A quick Saturday programming project: VB Converter

After the attention my Tindie store had recently, I ran out of envelopes. I was thinking of ordering a bulk of envelopes and supplies from Uline in the hopeful case that my store continues on. The Uline site uses inches which I don’t use often because I’m Canadian. I found that having tabs open to convert the length and widths of different products was getting too cumbersome so I decided to write up a quick program in Visual Studio. It turned out to be a whole Saturday of overthinking it. It happens every time I program in VS…
screenshotIt originally started with just the small conversion window but since I was converting two values at a time (lengths and widths of envelopes), I wanted a way to save those conversions so I could see both values at the same time and compare between different sizes. That’s where the History & Saved window came from. It uses My.Settings to save a few things, including up to 6 conversions.

It currently does conversions between inches and centimetres, and mils and millimeters (I use millimeters in Eagle). That’s all I really need right now. It shouldn’t be too hard to add more conversions later on if it’s ever necessary.

Check it out on GitHub if you’re interested in trying it out!

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EERef: Wrapping it up

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The Electronics Engineering Reference program is a personal project that started back in March of 2014. Over the weeks, it expanded with the addition of new topics, calculators, and tutorials, and the Quiz Center. It also went through major design changes that changed both the color scheme and layout of the program.

This project, like all of my projects so far, have been for fun. I take on these different projects to experiment with things I already know and to keep learning more. I’ve learned a lot from this project in both design and function and so I think it’s time to move on. I still have a list of things I would have liked to add to the program, but with pretty low public usage, I don’t have much motivation to continue. With that, the version now available (2.1.0.1) is the final build, unless something comes up. You can make requests for features by commenting on this blog post that could maybe possibly reopen this project.

Thank you for using EERef.

EERef Version 2.1 now available!

I think I’m rushing updates too much so I think I’m going to take a break from EERef…

Anyways, I’ve added two new tabs: Arduino and Pinouts. They’re both reference material that I think is handy to have for quick offline access. I tried to make it so that you get the information you most likely need without having to scroll through pages of a datasheet.

The other “new” thing is that there will be an update notification when the program starts if there is an update available. It’s a little more aggressive now because I feel it’s more important to get updates out with the new pinout material. (Yes, I know people don’t care much about this program to even think it has something like update notifications, but let me play a little.)

Get it now!

 

Updates on EERef and other stuff

I feel like I have been neglecting this blog and I really don’t want it to see the way of my past blogs where they just disappear. This is easily the longest running blog I’ve ever had. The blog will celebrate a year at the end of July.

I’ve been in a lull when it comes to planning new projects. I don’t have any money to spend for new parts so all I can do right now is work with what I have. That’s why I’ve been enjoying my time in Visual Studio with my Electronics Engineering Reference program, because VS is free. I’m currently working on a minor build update (2.1) that will have a couple new sections, including one that has the pinouts to common parts like microcontroller chips and voltage regulators. I hope to have that done by the end of the week.

In case you missed my recent light show “performance”, it’s up on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. As with every light show version I make, I go weeks without touching it… so I’d expect the next show in a month’s time…

Finally, I’ve been thinking of doing another revisit to the Light Timer/Automation project. The system only uses two I/O pins so the Attiny85 would be perfect for it. It’s been running for months now and the only issue I have with it is that the lights could be slightly dimmer, which is easy to fix in the programming. Hopefully I’ll get on this project soon enough. Right now, I have a lot of focus on my EERef program.

Thanks for visiting!

EERef Version 2.0 now available!

compareI am happy to announce a major update release of my Electronics Engineering Reference Windows program! The past few minor updates have been focused on the design but I felt like I was going in the wrong direction. Version 2 is a shift to a completely new design and layout. It’s a lot more polished this time around.

new1Each section now has a dedicated window with everything, including the tutorials. Pretty much everything is contained in the main program window so there’s no reason to open a bunch of other smaller windows. Removing those windows actually shaved off a third of the program’s file size.

The new design allows for the program window to be resized and maximized. There are just a couple sections that will stretch with it, but the ones that don’t really don’t need to.
new2I was going for that “flat” UI that’s trending these days. There’s a lot of Segoe UI font in there so hopefully you have it installed on your PC.

Besides the new design, a new feature is the Essential Formulas section which is just a quick reference to basic formulas. I hope to continue building on it to make it larger and to include calculators. I also fixed a bug in the number systems calculator that told you there was an overflow error if the result was 1.

Download it now!

EERef v1.3 now available!

1A new number systems calculator is added in this update where you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers that are in different number systems. This tab was actually in the last couple of updates but hidden because it was incomplete. I started over and was able to work it all out.

As you’ve seen in the recent updates, I’ve been working on the look of the program. The Message boxes for the number systems calculators that tell you if there is an issue with your input is now color coded as purple. I’ve changes some fonts and the look of the buttons around the program.

Download it now!

EERef Version 1.2 now available!

1Version 1.2 update is made up of two parts. The first part is that there’s color added throughout the program, with background colors for content areas and gradient backgrounds for titles. The colors do add some consistency and wayfinding in the layout (blue for input, orange for instructions, green for results, reds for tutorial), although it does get a little mixed up in other areas of the program. More tweaks to the new color additions will come in a maintenance update in the future.2The second part is a big refresh of the quiz feature, introduced in version 1.1. The EERef Quiz Center has a fresh look and a new points system that will hopefully make it more attractive to use. I’ve also added a new Logic Operations quiz to the collection with more to come as the program gets more content.

Download it now!

PS. As you may come across in the program, this update is dedicated to a colleague of mine who passed away suddenly last Thursday. I felt like I should put a note in the program because I started working on this update that same day.