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DIY Computer Video Microscopy For Under $50

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the find-out-what-infests-your-house dept.

Hardware 117

cybrpnk writes: "The QX3 Video Microscope may have been an obscure commercial failure as an educational toy, but it is widely available (for now, at least) as a fantastic tool/toy for any geek. The QX3 hooks up to a USB port and delivers live color 10X, 60X or 200X microphotos at 512x384 pixel resolution. Its kid-friendly software even makes time lapse videos a snap, like this one of TNT synthesis - a whole new way to blow up the lab, do not try this at home! Educators are doing amazing things with the QX3 in their classrooms. Sourceforge even has documentation on the software command structure used by the QX3, so it may be considered an open source microscope. Get yours today for under $50 at surplus closeout or EBay before they're all gone!" The Toys-R-Us nearest to me has one QX3+ left (now with my name on it) at $30, so I hope it really does work under Linux. And it's a lot less complicated than building a Scanning-Tunneling microscope.

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First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

kmweber (196563) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383571)

Hey!

Final Fantasy VI (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383572)

Is the best game ever.
I will be Kefka at Otakon this summer.

Re:Final Fantasy VI (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384033)

Final Fantasy Sux0rz. I shall be Dan from the famed Street Fighter Alpha series!

I use one of these at work... (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383575)

They are great for quickly examining thick-film hybrid circuits. Much better than straining your eyes on a conventional scope when you don't have to.

We do too... (5, Interesting)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383617)

I work in a plant growth research lab, and we bought one of these to get real time images of protoplasts (plant cells in culture). It was cheap, and produces surprisingly good-quality images. Of course, we also got a $100,000 Bausch & Lomb scope to do more "serious" work...

Re:We do too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383763)

you make all the new interns use the $50 toy, don'
t you? =P

Just a reminder. T(H)GSB (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383716)

Today marks the beginning of The (Hopefully) Great Slashdot Breakout. It runs for 7 days. People, go experience some real life for a while.

Re:Just a reminder. T(H)GSB (0, Offtopic)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383906)

Oh crap is that this week? well hey when you read this in aweek, it was a success!!!!!

First... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383577)

...post!

Berkley CA experiment 1974? (2, Interesting)

roadhog95 (462989) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383580)

Correct me if im wrong but didnt UNBC start this project almost 30 years ago? Talk about unexpected project delays!

Acronyms (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383585)

Acronyms are the shelter of a weak mind.

By the way you shouldnt be reading, what with the big failed blackout and all.

Yeah, But There's Some Things Science CAN'T Do (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383599)

Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. "We have lost the first of the ebb," said the Director suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds [about.com] , and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky -seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.

Timothy's Story (-1)

LOTR Troll (544929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383600)

Monday: Suck off Malda
Tuesday: Suck off Homos
Wednesday: Suck off Cliff's tiny black cock
Thursday: Fellatiate michael
Friday: Suckle on Krow's penis
Saturday: First day of the weekend at the tip of roblimo's cock
Sunday: chrisd gets the honor of getting his hog sucked on the weekend.

Re:Timothy's Story (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383625)

CowboyNeal doesn't get any?

Re:Timothy's Story (-1)

Sweet Buttery Anus (544482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383742)

he's too fucking yeasty an filthy, even by timothy standards. If chrisd isn't feeling too flaming, CowboiKneel gets some sloppy seconds.

Linux support [mandatory] (5, Informative)

EchoMirage (29419) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383610)

Wow, I can't believe that this is Slashdot and I'm a Windows user and yet I am posting the Linux support information. Craziness.

First, Intel's official position [intel.com] on Linux support:
Q: Do you have Linux drivers for the microscope?
A: The microscope is not supported on Linux* platforms. Thus, Intel does not offer software or drivers for Linux.
CPiA chipset inforrmation [sourceforge.net] which the QX3 uses for its imaging. Note that there are still some problems getting everything working right. Back up your kernel.

