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A system for data acquisition for imaging instruments utilizing a computer network was created. Two versions of this system, both with the same basic design, were separately installed in conjunction with an electron microscope and a clinical ultrasound device. They serve the functions of data acquisition and data server to manage and to transfer images from these instruments. The virtues of this system are its simplicity of design, universality, cost effectiveness, ease of management, security for data, and instrument protection. This system, with little or no modification, may be used in conjunction with a broad range of data acquiring instruments in scientific, industrial, and medical laboratories. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.