Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Software Licensing and Protection Services from Microsoft

You probably know how easy it is to disassemble .NET code and it took quite a while for Microsoft to come with a solution. This has been a reason why some companies have not made their applications using .NET code. Obfuscating the code has not been good enough. Actually it was another company that came with a solution. Back in January 2007 Microsoft acquired Secured Dimensions and now they are starting to introduce it as a Microsoft service. Take a look at the new website SLP Services is about IP protection, license handling.

SLP Code Protector-  Microsoft SLP Code Protector helps protect .NET code against disassembling and decompilation. Helps to protect .NET code from being hacked and reverse engineered.

I evaluated Code Protector a few months ago and it was easy and quick to get it working. It just took an hour or two to get familiar with the procedures and to be able to protect the first application. In the version I tried, it was not easy to protect DLL code that for example is to be used in-process like a DLL that needs to be loaded with NETLOAD in AutoCAD. There were workarounds for it I didn't care to try and it might be solved by now.

SLP Server 2008 - SLP Server 2008 enables software vendors and publishers to more flexibly and effectively monetize their software. With a new concept Microsoft call “SKU Agility,” the ISV can create multiple offers based on a single image of the software simply by creating digital licenses that map to pre-defined features. Features can be sold individually or accumulated into a set to create SKUs.

Licensing and Activation - are tools to help prevent piracy and serves multiple purposes – protection, license delivery, upselling, and customer service.

A while ago I got a survey from PreEmptive that got me thinking they would come up with a new solution. I now see that PreEmptive Solutions is one of the resellers for SLPS. Dotfuscator has also been extended to instrument (inject) SLPS software into .NET applications.

For more information: The SLPS blog is here and SLPS on MSDN.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AutoCAD on Leopard Mac?

Q. Is there AutoCAD for Mac?
A. Not really.

Q. Can I run AutoCAD on a Mac?
A. Yes.

Mac OS X Leopard Boot CampAutoCAD can't run on Mac OS like the latest Mac Leopard OS X but with the help of the latest Mac OSX that can run on Intel processors and use Boot Camp it's possible. Leopard includes Bootcamp and that way you can run AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Inventor or other "heavy" Windows applications on your Mac. But still you need to have Windows OS like Windows Vista or Windows XP.

AutoCAD for Mac have existed but is a bit of the history. It was AutoCAD R11 and AutoCAD R12 that was also released for Mac.

Customize AreaText.LSP for AutoCAD

In the earlier post about AreaText.LSP the result was in SQ. FT. Several users have asked how to get it in other formats like m², cm², etc.

Here is what you do. Draw a polyline. Run the FIELD command and select the Objects Field category>the Object Field name>Area Property and select the polyline. Make changes as you want to the Format, Precision and Additional Format.


Notice the result in Field expression.

Copy the text for example it can look like this:

%<\AcObjProp.16.2 Object(%<\_ObjId 2130314088>%).Area \f "%lu2%pr1%ps[,m²]%ct8[0.001]">%

What is maked bold green is what is the important part.

Now look at the code for AreaText.LSP. Change this row below in the code.

">%).Area \\f \"%pr2%lu2%ct4%qf1 SQ. FT.\">%"

Now pick the correct piece of the field expression so the code look like this instead using one decimal as precision, the conversion factor of .001 and the suffix m².

">%).Area \\f \"%lu2%pr1%ps[,m²]%ct8[0.001]\">%"

Adobe Acrobat 8.1.1 update

You probably will get notified about this when running Acrobat 8 or Adobe Reader 8 or you can choose Help > Check for Updates.

The 8.1.1 update requires that Acrobat 8.1.0 is installed. To determine which version of Acrobat you have currently installed, choose Help > About Acrobat. If you have version 8.0 you should apply the 8.1 update first.

Here are some issues fixed:

  • Closes a security vulnerability.
  • Corrupt updater preferences will cause Reader 8.1 or Acrobat 8.1 to crash when attempting to check for updates.
  • Custom button(s) do not appear in the toolbar when a PDF opens via the browser plug-in.
  • The FedEx Kinko's menu item is removed.
  • Type 3 fonts with missing operators.

