Friday, May 30, 2008

Package name vs feature name in FLEXnet options file

Here is a tip that can be useful as Autodesk introduced package features this year.

I got a question if this could be done in the FLEXnet (FLEXlm) OPT file.

Do you know if I can use just package name
MAX_BORROW_HOURS 64400AMECH_PP_F 2400
instead of component name
MAX_BORROW_HOURS 49400AMECH_PP_2006_0F 2400
MAX_BORROW_HOURS 51900AMECH_PP_2007_0F 2400
MAX_BORROW_HOURS 54900AMECH_PP_2008_0F 2400
MAX_BORROW_HOURS 59200AMECH_PP_2009_0F 2400
easier just to type one line instead of four lines

According to the FLEXnet documentation:

“Using a package name in place of a feature name applies the option to all of the components in the package.”

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization Controllers

This Gartner document is a few months old but worth reading if you look into WAN optimization.

Blue Coat Systems, Certeon, Cisco Systems, Exinda Networks, Expand Networks, F5 Networks, Intelligent Compression Technologies, Ipanema Technologies, Juniper Networks, Packeteer, Riverbed Technology, Silver Peak Systems, Stampede Technologies are thus among those that also has problems with the AutoCAD 2007 DWG file format that Autodesk made changes to. If a lot of your traffic is from DWG files and you have AutoCAD 2007 or later consider this problem.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

lmutil.exe 11.5 problem with Tekla Structures

JTB FlexReport uses lmutil and a customer found a problem using the version 11.5 when reporting license usage for Tekla Structures activation based licensing. lmutil.exe version 11.5 for some reason does not report the usage as it should.

Going back to using lmutil.exe version 11.4.100.0 solved the problem.

Monday, May 26, 2008

How to pass a list to a function like max or min in LISP

A function like max is defined like this.
(max [number number ...]) and returns the largest of the numbers given

The following works fine and returns 9:
(max 1 5 3 8 4 0 5 9 2)

But if you want to pass the list as a variable you might find that this will not work:
(setq lst '(1 5 3 8 4 0 5 9 2))
(max lst)

; error: bad argument type: numberp: (1 5 3 8 4 0 5 9 2)

The solution is to use the apply function like this:

(setq lst '(1 5 3 8 4 0 5 9 2))
(apply 'max lst)

or if you want to add all values

(setq lst '(1 5 3 8 4 0 5 9 2))
(apply '+ lst)

"Apply" passes a list of arguments to, and executes, a specified function and solves this.

Here are a couple of examples from the help file:

Command: (apply '+ '(1 2 3))
6

Command: (apply 'strcat '("a" "b" "c"))
"abc"

Friday, May 23, 2008

Autodesk Design Review 2009 SP 1

Seems like there are quite a bunch of reasons to install SP1.

Download for SP1: Autodesk® Design Review 2009 – Service Pack 1

If you don't have Design Review the website is at http://www.autodesk.com/designreview
and download at
http://www.autodesk.com/designreview-download

