Tuesday, September 30, 2008

AutoCAD LT Webcast: Annotation Unlimited: Making the Most of Annotation Tools in AutoCAD LT

Date & Time: Thursday, October 2, 2008 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. PDT
Time in your time zone.

Annotating drawings is something that everybody has to do. No matter how clearly a plan or detail is drawn, it almost always needs some text inserted to convey all the information it should. With AutoCAD® LT, however, that task is easier than ever. In this webcast, AutoCAD LT Technical marketing manager Kate Morrical will explain and demonstrate how built-in tools make adding annotations a snap, whether they’re simple text objects, intelligent dimensions, or detailed tables. She’ll also cover newer features, such as fields and annotation scaling.


Monday, September 29, 2008

New Hotmail around the corner

Soon you will not have the option of the “full” and “classic” versions that has been around for a while but you'll get the best of both worlds according to Microsoft.

Faster than ever. It'll be up to 70 percent faster to sign in and see your e-mail.1 Of course, along with more speed, you'll get powerful technology that deflects spam and helps protect you against viruses and scams.

Simpler, cleaner design. We're combining the classic and full versions of Hotmail, so you get access to everything Hotmail has to offer. The reading pane will let you check out your e-mail without having to open it up.

Put more you in your e-mail. New themes and colors will let you design the look of your inbox, so your personality can really shine through.

Closer to your contacts. Just start typing in the "To" line and you'll get a choice of e-mail contacts that most closely match what you've typed. Plus, it'll be even easier to e-mail groups of people.

Cool stuff coming soon. We've got even more great updates to Hotmail for you to look forward to, like ever-increasing storage2, the ability to IM right from Hotmail, and new calendar features that make it easier to share your calendar with family and friends.

Another things is that TREND MICRO is replaced with Microsoft’s own Windows Live OneCare to scan the emails.


More on Windows Live Wire

WLW WebException accessing Blogger posts

Blogger has according to Microsoft introduced a problem that shows itself this way within Windows Live Writer.

It happened when I used File>Open and changed from 25 to 50 or more items to select from.

System.Net.WebException: The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad Request.
   at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse()
   at WindowsLive.Writer.BlogClient.Clients.RedirectHelper.GetResponse(String initialUri, RequestFactory requestFactory)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.BlogClient.Clients.XmlRestRequestHelper.Get(Uri& uri, HttpRequestFilter filter, WebHeaderCollection& responseHeaders, String[] parameters)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.BlogClient.Clients.XmlRestRequestHelper.Get(Uri& uri, HttpRequestFilter filter, String[] parameters)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.BlogClient.Clients.AtomClient.GetRecentPostsInternal(String uri, Int32 maxPosts, Boolean includeCategories)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.BlogClient.Clients.BloggerAtomClient.GetRecentPosts(String blogId, Int32 maxPosts, Boolean includeCategories)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.BlogClient.Blog.GetRecentPosts(Int32 maxPosts, Boolean includeCategories)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.PostEditor.RemoteWeblogBlogPostSource.GetPosts(RecentPostRequest request, Boolean getPages)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.PostEditor.RemoteWeblogBlogPostSource.GetRecentPosts(RecentPostRequest request)
   at WindowsLive.Writer.PostEditor.OpenPost.BlogPostListBox.GetRecentPostsAsyncOperation.DoWork()
   at WindowsLive.Writer.CoreServices.AsyncOperation.InternalStart()

Microsoft are waiting for them to make a fix and unfortunately don’t have an ETA.

Update 2008-10-02 This problem has now been fixed.

AutoCAD Plant 3D Alpha 1 is available

“Stella” is Autodesk’s 3D modelling software application built specifically for the design of process plant facilities. The product is intended for use by plant designers at EPCs and Owner–Operators in process industries.

All I can say at this point is that it sure looks promising.

See In the Pipes for details how to get access to it.

In it you can see how to create specs, place equipment, model basic structures, route pipe, and all sorts of other groovy piping stuff (though not isometrics - it's coming - promise!).

Windows Live Writer bug with link to source picture

I found that the latest Windows Live Writer Beta (WLW Build 14.0.5025.904) sometimes have a problem with Link to Source Picture not working as expected. It is supposed to open the source image when you click on it but for some reason it does not work.

Here is a workaround to solve this problem.

  • Open up the recently posted post.
  • Select the image.
  • Select Link to and set it to none.
  • Then set it to Source Picture.
  • Publish the post again.

