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Episodes

  • 043 VISL What to see at NIWeek 2014

    Jul 31, 2014 | 56 min
    Are you excited about NIWeek? Here at VI Shots, we definitely are and to prepare you for what's to come. I assembled 3 session speakers for you to talk about their sessions and what to expect. I also go through a run-down of some sessions that I recommend. There are also some activities that are not part of the official schedule which we talk about as well. You can watch the video below or listen to the audio above. To get notified of future VI Shots Live episodes, please join the mailing list at vishots.com/subscribe. What to do and see at NIWeek 2014 Link to session scheduler. You can search the scheduler for the titles below or by speaker. Recommended Sessions: Tips and Tricks for Highly ...
  • 042 VISP NI VirtualBench Packs 5 Essential Lab Benchtop Instruments in One

    Jul 21, 2014 | 24 min
    NI recently announced a small form factor instrument that packs a punch called VirtualBench. I interviewed Chris Delvizis, a Senior Product Manager at National Instruments about this new hardware. Aside from containing several instruments essential to a typical benchtop lab setup. It also works right out of the box with built-in software for the PC that loads when you plug in the USB cable. The NI VirtualBench iPad app is now available. Click the player above to listen to this weeks podcast episode, where we break down what VirtualBench is and if it's the right hardware for you. Functionality: Mixed-Signal Oscilloscope Digital Multimeter Function Generator Programmable DC Power Supply Digita...
  • 041 VISL Actor Oriented Development in LabVIEW

    Jul 16, 2014 | 64 min
    The Actor Framework, is a LabVIEW framework that has a growing following. It allows you to build powerful applications that can contain asynchronous processes and allow them to communicate in a more robust manner. Jack Dunaway and I talk with Allen Smith, Dr. James Powell and Dave Snyder about what exactly is the Actor Framework and how they've been using it in their work. You can watch the video below or listen to the audio above. To get notified of future VI Shots Live episodes, please join the mailing list. Links to content mentioned: Actor Framework Community
  • 040 VISL The LabVIEW Nomad

    Apr 6, 2014 | 63 min
    How do you support your LabVIEW applications remotely? Have you found the right tools and methods that make your job easier? In this episode of VI Shots Live, we look at some of the benefits and pitfalls of remote collaboration and support. Jack Dunaway and I talk with Fabiola De La Cueva and Justin Goeres on the topic of being a remote developer. You can watch the video below or listen to the audio above. Listen to the end of the audio recording for a funny behind the scenes moment from the podcast version. To get notified of future VI Shots episodes, please join the mailing list at vishots.com/subscribe. Past episodes of VI Shots Live Links to tools I recommend: Collaboration Tools Google ...
  • 039 Paintball Picasso with LabVIEW

    Mar 27, 2014 | 23 min
    Waterloo labs is at it again with another creative project that merges LabVIEW, NI hardware and the maker mind-set. How about standing in front of 3 paintball guns as they automatically “draw” an outline of you? How about if the software controlling them was written by an NI intern? It turns out, this system is pretty smart and fun. Check out the video below and then listen to the interview above I gave with Hunter Smith who mentored several members of Waterloo Labs throughout this project. In the interview we discuss in detail the hardware and software used and developed. Hunter also talks to some of the challenges encountered.
  • 039 VISP Paintball Picasso with LabVIEW

    Mar 17, 2014 | 23 min
    Waterloo labs is at it again with another creative project that merges LabVIEW, NI hardware and the maker mind-set. How about standing in front of 3 paintball guns as they automatically "draw" an outline of you? How about if the software controlling them was written by an NI intern? It turns out, this system is pretty smart and fun. Check out the video below and then listen to the interview above I gave with Hunter Smith who mentored several members of Waterloo Labs throughout this project. In the interview we discuss in detail the hardware and software used and developed. Hunter also talks to some of the challenges encountered. Links to Content mentioned: Waterloo Labs Paintball Picasso NI ...
  • 038 LabVIEW Consulting Panel Discussion

    Mar 2, 2014 | 58 min
    I’d like to thank everyone for the positive feedback on our first VI Shots live, both in personal emails and also on our Google+ page. We’re back with a new live episode which was recorded on Feb. 26, 2014. You can listen to the podcast version of the show above or watch the embedded video below. Our guests this episode: David Thomson who’s based in Colorado, is the founder of and systems Integrator at Original Code Consulting, which provides LabVIEW programming and system integration all the way from device drivers to complete systems. Dave is also a LabVIEW Champion since 2005. Dave runs a user group meeting in Colorado, the Advanced LabVIEW Architects of the Rocky Mountains (ALARM). Neil ...
  • 037 Agile Development Principles

