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More Computer Troubles (Week 8)

This week I re-ran the phytoplankton cultures from beaver army terminal. The original samples that I took produced negative voltage readings—the entire signal was just shifted down into the negative range on the y-axis. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be okay, but as I looked at the other samples, I noticed that they all start at different y-axis levels. This data will still be good, however, because subtracting all of the amplitudes from a threshold will give the relative peak heights, which is what is important, not the amplitudes themselves. Noticing this was good because the phytoplankton cultures weren’t as healthy and clean looking as they could have been. When the cultures grow too much in the little bottles they are in, they end up dying and clumping together. Using this is not a good representation. I also met with Amanda Mather who works in Rick Johnson’s lab. She has some background knowledge in labview that surpassed the knowledge that was previously available to me. She had some good suggestions for the program that I am writing. All of the concepts are the same, but she knew a better way to graph the peak detection results. Now instead of just seeing numbers and plots with some of the peaks, I can see the exact peaks that the program is detecting of the entire data set on 1 graph. The picture below shows a sample of the output graphs of the peak detectors at different threshold levels from the 20 um bead sample. It also gives a numerical count of the peaks that it finds.
I spent most of this week rewriting this program from scratch. I could use pieces of my previous program and just copy and paste them into the new one, but the beginning foundation was a little bit different that it was just easier to start over. This time writing the program went a lot faster, though, because I knew what I was doing and what had to be connected where. I am a lot more confident with the results of this labview program now.
With this new problem also came its downfalls. After it was working well, it decided to give me an error message every time I tried to run it again saying that labview memory is full. I can’t run the data and therefore, can’t collect the data. I spent some time trying to figure out how to erase old memory, condense certain areas of the program to free some memory space, shutdown/restart the computer, but all of the things that I try didn’t seem to work. Debugging memory problems is very difficult and hopefully I can get it working again really soon or else I don’t know how I am going to collect the data to use to finish my project.
This week was also the last week for some of the interns, so they gave their final presentations on Friday and the rest of the interns still here at CMOP got to listen. All of the presentations went well and it was fun to see how everyone’s projects turned out in the end and what they were able to find.