Products Affected: Acrobat 3D, Acrobat Professional, Acrobat Standard and Adobe Reader.

For more information about issues addressed in the 8.1.1 update, see this technical document in the Support Knowledgebase.

Adobe Acrobat 8.1.1 update

Adobe Reader 8.1.1 update

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Search within Blogger

Using Blogger in draft I've added the new Search Box to the right column.


It look like this.


The search result is showed within the Blogger (blogspot) blog like this using Ajax technology.


What is also very useful is the Linked From Here option that searches sites I have linked to or have in my blogroll to the right.


Give the new search in Blogger a try.

Update 2007-12-24: The downside is that the search result is not complete. A lot of the posts that should be found are not found.

Email follow-up comments for Blogger added

This is great news for Blogger (blogspot) blogs. Now when you leave a comment you can subscribe to the comments and get email notifications. This is for each post so unless you are interested in a feed for all blogger comments this is so much better.

In order to subscribe to comments by email you cannot be anonymous, you must be logged in to a Google Account.


See subscribing to comments via email for all details.

Via Blogger Buzz.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Word Viewer with 2007 document (.docx) support

First you need to download the Word Viewer (published 9/26/2007) and then the Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats.

Formats supported:

  • Word Document (*.docx)
  • Word Macro-Enabled Document (*.docm)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Text (.txt)
  • Web Page formats (.htm, .html, .mht, .mhtml)
  • WordPerfect 5.x (.wpd)
  • WordPerfect 6.x (.doc, .wpd)
  • Works 6.0 (.wps)
  • Works 7.0 (.wps)
  • XML (.xml)

    With the Compatibility Pack you can also get Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003 to open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007.

  • Thursday, October 25, 2007

    SEAMonster for image resizing or so called seam carving

    Take a look at this video to see it in action or download it from Mike Swanson's Blog : SEAMonster: A .NET-Based Seam Carving Implementation

    To try seam carving online visit

    SyncToy v2.0 Beta to synchronize files and folders

    image This is not a toy it's a serious great useful software.

    "SyncToy 2.0 Beta for Windows is available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center. The easy to use, customizable application helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers."

    It makes use of the SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition (also free).


    Here are the news in this release:

    • Dynamic Drive Letter Assignment: Drive letter reassignment will now be detected and updated in the folder pair definition.
    • True Folder Sync: Folder creates, renames and deletes are now synchronized for all SyncToy actions.
    • Exclusion Filtering Based on Name: File exclusion based on name with exact or fuzzy matching.
    • Filtering Based on File Attributes: The ability to exclude files based on one or more file attributes (Read-Only, System, Hidden).
    • Unattended Folder Pair Execution: Addressed issues related to running scheduled folder pairs while logged off.
    • Folder Pairs With Shared Endpoints: Ability for folder pairs associated with the same or different instances of SyncToy to share end-points.
    • Command line enhancements: Added the ability to manage folder pairs via the command line interface.
    • The SyncToy engine has been rearchitected to provide scalability and the ability to add significant enhancements in future releases.
    • Sync engine is also more robust insomuch that many single, file level errors are skipped without affecting the entire sync operation.
    • Sync Encrypted Files: Sync of Encrypted files works when local folder and files are encrypted, which addresses the common scenario involving sync between local, encrypted laptop PC folder and remote, unencrypted desktop PC folder.
    • 64-Bit compatibility
    • Folder pair rename
    • Sub-folder Exclusion Enhancements: Descendents creates under excluded sub-folders are automatically excluded.
    • Folder Pair Metadata Moved: Folder pair metadata removed from MyDocuments to resolve any issues with server-based folder pair re-direction setup.
    • Removed combine and subscribe actions.

    Get it here: SyncToy v2.0 Beta and SyncToyWhitePaper2_0.pdf

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    DWG TrueView latest version

    You can download the latest version of DWG TrueView from here. But what version is the latest you might wonder.

    If you have DWG TrueView 2008 installed see Help>About and you will see the Build Version. Mine had R17.1.62.0 before (beta) and when I today downloaded and installed DWG TrueView it said R17.1.65.0 (x86). This version is the first officially released one dated from Mars 2007.

