It is perfect for tracking the English leagues (and others), as well as
creating your own. Another bonus is that it is freeware.
suggest Brian looks at: www.centercircle.co.uk
up geology in my retirement, I want to branch out into petrology, which
involves using a polarizing microscope to examine thin sections of rock.
However, failing eyesight (AMD) is an increasing handicap, albeit a slowly
growing one. Has anyone experience of using an optical microscope with a
PC? I have Windows 95 PC with a 21-inch monitor, what other hardware would I
need, apart from the microscope? Being able to show the angular
direction of the polarizer on screen with the magnified section is the
dream, but not the expectation! If the
idea is technically/financially beyond reach of anyone outside a well-endowed
laboratory, is there a program simulating a range of rock sections?
Hague, via email
Over2You (July 30th) a correspondent mentions the Mattel QX3 microscope, which
is certainly one solution. Last Easter, I saw an exhibition put on by the
Swansea Astronomical Society that involved using a modified webcam with a
telescope. I think the method could easily be adapted to be used with a microscope.
Basically, the astronomers bought a cheap webcam -- PC World had one for just under £10. They removed the lens from the webcam. A tube was attached to it, just wide enough to slide over the microscope tube, allowing
the webcam to be moved closer or further away from the microscope eyepiece and
thus allow a clear image to be displayed on the computer screen. This could be
a very cheap and effective solution to Mr Hague's problem.
I seem to remember a few years ago seeing programs
for designing paper aeroplanes, which were apparently superior to the
traditional paper ‘dart’ type design. Does anyone know if they’re still
available and if so, have any improvements been made?
Ian Douglas, via email
recommend the most comprehensive paper aeroplane website: www.paperairplanes.co.uk
Dietrich Schultz, email@example.com
Whatever happened to the ‘Domesday Project’ where an
updated version of the Domesday Book – compiled I believe in the late 1980’s –
was put on to the now defunct laserdisc format for use in schools and
libraries. Was it ever made available on CD-ROM, and if so where can I obtain a
T. L. Simmonds, via email
company, Phillimore & Co Ltd has produced an interactive CD-ROM of the
original Domesday Book. This CD contains the entire Great Domesday Book
Latin text in facsimile copy, as well as the Phillimore translation of this
text. It also as 500,000 embedded codes enabling the user to conduct any
kind of search, allowing them to instantly retrieve names, places, lands of any
landowner or religious institution or even any occurrences of any word or
phrase. There is also a highly sophisticated mapping system that enables
the user to conduct map searches and create maps, which illustrate the density
and distribution of such things as manors, estates, livestock, etc. The
text, maps and facsimile can be viewed to any magnification. For more
information you can visit our website www.phillimore.co.uk.
have a fairly large number of rare technical drawings, including blueprints, which I would like to archive. Scanning these as line art may be the answer but I can see any number of problems, like how to avoid jaggies and losing thin lines in printouts. A small number of the drawings are about A1 size. Are there any commercial operations that would scan these for
am afraid that Mr Danik is stuck with the old adage "You pays your money
and takes your choice". True digitising of drawings is an expensive
process. Scanning or, so called digital
photography only produces a raster picture type file stored in a digital
format, usually .bmp, .jpg or .gif. When reproduced, either by Inkjet or laser
printer, it will always have the pixelly effect. Lines will be jagged if over
enlarged and thin lines will not print at all. Every industrial estate will
have a printing firm which will print out your "digital" files at
very reasonable cost but they will be pictures not reproduction drawings.
True digitisation of drawings is always possible at a price. I know of a couple
of firms who digitise drawings in vector form and present the files in
DrafixCAD or AutoSketch format, but the cost is proportionate to the work
involved as the work has to be redrawn on a computer. Unless Mr Danik's
drawings have considerable intrinsic value the cost of archiving them in this
form would not be cost effective and the process is time consuming and very
Even if he could afford to go down this route, he would need access to an
appropriate printer to print out accurate reproduction drawings. One such
printer is the Hewlett Packard DesignJet 750C Plus but this machine is a
commercial type of inkjet printer, large and expensive, which can print out
perfect copies (in black & white or colour) from the digitised files, e.g.
in such formats as .skf or .cad, up to A0 size. I have found that attempting to
print out digitised drawing files in AutoSketch format, i.e. .skf, on a laser
colour printer capable of printing up to A3 size produces unsatisfactory
I believe that work is going on to try and link the two methods of storing
pictures and drawings in digitised form but I do not know how far this work has
progressed towards producing a working program.
We have an Acorn A5000 home computer, with a
Citizen Swift 200 colour printer. It was purchased for our boys over 10
years ago, as it was the same model used in our local schools. It has been
totally reliable but unfortunately is now redundant!!! Is their
anyone/institution/organisation that could make use of it (free to them of
course) or is it destined for the skip!
Geoff Halliday, via email
to fathom the real rates I pay each month for my mobile phone, I have scanned a
few months' bills into my PC, run OCR (optical character recognition) on them,
and have come up with some data MS Excel should be to handle.
the duration of each call is written in a Mins: Secs format – i.e. '2 mins 37
secs' as 02:37. I have tried every function I can think of to render this value
into decimal minutes or seconds, including TIMEVALUE(), MINUTE(), SECOND(),
CONVERT (integer or cell value, "min", "sec"), etc. but
with no joy at all.
I am to be able to make a meaningful comparison between my current service
providers' rates and a competitor I might wish to switch to, the only way it
seems, through the morass of "Confusion Marketing" and small print,
is to know exactly how and when I run my mobile phone bill up, and on what sort
of calls. Living on a boat, my mobile is my only telephone, and also has to
cope with email, faxes and graphic free surfing.
Keyes, via email
recall reading about someone developing a ‘lie detector’ program for the PC a
couple of years ago, did anything ever come of it?
Taylor, via email
anyone know of a site that tells you how many miles
various types of aircraft have travelled?
Peter Duerden, via email