Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Disable InfoCenter and AutoCAD 2010 will start quicker

Outside The Box told about how Tony Tanzillo has posted instructions for disabling the InfoCenter in AutoCAD 2010. Owen also posted an AutoLISP file to handle it.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R18.0\ACAD-8001:409\InfoCenter
Changing InfoCenterOn value from 1 to 0 will disable the InfoCenter toolbar.

This tip on how to disable InfoCenter that worked in previous versions no longer works.

Autodesk Network License Manager 11.5.0 system requirements

Autodesk Network License Manager 11.5.0 (that comes with 2010-based products like AutoCAD 2010) is supported on the following operating systems:

  • Windows Vista 32-bit SP1
  • Windows Vista 64-bit SP1
  • Windows XP 32-bit SP3
  • Windows XP 64-bit SP2
  • Windows 2003 R2 Server Edition
  • Windows 2003 Server Edition
  • Windows 2000 Server Edition

Some other new documents are:

Knowledge Base document: Supported operating systems for the Autodesk Network License Manager shipped with 2010 products

The path for the Plot Styles folder has been moved from a sibling level of the Plotters folder to a subdirectory in the Plotters folder. - Knowledge Base document: Location of Plot Styles folder

Knowledge Base document: VBA support in AutoCAD 2010

Friday, March 27, 2009

Autodesk’s new pricing strategy

What do you think about Autodesk’s new pricing strategy? Especially if you consider to remove some of your licenses that are on subscription or if you are not on subscription right now and used to upgrade once in a while.

“After March 15, 2010, your upgrade from any of the three previous software releases will cost 50 percent of the price of a new license, no matter which release you own.”

Autodesk’s Simplified Upgrade Pricing Begins March 16, 2010

Via WorldCAD Access “No April Fools Day Joke: Autodesk to Triple Upgrade Pricing”

At JTB World if a customer cannot for one or the other reason pay maintenance (support and upgrades) for JTB FlexReport there is no penalty for that and they can pick it up whenever they want to. We think this is to simplify it.

Outlook custom toolbars are saved here

Microsoft Outlook stores toolbar information, including any custom toolbars you create, in a file named outcmd.dat. You’ll find this file in the following folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

It’s a good idea to back up this file after you customize the interface. If something goes wrong, you can reclaim missing toolbars by replacing the current copy of outcmd.dat with the backup. You can also use this file to copy custom toolbars to another instance of Outlook.

Windows hides outcmd.dat by default. To view it so you can copy or replace it, you must enable Show Hidden Files And Folders in Windows Explorer by choosing Folder Options from the Tools menu and then clicking the View tab.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Restore the Show desktop icon on Quick Launch toolbar

I got a question how to solve this and here is a tip that works for XP.

How to re-create the Show desktop icon on the Quick Launch toolbar in Windows XP

If you have Vista try this solution instead.

February Cumulative Update for Outlook 2007

The Microsoft Office Outlook February Cumulative Update (CU) contains a large set of the fixes that release as part of the 2007 Microsoft Office suite Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Outlook 2007 SP2 delivers performance improvements in four major areas:

  • General Responsiveness
    SP2 reduces I/O disk usage and UI response time.
  • Startup
    SP2 removes long operations from initial startup.
  • Shutdown
    SP2 makes Outlook exit predictably despite pending activities.
  • Folder/View Switch
    SP2 improves view rendering and folder switching.

Frequently Asked Questions about the February CU and Announcing the February Cumulative Update for Outlook 2007 as well as this article Outlook 2007 improvements in the February 2009 cumulative update

Last word of warning. I have run into some glitches after applying this update with incomplete search results with blank rows at the bottom as well as duplicated rows in the result. But other than that Outlook is indeed quicker and snappier. Now if they just could make search better and quicker.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sök termer och dess förklaring och översättning

Rikstermbanken är Sveriges nationella termbank. (Swedish national terminology bank)

Rikstermbanken innehåller termer och begrepp från ett stort antal ämnesområden.

Så här ser definitionerna av begreppet CAD ut i Rikstermbanken i sökresultatet:

 

Definitioner som “datorstödd konstruktionsritning”, “datorstödd ritning” eller “Det avser datorstöd för formgivning, ritning, teknisk beräkning, konstruktionsarbete och stycklisteframställning i samband med konstruktion och produktutveckling”.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More details on VBA in AutoCAD 2010 products

AutoCAD 2010, AutoCAD OEM 2010, AutoCAD Architecture 2010, AutoCAD MEP 2010, AutoCAD Map 3D 2010, AutoCAD Mechanical 2010 and AutoCAD Electrical 2010 are NOT delivered with VBA. Only exceptions are Autodesk Inventor 2010 and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010.

No need for panic as VBA for AutoCAD is available to download at no cost from www.autodesk.com/vba-download

It is permitted to include the VBA Enabler with your own AutoCAD-based application installer.

These are all commands that will trigger this dialog box.

