Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics

A NIH research center for biomedical fluorescence spectroscopy at the University of California, Irvine


This document pertains to the old version of Globals Unlimited. The software has been completely rewritten and released as Globals for Spectroscopy.

Globals Unlimited Software for MS-DOS

Globals Unlimited © is a data analysis software program that runs on any PC-compatible computer with DOS version 5.0, or newer, expanded memory, a 80x87 math coprocessor, and at least 590K of free lower memory. This tremendous, user friendly software is available for sale to the public due to the efforts of Enrico Gratton of the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics (LFD) and Joseph M. Beechem.

Software Features

  • access to ISS, SLM, CFS, and ASCII data types
  • supports plotters, dot matrix and laser printers
  • protected mode version for 386/486 PCs
  • 40 experiments, 120 fitting parameters
  • Marquardt and Simplex minimization
  • extended 2-D and 3-D graphics
  • single and double index linking
  • easy to use graphic interface
  • rigorous error analysis
  • context sensitive help

Software Capabilities

  • time domain
  • frequency domain
  • stopped flow kinetics
  • photon migration analysis
  • anisotropy decay analysis
  • sum of exponential decay rates
  • continuous distribution of decay rates
  • discrete or distributed rotational rates
  • discrete or distributed quenching processes
  • anisotropy decay with energy transfer
  • excited-state reactions and energy transfer
  • associative and non-associative decay rate
  • extensive linking capabilities, function and tables


  • Beginning in 1988, the copyrighted and trademark protected software was offered for sale to the scientific community by the University of Illinois through the Globals Unlimited Sales Division, administered by Julia K. Wright.
  • Commercial distributors who have purchased the software include ISS, Inc. (Champaign); Instruments SA, Inc. (New Jersey); Europhoton GmBh (Germany); and SLM-AMINCO (New York).
  • GLOBALS UNLIMITED software is furnished only under a Commercial or an End User license or nondisclosure agreement.
  • Pricing information: $1995 per unit, includes software and User Manual; Shipping and handling/per order: $50; Technical Reference Manual: $50 (plus Illinois sales taxes, when applicable).

Each GLOBALS UNLIMITED software package contains

  • the entire, current software for the analysis of frequency-domain OR time-domain data and
  • a User Manual.

A Technical Reference Manual is also available for purchase. The Globals Unlimited software and manuals are subject to change without notice and do not represent a commitment on the part of the University of Illinois. The software described in this document is furnished only under a license agreement or nondisclosure agreement. The software may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of the agreement. It is against the law to copy Globals Unlimited on magnetic tape, disk, or any other medium for any purpose other than the purchaser's personal use. Following are the updates that have been incorporated into the program since the last printing of the User Manual.

Detailed Information

GLOBALS UNLIMITED consists of two major parts, the SHELL and the KERNEL. The SHELL program is an interactive program, designed to assist the user establish the necessary information required to perform a global multiple (or single) experiment analysis of a data set. The SHELL also performs all of the graphics output that results from an analysis. The SHELL operates for both the frequency-domain and time-domain analyses.

 Globals Shell and Kernel

The KERNEL program is the section of code that performs the non-linear global minimization. The user interacts directly with the SHELL program. Within the SHELL, one establishes all the various inputs required to perform an analysis (i.e., names and number of data sets) to be analyzed, photophysical model, type of error analysis, simulation or analysis, etc. When all of the information required by the SHELL program has been input, a global non-linear analysis can be performed. The initial output of the SHELL program is an ASCII file (my.ans) which contains the information necessary to perform a global analysis. Advanced users may bypass the input aspects of the SHELL program by directly creating the MY.ANS file for very complicated models and linkages. When performing a non-linear analysis, either the MINIGLOBAL minimization KERNEL or the GLOBAL minimization KERNEL can be used.

The MINIGLOBAL KERNEL is an analysis program that operates only in the frequency-domain. It should be used for relatively small analyses (<15 experiments). For very large analyses, the GLOBAL minimization KERNEL should be used. The results of fits using either analysis should yield nearly identical results. Upon completion of the non-linear GLOBAL minimization, the GLOBAL KERNEL outputs a series of ASCII files that the LFDG SHELL automatically reads and graphically displays. Also, the answer file, MY.ANS, is updated with the values obtained from the fit. If the results are acceptable, i.e., good chisquare, residuals, sharp confidence intervals, etc., a hard-copy report can be produced that completely describes the particular analysis. If the model does not fit the data well enough, the user should fit the data with alternate models or linkage schemes by altering the decay scheme. This process can be repeated indefinitely until a satisfactory set of models is recovered.

The GLOBAL KERNEL is provided for 386 and higher Intel© processors only. Version DOS 5.0 or newer must be installed on your computer. The LFDG SHELL and MINIGLOBAL run on any PC compatible with at least 590K of free lower memory and requires a 80x 87 math coprocessor. If you don't know the amount of memory available when LDFG is scheduled, type ALT O from the LFDG main menu. This command takes you to the DOS shell. Type CHKDSK to check the available memory when LFDG is loaded. If the total lower memory is less than 580K (100K are required by LFDG.EXE), LFDG will not run all the subprograms properly.

The Globals Unlimited program is continuously updated as the developers become aware or receive special requests for enhancements from users of the analysis program. (See the Globals Unlimited Updates, or the GLOBAL KERNEL the following versions are available:

	             Para-	         Data
Program name  meters   Files  points  Memory    Comments
MF386.exe     200     40	75	1MB	frequency domain         
HF386.exe     605    200	75	4MB	frequency domain         
ST386.exe      80      7	1k	1MB	time domain              
MT386.exe     160     40	1k	2MB	time domain              
LT386.exe     160     40	4k	4.5MB	time domain              
HT386a.exe    160     30 8k  7MB	time domain              
HT386b.exe    640    160	1k 	7MB	time domain              

All the above programs require expanded memory. You need to install an expanded memory manager and you need to specify the minimum memory necessary for each version. Alternatively, you can remove all memory managers. The global kernel will install its own manager. This expanded memory manager will grab all the available memory and assign it to expanded memory. If at a later time you run programs requiring extended memory (not expanded), those programs will not be able to run. Therefore, it is advisable that you install an expanded memory manager, assign the required memory to it, and reserve the rest for programs requiring expanded memory. All global kernels run in the 386 protected mode. If you are scheduling LFDG from inside Windows, you must specify protected mode operation and use an expanded memory manager.

Example of CONFIG.SYS file for DOS 5.0 systems

   devicehigh=c:\dos\emm386.exe 2048 /ram

The last line specifies that 2 MB of expanded memory are reserved. Of course more memory is necessary for the larger version of the global kernel.