After HOT-24 (March 1991), the group started using a 'C' program called 'autosal' to enter handwritten Autosal output data into the computer (Appendix I). This interactive program, originally written by Janice Sato, automatically converted the Autosal's electronic reading (2 x K15 conductivity ratio) into salinity units. The data were entered by a pair of operators (usually two student assistants) that would double-check the typed values to prevent data entry errors. The 'autosal' program prompted for the ambient and bath temperatures as well as the conductivity ratios of IAPSO Wormley seawater ampoules, substandards, and salinity samples, converting the conductivity units to salinity units using the bath temperature and the Autosal's reading. On July 18, 1991, Sean Kennan and Carl Chun revised the program to include the following: 1) to calculate the standardization offset from IAPSO measurements, 2) to incorporate this offset into subsequent calculations of salinity, 3) to make backups of data files during the run to avoid disastrous loss of data, and 4) to get time and date from the computer. Originally, the program was on Personal Computers but was later moved to the Sun UNIX systems. Additional improvements to the program were made by Sophia Asghar in November 1992, and June 1993. Further updates and program improvements were made by Fernando Santiago-Mandujano in April 1995.

On March 10, 2000, a few months after switching to using the Autosal 8400B for salinity measurements, an Autosal interface was purchased. The interface is used for direct downloads of conductivity data from the salinometer to a PC-based computer. The program, which came with the interface (asal ), creates raw data files for subsequent data processing, as the salinity is measured by the Autosal. The data are then transferred to the Sun UNIX system. This interface was first used for HOT-114 salinity samples on May 2, 2000 (Figure 1). The use of this interface eliminated the necessity for handwritten readings off the salinometer as well as manual data entry into a computer, thus increasing efficiency and decreasing operator errors. For details on processing programs, see Section 2.3.1.


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