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DMC Lives it Up at Day of the Dead Masquerade Ball
Grant Anderson

DMC Lives it Up at Day of the Dead Masquerade Ball

On November 4, 2017, employees of DMC and their guests attended the annual Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) masquerade ball the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago's Pilsen Neighborhood. This year's theme was "Love Never Dies." The Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead focuses on bringing family and friends together to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.  The ball, which is the culminatio...

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A Properly Pleasing Primer Tutorial for WPF Prism - Part 3:  Modules
Grant Anderson

A Properly Pleasing Primer Tutorial for WPF Prism - Part 3: Modules

In Part 2 of this series, I introduced the Shell and the Bootstrapper components of a Prism application. The stage is set. The crew's in place. It's time for Lights! Camera! Action! But first, we need to hire some actors. Modules To quote the Prism documentation itself: A module is a logical collection of functionality and resources that is packaged in a way that can be separately developed, tested, deployed, and integrated into an application. All modules contain a central c...

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A Properly Pleasing Primer Tutorial for WPF Prism - Part 2:  The Shell and Bootstrapper
Grant Anderson

A Properly Pleasing Primer Tutorial for WPF Prism - Part 2: The Shell and Bootstrapper

In Part 1 of this series, I gave a quick summary of what Prism is, and when and why you would want to use it. The remaining parts of this series will address the "how" of using it. Since this series is largely an overview, I won't cover everything you can possibly do under Prism. And since Prism is designed so that the programmer can pick and choose what functionality they need, not everything I cover here will be relevant to all applications. However, the goal is that th...

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A Properly Pleasing Primer Tutorial for WPF Prism - Part 1:  Introduction
Grant Anderson

A Properly Pleasing Primer Tutorial for WPF Prism - Part 1: Introduction

The usage of design patterns is situational. Their purpose is to reduce the overall complexity of an application or to replace unfamiliar complexity with manageable equivalents. For a sufficiently simple application, however, using patterns is often overkill. Even more so if the design pattern itself isn’t familiar to the developers that will be maintaining the code. The paradoxical upshot is usage of the pattern can actually increase the complexity if the application is simple. For exa...

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WinCC Pro Dynamization Settings:  Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Grant Anderson

WinCC Pro Dynamization Settings: Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

(With Apologies to Robert Lamm and The Chicago Transit Authority.) As I was walking down the street one day a man came up to me and asked me what the time was that was on my HMI time indicator, yeah, and I said: Uhhh...don't ask me. I seem to only be able to get a 2 second resolution on this thing. It updates like...well...clockwork, but a clock that only works at half the expected rate. Odd thing, too, since the scheduled task script I'm running to update this thing...

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VBScript Strings and Siemens HMI Smart Tags:  'Play nice, you two!'
Grant Anderson

VBScript Strings and Siemens HMI Smart Tags: 'Play nice, you two!'

String concatenation. If a programming language supports strings, it's going to support concatenating them. The means of doing so are usually straightforward and often times involve a simple library call or even a one character operator such as "+" or "&." Internal string representation typically follows one of two paradigms: either the string uses a unique terminator to signal the end of the string, or it includes within the type itself the length of the n...

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