If none of the above works, try some more generic hacks with the CPiA driver. It seems the biggest problem is getting the lights turned on...

Re:Linux support [mandatory] (1)

njdj (458173) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384005)

Q: Do you have Linux drivers for the microscope?
A: The microscope is not supported on Linux* platforms.


And the few ads for it (I never saw one until today) position it as a kids' toy of no interest to anybody over 10.

This thing is a dynamite product. But by the time anybody actually hears about it, it's a "discontinued failure".

Maybe Intel should fire its entire marketing department and start over.

Re:Linux support [mandatory] (2)

56ker (566853) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384842)

I find this article puzzling. I get mailings from BECTA (government agency in the UK to do with education of ICT) and there was one about this a while back. Intel were going on about how succesful it was at a trade show & really was one stop short of saying that people were bending over backwards to buy one. Just the way it was written by their marketing goons showed they were pretty desperate for you to buy one (this was aimed at schools). However all the schools I know are quite happy to stick with their old fashioned non-computer linked microscopes so maybe it was one last ditch attempt by them to sell their remaining stock in the U.K.

Linux drivers? (2, Insightful)

Yohahn (8680) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383611)

Anybody know if this works under linux?

Which chipset are they using? ov511?

Just making sure it'd work before I grab one.

Re:Linux drivers? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383623)

well, you got the source, you can always make it work. But i'm telling you, if you're not a uber-geek who masturbate 3 times a day, running linux is NOT worth it.

A$249 at Myers Melbourne (2, Interesting)

Illuminati -9 (410227) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383612)

I wonder why Myers in Melbourne (Lonsdale St) is still selling it at A$249 (around US$125). That sounds pretty steep compared to just US$50. Oh well, generally electronics is Australia retails for much higher than their US counterparts anyway. Does anyone know why? Even GST won't inflate the prices so high. I've now resorted to buying stuff from Estore [estore.com.au] . They seem to offer the best prices i can find in Melbourne. They don't stock the QX3 though.

Re:A$249 at Myers Melbourne (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3384013)

Oh well, generally electronics is Australia retails for much higher than their US counterparts anyway. Does anyone know why?

Last I checked, Australia was surrounded by water, very far away from the U.S., and probably not the biggest market (compared to Europe).

Re:A$249 at Myers Melbourne (1)

(outer-limits) (309835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384876)

Australian consumers have generally been open to a form of monopoly, that has been tolerated for years. Local wholesalers buy 'exclusive' rights to a product, then charge whatever they want. Since no one else can legally import the device, there is no competition to set a fair price. The fact that there are many retailers to consumers covers up the fact that they all buy from the one source.

This situation is being addressed slowly, for example, in the case of CDs. However, it is a practice that is going away to slowly.

When someone else does a backdoor deal, for example, and imports direct from, say, Singapore at the price they pay, the newspapers are full of articles about 'grey marketing', and local wholesalers getting ripped off. Yeah, right, they cannot sit back on their fat a*** and get paid a fortune for shipping in a container every now and then.

*True Story*. When I worked at one electronics retailer, he used to open up the dot matrix printer boxes, rip out the enclosed paper tray, and sell it separately. When I asked him why, he said that that was what the wholesaler used to do before he found the alternate source for the similar printer he was importing.

Australia is surrounded by a lot of water, and is at the edge of the world, so we also get a lot of junk dumped here that can't be sold overseas.

Finally, Myers is just a big dinosaur that cannot control it's inventory well, and always charges top dollar. In about six months time, the QX3 will be marked down by 10%, then 20%, then in about four years time, will be thrown out at 50% off.

If you look around, you should be able to find QX3 for a lot less. It depends on how much time you have to poke around in the other shops.

IE only? Phooey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383636)

The "Educators" link above, http://www.rmcain.com/mcama/special/qx3/QX3SeriesI dx.mv only accepts Internet Explorer. Whatever happened to the concept that the web was there for EVERYONE to enjoy, not just the lackeys of Microsoft?

