The 2016 holiday season is officially upon us here in the United States which means it’s time for my annual gift giving guide. I used to panic every year whenever my spouse, parents, and siblings asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I needed to give them an idea otherwise I’d end up with an ugly sweater or some random gadget I would never use.
So to help alleviate some of my stress I started compiling my own holiday gift guide. It’s kind of like the big toy catalog you used to get as a kid, only this is for adults. I’ve made a list of items I think would be very useful or exciting for your fellow CATIA users, sorted by different categories. Some of these items I already use on a daily basis and others are things that are on my own personal wish list. Enjoy!
First, I got to start off with a shameless shelf plug. If you want to learn how to program CATIA macros, check out my book VB Scripting for CATIA V5.
To improve your CATIA V5 design efficiency read CATIA V5 Tips and Tricks.
For a limited time I am offering a 15% off discount on everything for sale on this site. Use code: holiday2017 at checkout. (If you’re on my email list stay tuned for am extra special cyber monday one-day-only deal).
OK, now that we’ve got the promotion over with, here are some other great books.
The CATIA V5-6R2015: Introduction to Surface Design student guide introduces the fundamentals of creating wireframe and surface geometry. This guide takes an in-depth look at process-based modeling techniques used to develop robust and flexible surface geometry. With the design intent as the focus, students learn about shape and continuity settings for simple and complex geometry types.
CATIA V5 Macro Programming with Visual Basic Script shows you, step by step, how to create your own macros that automate repetitive tasks, accelerate design procedures, and automatically generate complex geometries. Filled with full-color screenshots and illustrations, this practical guide walks you through the entire process of writing, storing, and executing reusable macros for CATIA® V5. Sample Visual Basic Script code accompanies the book’s hands-on exercises and real-world case studies demonstrate key concepts and best practices. Read more of my thoughts on this book here.
OTHER BOOKS WORTH READING
Excel 2016 Power Programming with VBA is fully updated to cover all the latest tools and tricks of Excel 2016. Encompassing an analysis of Excel application development and a complete introduction to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), this comprehensive book presents all of the techniques you need to develop both large and small Excel applications. Over 800 pages of tips, tricks, and best practices shed light on key topics, such as the Excel interface, file formats, enhanced interactivity with other Office applications, and improved collaboration features.
If you’re having trouble programming macros in CATIA V5, I highly recommend you take a step back and try programming in Excel first, as it is much easier and there are far more resources available.
Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn. I’ve been following Pat’s blog and podcast for a number of years, and you might have seen some of his tips at work on my site. If you’re new to the online business world, this book is fantastic. Lots of practical steps to take to prove whether your idea has validity or not.
The Martian by Andy Weir. If you only read one (fiction) book this year, The Martian has to be the one. I absolutely love this book (and it’s even better than the movie). As soon as I finished it the first time, I immediately re-read it – something I’ve never done before. It’s about an astronaut (with a great sense of humor) who gets left behind on a mission to Mars and has to figure out how to survive. If you’re interested in space exploration, problem solving, engineering, chemistry, botany, or disco + 70s TV shows, I highly recommend you read The Martian. Maybe the best book I’ve read in the past five years. And the author has a new book out this year called Artemis.
TOOLS FOR THE JOB
3Dconnexion 3DX-700028 SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse. I don’t often use a 3D mouse (because I’m far too often a lazy, one-handed CAD user) but when I do I use the Space Navigator. Anyone doing 3D CAD work should at least try one of these – it may change your life!
Laptop Privacy Screen Protector. Whenever I visit a customer I always take my privacy screen protector for my laptop. It keeps your personal or confidential information safe from prying eyes as you’ll see the information on your display while people on either side only see a darkened screen. If you’re ever on an airplane or in a coffee shop and feel like your neighbor is constantly looking over your shoulder at your screen then you need to get one of these today!
A Good Quality Laser Pointer. This laser pointer always comes in handy when it’s time for a meeting or presentation. Plus, it doubles as a toy to keep your cats entertained.
TechSmith Snagit takes the hassle out of creating images and videos. Capture your screen, edit images, and deliver results. Snagit is also the only screen capture tool with built-in advanced image editing and screen recording. So you can easily create high-quality images and videos all in one program. Quickly explain a process, build visual-based documentation and be more engaging by adding images and videos to your communications. It’s the tool I use to create all the images for my website and well worth the price.
Keyboard Case for Tablets. How do I get so much done, especially when I’m traveling on the road a lot? I use a combination of a Samsung Galaxy Tablet and my new Keyboard case. They’re small so I can take it almost anywhere and the keyboard allows me to do things like type out this blog post, reply to your email questions, and write CATIA macro code drafts.
Dimmable Eye-care LED Desk Lamp. A great lamp and exactly what I was looking for in a new clip on lamp for my drafting desk. It has six different light settings so I can find the right lighting for all of my needs. It is well built, works great besides being stylish. Besides using at work can use at home as a reading lamp too.
USB Heated Mouse / Hand Warmer. I’m not sure about you but the office at my day job can get really cold during the winter, especially after weekends or holidays. One solution I’ve found that helps is a heated mouse to keep you hand warm while not impacting my ability to get things done.
TECH, GADGETS, AND TOYS
Dash and Dot – programmable robots. If you’re into programming things like CATIA macros and you want to teach your kids the joys of programming then I’ve found the perfect gift for you. These cute robots are designed to help introduce children to the wonderful world of programming. Oh, and they’re fun for adults too! Can’t wait to use this with my son in a few years. For now he just likes watching me drive it around with my phone.
In my little free time from working and being a dad, I like to play around with my Samsung Gear VR headset. Virtual Reality is really taking off and the technology is getting much better. Though be warned it may cause motion sickness if the app you’re looking at doesn’t perfectly track your head movement.
Fitbit Alta. Let’s face it – us engineers nowadays sit in front of a computer a lot. I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t moving until I started wearing a Fitbit. It now helps me to stay motivated by tracking all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes so I can stay healthy for my family. When I’m sick I can’t answer your emails and help you out, so I use Alta to help stay in shape and on top of my game!
I’m an Engineer T-Shirt
Amazon Prime Membership. If you haven’t joined Amazon Prime yet, why not? I do almost all my shopping online and I get free two-day shipping on nearly everything. You can also borrow books, watch movies, and stream music. Get your Prime Discounted Monthly Offering here.
Are you putting any of these items on your holiday wish list? If so, let me know which ones in the comments below. Do have anything you’d like to recommend to me?