Solved and now it works as expected. Not sure though what triggers this problem because it can happen on just some of the images in a blog post.

Friday, September 26, 2008

IE7Pro not compatible with IE8 Beta 2

Well the name might need to change to IE8Pro eventually. Anyway. I got some strange crashes in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 and found that IE7Pro was causing them.

If you have problems like the following you might want to uninstall IE7Pro and see it that helps until it has been fixed. I have tried IE7Pro 2.4 and it still has these problems.

These specific crashes I have now happens when or directly after a tab or IE
is closed “Internet Explorer has stopped working. Windows is checking for a solution to the problem… A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.” followed by "Internet Explorer was closed. To help protect your computer, Data Execution Prevention has closed Internet Explorer. Click to learn more."

I get two events after a crash looking like this.
First even 1000 followed by 1001

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Application Error
Event ID:      1000
Task Category: (100)
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Faulting application iexplore.exe, version 8.0.6001.18241, time stamp
0x48ae8fee, faulting module gdiplus.dll_unloaded, version, time stamp
0x48180344, exception code 0xc0000005, fault offset 0x73df73f6, process id
0xcc8, application start time 0x01c91a6af8edc05e.

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Windows Error Reporting
Event ID:      1001
Task Category: None
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Fault bucket 328601984, type 5
Event Name: BEX
Response: None
Cab Id: 0

Problem signature:
P1: iexplore.exe
P2: 8.0.6001.18241
P3: 48ae8fee
P4: gdiplus.dll_unloaded
P6: 48180344
P7: 73df73f6
P8: c0000005
P9: 00000008

Sig[0].Name=Application Name
Sig[1].Name=Application Version
Sig[2].Name=Application Timestamp
Sig[3].Name=Fault Module Name
Sig[4].Name=Fault Module Version
Sig[5].Name=Fault Module Timestamp
Sig[6].Name=Exception Offset
Sig[7].Name=Exception Code
Sig[8].Name=Exception Data
DynamicSig[1].Name=OS Version
DynamicSig[2].Name=Locale ID
DynamicSig[22].Name=Additional Information 1
DynamicSig[23].Name=Additional Information 2
DynamicSig[24].Name=Additional Information 3
DynamicSig[25].Name=Additional Information 4
UI[2]=C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
UI[3]=Internet Explorer has stopped working
UI[4]=Windows can check online for a solution to the problem.
UI[5]=Check online for a solution and close the program
UI[6]=Check online for a solution later and close the program
UI[7]=Close the program
FriendlyEventName=Stopped working
AppName=Internet Explorer
AppPath=C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

Thursday, September 25, 2008

dear Autodesk

This is a relatively new site where you can say what you think about Autodesk and its products. Let’s see if Autodesk listens.

dear Autodesk is a Digg-like open comment site for people with messages for Autodesk. The idea is to provide an open environment so you can say what you really think.

http://www.dearautodesk.com/ and the FAQ.

Via blog nauseam

AutoCAD 2009 Readme online

It is available online too. Knowledge Base document: AutoCAD 2009 Readme

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

AutoCAD 2009 Update 2

AutoCAD 2009 Update 2 includes Update 1.

I like the pace Autodesk comes with these updates.

Available at:

Knowledge Base document: AutoCAD 2009 Update 2

Knowledge Base document: AutoCAD LT 2009 Update 2

Updates have been made in the following commands and features:

  • Annotation Scaling
  • Blocks
  • Menu Browser
  • PLOT
  • Properties Palette

The following defects have also been fixed:

3D Navigation Tools - When you use the ViewCube in some drawings, AutoCAD freezes.

.NET API - If you create a wipeout object through .NET API, a fatal error may occur.

Annotation Scaling - The scale of annotative text changes when you use LISP entmod() to change the properties of the annotative text.

Attributes - When a drawing contains xrefs, the -ATTEDIT command fails.

Autodesk Buzzsaw - In the File Navigation dialog box, when you use the Add a Buzzsaw location shortcut option, AutoCAD crashes.

Blocks - When you copy and paste a dynamic block, associative hatches do not work. After you redefine a block definition, associative hatches in dynamic blocks display incorrectly. When you open a drawing, a polyline in a block may have a very large width. After you open a drawing, some dynamic blocks lose their dynamic properties.