Re:IE only? Phooey! (2)

jridley (9305) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383779)

That's funny, it looks fine to me. Mozilla 1.0 RC1 under WinXP.

The "Educators" link is very picky about Opera. (0, Offtopic)

donpardo (128815) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383639)

If you are using Opera, the "educators" link displays this message:
Incompatible Web Browser


You appear to be using the Opera browser, which is trying to disguise itself as Microsoft Internet Explorer. Contrary to its claims, Opera is NOT a qualified substitute for Microsoft Internet Explorer because it is incapable of properly employing the scripting and Active-X® Technology used on this Web site.

It then kicks you to the Microsoft IE download page.

Funny - I think Opera IS a qualified substitute for the very reasons they think it is not.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383691)

Wintel Allience

Re:The "Educators" link is very picky about Opera. (-1, Flamebait)

joebp (528430) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383705)

Funny - I think Opera IS a qualified substitute for the very reasons they think it is not.
Perhaps the editors could consider refraining from posting links to pages from naziesque webmasters?

A webpage should be viewable in any browser. Anything else is Microsoft cock-sucking.

(Waits for modding down)

Bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383736)

The page cannot be browsed with opera even if you set it to identify itself as mozilla, however mozilla itself can wiev the page flawlessly.However i cannot see any signs of difference between wieving the page in mozilla and wieving it in msIE so assumingly this is only a case of Opera-discrimination.

Re:Bizarre (0, Offtopic)

sinan (10073) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383843)

Yep. I just tried it on my Sharp/Zaurus 5000 PDA and got the same result with Opera. They seem to be discriminating against Zaurus users also.

Sinan

That's nothing... (-1, Troll)

Patrick Bateman (175284) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383640)

I've used my Debian box to give myself a colonoscopy.

Proscope by Scalar (4, Informative)

crumbz (41803) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383641)

Is an excellent alternative(granted at a higher price). For about $250 and $100 for a higher multiple lens, you can view excellent, high quality magnifications of your specimens.

I am thinking about getting one, but want to see if higher (500x) magnification is going to be available. See www.bodelin.com for details.

Re:Proscope by Scalar (2, Informative)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383881)

Pros and cons:
The Proscope accepts C-mount lenses, which are readily available cheaply. But the product does not have an adjustable stage, and you do not want to handhold at x500.
The Qx3 has only the three supplied magnifications, but DOES have a (Z-axis) adjustable stage, which is more practical.

Re:Proscope by Scalar (2)

CowbertPrime (206514) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385204)

I believe we would also have evaluated this if there were higher (400x-1000x) magnifications available for cellular resolution. The quality of the pictures from the /. link seem superb at 200x, unfortunately that isn't strong enough when dealing with cells. Meanwhile I have to cope with an outdated Imascan framegrabber connected to a camera sitting on a nikon microscope - this setup costs > $1000 nowadays, more when it was purchased 6 years ago, in addition there is no linux support for this board, etc etc.

Unfortunately, the Intel scope was introduced into the toy market. Their CCDs seem to be good enough for actual production work. If they increased the magnification while keeping the quality, every biologist would probably have bought one - biology departments aren't funded too well when it comes to equipment, and an exceptionally cheap scope with high power that did the job would probably be preferred over a high end one that's over $5000.

Biore strip.. (4, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383652)


I've had an Intel microscope for a couple of years and took pics of a used Biore nasal strip with it. :))>
check them out. [grub.net]

Re:Biore strip.. (2)

rnd() (118781) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383759)

that is hillarious. I bet it looked like this [goodearthgraphics.com] !

Re:Biore strip.. (1)

moncyb (456490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383760)

Ewwww...is this the new goatse.cx site???

low power microscopes (5, Insightful)

crisco (4669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383654)

Don't be thrown off by the lower magnification powers that these things have. While I haven't used one of them, I've used other low power microscopes and for general day to day use and for getting kids interested in science, a 10x to 25x microscope will probably do more for you than a 100x,400x,1000x scope would.

