Angel Pizarro on 13 Nov 2007 16:18:00 -0000

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Re: [PhillyOnRails] projects; facebook

  • From: "Angel Pizarro" <>
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  • Subject: Re: [PhillyOnRails] projects; facebook
  • Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 11:17:23 -0500
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On Nov 13, 2007 10:45 AM, Randy Schmidt <> wrote:
Isn't one of the main reasons people don't like to enter this info
electronically is because it's harder to sketch and write in the
margins? I remember when I was in engineering school everybody thought
we wouldn't be handwriting a single thing anymore but they were dead

Yes and no.  Part of it is cultural, part of it is technical. For instance I have been playing around with a hacked touch and the sketch application is really pretty easy to make drawings and notes on top of pictures. I don't have the iPhone, but I imagine that one would take a picture of a stained gels and be able to annotate it on the spot. Like so:

Another supposed advantage of paper is being able to make adhoc deviations to an experiment or to note on-the-fly changes to the protocol order, parameter values etc. All of the existing system are fairly rigid, all in the name of structured data. I think this assumption in the engineering of current LIMSs are bunkum. Semantic and ontology development has it's time and place, but should make the user's life easier, not harder.

For most applications plain text is just fine. I think a lot of leverage can be gained by using wiki and blog tactics for annotating experiments. For annotating whole experiments (eg. multiple protocols), flexible graphing would be doable using the thick-fingered touch screen controls.

Here is a mock screen of what I am thinking of (also shameless plug for my blog ;) :


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