Monday, December 31, 2007

Google Blog Search problem to get complete result

A comparison on two searches and I found the following confirming that this Search Box for Blogger still is not good. The problem is probably not so much related to this Search Box (on the right side of this blog) but it's all Google and the blog search should really be fixed. Being one of the largest search companies Google should have fixed this a long time ago.
18 found using Google Search (the result includes the monthly archives) compared to Google Blog Search that only finds 3 out of 9. That means a lot of the posts are missing on this search and other searches as well. The index is obviously very incomplete and needs to improve. Searching within Blogger 9 posts are found and is the correct.

Search within Blogger

Friday, December 28, 2007

Add a comma to the sheet title of a sheet in AutoCAD

I got an email with the following question:

I was Google searching for a way to add a comma to the sheet title for ADT2007. ... However I did not find any way to do such, just a comment by someone that it was impossible.
I have figured ways to add formatting code to other text fields (like capitalizing the date and doing a shortened month)…and was wondering if you knew a way to use escape characters and/or ASCII codes to include commas and other special characters in sheet tiles?

The error message can say something like Invalid characters in the name: test , with comma. The following characters are not valid: <>\/":;?*|,=`

This reply helped this user. It works in Sheet Set Manager (SSM) in AutoCAD as well as in the Project Navigator in AutoCAD Architecture (ACA) / Architectural Desktop (ADT).

Run the program CharMap.exe found in Windows Accessories>System Tools and there you can find special characters and copy them to use.

But you cannot use the real comma , but you can use something similar like ‚ that is U+201A or Alt+0130. You can enter it by holding down Alt on the keyboard and then on the right part of the keyboard enter 0130 and release Alt. Or you can copy it from the Character Map program.

Hopefully Autodesk does something about this in a future release.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tafiti and the AutoCAD blog tree

Below a screencast video showing how Tafiti beta search works.

Tafiti, which means "do research" in Swahili, is an experimental search front-end from Microsoft, designed to help people use the Web for research projects that span multiple search queries and sessions by helping visualize, store, and share research results. Tafiti uses both Microsoft Silverlight and Live Search to explore the intersection of richer experiences on the Web and the increasing specialization of search.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Convert a photo into a talking character

Just for the fun of it. I got an email about PQ Talking Photo and here is what it can look like getting a cartoon talk. Head over to PQ Talking Photo and see some other samples. Make your favorite animal talk or some in your family. All you need is a photo and their soon to be released software and you can then place it on your blog, myspace, facebook, iPod, iPhone, PSP, Zune, Mobile Phone.


blogmyspacedvd to ipod video convertertalkingphoto, dvd to psp convertertalkingphoto, dvd to zunetalking photo album

Last minute ODA membership for free

If you are interested to become an Open Design Alliance associate member you better hurry. This membership is free this year but will cost you $250 next year.

The DWGdirect library supports the formats DWG, DXF and DWF.

The ADTdirect library provide support for Architectural Desktop custom objects. A beta version of Civil 3D libraries is also available

The DGNdirect library supports the MicroStation file formats.

You may incorporate the Open Design Alliance libraries into programs that are used within your organization or school, or are distributed for free to the general public via the Worldwide Web.  You may not, however, distribute these programs in any commercial fashion, or in conjunction with any other commercial software applications. (This membership level is also appropriate if you are developing commercial application programs incorporating our libraries, but are not shipping. At such time as you are ready to ship, you may upgrade to a higher membership level.)

ODA is still don't offering a managed code solution for .NET but are planning to to add that in 2008.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Adobe's Acrobat 3D compared to Autodesk's DWF Viewer

Know the market.

"I often get asked how Acrobat 3D compares to the various view and markup tools on the market like Autodesk’s DWF Viewer, Solidworks’ eDrawings, Siemen’s JT2Go and VisView."

Autodesk’s DWF Viewer isn't even on the market. Nowadays it's Autodesk Design Review.

Other than that if you want to combine most any file into a PDF document Acrobat might be the best choice. The extensive API is also a big plus.

"While the main area of overlap between Acrobat 3D and view and markup tools lies in their ability to distribute 3D geometry and 2D drawings while leveraging a low/no cost viewer, it is Acrobat 3D’s ability to convert 3D content as well as combine it with other project information to create a single compound PDF document, complete with security options like encryption, digital certificates and digital signatures that sets Acrobat 3D in a class by itself."