VBAMAN, VBAIDE, VBANEW, VBASTMT, VBAPREF, -VBARUN,
VBARUN, VBALOAD, –VBALOAD as well as Runmacro and LoadMacro functions.

To determine if VBA is installed:

  • Use SearchPath() (or equivalent) to try and find the AcVba.arx in the configured %PATH%.
  • Check the VBA Enabler registry entry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2010 VBA Enabler:<LANGID>

See also No VBA installed with AutoCAD 2010 and AutoCAD 2010 VBA and VSTA future

AutoCAD Exchange - new community site for AutoCAD users

Head over to http://autocad.autodesk.com as AutoCAD Exchange will feature videos, humor, tips and tricks, ask the expert, tutorials, videos, discussions groups, best practices, and much more.

Autodesk 2010 today

Today March 24th 2009 is Autodesk’s big day for 2010 in 2009, today as confusing as yesterday for many. But today among many other products the following are released:

Will you take the step up to 2010? Check out what is new in your product.

For the press release see Autodesk 2010 Design and Engineering Software Product Line Now Available

Earth Hour countdown gadget in Blogger

I found that the Earth Hour countdown on Bloggers toolkit on http://wwf.ca/earthhour/toolkits/ did not work on a Google Blogger/blogspot blog.

I hosted the files on my site and tried to add the <HEAD> part into the Blogger template but got this problem.

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: The reference to entity "c2e_month" must end with the ';' delimiter.

But I was able to put all code in a HTML/JavaScript gadget. I also found that using an IFRAME it worked.

You can for a few more days see the end result on the left side of this blog or below.

Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour 2009 is 8:30PM on Saturday 28 March 2009.

Royal Castle in Stockholm

A combo picture shows the Royal Palace of Stockholm (Stockholms slott), Sweden, moments before (top) and after the lights were switched off for Earth Hour, March 29, 2008.

The Royal Palace of Stockholm is His Majesty The King's official residence and is also the setting for most of the monarchy's official receptions. The palace is a daily place of work for The King and Queen as well as for the various departments that make up the Royal Court.

The palace is built in baroque style by the architect Nicodemus Tessin and is formed as a Roman palace. The construction started in 1697 and was completed in 1760. Tessin died at an age of 73 in 1728 so he could not see the result of his design. (I know for sure he didn't use CAD) The palace has more than 600 rooms divided between seven floors.

It is the biggest Palace in the word that is still in use by a king. And if you are in Sweden you can take a guided tour through parts of the castle.

See the Royal Palace in Bird's eye view

Monday, March 23, 2009

AutoCAD 2010 network license – not much news

These are the executable that comes with AutoCAD 2010 and probably other 2010 products.

They are included in an msi installer file so if you have anything to extract them with (or install on your PC and grab the files) you can just copy install them manually.

  • adskflex.exe version 11.5.0.0
  • lmgrd.exe version 11.5.0.5
  • lmtools.exe version 11.5.0.0
  • lmutil.exe version 11.5.0.0

Here are the installed files in Autodesk Network License Manager

The Licensing system is based on FLEXnet Publisher Licensing Toolkit 11.5

Version 11.5 comes with:

  • Support new attribute for the NOLOG Option keyword
  • IPv6 support
  • New error codes
  • New feature definition line keywords–ONE_TS_OK and SUPERSEDE_SIGN

Here follows some tips from the readme.

To Activate A Network License Through Autodesk.com

If your product does not include the Network License Activation Utility, you can activate your license by going to http://www.autodesk.com/register and following the on-screen instructions.

Running a Network License Manager on Microsoft Windows Vista

When starting the network version of AutoCAD 2010 on a Microsoft Windows Vista workstation, you may encounter licensing error -15 if the license manager is running on Windows Vista (FLEXlm server version 11.4.100). Do the following:

Install the latest service pack and updates for Microsoft Windows Vista.
If you continue to encounter errors, do the following:

On the Start menu (Windows Vista), click Control Panel Network and Sharing Center Manage Network Connections. Right-click Local Area Connection. Click Properties. Clear the check mark from Internet Protocol 6 (TCP/IPv6). Click OK.
FlexLM License is Created in Two Locations

The FLEXlm License Finder (FlexNet License Finder) dialog box may not display when AutoCAD 2010 is launched for non-administrative users who are using Windows Vista 64-bit. The license server path information is stored in the HLKM\STOFTWARE\Wow6432Node path, which is not accessible to non-administrative users.

To fix this problem, replicate the license server path information stored in the above path to go to the HKLM\software\FLEXlm License Manager path.

JTB FlexReport does fully support the Autodesk 2010 products for license reporting.

Related post FLEXnet/FLEXlm manuals and downloads

Sunday, March 22, 2009

EASEUS Partition Master reviewed

First off. Why Partition?

In my case I wanted to install Windows 7 64-bit on a separate partition so I could dual boot as I could not run Windows 7 64-bit in a Virtual PC. Another reason could be you want to install Linux or that if you keep all your data on a separate partition it’s easier to just reinstall the OS if needed.

