Friday, February 29, 2008

AutoCAD 2008 spam emails redirected via blogspot

Don't be fooled by these spam emails that shows a blogspot link like these ones.spam email

image

If you click on the link you will automatically end up at another site than the one you see. If you have restricted this in IE you will just see a site like the one below.

redirection site

I think Blogger (Google) should restrict usage of these kind of redirections.

Autodesk introduces VSTA

No VSTA (Visual Studio Tools for Applications) in AutoCAD 2009. I read in the CAD Application Development blog that Revit 2009 has it. That means probably AutoCAD 2010 will introduce VSTA unless Autodesk put resources on other things. AutoCAD have at least VBA and AutoLISP something Revit does not have.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

CAD in mobile with 1280 x 1024 Nvidia APX 2500

Maybe soon in your hand.

APX 2005 could be useful to run for example Autodesk NavisWorks Freedom on a building site for example. With that good graphic processor it would be possible to look at your BIM model with ease.

APX 2005

Via BetaNews

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

An error is preventing this Slide Show from playing - solution

For some reason the screen saver Photos in Windows Vista stopped working.

I think this is related to Nvidia's driver because it started after upgrading but I have not able to confirm this because when I installed the old driver the problem persisted.

It says "an error is preventing this slideshow from playing"

Screen Saver Settings

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/944221 didn't help.

I have tried the tip to delete any of these files to no avail.

%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Photo Gallery\Pictures.pd4

%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Photo Gallery\Pictures.pd4

This can come up in Windows Photo Gallery and sometimes it just helps to manually browse through all images and then try the slide show again.
"An error is preventing this Slide Show from playing."

The solution for the slide show was for me to prevent Windows Photo Gallery from using hardware to accelerate image rendering by setting ForceSoftwareRender to 1 on the following registry location or you can save the two rows below to a .reg file using Notepad and then Run (Merge) it.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows Photo Gallery\Viewer]
"ForceSoftwareRender"    = dword:00000001

To activate hardware  set the value to 0.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Windows Live SkyDrive gives away 5GB storage space online

storage_iconI earlier wrote about Windows Live SkyDrive Beta and now it is released with an increase of up to 5GB free storage space.

It's nice that you can have private and public folders as well as invite certain persons.

Since it was released from Beta I have tried it a little and found that the downside is that the upload size is limited to 50MB per file. I made a spanning zip file with 49MB files and tried to upload them. There is a way to upload multiple files but for some reason a bug limited me to only get one of the files uploaded at a time.

Except for wishing the 50MB limitation to be removed it would be great to select multiple files for quick download, delete or move.

Via the SkyDrive blog

Thursday, February 21, 2008

LogMeIn and Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

Sometimes I use LogMeIn Free, a great way to access remote computers.

I have accessed my PC several times during the day and suddenly I've started to get this problem when trying to connect to it.
"Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage..." Frustrated I wondered what can be the problem?

I tried to restart the laptop and that didn't help. An hour or so later I was able to log in again. It happened again the other day and then I tried to log in to that computer using Firefox instead of IE7 and then it worked. After logging out from Firefox I was able to log in with IE7 again. Maybe it had helped to delete the browsing history, clear the temporary Internet files and cookies or so in IE7. It happened when the session was on and the laptop went into sleep mode or hibernate and I guess something hanged at that point as I did not log out normally. Problem solved.

Some other reasons to this can be caused by a software error or conflict that is preventing the LogMeIn service from accepting incoming connections. 

This can be resolved by either restarting LogMeIn on the target computer, or restarting the computer itself.

The cause is usually a software conflict with another 3rd party piece of software that interferes with LogMeIn listening for connection requests.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

On binary file format complexity of DOC and DWG

Microsoft published the binary file formats for Office a week ago.

Here is an explanation on: Why are the Microsoft Office file formats so complicated?

  • There are a lot of optimizations in the file formats that are intended to make opening and saving files much faster.
  • They were not designed with interoperability in mind.
  • They have to reflect all the complexity of the applications.
  • They have to reflect the history of the applications.

To some extent this applies to binary formats like DWG. One day maybe Autodesk has to or decides to open up their format just like Microsoft. The closest to a DWG specification is the one that ODA has done based on reverse engineering.
OpenDWG specification in RTF format.

