A Little About Me

I am “The Thincster” also known as Jimi Brown. I am the Gosiger Corporate  Okuma API Developer. Woe, what does that mean? Well it seems that’s the most asked question I get, even after nearly 5 yrs  of trying to find myself. Hence the reason for this blog.

Before this position I spent 10 years in the Service Department. I’m a firm believer that Service Techs can make some of the best API Developers because they understand how the Okuma works. This is critical when it comes to the IO classes of the API. That being said, I can rarely  implement my software without the help of the Application Engineers. While I may understand how the Okuma is supposed to work, I am clueless on how NC programming works (I wish I wouldn’t have slept in class that day). Application Engineers would do just as well at development but perhaps with the opposite problem.

I have chosen to use Microsoft Visual Basic as my programming language. I also have decided to develop using WPF instead of the older Windows Forms platform. The best way to explain the difference is for you to compare  Windows XP graphics to Windows Vista graphics. WPF has a huge learning curve, but if you are just getting started I encourage you to commit to this platform, Windows Forms, it has been reported, will no longer be updated.

About This Blog

I wanted to establish some lines if communication, not only for Gosiger, but also for anyone who may be interested in creating Windows Applications that can interact with the Okuma Control via the “THINC API”, or (and for the answer to the second most asked question) “Application Program Interface”.

This blog will primarily be geared for helping others to get started with understanding and developing with the API. Please be mindful that I also deal with Service Technicians, Application Engineers and the Sales Force on a daily basis and will be supplying a massive amount of information for them, here  as well.

Developing with the API can be a bit intimidating, when you start seeing acronyms thrown around like: WPF, LINQ, ADO.NET, XAML, XML, WCF, just to name a few of the many. Fear not my younger Developer, there is a powerful secret that I am about to share with you, in just one word: “GOOGLE”. Google will be your best friend, it is amazing the amount of Programmers out there on the WEB who are willing to share with others. Example Code, Shareware, Posts and Threads of  people asking questions and answering each other(not always in a friendly manner).Today I still think, and probably  always will, consider myself a hack compared the computer geniuses out there on the Web. I say this to you, because you can too can do this, once you have the very basics down, you will learn the rest. “Just code it, and it will come”.

I welcome your comments and am willing to go down any relative path that this journey leads. If it’s anything like my last 5 years, hang on, and check back often, it’s a wild ride!

A special thanks to Jon Weaver, for without his help, guidance, and patients, I would probably still be struggling with my first application. He is clearly one of the geniuses in Okuma API development and I recommend as an API Developer  you get to know him. He is very humble and prefers to be known as “The Man Behind The Curtain”.

Thank You

I hope you enjoy!

Thincster

6 responses »

  1. timothy says:

    Hello,

    I can’t believe I have found this site. I work for Emerson climates Technologies
    We have many machines. I.e a major okuma customer and gosiger customer
    We already have one guy that does the okuma API. He doesn’t really have allot of time to spend teaching or listening to other ideas. I have an idea and I want to learn how to incorporate it into our machines. Fairly simple concept. I want to create an app that will push tool life data to an mssql table for that machine. We do tool life tracking quite poorly and I would like to improve upon that. Any pointers or examples that may already exist?

  2. Jeff says:

    I am very interested in starting to develop some useful tools for the Thinc API as my company has over 50 P control machines and is growing rapidly. I personally have a fair amount of experience with Visual Basic as well as with the machines directly. The one thing that I have not been able to get my hands on is any documentation on the API itself. Can you steer me in the right direction? Did you get started with some written documentation or did you have to learn what is available in the API through a VB object browser or similar?
    I will appreciate any assistance you can provide.

    • jweaver says:

      I used the CHM help files and the API Test project on the API disk from Okuma to get started. I started by installing the Express edition of Visual Studio right on a machine and then writing simple API calls to get the hang of it. If you don’t already have the API for your machine order it from your Okuma distributor. If you are in the U.S. Okuma will provide it for free although you might have to pay for a service call to have the distributor install it. I would also recommend that you order the Windows XP Service Pack 3 update at the same time.

  3. OM400 says:

    Hi Jimi,

    We have an older okuma multus with P200 control. We did not get the API cd with the machine. Do we need a software update? And where can i download the API to start programming?

    • thincster says:

      You will need to contact your Okuma Distributor with the model and serial of the machine.
      Tell them you need to do some API development and that you need the latest version of the API.
      Okuma will send out the API and any updates that are required of the machine (OSP, Windows).
      There should be no charge for the upgrade but, there will probably be a charge for the installation.

      Hope this helps.

      Happy programming
      Thincster

      • OM400 says:

        I did contact them earlier, but our Okuma dist wanted about 3k$ to upgrade our machine. The price included installation, and they wouldn’t allow me to do it myself…

        I wanted the api mostly out of curiosity and to fiddle/make some cool programs, so my company wouldn’t buy it for that reason.

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