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Installing Visual Studio 6.0 on Windows XP or Vista
Matt Puskala

Installing Visual Studio 6.0 on Windows XP or Vista

One of the more fun, and sometimes challenging aspects of working at DMC are service calls to work on legacy systems, hardware, and software. I have recently been working on a Baldor motion control system with a Visual C++ 6.0 front end. When I first joined DMC, we would implement C++ or VB 6.0 solutions quite frequently. Now we use the .NET platform, so I have not had Visual Studio 6.0 installed on my laptop for over a year. I ran into some problems during the install. Ultimately, the proble...

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Editing Underlying Data in MS SQL Reporting Service (SSRS)
Boris Cherkasskiy

Editing Underlying Data in MS SQL Reporting Service (SSRS)

In the past, DMC has used MS SQL Server Reporting Service (SSRS) on multiple projects as a web-based reporting engine. I personally liked using SSRS a lot because it allowed us to design quite complicated reports in very little time. At the same time, I wished it were possible to edit data viewed in the report, such as editing row comments. While it wasn’t possible to edit report data using the standard set of SSRS features, our team was able to find a way around this by creating a cust...

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DMC Gets Great Turnout at University of Illinois Job Fair
Tim Jager

DMC Gets Great Turnout at University of Illinois Job Fair

DMC received a record number of visitors to our booth at yesterday's job fair at the University of Illinois. In our quest to hire the best of the best, Jon Carson and I met and spoke with some really promising candidates and managed to collect almost 100 resumes. After a few minor adjustments, our ping-pong ball demo performed flawlessly throughout the day. As intended, it drew a lot of attention to our booth and hopefully helped us find our next stellar DMC engineer. In the spirit of coo...

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Boris Cherkasskiy

Populating Iconics/GraphWorX32 Drop-down list (Statefield) from VBA

If you have never heard about Genesis32 SCADA package from Iconics, this is the right time to learn more about it before we continue. I shall wait right here... Good, now you know what I am talking about. We'll talk about GraphWorX32, this is HMI graphical display application. One of the control available in GraphWorX32 is drop-down list (Statefield). This is pretty cool drop-down menu, but values on the list have to be hardcoded during screen design and can't be updated at runtime...

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Mobile Volume Measurement Device on Fork Truck a Success
David Simmons

Mobile Volume Measurement Device on Fork Truck a Success

Recently one of DMC's customers, LTS Scale, issued a press release describing the first fork-truck-mounted dimensional weighing system. DMC worked closely with this customer from the first stages of research through the development of the system and into product production, successfully delivering a flexible and robust system that met numerous design challenges along the way. The system uses a laser and camera to reconstruct a 3D environment, identifies the object being measured and returns ...

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Siemens S7 PLC Troubleshooting
Jon Carson

Siemens S7 PLC Troubleshooting

Once you are familiar with their capabilities and methodologies, Siemens PLCs have the potential to make controls programming quicker and easier than ever. With support for function blocks, text-based programming, libraries, and user defined types, Siemens lets developers attack problems with a much more object-oriented approach than traditional ladder logic programming. But for programmers and technicians less experienced with the Siemens line of PLCs, The S7 and S5 product lines often seem ove...

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Choosing the Right SharePoint Development Environment
Benjamin Zeinz

Choosing the Right SharePoint Development Environment

When developing a SharePoint solution, there are many choices of development environments to get the job done, but they are not all equal. Once you’ve figured out the purpose of the page, how many web-parts are required for that purpose, and what the inputs for each web-part are, only then can you consider which development environment is appropriate according. Imagine the following options as a kind of inverted Maslow’s hierarchy SharePoint development: Native SharePoin...

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DMC's Blog Now Features a Nifty Code Syntax Highlighter
Tim Jager

DMC's Blog Now Features a Nifty Code Syntax Highlighter

Check out the nifty new code syntax highlighter we've added to the blog.  This will make it much easier for us to post code snippets. Here's a sample c# function that is automatically formatted. Also note the handy tools on the upper right corner of the code box. Just hover your mouse over the upper right corner and you can view, copy, or print the code.  using System; namespace MyNameSpace { class HelloWorld { static void Main(string[] args) ...

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Switch Windows XP to AHCI after Installing Windows
Ken Brey

Switch Windows XP to AHCI after Installing Windows

For purposes of ghosting SysPrepped PC's it could be important to switch Windows XP to AHCI after installing Windows. We have been doing this with our Dell laptops. Our baseline SysPrep image works well on Dell Precision M65's and M4300's, which do not support AHCI. The new Dell Precision M4400's we have been ordering do. In order to not re-create the image from a fresh Windows install, I have figured out how to switch a PC from ATA to AHCI mode after Windows is installed. ...

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I2C and the .NET Micro Framework
Dan Freve

I2C and the .NET Micro Framework

It is well-known that increasing the number of pins on an integrated circuit (IC) increases its cost. To reduce the number of pins, several serial protocols have been developed to transfer data between IC's. One such protocol, I2C, uses only 2 bidirectional open-drain wires. For a recent application, I needed to write a quick class to communicate to a Newhaven LCD display over the I2C bus. I'll demonstrate how simple it was to get up and running using the Micro Framework. In a prev...