Via And the Difference is: "As Well As" that I could not add a comment on or contact so I made it here.

mental images (mental ray) is now part of nVidia

Another reason to consider a nVidia graphic card. At least in the future.

mental images, is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of NVIDIA.

mental ray is the integrated rendering technology within such leading Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Digital Content Creation (DCC) software products as Autodesk's AutoCAD®, Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk® Maya®, Dassault Systems CATIA® and Solidworks ®, and AVID Softimage®|XSI®.

The Berlin-based visual effects studio has one major product, the Oscar-winning Mental Ray software used in film special effects. Among metal images customers are Lucasfilm, Sony Pictures and Dreamworks.

Via A good reason to have nVidia card in CAD workstation

Windows Vista SP1 RC Evaluation Copy watermark on desktop

If you are about to install Vista SP1 RC consider this.

"Windows Vista (TM) Evaluation Copy. Build 6001" will show on the bottom right of your desktop.

Notice the following from the included readme document.

Windows Vista SP1 RC is time-limited software.
Windows Vista SP1 RC will no longer operate after June 30, 2008 and should be uninstalled prior to that date. After installation your desktop will show the text “Evaluation Copy”. This does not mean that your system is no longer genuine but that you have installed a test version of software which is time-limited. The “Evaluation Copy” text will appear on your desktop after the second reboot after installing the service pack. Likewise, the “Evaluation Copy” text will remain on your desktop during the first reboot after uninstall the service pack, but will disappear after the next reboot.

There is a hack to remove the watermark but it's definitely unsupported by Microsoft.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Using the registry or an INI file to save and retrieve information

When programming there are often information that you want to save and later read. If you consider to use an INI file I suggest you read this post Why are INI files deprecated in favor of the registry?

Here are some reasons I find useful:

  • INI files don't support Unicode.
  • Multiple writers to an INI file can result in data loss.
  • INI files can suffer a denial of service.
  • Parsing an INI file is comparatively slow.

If you think XML is a better choice there are some arguments there as well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Search and find DWF's online

This is a bit old news. It's been mentioned before. But it's great that DWF files can be searched. Not just the files but also the content like text within the DWF.

Make a search for the word motor in a DWF and see what can be found.

image 

Because DWF files can now be indexed and returned by leading search engines, designers can be confident that others can access and experience data-rich information online, improving collaboration and communication.

Autodesk says users can search by file type and find pages that are CAD documents posted online. To locate a drawing, map, or model, users construct a search including the phrase “Filetype:dwf” and terms regarding the type of file sought.

Complete article.

Notice that you cannot use Filetype:dwf as the article says. You must use filetype:dwf with lower case to have it work. Wondering when DWFx will be supported.

Searching for DWF files on Google results right now in 88,100 found. Searching on Windows Live Search and 103,000 are found.

In the Google advanced search it's also available among the File Formats for easy access.

Change the title of your AutoCAD application

I got an email the other day asking if I still had this code around. Yes it is. Why is it useful. One reason is that you might want to take snapshots without the text "NOT FOR RESALE". Another is that you want to brag about having AutoCAD 2009 a few months earlier than the most or just play a prank.

Here is what it look like before running the command.
It says AutoCAD 2008 - NOT FOR RESALE.

AutoCAD 2008

After running the command JTB_SetTitleBarAutoCAD2009 based on the code found on my website it look like this and says AutoCAD 2009.

 AutoCAD 2009

I modified JTB_TitleBar.lsp to this:

(defun c:JTB_SetTitleBarAutoCAD2009() (vl-load-com) (setq JTB_TitleBar "AutoCAD 2009") (vl-vbarun "C:/JTB World/JTB_TitleBar2005.dvb!JTB_TitleBar") (princ) )

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Five presentations from AU 2007 available for all

Autodesk University 2007 is over but you can get some from it anyway.

  • CV400-1 Three Sheets to the Wind (AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008) - Scott McEachron
  • PM304-1 The Essential Guide to NavisWorks - Paul Jonathan Walker
  • GD111-2 Getting Up to Speed on AutoCAD® 2008 - Lynn Allen
  • CM311-3P CAD Manager’s Training and Standards Guide - Robert Green
  • AB210-2P Sustainable Design Systems Based on Revit® Architecture - Kenneth Hall

You find these screencasts here without need to login. If you sign up you can access all sessions at http://au.autodesk.com/sessions.

