Curve Fitting (using InPlot)

IVAN at MNI.lan.mcgill.ca IVAN at MNI.lan.mcgill.ca
Sun Sep 12 14:01:21 EST 1993

>   The fastest, easiest to use and cheapest software I have ever used which
> has all the features I need is CoStat and CoPlot, available  from  Bob
> Simons at 71161.564 at compuserve.com. It does curve fitting, including fourier
> and true nonlinear regression, and a whale of a lot more. -DmG

We recently went through this in our own lab group when deciding which
scientific graphing package to buy.  We opted for GraphPad's InPlot,
mainly because my boss already owns the InStat stats package.

InPlot will work for most graphing or curve fitting needs:

    a.  you can enter your own formulae for curves
    b.  it will generate simple stats from your data sets
    c.  plots are accurate
    d.  multiple axis types are supported (e.g. log x, log y)

Unfortunately, I haven't played enough with the package (the tech
assigned to me has) to comment on some of its more esoteric features.
However, from the plot's I've already done, I can already say that
InPlot's user interface is WAY too clunky for what it does:

    a.  generating a single line graph requires about 30
        keystrokes, not including those used to enter data or
        descriptive text
    b.  the program separates itself into a text-only data and
        commands screen and a graphical "plot" screen, similar to
        earlier versions of Harvard Graphics
    c.  mouse support is very poor; menu manipulation with the mouse
        permits only vertical or horizontal mouse movement
        (literally!), depending on the menu; graphics manipulation is
        very difficult since selection of an object is done blindly
        (no control box)

However.... my boss just LOVES it and finds the user interface really
slick and simple to use.  Keep in mind that the way I generally do
graphs is by using a combination of Cricket Graph (Mac) and Adobe
Illustrator (Win3.1).  So I guess the whole thing boils down to style.

InPlot is $395 USD (less the 10% we got for being part of McGill); I
think that the combo of CoPlot and CoStat costs much less than this.

- ivan

Ivan Shaw "The Angel of Death"
Neuroimmunology Unit
Montreal Neurological Institute
Montreal, Canada  H3A 2B4
Internet e-mail:    Ivan at MNI.LAN.McGill.CA
Telephone:          (514) 398-3002
FAX                 (514) 398-7371

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