Symantec does not seem to update Norton PartitionMagic to work with Windows Vista and newer so here is one great alternative that you don’t have to run from a CD.

EASEUS Patition Master

There are other ways to work with partitions but this one has a User-friendly interface and is fairly easy to use even for those that are no computer wizard.

I used EASEUS Partition Master Professional Edition 3.0.2 as I failed to shrink the volume in the Disk Management tool in Windows Vista even though there was room for it.

It was easy and quick to install, get up and running and do its job. Here I’ve selected an existing partition shrinking it with the Resize/Move command.

The documentation as well as support documents online are extensive and clearly explains the ins and outs of how to succeed with your partitioning.

Depending on what you operation you do you might not even have to reboot.

The UI might not be something special or having the Ribbon but in this case it does not matter and some actually prefer having this type of basic user interface.

You can visit the support forum or if you have purchased you also can get email support.

In my tests I found everything working as expected. You should always make sure you have a backup of your data before doing things like this.

Key Features of EASEUS Partition Master

  • Resize and move partitions without losing data.
  • Hard Disk Copy or Partition Copy Wizards - Easily upgrade/migrate hard drive or copy partition to protect data.
  • Copy with resize - Resize (shrink or enlarge) partitions and disks during copy process in order to fit target space.
  • Support hardware RAID.
  • Create, delete and format partitions with simple step.
  • Creates a bootable CD/DVD to manage partitions easier and faster. (Only Professional, Server and Unlimited Edition).

For usage on a server it’s great that it can handle up to 32 hard disks under Windows Server systems and supports 1.5 TB hard disk for Windows Server partition.

Windows 2000 Professional and Server/Advanced Server, Windows Server 2003 (32 and 64 bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 and 64 bit), Windows XP (32 and 64 bit) and Windows Vista (32 and 64 bit) are supported as with the Server Edition and the Unlimited Edition. The Home Edition only supports Windows 2000, XP and Vista 32-bit while the Professional Edition also supports 64-bit.

Even though Windows 7 is not released yet I found that EASEUS Partition Master runs well on Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit). If you wonder what the difference between Windows 7 Disk Management and EASEUS Partition Master is check the chart here as the Disk Management in Windows 7 have been improved.

The Home Edition free for personal usage but with limited functionality. See this comparison chart to see the difference of feature set.

Disclaimer. I was provided a free copy of EASEUS Partition Master Professional Edition to be able test fully.

Diskpart.exe command utility

Diskpart.exe command prompt utility can be used to enable storage configuration from a script, a remote session, or another command prompt. (Not for Dynamic Disks)

In Windows Vista you cannot always extend volume or shrink volume in the Disk Management tool even though there is room for it. It usually is because there are unmovable system files at the end of the volume. Here are some tips on how to solve this.

Here are the DISKPART command parameters from within Windows Vista.

DISKPART> help

Microsoft DiskPart version 6.0.6002

ACTIVE      - Mark the selected basic partition as active.
ADD         - Add a mirror to a simple volume.
ASSIGN      - Assign a drive letter or mount point to the selected volume.
ATTRIBUTES  - Manipulate volume or disk attributes.
AUTOMOUNT   - Enable and disable automatic mounting of basic volumes.
BREAK       - Break a mirror set.
CLEAN       - Clear the configuration information, or all information, off the disk.
CONVERT     - Convert between different disk formats.
CREATE      - Create a volume or partition.
DELETE      - Delete an object.
DETAIL      - Provide details about an object.
EXIT        - Exit DiskPart.
EXTEND      - Extend a volume.
FILESYSTEMS - Display current and supported file systems on the volume.
FORMAT      - Format the volume or partition.
GPT         - Assign attributes to the selected GPT partition.
HELP        - Display a list of commands.
IMPORT      - Import a disk group.
INACTIVE    - Mark the selected basic partition as inactive.
LIST        - Display a list of objects.
ONLINE      - Online an object that is currently marked as offline.
OFFLINE     - Offline an object that is currently marked as online.
RECOVER     - Refreshes the state of all disks in the selected pack. Attempts recovery on disks in the invalid pack, and resynchronizes mirrored volumes and RAID5 volumes that have stale plex or parity data.
REM         - Does nothing. This is used to comment scripts.
REMOVE      - Remove a drive letter or mount point assignment.
REPAIR      - Repair a RAID-5 volume with a failed member.
RESCAN      - Rescan the computer looking for disks and volumes.
RETAIN      - Place a retained partition under a simple volume.
SAN         - Display or set the SAN policy for the currently booted OS.
SELECT      - Shift the focus to an object.
SETID       - Change the partition type.
SHRINK      - Reduce the size of the selected volume.
UNIQUEID    - Displays or sets the GUID partition table (GPT) identifier or master boot record (MBR) signature of a disk.

If you want to install Windows 7 you can use the command line from the Windows 7 DVD and for example run the following to scrink before creating the new partition. You need to boot from the Windows 7 DVD select language select Repair instead of Install.

diskpart
select disk 0
select partition 1
shrink
exit

For more information see Microsoft’s articles “A Description of the Diskpart Command-Line Utility” and “How to extend a data volume in Windows Server 2003, in Windows XP, in Windows 2000, and in Windows Server 2008”.

