Saturday, August 30, 2008

Översätt mellan Svenska och Engelska med Internet Explorer 8 accelerator och Tyda

Internet Explorer 8 har en ny bra funktion, “Acceleratorer”. Det fungerar så att du  exempelvis kan markera ett ord eller uttryck på en sida och sedan få ordet översatt med Tyda. Tyda översätter från engelska till svenska och svenska till engelska.

För att installera så krävs IE8. Därefter är det bara att klicka på knappen nedan.


Nedan visas hur ett ord markeras och hur man klickar på den blå pilen och sedan väljer Översätt med Tyda.


Andra acceleratorer finns här: Internet Explorer 8 Activity Gallery

Dokumentation för att skapa egna acceleratorer finns här. Det tog bara ett par minuter att skapa Tyda-acceleratorn.

And for those that don’t read Swedish here comes an English version.

Internet Explorer 8 comes with the new great “Accelerator” functionality. Accelerators are contextual menu options that can quickly access applications or Web services from any Web page. Accelerators from the Internet Explorer 8 Activity Gallery or through any Web site that advertises them like this blog.

I created an accelerator so you can select a word and have it translated from English to Swedish or Swedish to English using Tyda. To install the accelerator click on the button at the top that says “Översätt med Tyda”

Documentation to create your own accelerator is found here. It just took a few minutes creating the Tyda-accelerator.

EmulateIE7 meta tag makes IE8 render like IE7

As I previously found there was a problem with the CSS and JavaScript hybrid drop down menu I have on and as I have not found any solution yet I decided to add the following to the HEAD of these pages. (right after the <head> tag)

<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />

Now anyone visiting using Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 does not need to click on the Compatibility View button to be able to use the menus. The meta tag makes Internet Explorer 8 render the webpage like Internet Explorer 7.

More details on this emulation in Introducing IE=EmulateIE7 on IEBlog.

Not many visit the site uses IE8 but according to Google Analytics 0.57% (the small red slice) of the visits last week was from users using IE8. IE7 is what most have followed by IE6. But I expect this to increase.

0.57% of the visits from IE8

Have you checked your website or blog?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Club Penguin and IE8 Beta 2 doesn’t work well together

I got a request from a little penguin named Saraapril and couldn’t resist trying to help. It seems like Disney Club Penguin have some major problems working on Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2.

I found a workaround that Saraapril published on her Club Penguin Blog for some of the problems but for others like the arrow keys in one of the games it just didn’t work. IE8 definitely triggers the problem but it can also be related to Adobe Flash Player compatibility problems.

Update. The problem is still existing in the final version of Internet Explorer 8.

OneCare Firewall block rundll32.exe after installing IE8

I just installed Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 and after restarting the PC I got this warning. I’m pretty sure it is safe to allow this program so I gave it a try. Have you also seen this? Is this a false positive or not?

Windows Live OneCare Firewall

Windows Live OneCare Firewall has blocked a program from accessing the Internet. The firewall has blocked this program temporarily so that you can decide whether to allow it to access the Internet. You should only allow programs to do this if you trust the program and its publisher.

Name: Windows host process (Rundll32)
Publisher: Microsoft Windows
Location: C:\Windows\System32\rundll32.exe
Company: Microsoft Corporation
Version: 6.0.6000.16386

The options are Allow this program (Always allow this program to access the Internet.), Block this program (Always prevent this program from accessing the Internet.) and Block for now and ask me again later.

Installing Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2

I did not install the previous beta but now I’m giving Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 a try on my Vista PC abandoning Internet Explorer 7 (at least for now and maybe permanently).


Notice that you cannot keep your previous version but you can uninstall the beta and your previous version will be restored. Or you can install it on a virtual machine or a spare PC.

Here is what it look like. But you should really look at all the new features to see what’s in this new version.


Notice that you should for now use the compatibility view button when visiting as the menus for some reason does not work. This makes IE8 work like IE7.

Compatibility View

Right now it shows Webpage Script Error: Invalid argument.
Line: 42
Char: 1
Code: 0

It seems to be a problem on this row in menu.js:
obj.clip="rect(0 auto 0 0)" //hide menu via clipping

Get Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, the latest version of Microsoft's free web browser. If you dare to give it a try. But it seems to be working pretty good so far for me.