    Autodesk's website does not even say that it is DWG TrueView 2008.

    Notice that DWG TrueConvert is included and cannot be downloaded separately as it could before.

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

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    XIOS/3 from Xcerion something to keep an eye on

    Take a look at the Swedish company Xcerion and its XIOS/3 (Xcerion XML Internet OS/3). The OS takes around three seconds to download (1,5 MB size) and it runs in your web browser. A word processor program is just a few hundreds KB. It's free and you will surely see more about it in the future.

    On YouTube Xcerion has a video that shows the OS XIOS/3. It enables a networked and collaborative experience with applications utilizing the potential of the Internet.

    With the new XML languages it is supposed to be much quicker and easier to develop new applications.

    The president of Xcerion, Daniel Arthursson, is some kind of genius saying he during university read a book about one subject and listened on a lecture about another subject. He got 400 university points in four years, normal study pace is 40 points per year. Mr. Arthursson has studied three bachelor degrees at the Linköping University and Linköping Institute of Technology; computer science, business administration and behavioral science.

    In a blog post on their blog are some recent updates. (they really have to add auto discovery of the feed)

    Q: Where do I download the IDE?

    A: The IDE is part of the OS, built in XML and will run inside it (YES you can continue to develop on the IDE within the IDE). It's not part of the initial beta release and will come later on. In the beta release you use a supplied text XML editor.

    Via this Swedish article in NyTeknik.

    Vista vs. Leopard

    Seeing the guided tour about Mac OS X Leopard (to be released within a few days) there sure was some wow factor.

    What do you think? Many still prefer XP over Vista and Microsoft have put together 100 reasons. I'm not speechless though. Still I prefer Vista over XP.

    100 Reasons You'll Be Speechless using Microsoft Vista vs. Mac OS X Leopard.

    Autodesk Visual Search now available on Autodesk Labs

    Try Autodesk Visual Search or Content Search Alpha.

    Make a doodle like this in Visual Search and make a search.


    Here is what was found.

    search result

    Via Autodesk Visual Search now available on Autodesk Labs

    Restore a lost Switch between windows shortcut in Vista

    Switch between windowsHave you lost your shortcut or icon for Switch between windows (Window Switcher, Flip3D)? Is it missing this Vista Aero feature from your Quick Launch toolbar even though the keyboard shortcuts are still working?

    • Picture of the Windows logo keyWindows Logo+Tab (press Tab for next window or hold Tab down to quickly scroll for the next windows.)
    • Shift+Picture of the Windows logo keyWindows Logo+Tab (press Tab for previous window or hold Tab down to quickly scroll for the next windows)
    • Ctrl+Picture of the Windows logo keyWindows Logo+Tab (to stay in Windows Flip 3D mode. You can also press RIGHT ARROW or DOWN ARROW to cycle forward one window, or press LEFT ARROW or UP ARROW to cycle backward one window.) Press ENTER to activate the window or ESC to close Flip 3D.
    • At any time use the mouse and click on a window to activate it.

    Windows Flip 3D

    Here is how the button Picture of the Switch between windows button on the taskbar can be restored after accidentally have been deleted or misplaced.

    • Create a new shortcut by for example right clicking on the desktop and select New>Shortcut.
    • When asked "What item would you like to create a shortcut for?" copy the row below and paste it to the text box.
    • %SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe dwmapi #105 Create Shortcut
    • Click on Next.
    • Enter the name for the shortcut. For example: "Switch between windows".
    • Click on Finish.
    • Right click on the new shortcut and select Properties.
    • Click on the Change Icon button. Change Icon
    • Change rundll32.exe to imageres.dll and press OK. (The location is usually at %SystemRoot%\System32\imageres.dll or search for the file imageres.dll in the folder %SystemRoot% or C:\Windows and its subfolders. On Windows Vista 64-bit the location is C:\Windows\SysWOW64\rundll32.exe DwmApi #105) Change Icon
    • The correct icon should now be in the list. Click on it and press OK.
    • Now you can drag and drop the shortcut to the Quick Launch toolbar.
    • The shortcut Switch between windows is now recovered. Problem solved.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Adobe Labs - Adobe Share reviewed

    Do you want to share, publish and organize your documents online?