Friday, December 14, 2007

DivX Pro for free

Head over to http://www.divx.com/dff and get it free instead of $9.99. It's only available a few days more.

Inlcuded are DivX Converter and DivX Pro Codec.

 

Freeware to remove duplicate files

DoubleKiller is a freeware that can help you with this task.

image

I typically have a lot of small files that are identical because I use Visual Studio but in the options it's possible to leave out smaller files below a specified file size.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Solution for Google Analytics tracking code problem with Blogger

Google is behind both Blogger and Google Analytics but this problem slipped through. If you get the error below when you try to add the new tracking code for Google Analytics to your blogger/blogspot blog take a look at this solution. Notice that if you just copy the code from that page you will get _gat is undefined error on your pages so use the code below and just make sure to change UA-XXXX-X to your code.

For HTTP:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXX-X"); pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview(); </script>

For HTTPS:

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://ssl.google-analytics.com/ga.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXX-X"); pageTracker._initData(); pageTracker._trackPageview(); </script>

Error message:

We were unable to save your template
Please correct the error below, and submit your template again.
Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: Open quote is expected for attribute "{1}" associated with an element type "type".

Why would you want to make this update and switch from urchin.js to ga.js?

This will allow you to take advantage of the most up-to-date tracking functionality as it is added to Google Analytics.

Reading through the migration guide I also learned how to track downloaded files.

Save filled forms in Adobe Reader as PDF file

If you have Adobe Reader and fills out a form you might see the message below. This is what Adobe Reader 8.0 shows.

Then if you try to Save a Copy you  will get this message.

Save a Blank Copy of this Form

Data typed into this form will not be saved. Adobe Reader can only save a blank copy of this form. Please print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records.

If you really want a PDF that has the forms filled out and you don't have for example Adobe Acrobat 8.0 what do you do? Here comes the solution to the problem.

You can print it and scan it to a PDF file or even better get a free PDF printer like CutePDF Writer, pdf995, PrimoPDF or PDFCreator. With  any of these freeware's installed you can select to print to that PDF writer and you will have a PDF with the filled forms.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Autodesk Design Review 2008 keyboard shortcuts

If you both use Autodesk Design Review 2008 as well as the keyboard a lot notice that to zoom in and out you need to press CTRL and the + or - key. Combine that with panning using the arrows and you need to press and release the CTRL button. Not so good, but there was hopefully a valid reason for removing the ability to only use the plus or minus key.

Some other useful keyboard shortcuts are:

Command Keyboard Shortcut  
Zoom Rectangle R image
Fit to Window (show extents) F image
2D Navigation Wheel Spacebar image

Most commands have keyboard shortcuts. Hover the mouse over a button and as you can see just use E for Distance Measure.

Knowledge Base document: Zooming in and out by pressing +/- keys

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Digital Signatures in the CAD world

Owen Wengerd has put together a series of posts that explains about Digital Signatures.

AutoCAD dimension background fill and text frame mismatch

As can be seen the fill matches better when Verdana is used as on the left side than with txt.shx as on the one to the right. But still it does not look as good as it should.

What it look like in AutoCAD 2008

Settings using the dimstyle command.

dimstyle

A wish for the future is of course to be able to control the fill and frame size/offset factor like you can with mtext.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Live OneCare purchase problem

OneCare is still not for everyone as I also found out before.

The only payment methods online that are available are MasterCard, Visa and American Express. You must be in the same country as where your credit card is from to get this work or you might get this message:

"We can't authorize the payment method. Please make sure the information is correct, or use another payment method. If you continue to get this message, please contact your financial institution."

According to the OneCare FAQ:

In which countries and languages is Windows Live OneCare available?
The Windows Live OneCare subscription service is available in the following countries and languages: Australia (English), Austria (German), Belgium (Dutch, French), Canada (English, French), France (French), Germany (German), Ireland (English), Italy (Italian), Japan (Japanese), Mexico (Spanish), Netherlands (Dutch), New Zealand (English), Singapore (English), Spain (Spanish), Switzerland (French, German), United Kingdom (English), United States (English, Spanish).