Another option is to use the Gnome Partition Editor GParted. Here is a tip on how to resize a Windows Vista Partition.

Friday, March 20, 2009

AutoCAD Architecture 2010 updated before it is shipped

AutoCAD Architecture 2010 and AutoCAD MEP 2010 does not include toolbars or the default menu bar like those in the 2009 version. Solution is found below.

Knowledge Base document: 2010 CUI - No toolbars shipped

As can be seen in this image it is only the Express menu that is available.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Autodesk Project Dragonfly reviewed

Project Dragonfly is a technology preview of CAD on the web from Autodesk that let you do floor planning in your web browser without knowing what CAD is.

In general Project Dragonfly is quite easy to use even though it still lack many things to be a complete product, but it is just an early stage entry level design application just like an alpha or beta.

I first tried with Internet Explorer 8 RC and found that some obvious things were missing. It was the toolbars that did not show up. But it worked better in Chrome and Firefox.

Update a few hours later. IE 8 final version is released and when I tested Dragonfly in it everything worked as expected.

It should be more obvious that if you drag for example a window outside a wall that it is deleted. This seems to not be possible in 3D.

The zoom increment should be smaller when zooming in and out with the wheel in 3D. It would also be great to have a more free 3D orbit functionality to rotate the view.

A basic help with small animations should be provided to explain how move a window up and down respective right and left as well as some of the other features that for a novice might not be so obvious.

As you can see in the animated gif below you need sometimes to try several times to find where to click.

 

More content and more dynamic content both when it comes to size and colors would be useful.

Anyone compared it to floor planner? Here is a demo so you can try it hands-on. A quick look at it and it seem to be more complete. You can for example add room names and it shows the room area. Here is a screenshot from their weblog.

Both solutions requires Adobe Flash Player.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Change AutoCAD screen background color based on OSNAPZ

I got a request for a program that could have the screen background color change when Z LOCK is on. Here is what it look like in AutoCAD Architecture. “Replace Z value with current elevation” is the button the application status bar.

It is the system variable OSNAPZ that holds this setting. OSNAPZ was introduced in AutoCAD 2006 and with OSNAPZ set to 1 anything you snap to only uses the current elevation as z value. OSNAPZ controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation

You can download it from here: http://www.jtbworld.com/download/osnapz.LSP

Feel free to make changes to the code to suite your purpose or ask for help to do it.

;;; By Jimmy Bergmark
;;; Copyright (C) 2009 JTB World, All Rights Reserved
;;; Website: www.jtbworld.com
;;; E-mail: info@jtbworld.com
;;; 2009-03-17 - First release
;;; Tested on AutoCAD 2010

;;; changes the background depending on the state of OSNAPZ

; activate the reactor with the (chz) command
; remove the semicolon befor on the last row to automatically activate this upon loading this lisp
; you can load this in each drawing with acaddoc.lsp
; http://www.jtbworld.com/lisp/acaddoc.htm
: background colors can easily be changed below in the code.

(vl-load-com)
(defun chz ()
    (if    (not ct_rea)
    (setq
        ct_rea (vlr-sysvar-reactor
               nil
               '((:vlr-sysVarChanged . reactonosnapz))
           )
    )
    ) 
)

(defun reactonosnapz (event parameter)
    (if (= (car parameter) "OSNAPZ")
      (if (= (cadr parameter) T)
 (if (= (getvar "OSNAPZ") 1)
          (BGGrey)
          (BGWhite)
 )
      )
    )
)

; Set the background in model and paper space to grey
(defun BGGrey ()
  (setq disp (vla-get-display (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (setq drafting (vla-get-drafting (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (vla-put-GraphicsWinModelBackgrndColor disp 5987163)
  (vla-put-GraphicsWinLayoutBackgrndColor disp 5987163)
  (vla-put-LayoutCrosshairColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-ModelCrosshairColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-AutoTrackingVecColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-AutoSnapMarkerColor drafting 2)
)

; Set the background in model and paper space to white
(defun BGWhite ()
  (setq disp (vla-get-display (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (setq drafting (vla-get-drafting (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (vla-put-GraphicsWinModelBackgrndColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-GraphicsWinLayoutBackgrndColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-LayoutCrosshairColor disp 0)
  (vla-put-ModelCrosshairColor disp 0)
  (vla-put-AutoTrackingVecColor disp 0)
  (vla-put-AutoSnapMarkerColor drafting 6)
)

; Set the background in model and paper space to black
(defun BGBlack ()
  (setq disp (vla-get-display (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (setq drafting (vla-get-drafting (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (vla-put-GraphicsWinModelBackgrndColor disp 0)
  (vla-put-GraphicsWinLayoutBackgrndColor disp 0)
  (vla-put-LayoutCrosshairColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-ModelCrosshairColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-AutoTrackingVecColor disp 16777215)
  (vla-put-AutoSnapMarkerColor drafting 2)
)

;(chz)

Here is one trick to find out the colors to match exactly your preferences. Change the colors as you want them. Load this code and run the ListColor command.

