Friday, June 27, 2008

Autodesk is getting greener with Ecotect

Autodesk Enhances Sustainable Design Capabilities with Acquisitions of Ecotect (by Square One Research, Ltd. and Dr. Andrew Marsh) and Green Building Studio Analysis Tools – press release.

Autodesk’s Sustainability Center -

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Impressing Dynamic Architecture

A 420 meter high building by the Italian architect David Fisher will be raised in Dubai and is scheduled to be completed by 2010. The Dynamic Tower changes it shape based on the rotation each floor has. Integrated wind turbines makes the building powered by wind to a green building. Most parts of the building will be prefabricated as modules in an Italian factory and shipped to Dubai and later a building will be build in Moscow.

Click to enlarge




Wondering what CAD and BIM software they are using.

For more visit Dynamic Architecture's website - make sure to see the intro.

Some videos on YouTube: Dynamic Tower plans unveiled, Preview of World's First Rotating Skyscraper, Dynamic Tower, Dynamic Architecture

JTB FlexReport 4.2 released - now with IBM LUM support

Now JTB FlexReport adds reporting on concurrent usage for IBM LUM licensed products like Catia and Enovia from Dassault Systemes.

FLEXnet-enabled (previously named FLEXlm) applications like AutoCAD 2009 are of course supported since before and the support for Matlab usage has been improved.

Request your free trial right now and give it a try.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Command Complete Bonus Tool for AutoCAD updated

In case you missed it there is an update recently to the Command Complete tool available.

Here are my favorite news:

  • Added LISP defined commands to the list
  • Added commands to enable/disable CommandComplete (CCENABLE/CCDISABLE).

Via It's Alive in the Lab with more details about it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quick start Visual Studio 2008 on Vista without UAC warning

Do you use Visual Studio 2008 on Windows Vista and still want to keep UAC on but avoid having the time consuming User Account Control warning each time you start VS 2008?

This can be solved by creating a scheduled task that runs with the highest privileges.

This hack can be used to start other programs like the registry editor (regedit.exe) that usually requires a permission to start.

Open Task Scheduler by entering Task Scheduler in the start menu search box.

Click on Create Task...


Give the task a name and check "Run with highest privileges".

On the Actions tab click on New.

Enter the path to Visual Studio 2008:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"
and for Start in:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\

Create a new shortcut.

Enter schtasks /run /tn "VS2008" and change VS2008 so it matches the name of the scheduled task.

Set the  Run option to Minimized and if you want change the icon. Location for the icon:
%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe

Friday, June 20, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 RSS Feeds bug in InfoCenter

Notice that the RSS Feed for AutoCAD 2009 forum or discussion group is not the correct one. It points to the one fro AutoCAD 2008.

It should be

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

NVIDIA Quadro FX and AutoCAD 2009

If you have this combination make sure to install the free NVIDIA Performance Driver for AutoCAD 2009 available on Nvidia as it can boost the performance quite a lot. Unfortunately it does not work if you have a vertical like AutoCAD Architecture 2009.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

3D holographic display for AutoCAD or Inventor

Take a look at Holografika. You don't need any 3D glasses or devices that track your head location.

HoloVizio 640RC (1,8m screen diagonal) in operation.


The price on HoloVizio 128WLD is around € 29,000 and the larger HoloVizio 640RC is way more.

CAD software tested with HoloVizio systems: ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Alias StudioTools, CATIA, CoCreate OneSpace, DesignCAD, Pro Engineer, Rhino, SolidWorks, Unigraphics
Modeling software tested with HoloVizio systems: 3ds Max, Blender, Bryce, Cinema4D, LightWave 3D, Maya, Softimage XSI

Have you seen it or tried it? It sure look interesting.

A new toy for Autodesk labs to play with? Or maybe already have.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Error 1001. The specified service already exists

This message can come up if you install a newer version of for example JTB FlexReport. The solution is to first uninstall.

If there is a problem to uninstall. Make sure you have administrator rights.
Stop the JTB FlexReport service(s). The name of the services(s) can be “JTB FlexReport”, “JTB FlexReport Service”, “JTB FlexReport Core Service”, “JTB FlexReport Chart Service”, JTB FlexReport Sampling Service”, “JTB FlexReport Auto Chart Service”.
You can also try the hard way:
Run cmd.exe with enough user rights
net stop "JTB FlexReport"
sc delete "JTB FlexReport"

Now try to uninstall. It might also be needed to restart the server before running the setup again.

In this example it is "JTB FlexReport Service".
Stop the service in Windows Services.
Using the registry:
2. Find "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services" and locate the service and delete the key.
Using command line (as administrator):
NET STOP "JTB FlexReport Service"
SC DELETE "JTB FlexReport Service"
Delete the installation folder.
Locate JTB FlexReport in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
You can do a Find and then delete that key.
It might be named like this: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
Now try to install.
Restart if needed.

See also Error 1001 The specified service does not exist as an installed service

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Autodesk's AIA 2008 site is the AIA 2008 site at Autodesk with podcasts and webcasts created at the recent convention in Boston.  The site also offers links to a host of BIM and sustainable design information.