Data Extraction - Data Extraction cannot finish operations in some cases. The Data Extraction Combine Record Mode > Sum values option does not work correctly.

DGN Support - When you import some DGN files, AutoCAD crashes.

DIM - If alternate units is on and you edit dimension text, the alternate units text is duplicated.

Export a Layout to Model Space - If .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1 is installed and you use the EXPORTLAYOUT command on some layouts, AutoCAD may stop responding.

Find - The FIND command performs slowly when you search for text.

Groups - Rollover highlighting does not go away.

Hatch - When you bind a drawing with an xref that contains annotative hatches, AutoCAD crashes.

Hide/Shade - When you use the HIDE command with a drawing that contains text, some objects may not be hidden.

Image - When you attach a corrupted raster image to a drawing, AutoCAD crashes.

Layer - When you zoom to a locked viewport, the Layer palette updates.

Layouts - When you attempt to switch layouts in drawings, an Out of Memory crash may occur.

Materials - When you import a 3DS file with texture, AutoCAD may crash.

Menu/Toolbar - Some menu macros do not work.

Multileader (mleader) - Mleader custom arrowheads are not brought over to the drawing from the Tool palette.

Multiline Text (mtext) - When you edit mtext in a viewport, it may be duplicated in other viewports.

Object Snaps - Osnaps on polylines and mesh objects do not work correctly.

Plot - When you plot upside-down, an OLE object does not plot correctly. A drawing that contains hatches and gradients may plot slowly. When plot area is set to View, AutoCAD LT may crash.

Publish - When you attempt to publish multiple sheets with PUBLISHCOLLATE=1, only the first sheet of the set is plotted.

Quick Properties - When you edit multiple mtext objects through the Quick Properties palette, AutoCAD crashes.

Render - When you render some drawings, AutoCAD runs out of memory.

Ribbon - If the ribbon is displayed and you select portions of a mtext object that contains multiple formats, the mtext object becomes distorted.

Selection - When you select objects in groups, AutoCAD may crash.

Tables - When you edit text with space before or after the text within a table cell, AutoCAD crashes.

Text - When you move text to a new position within a drawing, it disappears.

Tool Palettes -When you attempt to edit the properties of multiple Tool Palette tools, an Out of Memory crash may occur.

WAN Acceleration Hotfix is also included. Earlier described here.

Via Between the Lines – read about the importance of CER.

New Windows Ultimate Extras – time for a break

Only if you have Windows Ultimate.

Microsoft Tinker is a casual game that provides players with short puzzle game play sessions set in a warm, calming environment.

How to play Tinker

The objective of the game is to complete levels by navigating the robot around the obstacles to reach the end tile.

The game levels are organized into sets. Each set has twenty levels. The first level in each set is unlocked. To unlock the next level in a set, you must first complete the previous level. To obtain better results and earn achievement stars, you can return to levels previously completed.

Here is a YouTube video I put up showing it in action.

Ultimate Extras Sounds from Microsoft Tinker: Based on the positive feedback we received from the release of additional Windows Sound Schemes in April, we've integrated the unique audio sounds from Microsoft Tinker into a new sound scheme.

Windows DreamScene Content Pack #4 which adds three additional nature-setting Windows DreamScenes. 

Via the Windows Vista Team Blog

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

JTB FlexReport 5 alpha 3

Several fixes has been done among others to solve some date format issues that made it impossible for some to try previous versions. If you’re interested in the new version contact me to get access to JTB FlexReport 5 alpha 3.

Previous post on alpha 1.

Dynamic text on sheets within a Sheet Set

In a recent Cadalyst Tips & Tools Weekly there was a nice tutorial by Ron Brees and Brad Beuchat. Control Construction Notes with Sheet Set Manager a PDF tutorial for AutoCAD 2006 and later versions to control construction notes dynamically from one location without using an external reference.

SSM, Custom Sheet Set Properties and fields are used to achieve this.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Good reading about BIM, IPD, LOD, MPS, etc

Building Information Modelling (BIM), Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), Level of Detail (LOD), Model Progression Specification (MPS) are discussed in this article on AECbytes about Organizing the Development of a Building Information Model.

Representations of building elements in a BIM, though, are exact, whether they’re intended to be or not, and can give a false indication of the precision actually known at a given point in the design process. … The need for a framework for defining a BIM’s precision and suitability for specific uses becomes obvious.

