Computer Programs for Download

by Dr. Timothy H. Heaton
University of South Dakota


USD Scantron Exam Summary Facility


Visual Basic Programs

Caliper Interface for Microsoft Excel (CalExcel.exe)

This program is designed to open a serial port, open a Microsoft Excel workbook, and act as an interface for importing digital caliper values into a worksheet. It functions similarly to a DOS TSR program called DataQ but is designed for Windows and specifically as an interface for Excel. It should work with any serial port caliper hardware, and it has built in port settings for the Smartcable, MRS 100, Brown and Sharpe, NSK, SYLVAC, Gageport, Fowler Ultracal, and Starrett digital calipers. I have used it extensively with Mitutoyo calipers using several of these interfaces.

CalExcel.exe is available in 16 and 32 bit versions and can be downloaded by clicking the links below. The program file itself will be adequate for users who have Visual Basic 4 installed on their systems. Visual Basic EXE programs are not stand-alone and require many supplementary files (DLLs, OCXs), some of which are missing on most systems. For users not running Visual Basic 4, a full self-extracting install file is available for download. It will create a program directory and install all needed components.

Native Program: Visual Basic 4, 16 bit Visual Basic 4, 32 bit Visual Basic 5, 32 bit Excel 97, VBA Macros
Systems Supported: Windows 3.1, 95 & NT Windows 95 & NT Windows 95 & NT Excel 97, Windows 95/NT
Version and Date: Version 1.04 (2/21/98) Version 1.05 (4/19/98) Version 1.05 (4/19/98) Version 1.04 (2/21/98)
Executable File Only: CalExcel.exe (28 KB) CalExcel.exe (33 KB) CalExcel.exe (50 KB) Calipers.xls (127 KB)
Full Self-extracting Install: CE16inst.exe (2166 KB) CE32inst.exe (2252 KB) CE32inst.exe (2252 KB) MSComm32.ocx (91 KB)

The Macro version (Calipers.xls) is an alternative for those running Excel 97. It can be run from a form similar to that in CalExcel.exe or from a toolbar called Caliper Interface. The support file MSComm32.ocx must reside in the \windows\system directory for the communications macros to run; it is provided in the table above for those who do not have this file on their systems. The macro version avoids the problem of having to open workbooks from the controls of a different program, but the interface can be sluggish when the serial port is open (a typical problem when the program is waiting for port input rather than user input). Data entry seems equally fast on both versions.

Let me know if there are any calipers for which this program doesn't work, for which the default port settings are incorrect, or that are not listed and should be. I will try to make the list as complete as possible.

A full web site on morphometrics is located at SUNY Stony Brook.

Excel and Windows 3.1, 95, and NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation (in case you didn't know that).

Digitizer Interface Programs for Microsoft Excel

Interface programs are under development for several digitizers. These programs operate similarly to CalExcel but enter coordinate sets into an Excel spreadsheet. Support will be added for additional digitizers in the future. Click on the links to download test versions of 32-bit Visual Basic digitizer interface programs for the Summagraphics Microgrid II (DigExcel.exe [32 KB]) and The Polhemus 3D digitizer (Polhemus.exe [31 KB]). You will need to have the support files for CalExcel (32-bit version) already loaded on your computer. This can be accomplished by downloading and running the program CE32inst.exe (2252 KB).

Metric/English Conversion Utility (Metric.exe)

This is a small desktop utility that converts English and Metric units. Over 100 units are included in the following categories: Area, Energy, Force, Length, Mass, Power, Pressure, Temperature, Velocity, and Volume. The program is exceptionally easy to run and will optionally save converted values to the clipboard.

The program is available in 16 and 32 bit versions and can be downloaded in a similar manner to the Caliper Interface program described above. If Visual Basic is installed on your system or you are already running the Caliper Interface program, then simply downloading Metric.exe should be sufficient. Otherwise you must download and run the full self-extracting installation program to place all the necessary support files on your system.