Why? 10x is easier to use and you can look at all kinds of real world objects. You catch some funny looking bug and you can look at him real close up and personal like. You've got a cut on your finger healing? Nothing like seeing that filling your field of view. Now sure, at 400x you can see cells if you prepare a slide. But the real interesting stuff has to stained and prepared properly, those nice micrographs you see don't come without preparation. And you can't just stick a circuit board in there and see if you have cracked traces or cold solder joints.

Re:low power microscopes (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383899)

a 10x to 25x microscope will probably do more for you than a 100x,400x,1000x scope would.

Back in the days when I was a hardware designer at a big corp., I really loved the stereoscopic microscopes that the technicians (and engineers in hacking mode) used for soldering work on teeny tiny surface mount components. They had brilliant built-in lighting, a huge zoom range starting from almost no magnification, a wide field of view, and the 3D effect was stunning. I spent lots of time just looking at random objects in those things.

I'd really like to get one now, but I don't know who sells them and I'm afraid that they'd be priced in the stratosphere. If you can afford one, I highly recommend one.

Re:low power microscopes (4, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383991)

Edmund Scientific sells a ton of this kind of stuff. Their stereo microscope page [scientificsonline.com] lists stuff ranging from about $150 to $1000. Take your choice.

I recall long hours of drooling over everything in the Edmund catalog when I was a kid. Heck, their catalog (and web site) is still worth some time drooling over. So many toys, so little money, sigh...

Way overpriced (2)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384847)

Almost every appliance I've seen in Edmund is significantly overpriced. No big deal if you just want to grab some lenses or something, but for lasers, cameras, or microscopes, it's best to look elsewhere.

FreeBSD drivers? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383665)

I use FreeBSD on all my computers. Does
anyone know if there are any FreeBSD drivers
for this microscope? Thanks.

Re:FreeBSD drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383726)

I second that question!

Could this be hooked up to a Telescope? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383669)

Might be fun to try?

CmdrTaco's first time with Tyrone (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383679)

CmdrTaco was new to the slashdot compound. He had just recently come out as gay even though he had known at some level that he was a flaming homo his entire life. CmdrTaco had discovered a website called slashdot that helped him come out, and eventually he came to be a part of the crew of Slashdot janitors living in the Slashdot compound.

CmdrTaco had heard CowboiKneel and Homos talking about Tyrone. They didn't say much in the way of useful information. All they would tell CmdrTaco was that Tyrone visited the Slashdot compound every other week on Friday. Then they would just smile.

CmdrTaco wondered with anticipation about Tyrone, but would have to wait a week to meet him.

The next Friday Tyrone visited the Slashdot compound. CmdrTaco nearly fainted when he saw Tyrone. Tyrone was huge (nearly 6 feet 6 inches tall), black, and incredibly muscular. This was in direct contrast to CmdrTaco who was short at 5 feet 3 inches tall, white, and incredibly thin. Tyrone saw CmdrTaco and said in his deep voice, "Fresh meat. I want to take him first."

CmdrTaco was both nervous and excited as he and Tyrone went to his room in the Slashdot compound. When they got there Tyrone closed the door and locked it. Tyrone then picked up and threw CmdrTaco on the bed. Tyrone then proceeded to all manner of homosexual acts against CmdrTaco's small body. Tyrone made CmdrTaco suck his dick. He would also make CmdrTaco take his dick up CmdrTaco's ass. Since Tyrone had a big black dick, CmdrTaco cried out in pain. Eventually, CmdrTaco fell unconcious.

The next day CmdrTaco woke up with bruises all over his body, with every part of his body in pain. The rest of the Slashdot janitors were in a similar state. CmdrTaco couldn't wait for Tyrone to come visit again.

