Top 6 Resources for a Travel Modeler to Work From Home

December 16th, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year, isn't it?  Nothing says "winter" like 6 inches of snow that keeps you from going to the office!

Over the years, I've amassed a set of utilities, many of them free, to make my life easier.  This list can sometimes take the place of things that I would normally use in the office, other times they are things that sync to the "cloud" and I use them both in the office and at home.

1. Dropbox

I don't care too much for USB "thumb" drives, and I've had my fair share of leaving them at home or at work and needing them at the opposite location.  Dropbox clears up this mess, as there are no USB drives to lose or leave in the wrong place.  NOTE: the link that I have IS a referral link.  Clicking on that and creating an account results in both of us getting an extra 250 MB of space with the free account (starts at 2 GB, max for free is 8 GB).

2. Evernote

I take a lot of notes, both on the road at conferences and at the office.  Evernote is what I use to keep them organized.

3. Google Docs

Unless you want to spring for Microsoft Office at home, Google Docs is the way to go.  There are several others including Zoho and Office Online, but I haven't used them.  Google Docs has great collaboration features, document versioning, and its free.  Just make sure to back it up! The only problem: no DBF file support.

4. Notepad++

This is perhaps the greatest text editor.  It understands and does some context highlighting (etc) for many programming languages.  Even better, Colby from Citilabs uploaded his language definition file for Cube Voyager to the user group!

5. Microsoft Visual {whatever} Express Edition

The Express Edition tools have become our go-to tools for new development, particularly MS Visual C++ EE and MS Visual Basic EE.  Since they're free, you can have copies both at home and work.

6. Eclipse

This one's almost optional, but for those working with Java models, this is the standard IDE, and it is open source.

Any tools to add?  Add them in the comments below.

Getting GoogleCL to Download Drawings

October 20th, 2010

While looking into backing up my Google Docs, I realized that GoogleCL is not backing up drawings.

Fixing this requires a few minor modifications to the source in {download}\src\googlecl\docs\base.py (where {download} is where you downloaded the files}.

The first fix is in the try block on line 51.
was:

from gdata.docs.data import DOCUMENT_LABEL, SPREADSHEET_LABEL, \
                              PRESENTATION_LABEL, FOLDER_LABEL, PDF_LABEL

To:

from gdata.docs.data import DOCUMENT_LABEL, SPREADSHEET_LABEL, \
                              PRESENTATION_LABEL, FOLDER_LABEL, PDF_LABEL, DRAWING_LABEL

Then, beginning on 52 (the except ImportError block), it should include DRAWING_LABEL = 'drawing' as below:

except ImportError:
  DOCUMENT_LABEL = 'document'
  SPREADSHEET_LABEL = 'spreadsheet'
  PRESENTATION_LABEL = 'presentation'
  DRAWING_LABEL = 'drawing'
  FOLDER_LABEL = 'folder'
  PDF_LABEL = 'pdf'

Then, on line371, the following needs to be added before the 'else':
except ImportError:

elif doctype_label == DRAWING_LABEL:
      return googlecl.CONFIG.get(SECTION_HEADER, 'drawing_format')

Finally, in your .googlecl file (mine is under my "profile drive" because of our network settings, your mileage likely will vary, so you'll have to search for it), open config in any text editor and add the following in the [DOCS] section:

drawing_format = png

Note: while you're at it, you might want to change document_format = txt to document_format = doc

That's it. Now if you run 'google docs get .* ./backup', you get the drawings as well.