    Feb 20, 2014 | 55 min
    We’ve all heard of the Agile Software development methodology; but how many of us are actually using these principles while developing LabVIEW code? My guest, John Sextro is an Agile coach and an expert in the field of Agile Software development. Listen to this episode of the VI Shots podcast where I ask John about the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, and we walk through the 12 principles behind the Agile manifesto. This conversation is just the beginning of an exploration of this topic. I’m planning on having John back on in the future to discuss Scrum, which is the leading agile development methodology. I believe LabVIEW is by-design, a language that can thrive within an Agile dev...
  • 036 Sustainable Careers in LabVIEW

    Feb 20, 2014 | 52 min
    I’ve started something new here with Jack Dunaway from Wirebird Labs. We’ve decided to host monthly Google hangout sessions to discuss the business of software engineering with LabVIEW. The first one this month was held on Jan 29th, 2014 and was called: Sustainable Careers in LabVIEW. You can listen to the podcast version of the show or watch the embedded video below. Our guests on our first episode were Christopher G. Relf, chief Architect at VI Engineering (a National Instruments Platinum Alliance Partner). He’s also a CLA, CTD, CPI and a LabVIEW Champion. We also had Darren Nattinger, principal engineer, CLA and part of the LabVIEW R&D team at National Instruments. All of the shows can be...
  • 036 VISL Sustainable Careers in LabVIEW

    Feb 3, 2014 | 52 min
    I've started something new here with Jack Dunaway from Wirebird Labs. We've decided to host monthly Google hangout sessions to discuss the business of software engineering with LabVIEW. The first one this month was held on Jan 29th, 2014 and was called: Sustainable Careers in LabVIEW. You can listen to the podcast version of the show or watch the embedded video below. Our guests on our first episode were Christopher G. Relf, chief Architect at VI Engineering (a National Instruments Platinum Alliance Partner). He's also a CLA, CTD, CPI and a LabVIEW Champion. We also had Darren Nattinger, principal engineer, CLA and part of the LabVIEW R&D team at National Instruments. All of the shows can be...
  • 035 Integrating Subversion with LabVIEW

    Feb 1, 2014 | 40 min
    Using Subversion with LabVIEW is a challenge when it comes to some of the most popular free tools like Subversion (SVN). Eric Metzler from Viewpoint Systems took on the challenge of updating an older version of an internal company tool. The new free version of the TSVN tool won the LabVIEW Tools Network Product of the Year award at NIWeek 2013. Eric talks with me about his journey through the LabVIEW world and his newfound passion for working on LabVIEW-based products.
  • 034 LabVIEW Based Software Products

    Jan 11, 2014 | 55 min
    Jack Dunaway from Wirebird Labs is on this episode where we discuss his Deploy product and what it takes to develop great software products. Jack also announces a new “framework” he will be releasing in 2014 called Featherweight.
  • 034 VISP Selling LabVIEW Based Software Products

    Jan 6, 2014 | 55 min
    Jack Dunaway from Wirebird Labs is on this episode where we discuss his Deploy product and what it takes to develop great software products. Jack also announces a new "framework" he will be releasing in 2014 called Featherweight. Links to Content Mentioned: Deploy - LabVIEW Tools by Wirebird Labs Inspired - Book by Marty Cagan VIPM Idea Exchange Wirebird Labs Idea Exchange
  • 033 Functional Global Variables

    Dec 10, 2013 | 49 min
    If you think you know everything there is to know about functional globals, then you’re wrong. In this episode of the VI Shots podcast, Nancy Hollenback and I take functional global variables to the next level. Find out how to safely use native globals, have multiple instantiation capabilities and speed optimize your look-up tables.
  • 032 Christina Rogers – LabVIEW R&D

    Nov 25, 2013 | 38 min
    Christina Rogers is a software engineer in the LabVIEW R&D group. She primarily works under the hood of LabVIEW adding much needed features and capabilities using C++. Sometimes she dives into G code, as she did to implement the LabVIEW Getting Started window. She’s worked on features that you may have not noticed. In this interview we go into some of those features and uncover a cool LabVIEW ini token that I think a lot of users will find helpful in their daily coding. We also discuss the new bookmarks feature just released in LabVIEW 2013, which is pretty awesome.
  • 031 Five Tips to improve your LabVIEW