Protect your laptop or PC for free with Mozy

It’s no guarantee of course but it has happened to Mozy users according to their latest newsletter.

“We don't take the charge to use technology For Good and For Awesome lightly. We've helped users track down stolen laptops on several occasions by turning connection logs over to law enforcement after a thief inevitably connects the pilfered goods to the Internet without disabling Mozy's periodic backups. This is both Good and Awesome.”

Get 2GB Mozy backup space online for free. Having used Mozy for a long time I can agree that they provide a both Good and Awesome service.

Heading to Autodesk University? Take a look at AUGIatAU

Click on the badges below.

AUGIatAU Online Group

Follow AUGIatAU on twitter

Via email (thanks Mike) and BLAUGI.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Skyscraper competition

On eVolo Architecture you find amazing ideas for buildings.

Here are some images from the 08 Skyscraper competition.

First place: Elie Gamburg
Second place: Rugel Chiriboga - Ted Givens
Third place: Alberto Fernández - Susana Ortega
Competition mentions: Christopher Talbott - George Tolosa, Daekwon Park, Tingxing Tao, Sohta Mori - Yuichiro Minato, Claudiu Barsan-Pipu - Oana Nituica - Irina Dragomir - Bogdan Ispas and Natalie Ghatan.

Visit eVolo for more images and previous competitions.

Wondering what CAD software they used for the different projects?

JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports update to correct sorting

The latest version of JTB FlexReport Detailed Reports can be downloaded here.

Some of the Access reports could not be sorted correctly in date order depending on the Windows country and language settings for date and time. This is now fixed.

Access date sort problem and solution

Have you run into a problem that the dates or time in a table, query, form or report are sorted as plain text instead of in date order as expected?

Notice that the columns Test1 and Test3 below does not sort correctly.

The reason in this case is that Format has been used and one way to solve it is to use the CDate function to make sure the format of the files is as a date instead of text.

For the Test3 column the solution is to also include a column that is in “Date” format as  the Long Date format cannot be converted to Date format using CDate.

Design View

Here is the Access query as SQL:
SELECT DateTest.DateField, Format([DateField],"Short Date") AS Test1, CDate(Format([DateField],"Short Date")) AS Test2, Format([DateField],"Long Date") AS Test3
FROM DateTest;

The following images shows the problem to sort Test1 and that it works with Test2.

Here is the Access query as SQL:
SELECT DateTest.DateField, Format([DateField],"Long Time") AS Test1, CDate(Format([DateField],"Long Time")) AS Test2
FROM DateTest;

If you have problem to sort by date order directly on a table make sure the field Data Type is Date/Time or you need to use a query and convert to date format.

Microsoft Access sort dates or times, according to the Regional and Language Settings of the Control Panel in Windows. This is not so much problem for some date and time formats like Swedish used in Sweden but it sure is with American English format. Something to consider when developing for international customers.

This test is done with Microsoft Access 2007 but the solution to the problem applies to older versions as well.

What sorting trick would you use if you for some reason need to use the Format function?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Autodesk Beyond Desktop CAD & BIM | StressFree

“It is my opinion that Autodesk is in the early stages of implementing a bold Internet-centric strategy that if successful will position it as the Software + Services giant within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry.”

Read the whole post at Autodesk Beyond Desktop CAD & BIM | StressFree

Layer Properties Manager problem in AutoCAD 2009

You cannot turn off, freeze or change the color of a layer if the layer name contains the characters "#", "@", or "~" because these characters are wildcards in the new Layer Properties Manager.

AutoCAD Layer Properties Manager

Hopefully it will be fixed in a coming Update.

Autodesk Knowledge Base article including a couple of workarounds.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009 includes ACA

This is good news if you have need to use both Revit and AutoCAD Architecture.

Autodesk calls it Addressing Architectural Design Diversity.

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009 now comprises AutoCAD, Revit Architecture and AutoCAD Architecture. The point release 2009.1 of Revit Architecture Suite 2009 will begin to ship 15th of September with no price change.

ACA 2009 as part of the suit will only be available to subscription customers.

If you are have network licenses of the AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite you will need to request a new license file to be able to run also ACA as part of the suit offering.

