Monday, November 05, 2007


The first anniversary of this blog has come and quietly gone, without celebrations. I started writing it to fill an empty slot in my working activity (I was waiting for a new computer to arrive and could do nothing better than a blog without it). I had many (unordered) ideas to share and started putting them down, like writing a book but without a plan. Then the moment arrived when I had no more useful things to say and no more time to write them down. Afterwards different days arrived and the book became like a diary.
I haven't convinced anybody yet to join the forces and cover those large areas where my ignorance can't arrive. Neither I have convinced any people to change their NMR software. It seems that at least half of the chemists are still happy with the software that comes with the spectrometer. If you, like Ryan, are convinced that things are different and the future is bright, why don't you switch job and start selling NMR software (or creating it)?
In the world of computing 2007 will be remembered for the introduction of Vista and the iPhone. What happened in the world of NMR has received less press coverage, therefore I don't know it. In the intersection field of NMR software, the year has obviously been marked by the release of MestreNova. The 3 things (Vista, iPhone and MNova) were announced with too much anticipation and preceded by too much hype. While Vista is just another OS and the iPhone just another expensive gadget, everybody will agree that MNova (this is how they call it now, informally) is a very welcome improvement over Mestre-C. A more significant improvement than that represented by TopSpin (compared to XWin-NMR).
What do MNova and TopSpin have in common? Both programs have already become _partially_ obsolete. TopSpin is still incompatible with Vista (after 1 year! unbelievable!). People at Bruker are not terribly worried by this fact because, historically, their software was developed on Unix (Uxnmr -> Iris -> RHL), and the Windows version has never been the main version. Bruker stated that they are working had to make TopSpin run on Vista, but it will be a lengthy and difficult task.
MNova is already incompatible with Leopard, the new Mac OS released 10 days ago. The problem is negligible, if compared to the one of Bruker. The friends at MestreLab had not cared about it until the Leopard really materialized on the shop shelves. At that moment, they were already into the advanced stage of their current development cycle. They say that the next release will still be incompatible, while the release that will come next will certainly be compatible. What it means in time units is less clear. It seems like they are releasing a new version every 3 months; just a rough estimate. They shouldn't be worried because they can't make much money within the Mac market.
Quite sadly, SwaN-MR, the free software that gives the name and the picture to this blog, can't run neither on Vista nor with Leopard (nor on Linux, Solaris, XP, etc...). To use SwaN-MR you need a PowerPC Mac with Tiger (or older OS). This blog has been accused of promoting iNMR, but it can't be so. Look around this page. Do you see any iNMR-related banner or link? There aren't, until this point, so let me create one of them on the spot.
I've read that two million people have already upgraded to Leopard and many other million will follow in the next months/years. They can already process their NMR spectra today with iNMR 1.8. It's not free, but costs € 79 (it's worth ten times more, let me stress it). It's better than the software you often find installed on spectrometers. It's optimized for both the PowerPC and the Intel Core Duo. Leopard is not a requirement: iNMR also runs on Panther and Tiger.


At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Old Swan,

You wrote: "I haven't convinced anybody yet to join the forces and cover those large areas where my ignorance can't arrive. Neither I have convinced any people to change their NMR software."

Changing the habits of people
is all but simple.
You have to fight again
the common opinion that says:
"A good software is a software I
know how to use".
As well, consider that it is always difficult to bring
solutions to people who think
they have have no problem.

Cheer up!

Dr. Jean-Marc Nuzillard


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