TigerStop – Tip #1

More and more mechanical contractors are installing and using TigerStops. The company has been around for a long time in a number of industries but only recently have they started to get noticed by mechanical contractors. If you’re unfamiliar with them, you can find out more from their web site www.tigerstop.com. You may also want to view their Blog post about one mechanical contractor’s experience with them here.  I’ll be posting a few tips going forward as I get more familiar with them. To get you started, here’s my first Tip.

Install TigerTouch software on your computer

One of the options you can buy when getting a TigerStop, is the Tablet package that consists of a Windows Surface PC with the TigerTouch software. This package provides your TigerStop with a much friendlier interface that can be used to control your TigerStop controller.

While this software is used to control your machine, you can also install it on any computer. Simply download the Full installer from TigerStop’s web site and install. Installing on another computer has several benefits….

  • Test, and learn some of the software workflow in a safe more comfortable environment. This is a great way to train your shop staff how to use the interface without taking your machine out of production and without wasting any material.
  • Allow you to more easily get screen captures and produce documentation for your staff.
  • Test new software builds before updating your machine.

When the TigerTouch software starts, it notifies you that it can’t find a machine connected. That’s perfectly fine, just click cancel so it doesn’t try to look again.

From here, you can now use many of the functions of the software. When you click START, instead of the software waiting for your saw to operate, your cut lists are just processed automatically for for each stock size you enter. Here’s a video of the software opening a Cut List and processing it on my system which is NOT connected to an actual TigerStop machine.

One last item…When TigerTouch installs, it assumes you’re installing a machine so it’s configured to automatically run when you log into Windows. To stop this, simply remove the TigerTouch Shortcut in the Windows Startup folder. The shortcut is located here:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

When you’re browsing to this folder you may not see the ProgramData folder because it’s a Windows System folder which by default is configured to be hidden. Simply type in the folder name and you’ll be able to browse to that folder.

Autodesk Screencast

I’m amazed at how many people aren’t aware of or don’t use Autodesk Screencast. It’s a free, screen recording utility from Autodesk but it;s also a lot more.

While Screencast will record any application, a number of Autodesk applications have a lot tighter integration. Here’s some of the additional things Screencast will do that most other screen recording applications miss when you capture from an Autodesk application…

  • Record and display characters typed during playback
  • Record and display mouse picks (e.g. left button, right button, etc.) and movements during playback
  • Display product(s) and versions used during playback
  • Display commands used
  • List commands used during playback
  • List system variables/Settings changed during playback
  • List dialog boxes displayed during playback
  • Unlimited cloud storage (no limit that I could find)
  • Store recordings in Private, Unlisted or Public modes
  • Public recordings can be used as search results in Autodesk’s Knowledge Network search results.
  • Embed Screencast into web pages
  • Easily download your recordings video

Not all Autodesk applications have as much details as others (AutoCAD records a lot of data, Navis less data).

While you can use Screencast for the typical uses of any screen recording software like training, where I think it really shines is in support both internal and external, If you’ve ever had your users unable to reproduce a problem while you were looking, this gives them a good way to get that information to you. Additionally, you can see exactly what they are/are not typing and picking in the even there’s a very nuanced user interface interaction they’re missing that you pickup on or that they are having a hard time communicating.

I especially like using Screencast when submitting Support tickets to Autodesk. They are easily able to see what I see and what I type and pick eliminating a lot of unnecessary Email communication about steps to reproduce. This alone makes Screencast worth it’s weight in gold because it cuts down on the non-value added time spent during the support process. The Autodesk tech immediately sees everything and can jump start their troubleshooting and/or research.

You can download and learn more about Screencast from this link.

30 Days of Free Autodesk training on Lynda.Com

Lynda.Com is offering a 30 day free trail for over 350 different Autodesk related courses. You can sign up here…

https://www.lynda.com/Autodesk-training-tutorials

Lynda also as a lot of other courses for many topics. Before you spend you money on a subscription, check with your local library. Many library systems have agreements with Lynda.Com to offer courses for free to their members. King Country Library System (Seattle Washington), Multnomah County Library (Portland, Oregon) and the Salt Lake City Library (Utah) are just some of the many libraries offering these courses on Lynda.Com for free.