More on RobiNZ CAD Blog and Gregory Arkins blog.

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite FAQ with more details.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Flexible Software Delivery Model from Autodesk

Automatic Product Updates is not something new as it has been in place for quite a while now. Subscription Bonus Packs has also existed under other names before in one way or the other. Express Tools is one I’m thinking of. But Autodesk calls this the new Flexible Software Delivery model. Personally I think this is a good move. I’ve also got confirmed that ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) members will get access to some of the news like Bonus Packs that are available to subscription customers.

Autodesk is adopting a new Flexible Software Delivery model for AutoCAD software. This new software development and delivery model is designed to increase customer satisfaction and subscription value by providing AutoCAD customers with earlier access to new features, delivered on demand, and provide them with the flexibility to choose which features to install and use.

"Many leading software companies, including Microsoft, Symantec and Intuit, have adopted this new model of software delivery to help their customers maximize their technology investments. We are excited to introduce this innovative approach to AutoCAD," said Guri Stark, vice president, AutoCAD and Platform Products. "Customers on subscription will have earlier access to advanced features and no longer need to worry about upgrades -- they can just plug in the new feature packs they want and bypass those they may not need. We're also automating the delivery of product updates and hotfixes to all users of AutoCAD, ensuring all our customers now have access to the latest technologies as quickly as possible."

The new Flexible Software Delivery model for AutoCAD consists of two primary components: Subscription Bonus Packs and Product Updates.

Subscription Bonus Packs

Subscription Bonus Packs containing new software features are now available to AutoCAD subscription customers through the Autodesk Subscription Center. Subscription customers account for about 75 percent of licensed AutoCAD users. Subscription Bonus Packs will be released regularly and customers will be able to pick and choose which bonus packs to install, providing them greater flexibility in how they deploy their software. AutoCAD customers not on Autodesk Subscription may have access to features from the Subscription Bonus Packs in future product releases. The first AutoCAD 2009 Subscription Bonus Pack, now available for download, provides many useful features that were requested by members of the AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) community.

"Having the option to improve and extend the capabilities of AutoCAD with the use of the Subscription Bonus Pack between full product releases is valuable to our company and is accelerating our ROI," said Keith Rice, CAD Administrator, Pennoni Associates Inc.

Automatic Product Updates

Relying on critical data from the AutoCAD Customer Involvement Program (CIP) and Customer Error Reporting (CER) utility, Product Updates are now automatically delivered to all licensed AutoCAD customers, providing faster and more regular access to patches and fixes. AutoCAD CIP and CER information also provides the development team with near real-time information on product usage, guiding them on key focus areas within the application. The CER system also provides customers with immediate solutions to product failures by automatically sending users emails after a product crash. To date, about 200,000 solutions have been delivered to users, helping to reduce the impact to customer productivity.

Full press release.

Update: Comments on Cadalyst by Kenneth Wong.

AutoCAD Architecture PSD showing the drawing name

There was a question in the AutoCAD Architecture discussion group.

“How can i get dwgname of open drawing  in this drawing in  property set per vbscript code?”

Here is how it can be done. I use ACA 2009 but it should work with older versions too. Formula Property Definition below:

On Error Resume Next
Set app = GetObject(, "AutoCAD.Application")

If the full path and name needs to be use just change ActiveDocument.Name to ActiveDocument.FullName.

StreamReader problem to read special characters and solution

StreamReader and Peek, Read, ReadBlock, ReadLine or ReadToEnd has problem to read text files with international characters like in Swedish, Finnish, German, etc.
Here are some Swedish letters that needs special treatment: Å, Ä, Ö, å, ä, ö.

What was used when I noticed this problem was:


The solution in VB.NET or C# is using something like this:

StreamReader(Stream, System.Text.Encoding.Default)

For Chinese or Japanese System.Text.Encoding.Unicode is probably needed.

An example of a large application that has problems is Google Blogger that sends email copies of comments and say a comment is ÅÄÖåäö what is emailed is ÅÄÖåäö

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 Update 1 Find changes

The recent Update 1 almost fixed what AutoCAD 2009 broke. In previous versions you could zoom into a found text and when exiting the Find command it stayed zoomed in.

Searching for TEST3.

Notice that the view also rotates when Update 1 is installed.