AIACC IPD Task Force Technology Subcommittee has developed the broad-based consensus around this process:

Paul Audsley, NBBJ Architects
Jim Awe, Autodesk
Jim Bedrick, Webcor Builders (chair)
Dan Gonzales, Swinerton Builders
Mario Guttman, HOK Architects
Atul Khanzode, DPR Construction
Greg Luth, GPLA Engineers
Tony Rinella, Anshen + Allen Architects
John Wynne, Lucasfilm (owner)

Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide - a 62 pages PDF file can be downloaded for free.

100% Anti-Virus protection with application whitelisting

Seems like an interesting product in a company environment that have strict rules on what to install and run.

new anti-virus product from a company called CoreTrace. The product, called BOUNCER, takes an entirely different approach to blocking unwanted malware. Instead of using a blacklist like today’s anti-virus products do, the software does application whitelisting. This type of security is so effective that at the recent DEFCON conference, CoreTrace’s app stopped 100% of the computer viruses during the ‘Race to Zero” competition.

I also like this feature. I understand it could make it easier for beta testers, CAD managers and the like.

Higher employee productivity due to NEW “Trusted Change” (patent pending) that allows users to install and upgrade applications from trusted sources without involving IT staff each time.

Via on10

SOM trick the viewer

I like the optical effect of this skyscraper by Skidmore Owings and Merrill that you will be able to see from E 57th St in New York.

When it is ready you will find it here.

Map picture


More images from other angles at Urbanity

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Issue Tracking Anywhere now works fine with IE8 B2

I had a problem attaching images within Issue Tracking Anywhere after I started using IE8 B2. When I click on Upload I got “File’s path unavailable!”. That is now solved so it works with IE8 B2 as well as Firefox 3. Notice though that it does not work with “Compatibility View” activated in IE8 B2.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Restore missing Bound Spaces Property for Boundary Objects

This previous post describes the tip to make boundaries valid for SpaceUpdateSelectedSpaces command but some found that there was no way to do it, the Bound Spaces property was missing from the Properties Palette.

Thanks to Dean Tidwell, J. M. Waller Associates, Inc. for finding how to add the missing Bound Spaces option on the Properties palette that might not show up for you in AutoCAD Architecture 2009 if you migrated the settings from an earlier ACA version.

The command is AecSpaceDisplayBoundSpacesProperty and let you turn it on or off.

Command: AecSpaceDisplayBoundSpacesProperty
Display bound spaces property on Properties palette for AutoCAD entities [Yes/No]

Here are a bit more from the help file:

Setting the Bound Spaces Property for Boundary Objects

The objects designed to form the boundary of an associative space must have their Bound Spaces property set to Yes before generating the space. You can set the Bound Spaces property on the object, or, for objects that use styles, you can set it in the object style.

Tip! Before setting the Bound Spaces property of a boundary object to Yes, verify that this type of object is a valid boundary object for the space you want to generate. For example, a roof or roof slab is a valid boundary object only for 3D freeform spaces; you cannot use it to generate an extruded 3D space or a 2D space, even if the slab’s Bound Spaces property is set to Yes.

The following overview graphic shows how the setting of the Bound Spaces property on the boundary object affects the generation of associative spaces. For detailed information on how to set the Bound Spaces property for a boundary object, consult the sections following below.

Note that the term “AutoCAD object” in the graphic below refers to AutoCAD linework (lines, arcs, circles, and polylines etc.)

Migrating Profiles from Previous Versions of the Software

Beginning with AutoCAD Architecture 2009, the mechanism by which objects are defined as boundary objects for spaces has changed. In previous versions, objects were selected by applying an object filter during the space generation. In AutoCAD Architecture 2009, each object has its own Bound Spaces property on the Properties palette or in the object style and is there defined as a boundary object.

When you import a profile (ARG file) from a previous release, the Bound spaces property in the Properties palette is not displayed for AutoCAD linework (lines, arcs, circles, polylines) in the imported profile. In order to display that property for AutoCAD linework, run the AecSpaceDisplayBoundSpacesProperty command on the command line. This will enable the display of the Bound Spaces property for AutoCAD linework in the Properties palette.

Post # 1000

The title says it all. This marks that there are 1000 blog posts including this one with the first post back in November 2004.

