How do I say the name?
"LADR" comes from Laser Ablation Data Reduction, and is easy to pronounce as "ladder". This is also a nice association to have, since LADR allows you to improve your analysis and "climb over" analytical challenges.
Who developed LADR?
LADR was initiated by CODES Analytical Laboratories at the University of Tasmania, led by Prof Leonid Danyushevsky, developed by Norris Scientific, and received support from Newcrest Mining Limited and Rio Tinto. All software design and development is by Dr Ashley Norris and Prof Leonid Danyushevsky, but we would like to acknowledge and thank Dr Sarah Gilbert, Jay Thompson, Dr Paul Olin, Dr Ivan Belousov, and Dr Duane Smythe for their invaluable support and feedback, especially with the earlier versions.
Who is funding ongoing development?
Norris Scientific funds ongoing development through software sales.
Why was LADR developed?
There are already a number of existing solutions available for processing LA–ICP–MS data sets, and even more so today than when LADR was first conceived. What LADR offers is a convenient platform to deliver all of the features required to process most data sets for most users most of the time. The emphasis there is on most and while LADR is not necessarily going to work well for every single LA–ICP–MS user, our opinion is that LADR will be the best choice most of the time.
Where can I buy LADR?
Why do you sell it by subscription?
While LADR is available for purchase today as a fully-featured release, there exists a very active development roadmap of new features and improvements to make in the years ahead. The simplest way forward is to fund that development via subscription. To make subscriptions easier to purchase, it is possible to bulk buy a number of years at the current rate. If you want to use LADR, but are not happy about the subscription model, please contact us to make alternative arrangements.
Will the price go up?
Unfortunately it will, but Norris Scientific believes in remaining as transparent about pricing as is possible. In 2019 and 2020 we are offering an introductory offer of 50%-off to reward our early adopters. After the subscription returns to the full price in 2021 we anticipate that the annual subscription will only increase with inflation to cover support costs. While it would be inappropriate to make concrete statements about the business situation 3–5 years from now, Norris Scientific is committed to always informing all users well in advance of any price changes.
What support is available?
There are many ways to receive assistance with the software. Firstly, a high-quality comprehensive manual has been written that documents all aspect of software operation. While first and foremost the manual explains how to do things, we are also expanding that document and developing resources to explain why you would process (and collect) LA–ICP–MS data in a particular way. In addition to reading the manual it is possible to email or call LADR technical support at any time. Finally, a LADR support team member may be able to visit you and deliver a short course in LADR (or LA–ICP–MS in general) at your institution.
What do you guys know about programming?
While Ashley and Leonid are primarily research scientists, both of them have extensive programming experience. Ashley has developed a number of online tools (most available via this website) and specialises in instrument control (see GeoStar), workflow and interface optimisation, and machine learning. Leonid wrote the popular fractional crystallisation modelling program Petrolog. While neither of them would claim to be "expert programmers", they both have sufficient experience to ensure LADR is well designed and of high quality.
What is LADR Written In?
Why C# .NET?
The main reasons were ease of development, support for the language, and cross-platform support. While there is a slight performance penalty from .NET compared to native code, this was worth it for the other benefits.
Can I meet you?
Absolutely! Leonid and Ashley are always keen to meet LADR users and discuss the software and development roadmap in more detail. They typically attend 2–3 conferences per year, including Goldschmidt, the European and North American laser ablation workshops, as well as the Winter Plasma meetings.