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t: vrf Agilent VEE Pro 7.5 and LabVIEW 8.0

Question asked by VRFuser on Aug 17, 2007
Dear Karthik,

I needed to do a Checksum in VEE yesterday and not having either the background or the experience, I was slightly intrepid. So I contacted this board which have always been very helpful and generous in supporting a notice like me and awaited a reply. I got about 30 autoreplies from people on holiday and started digging around the web....

Confession time: I found a Labview VI that does checksum and downloaded the trial version of LabView to crack it open and convert to VEE. I have been meaning to look at Labview because of its popularity and all the VI's on the web available for us novices to rip. My thoughts on labview:

OH MY GOD(s)! However did Labview get to be # 1 over VEE. It sucks! VEE is a much better interface. I have a 1920x1200 monitor (read nice) and yet the labview environment looked ****. I could hardly see the icons let alone figure out what they mean. VEE results in much less eye strain. 
The icons mean something in VEE whereas in labview they look gobbledygook to the common person...Labview is OK if you have a degree in maths and electrical engineering and are under 40 with 20:20 vision...if not you are out of luck. 

Luckily, this board delivered (thanks Kathy and Patrick) with a checksum routine and  I am now happily back with VEE. 

VEE can be improved:
1. I think VEE needs a lot more example programs, this would go along way to catching up with Labview. I use the ones that come with VEE all the time. I would suggest that whenever we build an interface to an AD/DA board or instrument/devise in VEE, we each should write a bare-bones program demonstrating communication with the instrument/devise and send it off to be stored in a big central depository on the web. The good programmers among might consider contributing their "useful VEE" routines to this depository. Agilent should give away an IPhone once a year to the best routine, perhaps voted best  by this board. 
2. Future VEE development should increase the number of native routes, perhaps incorporating them from the central depository (given checksum is used so much, why don't we have a VEE checksum object/function built in?). 
3. Incorporating .NET is useful, but for a novice the learning curve is steep. Embed .NET into native VEE functions so that users can reap the advantages of .NET without getting lost in the details. I used .NET to make a tabbed user-interface with the help of some from this board. Nice and boy was I happy with the result  but I am now gray and want to be drunk all the time.
4. VEE should be free for universities, colleges and schools to build up the user base.
5. DLL's should load straight into VEE without having to play with the header or ask Shawn for help.

Whilst I am here, I would like to point out that I now run VEE on an Intel Mac! It works seamlessly and fast from a Bootcamp partition or using Parallels. The only issue I have noticed is that shift+click does not delete lines, requiring a trip to the menu bar to snip a wrong connection. Using a Mac was often the bait that made me think about using labview. Not anymore. Interestingly, the VEE interface feels very at home on the Mac whereas my jaunt into Labview felt like a trip back to Windows 95 and the dark ages. 

Thanks Kathy and Patrick for all your help and enjoy your beer!

Best wishes,

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