Primary Issues Fixed by this Service Pack

Platform and Command Issues
  • Some DWF files are unusable unless the user account has Administrative privileges.
  • On 64-bit systems, importing DWG or DXF files created in AutoCAD 2009 into Design Review 2009 may fail if DWG TrueView 2009 is installed.
  • In Windows Vista, the title bars of undocked palettes may display the Minimize and Maximize buttons.
  • When the computer user name contains double-byte characters, saving a 2D DWF file after creating markup causes a "File save failed" error.
  • New DWF files created by dragging DWF sheets from the Thumbnails or List View palette to the desktop have no file extension.
  • The Delete command on the My Views right-click menu is not selectable after previously deleted My Views have been restored by choosing Edit > Undo.
  • When the default file type for Design Review is set to DWFx, clicking File > New and dragging a 3D DWF file to the Thumbnails or List View palette may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER).
Display
  • On some computers, 3D DWF files may not be correctly displayed when the Video Card Driver is set to Direct3D.
  • When shadows are enabled, for some 3D files, not all parts cast shadows.
  • Some 3D DWF files published from AutoCAD 2007 or AutoCAD 2008 cannot be opened in Design Review.
  • For some 3D models, using the Zoom Rectangle tool to change the view may not zoom the view as expected.
  • For some 3D DWF files, clicking the Forward wedge on the Tour Building SteeringWheel and dragging down (to move the camera back from the model), may cause a HOOPS error which will cause Design Review to freeze.
  • Opening a DWF file that contains only Bill of Material (BOM) information, created by deleting all sheets except BOM sheets and saving the file, may cause Design Review to freeze or close unexpectedly.
  • For some 3D models, clicking the ViewCube to change the view, when the Fit to View on View Change ViewCube option is enabled, may result in the view being zoomed out.
DWFx
  • Saving a very large DWF file, such as one that contains several hundred sheets, as a DWFx file may cause errors that result in a failure to save the file as DWFx.
  • When DWFx sheets are dragged from one instance of Design Review and dropped into a DWF file in a second instance of Design Review, the DWFx sheets may not be displayed correctly and, if printed, may cause Design Review to close unexpectedly.
  • When DWFx sheets are dragged from one instance of Design Review and dropped into a second instance of Design Review, some DWFx sheets may not be displayed correctly in the receiving file and saving the receiving file as DWF may fail.
  • Marked up DWFx files originally published from Inventor, when saved in Design Review, by choosing File > Save As, may fail to save properly.
  • Saving a password protected DWFx file, after markup has been added, as a DWF file may result in a File Save error.
  • For password protected DWFx files that have been saved and closed, after markup was added, new markups cannot be added when the files are subsequently reopened.
  • Raster images used as custom symbols may not print as expected in some DWFx files.
  • In some DWFx files, markup may not be displayed correctly when the file is opened in the AutoCAD Markup Set Manger.
  • Saving a DWFx file as a DWF file may cause 2D sheet margins to change.
  • Saving a 3D DWFx file after adding markup may cause a DWF Convert Error to be displayed.
  • Selecting a markup tool and clicking the canvas, after panning the view of a 2D DWFx sheet, may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER).
Embedded
  • After saving a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint document, while an embedded 3D DWFx file is active, clicking the Pan button may cause Word or PowerPoint to close unexpectedly.
  • When viewing a DWF file embedded in Microsoft Internet Explorer (version 6 or 7), Microsoft Office, or Buzzsaw, choosing Window > Workspace > Default, after one or more palettes have been displayed and unpinned, may cause Design Review to close unexpectedly.
  • When viewing a DWF file embedded in Autodesk Buzzsaw, selecting a different workspace after clicking the Markup tab may cause Buzzsaw to stop responding.
  • When viewing a DWF file embedded in Autodesk Buzzsaw, clicking the Markup tab after adding markup on the Canvas, may cause Buzzsaw to stop responding.
Find
  • Searching for text (from the Find palette or the Find and Help toolbar) within a print, measure, or markup-disabled DWFx file may cause Design Review to close unexpectedly.
  • In some DWFx files, searching for text contained in markup (from the Find palette or the Find and Help toolbar) may cause Design Review to freeze or close unexpectedly.
Measure and Markup
  • Right-clicking 2D markup on the Canvas does not select the markup.
  • When viewing a 2D DWF file, right-clicking a markup object and choosing Delete fails to delete the markup as expected.
  • After adding markup to a 2D DWF file and changing the view, with the Zoom, Pan, or Orbit tools, adding additional markup may cause Design Review to close unexpectedly.
  • In 3D models, when measuring the diameter or radius of a circle, the geometry is measured as one or more arcs rather than as a circle.
  • When measuring on a 2D sheet, deleting a sheet from the Thumbnails or List View palette before completing the measurement, may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER).
  • When markup has been added to a DWFx file and is still selected on the canvas, printing the file may fail to display the new markup on the printed output.
  • Zooming the view, with the mouse wheel or a keyboard shortcut, while measuring geometry on a 2D sheet may cause the measurement to be completed erroneously.
  • The Cut, Copy, and Delete commands may not be available in the Canvas Pane right-click menu, after selecting one or more markup objects on the canvas.
  • After typing information in the Markup Properties palette Notes text box, clicking the markup in the Markups palette may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER).
  • Panning or zooming the view of a 2D sheet, after markup has been added and is still selected on the canvas, may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER).
Printing and Batch Print
  • Printing a saved batch print job that failed to print earlier may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER) and cause Design Review to close unexpectedly.
  • Printing a 3D DWF or DWFx file two times successively may trigger a Customer Error Report (CER) and cause Design Review to close unexpectedly during the second print job.
  • Printing the results of a 2D DWF file comparison that contains markup may cause Design Review to stop responding or, close unexpectedly.
  • Saving a batch print file with a non-English file name, using the Microsoft Input Method Editor to select another language, may cause Design Review to stop responding.
  • Raster images contained within a DWF file may not print as expected.
  • When batch printing several sequential sheets that have been saved as separate DWF files, some sheets may not be printed in the order they are displayed in the Select DWF Files to Print dialog box.