There is an unofficial workaround described if you have someone you really trust in any of these countries.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Make changes to a drawing without changing DBMOD

In an earlier post about layer notification I mentioned how to us acaddoc.lsp to disable unreconciled layer evaluation and notification. In AutoCAD Insider I read about how this makes changes to the drawing so that if you just open a drawing and then try to close it you will be asked to save changes.

One way to partially solve this is to only make changes if there is a need to change.

(if (/= (getvar "LAYEREVAL") 0) (setvar "LAYEREVAL" 0))
(if (/= (getvar "LAYERNOTIFY") 0) (setvar "LAYERNOTIFY" 0))

If you completely want to trick AutoCAD to think no changes has been done to the drawing you can achieve this using (acad-push-dbmod) to store the modification status of a drawing and finally (acad-pop-dbmod) to restore the original status.

If you start a new drawing and run (setvar "LAYEREVAL" 0) you will find that the DBMOD system variable changes to 4. But if enclosed with (acad-push-dbmod) and (acad-pop-dbmod) no changes will be made to DBMOD and you will be able to close the drawing without any "problem". You have to do something else with the drawing to trigger AutoCAD to ask you to save the drawing if you just close it.

Here is an example of what you can add into acaddoc.lsp.

(acad-push-dbmod)
(setvar "LAYEREVAL" 0)
(setvar "LAYERNOTIFY" 0)
(acad-pop-dbmod)
(princ "\nacaddoc.lsp loaded")
(princ)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Autodesk products on Vista white paper

More companies starts to consider to upgrade from XP to Vista and then this Autodesk and Windows Vista white paper can come handy.

Some highlights are:

"companies that run AutoCAD 2008 64-bit on Windows Vista can speed up their work."

"AutoCAD Architecture 2008 users should experience the same high performance. Benchmark testing shows no degradation or enhancement to performance on Windows Vista."

"Autodesk has found that the performance of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008 undergoes some changes when run on Windows Vista. Benchmark testing shows that while some processes perform the same when run on Windows Vista and Windows XP, some are slower on Windows Vista. Autodesk has found that the more RAM a system has, the less perceptible the slowdown. Conversely, processes leveraging the .NET framework, such as corridor processing, are up to 10 times faster on Windows Vista."

"Autodesk’s benchmark testing shows neither degradation nor enhancement of performance when AutoCAD Map 3D 2008 is run on Windows Vista."

"With 64-bit, users can handle larger and more complex scenes and experience improved large model and data set performance. With 3ds Max 2008, users can start in either Direct3D or OpenGL modes. If they run the application in Direct3D model, they will experience additional performance improvements."

"the software client version of the Autodesk Buzzsaw 2007.3 is not Vista compatible."

Inventor - "Autodesk has found that by leveraging Direct3D, Inventor implementation on Windows Vista shows performance gains of approximately 5% when compared with Windows XP."

Revit Architecture 2008 - "Benchmark testing shows no degradation or enhancement to performance on Windows Vista."

Via the Autodesk Labs Blog and Microsoft Vista Compatibility

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Free CAD software for personal use only

If you are used with AutoCAD and for one or the other reason don't have AutoCAD, ProgeCAD 2008 Smart! might be an option. ProgeCAD 2008 Smart! is available for download at www.progesoft.com/smart. It can read and write DWG files compatible with AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD 2008. Personally I feel a bit uneasy about the concept of AutoCAD clones like this one but free is free.

Via ProgeSOFT blog

Macro recorder for AutoCAD

It's hinted in the latest AUGIWorld Magazine that some kind of macro recorder can be included in a future version of AutoCAD.

Other things are UI enhancements and support for MicroStation DGN V7 versions.

Maybe some of it will show up in AutoCAD 2009 that is to be released in 2008.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Extract ISO for Visual Studio 2008 ISO-13346 "UDF"

I downloaded Visual Studio 2008 professional RTM and tried to extract the file en_visual_studio_2008_professional_x86_x64wow_dvd_X14-26326.iso using 7-zip but the only file I got was README.TXT with the following content:
This disc contains a "UDF" file system and requires an operating system
that supports the ISO-13346 "UDF" file system specification.

What I then did that solved this was to run Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and dragged the ISO file to the CD/DVD icon and then I could drag and drop all files from the virtual PC to the host computer.

Update. A friend send an email and recommended a couple of alternatives. I only tried the first one below.

