[volt-nuts] do you like Labview in your labs?
shalimr9 at gmail.com
shalimr9 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 14:34:07 UTC 2010
"I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would set up their tent
in NI labview land."
Some people like the comfort it gives to pay for something. The perception that if anything goes wrong, someone will be there to help you. What they don't realize is that most commercial software vendors are resorting to user forums to help users with problem, just like to free software folks have done for ages.
I had a need to learn Matlab quickly to help my son with an assignment (he is an EE student). We were able to share his login to the free on-line tool Matlab provides to universities (a Citrix client, a little cumbersome and slow, but it did work, mostly), but only one of us could be logged at a time. Since he is several hundred miles from me, that was not convenient. So I checked the Matlab web site for a license or a free trial. They have severe restrictions to their free trial, and they have to approve you first. For about $2,000, you can buy a single user license, what a deal! Keep in mind this is for software that is not even aware that Windows has been supporting long file names since Windows 95, only 15 years ago.
So I downloaded and installed Octave, the free Matlab clone on my machine. It ran all the Matlab scripts we threw at it without a flinch. All the error messages (when present) were the same between Octave and Matlab. Octave wants to be a faithful Matlab clone, so they have the same restrictions on long file names by the way, which I found amusing. I can tolerate that from free software, it is inexcusable for expensive commercial software.
I don't understand why the university would force the students to use Matlab (even though they provide a free login, this login expires when the class is over) when quality free tools like Octave are available.
By the way, I don't think Octave will replace Spice any time soon, but it looks like a very useful tool. That was an interesting exercise for me :)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
From: Chuck Harris <cfharris at erols.com>
Sender: volt-nuts-bounces at febo.com
Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2010 10:34:54
To: Discussion of precise voltage measurement<volt-nuts at febo.com>
Reply-To: Discussion of precise voltage measurement <volt-nuts at febo.com>
Subject: Re: [volt-nuts] do you like Labview in your labs?
You can also use the same openVISA layer with scilab, python, octave, c++, ...
essentially all other open source languages and packages. So things are
pretty nice for GPIB users in open source land... much nicer than in 'doze
land. If only because you don't have to ask anyone's permission to make
changes that make things work better for your needs.
For those that think python is impossible to use, here is a snippet that
will read from your keithley voltmeter:
keithley = visa.instrument("GPIB::12")
There are many dozens of instruments that have support already in the library,
and adding additional instruments is pretty trivial.
Plotting is as simple as using the python graph function.
Here is another package called pyVlab, which is a python based clone of
I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would set up their tent
in NI labview land.
Ivan Cousins wrote:
> Some may not be aware that there is an alternative to the NI VISA layer
> that is open source
> (GNU General Public License).
> I use it with GNU octave as an alternative to Labwindows-Labview.
> I like open source tools on linux so they can be changed if needed.
> On the web page it is mentioned:
> "You might be interested that your vxi11 package can be compiled on
> I have not tried this.
> VXI11 Ethernet Protocol for Linux at:
> John C.
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