"Voices of Architecture Podcast Library" with podcast interviews like these:

Bob Berkebile, BNIM – Bob discuss the topic of Architecture and Public Identity and why it is a hot topic in the industry. Bob also describes one of the most interesting projects his firm is currently working on today, what he sees as a key trend in global architecture and the importance of BIM knowledge as a key factor when evaluating employee prospects.

Mark Dietrick, Burt Hill – Mark comments about the biggest new trends in the architecture industry, and what Burt Hill looks for in terms of BIM knowledge when searching for new employees.

John Moebes, Director of Construction for Crate & Barrel - Mark discusses how the Revit platform helps his company improve the design and build process, what Revit platform solutions they use, how Crate & Barrel has adopted integrated project management, and what he sees as the biggest new trend in architecture today.

Interviews with Jay Bhatt, senior VP of Autodesk AEC Solutions and Phil Bernstein, VP building industry & strategy relations for Autodesk posted at this site, along with a host of interviews with Autodesk BIM and Revit experts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

PLU emergency license for AutoCAD

EmergencyExit With the Portable Licence Utility there is an "emergency license". It is not to be misused and cannot be used every day.  How long it takes before you can use it again is not documented or revealed by Autodesk.

When can this be useful? Say you have exported a license to your home PC and in last minute find that you need to work overtime. There is no need to panic, having to go home and back to work again. In a case like this you can use the emergency license.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SnagIt 9 released

SnagIt has a new major release. I just installed SnagIt 9 and so far everything looks great. The first Beta versions had some quirks but they seems to be all gone now.

As many other vendors lately they have introduced the Fluent UI with its Ribbon and I think it makes the Editor so much better.

Combining images is a new feature in the Editor that makes it a snap to combine two or more images that are easily available from the quick view with thumbnails of your previous captures.


Here is a quick list of the news:

  • Added multiple image editing capability.
  • Added autosaving of captures.
  • Added persistent undo for captures.
  • Added automatic metadata capture which includes capturing date and time, application, and website, if appropriate.
  • Added custom metadata tagging with custom keywords and several preset flags.
  • Added searching functionality.
  • Modified SnagIt's editor to support Microsoft's new Fluent UI.
  • Upgraded SnagIt's image processing capability.
  • Updated SnagIt's theme to black.
  • Updated SnagIt's help documentation and added more tips within the product to provide better contextual help.
  • Fixed many issues with text capture.
  • Fixed several memory leaks.
  • Fixed a crash bug with multipage PDFs and TIFFs.
  • Removed Instant Messenger Output.
  • Removed the Catalog Browser.
  • Removed the Classic View.

Here are the news on TechSmith's blog.

EXCEL.EXE is not a valid Win32 application

If you get an message box with this warning when trying to start Microsoft Office Excel try to restart the computer. This is what has helped for me. Not sure about the reason that this happens though.

If trying to run EXCEL.EXE directly:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\EXCEL.EXE is not a valid Win32 application."

If trying to start with an Excel shortcut:

"This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Set Associations control panel."

This happened with Excel 2007 and Vista SP1.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Windows Search 4.0 released

Good news that Windows Search 4.0 was released a few days ago. I've installed it now. The only problem is that the re-indexing takes so long time and I cannot search among my Outlook emails.

Download: Windows Search 4.0 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (x86)

Download: Windows Search 4.0 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (x64)

Make sure to restart after installing it.

Improved indexing performance is what I found was the best thing with the preview that I've used since March.

Indexer Status Gadget A useful sidebar gadget is Indexer Status Gadget.

Improvements in Windows Search 4.0 and more download packages are available here:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Survey companion error [1.5.-5] - separate license files needed

Separate license file are needed if you want network licenses work in some unique cases even though you usually can combine different license files from the same vendor.

You have to fill out a Request Previous Versions in Subscription Administration under Manage License Benefits Use. Basically you request a new serial number for the survey 2006 companion from the CIV3D 2009 group.

Here is a user case (credit to Mike Caldwell) when this was needed and solved the issue.

We upgraded our license files to 2009 for CIV3D and AutoCAD but we are going to use 2006 products for a little longer until we test 2009. So now we are using LDD 2006 and we have a few of or survey guys needing to use the survey companion which in 2006 needed it's own license file. The autodesk people say it shouldn't need it's own file and will use 2009 to gets it's license. My question is do you know what serial number I should insert into the survey network deployment in order for it to see the license?

The following is an excerpt from autodesk.

As you may or may not know, Land Desktop Companion will pull a Civil 3D license if no Land Desktop license is available.  However, for the 2009 products, there is no such thing as Survey.  The functionality that was in Survey has been wrapped into Land Desktop Companion.  That being said, you will still need to have your Survey 2006 license increment in your license file to run Survey 2006.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Software Asset Management for Autodesk licenses

During the recent Virtual Event I found the following useful resources. If you visit or there are several resources available on how to identify genuine Autodesk products and protect yourself against piracy, stay compliant and get compliant.

Software Asset Management Toolkit (pdf - 1280Kb) is a document worth reading.