Native Program:Visual Basic 4, 16 bit version Visual Basic 4, 32 bit version Visual Basic 5, 32 bit version
Systems Supported: Windows 3.1, 95 & NT Windows 95 & NT Windows 95 & NT
Version and Date: Version 1.00 (1/3/98) Version 1.00 (1/3/98) Version 1.00 (1/3/98)
Executable File Only: Metric.exe (30 KB) Metric.exe (34 KB) Metric.exe (52 KB)
Full Self-extracting Install: ME16inst.exe (3114 KB) ME32inst.exe (3669 KB) ME32inst.exe (4443 KB)

Information about the program and version can be obtained by typing the following words into the left box of the program window: Help, Author, Date, and Version. Suggestions for additional units to add are welcome. While every effort has been made to insure accuracy in the conversions, no warranty is offered or implied.

Polar/Rectangular Conversion Utility (Polar.exe)

This desktop utility converts between three dimensional polar and rectangular coordinates and can store either set of coordinates in an Excel Spreadsheet. (It will also work for two dimensional coordinates by entering "0" as the vertical angle or value.) Polar coordinates are given in degrees and can also be entered in quadrants (e.g. N20W = 340 degrees). This program was written in Visual Basic 5, and I have not yet found a way to convert it to VB 4 (16 or 32 bit version). If you have already downloaded CalExcel (VB 5 version) or have VB 5 running on your system, downloading Polar.exe (42 KB) should be sufficient. Or you can download the full self-extracting installation file PO32inst.exe (1573 KB). Another verion of this program called Stadia.exe (27 KB) converts transit/stadia rod measurements to rectangular coordinates and can save them to an Excel spreadsheet.

These Visual Basic programs are offered free of charge and are not to be sold.


Turbo C Programs

Digitizer Interface and Advanced Routines

The table below contains links to Turbo-C code for a complex 2D digitizer interface system for DOS. The digitize project is a generic digitizer interface that will record X,Y coordinates of points or circumscribe loops and provide area, periphery, and centroid measurements (and optionally record all points around the loop). Loops are self-closing when the cursor reaches proximity of the origin. The length of curved lines can also be measured. The program also provides the option of setting an axis with the first two points and basing all subsequent measurements thereon. The actual digitizer interface routines are stored in separate files so that the system can easily be adapted to various hardware. The only interface available is microgrd.c for the Summagraphics Microgric II. The alternative interface fake-dig is for "fake" digitizer input from the keyboard (no digitizer required). This was created mainly for testing purposes.

The bears and ischdent projects are more specialized and complex routines for morphometric projects I have done on skulls and teeth of modern Ursus and fossil Ischyromys. These projects are based on the same code as the digitize project but include advanced routines specific to each project. They perform complex morphometric analysis on tooth outline loop data and alert the user to errors in measuring sequence. The bears project places output in three files: one for a set of generated skull and tooth measurements, one for raw point data and loop summary data, and one for raw loop data. I have been able to let students generate complex morphometric data with good results using these programs.

Code for these Turbo-C programs is provided free of charge for anyone who is interested in using them or modifying them for other projects, provided that credit is given to the author.

Project Files Main RoutinesDigitizer Interfaces
digitize.prj
digitize.c
bears.prj
bears.c
ischdent.prj
ischdent.c
digimain.h
digimain.c
translat.c
digiloop.c
function.c
microgrd.c
fake-dig.c

Note: These files were created with a tab setting of three spaces and are best viewed with that setting.


PERL Programs

Practice Exams and Exam Editor for the World Wide Web

An Exam Editor written in PERL allows for online creation of practice exams and real quizzes. Sample practice exams can be found at the Earth Sciences Practice Exams page. Also check out the Practice Geologic Time Scale and Practice Periodic Table of the Elements written in PERL.

Links may be made to these programs at the USD site, but they are not currently available for download or distribution.


Hewlett Packard 15C Calculator

Cave Mapping Program

This program converts compass and tape data to accumulated 3D rectangular coordinates for plotting cave maps. It can easily be used in a cave environment for aiding in the creation of initial sketches as well as for final map preparation. Features include storage of branch points, scale and compass adjustment factors, a mistake buffer, and error averaging over single loops. A short instruction manual explains the program in detail and provides links to tables of code and subroutine descriptions.


Timothy H. Heaton: E-mail, Home page, Phone (605) 677-6122, FAX (605) 677-6121