Sep 25 2017

TOP, The Output Processor – Electrotek Concepts #visualizing #data


TOP, The Output Processor

TOP utilizes Microsoft’s Multiple Document Interface (MDI) to allow you to simultaneously view several different plots in multiple windows. You can move, size, and arrange the windows on the screen as desired, and any window can be printed at a command or keystroke. Because of the functionality offered by Microsoft Windows, TOP does not need to be updated every time a new printer or display device is installed.

The data displayed in any window can also be exported to a file or pasted to the Windows clipboard in a variety of graphical, numerical, or text formats. Supported export formats include

  • Windows Metafile (.WMF)
  • Portable Network Graphics (.PNG)
  • Comma Separated Value (.CSV)
  • ASCII Tabbed Text (.TXT)

Using TOP

TOP manipulates the data to be displayed using a mechanism called the stack (illustrated above). First, you select a file that contains the data to be visualized. TOP then generates a dialog box displaying all of the quantities (objects) available in the current file.

You then select the items of interest, which TOP loads into memory. This process is similar to selecting a file folder from a file cabinet, selecting specific papers in the file that are of interest, and piling them in a stack on your desk.

You can reactivate the dialog box at any time and load more data objects onto this stack. You can also select another file at any time and load data from that file onto the stack. The result is a stack of data objects of potentially different types and origin that are now available for visualization. You can now select one or more of the items on the stack and request TOP to display that data in one of the many tabular or graphical formats.

Data Modification and Analysis

TOP includes a feature called TOPCalc. TOPCalc allows you to perform mathematical operations on the various supported data objects. These operations include

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • Inversion, absolute value
  • Fast Fourier Transformer (FFT)
  • Inverse Discrete Fourier Transform (IDFT)
  • Square, square root
  • Power, energy, I 2 t, X-Y combine, integrate
  • Filter, time shift
  • Cumulative probability
  • Probability distribution
  • Waveform sampling

In addition to TOPCalc, TOP provides options to link units of measurement to a stack item as well as enable per-unit display of the data.

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