Computers are essential to the collection for (i) documentation, (ii) maintenance, (iii) database search engines, and (iv) output products, either as photos, text files, or web pages. All of the computer in the lab, except for the one hosting the Nikon imaging system are Mac Pros or iMacs, chosen because of their superiority in multitasking and multimedia applications. used to service the majority of the first three functions. Many extensively used applications, such as Adobe Creative Suite, EndNote, Microsoft Office, FileMaker Pro, MEGA 5, and Genious are cross-platform compatible.
A MacPro G5 computer for mac-centric users is present in the lab, where it is used
mostly routine and innovative Apple-designed multimedia applications (Aperture,
FileMaker Pro, iDVD, iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iWeb). It also functions as a workstation
for DNA alignment and phylogenetic analyses.
Extensive microscopic work is undertaken daily, either to observe and quantify spores of active or stored cultures (10-15 usually examined each day of the week), to make vouchers, or to digitize images of specimens. All of this work is done at a dedicated central table in the lab. See details on how images are created and modified.
Staff personnel (Wheeler and the full-time research assistant/associate curator)
share an office, but each has a PC workstation. Both are linked with the server
on a local area network to access files or carry out database functions.
Morton uses an iMac as his main workstation in his office and a Macbook Pro for portability. Files are transferred to and from home (Mac Pro workstation) via an iPad (his favorite device for both work and play) or a dedicated flash drive.
Morton has two treasures in his office. One is a a needlepoint canvas of mushrooms and a big M—which stands for so many people and things. The other is a carving of a smiling “Santa” from the base of a large bamboo stem. It is a precious gift from Dr James Hu of the People’s Republic of China when he came to visit our facility. It makes for a happy workplace.