Virtual CloneDrive is a freeware that virtually mounts the ISO to a drive and it worked great in Vista with the VS 2008 ISO. No 64-bit version yet though.

DAEMON Tools Lite is a freeware that supports both X86 and X64. Be aware that you might want to don't want to or want to uninstall DAEMON Tools Searchbar and Save Now that is included.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Right click trouble in Vista

Suddenly my Internet Explorer in Windows Vista started to act strange. I could not right click and get the shortcut menu showing and nothing happened when I clicked on the >> for example.

image

Suddenly IE7 crashed after I had clicked around for a while. Usually IE starts again and I waited a while. In the meantime I went over to Outlook and right clicked on an email and it didn't show the menu there either.

I found in the task manager that iexplorer.exe was still running so I killed the process and things started to act normally again. Not a permanent solution as I still don't know why it failed in the first place but I have not seen it again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Windows Live OneCare 2.0 released

One thing I noticed during the beta was the performance enhancement.

Don't know what Windows Live OneCare is?

Here is what it includes:

  • Protection Plus, with its antivirus and antispyware scanners, managed, two-way firewall, and integrated anti-phishing technology, helps protect your computer from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, hackers, phishing, and other threats. It runs continuously in the background, but you can scan individual files and folders for viruses on demand simply by right-clicking them. You can even scan attachments you receive via Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger.
  • Performance Plus regularly defragments your hard disk, removes any unnecessary files that can clog your computer, and helps make sure important security updates from Microsoft are installed efficiently and on time.
  • Backup and Restore regularly copies your important files and settings to CD, DVD, external hard disk, network drive, or other data-storage device.
  • Instant Support provides online help anytime you need it, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Monday, November 26, 2007

    JTB FlexReport 4 released

    JTB FlexReport is a reporting tool that can help you analyze the usage of your network licenses.

    The major news in this release of JTB FlexReport are:

    • FLEXnet license denial notifications. You can get automatic emails sent when license requests are denied. The information on the denials are also saved to the database so they are available for study.
    • Support for applications like 12d Model from 12D Solutions.
    • The latest JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports.mdb must be downloaded separately if you upgrade an existing installation or you can rename JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports.mdb before installing.
    • Groups defined in the detailed report are now correctly saved to the JTBFlexReport.NET.mdb again. For help to migrate the groups contact us.
    • For other fixes and news see the Revision History on the website.

    Existing customers should contact us for a new license file before installing. The license file should be located in the installation folder.

    Detect educational plot stamped drawings with SmartPurger

    SmartPurger can be used to help you detect drawings that has been created or saved by an Educational (Student and Faculty) version of AutoCAD® or AutoCAD-based software.

    Why would you like to find these? PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT will be added along all four edges of any plot of these drawings. If one or more drawings with this stamp is circulating among your non educational drawings you might end up with getting more and more drawings affected. This can happen if you attach an xref or insert a drawing as block. If the xref or block has the stamp the host drawing will get it too.

    A dialog box "AutoCAD Alert" shows when opening a drawing like that.

    It says: "Educational plot stamp detected. If you continue with this operation, the drawing will be plotted with the following banner: "PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK EDUCATIONAL PRODUCT" Do you want to continue?"

    AutoCAD Alert

    Learn your users or yourself to not answer Yes to the above question unless they know about the consequences.

    Here is how SmartPurger can help. It's a bit semi automatic. But it can help if you want to go through thousands of drawings.

    SmartPurger automatically creates a log file named SmartPurgerClosedPopUps.log in Windows temp folder. If a dialog box shows up that SmartPurger closes, it will be listed in this log file like this:
    2007-11-25 15:34:34;D:\test\Educational Plot Stamped.dwg;AutoCAD Alert

    Notice "AutoCAD Alert". This indicates that it could be an educational plot stamp in that drawing. If you script through 1000 drawings and find 10 with Alert you can open them manually and check if they have the Educational plot stamp or if the Alert was about something else.

    Make sure to check "Close Popups Automatically" in SmartPurger>Options>Settings.

    General

    In this case you don't want SmartPurger to do anything with the drawings so make sure to just save the drawings to a temp folder that you can empty afterwards. If you have older drawings it can be a good idea to set "Convert to" as showed below.

     SaveAs 

    Here is a sample DWG with the Educational plot stamp that you can try with.

