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A microcomputer‐multichannel analyzer (MCA) system was assembled to obtain foreground‐background performance in data collection and analysis for x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The MCA performs pulse counting analysis, while the microcomputer is free to evaluate previously down‐loaded data or perform other computing functions. No special interfacing hardware is required beyond single digital to analog (D/A), and analog to digital (A/D) converters. Analysis and computing time is optimized with a minimum interfacing expense.