I’ve just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 2.98–click for the download page. This version has a variety of changes including:
– Shared Machine Profiles
– Added Melamine to materials under MDF, and SAE 660 Bearing Bronze to Materials DB.
– Converted the file format of machine profiles to CSV. You can load it into Excel to look at it or modify it if that’s convenient. Be careful not to delete any columns or change the first row.
– Made the Plunge Feedrate accessible for Copy.
– Fixed some bugs in the Hardness conversion utility
– The Machine Hourly Rate Calculator button is back to tell you that it is available in G-Wizard Estimator, which is free during Beta Test to G-Wizard Calculator users.
There’s a fair bit of newness, in other words. The big new feature is Shared Machine Profiles. It’s the precursor to sharing of more of the Setup information between multiple G-Wizard Apps and multiple users.
To set up Machine Profile sharing, go to the Setup tab and then select the Files tab. You’ll be here:
Shared Preferences Setup
Scan down to the bar that is titled “Sharing”. You have two options:
- You can tell it which folder to use. By default, it will select the “CNCCookbook” subfolder off your main documents directory.
- You can turn sharing on and off with the check box.
At this time, only Machine Profiles are shared. We will add Tool Cribs next and go from there. Let’s talk through how it works.
First thing, is that any G-Wizard product that has Sharing turned on will always load the latest version of the Shared Preferences at startup and then whenever you go into the Setup tab. It won’t load them otherwise, so if you need to be sure you have the latest, visit the Setup tab on your machine.
Next, whenever you go into the Setup tab, it attempts to lock any Shared Preferences so that you are the only one who can change those settings. This prevents collisions when multiple users try to change things at the same time. If you go into Setup and someone is already editing the Shared Preferences, you’ll see this:
Shared Preferences are Locked!
Like the message says, “shared preferences are locked by another user or session.” What you have to do is come back later by exiting and re-entering Setup after the other user finishes. You can look around if you like, but you can’t edit the locked preferences.
Those are the basics, now let’s look at some specific scenarios for using this new feature.
How do I use this to share Preferences across different G-Wizard applications?
First, you will need to have G-Wizard Applications that have Shared Preferences available in the Setup Tab. As I write this, only GW Calculator has it, but we’ll put together quick releases of GW Editor and Estimator so they’ll have it too. To share across all the apps, just make sure that sharing is turned on and they all point to the same Sharing folder.
One wrinkle–the first app to share gets to create the file in the sharing folder. When you turn on sharing in the other apps, they will adopt that file created by the first app. They will make a backup of their existing file in the Preferences Folder (you can also see where that is on this Setup Files tab). Every time you exit, the file from the Sharing Folder gets copied to your local Preferences Folder too.
If you needed to recover the backed up file, it’s pretty easy. The backup file is called “machines.csv.BAK” and is in your local Preferences folder. Delete the existing “machines.csv” file then rename the backup to be “machines.csv” and you’re done.
What if you need to merge the data? Well, the files are csv format, so that’s not hard. Open them up in Excel and copy some rows from one to the other. Just be sure you don’t change the first row or delete or add any columns and it should work.
How do I use it so a group of people can share preferences?
Pretty much the same story as sharing across G-Wizard applications except everyone needs network access to the sharing folder.
How can I share preferences across more than one machine?
Same as sharing among a group of people–use a network sharing folder.
Can I share preferences using Dropbox or something similar?
Probably not for more than one person and it takes care to make it work for one person. The problem is that utilities like Dropbox don’t do file locking, so there’s no way to prevent collisions where multiple people edit the same file. If it is just one person, you might use Dropbox to sync across multiple machines. Just make sure it is done sync’ing before you try to start up G-Wizard or you may find your latest updates got replaced with an older version.
When will we be able to share more?
This sharing is handy, and you’ll be wanting to share more. First priority was to get all the G-Wizard apps to share Machine Profiles and Tool Cribs and both are now sharable. We’ll look at adding more sharing from there. Keep an eye on the blog here for announcements as each thing becomes available.
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