The general arrangement of data in an R13/R14/R15 file is as follows:
HEADER
  FILE HEADER
  DWG HEADER VARIABLES
  CRC
CLASS DEFINITIONS
PADDING (R13C3 AND LATER)
IMAGE DATA (PRE-R13C3)
OBJECT DATA
  All entities, table entries, dictionary entries, etc. go in this section.
OBJECT MAP
UNKNOWN SECTION (R13C3 AND LATER)
SECOND HEADER
IMAGE DATA (R13C3 AND LATER)

DwgInfoTip that I made is working with the raw binary format to extract DWG properties and show them as an infotip (tooltip) in Windows Explorer. AutoCAD is not even required to be installed for it to work. If it is installed you will see the infotip in file selection dialog boxes like the Open and Save dialog box.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Network license news in AutoCAD 2009

acad2009 Prior version support is the new thing for the 2009 products (soon to be available) when it comes to network licensing. When new licenses are generated for subscription customers the license file will allow the current and three past versions to run. Autodesk Network licensing tools include the Network License Manager, the Network License Activation utility, the FLEXnet (sometimes still referred as FLEXlm) configuration tools, and SAMreport-Lite. SAMreport-Lite from Macrovision is still the old 3.6 version from 2006.

If you want something better, easier and more flexible consider JTB FlexReport that among many things supports all your other vendors FLEXnet licenses as well as features like combining of multiple versions so you can make sure you follow your subscription contract.

Software Requirement Notes: Windows Vista 32-bit Windows XP 32-bit Windows 2003 Server Edition Windows 2000 Professional Windows 2000 Server Edition Windows Server 2003 R2 is still not mentioned but probably works anyway. Windows Server 2008 SP1 is neither mentioned but I think it will work with the 32-bit version. 64-bit OS seems still not to be supported. Virtual machines like Microsoft Virtual PC or server and VMWare AutoCAD 2009-based products require FLEXnet version 11.4.1 (or 11.4.100 as it says) or later. If you are currently using a version of FLEXnet that is earlier than 11.4.1, you need to upgrade to version 11.4.1 or later. The most simple way to upgrade is described here.

The latest version of the FLEXnet files are found here except the AutoCAD daemon adskflex.exe that is found on the installation DVD. Version 11.4.1 of the FLEXnet license manager that ships with AutoCAD 2009-based products is backwards compatible and will administer licenses for the Autodesk 2008-, 2007-, 2006-, 2005-, 2004-, and 2002-based products as well as products from other vendors. 57600ACD_2009_0F is the FLEXnet feature code for AutoCAD 2009.

The registry hack to change from SLM to NLM will not work completely with AutoCAD 2009 so if you have a standalone installation you need to uninstall completely before installing the network one. Using the registry hack, the cascading licensing service doesn’t install, so cascading will not work, if you install network version then PLU doesn’t install and user will not be able to transfer his license.

See also Change AutoCAD network to standalone to network on how to get the cascading licensing service installed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Document "drawing.dwg" has a command in progress.

Even though this Knowledge Base document Understanding the error " has a command in progress" (Update KB doc removed) says it only applies to AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD 2000i it can happen also in all later versions of AutoCAD even in AutoCAD 2009.

According to Autodesk support: “In most cases the error you are seeing when saving is being caused because the Design Center or another palette is still trying to do something in the software while attempting to save. I recommend making sure that all tool palettes, properties palettes, and the design center is closed by selecting the X button to close them. Normally this will resolve the issue.”

If you run into this problem you can find some helpful tips in that document. Sometimes when QSAVE does not work you can use SAVE or SAVEAS or click on the x  at the top right corner to either close the drawing or AutoCAD. I've seen this several times after using the 3dorbit command. You may also try ._QSAVE in case it has been redefined.

Document "<drive>:\<folder>\<filename>.dwg" has a command in progress.
Hit enter to cancel or [Retry]:

From TS1067466:

Command in progress message while saving a drawing

Issue

When you tried to save a drawing, you received the following command line message:

Document "<drive>:\<folder>\<filename>.dwg" has a command in progress.
Hit enter to cancel or [Retry]:

Solution

This issue can occur after you merge cells in an AutoCAD table using the "By Row" or "By Column" options on the Table toolbar.

At this point, the only way to continue is to re-save the drawing. Follow these steps:

  1. At the command prompt, enter Save.
  2. When you are prompted to replace the existing drawing, click Yes.
  3. Close, and then open the drawing.

To prevent this issue from ocurring again, table cells should be merged using the All option on either the Table toolbar or the shortcut menu.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

FLEXlm is now 20 years old

I found out on Matt's blog:

February, 1988 was the month when I started the development of FLEXlm.

Related to FLEXlm (GLOBEtrotter Software) is FLEXnet the new name by Macrovision. A few days ago the news came that another change is coming.

Thoma Cressey Bravo and Macrovision Corporation (NASDAQ: MVSN) today announced that an affiliate of TCB has entered into a definitive agreement with Macrovision Corporation to acquire Macrovision’s Software Business Unit in a cash transaction valued at approximately $200 million.

The transaction will result in a stand-alone company...   

