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I work in a medical place where they want to move to Linux (And guess which Distro I will recommend ^^ ). But before I do this I need to find if there is such support for Microscopes in Ubuntu. In this specific case this model: http://www.leica-microsystems.com/products/light-microscopes/clinical/upright-microscopes/details/product/leica-dm1000-led/

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Which is the one they are using in the lab. It includes a PCI Card that manages the Microscope.

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Nice microscope =) Your is very specific and you are probably going to be best served either by contacting the company or testing the PCI card yourself. –  bodhi.zazen Mar 27 '12 at 1:08
    
Thanks Bodhi. Good points but for the time being, if I so much as touch the PC that has the microscope with the intention of using Linux you can bet I will be dead the next day. For the company I have send 2 letters asking about this and 3 weeks later.. no answer. I will assume THAT is the answer. So my best bet is this nice community. –  Luis Alvarado Mar 27 '12 at 1:50
    
I completely understand your situation. Good luck. There are times when the best tool for some tasks may well be windows, use Ubuntu for other tasks. –  bodhi.zazen Mar 27 '12 at 2:13
    
It's not really clear to me what a PC (and the PCI-card) should do with this microscope. The dm1000 has no electronic controls. An optional camera connects to a Firewire port. –  Takkat Mar 27 '12 at 6:17
    
I guess the PCI card is just a firewire card. The PC connection is used to digitally manage all the settings and can be used to catalogue images along with all relevant metadata. You should use whatever OS is supported by the microscope manufacturer. Other people in the lab will not care what OS you have on the PC if the £3000+ microscope has limited functionality and is not covered by the manufacturers support services. –  edm Mar 27 '12 at 11:03

1 Answer 1

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As far as we can see from the comments connecting the microscope to a computer needs an additional PCI-card. This is likely to be a Firewire port for an optional camera for image acquisition.

In that case we depend on proprietary drivers and software that are most likely not available for a Linux system unless the manufacturer decides to develop such a solution (contact them if you feel this is needed). A Firewire solution may also make the integration of proprietary Windows software via a virtual machine difficult.

An alternative would therefore be to mount a microscope camera attached to a standard USB port. It would then be much easier to get the data in either by a Linux driver or by running custom software through a virtual machine.

We have good experience with a Jenoptic ProgRes camera that can be attached to USB and gives a decent image qualitity. Unfortunately the default software that comes with this camera runs on Windows or MacOS only. There also is a Java plugin for the public domain ImageJ image processing software that may be worth a look (we have not tested this software here yet). There is also a Linux SDK and limited Linux drivers available for the Firewire camera models.

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