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Entries for the 'Custom Hardware and Software' Category

Sorting in JavaScript: Handling Google Chrome's Unstable Sort
Christopher Olsen

Sorting in JavaScript: Handling Google Chrome's Unstable Sort

(NOTE: There is sample code to go along with this article.) In web applications, a task that often needs to be performed is the sorting of arrays. If you're anything like me, you often use the Array.prototype.sort method to accomplish this task. And who could blame you? It's short, it's easy, its implementation is performant, and it works exactly the way you want it to most of the time. As you can see in the code pictured below, all we have to do is call the "sort" ...

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Recovering Missing Library Components in Altium Designer
Ryan Taylor

Recovering Missing Library Components in Altium Designer

Have you ever opened an Altium project only to discover that a Footprint or Schematic Library file is missing? Maybe your coworker forgot to commit the files to version control, or forgot to include them in the .zip file before leaving for vacation. If so, have no fear: you can recover the footprints easily and automatically. Schematic Library From the Schematic Editor, select Design -> Make Schematic Library. Altium will convert each component on your schematic into a library compon...

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Creating an Augmented Reality (AR) Demo with the Vuforia Studio Pilot Program
Cecilia Brookshier

Creating an Augmented Reality (AR) Demo with the Vuforia Studio Pilot Program

Augmented Reality (AR) has been booming the past couple of months, especially with the deployment of Pokémon Go. If you're not familiar with it, Pokémon Go is a mobile app that encourages its users to walk around the real world in order to capture virtual Pokémon characters. Aside from making a very addicting mobile phone application, AR is now being considered in industrial settings. It can be used to diagnose and troubleshoot machinery, or provide visual instructions for assem...

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Dynamic Printf in Atollic TrueSTUDIO v.6.0.0
Ji-hoon Kim

Dynamic Printf in Atollic TrueSTUDIO v.6.0.0

Atollic has recently released TrueStudio v6.0.0, their most recent major update to the TrueSTUDIO IDE. The update comes with new features such as support for CMSIS-pack, updates to the build analyzer, and an interesting debugging tool that Atollic calls “dynamic printf” which we’ll look at today. A dynamic printf is a hybrid between a traditional breakpoint and a printf() function. Essentially, it’s a printf() that you can insert into the code like a breakpoint, even d...

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6 Tips for LabVIEW UI and UX Design
Steven Dusing

6 Tips for LabVIEW UI and UX Design

At NIWeek this year, there were a few sessions that I really enjoyed focusing on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design in LabVIEW. I take a personal interest in designing intuitive and aesthetic interfaces for my applications. Here are a few tips I learned from NIWeek. #1: Classic, Flat Controls Modern user interfaces tend to use flat or semi-flat UI graphics. Flat design became popular around 2012.  By this time, users were more comfortable with digital mediums than sim...

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Coffee, Internet Buttons and Slack
Andrew Griesemer

Coffee, Internet Buttons and Slack

In a recent blog I detailed how I designed a case for a button that people can press to notify the office via Slack that a fresh pot of coffee has been brewed. Now for the fun part, the programming. This project uses the Particle Photon and the Internet Button. Particle's hardware and development environment makes easy IoT projects like this a breeze. There are three components to the code that we'll need to put together: The Slack webook that ...

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Querying the Active Directory
Christopher Olsen

Querying the Active Directory

While developing a .NET application, you may find that you need to access data that is stored in the Active Directory (AD). In these cases, if you’re not experienced with querying the AD, you may be tempted to create a copy of the data you need into a SQL database – however, this would amount to unnecessary data redundancy. Fortunately, pulling data from the AD and using it in your application is much easier than you might think, and allows you to maintain data integrity by keepin...

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How to Use FANUC PC Developer's Kit (PCDK)
Frank May

How to Use FANUC PC Developer's Kit (PCDK)

FANUC offers an easy way to command and configure a robot from a PC using their PC Developer's Kit (PCDK).The kit allows a PC to access variables, registers, IO, programs, positions, and alarms on the robot. Most of the help documentation already covers Visual Basic, so I'll explain how to get started with C#. Installation First step is to install Visual Studio. Visual Studio Community is free and works perfectly for this application. After installing Visual Studio, go...

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The Product Development Process: How to Bring Your Product to Market
Tim Jager

The Product Development Process: How to Bring Your Product to Market

Have you ever had a product design idea? Our engineers created this overview of the product development process to demystify how to bring your product to market.  Learn more about DMC's Custom Software and Hardware Development services.

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DMC Selected to Join Microsoft’s Azure IoT Red Carpet Program
Rick Rietz

DMC Selected to Join Microsoft’s Azure IoT Red Carpet Program

DMC is proud to join Microsoft’s new Azure IoT Red Carpet Program. Partners are individually selected by Microsoft and invited to join the program based on their expertise and proven success in implementing IoT solutions.  By joining, DMC will be listed in Microsoft’s IoT Partner Directory, and gains access to exclusive resources including engineering, marketing, and sales support. This also includes access to a private network of IoT partners to share insight as the Internet...

