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Postby Whitenone » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:35 pm

I have used PortOlab in the past for cupping's but it is getting old. I have to keep notes through a third party via my Palm Pre (Classic). I love the look of iCupper Master Assistant for iPhone/iTouch and wondered if there was one for the Palm Pre (WebOS). Is anything going to replace the Palm based system. Perhaps there is something else out there that I don't know about to use when at the cupping table?
Whitenone
 
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Roasting Since (Year): 2000

Postby Whitenone » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:14 pm

I noticed 80 have viewed this but no answers. Is there an answer? What do those who have previously used Port O Lab now use?
Whitenone
 
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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:18 pm
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City: Newberg
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Occupation: Roastmaster
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Postby AndrewT » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:07 pm

We do not have Port O Lab so i have no answers. But i am wondering how other roasters record their cupping data. Do you enter it in a data base like excel? Did you make your own spreadsheet or did you download a template? Do you use RoastLog? Do you use a smart phone App that you like? Or do you just keep it in your head or in a hard file? Questions, questions...

We keep paper records of our roasts and cupping forms but i want to reduce the paper waste, collection of records and have a more fluid way of reviewing the information.

Open to suggestions and wisdom...
Andrew Timko
Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co
700 St. Bernard's Lane
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 727-9991
@AndrewRstStl
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Website: http://www.kaldiscoffee.com/
Location: St. Louis MO

Postby N3Roaster » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:34 pm

I also haven't used PortOLab, but I did get a demo of it when it was new and have written a couple of cupping apps and am currently writing a third. It turns out that for use at the cupping table, it's really hard to beat a clipboard full of cupping forms. So, what's the appeal of computerized versions? Well, if you intend to use those cupping notes over the long term, it's hard to find the cupping forms you want, then you need to transcribe the data of interest before you can even start whatever analysis you want to do. Transcribing the data to a spreadsheet helps with that, but there are the usual problems with using a spreadsheet in that way. It's too easy to accidentally screw up your data without even realizing it until you try to use it and discover that there's no good way to recover the missing/incorrect data. Also, who has time to transcribe all those cupping forms? A database solves the data integrity problem. I've used both SQLite and PostgreSQL as data stores for this sort of information, Green Mountain has claimed to use MS Access, but really any RDBMS is fine until you get into the billions of cupping forms. Excel can use any of these as a data source to do some really neat analytical stuff with arbitrary subsets of the data, but you're still looking at some other application for entering the data.

The first app that I wrote was geared toward transcription use after cupping. It worked well and had a lot of useful analytical stuff built in, but it was pretty ugly and not terribly useful during a cupping session. (This was really a prototype, written over a couple of nights in an Ethiopian hotel room without Internet access.) I never released that but I used it for years.

My second attempt was an extension to Typica. This was a little nicer to use and allowed me to associate a cupping form with an arbitrary point in any saved roast profile. The nice thing about that is if you use cupping as a profile development tool, pulling several samples from a batch and cupping the coffee at a variety of end points, then say you run out of whatever coffee it is you were using for an origin non-specific offering like a French roast, you can just ask the database for cupping forms from coffees that are in stock that use that term in the notes to find something else appropriate to use, then pull up a target roast profile matching that. Unfortunately, it's awful to use at the cupping table. Honestly, it's faster to cup with paper forms and transcribe the notes in the program later.

My third attempt is still a work in progress, but it's geared toward use on tablets and phones. I think a big part of the problem with using a desktop or laptop computer at the cupping table is that you can't really carry them around the table and tap in the data. Using a PDA with a stylus was, I think, what made PortOLab really useful. I'm hoping to have appropriate hardware available to run this and get some real use experience with it at retreat, but time is really running out on that option.

There are, of course, other options. I'm pretty sure there's an iPod touch/iPad cupping application and there are some other options, but I would be extremely nervous using anything that doesn't support local data storage or relies on the continued operation of some server on the Internet.
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Postby AndrewT » Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:56 am

Wow, thanks for the thorough reply. I look forward to seeing your developments if they end up being open to the public. You gave me a lot to chew on i will look into some of the avenues you suggested. I did take a beginner ACESS class and realised the time commitment to develop would just be too great.

Thanks,
Andrew Timko
Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co
700 St. Bernard's Lane
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 727-9991
@AndrewRstStl
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City: St. Louis
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Occupation: Coffee Roaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2004
Website: http://www.kaldiscoffee.com/
Location: St. Louis MO

Postby Whitenone » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:34 pm

Two years have passed since my first post. Is there anything yet that does not require iphones rather android :D
Whitenone
 
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Postby Phil.Johnson » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:13 am

N3Roaster wrote:My third attempt is still a work in progress, but it's geared toward use on tablets and phones. I think a big part of the problem with using a desktop or laptop computer at the cupping table is that you can't really carry them around the table and tap in the data. Using a PDA with a stylus was, I think, what made PortOLab really useful. I'm hoping to have appropriate hardware available to run this and get some real use experience with it at retreat, but time is really running out on that option.


I'm really hoping that you'll get this running on Android. It would be nice to use a tablet/transformer to easily transcribe the data.

I'm having similar issues with my roast logs. I'm mostly analog, so I still use the clipboard and a printed out Guild-created spreadsheet. I have well over 600 entries that I need to enter in electronic form. I'm really not looking forward to converting all minutes and seconds to minutes (and fractions thereof) and all pounds and ounces to pounds (and fractions thereof).

Buying a cheap netbook and rigging up a thermocouple and using Typica is looking more appealing each day...
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Postby dixonip » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:38 pm

Hi there, I'd encourage you to try CUPPING LAB :)
Winner of People’s Choice Best New Product—Open Class—SCAA 2013
Available on both Android and iPhone … free download at
http://get.cuppinglab.com/
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