Andrew S. Louka alouka at writeme.com
Mon May 11 11:00:25 EST 1998

Dear Soren,

I recently attended a "User Meeting" in Oslo, where Steve Marriot and David
Daley from Perkin Elmer in Foster City, USA,  were almost apologetic about
their instruments of the past (i.e. up and to 64-lane ABI377).  In short,
they said that they have now stopped testing new soft/firmware in their R&D
labs, using ideal templates/primers/conditions, and instead also started
using "real-lab" situations, and learnt a lot from it.

The new tracker on the ABI377-96 is  neural network based, so it has to be
taught how to track.  They claim that it is now so good that you won't have
to re-track a gel ever again!  Fingers crossed...

Having said that, we have recently upgraded our 377 to XL, and after a bit
of practice with the pipette, everyone in the lab is quite content.  Were
told that loading the 96 is easier!  We have been garanteed by PE in Oslo
that to upgrade a 377XL to 377-96 will cost no more than an upgrade from
377 to 377-96.  However, an upgrade is apparently considerably cheaper than
buying it outright.  You will need an Apple G3 (or equivalent clone)
computer to operate the 96 upgrade.  Macintosh are now so incredibly cheap
that that shouldn't be a probelm (cheap, if you don't buy from PE!).

One last note, about multichannel pipettes.   A thread in this newsgroup
about a month ago concluded that a Hamilton multichannel pippette was the
best option on the market today, but several users had experienced problems
with them.  Steve Marriot told us that two companies, Kloehn and World
Precision will have multichannel pipettes for sale when the 96 upgrade is
available.  They were invited to make pippettes with loading an ABI machine
in mind, since ABI (and their customers) were not happy with the
Hamiltons.  His personal preference was for the Kloehn, which was also 50%

Hope this is of some use.

Kind regards,

Andrew Louka
Institute of Transplantation Immunology
University of Oslo, Norway

soren k rasmussen wrote:

> -- We are in the proces of upgrading our ABI373 and have a offer for the
> ABI377-64, but would it be worth waiting for the ABI 377-96 arriving in
> Europe soon. For fragment analysis 96 lanes seems perfect but for
> sequencing less would do. What are your experiences with the -96. Thanks
> for your comments
> soren
> soren.rasmussen at risoe.dk

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