(defun c:ListColors ()
  (vl-load-com)
  (setq disp (vla-get-display (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (setq drafting (vla-get-drafting (vla-get-preferences (vlax-get-acad-object))))
  (princ "\nGraphicsWinModelBackgrndColor: ")
  (princ (vlax-variant-value (vlax-variant-change-type (vla-get-GraphicsWinModelBackgrndColor disp) vlax-vbLong)))
  (princ "\nGraphicsWinLayoutBackgrndColor: ")
  (princ (vlax-variant-value (vlax-variant-change-type (vla-get-GraphicsWinLayoutBackgrndColor disp) vlax-vbLong)))
  (princ "\nLayoutCrosshairColor: ")
  (princ (vlax-variant-value (vlax-variant-change-type (vla-get-LayoutCrosshairColor disp) vlax-vbLong)))
  (princ "\nModelCrosshairColor: ")
  (princ (vlax-variant-value (vlax-variant-change-type (vla-get-ModelCrosshairColor disp) vlax-vbLong)))
  (princ "\nAutoTrackingVecColor: ")
  (princ (vlax-variant-value (vlax-variant-change-type (vla-get-AutoTrackingVecColor disp) vlax-vbLong)))
  (princ "\nAutoSnapMarkerColor: ")
  (princ (vla-get-AutoSnapMarkerColor drafting))
  (princ)
)

For more on OSNAPZ usage in AutoCAD Architecture see Beside the Cursor.

You might also like our OsnapzBG freeware.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

uCertify review – IT Certification training

If you want to be certified (for example MCTS: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008) it might be a good idea to consider some ways to train and also to assess your knowledge before doing the exam.

I got a chance to try one of the PrepKits from uCertify. I have developed professionally for many years but the way the certification tests are done and what they might cover I found that to pass I would really need something like uCertify.

Below are some screenshots of the interface. I found it to be intuitive and easy to use.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Monday, March 16, 2009

Autodesk Icons 2010

Autodesk have spent a lot of work on the icons and there is now with this years releases more than ever a common look among their applications.

Four goals that were used during the design:

  1. Be Easy on the Eyes – Many users uses Autodesk applications a lot during a day.
  2. Icons Will Not Overpower the Canvas – The actual drawing should be the focus of the user, not fancy looking icons.
  3. Simplicity is Better – This reduces the amount of overall  screen noise.
  4. Have a Distinctive Style – this means that there is a common theme on the icons.

This describes the basic elements of Autodesk’s icons. There is a Main Body and sometimes an Accent spot color or overlay color as well as a Badge.

Here is the Parametric Tab in AutoCAD 2010.

If you are an ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) member you can access the Autodesk Icon Guidelines for more information on how to create icons the way Autodesk does.

For non ADN member I suggest studying the icons in your Autodesk application and try to mimic the look and feel unless you really want to do it with your own unique style.

For users of Autodesk applications you might appreciate and understand why there has been changes to the icons you might be used to.

See also The Revit 2010 Ribbon - Designing the User Experience on YouTube. Specifically from 3:14. I also suggest you subscribe to the new Inside the Factory blog that is about designing the Revit user experience.

PS. Posted with Autodesk’s permission as the Autodesk Icon Guidelines otherwise is only for ADN members.

Friday, March 13, 2009

JTB FlexReport 5 Beta 4

Final beta is available for JTB FlexReport 5. In these troubling economic times it’s more important than ever to assess all your expensive network licenses (FLEXlm, FLEXnet, IBM LUM, etc) and JTB FlexReport can help you with that task answering questions like these: How to utilize licenses best? What licenses can I cut on? When do I need more licenses? Feel also free to use our support to help you with your specific questions.

Here are some news in this beta release.

Line management. Custom settings can be specified for lines and profiles for them can be saved, applied and used. Line Color, Width, Factor and Style can be specified for each line.

Move other items allows you to move the Legend, X-axis, Y-axis, Title, Date Time and No of Licenses individually.

Feature List Report shows what features exists in the database and between what dates and on what server.

Database discrepancy report makes it easy to find inconsistencies in the underlying data if there is a need to investigate potential problems.

The list reports can also be printed or exported.

IIS service setup is available on request.

Many reported issues have also been fixed.

I’ve tested also on Windows 7 and everything worked as expected.

Documentation: JTBFlexReport5B4.pdf (2.6 MB)

You are welcome to contact us for a free time limited trial.

I plan this to be the last beta before final release of this new reporting functionality. To speed up things I will release this new reporting functionality in a few weeks and wait with SQL Server support that I expected to have included. During this time I will start/continue development work on among other things support for SQL Server, SPLM (Intergraph SmartPlant License Manager), Elprocad, standalone application usage, Primavera, Vertex, Reprise RLM, LSTC-Dyna.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Change AutoCAD network to standalone to network

James Maeding shared this great tip.