    UPDATE: We now have a separate application EduFinder that quickly can identify all drawings with the educational plot stamp.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Now you can get Camtasia Studio 3.1.3 absolutely free

    and if you want the latest and greatest Camtasia Studio 5.0 screen recording software you can upgrade with a great deal. It is time limited so grab your copy unless you already have it. Not suitable for Windows Vista though.

    Download Camtasia Studio 3.1.3 and get the license key.

    If you want to find what has been added between the versions 3.1.3 and 5.0 take a look at this comparison chart.

    Via updatexp.

    Now you can get SnagIt 7.2.5 absolutely free

    and if you want the latest and greatest SnagIt 8.2 Screen Capture and Image Editor software you can upgrade with a great deal. It is time limited so grab your copy unless you already have it. Not sure if it's suitable for Windows Vista though.

    Download SnagIt 7.2.5 and get the license key.

    If you want to find what has been added between the versions 7.2 and 8.2 take a look at this comparison chart.

    Via updatexp.

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Optimize scanned PDF using Acrobat

    A useful feature in Acrobat is to optimize scanned PDF's.

    Recently I got a bunch of JPG files that I combined to a PDF and because they where so skewed the deskew option was really useful.

    Available from Document>Optimize Scanned PDF.

    Optimize Scanned PDF 

    Here is the result with the deskewed image to the right. Much better.

    skewed page deskewed page

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Autodesk Plant Customer Council

    Just wanted to repost this comment on a previous post.

    We're doing something similar in the Plant group, but we're using the Myfeedback portal to host it. To sign up for the Plant Customer Council, go to http://myfeedback.autodesk.com/ and use the keywords Plant Customer Council for the Beta Code when signing up.
    Peter Quinn, Autodesk

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Operating system that starts up in less than 1 second

    Zebor Technology, a Swedish company makes this possible.

    ZDOS is a 32-bit real time operating system for the X86-platform and was written entirely in assembly language for maximum performance.

    Via PC FÖR ALLA

    New PR Manager for Autodesk Northern Europe

    Mikael Löwenhielm is the new PR Manager for Autodesk Northern Europe. He comes from PTC where he was Nordic marketing and PR Manager.

    According to the press release in Swedish his first working week will be attending Autodesk University. Wonder what he will say about Autodesk PLM.

    MikaelLöwenhielm1

    More in Swedish at It24.

    AutoCAD 2008 startup errors

    This Autodesk Knowledge Base document: Errors during program startup includes a lot of great tips how to find a solution to problems to start AutoCAD 2008 or AutoCAD LT 2008.

    In addition to this I can mention that yesterday something happened with my AutoCAD Architectural 2008 and I could not start it no matter what I did. The solution was simple though. All I had to do was to restart the computer.

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Windows Live Hotmail comments and bugs

    The change the other day to from the old Hotmail to Windows Live Hotmail introduced some changes that where not only for the good.

    Before it was possible to set the background color for a whole email. The background color extended for the whole width of the message. Now it's only the text that can have a background.

    This is how it could be before.

    But now it look like this.

    Before animated gif's where animated when viewing a email message in Hotmail but now they are not animated.
    A small thing is that the emoticons has changed slightly. image

    The emoticon to the left is the new one and to the right the old one. The old one is looking better on a black background as you see.
           

    And as you can see there are two different gif's used.
    http://graphics.hotmail.com/i.p.emsmile.gif is the old one.
    http://gfx1.hotmail.com/mail/w2/emoticons/smile_regular.gif is the new one.

    I also find wonder when Microsoft will stop using Trend Micro for safety check and scanning for viruses instead of their own Windows Live OneCare or Microsoft enterprise security product. The agreement was extended at Apr 10, 2006 and I'm not sure for how long that was.

    Calculate surface area of a Mass Element in AutoCAD Architecture

    I got an email with the question how to achieve this on a very complex Mass Element and here is one solution how it can be done.

    Mass Element

    To get the surface area of a Mass Element use ConvertTo3dSolids (or select the Mass Element, right click and select Convert To>3D Solid) to convert to a 3DSolid and then use the Area command with the Object option and select the 3D Solid.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Registry Cleaners might get you in trouble

    Be very careful if you want to use a registry cleaner if you have products like AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture or the like installed. These programs are quite sensitive to the problems that some registry cleaners create for them. It can lead to that some functions no longer works or even that you cannot start the application. Sometimes you can repair the installation and sometimes you even have to reinstall the application to get it working again.

