Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Rise and Fall of ACD

Did anybody notice that Ryan posted a comment today? Nice post, but didn't answer to my doubts: (1) Does his software check that both coupled partners show the same identical J? (2) How much is it?
He didn't miss the opportunity (smart man) to insert 5 (or 6?) URLs to the site of his company. This forgotten and ignored blog only counts 20 readers (like Manzoni's), but it doesn't matter. Links from a blog are gold for the Google ranking. Ryan is so polite that he didn't create proper links. He only wrote down the URLS, unfortunately. Now I haven't an excuse to go on his blog and create a cheap link to my commercial site.
In Italy we have a popular discipline called "dietrologia" (no English equivalent, sorry). All of my fellow countrymen study and apply it everyday; I am very ignorant of it but it's something you have to live with, if you want to live here. The vocabulary says that "dietrologia" means: "search for hidden motives behind public events and actions". My question is: why ACD, that spends thousands of dollars (and euro) to sponsor events everywhere in the world, ACD that puts banners on countless web sites, needs some visibility on my blog? Are they worried? Do they feel the pressure of the competition? Are they creating a friendlier public image for themselves?
Ryan is obviously the only responsible of his own actions and he speaks/writes for himself. He is aware, nonetheless, that his boss can potentially read what he writes and, likely, the message is actually directed to the boss. Ryan wrote an important thing: "I would encourage people to just try many different packages and see which one best fits their needs." When, last year, I asked for an evaluation copy of the 2D Processor, I felt extremely DISCOURAGED because they wanted me to SIGN and FAX a form with a lot of unpleasant conditions. The Italian representative (Filippo M.) also tried to SELL me a 1-day training for 500 euro (after a kind discount from an higher listing price). I did not sign and renounced to the evaluation. Now Ryan has come to the point of "encouraging" people to try the software. A huge step ahead, indeed!
If you are using Linux, Solaris, DOS or Mac OS X you couldn't care less, but if you are using another OS:

  1. read the informative post of today on Ryan's own blog.
  2. ask him an evaluation copy (but DO NOT sign anything).
  3. ask how much is the "2D NMR Manager". I know that the renewal yearly fee is 20% of the listing price, but not the listing price.
  4. convert him to anti-aliasing, we're well into the 21st century, after all!
  5. if you guys are really going to make this business, don't forget yours truly here! I claim for my fee!

My answer to Ryan: "iNMR reader" costs much less than iNMR because € 30 is the maximum that I am willing to ask to a student. Even so, iNMR sells many more copies than the reader (even to students).

6 Comments:

At 2:21 PM, Blogger ryan said...

Giuseppe,

I am somewhat disappointed that you are accusing me of having a hidden motive. After all I have been very up front, from the beginnings of my blog, stressing that the #1 reason I have started this blog is to serve as a resource to those looking to learn more about ACD/Labs NMR software. I am not blogging anonymously, and I am not pretending to be someone that I am not. There is no hidden agenda here.

I find it interesting that you think that I am commenting on your blog to increase visibility. After all, you are the one who has commented on my blog several times and who yesterday dedicated an entire post to my own blog entry. Nevertheless this is how blogs get seen, it's a community and when someone blogs about you or your purpose for blogging, you respond. That's the way it is. Isn't this what the comment section is for? By commenting on my blog and writing about ACD/Labs your visibility is increasing as well. Since you were the first to comment, should I assume you feel worried or threatened? Because I certainly do not feel this way. I highly welcome and encourage comments on my blog as I think they add more substance to a post.

Finally in regards to your last comment about iNMR vs. iNMR reader, I am not asking you why iNMR reader is so cheap, I am asking you why iNMR is so much more expensive than the reader, especially if the only limitation between them is saving and batch processing. You conveniently made a price comparison between your less expensive iNMR reader and NMR Processor. iNMR reader is not your full processing package, so why compare it to our full processing package? It appears you are purposely trying to mislead the public by making us sound much more expensive than we actually are.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger old swan said...

