Wednesday, March 29, 2006

AutoCAD 2007 and Network Licensing

FLEXlm version 10.8.0.0 is supplied with AutoCAD 2007 and has to be used. You need to update to 10.8.0.0 or later. The update can be done quick and easy using this method.

Use the Network License Activation Utility to request a new license file for AutoCAD 2007-based products. It just takes a few minutes and you have the license.

One new feature is support for INCREMENT PLIST as seen in the example below.

================== Example license file ====================
SERVER NLMSVR1 000476e5cb3d
USE_SERVER
VENDOR adskflex port=2080
INCREMENT 51200ACD_2007_0F adskflex 1.000 permanent 10 VENDOR_STRING=commercial:permanent BORROW=4320 SUPERSEDE DUP_GROUP=UH ISSUED=12-Feb-2006 SN=341-12345678 SIGN="03A5 6350 B274 A1F5 0797 F256 BBD0 1935 0DCF 189B 5B9F 7188 AE4A"
INCREMENT PLIST adskflex 1.000 permanent 1 VENDOR_STRING=A07:51600ACDLAND_2007_0F:52200CIV3D_2007_0F;
B07:51900AMECH_PP_2007_0F:51300INVBUN_11_0F:52900INVPRORS_
11_0F:53000INVPROSIM_11_0F:51400INVPRO_11_0F;C07:51200ACD_
2007_0F:52500REVITS_9_0F;D07:52600REVIT_9_0F:52500REVITS_9_0F;
E07:51200ACD_2007_0P:51300INVBUN_11_0P;F07:51800BLDSYS_2007_
0F:53100REVSYP_1_0F SUPERSEDE ISSUED=12-Feb-2006 SIGN="08BD F4CC 1CCE C4A7 8755 A8F7 0F49 2F3E BF9C 8BA0 7876 91D3 E69A"
================== End of example =========================

From AutoCAD 2007 Network Licensing Questions and Answers.pdf:

11. Cascading for Network Licenses

11.1 What is Cascade Licensing?
Cascade Licensing allows a product to grab the least expense license from a network license manager pool when the license manager is servicing more then one product.
For example, you have purchased network licenses for both AutoCAD and Revit Series. In the past when AutoCAD from Revit Series is launched it would always grab a license from the Revit Series pool. If no license is available it would fail to run. With Cascade licensing, AutoCAD from Revit Series would first try to grab a license from AutoCAD pool or the least expensive license. If no license is available it will grab a license from the Revit Series pool.

11.2 Does Cascade Licensing work for stand-alone licenses?
No. This feature relates only to Network Licensing, and the manner in which licenses are drawn from a network license pool on the server.

11.3 How does Cascade Licensing work?
Implementation of cascading licenses allows a user to utilize licenses from more than one license pool on a server, based on a sequence of priorities.
For 2006 based products the network license manager allows product groups to ship a series of software which can all run using a single license. For example, Autodesk Inventor Series is shipped containing Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Mechanical Desktop. A user who has these three applications installed on their computer can launch all three products concurrently, and will only consume a single license from the pool.
Cascading licenses will allow users who have purchased licenses for a series product, and have also purchased licenses separately for a product which is a component of the series to draw licenses from the lower-end individual product first before drawing licenses from the more expensive series pool.
Cascading license will "cascade" from the first priority product to the last priority product. When a new product is installed the cascading sequence is automatically enabled on the server.

11.4 How can I turn Cascading on?
Cascading licenses are not turned on or turned off. Cascading licensing is a feature of the network license manager and is enabled through the license file. If an application supports cascading license, the license file will contain a plist, or prioritized list of products.

11.5 How is Cascading prioritized and which products use it?
For each list of products below, the application will try to grab a license from the product listed first.
Prioritization for Infrastructure products:
1. Autodesk Land Desktop Licenses
2. Autodesk Civil 3D Licenses
3. Autodesk Civil 3D Pro Licenses
So Land Desktop will try to first grab a license from the Land Desktop license pool but if a license is not available it will try Autodesk Civil 3D, and lastly Autodesk Civil 3D Pro before denying a license.
Prioritization for Mechanical products:
1. AutoCAD Mechanical / Mechanical Desktop Licenses
2. Autodesk Inventor Series Licenses
3. Autodesk Inventor Pro Licenses
So AutoCAD Mechanical will try to first grab a license from AutoCAD Mechanical license pool. If a license is not available it will try Autodesk Inventor Series and lastly Autodesk Inventor Pro. Inventor will first try to grab a license from Inventor Series first followed by Inventor Pro.
Prioritization for Building system products:
1. AutoCAD Licenses
2. Revit Series Licenses
So AutoCAD will try to grab a license from AutoCAD pool first before trying to grab a license from the Revit Series license pool.