    Some examples of registry cleaners that have resulted in these problems are:

    • Abexo Free Registry Cleaner
    • Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
    • Norton SystemWorks
    • Registry Mechanic
    • Microsoft RegClean utility

    Some Autodesk Knowledge Base document that deals with these problems:

    Another mentioning is in this blogpost No Properties in your AutoCAD Properties Manager? Perhaps it was an Overzealous Registry Cleaner.

    Some advices if you still want to use a registry cleaner.

    • If possible backup the registry so you can restore or undo the changes it if any problem shows.
    • To avoid this problem, it is recommended that you configure your registry cleaner so that it does not scan Active X Com Sections and Active X Com Sub Key Sections

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Autodesk MEP Customer Council

    If you use Autodesk Revit MEP and/or AutoCAD MEP and want to provide feedback on Autodesk's MEP software's head over to http://adskmepcc.com and sign up.

    Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere Hosted Updated

    The hosting plans for Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere has been updated as you can see.

    Before it was only the Free Plan and the Standard Hosting Plan (US $28/user/month). Now it might be easier to find a plan that works and make sense for your team. Notice also the "Powered by Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere" Plan that is identical to the Enterprise Plan except that the price is less and you are Required to Display "Powered by Dynamsoft SourceAnywhere" Logo. The downside is that the Free Plan is going down from 3 users to 2.

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Registry Jumper

    Registry Jumper is a free tool I use very often since I use the registry editor regedit.exe so often. It works great also in Windows Vista, just make sure to set the Privilege Level to Run this program as an administrator or right click and Run as administrator.

    image

    You can even have a web page with a bunch of registry key locations and when you click on the links you will get where you want.

    Saturday, November 10, 2007

    AutoLISP.NET

    Wondering when we might see AutoLISP for .NET from Autodesk. Possibly at the same time when support for VBA is removed and support for VSTA (Visual Studio Tools for Applications) comes for AutoCAD and why not for Revit. It would really be a great step forward for AutoLISP to also have access to the complete .NET Framework.

    Rob Blackwell speaks about "If time was more plentiful I’d certainly be thinking about building a LISP or LSharp IDE using Visual Studio Extensibility."

    Thursday, November 8, 2007

    FLEXnet license denial notifications

    If your users are having a lot of denials of their FLEXnet/FLEXlm licensed applications I invite you to beta test the latest version of JTB FlexReport that will enable you to get email warnings when license requests are denied. Contact me if you are interested.

    License report for 12D Solutions applications

    If you are using applications like 12d Model from 12D Solutions from Australia and want to get great reports I invite you to beta test the latest version of JTB FlexReport. Contact me if you are interested.

    Microsoft SharedView Beta reviewed

    I just finished a netmeeting session with a customer using SharedView Beta 2 and it worked really good. It was a bit slow when I took control but other than that it worked good to share applications and chat. I liked how my mouse location showed where I clicked even if I did not have the control. If you want you can also connect with up to 15 people at the same time.

    Inside Windows Live Messenger, there is a SharedView menu item on the Activities menu.

    I just noticed that it's only to be used within US so if you are in the US give it a try. It is also available on www.get.live.com under "more betas".

    Another alternative is Windows Meeting Space. The difference is described to be mainly that "SharedView is a service that allows communication across firewalls with no IT involvement, and runs on Vista, XP SP2, and Windows 2003 Server.  It is designed for ad hoc meetings, either face to face or remote (users are in different physical locations).  SharedView also provides integration into Office applications and Windows Live Messenger."

    3DVIA Shape Beta for free 3D modeling

    Last month I mentioned about the new way to upload models to Virtual Earth 3D/Live Search and now there is a freestanding application 3DVIA Shape from the Dassault Systèmes brand 3DVIA.

    Take a look at Introducing 3DVIA Shape Beta a "new and easy to use 3D modeling application that is free to install and use".

    sample 3D models

    Error 1606. Could not access network location.

    If you get this in AutoCAD 2008 or AutoCAD LT 2008 take a look at this Knowledge Base document: Error 1606 during stand-alone or network installation on Windows Vista

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    Autodesk PLM

    We have all probably heard or read how Autodesk frowns on the PLM term for quite a type.