I think this can be useful in some cases and for some users but it should be an option as it could be seen as a problem by some.

Some users might not even know how to restore the view using the Plan command and the Current ucs option or Zoom Previous.

Monday, August 18, 2008

.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 bug and AutoCAD

AutoCAD and possibly other applications have the potential to be affected by a bug in newly released .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

We get a System.ExecutionEngineError after installing the dotnet framework 3.5 SP1.
Calculations of Vector3d.MultiplyBy , Vector3d.DivideBy and Vector3d.Add are totaly wrong.

According to Autodesk this is the workaround:

Create a file called acdbmgd.ini in the AutoCAD installation directory with the following 2 lines of content:

---start of acdbmgd.ini----
[.NET Framework Debugging Control]
---end of acdbmgd.ini

Autodesk Service Pack or Update?

For AutoCAD 2009 it’s Update 1 but for AutoCAD Mechanical 2009 Service Pack 1.


What is the difference?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NavisWorks 2009.1 released

Good to see that the pace of new releases for NavisWorks continues like before Autodesk acquired the company.

The updated version of the Autodesk NavisWorks line of products now provides:

  • DGN v8 file reader
  • Localized in French, German, Japanese, Russian and Simplified Chinese
  • Compatibility with most native AEC design and laser scan file formats
  • Support for Revit assembly codes for "symbol" element types
  • Properties support for new style DWF files (as exported from Revit)
  • Asta Powerproject V10 support
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2008 64-bit support
  • 64-bit exporters now included in the main installer
  • Vico Constructor 2008 support
  • Enhancements to application programming interface (API)

Press release

A good news with .NET Framework 3.5 SP1

A limitation many have found trying to run applications or code located on a network share is now removed.

.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Allows managed code to be launched from a network share!

Not sure yet if it is enough to just have 3.5 SP1 installed to have it working though or if the code needs to be recompiled for it to work.

Update via Brad Adams:

“No, an existing application does not have to be recompiled or changed in any way to take advantage of this.   Your current 2.0 Applications will just work, you don't have to target anything new in 3.5..”

Second update:

“The framework is now better optimized for startup. … What this means to you:  Even your JIT code starts faster!”

AutoCAD profile automation with AutoLISP

I got a question how to force load a profile in AutoCAD without having to do it manually.

‘Hi I was looking at your AutoLisp but I don’t think I saw anything like Loading an profile each time you open AutoCAD, let’s say I have a Profile call “General”
And I wanna open AutoCAD with that profile. I know there is a switch but once it loads it does not do it anymore . the reason  why I want to do is If I chance something in the profile and export it when a different user go into AutoCAD I want them to autoload most recent Profile rather then unupdated one.’

I added the function forceImport to profiles.lsp. acad.lsp was then used to have it run each time AutoCAD started.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Error 32003 vsvars32.bat could not be opened for write solution

During installation of Visual Studio 2008 SP1 I got this problem:

Patch (C:\Users\JTB\AppData\Local\Temp\Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1\VS90sp1-KB945140-X86-ENU.msp) install failed on product (Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition - ENU). Msi Log: Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1_20080813_150733058-Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition - ENU-MSP0.txt
Final Result: Installation failed with error code: (0x80070643), Fatal error during installation.

I then tried to run VS90sp1-KB945140-X86-ENU.msp manually and got this message box.

Error 32003.File ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools\vsvars32.bat’ could not be opened for write.

To solve it by I giving myself write permissions.


Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 available

VS 2008 SP1 is about bug fixes, performance, reliability and some new things so install it.

The preparation tool is intended to prepare systems that may have previously been updated with SP1 pre-releases. If you’re not sure run in anyway to be on the safe side. It goes pretty quick.

And the downloads.

Via Somasegar’s WebLog and Aaron Stebner's WebLog with useful links for troubleshooting and more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Room planning in 3D as SaaS

Autodesk Labs has Project Showroom but it has a long way to go to be something useful as it is really limited in functionality.

mydeco’s room planner is in beta and looks more useful.

Have you seen other solutions where you only need an Internet browser or would you do like me using AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture or Revit Architecture?

