Some basic cranky computer issues

We received the CPU - THANKS!! As soon as I get it up and running (next week) I will email you. It seems that there is an ethogram in the instructions you gave me, is that the ethogram I will use?

Jeff, did you hear anything about the battery in the VCR that doesn't reset its time/date when the power goes out? Thus far, haven't had any more outages and we just have to make it to Fri. and then we won't have to worry about it until Aug./Sept. 

Subject: RE: CPU

Hey, I have it up and running!! Thanks for the great instructions. I've attached my spreadsheet. One thing though, I hooked up my personal monitor to computer and everything was fine (it supported all programs - I could view all of them with the monitor), I borrowed an older one from school to have with all of my behavior analyzing equipment (so I wouldn't have to keep unhooking mine from my computer to use Observer program) and it doesn't seem to support Windows. I have to almost blindly with mouse find icon for Observer and after that it is fine. It isn't difficult to find icon since I knew where it was on screen from my previous monitor but this shouldn't be a problem to analyze my data is it? The Observer program works fine with it. It is only Windows, the beginning bootup language is fine too. My pigs are still growing fast!! It is OK for Dan and Marcus to now turn off the lights now that videotaping has ended for awhile isn't it? Thanks!! Lisa



We are excited about helping with the project, looking forward to working with you on getting the OBS system up and going. There is an ethogram with the system right now, it's mainly for maintenance behaviors. It's a 15 min scan with some basic behaviors in it, we can modify the ethogram but I'll have to send you the revised ethogram since one needs to have a software protection key in place to change the ethogram. This isn't a problem at all, we just need to make sure everything is working first.

I set this ethogram up for two pens of 6 pigs, I believe this is the maximum # of pigs that will be on a tape at a given time. Could you send me a list of the pens you have used and the treatments for each pen. In addition provide a start time for when all the pigs are in the pen. We will use this to develop a naming scheme for the data files, I'll also tell you when to start to watch each tape. Example: Tape 1, Pen A=Trt A (3 pigs) Start 10:23 May 23, 1999, Pen B=Trt B (6 pigs) Start 10:41 May 23, 1999. If you could provide me this in an Excel file then I will make you up a file naming / time to start sheet.

I'm attaching an Excel worksheet that should help you get started. We think you are filming at three times, when the pigs are placed in the pen, before they are removed and after they are removed. Is this right? I referred to this as taping in the worksheet.

We are thinking about just writing down the times that the pigs fight while you are doing the scan. You can then go back and score the fights after you collect the maintenance behaviors.

Still haven't heard anything but the batteries, will try to get in touch with them again.

TN file name.xls

Hello Jeff and Adam! I will get my last set of tapes tomorrow and wondered when you say start time do you mean when I actually hit the record button down (the first time on the tape) to the second and also to the second??

And, yes you are right in saying that there are 3 record times, upon arrival, the 72 hours prior to removing penmates and the 72 hours after the removal of penmates.

Am I able to record what all the pigs are doing at least in one pen at one sitting instead of viewing the tape 6 times for a pen with 6 pigs in it (recording what each pig does individually)? Does that make sense??

I'll send the info on the spreadsheet early next week (Mon. or Tues.) and as soon as I know what time you want from the videotape, I was thinking we would start observing after each pen received its first feeding? or after they were all in the pen and after they all got marked as a start time? (the feeding occured within ~30 minutes from the marking of the first pen).

Subject: computer has a mind of its own...

Hey, have you had trouble ever beginning an observation and then viewing in 15 min. intervals and then the timer gets a mind of its own and starts changing the countdown time not from 15 but to sometimes 2 hours, needless to say I can't continue recording what is happening at the 15 min intervals so what I have been doing is writing it on paper for the remainder of the 4 hour block (hopefully thinking I can add the data manually to a spreadsheet??). What do you do to correct this? And it will even mess itself up so bad that it will say maximum time reached when the observation period shouldn't be over yet! This is happening with one tape really bad. I haven't had this much trouble with the others. I'll try to start another tape and see what happens. Thanks, Lisa


It sounds like you might need to clean the VCR with a head cleaner. They sell VCR cleaners for $5 or so that have a solution that you put on the "tape" and then run, sometimes this helps. If this happens on another tape then we can start to investigate what's going on. You might want to disconnect all the cables and reconnect them, some time they get loose.

The Obs hardware key basically make you buy the program. The Obs that you have is kind of like a word processor without the ability to spell check or to print out what you have been working on. You need the hardware to process the ODF files into useable data.

There is a software program on the computer that you have that might help us to understand what is going on. Also check to make sure what *.CUS file you are using, I think there is only one that you can get to without too much effort, if you use the wrong *.CUS file then things can also get messed up. Good luck, Jeff

Subject: Re: computer has a mind of its own...

The same problem has occurred a little on the next tape I viewed. I think it is from the many power glitches from the storms?? Would that make sense? Everything is normal except the countdown timer, it will mostly reset itself to a longer time like 30 min. instead of the usual 15. Sometimes it will let me record what I'm supposed to and other times it won't let me - it will still say Wait for next sample on screen. What do I do, manually write down what they are doing at the correct time on paper and then continue on viewing when it lets me? I can try the head cleaner but I think it is from the power blips from the breaker flipping when lighting was near. Thanks for the help!!!

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Revised: April 18, 2008