    "PLM is a marketing slogan created to satisfy the financial community" according to Autodesk CEO Carl Bass.

    Instead it has been a lot of talk about Autodesk Digital Prototyping lately.

    "Digital Prototyping is the word Autodesk has coined as the non-PLM person's PLM." - Autodesk Gets the Press Thinking

    So first of all I was surprised to see Autodesk among the headlines in a Swedish online IT magazine it24 and then more surprised reading that Ensio Aikio at Autodesk says that "We are on our way into a bigger market, the product lifecycle management market."

    Maybe Ensio was just saying that Autodesk want to take a share of the so called PLM market but the wording made me wonder if he have heard what Carl Bass and Andrew Anagnost have been saying.

    Windows Live Mail 2008 is bugging me

    I pretty often get this message saying that "The TCP/IP connection was unexpectedly terminated by the server." It's when I change from one newsgroup to another this often happens.

    I found on tip mentioning to uncheck Tools>Options>General>Use newsgroup Communities support features but that didn't help for me.

    image

    Configuration:
       Account: discussion.autodesk.com
       Server: discussion.autodesk.com
       Protocol: NNTP
       Port: 119
       Secure(SSL): 0
       Code: 800ccc0f

    Even with the latest released Windows Live Mail 2008 I get this.

    Any ideas on how to get rid of this message or the underlying cause?

    Tuesday, November 6, 2007

    Restore disappeared network and volume icon on notification area

    Problem

    In Windows Vista (and also Windows 7 the speakers icon goes missing), suddenly I noticed that the volume icon (speaker icon) next to the clock on the notification area was missing. I right clicked on the taskbar selected Properties>Notification Area and found that both the Volume and the Network checkboxes where grayed out.

    Solution from Microsoft

    Fix it for me

    To run a workaround for this problem automatically, click the Fix this problem link (only work for Windows Vista).

    Then, click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in this wizard.

    Link to Microsoft Fix it

    If you want to use a more manual solution, follow the three steps below.

    1. Download this reg-file and merge it by double clicking on it.

    Or you can just click on the link select Run and then Allow and in the UAC dialog box click continue, when the Registry Editor asks if you want to continue click on Yes and finally click on Ok.

    This is the content of the reg file above.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\TrayNotify]

    It simply deletes the TrayNotify key.

    If you open up Regedit you can also locate this key and you will notice that there are two values; IconStreams and PastIconsStream. They can be deleted manually to achieve the same thing.

    2. Now to be able to get this working you either need to log out and log in from Windows or restart the computer or you can just restart Explorer.

    3. Go back to Taskbar>Properties>Notification Area>System icons and you will find that you can activate the Volume icon again.

    It it still does not work you can start Regedit.exe and search for IconStreams and delete the value were it is found. If you are unsure take a backup.

    There can also be another reason why they don't show up and that is if a policy have restricted them to be showed.

    Run gpedit.msc (Group Policy Object Editor) and look at User Configuration>Administrative Templates>Start Menu And Taskbar and then the settings "Remove the networking icon" and "Remove the volume control icon". They must not be enabled. If you disable or do not configure these settings the icons will be displayed in the system notification area.

    Reset icon or recover icon is now done.

    Windows Live Writer v1 released

    And this blog post is posted using Windows Live Writer 2008 (12.0.1366.1206) that is confirmed to be the final release 1. You can right now get the download if you look at my previous post.

    Update. Now it's on the official WLW blog as well. Download here.

    Still there is only spell checking for 4 languages so if you want it for other languages take a look at my previous post Spell checking in other languages in Windows Live Writer 2008.

    Windows Live Mail v1 is released (not yet)

    Not sure yet if the release is here or not. It probably is version 1 and the days of beta are gone.

    According to the Windows Live Mail blog it is released but then it's gone. Could it be that it should be released first tomorrow? Take a look at www.countdowntobetter.com

    image

    The link for the post is now broken. But using this download installs a newer version (12.0.1606) of WLM and it is a bit different than the latest beta version 12.0.1365. It seems like the version also is called Windows Live Mail 2008.

    Update! Now the post is posted again on the Windows Live Mail blog. You find it here and now http://get.live.com/wlmail works as well. I guess they needed to get this site up first.

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