Mini Analysis Program Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q)  When I run the program I can only see the part of the window.  Why?

A)  The problem is due to the screen resolution.  The minium resolution of screen should be 800X600 at small fonts setting.  Try to change the screen resolution in windows settings to 800X600 or higher.
 

Q)  Once the detection and measurement of mini's is complete, how do I save the events list to an ASCII file?  When I tried to do so with the "Save to ASCII file" command in the "EVENTS" menu,  I got a file which contained only the headers ("Filename", "Time", "Amplitude", etc..), and no data.

A)  After you detect the minis, you should save events as an event file by clicking File menu and running Save Event File command.  This will save all the event informations in a binary event file.  This event file is actually linked to the original DAT file, so that if you click on .EVT file you can open events as well as data.  The command that you tried (Save to Ascii command) is for highlighted events in the grid.  After you select certain events, you can save the highlighted events into an ascii file.  If you do not highlight any events you will only have the headings.  For your record, you should save your events in an event file with an extension of EVT.
 

Q)  What is the Hard Drive Serial Number and why do I need it?

A)  Hard drive serial number is same as the volume serial number of your hard drive.  Everytime your format your hard drive, the hard drive gets assigned to a unique serial number.  You can get this number in two ways.  You can get this number by going to the demo program and under Help menu, clicking Get Hard Drive Serial Number command.  Or at a dos prompt type "dir" to get a directory listing.  You can find the volume serial number at the top (first line) of the directory listing.  This number is necessary for registering a copy and copy protection.  You have to get the number for the hard drive in the computer you want to intall the Mini Analysis Program.
 

Q)  I downloaded mini2032.exe, and like it very much. However, according to the web page, it is supposed to have some curve fitting, averaging, etc., but I don't see that in this version. Have I downloaded the wrong version?

A)  Your problem can be solved by understanding the concept of "grouping events".  Once you detect the minis as events, you can group the events into different groups, depending on different criteria, such as amplitude, risetime, decaytime and so on.  This is achieved by going into EVENTS menu and clicking Group by Criteria Search command.  You can also individually group an event by clicking the right mouse button at a peak in the display window or the grid.  You can highlight many events in the grid and group them by going into EVENTS menu and clicking Mark Events as Group command.  Once you have grouped the desired events, you can now analyse the grouped events separately by clicking EVENTS menu, Analyse Grouped Events command.This brings up a window with some parameters such as Type of analysis, number of block to display, group number, etc and a Start button.  After you set the parameters, press the Start button and you will see the traces aligned to the peak.  The rest should be self-explanatory.
 

Q)  Most of my data are recorded in the current clamp mode.  Can this program detect events of a voltage trace?

A)  This program can detect peaks in voltage clamp conditions.  Even though the units are not what they should be,
the absolute values should still be correct.  Therefore, for now, you can ignore the units and change them at your will (5 pA should be 5 mV, and so on).
 

Q)  Whenever I tried manually to locate a peak by clicking the left button of the mouse, the program just crashed. There was an error message, "Run-time error '6', data overflow".  Is there something that I have not done properly ??

A)  This error originates from the fact that the analysis parameters are not well set.  If you recorded a trace with sample interval of 1000 microsecond or 1 msec, then the you have to adjust the 'period to average baseline' parameter to be greater than the sample interval.  In other words, if you want to average 10 data samples for baseline average, you must multiply sample interval with 10.  And this number(10,000) should be set for the 'period to average baseline' parameter.  Other parameters should also be reasonable numbers in order to avoid errors.
 

Q)  Also, the program hangs when I press Analyse This Window or Analyse Next Window button.  How should I avoid this problem?

A)  This problem also originates from improper analysis parameter, particularly the 'Period to search decay time' parameter.  Increase this parameter to kick it off from the infinite loop.
 

Q)  I was able to detect events with relatively clean data, but I am concerned that it will be difficult to detect with noisier data.

A)  This program uses area threshold as well as amplitude threshold.  A peak arising from noise should have relatively small area under the curve.  So if you increase the area threshold, you should be able eliminate most of the peaks due to noise.

 

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