11.6 Can I change how Cascading prioritized?
No, the prioritization is stated as above.

Monday, March 27, 2006

How to turn off the drafting tooltip in AutoCAD 2007

Do you want to turn off the drafting tooltip and it doesn't seem to work as it used to? Turn off Display AutoTrack tooltip in Options>Drafting. This is a changed behavior compared to AutoCAD 2006.

Can we download AutoCAD next time?

Behind the Scenes Video: Who Was Shipped the First AutoCAD 2007? Impressive work behind the scenes. Maybe we can have the option to download it next time.

AutoCAD 2007 CUI enhancements

Customize what happens when double-clicking using CUI. There is a new Double Click Actions node.

CUI functionality has been updated enabling you to drag and drop from the command list onto tool palettes.

If you have messed up with the CUI file it can be restored or reset. If restore is selected the backup acad.bak.cui is used. If reset is selected the file is taken from C:\Program Files\AutoCAD 2007\UserDataCache\Support

Visual Studio 400 Differences

I found http://www.400plusdifferences.com/ with a lot of fun videos via Scott Hanselman. I love working in VS 2005 now with AutoCAD and ADT.

Will you jump on new products like Autodesk Revit Systems?

I appreciate honest comments like this.
"No version one product is ever a great product. Version two products are OK, version three are the good ones." - Carl Bass in CRN
It's very true, but still there are cases when there are good reasons to start using version one products. For you it might be just great enough. I will at least take a look at Autodesk Revit Systems version one and see how it is compared to the applications we use today like MagiCAD and PDMS.

Are you missing some Express Tools commands in AutoCAD 2007?

Layer Express Tools (now in the Format menu) and the Chspace command (in the Modify menu) are now part of core AutoCAD. The new Layer tools commands are: LAYMCUR LAYWALK LAYMCH -LAYMCH LAYCUR COPYTOLAYER -COPYTOLAYER LAYISO LAYVPI LAYUNISO LAYOFF LAYON LAYFRZ LAYTHW LAYLCK LAYULK LAYMRG -LAYMRG LAYDEL -LAYDEL

DWG TrueConvert ready for 2007 DWG format

"DWG TrueConvert™ translates any AutoCAD or AutoCAD-based drawing file for compatibility with AutoCAD Release 14, AutoCAD 2000, 2000i, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 versions. The DWG TrueConvert software allows conversion of pen widths to lineweights and the addition of page setups." Download from http://www.autodesk.com/dwgtrueconvert. Instructions for Silent installation of Autodesk DWG TrueConvert.

Update: Here is the direct link to download DWG TrueConvert 2007.

DOSLib 7.0 for AutoCAD 2007

Get it from http://www.mcneel.com

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Problem with embedded DWF Viewer

You might have run into this as well. Suddenly you have to click or "Press SPACEBAR or ENTER to activate and use this control" on the embedded DWF Viewer object to activate it. This is because an introduced bug in a patch from Microsoft. More here at this news group thread: Internet Explorer ActiveX Activation Patch interferes with DWF Viewer ActiveX. Both Microsoft and Autodesk are working on this. You can try if you have been affected by looking at the DWF at this page.

SmartPurger 2.3 (support for AutoCAD 2007)

SmartPurger 2.3 is now released to support AutoCAD 2007 and its verticals. Download it and try it for free. Demo limitation is three drawings. No upgrade cost for existing customers but email and request a new license key. SmartPurger is the ultimate software for purging multiple AutoCAD drawings at top speed with full control. SmartPurger is a batch processing utility that allows you to purge multiple drawings. A Unique feature is that the file time stamp can be restored. SmartPurger handles crashes so the script continues to the end and leaves bad drawings. This is extremely useful before backups and distribution of drawings. SmartPurger is for example useful if you want to minimize the size of files before a backup or before sending drawings by e-mail, burning to CD or just to use as a quick viewer of drawings. You can even save the files to a separate folder or to a different drawing version. SmartPurger can also execute custom script files (.SCR) or AutoLISP files (.LSP, .FAS or .VLX).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

