What this application is:

This application is a Perl script packaged as a Windows executable file or Mac OS X application. The underlying script in the Windows version is exactly the same as that used in the Mac OS X apps. Each app is a stand-alone program that does not need to be installed, you can simply run it from a USB drive or its current directory. You do not need to have administrative permission* or any other required programs installed for the script to run.

The Windows app will install into the ‘Program Files’ / ‘Program Files (x86)’ folders by default. If you do not have permission to write to these directories, you can choose to install it into any folder you have permission to modify. On Mac OS X, the installer application attempts to write the app to the Applications folder. This does require administrative permissions. However, on OS X or Windows, the program itself should run just fine if you simply copy it off of a USB drive into your Home folder rather than using the installer app. Hide Note

What this application does:

The app is designed to automate processing of data files generated by the VitalView circadian behavioral monitoring system. Exported data from VitalView is converted into a form that ClockLab can import.

How to use this application:

Short answer: Drag a folder full of data files onto the program icon. The app will generate a folder with a new file containing all the processed data. The output file(s) can be opened directly in ClockLab to view or analyze the data That’s it.

On Mac OS X, the app opens a small program window that will accept dropped files. On Windows, the program window has buttons to select and process files or folders. On both platforms, the program window will remain open until you quit the program.

Long answer: Any files or folders dropped on the app will be searched for matching data files. The VitalView Splitter app specifically accepts ASCII text (.asc) files (these are the default file types output by the VitalView behavioral testing equipment).

Matching files are scanned to extract data. All extracted data is processed to reorganize it by subject ID and type of data, and then processed data for each subject/behavior type is written to an output file. The output file(s) will be placed in a folder named ‘Processed’, inside the original data folder. If you dropped more than one folder full of data on the app, each of these folders will get its own output folder. If output files have the same name as existing files, the output file is renamed (for example, “file.asc” would be renamed “file1.asc”) – nothing is overwritten.

The output file(s) are saved as ASCII text (.asc) files. You can open these directly into ClockLab to view or analyze them.

A note on versions:

There are two versions of this app: 32-bit versions for older operating systems (Windows XP / Mac OS 10.5 and below), and 64-bit versions for newer systems (Windows 7 / Intel Macs running 10.6 or higher). As of current builds, 32 bit versions for Mac OS X have been dropped. Older versions will still work, and will remain available here, but no new features will be added. Decision to cease updating 32 bit Mac versions is primarily due to lack of access to PowerPC Macs on which to build the software. On Windows, 32-bit versions will continue to be updated as some of the data collection systems used with these utilities run on 32 bit hardware. These versions should be named ‘VitalView Splitter 32’, while 64-bit versions are ‘VitalView Splitter’. If in doubt, try the 32-bit versions. 64-bit versions will not run if your system cannot support them, but 32-bit should run anywhere.


The Perl script underlying this app was written by Joshua Nixon. Program icons were created by Joshua Nixon. App was packaged for Windows using Cava Packager, and for Mac OS X using Platypus. Installer script for OS X was written by Joshua Nixon and packaged using Platypus. Installer for Windows was built using NSIS.

Questions/Comments/Bug Reports:

Contact Dr. Nixon (nixon049@umn.edu, DrNixon.net) if you have a question or encounter any issues.