French elections (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383689)

That far-right bastard, Jean-Marie Le Pen, is going to the second round in the French presidential elections. Fortunately he'll lose in the second round, but the increasing popularity of the far-right in Europe is becoming a worrying trend.

This is what happens when the turn out gets low enough. Demagogues and populists with extreme policies (stopping immigration and re-establishing death penalty and other draconian penalties) will eventually get to the power.

Re:French elections (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383701)

They have elections in Europe?

Surely you're kidding. Everyone knows that the only truly democratic country in the world is the USA.

I thought they were just toys... (2, Interesting)

YouAreFatMan (470882) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383718)

I was always intrigued by the microscope when I saw it in the store, but it seemed so Fisher-Price that I figured that it couldn't be all that good. The way it's packaged and marketed makes it look like some cheesy toy, not a real scientific instrument. I guess I was wrong.

Re:I thought they were just toys... (1)

spudnic (32107) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383810)

I had the same impression. I bet that if they made a version of this that was all black and came in different packaging that they would have sold tons more of these.

I think most kids who would be interested in things like this don't need to be sold on it because it has a lime green and blue color scheme anyway.

Re:I thought they were just toys... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383916)

well, they really are just toys, but the slashdoted page shows you how to modify it to improve the image. also, it shows how an abbe condensor can improve the image quality by at least 3 times.

Re:I thought they were just toys... (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3387941)

Haven't you noticed? That's the way Intel markets all their stuff. Ugly blue and white color schemes, stupid aliens or blue men, crappy-looking products with crappy specs (remember the Intel digital camera?). Somehow Intel steadfastly refuses to make anything that looks serious.

Intel's Developer notes (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383733)

Intel has its own developer-oriented discussion of the design and development of the QX3.

http://developer.intel.com/technology/itj/q42001 /a rticles/art_3.htm

Is this one of those ads? (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383754)

Is this story one of those new advertisements I hear so much about? Possibly submitted by the person unloading dozens of these on Ebay?

Re:Is this one of those ads? (1, Flamebait)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383813)

Nah, I'm just a geek that thinks this thing is fun. No vested interest here.

Re:Is this one of those ads? (1)

Conare (442798) | more than 12 years ago | (#3387276)

Why did someone mod the author down for responding to a critic? not that he needs the karma or anything but still...

Better buy one quick, they are discontinued (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383755)

http://www.intel.com/support/intelplay/discontinue . tm

Re:Better buy one quick, they are discontinued (2)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383894)

This [intel.com] is the correct link. Intel has support thru 2003. They stopped making them as of 3/29/2002.

QX3 software includes a Twain Driver (2, Interesting)

tang_horse (565506) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383785)

The QX3's software has an interface that can only be called bizarre, however, at least the original version (without the +) installs a Twain driver accessible by standard imaging software (e.g. Photoshop). It includes controls for the lighting and video.

AWESOME (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383824)



This is so gay.

Wird (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383835)

This is good!!!

See a picture of me at My homepage [goatse.cx]

Timothy's story (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383866)

Monday: Suck off Malda
Tuesday: Suck off Homos
Wednesday: Suck off Cliff's tiny black cock
Thursday: Fellatiate michael
Friday: Suckle on Krow's penis
Saturday: First day of the weekend at the tip of roblimo's cock
Sunday: chrisd gets the honor of getting his hog sucked on the weekend.

