New domain and blog

New domain and blog
Please head over to my new domain to view my blog and current projects

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Online Tools

I have come across two online tools over the last few weeks which I have found really useful. I normally use offline programs to edit images, create images with transparent backgrounds and create diagrams and flow charts.

Online Developer Tools

There are some times that using an offline, installed program is not possible. Some companies restrict the type of programs that are installed, especially if they are free and open source. The reason for this list that I am going to build, is to help point people to websites that work, and also as a reminder to me when I need them again and don’t have access to my browser bookmarks.

I have also listed some of the offline tools that I use which offer a lot more functionality.

UML Diagrams and flowcharts (online):
  • is a free online diagram drawing application for workflow, BPM, org charts, UML, ER, network diagrams. There is also an addon for Google Chrome which can be found here
Image Creators and Editors (online):
  • Free Online Image Editor is an editor where you can create your own animated gifs, resize and crop images, create images with transparent backgrounds and many other image manipulation tools.
Image Creators and Editors (offline):
  • Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.
  • GIMP is a raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, resizing, cropping, photo-montages, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks.
Project Management:
  • Trello is the fastest, easiest way to organize anything, from your day-to-day work, to a favourite side project, to your greatest life plans.
  • Revert by LabVIEW Hacker is an online tool that can be used to convert vi's to previous versions of LabVIEW. This tool is still in Beta form, but works and is really useful when you don't have access to the latest version of LabVIEW.
These are the ones that I have been using and have found to be really helpful lately. Please feel free to add others to the comments and I will then update the list above.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

This blog is moving…

After running Etching Pathways for a few years, I have decided to move it to my own domain. The idea will be the same, where I post about topics that interest me and projects that I have worked on. I have been a bit quiet over the last few months, this is due to me changing jobs and trying to find a new path for my career, where I can accomplish the goals that I have set out for myself.

One of the reasons for the move, is that I am starting to venture out of permanent employment and into contracting, specifically National Instruments LabVIEW Automated Test Development. This is an area of electronics that I enjoy, where I can use tools that I believe in and support and where I think I can make a difference.

I am half way through my first contract doing test development for an RF company, and so far it is going really well. I am enjoying the work, enjoying the industry as well as enjoying the flexibility that contracting offers. 

Another area that has been taking up my time is putting together a presentation for the UK CLD Summit to be hosted at the NI UK and Ireland headquarters during May. It is a project that I have been thinking about for some time and am making some good progress. The current goal is to do angular measurements of a mirror using LabVIEW Vision Development Module. Once I have everything working and my presentation complete, I will do a more in-depth post about it.

I also have a few other ideas to write about which I hope I can put together soon. To get to my new website and blog, please head over to