Illustrated History of the Seismometer Project, 1998 - 2001:
The two seismometer systems had been running continuously from 1998 with four seismometer inputs each. Displays in the front of the classroom showed the output from all eight seismometers in real time. Occasionally, earthquakes would occur while a class was meeting in the room, and when this happened all other instruction stopped so we could, together, attempt to feel and see the motions that were evident on the screens in real time. I constructed a special pendulum that permited the class to observe, in real time, these small motions directly. The seismometer project continued to provide interesting educational experiences for the students and enormous satisfaction for me.
The short-period vertical seismometer on indefinite loan from Penn State was not being used in the short-period system. With the exception of the one seismometer which used a Fluke meter as an amplifier, all seven units had been running on amplifiers that I constructed. The major limitation had been the dated Apple IIe computer platform that was used to monitor the signal and display the results. Because the necessary hardware components for Apple IIe's were no longer available, my systems no longer could be reproduced elsewhere and the SAS software would not enjoy a wider utilization. I thought that if the SAS code were rewritten to run on a modern computer system, all sorts or new possibilities might emerge.