More QX3 Links and Info (5, Informative)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383876)

The IntelPlay site [intel.com] has a good QX3 FAQ [intel.com] as well as the product's 3/29/02 obituary [intel.com] . We can only hope they are clearing out stock before introducing the new improved version, but I doubt it - Intel is discontinuing ALL Intelplay toys, not just the microscope. With MTV style advertising like this [brandx.net] it's no wonder it failed to find a continuing market niche as a classic toy - it takes longer than a 10 second attention span to do science. Some gross-out photos are here [sturman.com] , as well as a comparison of a QX3 vs.Zeiss dissection scope [uiuc.edu] as well as a comparison of the QX3 and another "inexpensive educational toy" called the Pocketscope [pocketscope.com] . The main Pocketscope site [pocketscope.com] talks about how to add video and lighting to their superior optics. Tinkering with, adjusting, modifying and using the QX3 is discussed here [fsu.edu] , here [aol.com] and here [3dphoto.net] . More places to buy a QX3 before they go universally out of stock are GlobalMart [globe-mart.com] , Erwincomputers [yahoo.com] , and Amazon [amazon.com] .

J&R Electronics Has Stock... (2)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3387001)

J&R Electronics [jandr.com] has 100+ units in stock (the salesguy wouldn't say exactly how many) as of 9:30 AM EST Monday morning for $49.88 each plus shipping of $4.95...

Works fine with Linux. (5, Informative)

AJWM (19027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383902)

It just happens that I spent Friday afternoon finally getting my QX3 (I've had for about a year, picked up for about $50 at a supermarket (!) in an after-Xmas sale last year) running on my Linux box.

I'm using a mostly stock SuSE 7.3 distro with the 2.4.10 kernel, the camera built into the QX3 is the same CPiA chipset that many other webcams use. I haven't done the necessary tweaking run the lamps, I just an external light. The "gqcam" program works fine for viewing/grabbing the images.

mods to the play scope? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3383912)

I have been working on a project with MEMS devices at school for about a year and we would love to be able to view our devices with inexpensive cameras (ie. less than $2000). I have tried on several occasions to use one of these play scopes but have been put off by bad lighting and poor resolution on the higher magnification. Has anyone seen or come up with any mods to improve the performance of the off the shelf microscope? We need to resolve components about 1um on the monitor. I had given up on this, but maybe Slashdot will come to the rescue and save the day!

Re:mods to the play scope? (2)

msouth (10321) | more than 12 years ago | (#3386799)

this site mentions modifications

http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/intelplay/int el anatomy.html

Driver Software for OS X (3, Informative)

rbruels (253523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383936)

The QX3 is supported in the latest versions of Macam for OS X. I have not yet experimented with the software, but have heard okay-to-good things about it.

His CVS repository is a little outdated, so download the drivers from the web site. :)

http://webcam-osx.sourceforge.net/

One of the benefits of having kids... (2)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383940)

You get to buy nifty things like this for 'em. Yeah, some might argue that a two year old can't really appreciate a microscope, or a Lego Mindstorms kit, but you've got to start them early, right?

Re:One of the benefits of having kids... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3384527)

Don't stop there, mine range from 32yrs to 23 yrs and I still buy toys for "them".

200x? (1)

loply (571615) | more than 12 years ago | (#3383970)

You can see TNT crystalize at 200x magnification?

Re:200x? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3384127)

You can see a lot of chemistry with your eyes. I watched benzocane (a light weight in the cocaine family) crystalize in the test tube durring lab. A lot of organic chemistry, even done in microscale, is easy and fun to watch.

Are these good for taking pictures of ants? (2)

antdude (79039) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384128)

Live ants especially. Any recommendation for low prices for me? Thank you in advance. :)

Re:Are these good for taking pictures of ants? (1)

(outer-limits) (309835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384891)

Excellent for taking videos of head lice. These are semi transparent, so you get to see the insides moving food around, heart pumping etc. Helps to convince your kids it's worth getting them out of their hair.

Re:Are these good for taking pictures of ants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3385752)

Try an earthworm! You can see blood pumping inside it.

Good luck finding these now. (2)

Gumber (17306) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384210)

I just went to two Toys R Us stores and various consumer electronics stores. Sounds like they sold out months ago when they were dropped to the $30 quoted in the article for after-christmas closeout.

We've slashdotted Toys-R-Us (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384689)

Been to Toys-R-Us and seems a lot of people here in Madison, Wisconsin are Slashdot readers.