Monday, August 11, 2008

A SaaS DWG editor

Old news but I don’t think many have seen it so here comes a link to SolidWorks Labs Introducing BluePrint Now.
BluePrint Now
Here I have a drawing that I made from one of the sample drawings in AutoCAD 2009 and uploaded it. I’m able to make changes to it and save it back to a DWG file. I can even start a new drawing from scratch.
Support for easy zoom and pan with the mouse, dimensioning (didn’t scale good), texting (minor text height problems), drawing, modifying (could not get some of the tools like scale to work), snapping (missing perpendicular), etc.
Layers Management 
Microsoft Silverlight is used as technology.
Autodesk also has a SaaSy editor, but Project Draw does not support DWG.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Batch convert drawings to DXF 2000 format using SmartPurger

SmartPurger has support to run a script or AutoLISP file and here is a sample I showed a client how to do to save drawings to AutoCAD 2000 DXF file format. It can easily be change to save to other DXF versions like AutoCAD 2007 DXF, AutoCAD 2004 DXF or AutoCAD R12 DXF.

Here is the code for the Script file:

(command "._saveas" "_DXF" "_V" "_R2000" "" "")
(while (wcmatch (getvar "cmdnames") "*SAVEAS*")
  (command "_y")
(if (not (equal 0 (getvar "dbmod")))
    (while (not (wcmatch (getvar "cmdnames") "*QUIT*"))
      (command "_.quit")
    (while (wcmatch (getvar "cmdnames") "*QUIT*")
      (command "_y")
  (command "_.quit")

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Explanation why there is no space between l and other letters

In SSMPropEditor you might notice in the tree view like below that there is no distance between lowercase a and l in Architectural and Electrical but it look just fine with Structural and Mechanical. Why is this happening?

Before, not looking good   vs   After, looking better

Is is apparently normal for GDI+ text based rendering and GDIPlus is used in this treeview control. Here is Microsoft attempt to explain it:

What I did to solve this was increasing the font height a little. If you want to be able to edit multiple sheet set properties take a look at SSMPropEditor.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Examining the Autodesk-Bentley Agreement by Evan Yares

Read the interesting article here on Cadalyst by Evan Yares (former president of the OpenDWG Alliance (ODA, now Open Design Alliance, With his background he is able to fill in with background details like the OpenDGN project.

A related article Bentley and Autodesk Join Hands to Bridge DGN and DWG by Kenneth Wong is also worth reading.

Previous related posts on this blog are Keith Bentley’s comments on the Bentley/Autodesk agreement and Autodesk + Bentley Systems interoperability

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Copy Layers in AutoCAD to a list or Excel

I tried this in AutoCAD 2004 and it didn’t work but in AutoCAD 2008 and AutoCAD 2009 it works (possibly some earlier versions too, but I don’t have them installed to try in).

click to enlarge

You can select one, many or all layers (CTRL+A or right click and select all) and then press CTRL+C. Then just paste into Excel, Word or even directly to AutoCAD.

If all layers are copied a header is also included with all columns:

Status    Name    On    Freeze    Lock    Color    Linetype    Lineweight    Plot Style    Plot    New VP Freeze    Description

Notice also that if a column is hidden it will not be included.

I’ve known about this tip since before but got reminded that it also works in AutoCAD LT.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Remove hatch patterns on space objects in ACA

There are a lot of ways to remove hatch patters on space objects in AutoCAD Architecture. They can be removed per object, per style, per display configuration, etc.

This video shows some of the ways to do it. The concept can be used on other properties and objects.

Click here to see the video

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site solution

For some hours those with Internet Explorer had problems to access this site getting this message "Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site Operation aborted."

The problem was caused by Site Meter so I have removed it until it gets solved.

Firefox 3.0 users didn’t have this problem though.

Update: The problem is now solved.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Cuil is not cool

Cuil (pronounced COOL) that recently was introduced to the public sure does have a problem to find relevant results.

Just as an example. When I searched for JTB World it shows a spam blog as first result.

Competing with other search engines will require it to work much better than this. It doesn’t help that it says “Search 121,617,892,992 web pages”. I have even found several examples when Google or Live Search finds a webpage that Cuil does not find at all so I’m not sure what kind of website it indexes as so many are not indexed.

PS. Cuil is an old Irish Gaelic word for knowledge and hazel.

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