AutoCAD 2007 and IE 7 B2

If you have IE7 B2 installed and when you get AutoCAD 2007 within a few days make sure that you have the latest Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 Preview - released on March 20th. If not some features like search in Help and the New Features Workshop might not work. Those bugs are now solved. Still there seems to be problems with the DWF Viewer as Scott Sheppard has blogged about.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Sharing ADT eTransmit transmittals

If you want to share the eTransmit transmittals setups on your system with other systems across the network a solution is found here. They are stored in the registry for the current user. Architectural Desktop 2006 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R16.2\ACAD-4004:409\ETransmit\setups] Architectural Desktop 2007 [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.0\ACAD-5004:409\ETransmit\setups]

Use INDEXCTL and speed up your AutoCAD

I was scanning through the Autodesk newsgroups and found this post about Slow performance with clipped xrefs and though I could help.
"We are having performance issues with drawings that have multiple copies of an xref that is clipped in various ways. ... AutoCAD slows down substantially as the number of copies of the clipped xref increases, to the point that it can take 40-50 seconds to change tabs. It seems that the regeneration of the paperspace tabs is the problem because once they are cached switching is almost instant."
Here was my suggestion: Using INDEXCTL set to 3 can improve the performance up to 10 times I have seen, especially in combination with xrefs, xclip and viewports.
"INDEXCTL seems to do the trick!!Dropped tab swapping times from 40-50 seconds to only 4-5 seconds.This is a life saver... thanks guys."
The Autodesk User to User Discussion Groups are a valuable asset. Another one is AUGI Forums.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Reasons to move from AutoLISP to .NET

I run across this about the next version of CLR namely 3.0 that will be basis for VB 9.0 and C# 3.0. How about things like nested functions, lambda expressions that LISP users are used to?

"Though it is not required for query comprehensions, Visual Basic may support direct syntax for anonymous functions and subroutines (so called "lambda expressions"), which would be translated by the compiler to local function declarations."- Source including more news in VB 9.0.

Then of course there are other reasons to start looking at .NET. With every new release more API opens up if you use managed code and less using AutoLISP and VBA. AutoLISP and VBA still have it's place but I find I use it less.

I'm now working on a project in Visual Studio 2005, VB.NET and AutoCAD 2007 and ADT 2007. Less reason to close down AutoCAD or ADT after using NETLOAD of a DLL because of lack of NETUNLOAD. With the ability to debug, edit and continue quite a lot of code changes can be done during a debug session. This could not be done with VS.2003. Having started to use VS.2005 there will be a hard time to go back to VS.2003 for projects without need to upgrade.

Text enhancements and bugs fixed in AutoCAD 2007

MTEXTFIXED set to 2 and MTEXTED set to “Internal:”. Text that would otherwise be difficult to read (if it is very small, very large, or is rotated) is displayed at a legible size and is oriented horizontally so that you can easily read and edit it. This is great news for many that loved the new mtext editor but could not use it because they for example used so much rotated text.

"Give us back the ability to drag and drop selected text in the In-Place Text Editor. It worked in AutoCAD 2005."

Drag and drop selected text works now again in AutoCAD 2007.

"If using DTEXT and entering underscored text starting with %%U and end the command by two enter leaves an extra row with a dot (invisible if the font is True Type). The text includes only the text %%U. The same when using %%O for overscoring."

This bug is fixed in AutoCAD 2007.

I will eventually go through the bugs in AutoCAD 2006 listed on my website and see what has been fixed or not.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Google @Last into game market to SketchUp a virtual world?

Here's one potential usage. How about making a 3D game available for free where you could model your own house, city or world and interact with others in real time anywhere? There has been a lot of talk this day about Google bying @Last Software with it's SketchUp.

AutoCAD 2007 Purge and Workspace enhancements

The purge (and -purge) command now also purges materials and visual styles not used in the drawing.

Command: -PURGE Enter type of unused objects to purge [Blocks/Dimstyles/LAyers/LTypes/MAterials/Plotstyles/SHapes/ textSTyles/Mlinestyles/Tablestyles/Visualstyles/Regapps/All]:

Starting AutoCAD with the command line switch /w designates which workspace in the loaded CUI files should be restored on startup. A welcome feature that we really missed in AutoCAD 2006 when workspaces where introduced.

* JTB World's SmartPurger will be updated to work fully with AutoCAD 2007 *

Monday, March 13, 2006

ADT 2007 Scheduling Enhancements

Here are some news in Architectural Desktop 2007 that will be useful.

