By James C. Ha
I have marketed a program called Event-PC since 1988, used for
observation data from a Windows-based laptop. While I still sell that program, other options are now available for laptop data collection. I have shifted my efforts recently to writing programs for behavioral data collection on Palm OS-based PDA's.
I write custom programs for researchers, generally for
$125-250, but it depends a bit on how fancy, and therefore how much time they
take... simple ones take about 3-5 hours, so I guess it's about $50/hour for
programming. I have written programs for 16-18 labs now, a number of them in
Psychology, Animal Behavior, Biology, Fisheries, Anthropology, and the National Primate Center
here at UW, but also at UCLA, Princeton and two labs at Indiana. My programs are in use in
lab settings as well as zoos (Woodland Park, Indianapolis, and Cinncinati, in a
single, cooperative project), Glacier Bay Alaska (murrelets), Kenya (baboons),
the San Juan Islands (orca) of WA, and tracking jaguars in Brazil. In fact, I
can send sample programs, like the one that is in use in my killer whale
research, for you to try out, if you like.
If you are interested, what I require from you is a very complete description of the way that you want to collect the data. It is VERY easy for me to tweak/customize your software, once it's working smoothly, and simply resend it to you electronically, and I do this regularly, even to researchers in the field, and if it's really minor, for free.
I do not provide the Palms themselves but do have some advice about models and purchasing.
Let me know if you have questions!