JTB FlexReport showing network license usageFor network licenses JTB FlexReport can be tool that helps you with SAM (Software Asset Management).


Useful Tips from Autodesk

Ensure You Are Purchasing Authentic Autodesk Products

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is not a legitimate (a.k.a. “legal”) product. If the vendor states that the product is available for download and/or if the vendor does not offer tech support, do not buy from that vendor. Learn more about how to identify authentic Autodesk products.

Institute a Company Policy Regarding the Use of Software
Communicate the policy clearly and consistently to advise leaders and employees to adhere to software license agreements. Commit to supplying original software to meet the needs of all your users. View our Software Asset Management Toolkit for sample text to use in writing a company policy.

A copy of the Autodesk End-User License Agreement can be viewed by choosing “About (program name)… from the Help menu in your Autodesk program.

Regularly Review and Revise Policies Regarding the Use of Software
Policies should be reviewed regularly and revised to clarify existing points and to address new issues that have become part of the work environment.

Create a Software Code of Ethics
Ask employees to sign a letter acknowledging the company forbids illegal software duplication. This can be part of a new employee orientation packet. View our Software Asset Management Toolkit for sample text of a software code of ethics.

Develop a Support Structure for a Code of Ethics
Create mechanisms—an ombudsperson, an ethics committee, a suggestion box, or an employee "help line"—to support the code of ethics. Employees need to feel safe reporting software copyright infringements to management without fear of negative repercussions or job loss.

Anticipate and Fulfill User Needs
Survey your employees once or twice annually to determine their software needs. To deter users from unauthorized copying, make sure bureaucracy does not impede timely delivery of the software.

Establish Realistic Budgets for Hardware and Software
Do not take financial shortcuts to pay for software. Make sure to plan for software purchases as you do for hardware.

Perform Software Self-Audits
Inspect software in use to ensure it was acquired legitimately and is accounted for in your software register. View our Software Asset Management Toolkit for information about compiling a software register.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Technical Solution Available for AutoCAD 2009

It is a great service getting an email like this from Autodesk. But you have to have CIP activated to have this working.

Dear AutoCAD® Customer:
Autodesk has recently released a Technical Solution for your product. Errors similar to those you have encountered have been resolved by the following Technical Solution.
We recommend that you apply this Technical Solution, or contact your system administrator.

Error Report Summary

Date             The problem title you provided Autodesk
2008-04-18    I was in Open dialog box and selected a file to...
2008-03-17    Tried to open a drawing

Technical Solution
Fatal error or unhandled exception when opening or closing a drawing file

These errors may be caused by the digital signature feature.

To correct this issue

  1. In Windows Explorer, right-click on a drawing file. On the shortcut menu, click "Enable/Disable Digital Signature Icons."
  2. Clear the "Validate digital signatures and display special icons" check box.
  3. Reboot the system.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Autodesk Experience Virtual Event 2008 a few hours later

The virtual event is over and I think it was a great way to reach out to users of Autodesk products.

Even though the event is over the presentations are available to see as they where recorded.

For example AutoCAD Architecture Tips and Tricks by Paul Aubin that includes several new useful features in ACA 2009.

Autodesk Experience Virtual Event 2008

The Autodesk Experience Virtual Event starts in a few minutes, see you there.

Monday, June 2, 2008

ed.SetImpliedSelection(Nothing) doesn't work in AutoCAD 2009

"I upgraded a project to VS 2008 (VB.NET) and AutoCAD 2009 and got this error on the following row:

Error 1 Overload resolution failed because no accessible 'SetImpliedSelection' is most specific for these arguments:
'Public Sub SetImpliedSelection(selectedObjects() As Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices.ObjectId)': Not most specific.
'Public Sub SetImpliedSelection(selectionSet As Autodesk.AutoCAD.EditorInput.SelectionSet)': Not most specific.

Another thing is that SetImpliedSelection is missing in the AutoCAD 2009 .Net API documentation. Not sure if it is on purpose. It was there and worked in AutoCAD 2008.

The object browser still shows it.
Public Sub SetImpliedSelection(ByVal selectedObjects() As Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices.ObjectId)
Member of Autodesk.AutoCAD.EditorInput.Editor

The code to replicate this:

Imports Autodesk.AutoCAD Imports Autodesk.AutoCAD.Runtime Imports Autodesk.AutoCAD.ApplicationServices Imports Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices Imports Autodesk.AutoCAD.EditorInput Namespace SelectionTest Public Class PickfirstTestCmds <CommandMethod("PFT", (CommandFlags.UsePickSet Or CommandFlags.Redraw Or CommandFlags.Modal))> Public Shared Sub PickFirstTest() Dim doc As Document = Application.DocumentManager.MdiActiveDocument() Dim ed As Editor = doc.Editor ed.SetImpliedSelection(Nothing) End Sub End Class End Namespace

I also find that this still works

Dim objs(0) As AcObjectId ed.SetImpliedSelection(objs)

I'm wondering if it is so that ed.SetImpliedSelection(Nothing) is no longer or not really needed to clear the pickfirst set.

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