Hierarchical classification definitions

Classifications can be assigned to individual objects.

List definitions allow the creation of a list of values that can be used as space names, zone names or within a manual schedule property definition.

Graphic Property Definition

Property Set Definition with list definition, graphic property definition, visibility and sort order.

The anchor property definition allows a schedule property to retrieve information from an object to which the scheduled object is anchored.

Schedule Table Title per object

Header override

The new schedule formula column

Schedule with images

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Live Clipboard an i-drop killer?

i-drop by Autodesk is a great technology but quite niched and somewhat limited. Nothing wrong with that. But, what might be the next thing then? When I read Scobleizer, Ray Ozzie both at Microsoft and Dave Winer I thought that the ideas of a Live Clipboard might work the way i-drop works and even more so. Let's see what happens with this idea. There is a lot of talk about this now. Just imagine copying a drawing from the web and paste it into AutoCAD or into an EDM application or Explorer, or copy something from within Revit and paste it into Microstation using XML formats like IFC from one BIM application to another.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Another CADMAN+Tussilago cartoon strip

Click here to see the new cartoon strip.

Friday, March 3, 2006

How to install a printer from a DWF

I have though about sharing this tip about "Printer Connector" a long time. I've got some emails from those wondering how it could be done after Shaan Hurley, Autodesk posted about a solution I made a few years ago at the company I work for. Now I got reminded again reading about Internal Facilities Management application by Scott Sheppard, Autodesk. I assisted Brian Mathews and Brian Pene at their class at Autodesk University 2005 in Florida and I really recommend you to take a look at the available class materials you can find on Scott's blog. Actually Brian was one of those wondering how I had solved installing the printers from a DWF hyperlink. Nice to see that it's used at Autodesk too. Now to the solution that is really simple but useful.

Start with a DWG drawing of the facility and add a block that represents a printer or plotter. Add a hyperlink on the block that links to a html file on a location available for all users. Use the name of the printer and maybe size and type as description. The content of the html file is here. Just change the server name and the printer name in the code. Now Plot or Publish the drawing to DWF. If you have several levels and buildings you can create a main html page that links to these DWF files. The DWF files can also be embedded into a html page and add some simple instructions that they should click on a printer etc.
<html>
<head>
</head>
<p><font face="Verdana">Printer connection...</font></p>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="VBScript">
<!--
on error resume next
Set WshNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
PrinterPath = "\\SERVERNAME\PRINTERNAME"
msg="Do you want " & PrinterPath & " to be Default printer?"
answ=msgbox(msg,vbYesNoCancel,"Add Printer")
If answ=vbYes then
  WshNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection PrinterPath
  WshNetwork.SetDefaultPrinter PrinterPath
elseif answ=vbNo then
  WshNetwork.AddWindowsPrinterConnection PrinterPath
end if
history.back()
-->
</SCRIPT>
</html>
See this html code or check in the DWF Viewer Help.
<script language="vbscript">
<!--
on error resume next
if not IsObject(CreateObject("AdView.AdViewer")) then msgbox "You need the DWF Viewer!" & vbNewLine & vbNewLine & "Please contact the IT department."
function ShowPrinters
EView.Viewer.HighlightLinks = not EView.Viewer.HighlightLinks
end function
-->
</script>
<html>

<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<title>Printer Connector</title>
<style type="text/css">
a:link {color: #FFFFFF}
a:visited {color: #FFFFFF}
a:hover {color: #FF0000}
a:active {color: #FFFFFF}
</style>
</head>

<body bgcolor="#4083A8" topmargin="0">

<OBJECT
id=Eview
codeBase="file:///server/dwfviewer/installer/DwfViewerSetup.cab"
classid=clsid:A662DA7E-CCB7-4743-B71A-D817F6D575DF
width=100%
height=92% border="2" vspace="4">
<param name="_cx" value="38788">
<param name="_cy" value="25056">
<param name="BackColor" value="7895160">
<param name="EmbedDoc" value="0">
<param name="Src" value="Printers.dwf?NotifyMissingFonts = false">
<param name="ViewerParams" value="?NotifyMissingFonts = false">
</OBJECT>

<script language="vbscript">
<!--
; If multipage DWF's are used navigate to the page named "Level 8"
EView.Viewer.Page = "Level 8"
-->
</script>

<font face="Verdana" color="#FFFFFF" size="2">
<i>Click on the
<a title="Flash the printers" href="vbscript:ShowPrinters">printer</a> you want to have installed.
</i></font><br>
<font face="Verdana" size="1"><font color="#FFFFFF">Send mail to
<a href="mailto:HelpDesk%20IT?subject=Printer Connector">HelpDesk IT</a> or
the </font>
<a href="mailto:info@jtbworld.com?subject=Printer Connector">
Author</a><font color="#FFFFFF">
with questions or comments about Printer Connector.</font></font>
</body>

</html>

I recommend that you activate usage of single click to follow hyperlinks or include instructions to hold down CTRL + Click.