Monday, May 19, 2008

FLEXnet Licensing error:-15,578. System Error: 10049 "WinSock: Invalid address" and a possible solution

If you get an error like this one check to make sure the vendor daemon is not blocked by your firewall.

Vendor daemon status (on THISPC):

      adskflex: Cannot connect to license server system.
The license server manager (lmgrd) has not been started yet,
the wrong port@host or license file is being used, or the
port or hostname in the license file has been changed.
Server name:   12.345.678.900
License path:  27000@THISPC;
FLEXnet Licensing error:-15,578.  System Error: 10049 "WinSock: Invalid address"
For further information, refer to the FLEXnet Licensing documentation,
available at www.macrovision.com.

PS. Notice that you should nowadays visit www.acresso.com instead of macrovision for your latest FLEXlm or FLEXnet licensing documentation.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reports on denials of FLEXenabled applications

JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports now has three reports that can help you determine if the denials are unacceptable so you need to purchase more licenses or restrict usage of licenses for certain users or reserve licenses for some.

Some companies has a license policy that denials should never happen while others can accept it to a certain degree.

JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports

The following report shows when a user/host was denied the first and last time as well as if a license eventually was checked out soon after the last denial, and finally how many denials there was during this period.

Denied

Here is a report that shows the denials on a monthly basis.

Denied per Month 

JTB FlexReport also supports distributed license servers so denials that happens on one server where the request fall over to another server that eventually gives a license to the user will not be counted as a denial. Settings for creation of distributed license server groups can be done in JTB FlexReport Config.

If you want to try JTB FlexReport a free trial is available upon request with full support without any cost during the trial period so you can make sure it works as expected.

See also FLEXnet denial reports with JTB FlexReport that describes how to grant access to the log files from the service.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

AutoCAD Scale List Cleanup Utility cleans up existing DWG's

Even though some of the problems with _XREF_XREF where fixed partly with AutoCAD 2008 SP1 and AutoCAD 2009 you will need this tool to fix existing drawings that has performance problems because of the scale list problem.

This free tool can also be used to apply scales from a template on a bunch of drawings.

Download: Scale List Cleanup Utility

See also Between the Lines

Previous blog posts about annotation scales:
Annotation scaling and annotation scale list in AutoCAD 2008
AutoCAD 2008 and Annotation Scale template
Slow AutoCAD startup or performance

Friday, May 9, 2008

AutoCAD support for more image formats: JPEG2000, MrSid, ...

AutoCADer blog has an excellent tips on how to install the free Raster Design Object Enabler to be able to enable IMAGE and IMAGEATTACH commands to handle JPEG 2000, ECW, MrSID and more.

Here are the file format list before and after installation of Raster Design 2009 OE:

Without Raster Design OE installed and now this With Raster Design OE installed

Image Format Image Insertable into DWG
DEM - USGS Digital Elevation Model (*.dem) No
DOQ Native Format DOQ (*.doq,*.nws,*.nes,*.ses,*.sws) Yes
DTED - Digital Derrain Elevation Data (*.dt0,*.dt1,*.dt2) No
Embedded Bitonal No
ECW Compressed Image Format (*.ecw) Yes
ESRI GRID A - Arc/Info ASCII(*.asc,*.txt) No
ESRI GRID B - Arc/Info Binary(*.adf) No
JPEG2000 (*.jp2,*.j2k) Yes
Landsat FAST-L7A (*.fst) No
NITF (*.ntf) No
QuickBird TIFF (*.tif,*.tiff) No
MrSID (*.sid) Yes

Notice that the setup should be run as Administrator if you have Windows Vista.