Re:Good luck finding these now. (2)

nolife (233813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385216)

Try All Electronics [allelectronics.com] . They have it online here [allelectronics.com] for $40, they also have store fronts in Van Nuys and LA. I've been mail ordering stuff from this place for well over 10 years..

WAFFLES! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3384216)

Hi there. Today, I want to talk about a subject near and dear to all of our hearts.

WAFFLES.

There are many types of waffles. Some are belgian, some are fruity, some come from Waffle House and taste like baked shit. Some have sugar in them, but it's rumored that this is a European Communist Plot to make everybody fat. Some are "Eggos", which you are supposed to "Leggo". Some are cheap and generic, others cost upwards of a thousand dollars for a single helping. There are those you eat plain, and others go better with toppings, such as powdered sugar and Maple Syrup.

My favorite type of waffle is Belgian with fruit and stuff on top. Now that's a fucking good waffle. But there are other options... in fact, there's something for everyone!

Yes, waffles. A timeless American tradition.

WA-WA-WA-WAFFLES, EAT ONE TODAY!

This has been a presentation of the National Waffle Council.

How to get lights to work with Linux (3, Informative)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384229)

The CPIA driver works fine with it for Linux, for viewing. Unfortunately, the code to turn the lights off and on has been commented out of the driver due to a buffer overflow.

I've got it running with the RedHat 7.3. I had to merge the driver from http://webcam.sourceforge.net with the drivers in the kernel source and recompile. I tried compiling the driver outside the tree but got bit by a bug in USB link ordering. Once you apply the updates you'll be able to use simple command-line statements to turn the lights off and on.

If you're going to try these patches on RedHat 7.2 or on some other Linux distribution, you'll have to merge the driver on http://webcam.sourceforge.net with your distributions's driver yourself.

For my code and images, see http://graflex.org/klotz/qx3 [graflex.org] .

Of course, the best thing would be for the webcam.sourceforge.net people and the kernel people to resolve their differences and get the write code for /proc/cpia enabled. Until then, turning the lights on under Linux will be a DIY project.

Even NSA is hiring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3384230)

You can even work for No Such Agency.

There are nine positions with them on this list [monster.com] . Go at it if Ft. Meade appeals to you.

other uses (0)

mr.albino (522374) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384295)

i have one of these things, got it as a gift when they first came out. i think its sitting in my closet. anyway.

are there other programs/mods/whatever that are available for these things? looking at bugs will only amuse oneself for a little bit.

Windows 2000 drivers (0)

zod1025 (189215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384359)

Windows 2000 drivers are only available from intel through the mail [intel.com] , with 1-2 weeks delivery. Does anyone know where else I could get these drivers? thx.

Re:Windows 2000 drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3384933)

Yeah... I bought a QX3 a while back when I saw it on clearance for $30. Unfortunately, I can't run it on XP and I can't find my original CD so that Intel can send me the updated drivers.

Not having drivers posted on their site is gay. I don't want their damn software, just a TWAIN driver or something so I can capture images.

Re:Windows 2000 drivers (0)

zod1025 (189215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385350)

Not having drivers posted on their site is gay.

Too true. guess I'll have to wait for the CD, and fill my time hacking on the linux drivers...

Possibly another place to check.... (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384607)

I stoped at my local Toys-R-Us, and they were out of the microscope. However I remember seeing one a couple of months back at my local Target. So on my way home I stopped by and they had four at 24.99 each. I only bought one, but if you are interested in putting some up on e-bay, or something like that, and you are in the mpls-stpl area, check your local Target. They can even check with the other Targets in the region and see if there are any others available.

Good luck.

-Rusty

Re:Possibly another place to check.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3385129)

Which Target did you stop at? I didn't see any at the Brooklyn Park store.

Slashdot bookclub (1)

headsling (310069) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384765)

When slashdot recommends, its just like Oprah!

