Thursday, April 2, 2009

Not really Autocad...but where to put it?

One of my hobbies is to play around with a bit of programming.

I have looked at Basic, C, Autolisp, VB6, VBA and now I have downloaded
the freebie from Microsoft, VB 2008 Express Edition.

I can say that this represents an improvement of VB6, at least as far as the
small amount of things I have asked of it so far. I downloaded it to make a
small program, which, hopefully, will be needed where I work....

This post is essentially a repeat of my site at Analysis.html

This is the new program as it runs: it consists of two dialog boxes,and amounts to pressing buttons and selecting from lists. Once the program is run, it creates a text file-see listing below for that one.

This is the contents of a typical text file the program produces:

Task Analysis

Date Created:2009-04-02

The Task: Remove Beams

The Plant:Porana Rd

Permits: glass permit

Personal Protection: safety goggles

Equipment: gas sets

Step No: 1

The Action: Remove old conveyor
Hazard: gas

Type of Control: Eliminate

Means of Control: ,chemical isolations,standby personnel

You can see that this is site specific and could not be used on other plants. Why am I posting this here? To see if anyone is interested in such a program.You can email me at
A more general program would be identical, except the Plant and the Location boxes would extract their items from 2 separate text files, created by the user. I would imagine a fair price for the program might be US$20.
Another option might be a customised one that can only be used by your firm-the logo shown (mine) can easily be replaced by one that your firm uses.

Limitations are:

1. You have to make a directory c:\Task Analysis

2. The output is to a text file, which if you wanted to alter fonts and so on, then you would need to open the file in MS Word instead of Notepad.

3. At the moment the file output name is the same as the date. This means that if you do more than one on the same day, it just appends it to the file created before on that day.

4. It does not allow for multipages-for instance you might have Step No: 7 at the bottom of a page, then The Action on the next page.

5. It does not have "the smarts": for instance, if you chose say "welding"the program should suggest "welding helmet" and so on. It does not do this. Some might say the idea of this program is not the spitting out of a form, more the engagement of the person about to perform the task thinking about what he is doing.

All of the above limitations might be got around, but no gaurantees!

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