From the statistics I have in Google Analytics since Dec 2005 until yesterday:
542,562 Visits
759,456 Pageviews
437,350 Visitors
Visits from 211 countries/territories

The spots with zero visits so far are Western Sahara, Guinea-Bissau, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and possibly some of the really small countries not to be seen easily on the maps.

It seems everyone uses Google as search engine as 94.41% of the hits that came from search engines (organic traffic) came via Google. Yahoo was on second place with 3.46%. Microsoft’s search is really after with 1,05% and if I just look on the latest months I find that Google has increased to 94.89% of the traffic. Does this mean that searches on say Live Search does not show up this blog or does no one use anything else than Google? I think most are actually using Google as I found that several times I rank higher on Live Search than on Google.

When it comes to browsers Internet Explorer (63.04% last 30 days) is still ahead of Firefox even though Firefox (31.34% last 30 days) has increased more and more. Below is Opera in Red, Chrome in yellow (increasing) and Safari in Cyan.


Vista users are now 26% of the visitors compared to 21% 6 months ago.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First post using another Windows Live Writer Beta

I used a pre-release of this Windows Live Wave 3 so I have been able to center images, crop and tile them as well as the additional border styles for images like reflection, drop shadows and more. But now it’s more publicly available. No question about it. Go get it.

Download Windows Live Writer Beta (14.0.5025.904) and you have the chance to get a lot of other goodies like new versions of Messenger, Mail, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker (should rather be called alpha because of the limited functionality and feature set, I first thought the installation was broken), Writer, Toolbar, and Family Safety. I also was asked to install Microsoft Office Outlook Connector.

With Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, you can use Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 to access and manage your Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail or Microsoft Office Live Mail accounts, including e-mail messages and contacts for free.


Here are the news in Live Writer:

Image and video publishing enhancements

  • Insert videos from Soapbox and YouTube
  • Upload videos to Soapbox and YouTube
  • Image cropping and tilting
  • Additional border styles for images (such as reflection and rounded corners)
  • Support for LightBox and other image previewing effects (like Slimbox, Smoothbox, and others)
  • Support for centering images

Blog authoring enhancements

  • Spell Checking in more languages: Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Serbian-Cyrillic, Serbian-Latin, Spanish, and Swedish
  • Auto Linking
  • Smart quotes/typographic characters
  • Word count

Experience improvements

  • New toolbar makes more commands – like Font formatting - readily available
  • Tabs for view switching
  • Improved category control with search and type-down filtering
  • New look and feel

I had a problem with the installation. “Writer Beta couldn’t be installed. Code 0x80004005 (Source: install)” To solve this I had to uninstall Writer and the try again. Notice that all drafts and settings are still there after a reinstall.

More about Building Windows Live

Download the new betas from http://download.live.com.

JTB FlexReport 5 alpha 2

Several fixes has been done. If you’re interested in the new version contact me to get access to JTB FlexReport 5 alpha 2.

Post on alpha 1.

WAN acceleration hotfix for AutoCAD products and DWG files

This hotfix improves performance of save to 2007 DWG format when running in a WAN Acceleration environment.

This is great news after the problems earlier described:

Description of Problem

WAN acceleration technology typically relies on data-deduplication as a significant part of accelerating data transfer. The 2007 DWG format is written to disk with a type of error-checking that has the side-effect of nearly every byte of the file changing during full-save, even if little was changed. WAN accelerators fail to deduplicate the 2007 DWG data and must transfer nearly all bytes in the 2007 DWG file. This results in a slow-down during full-save when working over a slow WAN.

The Solution

This hotfix will make a small change in the way the 2007 format DWG files are written to disk such that WAN acceleration hardware will be better able to deduplicate the 2007 DWG data; this will provide some performance gains for SAVE operations when users are saving across a WAN acceleration environment. The resulting 2007 DWG file will be readable whether or not others have this hotfix, but to achieve the best performance everyone working on the same DWG should install this hotfix.

After installing the hotfix, you must set the Windows environment variable, ACADCOMPRESSIONMODE to 1 for it to have effect.

Note: For AutoCAD, you can often get performance gains in QSAVE operations by setting the ISAVEPERCENT system variable to 100. Using a value of 100 will maximize the chance that a QSAVE operation will use incremental-save rather than full-save. (WAN accelerator technology is able to show good performance in deduplication of 2007 DWG format files when incremental save takes place.)


Make sure to read the Readme on how to install acdb17.dll and AcSignCore16.dll and set the ACADCOMPRESSIONMODE environment variable.