This is a fairly well documented subject, except for Land Desktop Companion.

The well documented part is:

The two tweaks you must do are

1)      change the registry key of:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.2\ACAD-7000:409\AdLM

Set item Type as 2a for going to Standalone (this is a hexadecimal value)

Set item Type as 19 for going to Network (also hex value)

2)      Be sure you copied your LICPATH.LIC file to the install root of given program.

Licpath.lic is a text file that typically has these lines:

SERVER FLEX 0010100a0010

USE_SERVER

The server name and key will vary for you. (FLEX is the server name)

I put that file in install roots of all adesk progs, just so it’s there if I need it when switching.

You must have the “Cascading License Service” installed to switch LDC from standalone to network. This might be true for other applications as well.

C3D works without it, but LDC needs it.  This is because LDC is considered a non-top level program by the FlexLM server.

To install it, simply copy the file:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Service\AdskNetSrv.exe

from a computer that has it from an original network seat install, to machine without it.

Then install the service with this at Start->Run of Windows:

"C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Service\AdskNetSrv.exe" –install

Then LDC network works.

What I have found is the serial must be correct for your standalone seat, if switching to standalone so it can authorize.

The serial does not matter if switching to network!  What a convenient twist.  EULA probably wants it correct to the seat type though.

The Help->About item in acad lets you switch serials so make use of that as needed.

While most places have plenty of acad seats right now, I am getting random startup crashes that I have narrowed to the licensing.

Its useful to switch a seat to standalone and back for troubleshooting.

Previous post on NLM to SLM convertions. Change AutoCAD from standalone to network

UPDATE: For newer versions take a look at How to change AutoCAD from network license to standalone, Change AutoCAD 2013 from Network license to Standalone and Change AutoCAD 2014 from Network license to Standalone

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fatal Error: Unsupported Version of Windows Presentation Foundation

In case anyone else runs into this problem here is the solution.

The customer has XP Pro SP3 32bit as well as .NET 3.5 and AutoCAD MEP 2009 SP2.
I made a DLL in VB.NET using VS 2008 and I was not able to reproduce this crash in my test environments.

Eventually the customer found that he had placed the DLL on a network location and that was causing this error.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Falkirk Wheel

I found this construction interesting.

The Falkirk Wheel is a rotating boat lift connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal in central Scotland. The world's only rotating boat lift.

These caissons always weigh the same whether or not they are carrying their combined capacity of 600 tonnes (590 LT; 660 ST) of floating canal barges as, according to Archimedes' principle, floating objects displace their own weight in water, so when the boat enters, the amount of water leaving the caisson weighs exactly the same as the boat. This keeps the wheel balanced and so, despite its enormous mass, it rotates through 180° in five and a half minutes while using very little power. It takes just 22.5 kilowatts (30.2 hp) to power the electric motors, which consume just 1.5 kilowatt-hours (5.4 MJ) of energy in four minutes, roughly the same as boiling eight kettles of water.

More on Wikipedia.

The Official Falkirk Wheel website

I found about this via Eric Lippert's Blog

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Windows Live Writer Code Formatter Plugin 2.0

Steve Dunn mentions in this post that he has updated the Code Formatter Plugin to version 2.0.

Here I try it with the code snippet from XREF_test.dvb that shows how to figure out with VBA if an Xref is Attached or Overlay with the help of some AutoLISP.

Sub xref_test()
    Dim ps_str As String
    Dim po_blk As AcadBlock
    Dim po_blkref As AcadBlockReference
    Dim pi_dxf70 As Integer
    Dim pv_1 As Variant
    Dim userr1 As Integer
    
    ThisDrawing.Utility.GetEntity po_blkref, pv_1
    
    userr1 = ThisDrawing.GetVariable("USERR1")
    Set po_blk = ThisDrawing.Blocks(po_blkref.Name)
    ps_str = "(SETVAR ""USERR1"" (cdr (assoc 70 (tblsearch ""BLOCK"" """ & po_blkref.Name & """)))) "
    ThisDrawing.SendCommand ps_str
    pi_dxf70 = ThisDrawing.GetVariable("USERR1")
    
    ps_str = "(SETVAR ""USERR1"" " & userr1 & ") "
    ThisDrawing.SendCommand ps_str
    
    If pi_dxf70 = 44 Then MsgBox "XREF " & po_blk.Name & " is Overlaid."
    If pi_dxf70 = 36 Then MsgBox "XREF " & po_blk.Name & " is Attached."
End Sub

But if I select the code above and paste it into Notepad everything ends up on one row. Wondering if it can be something in my blogger template or that I use Windows Internet Explorer 8 RC1.

Update. I got a reply from Steve as he could not add it as a comment due to the markup tags:

Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for trying out the new version.  I initially copied and pasted your code using FireFox and it was fine in notepad.  I then tried with IE8 and saw the same problem as you did. I also tried this in IE6 and got the same results. 

The HTML that the plug-in writes looks correct - that is, all line breaks are <br/>'s.