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Edmund Double-Gauss Lenses Produce Sharp Focus
Ken Brey

Edmund Double-Gauss Lenses Produce Sharp Focus

I have been working on a 3D vision application using the SICK Ranger camera. My application involves precision measurement, so I want to get the best results possible from the equipment. The Ranger came with a Fujinon 35mm lens which focused sharply in the center of the field of view. However there was significant blur near the edges. (The CMOS sensor on the Ranger is 15.4mm diagonal. That exceeds the specification of most common machine vision lenses.) I tried a Tamron 35mm lens, and ach...

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DMC White Papers Go Live
Matt Puskala

DMC White Papers Go Live

We are happy to announce a new section of our website has gone live: DMC White Papers! We have planned on adding this section ever since we revamped our website four months ago. At this point in time we have two white papers. First there is Ken Brey's discussion of optimization of a servo system for a non-linear mechanical movement. It details Ken's work for a client earlier this year to optimize a system for maximum speed without over-taxing the server/amplifier system. We get into l...

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Working with Legacy Hardware: Tips and Tricks
Danny Budzinski

Working with Legacy Hardware: Tips and Tricks

For a DMC engineer it is not atypical to be faced with outdated, legacy technology. Maybe a customer has come to us to upgrade a system that an intern did in the 90's; maybe a company's engineers have built up a system over the past decade and need help configuring or adding more pieces to it; or maybe a factory has used a controller that was made when you were in middle school and all of a sudden that controller breaks down and needs to be replicated and replaced. Regardless of the situ...

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Solution to VB and VBA problems using the FlexGrid
Ken Brey

Solution to VB and VBA problems using the FlexGrid

SyntaxHighlighter.all(); Earlier in 2009, Microsoft declared the old FlexGrid control that came with VB6 a security threat. A security patch banned its use. FlexGrid was an ActiveX control that was commonly distributed with many applications including Office. It has been widely used in Office macros. In fact, that is where this action by Microsoft caused problems at DMC. We have an automated proposal template system that uses FlexGrid. The solution is to replace the FlexGrid with a new ve...

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Empowering your PLC with IEC 61131-3
Tim Jager

Empowering your PLC with IEC 61131-3

Nobody loves catchy numeric buzzwords as much as me. I - E - C - Six - Eleven - Thirty - One - Dash - Three.... It just rolls off the tongue! OK I admit, it's a mouthful, but trust me it's worth knowing about. This is a brief intro to IEC61131-3 and the first part in a series of posts that will cover its features and benefits. So what is it? The International Electro Technical Commission (IEC) is a non-profit organization that develops standards for electrical and electronic techno...

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Customer Service Fundamentals Part V - Build Relationships & Rapport
Frank Riordan

Customer Service Fundamentals Part V - Build Relationships & Rapport

Building relationships & rapport - the final of five entries on DMC's Customer Service Fundamentals. Like all of our customer service fundamentals, this one is quite basic and it almost is self-defining in its importance. Who would argue about the value of building relationships with customers? Even for companies that sell transactional or commoditized products or services, having a solid relationship with their customers is highly beneficial. For us, where we are selling highly cu...

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CSS and How to Center Images of Unknown Size
Matt Puskala

CSS and How to Center Images of Unknown Size

When DMC launched our new website a few months ago, we were quite happy with some of the new skills and tricks we learned. One area where I learned quite a bit more, in particular, was CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, and html style tags. One issue we had to overcome involved centering images of varying or unknown size. We use a content rotator module on our website. There are numerous content rotator modules available for Dot Net Nuke. The content rotator we used comes from a company called ...

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What's New in LabVIEW 2009
Jesse Batsche

What's New in LabVIEW 2009

Over the course of NI Week in Austin, National Instruments gradually introduced and demonstrated the new features that are being implemented in the LabVIEW 2009 release. Many were logical steps forward in hardware and software development, some were long awaited and often requested functionalities or improvements, and a few were completely unexpected new features that were greeted with ooohs and aaahs and applause by the convention audience. Here's a quick run-down of some of the features I ...

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Darren Jones

Serious Bug in MS Word 2007: Doc Variables Turn To Garbage

I'm happy to say the solution has been found for a frustrating Microsoft Word bug. Problem: Any Word 2007 document that uses Doc Variables will corrupt those values when the file is saved (yeah, nice). Anyone who has written custom macros that manipulate Doc Variables will run into this. Cause: A security update (KB969604) first caused this problem to surface. Solution: Microsoft Hot Fix ID KB970942. There is a link at the top that will bring you a form for requesting the fix via em...

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Capture the Browser Back Button - JavaScript Snippets
Danny Budzinski

Capture the Browser Back Button - JavaScript Snippets

It’s a common problem: “I have an ASP .Net data entry form and all of my users are mad at me because they closed their browser and they lost their unsaved data!” If I had a dollar for every time I had to re-enter my shipping address because I used my back button when the site creator didn’t want me to… well I’d have enough dollars to make the mistake a few more times, probably buying robot parts on SparkFun . Amazingly though, adding JavaScript code to ...

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