The Setup lists DWG TrueView 2009 and NavisWorks Manage 2009 but I have not tried if it really works. They are not listed on the Autodesk website:

Applies to:
AutoCAD® 2009
AutoCAD® Architecture 2009
AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2009
AutoCAD® Electrical 2009
AutoCAD® Land Desktop 2009
AutoCAD® Map 3D 2009
AutoCAD® Mechanical 2009
AutoCAD® MEP 2009

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Who used licenses at 1am?

JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports can help you with this if you wonder why there are for example 7 licenses used in the middle of the night, or you might wonder about what users were using an application at a certain point when all licenses were used.

Set the filters like this for example. You don't have to specify start and end date because you can filter out that information later if needed. If you want a larger span you can set the start and end time between 00:00 and 04:00 as well.

Here are a couple of reports that shows you the result. One with checked out licenses that are not borrowed and one with checked out licenses that are borrowed.

Typically this is when an application does not return a license correctly when closed or it could be that the application is borrowed. Causes for this can be older versions of FLEXnet/FLEXlm or some bugs in the vendor application. One solution that worked for many is to use TIMEOUT or TIMEOUTALL. Even with that setting it will not help if the user left say AutoCAD running with a modal dialog box opened or a command in progress.

If you want to try JTB FlexReport a free trial is available upon request with full support without any cost during the trial period so you can make sure it works as expected.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

AutoCAD crashes while saving, closing or plotting a drawing

This issue can occur when the Drawing Tabs Utility is loaded that I've written about recently. Obviously the good comes with some bad.

Knowledge Base document: AutoCAD crashes while saving, closing or plotting a drawing

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Autodesk Seek Web service announced

I blogged about Autodesk Seek a short while ago and now it's "official". Autodesk officially announced today the availability of the new Web service.

Found on Autodesk Seek

Autodesk Seek provides an online source for building product design information and delivers information-rich results – including relevant design files in multiple formats from within the customer's design applications. Design files can then be easily dropped directly into the designer's building model or drawing, reducing the need to recreate individual components in the design.

This embedded search functionality is now available in the 2009 U.S. versions of Autodesk's Revit-based software applications, as well as AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP. The web service is also available through standard browsers at http://seek.autodesk.com.

Via Inside the System on BIM content and Autodesk press release

Blogger Blog list reviewed and added

Head over to the blog if you are in an RSS reader and look at the new "My Blog List" that is on the right side a bit down. This is available via Blogger in draft but I was not able to Import subscriptions from Google Reader using IE7 as it just hanged, but when using FireFox it worked even though the import was really slow.

The new Blog List gadget is right now only available if you log in to Blogger in draft.

Add a Gadget

Here are settings available and how to add from Google Reader.

Configure Blog List                Add from Google Reader

I just wish it was updated in real-time if a Google Reader tag is selected so any changes you make in Google Reader is directly reflected in Blogger.

Head over to the blog and look at it.

See also Blogger in Draft blog

Monday, May 5, 2008

ACA_db 2 released for AutoCAD Architecture 2009

With ACA_db you can use AutoCAD Architecture or MEP more fully in your BIM process.

Property Set values can automatically be updated or populated with values that you have available and updated in an external database.

The ACA_db program finds database connection on selected objects in the active drawing and property set(s) that has definition(s) with specific database links and updates them accordingly.

ACA_db will improve the BIM process and experience and will improve quality of your data and remove redundancy and conflicts of data. ACA_db is easy to setup and use.

Drawing Tabs application for AutoCAD 2009

AutoCAD 2009 comes with Quick View Drawings so not sure this free tool will keep being available in next version or not. But it does work for 2007-2009.