I hope you get the idea. Feel free to use it, have fun and impress on your management and users and IT. Feel free to contact me if you got any questions or post a comment.

Companies worldwide selects JTB FlexReport

Companies all over the world uses JTB FlexReport. From Australia and Portugal to US. Teleca Ltd., UK; Sec. Regional do Equipamento, Portugal; Cúram Software, Irland; WSP Management Services, UK; SNG SurgutNIPIneft Russia; Port of Seattle, US; Pate Engineers, Inc., US; Affinion Group, US; Guardian Life, US; GPD Associates, US; GAI Consultants, Inc., US; GHD, Australia; Bascon A/S, Denmark; Aker Yards AS, Norway; CDS/Muery Services, US; Britannia Building Society, UK; RMT, Inc., US has recently purchased JTB FlexReport as their solution to have better control on their network licenses based on the FLEXlm or FLEXnet technology. E.g. details on what users are using the product most or least can be reported on as well as graphical reports as seen below. This is done for applications like ARM, Rational Rose, SoldWorks, AutoCAD, MagiCAD, Novapoint, Mathcad, ProE, Matlab, ESRI ArcGIS, Intergraph GeoMedia, SpeechWorks and others. Support for consolidating several version of one application. If you have Autodesk subscription you are allowed to have for example AutoCAD 2007, AutoCAD 2006 and AutoCAD 2005 available for the users as long as you don't use more licenses as you have subscription for. JTB FlexReport can group these licenses together in one graph.

Read more about JTB FlexReport and ask for a free fully functional trial.

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Keep up to date with the latest ADT 2007 news...

If you want to see all Architectural Desktop 2007 posts on this blog and on my web site or if you want to see what all other bloggers says. Some have started like Matt Dillon, Chris Yanchar and Robin Capper.

Keep up to date with the latest AutoCAD 2007 news...

See this BLAUGI post by Mike Perry at AUGI about Breaking info on AutoCAD 2007. If you want to see all AutoCAD 2007 posts on this blog and on my web site or if you want to see what all other bloggers says.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Subscribe using email

To the left I've added support to subscribe to updates on this blog and get them by email using the free service from FeedBlitz. It takes only a few seconds to set yourself up.

AutoCAD 2007 DWG file format

New DWG file format. Now it's AutoCAD 2007 DWG. So users without AutoCAD 2007 needs to download DWG TrueConvert™ that can batch convert from AutoCAD 2007 DWG to 2004, 2000 and R14. Or you can use SaveAs that now allows to save down to R14 DWG and R12 DXF as well as several versions in between. AutoCAD 2007 will optionally warn users when the DWG file they are opening was saved using an application that was not created by an Autodesk product or RealDWG licensee.What is a Trusted DWG? Answer here. In the tray within AutoCAD you will either see for a Trusted Autodesk DWG and for a Non Autodesk DWG.

Use a feed reader

Here is the statistic for users that subscribes to the blog feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/JtbWorld Using a feed reader is an easy way to get the latest from this blog and others. If you want to keep the news coming about AutoCAD 2007 and other things consider using a feed reader.

Subscribe Now!
...with web-based news readers. Click your choice below: addtomyyahoo4Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe with Pluck RSS readerSubscribe in RojoSubscribe with BloglinesAdd to Google ...or download a free reader:
RssReader
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RSS Bandit (the one I use most right now)

AutoCAD 2007

A picture of AutoCAD 2007 that shows a lot of the news. It is a 3D model on screen with shadows, conceptual visual style, edge overhand, edge jitter, silhouette edges, obscured edges in a perspective projection that you can work in. Anchored palettes as icons only to the left and with text and icons to the right. The dashboard palette is a single palette with most 3D features. What can you see more? Click for larger picture

AutoCAD 3D

3D is the big thing in AutoCAD 2007 that is soon to be released. More will come on the blog and website. www.jtbworld.com/autocad2007.htm

Some of the latest blog posts

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