YouTube

A dirty keyboard is a little bit like dirty underwear. It works, but it doesn’t feel right.

The keyboard is my preferred way to communicate with the world. It’s one of these tools that we use so often that it’s taken for granted. I’m quite picky with keyboards & keycaps, and over the years many have come and gone. A few have stayed. I’ve more or less set on four sets that are my primary work horses, and I rotate between them from week to week. Working at the computer every day makes the keyboard a little gross. I have a tiny ritual where I carefully clean my keyboards, so that they feel nice & fresh. I’d thought I’d share the complete cleaning process of one of my keyboards through a YouTube-video.

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I’ve been using TwinCAT 3 more or less since it was released, and since then it has become such an integrated part of my daily work that it’s my main software development platform. I like to develop software using TwinCAT 3, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some features I miss. I’m not the only person that uses TwinCAT 3, and this video is made in collaboration with someone that has vastly more experience in industrial automation than me – Peter Kurhajec. As we both work with TwinCAT 3 on a daily basis, we decided to do a video with the title “4 things we want in TwinCAT 4”. Consider this as a wish list for a future version of TwinCAT, so some kind of dream session.

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I wanted to share with you a tiny celebration and some frequently asked questions, as I’ve recently reached 5000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I didn’t even know whether there was 5000 people that work with TwinCAT 3 on planet Earth, let alone that would be interested in a TwinCAT 3 related YouTube channel!

 

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My main software development machine is getting really old and tired so I decided to build a new one. When I was younger it was a lot of fun to build computers, but now that I’m old, boring and grey I haven’t had the time nor the motivation to build a computer but rather just buy one that’s pre-built. This time I have decided I will go back to my roots and build the computer myself. Join me on the journey of building a new software development machine!

 

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If you want to write TwinCAT 3 software and run it, it’s not obvious how to get TwinCAT 3 to run on your desktop machine, be it directly on the machine or inside a virtual machine. The primary reason for this is because TwinCAT 3 is running in something called kernel space. While I was bored recently on a late afternoon, I discovered that Beckhoff had quietly added some files in the TwinCAT 3 folder in one of the newer releases of TwinCAT 3, that might change all of this.

How you may wonder? Let’s find out!

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Dear developers,

this year there have been a lot of changes, and I guess the end of the year is a time for reflection. This year I have (once again) moved from Sweden to Germany for new opportunities. Every opportunity usually brings its challenges. Moving abroad is always a challenge, and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I miss Sweden every day. This blog and my YouTube channel have been one way for me to think of something else than home.

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One of the most anticipated products that Beckhoff has released this year is TwinCAT/BSD, which is Beckhoff’s new operating system which is an alternative to Windows for the PLCs. Did you ever want to play around/learn TwinCAT/BSD, but don’t want to spend the money to buy a PLC with it pre-installed? No worries, it’s entirely possible to run it fully virtualized in a virtual machine. Not only that, it’s also possible to run your TwinCAT 3 software in that virtual machine! I’ve created a step-by-step tutorial where I will show how you can run it locally on your PC. Start the video to join me on an adventure & let’s have some fun!

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Although I mostly use this blog to post TwinCAT-related stuff, I sometimes make exceptions. This blog post is such an exception.

I was recently on vacation in the Stockholm archipelago on the island Utö. Together with my wife I stayed there during the nights of the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids are a meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The peak of the Perseids happened during the night between 12th and 13th of August. Utö is an ideal location for this as it’s quite remote and far from bigger cities and thus has a very dark sky. This year there was no moon that interrupted either so conditions were fantastic. We spent several nights under the stars and saw many Perseids. I brought my DSLR camera and a small tripod with me, so during these nights I made sure to take lots of photos to create a time lapse, which you can see below. Note that the moving light streaks in the movie are not Perseids. These are airplanes and satellites. The Perseids are only visible during one frame at a time in the time lapse so they just flicker by. In the movie you can see one Perseid which I’ve explicitly prepared so that you can see it in slow motion.

Being out for a couple of nights with perfect conditions made me realize how much I’ve missed the stars 💔.

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Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 7 of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

In this part we will go back to basics of IEC 61131-3 and structured text and look into instructions. This will cover IF/ELSE, CASE-switches and FOR/WHILE-loops. We will utilize our knowledge to write a CSV (comma separate value) event logger by using a state machine.

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Dear existing & future PLC software developers, I have published part 6b of my free PLC programming using TwinCAT 3 tutorial.

In this part we will continue our journey of the object oriented features of IEC 61131-3 and look into something called interfaces. Interfaces provide a layer of abstraction so that you can write code that is ignorant of unnecessary details. Interfaces aid you in designing more modular and robust software. With interfaces it’s possible to decouple direct dependencies between objects in your software.

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