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A flexible electronic setup on a PC platform and the software implementation in Windows Microsoft environment, for a multipurpose head for scanning probe microscopy (SPM), has been developed. The integrated, multiapplication data acquisition system is linked to a PC-Pentium controller, through a digital I/O board, and consists of: (i) an asynchronous acquisition for real time removal of following error from SPM images; (ii) a three-axes, computer controlled micropositioning stage; (iii) software for electronic control, data acquisition, and graphics elaboration performed through subroutines of Visual Basic (Visual Basic Programming System Professional edition for Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation, USA.), and PV-WAVE personal edition. (PV-WAVE Personal edition for Windows is a registered trademark of Visual Numerics, USA.) © 1997 American Institute of Physics.