    Here is another free web-based service, now from Adobe. Take a look at Adobe Labs - Share. The UI uses Adobe Flash Player.


    • Your free Share account has 1 GB of storage space.
    • You can share it with one, many or publicly to everyone.
    • Adobe Share only allows documents right now.
    • There is an API.

    Here are a couple of tests having a DWF (could be shared but not embedded) and a PDF shared and embedded. It's very easy to embed the document because you get all HTML code needed.

    Link to the DWF file.

    Below is a PDF embedded using Flash.

    PS. Windows Live SkyDrive that I earlier blogged about has recently raised the limit to 1 GB of online storage. Take a look at SkyDrive here. Sure looks like competition. One thing I like with SkyDrive is that documents can be dragged and dropped into it.

    Timber framing using Google SketchUp

    imageI didn't know (or remember) that SketchUp had an API so you could do custom programs. Ruby Scripts was used for this timber framing tool.

    I also noticed that SketchUp still does not support the AutoCAD 2007 DWG file format even though they are members of Open Design Alliance.

    Via: Official Google SketchUp Blog: Attention fans of timber framing

    Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD

    "Using the simple wizard-driven interface, you can publish your 3D models from AutoCAD or select AutoCAD-based products directly into Google Earth™. The technology preview is available for 2007 and 2008 versions."

    News are:

  • Added support for AutoCAD® Map 3D 2008.
  • Added support for map projections when using the extension with AutoCAD® Civil 3D 2008 or AutoCAD® Map 3D 2008.
  • Added tool tips for displaying time span data attached to AutoCAD entities.
  • AutoCAD® block references are now published without the need to explode them.

    Download the free beta here.

    Via Updated Google Earth Extension for AutoCAD available on Autodesk Labs

  • Wonder if and when there will be support for Virtual Earth 3D.

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Total number of posts on a Blogger blog

    Here is blogger hack to show the total number of posts on your blog.

    It uses JavaScript and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation).

    The only thing you need is to change ChangeThisToYourBlog in the code below to the name of your blog.

    <script style="text/javascript"> function showpostcount(json) { document.write('Posts on this blog ' + parseInt(json.feed.openSearch$totalResults.$t,10) + '<br>'); } </script> <script src=""></script>

    Shaan Hurley met John Walker

    I remember Shaan was traveling in Switzerland and looking at the background of the photo my guess was that it was John Walker that was the masked person. I was right!

    Via Between the Lines: Shaan and John Walker and Who is the masked person with me?

    Your website on Mac

    Even without having a Mac you can confirm what it look like.

    Take a look at the free Safari screenshots generator. Add a webpage and you will get an image showing what it look like in MacOSX.

    Notice the difference below taken from this blog's right side.

    Internet Explorer 7 on Vista    Safari on MacOSX

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Fake or Foto - I got 8 out of 4 answers correct

    In the Bonus Round this is what I got. Apart from this little "bug" I recommend you to try the latest Fake or Foto challenge.



    BTW. Is it really spelled Foto or should it be Photo?

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    DwgInfoTip - better infotip for DWG files

    If you want to get information from DWG files as a infotip or tooltip take a look at DwgInfoTip. Take a look and see how you can show information from the title block and the drawing properties like properties, revision and revision date and more.

    • Enhance Your User's Experience with the New DWG Infotip Shell Extension.
    • Show the DWG properties as an Infotip (tooltip) in Explorer or even from file dialog boxes within AutoCAD.
    • Use DWGPROPS in AutoCAD and add information in the Summary or Custom tabs and it will show up just hovering above a DWG file.
    • The Infotip will show the version of the DWG file, file size, date modified and most property information.
    • PROPULATE allows quick, automated population of the Drawing Properties dialog data fields.
    • No need to have AutoCAD installed. That means that everyone at your company can see this information.
    • No need to open the drawing to know information like revision and other valuable information in the drawing.

    Acrobat 3D PDF Contest

    "The Acrobat 3D PDF Contest is a great opportunity to win yourself some cool prizes while sharing examples of your great work with the entire Acrobat community."

