REFERENCE: PH 503 / DATE: 4th February 2002 / RELEASE: Immediate
Plottergeist is a Windows (TM) application that emulates all the common HPGL plotters. The software behaves like a real plotter, with the exception that the PC screen is the paper. It runs on a standard PC equipped with a GPIB card or using RS-232, and connects to test equipment or another computer.
When the plot is complete, the toolbar buttons can be used to rotate the image, change the pen definitions, and zoom in to a region of interest. The "snapshot" button is used to take a copy of the image, which then can be pasted directly into documents and presentations. The image can also be printed on a conventional printer.
Both standard and custom paper sizes are supported. The "virtual" paper can be used in the same way as real paper, in that multiple plots can be accumulated, or a template can be loaded before a trace is plotted onto it.
Up to 99 pens can be configured for colour and linewidth. These preferences can be set before or after the graphic has been captured. The page and pen settings are stored for next time when the program closes.
'Many users of test equipment will have experienced the frustration of dried-out plotter pens, and worse, many HPGL plotters have now become unavailable. Plottergeist solves these problems and also provides the user with more functionality and flexibility' said Chris Potter of P & H Technology Consultants.
Plottergeist understands HPGL and HPGL/2, and has built-in support for emulation of HP 7440, HP 7470, HP 7475, HP 7550 and HP 7570 pen-plotters. The common ANSI and ISO paper sizes are selected from a list (A..D, A4..A0, and custom size), and the useable plot area is reported to the controlling instrument when requested. All the page settings can be modified from a control panel, so that a graphic of arbitrary aspect ratio can be correctly displayed.
Plottergeist can also be used as a viewer for HPGL plot files generated from other software such as CAD Schematic and Layout files from Cadence and Mentor systems, and mechanical drawings from AutoCad (TM Autodesk), etc. The graphics can also be exported in a variety of other formats, such as JPEG, TIFF, BMP and WMF.
Plottergeist requires a GPIB card fitted to the PC in order to connect to GPIB instruments. It retails at £250.
Notes to the editor:
P&H Technology Consultants was formed in 1990 and specialises in the design and development of niche products for its clients. Technology skills include PC Windows software and RF and Microwave design.
P & H Technology Consultants
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 700499
World Wide Web Site: http://www.aphena.com
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