I did notice that the initial <pre> style had two semi-colons which isn't right but didn't affect the rendering or the copying.

I boiled the offending HTML down to the following:

<pre><span>Line 1<br /></span><span>Line 2<br /></span></pre>

Creating an HTML file with just this line exhibits the issues.

Loading this in the W3C validator reported no errors.

From what I've read about the pre tag, the text in the middle IS affected by markup.  In fact, IE is rendering the line breaks, but just not treating them as cr/[lf]'s in the clipboard [straight text] text (pasting into Wordpad works correctly as the RTF that IE copies IS correct!)

I looked at some of your older posts, for instance, http://blog.jtbworld.com/2007/12/solution-for-google-analytics-tracking.html from December 13th 2007.  This has the same problem.

I also tried one of my recent posts using the latest version of the plugin.  Interestingly, the HTML in my post contained real CR/LF's codes instead of <br /> markup.  I then changed the language to VB.NET, but still the same (and VBScript, but still the same).

I don't know whether this has anything to do with it, but there's a setting in blogger under settings/formatting/convert line breaks.  Mine's set to No.  I previously had this set to yes and my blogger template had massive gaps between the generated code and the next written paragraph.

I did find that we're not alone with this issue. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/136443/why-doesnt-ie7-copy-precode-blocks-to-the-clipboard-correctly

Looks like a complicated issue, although it doesn't resolve the [likely irrelevant] fact that you've got <br />s and I haven't.  Maybe you've got some other javascript running?

Anyway, hope this helps.

Cheers,

Steve.

I changed the Blogger settings convert line breaks to No and now it works as expected. Not sure if it will break any of the formatting on some of the older posts though.

Thanks Steve!

Friday, March 6, 2009

InitCommandVersion and ^R control sequence explained

The ^R control sequence forces AutoCAD to use the newest version of the command. When the ^R control sequence is not used, the oldest version of the command is used. For example, in AutoCAD 2009 or AutoCAD 2010, the following command macro ends after setting the radius value, which is not what would happen in AutoCAD 2008. The following command macro shows the FILLET command using the Multiple option and setting a radius of 0.1:

^C^C_fillet;u;r;0.1;

This command macro does not work correctly in AutoCAD 2009 or newer versions, as the FILLET command is being interpreted to use its legacy command behavior, prompting sequence, and options. The following shows the command prompt for the legacy FILLET command:

Current settings: Mode = TRIM, Radius = 0.1000
Select first object or [uNdo/Polyline/Radius/Trim/mUltiple]:

To use the newest command behavior, add the ^R control sequence before the command in the command macro. The following shows the same command macro using the new ^R control sequence:

^C^C^R_fillet;u; r;0.1;

The command prompt and options for the above command macro look like the following:

Current settings: Mode = TRIM, Radius = 0.1000
Select first object or [uNdo/Polyline/Radius/Trim/mUltiple]:

Running the command macro with the ^R control sequence and the FILLET command makes it behave just like it did in AutoCAD 2008.

If you are using AutoLISP, you can control which version of a command is used by preceding the Command function with the InitCommandVersion function.  The syntax for the InitCommandVersion function is as follows:

(InitCommandVersion <version_number>)

where <version_number> controls which version of the command should be used for the preceding command being executed by the Command function.

The following example demonstrates how to use version 1 (or the oldest version) of the FILLET command:

(InitCommandVersion 1)
(command “fillet”)

AutoCAD commands that have been updated to support versioning:

-ARCHIVE, -COLOR, -ETRANSMIT, -GROUP, -IMAGE, -INSERT, -LAYER, -STYLE, -TABLE, -VIEW, 3DCONFIG, 3DMOVE, 3DROTATE, ABOUT, ARCHIVE, ARRAY, ATTDEF, ATTEDIT, ATTEXT, BCLOSE, BEDIT, BHATCH, BLOCK, BOUNDARY, BOX, BPARAMETER, BPOLY, BSAVEAS, BVSTATE, BWBLOCKAS, CHAMFER, CLASSICIMAGE, CLASSICXREF, COLOR, CONVERT, CONVERTCTB, CONVERTPSTYLES, COPY, COPYTOLAYER, CUILOAD, CUIUNLOAD, DDEDIT, DIM, DIMEDIT, DIMSTYLE, DTEXT, DWGCONVERT, DXFIN, DXFOUT, ETRANSMIT, EXECUTETOOL, EXPLODE, EXTRUDE, FILLET, GROUP, HATCH, HATCHEDIT, HELIX, HIDE, IMAGE, IMAGEADJUST, INSERT, LAYDEL, LAYER, LAYISO, LAYMCH, LAYMRG, LAYOUT, LINETYPE, LOFT, LWEIGHT, MASSPROP, MENULOAD, MENUUNLOAD, MLEADER, MLEDIT, MOVE, MTEXT, MVIEW, OPENDWFMARKUP, OSNAP, PAN, PLOTSTAMP, PSETUPIN, PSOUT, PURGE, QUICKCALC, RENAME, RENDER, REVOLVE, SCALE, SHADE, SHADEMODE, SOLIDEDIT, STRETCH, STYLE, TABLE, TABLEDIT, TABLESTYLE, TOOLBAR, UNITS, VBALOAD, VBARUN, VIEWPORTS, VPLAYER, VPORTS, WBLOCK, WSSAVE, XBIND, XREF

InitCommandVersion can also be used as a substitute for initdia when it does not work as expected (AutoCAD 2012).

