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AutoVISION , built on Microscan’s powerful Visionscape platform, is the easiest machine vision software available for basic-to-mid-range vision applications. Microscan currently offers two versions of AutoVISION:

  • AutoVISION 3.0 supports Vison MINI, Vision MINI Xi, and Vision HAWK smart cameras, as well as Visionscape GigE cameras.
  • AutoVISION 4.0 supports MicroHAWK MV smart cameras.

AutoVISION 3.0 and AutoVISION 4.0 cannot be installed on the same PC simultaneously. This can be a problem if your application requires multiple AutoVISION 3.0 and AutoVISION 4.0 installations using a single computer. A similar issue exists if you need to support multiple versions of Microscan’s Easy Setup Program (ESP) for barcode readers. The solution to this problem is the use of virtual machines.

VIRTUAL MACHINES

Virtual machines are emulations of computers that run on your physical computer. A virtual machine is essentially software that allows an entire "guest" operating system to run on your “host” operating system, whether in a container window or full-screen. A virtual machine on your computer can simulate a second machine running a separate operating system- Windows XP, Windows 7, or Linux, for example – other than the OS you’re “really” running. With the use of a virtual machine, you can run AutoVISION 3.0 on one operating system and run AutoVISION 4.0 on another, both on your physical machine. In fact, you can have as many virtual operating system “images” as you need, if you have the resources to host them all.

VIRTUAL MACHINE: VIRTUALBOX

There are many software choices on the market that allow you to set up virtual machines on your PC. One of the best paid software packages is VMWare. One of the best free software packages is VirtualBox, which is an open-source virtualization tool offered for Windows by Oracle. The following is a quick start guide for setting up a virtual machine on your PC using VirtualBox.

INSTALLATION AND SETUP

Since you will be installing a new copy of Windows on your machine, you will first need the bootable Windows Installation CD for the operating system of your choice. You will also need a valid Windows license for this OS. You can usually receive the license from your IT department, as they generally store these discs along with a corporate license. The software can also be downloaded directly from Microsoft.

Steps for Installing VirtualBox

  1. Open VirtualBox's Download page and download the appropriate copy for your system.
  2. Click through the VirtualBox install screens. In most cases, you won't have to change anything.
  3. During Windows setup, you'll be asked to install "device software" or "drivers”. When prompted, click "Install" for each, or check the box that indicates you'll "Always trust..." Sun's drivers.
  4. Once VirtualBox is installed, launch it and proceed through the steps in the next section to create a virtual machine on your PC.

Creating a Virtual Machine using VirtualBox

The following is a link to an excellent guide for how to set up a virtual machine. It walks through creating a Windows XP and Windows 7 virtual machine. Follow the stops you find at this link: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-use-virtualbox/

The VirtualBox user manual can also be found at: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html. The manual also includes installation and configuration instructions.

Once you have installed a virtual machine and are booted into the operating system on your PC, go to the Web and apply windows updates.

USING VIRTUAL MACHINES: VIRTUAL BOX MANAGER

After completing the steps above, you now have a “clean”, fully-updated install of an operating system running as a virtual machine on your PC. You should not work within this virtual machine, but rather keep it pristine so you can return to it whenever you need it, starting each session with a clean slate. To begin using the virtual machine, you should “clone” your clean install. You can do this in the VirtualBox Manager with VirtualBox “cloning”. The image below shows a clean 32-bit Windows 7 install, and then a cloned instance of the same OS with Visual Studio added. After cloning the install, you can make your changes, such as loading Visionscape, Visual Studio, etc. to the program.

VirtualBOX Manager

 

VirtualBox offers another useful tool called “snapshots”. Snapshots allow you to save a particular state of a virtual machine for later use. At a later time, you can revert to the earlier state preserved in the snapshot even if the virtual machine has been changed considerably in the intervening time. A snapshot of a virtual machine is thus similar to a machine in "saved" state, but there can be many of them, and they are preserved. The image below shows a number of virtual machines preserved via snapshot in various past states.

VirtualBOX Manager 

 

There are many online tutorials about how to use VirtualBox to its fullest. The more time you invest in learning how to use it effectively, the better your results will be.

 

For additional information, or to download AutoVISION, please visit www.microscan.com.

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