(1) It was not an impression of mine that you started your post directly with a reference to your own blog and that, a few lines below, you included 5 references to your commercial site: these are _facts_. Your post is still there and anybody can verify. When I commented on your blog, I did never mention my present activity.
(2) You haven’t touched the substance yet: does your program check that two coupling partners show the same identical splitting (J) ?
(3) My prices are transparent and equal for all the customers anywhere in the world. Can you say the same about yours?
(4) The listing price of iNMR has nothing to do with its value. It is worth more than €1000 because this is the cost of making it divided by the copies I plan to sell. The current price is lower only because there’s a lot of competition. Instead of investing more money to advertise iNMR and convince people to spend more than €1000 I prefer selling it for less. Any serious user can confirm that, even at €1000, iNMR would be a _huge_ bargain. Presently I am losing money for each copy I sell.
(5) iNMR reader costed much less, namely one working day. So long it took to modify the icon, remove a few pieces, recompile and test the program all over again. If the prices had to reflect the cost of making, than iNMR would cost €1000 and iNMR reader €1. There are, however, other costs as well (support, distribution, promotion, etc..).
(6) If my target is Mac OS X and yours is Windows, why should one of use feel threatened by the other?
(7) Am I blogging anonymously? If you know my name, probably I am not... I am blogging anonymously not to hide myself but because I am a traditionalist. I love that picture of a swan because it was the logo of my first important opus. If people remember who wrote SwaN-MR, they know who I am. If they don’t remember, they can still read and, hopefully, enjoy the blog.
(8) I have never compared iNMR reader to your full processing package (the 2D Manager, I suppose). I compared it to the 1D processor. Does your 1D processor include 2D/3D NMR, simulation of chemical exchange and a database? iNMR reader contains all these things! The day I wrote the post, iNMR reader had already arrived at the stage of version 2.3, while iNMR was less updated. That’s the only reason why I mentioned the reader.
(9) Stop beating around the bush: either publish the price of your products or don’t comment on the prices of mine.

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger ryan said...

Giuseppe,

To answer your question:

(2) You haven’t touched the substance yet: does your program check that two coupling partners show the same identical splitting (J)?

The software checks for multiplet partners automatically and connects those partners together as part of the routine. As to your question of whether or not they show identical J values...well you have to be careful.

When measuring coupling constants in a 1H NMR spectrum, they aren't always identical even if they represent two atoms that are coupling to each other. The coupling constant value is based on proton A coupling to proton B and vice versa. They are not discrete entities. Furthermore, this number can waver somewhat based on processing methods such as zero filling, experimental parameters and conditions, etc. So if one multiplet has a coupling of 15.97 and another has one of 16.05 are they indeed coupling partners? Of course they are. Most experienced chemists and spectroscopists will know that. To my knowledge it is not a requirement for those J values to be identical in a multiplet report for patents or publications. If a scientist feels the need to make the J values identical they can do so manually. Furthermore, they can also adjust the number of decimal places to be shown in the report. Certainly we could add an option to take the average J value between two multiplet partners, but I am not sure that is necessarry. We considered doing it before, but it is currently not in our software.

The important thing is whether or not our software can recognize when two multiplets represented by two protons are coupled to each other. It indeed does that.

I hope that answers your question.

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger old swan said...

FYI: goto:

http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/ReSourCe/AuthorGuidelines/ArticleLayout/index.asp

download: "Guidelines for Layout of Articles for Submission ". It says:
Mutually coupled protons in 1H
NMR spectra must be quoted with precisely matching J values,
in order to assist thorough interpretation. In instances of any
ambiguities when taking readings from computer print-outs, mean
J values should be quoted, rounded to the nearest decimal point.

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger old swan said...

Even when you find a triplet you measure 3 different distances/splittings (from the first to the second peak, from the second to the third, and the half of the distance between the external peaks, necessarily equal to the average of the first two values. It's so obvious that the measures are seldom identical and that either you have to average them or perform line-firring or simply pick the best measure. You are justified to report two different values only when you are not sure about your assignments.

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger ryan said...

Thanks for the link. That's their policy but it is not universal.

Just one example from JOC

http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/joceah/2007/72/i01/pdf/jo061824n.pdf

2-Methyl-2-(3-oxopentyl)cycloheptane-1,3-dione (6).

1H NMR (270 MHz, CDCl3) ä 2.54-2.40 (m, 4 H), 2.39 (q, J = 7.4 Hz, 2 H), 2.33-2.27 (m, 2 H), 2.11-2.05 (m, 2 H), 1.93-1.83 (m, 4 H), 1.18 (s, 3 H), 1.03 (t, J = 7.3 Hz, 3 H);

Note that multiplets at 1.03 ppm and 2.39 have different J values.

Anyway, the RSC's is a reasonable policy, and shows that it certainly doesn't hurt to have that option in the software. Should be very simple to add, thanks for the debate and pointing this out.

 

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