Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tools of The Trade - Part 1

Before I officially start my first project on this blog, I decided to set up an environment first. There were many projects before this blog but were never properly documented (except chicken scratch on Realtor note pads and mad scientist looking thingamabobs).

For my first post (and first part of this series) I will talk about the different tools I am using as well as the ones I am evaluating.

Office Tools:

  • Windows 7 64bit
    • I already have a machine set up with it and it's paid for, so yeah.
  • Libre Office
    • I actually own Office 2007 but I do not own Visio at home (I use the hell out of it at work). LibreOffice offers all Office can do plus they have Draw which is a Visio equivalent. I played around with it a bit and I think I can make it work for my needs. I'll see if I can do without Office and go all in Libre
  • Google Drive
    • It's a nice feature to have all your files synced together. I typically work on multiple machines and platforms (iPad/Android/Windows). Drive gives me all this plus they have a neat desktop application that keeps a specified folder always synced. I get 15 GB free as of this writing, not bad.
  • Google Chrome
    • As mentioned above I work on multiple machines and platforms so having a browser with all my bookmarks synced is a beautiful thing.
  • GitHub:
    • I will use Git for source control and GitHub to keep all my source files. This will include SOFTware | FIRMware | HARDware. This is my G-Hub spot

SOFTware Development:

  • SharpDevelop
    • I love C# and .NET is pretty useful. I use M'soft Visual Studios Express but I'm liking SharpDevelop more lately. I'm still new to the IDE but so far it has impressed me. I also plan to use this IDE for Python and IronPython.

FIRMware Development:

  • This is still to be determined. It all depends on which FPGA (with hard/soft core) or uC I chose. This will be talked about on a separate post.


  • I am in the process of choosing a tool. This will be discussed in a separate post.


  • FreeCAD
    • I will need a 3D CAD modeler. I have used SolidWorks at work and in other projects, but this is a home project with no budget, so open source it is. I played around with it a bit and so far so good.
  • OpenModelica
    • Like Matlab Simulink. Opensource Model based algorithm development/simulation
  • Scilab
    • Similar to OpenModelica, also opensource.
  • RapidMiner
    • They have a free version (typically one series lower then current). This is my holy grail of machine learning, data analysis, predictive algorithms, etc. This is a must for engineers.

No comments:

Post a Comment