    "Large assemblies are strongly encouraged - the bigger and more complex, the better. Solid models that contain PMI, such as dimensioning, tolerancing, and annotation on the 3D model, are also encouraged."

    Full contest details can be found here.

    Via Jim Merry: Adobe Sponsoring '3D PDF Contest'

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Inventor 2008 Windows Vista support with SP1

    Knowledge Base document: Autodesk Inventor 2008 Service Pack 1

    Via Inventor 2008 Now Supports Windows Vista - Autodesk reports that Service Pack 1 resolves usability issues and enhances overall performance of the MCAD solution. - CAD Management

    HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT (HKCR) key description

    imageHere is a tip. Avoid writing, deleting or merging (like .REG files or using regedit.exe) to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT.


    Basically because HKCR is a merged view based on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes and it can be confusing as to if this will work for the current user, a new user, the administrator user or so.

    The registry system uses the following rules to merge information from the two sources:

    • The merged view includes all subkeys of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes key.
    • The merged view includes all immediate subkeys of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes key that do not duplicate the subkeys of HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes.
    • Below is a list of subkeys that are found in both HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes. The immediate subkeys of these keys from the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE tree are included in the merged view only if they are not duplicates of immediate subkeys from the HKEY_CURRENT_USER tree. The merged view does not include the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE contents of duplicate subkeys.

    The following subkeys are found in both HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes. From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE tree, the immediate subkeys of these keys are included in the merged view only if they are not duplicates of immediate subkeys from the HKEY_CURRENT_USER tree. The merged view does not include the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE contents of duplicate subkeys.

    Component Categories
    Mime\Database\Content Type

    The HKCR key contains file extension associations and COM class registration information such as ProgIDs, CLSIDs, and IIDs.

    More is found in this MSDN document.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    3D modeling by Dassault and Microsoft through Live Search Maps

    Google SketchUp is getting an alternative it seems with the latest Virtual Earth 3D from Microsoft.


    "3D Modelling. We partnered with Dassault to create a new application to allow anyone to create 3D imagebuildings and other objects in Virtual Earth. 3DVIA Technology preview allows you to create textured buildings and save them directly into your map Collections.  This technology preview is the first 3D modeling offering between Dassault and Microsoft. We’re looking forward to community feedback from this release to help shape 3DVIA as it moves from technology preview to a first official release. "

    "Through our partnership we've created a new consumer tool that seamlessly integrates with Live Search Maps Collections. To try it out, switch into 3D in Firefox or IE on windows, right click and choose 'Add a 3D Model. You can share your Collections that contain models just like any other and later this year we'll release an update to our javascript map control that will let you integrate your models into web mashups! Much more on this feature area here on the VE blog over the coming days."


    Via Virtual Earth / Live Maps: Live Search Maps v2 is out! Gemini Launches.

    PDF-XChange Viewer review

    If you want something better or want more than Adobe Reader but don't want or cannot justify the quite expensive Adobe Acrobat, Tracker Software Products has made the free PDF-XChange Viewer.

    Testing the Viewer I must say it's a great product.

    Below is an AutoCAD DWG file I printed to PDF and then annotated as a test.


    Here is some of the things this free PDF viewer can do.

    • Add Comments and Annotations to any PDF file (subject to security settings) - unlike the Adobe Viewer which requires the PDF creation tool to be 'certified' by Adobe !
    • Markup pages with text and objects
    • Type directly on any PDF page, not just Adobe enabled forms documents - in Typewriter mode.
    • Export PDF pages or entire files to any one of the supported Image formats including BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and many more ...
    • Extract text from a PDF page/File
    • Make your navigation of large or complex PDF files both simple and enjoyable switch the extended functionality of our 'Loupe' and the 'Pan' Window tools
    • Fill and Save Adobe Forms to disk, email or 'post' !
    • Full Javascript Engine included
    • Updated JPEG2000 Compression support - improving speed.
    • And many more features such as Rotate and 'Save',  Email files etc ...

    Crop pages and Delete pages are not available in this version even though there are menu items for them. (Version 1.0 Build 0026) It seems like there is a PRO version coming and it might be that you need to buy that one for added functionality.

