Scalpel's Edge

A surgeon's notes

Image-Pro Plus is a ridiculous program

As a PhD student, I analyze digital images using a program called “Image Pro Plus.” The university provides this too to help us count cells, measure edge lengths and densities. And it is ridiculous.

Before shipping, the software development team checks that every task requires at least seven different menu adjustments. Then they change all the titles in the menus to obfuscate their meanings.

Another team puts together the phone book manual, and ensures everything in the index is listed under the software tool rather than then likely application. Eradicate all mention of useful terms like “cell density count” or “cell outline trace” or “tracer intensity measures.”

A final team manages the official forums – the only easy place to go to for advice. They require you to register, including your university information, in order to prevent “casual users” asking questions. What the? Then the required email confirmation never ever arrives. (Ed- It arrived 4 days later) So you are stuck with an expensive, complicated software, which looks like it should be able to measure the cell density, but no way of ever knowing.

How many research departments are using the same three functions on this thing because it is so impossible to figure out how to do anything useful with it? Foe software like this, we will sit in our tower and remind ourselves again that not everyone has the temperament to be a researcher!

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