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Exploring Altium: Using Design Variants
Ryan Taylor

Exploring Altium: Using Design Variants

One of my absolute favorite things about embedded design is watching a product evolve over the development cycle. From unboxing the first prototype all the way to the release of the deluxe commercial model, each revision of the design poses new and interesting challenges. One of these challenges is managing each revision of the electrical schematic and PCB layout in a way that minimizes human error and maximizes automation. Altium Designer has an excellent tool to assist the embedded engineer...

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Reducing Altium Designer's Hard Drive Usage
Ryan Taylor

Reducing Altium Designer's Hard Drive Usage

Have you noticed your hard drive usage climbing steadily when working with Altium Designer? Here's how you can reduce the disk footprint for each of your PCB projects. Every time you manually save a schematic sheet or PCB design, Altium saves a local, compressed copy. You can compare between versions from the Storage Manager tab and manually delete versions that you no longer care about. This is generally a useful feature; however, if you are already using a version control tool (like Git...

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Connecting Custom Applications to the Factory Floor
Jon Carson

Connecting Custom Applications to the Factory Floor

DMC has expertise in both industrial and PC-based software development. In other words, we do a great deal of projects involving PLCs; but we also write plenty of complex PC-based apps. But my personal favorites are projects that combine the two. We’re seeing them more and more. Don’t get me wrong, off the shelf solutions are great, and should be used wherever they make sense. But sometimes they don’t fit all of the requirements our customers need. Here are some examples I&r...

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Lunch for Business: A Better Way to Lunch
Lyndon Sapozhnik

Lunch for Business: A Better Way to Lunch

DMC had a lunch problem. When noon rolled around, someone would inevitably decide they wanted to go to Chipotle. They’d get up from their desk and circle around the office, asking everyone they saw if they wanted to jump on the Chipotle train. But “everyone” wasn’t actually everyone, since everyone isn’t necessarily at their desk at 11:58 AM. Some people would be on the phone, others in collaboration rooms. Perhaps they’d even be on the other side of the offic...

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Visual Studio 2015 Debugging Tips
Sam Weber

Visual Studio 2015 Debugging Tips

We had a great summer here at DMC's Chicago office. We got to watch the Air and Water Show at Belmont Harbor, go to the Circus, drink on a boat, and play some beach volleyball. However, for a .NET developer like me the real highlight of the summer was the release of Visual Studio 2015. VS2015 was released officially on July 20th, and over the past several weeks I've gotten a chance to dig into it and explore all of the great new features. This new version of Visual Studio includes many i...

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Introduction to Bluetooth
Alex Krejcie

Introduction to Bluetooth

With the wide adoption of smartphones and the attractive market for the Internet of Things (IOT) and other accessories, Bluetooth connectivity has made its way into many products and most people’s daily life. In the last five years there has likewise been rapid advances in the Bluetooth protocol and its integration in devices. Beyond the consumer applications most people think of when Bluetooth is mentioned, the technology has also proven its worth in the Industrial IoT (IIoT). Thi...

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Automating Web Development - Tools
August Karlstedt

Automating Web Development - Tools

I’ve been working on a new DNN skin for a while now and much progress is being made. Along the way, I’ve learned about tools that can help speed up website development drastically. In this blog post, I’ll give an overview of these tools and how to use them by themselves and together to harness the power of automation and simplify development tasks. Tools Ruby Sass (or Less) Node.js npm Bower Grunt or gulp Ruby We won’t be using Ruby as a program...

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How to Make and Test Your First Android App in Android Studio, FAST!
Frank May

How to Make and Test Your First Android App in Android Studio, FAST!

Android Studio is Google's free IDE for making Android apps and replaces Eclipse as the primary IDE for making Android apps.  In this less than 10 minute video, I'll show you how to: Install Android Studio (along with the Java Development Kit) Design a simple "Hello World" app Test the app on a Virtual Device Attach a real device to your computer and test the app there Fix common installation problems Learn more about DMC's custom softwar...

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RESTful Logins
Jack Cosgrove

RESTful Logins

If you are constructing a web application, you will probably have to create a login page that generates a user session. If you are not aware, RESTful (representational state transfer) URLs are considered best practice for internet applications. As a general rule (only to be broken under duress), RESTful URLs should be nouns, while the HTTP method is the verb. For example, if you want to see a user profile page and the user ID is 8, then a RESTful URL would be https://host/users/8/. “users&...

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Nobel Committee Recognizes Inventors of Blue LED
Ken Brey

Nobel Committee Recognizes Inventors of Blue LED

I want to congratulate the Nobel Committee for recognizing the inventors of the Blue LED - a truly transformative technology. As an engineer working with machine vision systems I have been using LED lighting longer than most people. LEDs are great for their brightness, strobing capabilities, and consistent intensity over a long product life. The first time I saw a blue LED was in a trade show in 1998. One booth of lighting equipment has a light that was a brilliant deep blue. I asked the man ...

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