Even though the Readme says other things (only for 2007) I've been able to use Drawing Tabs in AutoCAD 2008, AutoCAD 2009, ACA 2008, ACA 2009, other verticals as well as on Windows Vista. It's a great little piece of freeware but there is still no 64-bit support.

And in AutoCAD 2009 with the right click menu showed.

http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2006/10/trick_or_treat_.html

Download Autodesk Bonus Tool Drawing Tabs ReadMe PDF

Download Autodesk Bonus Tool Drawing Tabs ARX file

Saturday, May 3, 2008

FLEXnet limitation with many distributed servers

This might be useful for others with many distributed FLEXnet license servers.

Chris Dodge at Microdesk shared the following with me:

Just ran across something interesting with a large client -  Have you heard of this?

They had recently been having a problem where their "Suite" Autodesk products like Land Desktop companion and some of the Revit products could not get a license.    But "Regular" products such as Civil 3D 2008 and Acad MEP had no trouble.

Of course I checked and double checked PLIST – All was fine.

It WORKS if we set FLEXLM_LICENSE_FILE (registry and environment) to a SINGLE server.

The customer finally figured out that the problem started happening when they added a few more FLEXLM servers in the company….

They have a total of 17 servers – He counted the number of characters in his "@server1;@server2…" string, and found that products that need to "CASCADE" for their license don’t seem to like a server list that is over 128 characters.

PS. JTB FlexReport has no limitations on the amount of servers it can report license statistics on.

Friday, May 2, 2008

AutoCAD 2007, WDS and Deduplication - What is the truth?

See the new comment by Bob Gilbert in this previous post for latest news.

Riverbed recently completed a set of tests of AutoCAD 2007 and AutoCAD 2004 with four vendors' WDS appliances: Riverbed, Cisco WAAS, Silver Peak and Blue Coat....

• All products that use de-duplication are affected by the new file format
• Customers can still see significant time savings by using WDS appliances, even with the new file format
• Vendors who use de-duplication and claim to be unaffected by this are not providing complete or accurate information
...

http://blocksandfiles.com/article/5013

AutoCAD going invisible?

Here is what it look like for me using AutoCAD 2009 and Windows Vista.
Can you see the windows title text?

Can you see the InfoCenter Search text in below?

When maximized I can see it or if the background is darker.

AutoCAD 2008 was much better as you can see.

      

How will AutoCAD 2010 look like? Invisible? Hope not.

Here is a comment I got by email: "It doesn't change even you do change the window settings! Every new version of AutoCad gets worse!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Future-dated posts to Blogger with Live Writer

Blogger now schedules future-dated posts is no longer beta. Now I just wish Windows Live Writer (WLW) add support for this. It warns me about not supporting this but it sure does work if you just click on Yes. This is great news.

Windows Live Writer

Blogger

Novedge Pulse and CadKicks as one-stop sites for CAD news

How do you keep up-to-date with CAD news?

TenLinks.com and CAD digest most of you knows about as it's been around for long.

CadKicks.com has been running for a short while now. CadKicks.com is a community based news site. Individual users of the site submit and review (kick) stories, the most popular of which make it to the homepage.

Now comes another CAD related site Novedge Pulse.

It’s a new free area of the Novedge website where blog posts, Press Releases, tutorials, and other pertinent information is collected, organized, and presented in a simple and clear way. At Novedge Pulse, you can also vote for each item with a simple and effective thumb-up, thumb-down system.

A glitch I've mentioned to Franco is that if you use PgUp and PgDn as a keyboard junkie you will miss some of the content. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Do you read/contribute to sites like this? Do you care? Do you not like it? Are they just stealing content on your cost? Do you find new blogs this way?

Personally I rarely visit sites like this but I can understand that they are useful for some and I don't mind that they aggregate snippets from my blog as long as they link back in a good way as they do and not just put up plain copies like many splogs do.

I have my doubts on how valuable the ranking is based on that it's probably only a handful that will bother to do the ranking.

What's in it for me? I checked how many referrals I've got so far and found 6 from CadKicks and 0 from Novedge Pulse and some of them could have been when I myself tried the sites.

Both these new sites have a lot of work behind to set things up to be user and community friendly so give it a try.

Via email and seen on the Novedge Blog.


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