    Nov 9, 2013 | 61 min
    Do you want to create a better software experience for your customers? Do you want to create maintainable code? Listen to this interview with Fabiola De la Cueva. She's a Certified LabVIEW Architect, a LabVIEW Champion and an influential voice in the LabVIEW community. In this interview, I asked Fabiola to list the five things a LabVIEW developer can do to create a better user experience for their customer. Here is the one opening quote that Fabiola used in our discussion. I highly recommend you listen to the entire episode. Designing the Moment by Robert Hoekman Jr. "Each moment has the potential to increase a user's confidence or destroy his trust in a product or a company, and each one is...
  • 030 VIShots Live panel from NIWeek

    Oct 28, 2013 | 48 min
    Here’s a recording of the VI Shots Live panel I did way back at NIWeek 2012. You’ll hear me mention in the recording that this should go live soon after NIWeek. I guess soon meant a year, because here it is. On the panel are Jack Dunaway, Justin Goeres, me, Chris Relf and Brian Powell. We all had fun recording this, I hope you enjoy it.
  • 029 Effective LabVIEW Programming

    Oct 7, 2013 | 39 min
    Thomas Bress is the author of a new book out on LabVIEW called: “Effective LabVIEW Programming”. This book was released recently and in this episode of the VI Shots podcast, I interview the author, so we can get a better understanding of how it can help you transition from the CLAD level of certification to the CLD level. Thomas has managed to create a valuable resource for anyone that wants to transition from a basic LabVIEW coder, to a professional LabVIEW programmer that can handle complicated software project requirements. He spreads proper coding techniques and best practices throughout the book. This is knowledge that would take someone years to master on their own. I highly recommend ...
  • 028 Raima Database API for LabVIEW

    Sep 25, 2013 | 23 min
    During this past NIWeek 2013, the Raima Database API for LabVIEW was awarded the LabVIEW Tools Network Embedded Systems Product of the Year Award. I sat down with Scott Meeder who’s the Director of Sales at Raima to find out what this toolkit is and how we, as LabVIEW application developers can take advantage of these capabilities in our own embedded systems.
  • 027 LCOD with Steve Watts

    Sep 12, 2013 | 40 min
    I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Watts. I recorded this interview back in February, but only now had a chance to publish it. Steve has been writing industrial software for more than 25 years and began programming with LabVIEW in 1998. He is the co-owner of SSDC Ltd (Structured Software Design Consultants). His book, entitled “A Software Engineering Approach to LabVIEW” has achieved worldwide success. Some of the principles described in the book (LCOD) are still used to this day and are the easiest way to implement modular componentized reusable code. The design pattern is also know today as an action engine.
  • 026 New Lego Mindstorms EV3

    Sep 12, 2013 | 36 min
    In this episode I dive into the world of Lego robotics and specifically, I learn about a new version of the Mindstorms educational robotic toy from Lego. At this past consumer electronics show (CES) in January, Lego announced and displayed the Mindstorms EV3. Also, this past NIWeek 2013, I saw a demo of the new EV3 programming environment (based on LabVIEW). This is the next generation of the previous Mindstorms NXT and the first major revamp of the platform since around 2006. The last updated was in 2009. The new Mindstorms EV3 has several enhancements, including an improved p-brick and improved sensors. However it’s also the first version of the brick to run embedded Linux. Which in itself...
  • 025 What’s New in LabVIEW 2013

    Sep 12, 2013 | 35 min
    NIWeek 2013 is over and one of the biggest announcements was the release of LabVIEW 2013 with over 100 new features. In addition, a new cRIO-9068 controller which runs the Linux operating system, was announced. Now, a LabVIEW developer can tap into the vast community of Linux libraries available. In this podcast episode I chat with Grant Heimbach and Jonah Paul as we run through some of the top features in LabVIEW 2013 in addition to the new cRIO controller. New LabVIEW 2013 Features: Productivity Enhancements LabVIEW Web Services LabVIEW FPGA Features LabVIEW Real Time Features All the New Features! What is the NI cRIO-9068 Software-Designed Controller?
  • 024 Humility and the LabVIEW Programmer

    Sep 12, 2013 | 43 min
    I’ve long anticipated this interview with Brian Powell. The impetus for this interview was a series of blog articles Brian wrote recently. BTW, I suggest everyone go to labviewjournal.com and read the entire series he wrote there. Brian of course is well known as one of the original team members that helped bring LabVIEW 2.0 to market as a software engineer. His vast experience with working with LabVIEW teams shows in this interview, which is packed with wisdom. We discuss the following topics: Humility and why that’s a good character to have. Why code reviews are essential and how to do them. The importance of clarity in your software Simple or Scaleable, are they conflicting requirements?
  • 023 User Interface Design Best Practices