Specifically, the transaction includes the FLEXnet® and InstallShield® family of products...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Online again

I planned to have only few days off but it ended to be more than a week offline. First some planned vacation followed by unplanned hard disk crash and several days of problem with my ISP Bredbandsbolaget because of a problem on their end. In the mean time they had me purchase a new modem as I thought it would be quicker than having them send me one. The only good thing with the new modem is that I now can use full 24 Mbit per second ADSL speed instead of the old 8.

PS. I did not loose anything due to the hard disk crash thanks to my online backup with Mozy that is run several times a day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Windows logo key with any number key in Vista

Windows logo key Picture of Windows logo key with any number key opens the Quick Launch shortcut that is in the position that corresponds to the number. For example, Windows logo key Picture of Windows logo key +1 to launch the first shortcut in the Quick Launch menu.

A complete list of Windows Vista keyboard shortcuts.

Via Dag König: Windowsknappen+1, Hade jag ingen aning om (in Swedish)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Standing Seam on roof in plan view in ACA

I got a question on how to show the roofing material in plan view. If you want to achieve the result showed at the lower image to the right here is one way. 

Select the roof, right click and select Edit Object Display.

Object Display

On the Materials tab click on the Add New Material button and add "Standing Seam" or whatever you want to name it.

Click on the Edit Material button.

Click on the current display representation in the Style Override column.

On the Layer/Color/Linetype tab make the Display Component "Surface Hatch" visible.

On the Hatching tab set appropriate pattern for the Surface Hatch Display Component.

On the Other tab make sure Top is selected on Surface Hatch Placement.

In Display Manager edit the current Configuration and the Plan View Direction.

On the Display Representation Control find the Roof object and make sure the Model Display Representation is checked.

Find also the Plan Set and in Display Representation Control find the Roof object and make sure the Model Display Representation is checked.

I used AutoCAD Architecture 2008 in this example. If you have a better way or another way please share it in the comments. 

Sunday, February 3, 2008

You are using Google

Thinking about the news on Microsoft's bid for Yahoo I found the following interesting.

Looking at the the last months statistics of organic traffic on this blog and jtbworld.com.

Organic traffic in Jan 2008 jtbworld.blogspot.com jtbworld.com
Google 16745 10897
Yahoo 687 1941
Microsoft Live/MSN 48 384

It certainly doesn't match the search market share that suggest that Microsoft and Yahoo combined has 25%. Maybe it says more about you that end up on this blog. You use Google and Google is better to show blog posts in the result.

A search for AutoCAD 2008 on Yahoo and my AutoCAD 2008 page is on second place and Live Search on third but on Google it's down on the tenth place.

A search on SAMreport alternative on the other hand something I wrote about on this blog is on first place on Google, on second place on Yahoo and on third place on Live Search.

This confirms that you are using Google and BTW so do I.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

OneCare warns about SiteAdvisor

I have the free McAfee SiteAdvisor and just a few days ago Microsoft Live OneCare started to warn about that the computer is at risk.
Urgent
Remove interfering programs
Some programs on this PC may interfere with OneCare. To avoid performance problems on this PC, you should remove those programs.


I contacted OneCare support and got this reply that I have a hard time to understand. First SiteAdvisor is not an antivirus or firewall application and second OneCare does not provide what SiteAdvisor provides.
Please understand that any third party security software will conflict with Windows Live OneCare, so we recommend that removing the McAfee software to avoid conflicting with OneCare.
When a computer has more than one Antivirus or Firewall application installed, the individual applications tend to conflict with each other for control of the computer's security. For example, with more than one Antivirus application running, every file on the computer that is accessed in any way is scanned by each individual antivirus application. Not only that, but all the files required to launch and perform the actual scanning operations are also scanned by the other applications, causing system performance issues and instability. This is sometimes referred to as an Antivirus Scanning Loop.
As Windows Live OneCare provides complete protection from viruses, worms, Internet attacks, and various other threats, we highly recommend uninstalling all other Firewall and Antivirus applications to avoid conflicts. If you have problems removing the third party applications please let me know and I will do my best to identify the contact information for the application's manufacturer to help you get in contact with them for further assistance.
Here is the reply I got from McAfee support:
McAfee SiteAdvisor is the 5-star rated Web safety tool that helps keep you safe from adware, spam and online scams as you search and browse the Web. McAfee products will not work with any other (third-party) Security software. Third party anti virus software from your computer may create a a conflict between the McAfee software which will cause incomplete or incorrect performance of your McAfee software.
SiteAdvisor is installed correctly and is working properly in your computer and is not interfering OneCare, If OneCare is creating conflict with McAfee you may decide, which security software to use.
I wonder why not a word about this is told on SiteAdvisors page or in the FAQ.

Update: McAfee SiteAdvisor has now blogged about it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

CAD development blog

If you're into CAD development take a look at Josh Johnson - Random musings of a CAD developer where he starts of with NSIS installer and how to attach a DWF with .NET and VS code snippets.


Some of the latest blog posts

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