Sunday, September 18, 2005

BazzaCAD CLog

Here's a new CAD blogger with a great stunning UI and useful content starting about CUI. Welcome!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Visual Basic 9.0 and more

For VB developers. Read about 9.0 here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/future/ LINQ and XLing looks like something that will be useful for us working with databases. Introducing LINQ: http://www.panopticoncentral.net/archive/2005/09/13/10501.aspx http://www.windowsworkflow.net/

Thursday, September 15, 2005

License Time-out Feature in AutoCAD

AutoCAD and a lot of other products support the time-out feature for network licenses using FLEXlm. Using this feature can save your company quite many licenses as you can see from this sample graph. If you don't use the time-out feature the usage might look like the blue curve but with the time-out feature on it can look like the green curve. More about License Time-out Feature found in TS67304. This document only mentions TIMEOUT but I recommend that you use TIMEOUTALL instead. This allows you to automatically have any added feature using the time-out feature. I run into this when upgrading to AutoCAD 2006 and found I had forgot to add the new feature to the adskflex.opt file. Instead of using a syntax like below: TIMEOUT 48800ACD_2006_0F 3600 Change it to use: TIMEOUTALL 900 Note also that I use 900 as this is the minimum supported value that AutoCAD handles. Any of the following activity in the active application prevents the client workstation from being idle:
  • Any keystroke.
  • Any mouse click.
  • Any command, Lisp expression, menu macro or script in progress.
  • Any Modal dialog box opened (a dialog box which needs to close before continuing to other tasks).
  • Note: Using the Help system does not keep the session active.

If you are a user of FLEXlm licenses you might also be interested in looking at JTB FlexReport to further help you optimize your network licenses.

Details from KB TS67304

License Time-out Feature

You would like to know how to use the network license time-out feature.

Overview

The Network License Manager can be configured to reclaim a license when a client workstation is idle for longer than a defined time-out period*, or the connection with the workstation is lost.

*This option is not applicable to AutoCAD 2002 based products.

Idle Period

Any of the following activity in the active application prevents the client workstation from being idle:

  • Any keystroke.
  • Any mouse click.
  • Any command, Lisp expression, menu macro or script in progress.
  • Any Modal dialog box opened (a dialog box which needs to close before continuing to other tasks).

Note: Using the Help system does not keep the session active.

Configuring License Time-out

License time-out is configured by implementing an options file with the Network License Manager. For a detailed explanation of options files, please refer to the FLEXlm End User Guide, located by default on the network license server in the following directory:

\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager\Docs\FlexUser

A brief explanation of options files is provided below:

  • Options files are created with an ASCII text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad.
  • Keyword statements are used in an options file to configure various operating parameters of the Network License Manager.
  • The options file must be named adskflex.opt.
  • The options file must be located in the same folder as the Autodesk product license file.
  • All text in an options file is case sensitive.
  • The options file is read each time the license manager is started or the license file is reread.

License time-out is configured in an options file by using the TIMEOUT keyword.

The syntax is: TIMEOUT [feature] [n], where:

  • [feature] specifies the application you want to control. The feature code can be found in the license file, right after the word INCREMENT.
  • [n] is the number of seconds before the license server reclaims an inactive license. The minimum value is 900.

Example: TIMEOUT 48800ACD_2006_0F 3600

This line in an options file would configure the Network License Manager to reclaim an AutoCAD 2006 license (feature code 48800ACD_2006_0F), if the client machine was idle for 3600 seconds (one hour).

License Time-out Behavior

If your license is lost because of the idle time-out, the product attempts to claim a new license once you access the product again. If a license is available, the client pulls a new license and continues the session. If no license is available, you will be prompted to save your work before the product shuts down.

Note: The debug log file can be examined to determine if a license has been reclaimed. When a license has been reclaimed, the debug log file will contain a line similar to:

11:43 (adskflex) IN feature user_name@host_name (INACTIVE)

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Print DWF files from Windows Explorer

Do you want to print DWF files from Windows Explorer or be able to print using DDE (Dynamic Data Exchange) from a document handling system?

I have made a simple freeware application that uses Autodesk DWF Viewer to do this and that can be used as a DDE Application. Select the DWF's you want to print, right click and select Print DWF. That's it. I hope it is useful for you.
You can download the setup file here.
The stability and functionality is as it is. It works good enough for me even though I cannot say that it will work for you. I have not added subclassing to the application. So if you select multiple DWF's, one instance of the program will be started for each DWF.
For the latest version see http://www.jtbworld.com/dwfprint.htm

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