    Notice that if you have added comments, annotations and markups they are still editable from within Adobe Acrobat.

    There is also a SDK for the viewer but it's not free.

    I've developed using their PDF-XChange SDK Pro API before and it creates the best and smallest PDF you can find. I used it to add text and images to existing PDF's in an automated way after they were approved in a document management system (ProArc from Software Innovation). I also solved so that PDF documents were printed in correct sorted order when printed from ProArc.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    DWG trademark dispute continues

    In EU (European Union) there is a dispute around DWG as trademark. As a user that used Autodesk products a lot, I do associate DWG most with Autodesk and mainly the DWG file format. On the other hand I know of The Open Design Alliance (ODA) that makes the OpenDWG software library that can create, read and edit DWG files as well as other products that either uses OpenDWG and its DWGdirect or their own solution, some of them for many years. So if it's acceptable or not to use DWG as a trademark in EU time will tell.

    Knowledge Base Software (Pty) Limited and SolidWorks Corporation are opposing the registration of DWG by Autodesk, Inc. and Autodesk, Inc. is opposing registration of DWGGATEWAY and DWGEDITOR by SolidWorks Corporation.

    Details are found at OAMI-ONLINE where you find about REALDWG and TRUSTEDDWG.

    United States Patent and Trademark Office

    For DWG™ trademark guidelines, see Paragraph 7, under Guidelines for Use

    Related posts: DWGgateway supports DWG 2007 and Autodesk tries to trademark DWG

    What is the Blog Action Day?

    It's about the environment and how each of us can make a change.

    As engineers and computer users here are a couple of tips closely related to Autodesk.

    • Don't use the physical printer use an electronic/virtual printer. Use a workflow like this starting and ending with AutoCAD. Print to an electronic format like DWF, make your mark ups with Autodesk Design Review and then take the DWF into AutoCAD again. Recycling the electrons.
    • Take a look at Autodesk Sustainability Center

    Related news is how the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

    Here is the action blog and website.

    SVCHOST.EXE - Executable file has been changed - Kaspersky

    I evaluated the Antivirus Software Internet Security 7.0 from Kaspersky Lab for a time and all in all it worked good but then I kept getting this message and sent Kaspersky support an email about it saying:


    "I keep getting this firewall message that Executable file has been changed. It started a couple of days ago and it shows up several times a day. Please advice how to always allow this or what the problem is. The dialog box says: Firewall - Executable file has been changed. File has been modified since last scan. It can be regular update or infection. Should the program be granted network access? Process name: SVCHOST.EXE Process ID: 1600 Manufacturer: Microsoft Corporation Version: 6.0.6000.16386. The allow option says: Information about the file will be updated in the existing application rule. In future this activity will be allowed automatically. The problem is that still this warning shows up many times per day."

    Three weeks later and still I have not got a response on this other than the automatic emails. "...your response time may exceed 24 hrs.  We apologize for this delay and ask that you visit the technical support site at for answers to common questions..."

    I later also found out that I cannot purchase their product from Sweden. I could not even buy it online.

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Jing 1.3 released

    Jing is getting better with the version 1.3. Here is one of the news: "When selecting the area to capture, dimensions of the selected area now show up as a mouse tooltip."

     image   image

    You can now resize and move drawing objects.


    Previous post on Jing.

    JTB FlexReport 3.4.3 news

    JTB FlexReport has been updated.

    The installation package is not updated for this release though. If you want the added features or have had problems with the Concurrent report you can just download the new database or if you don't have Access use the free Runtime.

    • JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports.mdb (file ver. 3.4.9) updated with reports that includes User, Host and Server. Host Group Report per year added. Max Min Avg Concurrent Usage reports should work in older versions of Access now. Download here.

    • Version that does not require Access is available. It uses Access Runtime 2007. Details here.

    Access query too complex to be evaluated and a workaround

    This post shows how to identify and workaround a limitation or bug in Access.

    This is the error message when opening a specific query directly within Access 2003. Using Access 2007 on the other hand seems to be able to handle this type of query.

    "This expression is typed incorrectly, or it is too complex to be evaluated. For example, a numeric expression may contain too many complicated elements. Try simplifying the expression by assigning parts of the expression to variables."