    Sep 12, 2013 | 42 min
    One of the benefits of being a CLA (Certified LabVIEW Architect), is that you get to go to the exclusive CLA summit. This is a yearly event held in Austin and Europe for the purpose of discussing topics and issues affecting LabVIEW developers today. Topics range from LabVIEW frameworks to source code control techniques. Best of all, admission is free with your membership. One very enlightening presentation was given by Joe Silva from National Instruments. In it he discussed some basic UI design principles that can help improve your design right away. I interview Joe in this episode and we highlight some of the topics in his presentation. We also discuss some of the struggles LabVIEW develope...
  • 022 BLT from Studio Bods

    Sep 12, 2013 | 29 min
    In this episode, I interview Matthias Baudot from Studio Bods. He’s started a new company that just announced a product on the LabVIEW Tools Network called BLT for LabVIEW. From the LabVIEW Tools Network Description: License your own LabVIEW application in a few clicks – no coding required Automatically (and remotely) update your applications when you make changes in your LabVIEW code Automate the build process for your LabVIEW executables Get user activity reports and error logs so you can remotely debug your program Use BLT scripting to remotely execute actions on a deployed computer, e.g., update LabVIEW RT Engine Disable parts of your code with features definitions
  • 021 You should be using Actor Framework

    Sep 12, 2013 | 39 min
    Here at VI Shots, one of my goals is to always be expanding my knowledge into LabVIEW and learning new software engineering techniques and ideas. To that goal, I try to bring people on the show that can teach me, and in turn you, something new. This episode of the VI Shots LabVIEW podcast is no exception. We all have, at some point, developed a framework that allows us to create parallel processes and communicate with them. We’ve even given them cool pet names. We’re pretty proud of our creations and excited about using them in our customer projects. However, things fall apart at some point, usually with a looming project deadline. stephen_mercer-allen_smith Stephen Mercer and Allen Smith fr...
  • 020 Why Engineers Should Love Marketing

    Sep 12, 2013 | 30 min
    In this episode of the VI Shots Podcast. I sit down with Wendy Covey, from Trew Marketing. Wendy founded Trew Marketing with Rebecca Geier back in 2008. Since then, their company has focussed on helping engineering companies uncover their unique voice in the marketplace. As you’ll hear in this interview. Sometimes in order to grow your customer base you need to narrowly focus your marketing message.
  • 019 Extending LabVIEW with LabSockets

    Sep 12, 2013 | 32 min
    I had the pleasure of interviewing John Bergmans from Bergmans Mechatronics. He’s been working with websockets and LabVIEW over the past few years and has evolved his knowledge into a product he calls LabSockets. From his website: The LabSocket System enables LabVIEW applications to be monitored and controlled remotely using a web browser. The system operates without browser plug-ins, making it suitable for use with a wide range of desktop and mobile browsers. The system is easy to use and requires no knowledge of web programming languages such as HTML or JavaScript. Listen to the interview to find out more about LabSockets and see if it can help extend your own LabVIEW app, and allow it to ...
  • 018 LabVIEW Data Dashboard App

    Sep 7, 2013 | 26 min
    National Instruments has been exploring the mobile space for a couple of years now. They started off with simple utility apps such as the Service Request tracker and NI device pinout documentation tool. They released a mobile app last year which allowed you to view data on an iOS and Android device in a limited fashion. Now with data dashboard 2.0, they’ve come out with a full featured app to let you not only monitor, but control your remote LabVIEW application. In this podcast, I interview Grant Heimbach, the data dashboard product manager. We explore some of the capabilities offered by this new free mobile application and how it can help LabVIEW developers extend their reach into the mobil...
  • 017 Are you a LabVIEW Hacker?

    Sep 7, 2013 | 33 min
    I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff C Jensen, who is a Senior Lead User Manager for Embedded Systems at National Instruments. We had a very interesting discussion about some of the work he’s done with various students and NI employees to interface computers with everyday consumer devices using LabVIEW. All of the work can be found on the LabVIEW Hacker website listed in the links below. We also talked about some of the challenges facing software developers in the embedded space.
  • 016 Jeffrey Travis Interview

    Sep 7, 2013 | 32 min
    I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeffrey Travis on this podcast episode. Jeffrey has written several LabVIEW related books, has released several open source LabVIEW tools such as LabVNC, LabSQL and LabPerl. He also has a very successful engineering business (Jeffrey Travis Studios ) developing LabVIEW based automation systems. Over the years, he’s transitioned to a radically different career as a director in the filmmaking industry. He’s had many short film successes, but recently he’s directed an independent feature film called Dragon Day. I had a very interesting discussion with Jeffrey on the challenges to producing an independent film and the balance between his engineering background...
  • 015 VISP What’s new in LabVIEW 2012

