X2dat: converting data

During my time at university I used a lot of different measuring equipment. These measurement hardware is of course linked to a corresponding software to collect data. Very often, this software is designed exclusively for a specific piece of hardware and a single purpose only. Furthermore, this software is typically closed source and the data is stored in proprietary formats.

To analyze the data you have to use this software, too, even if it is not fully functioning (limited statistics, limited graph drawing, ...). Your data is stuck in the proprietary format and you cannot use your usual analytical software.

I totally understand that software development is expensive and the manufacturer of the measurement device wants to earn money by selling the corresponding software. But on the other hand, you (or your university) bought an instrument for 100k€ and then you cannot use the software except on the computer connected to the hardware. You have to pay even more for additional licences to use it on your normal computer.

I have even used software protected by an additional USB dongle. The single purpose of this software was to analyze the data collected with a 100k€ microscope, which should be a sufficient protection against software theft.

At this point, I very often started to write my own software to convert the proprietary format into an easy-to-use csv file. I want to share this work with the world, so others can benefit and analyze their data in the best way possible. Thank you for your feedback if you have similar problems and used my software.

  • sac2dat and mdc2dat
    Balzers QMS200 Quadrupol mass spectrometer, convert analog scans automatically to csv-file. Read more
  • ems2dat
    EDAX EDX files with energy spectra from scanning electron microscopes.
  • sur2dat
    Surface files, height information from several microscopes