BYOD in scientific research. So what else is new?!

BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device,” is a very modern term that describes a very old phenomena.  For decades, scientists and technical researchers have used a variety of computer systems – not all of them equally user-friendly. And hence each person has always struggled to use their favorite system whenever possible.

Although this is nothing new in the scientific and technical areas, because of the recent explosion of personal devices (mobile phones, tablets, and ultrabooks) typical business users are also starting to ask for this requirement.

Scanread – to facilitate BYOD

In 2000 I was sharing an office at the Max-Planck-Institute with Andreas Stierle, a top-notch x-ray specialist who, together with his team, first spent weeks doing x-ray experiments at national laboratories, then spent months analyzing the data they took. The standard hardware for controlling these experiments and collecting the data was all Unix-based, but Andreas – like many scientists – preferred to use PCs and Microsoft Windows. This posed quite a challenge, because there was no PC software that could read his data files.

So he asked me to write a user-friendly PC application for him to export and analyze his data.  It took me just a few evenings of work, and I called the application Scanread. And I never dreamed that the application would become as popular as it did!  It has now been downloaded by thousands of scientists worldwide, and up until recently I still got the occasional request for support or for new features.

Here’s a screenshot of ScanRead. With one mouse click the scientific data is visible and ready to be analyzed.



A digital machete thins out the data jungle

An popular article about Scanread explains to non-specialists the role of this application in scientific research. It was written by Stefan Albus, a really talented German writer. You can reach either the English or German language versions here:

It was always a thrill for me to write my own articles, but it was amazing when the Max-Plack-Institute hired a professional writer to publicize my work!

To download Scanread

You can find out more information about Scanread at these sites: