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Science becomes dangerous only when it imagines that it has reached its goal. 

George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

To define it rudely but not inaptly, engineering ... is the art of doing that well with one dollar, which any bungler can do with two after a fashion.

Arthur Mellen Wellington (1847–1895)

A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.

Freeman Dyson (b. 1923)

The person who comes up with the applications thinks differently than the scientist who lays the foundation.

Herbert Kroemer, Nobel Laureate for Physics, 2000 (b. 1928)

These quotes agree with my thoughts.  An engineer, be it hardware or software, reuses what works well, discards what is superfluous, innovates when necessary, and stops when the job is finished.  The Shaw quote illustrates one of the differences between science and engineering.  An engineer knows when to start on a new task.  A scientist knows that the old task is never finished!  I classify myself as an engineer.  Here is another take on this subject, "To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.  To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."

I often have been asked about PC Data Acquisition.  I have gathered together most of what I know and have placed it here.  I hope that you find it to be useful.  Please feel free to contact me to provide input.  I apologize in advance if I am not able to answer all questions, though I do try when possible.

The pages here are oriented toward designers who are using Microsoft Visual Basic™.   However, the information generally should be of value to designers using other technologies. 


Click the logo above to be redirected to the OPC Foundation web site.  The OPC Specification is a non-proprietary technical specification that defines a set of standard interfaces based upon Microsoft’s OLE/COM technology. The application of the OPC standard interface makes possible interoperability between automation/control applications, field systems/devices and business/office applications.

Traditionally, each software or application developer was required to write a custom interface, or server/driver, to exchange data with hardware field devices. OPC eliminates this requirement by defining a common, high performance interface that permits this work to be done once, and then easily reused by HMI, SCADA, Control and custom applications.

Click the logo above to be redirected to the Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA). It is a not-for-profit organization with a membership of over 1300 scientists whose vision is to provide the premier educational opportunities in the field of laboratory technologies. Conferences, short courses, scholarship programs and the journal organized by the ALA have quickly established themselves as premier offerings for today's technology researchers.


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Last modified: 11/25/09
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