For more read the Knowledge Base document: Command macro does not work the same as it did in AutoCAD 2008 and previous versions

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Insulating concrete building method

Fagerdala EPS System is a Swedish invention that have started to be used in Sweden.

The new insulating concrete in Fagerdala EPS System is a mixture of cement and recycled plastic foam balls (diameter, 1-5 mm) replacing all material layers in an ordinary rule wall. This wall is at the same time bearing, heat insulating, moisture resistant and non-combustible. There are no beams or material transitions that can leak heat. Thick plaster on the outside to protect from the weather. The walls can breathe, resulting in smoother and healthier indoor climate.

A normal single-family houses can be installed in less than a week. The entire production process, from order to a complete interior house, taking up to three months, according Fagerdala.

See this page for images and illustrations.

Via Ny Teknik

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

AutoCAD Automation Tools attribute text search and replace

I wanted to share my reply on this user question on AutoCAD Automation Tools. AutoCAD 2010 is also supported.

“I just want to know if it's possible with your software to search for  one attribute value and replace it with an other one.     Because, on the same drawing, I have 5 blocks with the same same and the same tag, but with different value.   I know I can explode block or create unique block name, but the "search and replace value" option could be faster for us.”

Here is how you can search and replace the whole value.

Here is the drawing before with two instances of the same block with values 30109 and 301012.

And here is the result and you can see that only the 30109 value changed to NEW VALUE.

You can also search for 301 and replace it with 456 if you want. That is just a part of a text string.

Before it is showing 30109.

After it is showing 45609.

If you want to replace just a specific part of the text you can also use # around the text in the drawing. This is useful if you have a template drawing you want to use as basis for creation of new drawings. For example find #linenumber1# and replace it with different values in each drawing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Don’t use ! in Camtasia Studio recorder document names!

If you use an exclamation in the file name you will find that the camrec file is white and empty when imported into Camtasia Studio and if you check the properties it will say “No camera stream detected”.

The solution to the problem is to remove ! from the file name.

Monday, March 2, 2009

AutoCAD 2010 changes to palette Auto-hide settings


Previously AutoCAD had these settings saved in a common place, the fixed profile. AutoCAD 2010 now save this in each profile instead, giving you more flexibility.
This meant that I needed to update the freeware Palette Auto-hide Speed. You need to activate the profile within your AutoCAD application and close AutoCAD before running Palette Auto-hide Speed.
You might not want a delay or you might want to change Holdopen that is the delay that keeps the palette open for a specified time when it is opened programmatically. You can also specify different times for Roll-up and Roll-out.

You find the download here.

AutoCAD 2010 Sheet Set Manager enhancements

AutoCAD 2010 includes an Initial Setup where you among other things can decide if you want to include the Sheet Set Manager palette in your default workspace.

A new Sheet right-click menu option enables you to quickly specify whether a sheet should be included in the publish operation.

From the Publish Sheets dialog box you have the flexibility to select what to include for publish. An entire sheet set, a subset or a single sheet. Access the new Publish Sheets dialog box from the right-click menu by selecting the option to Edit Subset and Sheet Publish Settings.


The Subset Properties dialog box has a new look and feel, similar to the Sheet Set Properties and Sheet Properties dialog boxes. It includes a new control to specify if the subset should honor the sheets’ individual “Include for Publish” settings or if it, the entire subset, should be excluded from the publish operation.

The Subset right-click menu includes similar options.

An icon in the sheet list provides a visual indication of those subsets that are excluded from the Publish operation.

Sheet List Table functionality is more flexible. In addition to creating a sheet list table for the entire sheet set, you can now insert a sheet list table for individual subsets and even individual sheets. You can access this functionality from the right-click menu in the Sheet List table and a new tab in the Sheet List Table dialog box enables you to control the behavior of subsets and sheets. You can specify which sheets to include and which subsets to track so that you are prompted when new sheets are added to that subset.

PDF support has been integrated into AutoCAD Sheet Sets and Publish. You can specify PDF output, including single- or multi-sheet, layer information, and merge control, in the Sheet Set Publish Options dialog box.

The Publish dialog box has also been updated.

In the Sheet Properties dialog box there are also some news. Notice the Rename options where you can rename layout to match Sheet title and Prefix with sheet number. Rename drawing file to match Sheet title and Prefix with sheet number.

Good to see that Sheet Set Manager (SSM) is improved on even though there still is more that can be added to it or be fixed.
Sheet Set Manager is also directly available in Customize Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).


Do you want more out of SSM take a look at SSMPropEditor.

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