Category Archives: stuff

RFI: How much to create learning environment online?

Hematography Plus is an instructional CD-ROM, “a visual resource and comprehensive reference in morphologic hematology.” It’s all about blood.

It was released by the University of Minnesota in 2000 and has since sold over 3,500 copies. It’s a solid learning tool and was purchased by hospitals, clinics, schools, and the military.

The last copy of Hematography Plus shipped this year.

There is interest in recreating Hematography Plus on the Web. Karen Lofsness, the driving force behind the original, would like to get some kind of idea of what that would cost.

If you’re interested in taking a look at Hema, send me an email (pfhyper, at the gmail domain) and I’ll send along a password and site where you can download the compressed CD master for evaluation. Then send along some idea of a ballpark dollar amount of a web implementation.

This is very preliminary. No funds are yet in place. We are not yet interested in how you would do it or how you would want to change it for the Web at the moment. We would just like a ballpark figure as to what you think it would cost.

Karen would probably want to repurpose the cell artwork. It’s a custom 8-bit palette (I think).

Budgetary Realism.
Can it be done for $15,000? $20,000? A sum of $100,000 would probably be way beyond a potential budget.

System Requirements.
Windows 95 or later with assistance from our FAQ.
Mac version requires classic mode.

More info on the project here.


The original Hematography I CD-ROM was released in 1996 by a major publishing company and it was costly (maybe $500+). So was Hematography II which included a little exam and the ability to save the student’s score to disk. Teachers loved it. Also pricey.

Hematography Plus, the final CD-ROM, had more features than the other two but Karen reduced the price to $99 so students could afford it.

It’s programmed in Lingo, the language of Macromedia Director. It’s an older version of Director. There is no plan to keep it in Director but I guess no plan not to either. I see it more as a pure web play or web + Flash.

I programmed it and I also have been on retainer to provide technical support. I estimate less than ten calls a year even as OS’s were changing. We officially support it on Windows 95, 98, and NT but it’s still running on everything through XP (sometimes with system adjustments) and there’s a report that someone is using it on Vista. On Macs, it works fine through OS 9. (Intel Macs ended Hema’s compatibility.)

Drop me a line if you’re interested.