    Sep 7, 2013 | 31 min
    LabVIEW 2012 was announced today! You can download it from here. I invited Elijah Kerry, the senior product manager for LabVIEW, on the show so we can find out first-hand about all the new features of LabVIEW 2012. One of the most significant features, this year is the LabVIEW Templates and sample projects. I was a little skeptical of relying on NI to deliver quality sample projects that would meet my high expectations. Listen to the podcast to find out how good they really are.
  • 014 Waterloo Labs Interns

    Sep 7, 2013 | 31 min
    I’m very excited today to bring you an interview I did last year at NIWeek 2011. I sat down with a group of engineering interns at National Instruments. Now these intern positions were not typical. Hunter Smith and Ben James who managed this group of students, gave them the flexibility to do whatever project they wanted, as long as it was extremely awesome. How’s that for some parameters to work within? This group within NI is called Waterloo Labs, and I had a great time talking with them. It’s feels great to see so much excitement in engineering. Some of the projects that have come out of Waterloo Labs is an iPhone controlled vehicle, an Eyeball powered super mario game, a Kinect powered et...
  • 013 Interview With Sixclear

    Sep 7, 2013 | 43 min
    I had the pleasure of talking with Brian Spears and Jassem Shahrani of Sixclear on today’s podcast. I had a great time talking about how they got started running their successful business which has LabVIEW as its core. Powered by LabVIEW, if you will. In addition to getting some insights into how they work and collaborate, they also made a huge announcement on the show of a new product they are really excited about unleashing onto the LabVIEW community. Take a listen to find out what it is.
  • 012 LabVIEW Coding Challenge

    Sep 7, 2013 | 16 min
    A quick podcast interview with Hassan Atassi, who is managing the latest LabVIEW Coding Challenge for the Winter of 2011. Listen to the podcast and find out what the two different challenges are and how you can get involved. The winner gets a sweet Sony Cyber-shot HX9V Digital Camera ($300). Some Deadlines to be aware of: Dec 1st 9:00am CT: Challenge descriptions become available Dec 19th 9:00am CT: Submissions accepted & voting for User Interface Challenge begins January 11th 11:59pm CT: Deadline for submissions January 13th 5:00pm CT: Voting ends & winners announced
  • 011 NI Field Architects Interview

    Sep 7, 2013 | 42 min
    I’m back from a very long absence. I’ve been very busy on various projects so I apologize for leaving you with such a huge gap. However, now I’m back and starting the flow of new audio podcast episodes and soon, new videos. In this episode of the VI Shots podcast, I interview the three members of the recently formed Field Architects group at NI. Nancy Hollenback, Brian Powell and Charlie Knapp. From their blog: We are a small, elite group of LabVIEW experts working in large accounts and helping engineers become more proficient in LabVIEW. We guide software architectures, develop technical leaders, and teach and encourage good software engineering. Take a listen to this episode to gain some i...
  • 010 What’s New in LabVIEW 2011

    Sep 7, 2013 | 28 min
    I’ve reached the 10th podcast episode! That’s a big milestone for VI Shots. Another big milestone is the 25th anniversary of LabVIEW and the release of LabVIEW 2011. To get the rundown of all the new features, I asked Jeffrey Philipps from National Instruments to join me in this podcast episode. Do you know why the new controls palette was named Silver? Listen to find out. In addition to the new version of LabVIEW, we discuss the NIWeek 2011 keynotes and the “what’s new in LabVIEW” session. Here’s a hit list of some of the cool new stuff: Improved Stability New Silver Controls Palette Improved Real-Time Deployment New Math and Signal Processing Functions Application Builder API Asynchronous ...
  • 009 Getting Ready for NIWeek 2011

    Sep 7, 2013 | 42 min
    In this episode of the VI Shots podcast, I invited three members of the LabVIEW community to talk about how to get the most out of NIWeek 2011. I have Darren Natinger from National Instruments, Christopher Relf from VI Engineering and Justin Goeres from JKI. There are a lot of things to see at NIWeek and we cover some of the technical sessions you can attend and how to get the most out of this year’s technology conference if this is your first time or even if you’ve been there before. I will be at NIWeek this year, so feel free to come up to me and say hello. Most of the time I will be hanging out at the JKI booth on the expo floor. I will also be attending the LAVA OpenG BBQ and will be on ...