The Electronics Laboratory of the Future (ELF)


The Center for Intelligent Systems at Vanderbilt University has developed an exciting new computer simulation of an undergraduate electronics laboratory. The Electronics Laboratory of the Future (ELF) simulation is intended as a pre-lab exercise. and allows students to work practical exercises at their own pace and desire so that they are up to speed when entering the actual electronics laboratory. The first complete release is ready for dissemination. It runs on a 486 machine (as well as a 386, albeit slow, a math co-processor is strongly recommended).

The Program

The software consists of several executable files and a central database. All of these are combined into one package by running the ELF executable. This setup allows for running ELF:

  1. From the supervising ELF executable, which requires users to log in and logs various data.
  2. As stand alone executables, in which case no data is logged. You can enter a lab at any desired point, however.

When running the ELF executable, each new user is given a lab tour first. This tour is intended to familiarize the new user with the laboratory procedures and environment. After completing this tour, the user can elect to work either any of the nine laboratories or eight tutorials. Several forms of help are available during the exercises.

Acquiring the Software

ELF comes as a set of three installation disks. Version 1.6.1 can be acquired from using anonymous ftp. A commercial version is planned for release in 1995 published by

Falcon Software, Inc
One Hollis Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
Tel. (617) 235 1767

Please direct any questions to Falcon Software ( or (Pieter J. Mosterman).


This research was supported, in part, by NSF project USE-9156244 and the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the software support and laboratory grant provided by Microsoft Corporation and Hewlett-Packard.