Some Autodesk sites unavailable Monday, September 22

News from Autodesk:

Autodesk is working to consolidate multiple user accounts, simplify the sign in process, and provide a single User ID and Password for accessing several Autodesk web sites. Access to register or edit your existing account information will be restricted during the September 18-21 launch window. Additionally, the sites affected will be unavailable Monday, September 22.

To help ensure a smooth transition, we recommend that you review your current account information for accuracy before September 19, especially first name, last name, and e-mail address. Please note: If you have multiple User IDs with the same email address and want to keep those User IDs, you’ll need to assign a unique email address for each User ID.

Sites affected:

  • Autodesk Subscription
  • Product Activation
  • Autodesk Discussion Groups
  • Autodesk University
  • Autodesk Labs
  • Alias Design Community
  • Civil Engineering Community
  • Impression Community
  • Manufacturing Community
  • More on this previous post.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    JTB FlexReport 5 alpha 1

    Want to see more?Are you curious? If you want to get a  sneak peek on the next big release of the network license report application JTB FlexReport just contact me for a document describing what’s in it and if you want there is also a demo report application that you can run on your PC or server that does not interfere with existing installation of other versions of JTB FlexReport. Excel is no longer needed for the reports. I would love to get your feedback.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    AutoCAD Architecture Formula Property Definition tip

    Notice how the Number 00 is not visible in the Sample Result as well as how the dot “.” is change to a comma “,” due to the Windows Regional and Language Options settings. I have it set to Swedish format and this can be a problem for other languages as well. If you don't want this to happen you need to change the formula to look like this instead by enclosing the properties with double quotes and combine them with “&”.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Sheet Set Manager tutorial, tips and tricks

    The SHEETS HAPPEN! document by Heidi Hewett is an Introduction to the drawing organization tool Sheet Set Manager (aka SSM) that is really useful if you are about to start using SSM or use it more to its full.
    Learn the steps how to create a new sheet set, assign sheet set properties and create fields.
    Covered subjects are:
    Create new sheet set: Organize sheets, Access sheets, Import existing layouts, Plot using default page setups, Publish to DWG, Create archive/transmittal sets, Using named sheet selections.
    Assign sheet set properties: Plot using any page setup, Create new sheets, Create sheet views, Add view labels.
    Create fields: Automate view label data, Automate callout data, Create custom properties, Automate titleblock data.
    One thing that can take a lot of time is when you edit sheet properties and you want to do the same edit on more than one sheet. SSMPropEditor is the solution for this as you can select multiple sheets and then edit the sheet properties on all at once.
    See my page on Sheet Set Manager for more info

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Kean Walmsley interview with John Walker

    Interesting reading on Kean’s meeting with John Walker, one of Autodesk's founders and its former CEO. Look forward reading the rest.

  • Part 1 - Autodesk's early history

  • Part 2 - AutoCAD's architecture & APIs

  • Part 3 - Autodesk's eco-system and strategy

  • Part 4 - Past and future opportunities
  • Google Chrome comments

    Chrome is the new browser from Google you probably have heard about by now.

    In general it works pretty good and I think the speed is quite good to render the web pages. The Task Manager is a cool geeky thing. I like the clean interface and the address field search functionality but be cautious because of some security vulnerability it has. See also this post.

    One thing that bug me is that I cannot use the wheel to scroll with by holding the wheel down and drag up and down as I often do.

    Google Chrome uses WebKit for rendering, which is the same rendering engine as Apple’s Safari browser so most web sites show up as expected.

    Google Chrome is a per-user application. It installs in the per-user Local AppData folder.
    This makes it easier to install if you don’t have administrator privileges.

    Google Chrome doesn’t so far support browser extensions but it does support plug-ins, such as Flash.

    The Chrome comics describing how it works.

    Matt Cutts with common objections on Chrome

    Chrome forum

    Autodesk’s tests of Chrome

    Make a visit to pages like these: "about:network", "about:stats", "about:dns" and "about:memory"

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Tip to make boundaries valid for SpaceUpdateSelectedSpaces

    Say you select a space in AutoCAD Architecture and select Update Space Geometry>Selected Spaces and it does not work.image

    You may see this on the command line:
    Command: SpaceUpdateSelectedSpaces
    No valid boundaries generated.

    Select the lines and set Bound spaces to Yes. This is a new thing in ACA 2009.

