A blog on the repair, operation and calibration of surface analysis systems and components including electron spectrometers, sputter ion guns and vacuum related hardware. Click on the Index tab below to see a list of all posts. Visit our website at http://www.rbdinstruments.com
Category Archives: Software for Surface Analysis Systems
Information on software for control of surface analysis systems and data processing
A new feature has been added to AugerScan – the option to automatically mark all the peaks of a particular Auger element when marking the primary peak. With this feature you can mark an element’s primary peak and AugerScan will automatically mark the rest of the element’s peaks and select the primary for atomic concentration.
An Example Using Copper (Cu1)
AugerScan – Marking multiple peaks for copper (Cu1)
In the example above, we’ve selected the carbon (C1), oxygen (O1) and copper (Cu1) peaks. AugerScan automatically marked the additional copper peaks (Cu2, Cu3, and Cu4). When performing an atomic concentration calculation, only the Cu1 peak is selected.
You can of course easily change which peaks are selected for atomic concentration by clicking the “Markers” command from the “Edit” menu. You can also remove selected markers from peaks using this dialog.
AugerScan – Marker Selection Dialog
To turn this feature on/off, choose the “Options…” command from the “Data” menu, and select/deselect the checkbox labeled “When Marking and Element, Mark all of its Peaks”.
AugerScan – Marking all Peaks Option
(This feature was originally developed for CMapp, RBD’s software for the microCMA Compact Auger Analyzer)
AugerScan and AugerMap are “legacy” software applications originally developed for Windows 95 and 98, however they have been and continue to be updated for bug fixes, additional features, and operating system compatibility. Both applications (and the systems they run) are still going strong and support Windows 7 – 10.
While many customers are still content running their RBD-upgraded PHI systems on Windows XP (or 95-98!), Microsoft no longer supports those operating systems, making upgrading the OS or replacing those PCs inevitable. There are a few areas where the transitions is not as smooth as we’d yet like, and those are driver support and the legacy help system.
RBD provides drivers for older Windows XP systems as well as drivers that are fully compatible with Windows 7 – 10. However, none of these drivers are currently digitally signed. Depending on your operating system, providing the rights to run unsigned drivers may be necessary upon installing the drivers and/or running the software.
Some of the errors you may encounter are cryptic, such as the following sometimes seen when installing unsigned drivers on Windows 10: “The hash for the file is not present in the specified catalog file”.
Thanks for the clarity, Microsoft!
The good news is that you should only have to take care of the issue once, not every time you are running the software. The bad news is the methods are different for each operating system version, and even different for the same exact operating system depending on the date it was installed and the PC BIOS.
For most versions of Windows, disabling driver signature enforcement can be accomplished easily by one of these methods.
For Windows 10 PCs that were installed (not updated) with build 1607 (Anniversary Edition), the Secure Boot feature of the BIOS must be turned off.
The original Help system (largely unchanged since Windows 3.1) was phased out in Windows Vista. The context-sensitive help – also known as “what’s this?” or “right-click” help cannot be replaced (this was the information you would typically see for each field in a dialog box, for example). However, for Windows Vista through 8.1, Microsoft does provide separate downloads for the legacy help system; it’s just no longer installed in the operating system.
You can find most of those files on this Microsoft support page (scroll down to “Resolution”) For security reasons, Microsoft no longer supports this help format at all in Windows 10, and there are no third-party solutions available.
However, we’ve translated most of RBD’s help to HTML for both AugerScan and AugerMap. In each case, simply unzip the file to a convenient folder and run “index.html” in your browser.
As of May 1, 2016, RBD will be discontinuing support for the PC137 and PCMap1 interface boards for legacy PHI / Perkin-Elmer systems. If you’re still using your PC137 and.or PCMap1 interface board, you’ll have a number of options for keeping your system up and running.
Why we’re discontinuing support:
Both the PC137 and PCMap1 are ISA cards. The ISA interface was designed in the days of DOS computers, and support for the interface has been waning since Windows XP. While these legacy interfaces could still serve their purpose (even at ISA’s slow speed (by today’s standards), security issues have caused Microsoft to drop support for ISA libraries in their latest development environments.
What it means if you are running these legacy interfaces:
If your PC is up and running with the PC137/PCMap1 interface(s), you of course don’t need to do anything right away. However, you won’t be able to upgrade Windows, and finding a replacement PC with ISA slots can be challenging (although they are available).
You also will not be able to run that latest (or any future versions) of AugerScan and AugerMap. Both applications are still being updated with new features and bug fixes, however without available ISA libraries they will no longer support communications with either boards.
Replacing the PC137 and PCMap1 Interfaces
If you chose to update your PC137 / PCMap interface, you’ll be replacing them with a single PCI or PCIe interface board, and an RBD147 interface unit. The RBD147 unit provides all the breakout interfaces (such as DR11) for the individual PHI units. (The PCMap1 is replaced by the PCMap2 interface, which is part of the RBD147 and is physically located inside the unit).
For most systems* you can also choose replace the PC interface card(s) with a PCIe interface (as opposed to the PCI). This board is smaller, uses less power, and serves as an alternative when a PCI slot is not available. The PCIe upgrade also utilizes the same PC147 breakout box.
*The PCIe option is not available for systems with the PHI 79-170 scanning interfaces, such as the 660.
Whatever you chose, be assured your system is still future-proofed and compatible with the latest PC architecture and Windows version. More information on RBD’s upgrades can be found here.