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Where's your periodic table?

How often have you looked for your periodic table and it wasn't where you last put it? Perhaps, a colleague walked off with it along with the notes from that discussion; maybe it's on your desk, but you cant find the desk for paper. Have you ever wanted to nail one on the wall, but just don't have enough wall space? Take heart; this month we have some solutions to keep a periodic table where you can always find it. The solution is one of those rare occasions where there is peaceful coexistence between IBM and Macintosh users and at the same time also with those who wouldn't touch a computer.

Mousing around

Perhaps one of the most innovative devices I have ever seen is the ChemPad, periodic Pad of the Elements from Cirrus Technology. Having a cat, I have avoided software that requires a mouse. Notwithstanding my concern, more and more applications are tending to require pointing and clicking with the little electronic rodents. Mouses or mice are at their best with a smooth movement on a well designed surface. Although I have collected several mouse pads with a variety of colors and advertising, I prefer my ChemPad. Cirrus have recognized that most chemists can never find a periodic table when they want one and have incorporated one into a mouse pad.

The nature of the materials limits the resolution available and hence the amount of information that can be included, but we do have the elements in a table. The table has been typeset and then printed on the pad through a dye sublimation process, which is guaranteed for the life of the pad. The appearance is quite classy with red lettering on grey. Each square contains the symbol, atomic number and mass. That's usually enough information to answer most of our questions. In addition to being a source of information, this mouse pad is also a symbol of professional pride as it will immediately identify a computer's association with the chemical profession.

The ChemPad does not distinguish between an IBM or a Mac. It functions identically with both and if you don't have a computer or wouldn't be seen dead with one, you can still use a mouse pad. It can hold a coffee cup or beer stein and is particularly helpful in cushioning the blow if you are one of those people who bangs the cup or glass down onto the table when you empty it.

At a recent Toronto section executive meeting, the Ryerson Chemistry Club decided that they might be able to earn money by selling them. Chemputing will update you on this endeavor in the fall. ChemPad: Cirrus Technology, 49 Midgley Lane, Worcester, MA, U.S.A. 01604, Tel: 508-755-5242; Fax: 508-795-1636. MSLP US$14.95 & shipping and handling.

Software or hardware names mentioned in this review are trademarks of their respective developers/manufacturers.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Chemical Institute of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Software Review; ChemPad
Author:Silbert, Marvin D.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Evaluation
Date:Sep 1, 1992
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