    Now try again and it will work as expected.

    No valid boundaries generated can also be seen if the objects forming the boundary is not closed.

    One user has also reported that he does not have the Bound spaces option available in ACA 2009 for some reason. Any idea why?

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Free 30-day trial of AutoCAD Architecture 2009

    I got a question on this if there is a trial for ACA 2009.

    Here is the location for downloading the free 30-day trial of AutoCAD Architecture 2009. If you want it on DVD this is the location. It is the fully functional product except that you can only use it for 30 days.

    Tuesday, September 9, 2008

    AutoCAD 2009 slow performance tips

    In the Knowledge Base document Slow performance you find 7 tips worth knowing about.
    You experienced unusually slow performance when using AutoCAD®, especially when working in palettes (for example, Properties palette, Design Center, Tool Palettes, Sheet Set Manager, Layer Manager).


    To improve performance, try the following:

    1. In AutoCAD® 2009, enable the AutoCAD Classic workspace.
    2. Dock any desktop element and make sure that none of the palettes are floating.
    3. Turn off any unused palettes.
    4. Update the graphics driver.
    5. If using multiple monitors, see if using only a single monitor improves performance.

      (The graphics hardware certification tests conducted by Autodesk are performed on systems using only a single video card with a single monitor attached.)
    6. Reduce the level of hardware acceleration
      • Click Start menu (Windows) > Control Panel.
      • In the Control Panel, double-click Display.
      • In the Display Properties dialog box, click the Settings tab.
      • Click the Advanced button.
      • On the Troubleshoot tab, adjust the Hardware Acceleration slider as needed.
    7. If you are using an nVidia graphics card adapter, check to see if a process called nwiz.exe is being loaded when AutoCAD is started. Disable it from being loaded by default. If you have installed the nView Desktop Manager, make sure no additional features are used. Uninstall it from Add or Remove programs in Windows, if possible.

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Navigation Tool for AutoCAD reviewed


    This is a neat tool by Autodesk for AutoCAD making it easy to navigate back and forward on the following activities:

    • Active drawing switch
    • Layout switch
    • View changes such as zoom, pan ...etc
    • Active viewport switch
    • Viewport maximize/minimize

    It’s like zoom previous on steroids and I look forward having it added into the core AutoCAD in the future.

    The free Navigation Tool for AutoCAD is available at Autodesk Labs.

    Via It’s Alive in the Lab

    Clear sticky Sheet Sets from Recent Documents List in AutoCAD

    I’ve thought about posting this for a while and was triggered by a question in Autodesk’s discussion group for AutoCAD 2009.

    Even if you select “Clear Recent Document List” the Sheet Sets comes back to Recent Documents in the Menu Browser after a while. They actually comes back if you run the Sheet Set manager (command SSM) and have anything in that SSM Recent list. A side effect is that today’s date is used even if you have not even used that Sheet Set for a long time.

    There are three locations AutoCAD 2009 uses for the Resent File List that is related to Sheet Sets (DST-files).

    To completely clear also the Sheet Sets you would need to first clear the Sheet Set Recent List.

    The Sheet Set Recent List is saved in the profile. This is used if you click on Recent in Sheet Set Manager. Only edit this file when AutoCAD is not running.
    %APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2009\R17.2\enu\Support\Profiles\FixedProfile.aws

    In recent versions the settings are saved here instead:
    %APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014\R19.1\enu\Support\Profiles\<Profile>\Profile.aws

    <Profile> is the name of the AutoCAD profile. Default is “Unnamed Profile”.

    AutoCAD 2009\R17.2\enu are parts of the path that is different depending on AutoCAD version, vertical and language.


    Right now there is is a bug in AutoCAD 2009 that makes it impossible to select any of the recent Sheet Set files because the menu collapses the second it opens. Not sure why this comes or how to fix it. Could be related to that I have so much on my machine like older AutoCAD versions, etc. Any solution to this problem?

    The aws files are XML files and can easily be edited using the Microsoft freeware XML Notepad or even plain Notepad. Make sure you have a backup of the aws file in case you unintentionally do something that corrupts the aws file.

    Search for MRU_FILES and delete the MRU_FILE “folders” that you don’t want to keep.



    After that you can select Clear Recent Document List and it will be completely cleared.


    Here is the registry location for Recent Documents:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\AutoCAD\R17.2\ACAD-7001:409\Recent File List
    This location is cleared if you right click on one of the recent documents.


