FACS/H-P -floppy-> Mac/PC driver?

Janet E. Lewis jelewis1 at facstaff.wisc.edu
Fri Jan 12 00:33:01 EST 1996

>"David R. Johnson" <johnson at biomed.med.yale.edu> wrote:
>>Dear Netters,
>>   We have a flow cytometer that works very well (Becton-Dickenson 
>>FACSort) connected to a Hewlett-Packard Computer that runs an 
>>ancient OS and doesn't work very well. 
>>   Does anyone have (or know of) a floppy driver that works on a DOS 
>>machine (Windows 3.1) or, preferably, a Mac?  This would allow 
>>importation of FACS data into Excel, etc.,
>BD sells "PC lysis", a program for PCs, almost identical to the Lysis
>program for the HP 9000 workstation. This program comes with the
>"HPreader" utility which allows to read HP-formatted diskettes on a
>There are however two problems :
>1 - PC lysis is very expensive. By the way, for a much better (and
>cheaper - it's free !) program, look at the excellent WinMDI by J.
>Trotter at http://facs.scripps.edu/software.html
>2 - Both PC lysis and HPreader are copy-protected by the same key (a
>device on the parallel port). A real nuisance !
>I believe it should be possible to buy the HPreader utility alone
>(it's not made by BD) but I haven't found where yet.
>        Jean-Claude GARAUD
>        Institut de Chimie Biologique

   I agree that WinMDI (current version 2.0.3) is *much* nicer to use than 
PC-Lysis.  PC-Lysis lacks such basic functions as printing in Windows.  You 
have to do a PrintScreen to get a hard copy of your histograms/dot plots, 
and low resolution ones, at that!  As far as I can tell from using them, 
both programs do essentially the same things.
   As for the HPReader software, it IS available without that nasty hardware 
key from Verity Software House, Inc.  Apparently, there is some agreement 
between Verity and BD that any computer running both PC-Lysis and HPReader 
(as one might find in the flow lab itself) has to have that hardware key.  
For the rest of us users who want to analyze our own data on our own 
computers, the hardware key is not required.  As of September 1995, it was 
$450 (U.S.$).  You have to send a purchase order with your name and address 
as you want them to appear in the opening registration screen.  They 
actually compile your name, address, and serial number into one of the 
modules (hpbanner.dll), so if someone misspells your name on the purchase 
order, you're stuck with it forever!  The address is 

Verity Software House, Inc.		voice: (207) 729-6767
P.O. Box 247				  FAX: (207) 729-5443
Topsham, ME  04086

   By the way, if you want to attach a parallel-port device (such as a Zip 
drive, or example) to a computer with one of the BD hardware keys, put the 
device first, then put the key on the device's pass-through port, and then 
connect the printer to the key.  If you put the key closer to the parallel 
port than the device, the device may not work.  This is definitely the case 
with a parallel-port Zip drive.

Janet Lewis
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, WI  USA

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