Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Remote-Controlled Flow Cytometry Part 2

I wrote previously about a new tool the flow lab employs called LogMeIn (see previous post here). This utility is great, but what happens if the instrument you want to control through the logmein web interface is off? Well you'd want to be able to remotely power-on the equipment from a remote location. After doing a bunch of searches on this topic, I can up with a remote power controller that has it own ip address. The box I ended up purchasing is called iboot. You basically plug the instrument into the iboot box, then plug the box into a wall outlet and a network jack. You type in the url of the box into your favorite browser, and a crude power on/ power off interface appears. Of course, it's password protected, so only you will be able to power your instrument on and off. We started using this on our FACSAria and we really enjoy it. Now, from my house, I can power on the instrumet through iboot, open up the software through logmein, do a fluidics startup, start the stream and then drive in to work. By the time I get in to work, the instrument is warmed up, and the fluidics have stabilized. This means that we don't have to waste time in the morning setting up when we can be sorting. It now takes about 5 minutes to prepare for the 1st sort of the day, instead of 30 minutes previously.