    Here is the History location that is used if you click on History in the Open Sheet Set dialog box from the Sheet Set Manager:
    %APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2009\R17.2\enu\Recent\AcSmNavOpenSheetSet


    Wondering what %APPDATA% is?
    In XP: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data
    In Vista: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming

    Another tip is to group the recent list by type instead of group by date and the sheet set will show at the bottom. Update: Rick Moore informed me that this is not always the case. It seems like the type that is last used is what is on top using Group by Type. But if you have SSM to automatically open when you start AutoCAD the sheet sets will be on the top when you start AutoCAD.


    A tip that is a bit related is that you can set the number of recently-used files in the Menu Browser to anything between 0 and 50. You find it in Options>Open and Save.


    This logic also applies to AutoCAD verticals like AutoCAD Architecture and some of it probably applies to older AutoCAD versions like where the Sheet Set recent history is located.

    If you have read this far you probably use the Sheet Set Manager and I recommend you take a look at SSMPropEditor that will make your life easier by allowing you to edit Sheet Set Properties on multiple Sheets at a time.

    Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates and Microsoft’s new start page

    Video: Shoe Circus

    Video: New Family

    Found on the new Microsoft start page.

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

    IT tool worth knowing about.

    With the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility, you can remove a program's Windows Installer configuration information. You may want to remove the Windows Installer configuration information for your program if you experience installation (Setup) problems. For example, you may have to remove a program's Windows Installer configuration information if you have installation problems when you try to add (or remove) a component of your program that was not included when you first installed your program.

    Description of the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility

    Friday, September 5, 2008

    AutoCAD 2009 Layer Properties Manager enhancements

    You have probably already seen that the new layer dialog box is mode-less just like the Properties palette and can be kept open at any time if you want to.

    Notice though that you might get performance problem if you keep it open, so if things goes slow try to just open it when needed. Having it minimized does not help so close it completely. Of course it can be anchored, docked, auto-hidden and use transparency as any palette.

    Notice also how the layers are sorted differently in AutoCAD 2009. In previous versions 10 was sorted before 2, 20 before 9 and 02 before 1. Not any longer. Now the sort is as expected.

    AutoCAD 2008          AutoCAD 2009

    But there are so many columns and it takes up my whole screen you may say.

    Click to enlarge

    Columns can be customized. Select what columns you want to see or not. Change the column width using the Maximize and Optimize options on one column at a time or on all. You can also freeze/unfreeze a column like in Excel so the columns of your choice always are seen on the left side.

    Customize Layer Columns dialog box.

    There is no OK or Apply button so Layer property changes are applied instantly. This can in some case be a performance problem to where you would need to use the old CLASSICLAYER command.

    When space (Model to Layout or Layout to Viewport) is switched, the enhanced Layer Properties Manager displays the current state of the layer properties and filter selection in the current space. The display of the appropriate additional layout or viewport properties is restored.

    The enhanced Layer Properties Manager supports dual monitor scenarios. It can be placed on secondary display while drafting on primary display.
    The dialog box or palette can also be minimized or closed when not needed.

    The context menu has been expanded to include "Remove  Viewport Overrides for" and "Isolate selected layers"

    You can now use layer filters in real time. Filter selection is instantly reflected in the drawing session.
    With the Hide/Show Layer Filters pane button, you can now control the display of the layer filters pane in the Layer Properties Manager.

    Layer Isolate controls have been added to the Layer Settings dialog box.

    A new option for combining layer property changes for Undo and Redo operations is accessible from the User Preferences tab of the Options dialog box.

    If you want to revert to the old LAYER command you can use CLASSICLAYER.

    LAYERCLOSE Closes Layer Properties Manager.

    LAYERDLGMODE Sets the flavor of the Layer Properties Manager that will be defined for the use of the LAYER command. The LAYER command is mapped to execute either the CLASSICLAYER or LAYERPALETTE.

    LAYERMANAGERSTATE Returns value indicating whether the Layer Properties Manager is open or closed.

    More on AutoCAD 2009.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008

    Website favicons on Vista desktop works better with IE8

    I noticed a good thing after installing Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2. In How to show website favicons on the Vista desktop I described a problem and it was related to IE7 on Vista.

    Now the favicon is used when you right click in IE and select “Create Shortcut”.

    Yes, I have installed Chrome ;-)

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