Hardware & Software
...some of the Hardware and Software I use all the time when I'm making
Prusa i3 mk3 3D printer
The CCD/2 is a '2D' CNC Router. It handles all sorts of materials including FR4 (PCBs), aluminium, acrylics & all sorts of plastics.
It has manual tool change and a bed size of around 240mm x 300mm - plenty big enough for most of my projects.
Mostly, I use it to isolation route my prototype PCBs before I have them batch-made in Canada. Quick, easy and accurate enough even for 4532 / 1812 SMD placement.
It's great making name plates etc. It's even been successfully used to route 5mm aluminium plate ( !! ) for welding some brackets on a project.
The Prusa i3 mk3 has been fantastic.
3D printing isn't spectacularly fast BUT it does allow me to test a design in PLA, ABS or some flexible material before committing to a machine shop which is fantastic in itself. It's also an indispensable tool for making enclosures, boxes, brackets, battery holders... and my R2D2 robot !
I'm sure it's going to get hammered during an upcoming project I have planned - converting a petrol 50cc scooter to electric.
I supported LiveCode during a KickStarter and have used it ever since. It is my 'go-to' IDE for PC, Mac and portable app development. Quick'n'dirty test apps to full blown client apps - simply brilliant and getting better all the time.
I used Sketchup (Google) back in Race-Viewer days to project media logos onto yacht sails at various points of the wind. I fell out of touch but re-visited in 2017 when starting R2D2. Superb. It's now owned by Trimble.
A friend introduced me to VB when I started with Nav-Trax for the Navy. I oved on to .NET as it became necessary. Nav-Trax, Race-Trax and Race-Viewer were all written (to a greater or lesser extent) in VB.
I found Easy PC when starting out with the ERDALL tracker / logger PCB. Inexpensive, excellent, flexible PCB design software and INCREDIBLY PATIENT & HELPFUL tech. support. My PCB design software of choice.
C / C++
There are some things that my language-of-choice for a particular project simply can't handle fast enough or have access to - hence C. I'll stay well away if possible but from time-to-time... needs must...
Open source CAD software that I use from time-to-time to visualise a design and keep track of a bread-board prototype before I switch to Easy PC for the final design & manufacturing gerbers. There are a few images on the site made with Fritzing. Very useful.
When I first started programming AVRs for the Nav-Trax tracking solution I began with AVR Studio and C... then I found Bascom AVR - it's worth every penny and there's not much it can't handle, so much less 'C'... result !
Corona / LUA
During Race-Trax / Race-Viewer development I spent a long time looking and testing so-called cross-platform frameworks to develop once and deploy 'everywhere'. At that time Corona simply didn't cut it for me...
Following on from Corona/LUA (around the same time) I came across a framework based on Ruby (can't remember the name). I liked Ruby but, like Corona, the framework didn't meet my expectations. I like Ruby, occasionally, I still use it with Sketchup.
Similar in some ways to LiveCode (cross-platform development) but very expensive to keep updated. Both the Race-Viewer server software and my web-sites (at the time) were written with the Win-Dev and Web-Dev suites from PC Soft.