Most of Ebay's buy it now have sold, the store link in the story has sold out....

Intel would like to thank Slashdot for clearing its warehouses

Re:Slashdot bookclub (2)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3384894)

Wow. Computergeeks had around 350 units in stock when the story was posted 8 hours ago or so...

Too Bad, Was Hoping They'd Improve It (1)

RhettLivingston (544140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385121)

Seems like Intel really missed the boat on this one. They didn't research the school market. Most high school biology books state that a 450x microscope is advised for the labs. I was really hoping they'd come up with a 450x model. If they had, it could have succeeded. Especially if it was priced around $200 or less.

Hard to locate in Canada, but ... (1)

Starving Artist (233866) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385445)

you can get this electron microscope [wigleyauction.com] .

Probably more than $30, and no USB interface.

dude. (2)

Artifex (18308) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385610)

I wish these had been around when I was a proto-geek kid with too much allowance...

especially when I hit puberty and got really interested in microscopic things, if you know what I mean =)

Brings back memories. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3385692)

Back in the bad old days, 1990, I had an Amiga 2000, a DigiView Gold and a CCTV camera. What this boils down to is that I could capture video with this setup. The CCTV was a B/W Vidicon security camera, so the resolution was very good, and the tube noise was averaged out by the slow scan time of the DigiView Gold (not a frame grabber).

I took an empty TP roll and used it as the interface from the camera to my lab grade Boreal microscope. I had several lenses on the camera, I forgot what type I used.

I took several great 8 bit gray pictures at 768x480 (that's like max NTSC overscan, IIRC) of stuff I could find, like feathers and the premounted samples that came with my cheapie Sears microscope.

Worked well for a while. I know I blew away people at the time with this stuff.

I really regret selling my 3000 (that probably had the pictures from the 2000 on it)... Why oh why didn't I backup to 1.44 floppies back then???

"Pentium 4 Optimized" Ugh. (2, Informative)

Saurentine (9540) | more than 12 years ago | (#3385722)

Can someone tell me how, under Windows, to spoof the driver into thinking I've a Pentium 4 processor?

In the literature accompanying mine, it actually specifies that with a Pentium 4 processor, you get better resolution at higher magnifications, additional effects, and faster screen refreshes. I'm sure it's a deliberate screw up of the software if it doesn't detect a Pentium 4, (or other Intel processor, I suppose) and that pisses me off.

In fact, I can see the artifacts that are artificially added on the screen. There's a spattering of pixels that appear "dead" on screen: they're always some obviously wrong color that's slightly "off" what you'd otherwise expect to see at that point, and the "dead" spots don't move at all when the underlying target images are moved.

Artificially screwing up the quality of your products for AMD customers won't bring customers back, Intel! In fact, it does quite the opposite for me. Assholes.

Oh great - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3385751)

Thanks to Slashdot - all those geeky QX3 microcope are GONE.

Re:Oh great - (2)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3386356)

And in the hands of geeks, where they belong, instead of a landfill someplace or gathering dust in the back of a warehouse after being removed from active inventory...

Re:Oh great - (2)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3386377)

You can still get in there and slug it out at EBay [ebay.com] ...

Re:Oh great - (1)

leinhos (143965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3386562)

2 weeks ago, these were moving slowly on ebay for around $30. Now it looks like they're going for around $50. Thanks.

J&R Electronics Has QX3 Stock Monday Morning (2)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3387013)

J&R Electronics [jandr.com] has 100+ units in stock (the salesguy wouldn't say exactly how many) as of 9:30 AM EST Monday morning for $49.88 each plus shipping of $4.95...

Re:Oh great - (2)

cybrpnk (94636) | more than 12 years ago | (#3387676)

Computergeeks [computergeeks.com] is showing the QX3 as back in stock Monday morning for $42.50 with around 400 units available. The stock they had listed on the website went from 360 to zero yesterday.
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