    I could also get this message in some cases when using the Access Runtime 2007 (using the file extension .accdr). It seems to happen if Access 2003 is installed and Access Runtime 2007 at the same time.

    "Execution of this application has stopped due to a run-time error. The application can't continue and will be shut down."

    If I use VBA code like this to open nothing happens at all.

    DoCmd.OpenQuery "qryInvoice", acNormal, acEdit

    Here is a simplified version of the query when it does not work. The original query was 10 times larger and I removed one thing at a time to find out the cause. I have several checkboxes on a form so it's possible to dynamically query based on selected weekdays.

    SELECT invoice FROM invoices WHERE (((Weekday([DateTimeField],2)) In (-1*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckMo].[value],-2*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckTu].[value],-3*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckWe].[value],-4*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckTh].[value])));

    Removing one of the In list of expressions and it starts working as expected.

    SELECT invoice FROM invoices WHERE (((Weekday([DateTimeField],2)) In (-1*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckMo].[value],-2*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckTu].[value],-3*[Forms]![frmInvoices]![CheckWe].[value])));

    I then tried to use constants in the In operator and it did work.

    SELECT invoice FROM invoices WHERE (((Weekday([DateTimeField],2)) In (1,2,3,4)));

    So I ended up with this workaround by using VBA to build the SQL query string and then the query definition and dynamically so to say updating the saved query. This shows also how an Access query can be created using VBA.

    On Error Resume Next Dim dbs As Database Dim strSQL As String Dim strQueryName As String Dim qryDef As QueryDef Set dbs = CurrentDb strQueryName = "qryInvoice" dbs.QueryDefs.Delete strQueryName strSQL = "SELECT invoice FROM invoices " & _ "WHERE (((Weekday([DateTimeField],2)) In (" & -1 * IIf(CheckMo.Value, -1, 0) & "," & -2 * IIf(CheckTu.Value, -1, 0) & "," & -3 * IIf(CheckWe.Value, -1, 0) & "," & -4 * IIf(CheckTh.Value, -1, 0) & ")));" Set qryDef = dbs.CreateQueryDef(strQueryName, strSQL) DoCmd.OpenQuery strQueryName, acNormal, acEdit

    Top Criteria for BIM Solutions: AECbytes Survey Results

    An extensive report worth reading if you are into BIM. The BIM survey report is found here.

    "Even though this survey was commissioned by Bentley Systems, its results should be valuable to all the BIM vendors as they plan on the future direction of their solutions. It also serves as a very useful benchmark for assessing the current state of the art of AEC technology to which future survey results can be compared to chart the course of change."

    Via AECbytes Blog Top Criteria for BIM Solutions: AECbytes Survey Results

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Autodesk Impression Technology Preview för Sverige, etc

    image Very nice to see more countries (including Sweden/Sverige) supported for Autodesk Impression. I wrote earlier of this limitation and the fact that the toolbar made no sense for many.

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    United States

    Via Inside Hues.

    AreaText.LSP for AutoCAD

    Here is a small AutoLISP program I did a while ago. It's freeware so just grab it, use it, change it or contact me if you want something else to be done.


    It makes use of the FIELD functionality in AutoCAD but makes this specific operation easy and quick.

    Run the command AT and select a polyline and then where to place the text.

    The result is in SQ. FT. but the AutoLISP code can easily be changed for other formats.


    When the polyline is changed the area is updated


    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Lean production game Sim Lean

    On Lean Forum Bygg there is a game that learns the Toyota inspired lean production method. The idea is to teach how lean production works. The Sim Lean game (Leanspelet) is found here but unfortunately it's only in Swedish so you might have a bit hard time to understand everything but since I'm Swedish that was not my problem. The problem was to make sure the material was in place at the right time to keep down the costs.

    As best after a couple of tries I managed to build the house in 24 weeks (it took less than 10 minutes to play the game) but the expenses was still quite high so I ended up at place 359 and a production cost of 58309kkr.


    On the topic of Sim. The classic SimCity is available online for free here. I haven't had time to try it. It's that kind of game that takes a lot of time to play.


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