Liquid Nitrogen freezer contents software

JGW Computing jgw.computing at zetnet.co.uk
Sat Aug 9 04:13:57 EST 1997

In message <33D72398.546D at picr.cr.man.ac.uk>
        Steve Roberts <bmcsar at picr.cr.man.ac.uk> writes: 

> We have a number of freezers from several suppliers storing cell lines
> and tissue/blood samples . Currently we use either paper records or a
> rather inadequate home-brew database to store details of what is in
> there. As the Vax which hosts the database is going in a few months we
> need a replacement system. We are reluctant to spend time porting the
> existing application!

> Can anyone point us towards any alternative ready-made packages - we
> will even consider things we have to pay for. What do other labs use
> these days? (When we asked this question a few years ago the answer we
> failed to find anything suitable). Our requirements are fairly simple -
> freezers are either rod/cane or box based, we need to be able to log
> samples in and out, move samples around and find samples by whatever the
> user decided to call them!

> Any suggestions or pointers gratefully received. Our news feed is a
> little dodgy at the moment so Email  would be appreciated.

> Steve.
> bmcsar at picr.cr.man.ac.uk


I've recently written a program which keeps a record of where samples 
are kept in racks in a fridge. I wrote this because in our medical 
laboratory we wasted absolutely ages sorting samples into order, and 
even then some disappeared into a "black hole". We receive more than 
500 samples a day, and we keep them for 1 week. 

The idea is that you choose a rack, enter a sample number, then store 
the sample in the alloted place in your rack. The program instantly 
searches for duplicate entries and warns you if another sample with 
the same number is already on the system. It also has a trap for 
numbers outside a set range, e.g. between 10,000 and 500,000. The 
sample number can be entered either by a barcode reader or from the keyboard. 

When you want to find the sample, you can enter your sample number 
and the program tells you in which rack(s) and what position(s) the 
sample is. Duplicate samples in different racks are allowed for. 

When the samples are discarded, the program allows you to delete the 
record(s) from the database.

You can define the name of your rack, which can be up to 100 holes in 
size. Currently the program only accepts numbers to identify the 
sample, although the racks can be identified in any way you want - 
we've labelled ours "Monday 1, Monday 2, Tuesday 1" etc.

Extra options allow you to backup and restore the database to/from floppy disc.

The program is written in a DOS-based database language (Clipper), so 
it's quick and should run on most PC's. We use it on a 10 year old 
IBM 386 16 MHz with 640 k memory and a 20 Mb HD, with a bar-code 
reader attached to a serial port (COM1). My staff think it's ace!

If this is the sort of thing you're looking for, please reply to:

jgw.computing at zetnet.co.uk

I've got a web-site from where you can down-load a demo and a 
restricted working version of another program I've developed, which 
stores and analyses Quality Control samples. This could give you a 
taste of my style of programs. My web-site is:



Garth Williams,


More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net