Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Azure, Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0

Microsoft is coming with a lot of news nowadays like Windows 7, Office 14, Office Web applications, the new services platform for applications in the clouds Windows Azure. A CTP release is available as a Virtual PC image of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0.

Monday, October 27, 2008

JTB FlexReport 4.3.2

JTB FlexReport 4.3.2 is now available. It is important that you upgrade if you have a 4.3 version installed.

Further improvements have been done with the performance of the Windows service that takes the snapshots of the license usage of FLEXlm/FLEXnet, LUM and 12D. This enables you to lower the interval if you want and will result in even more correct usage reports.

IBM LUM Clusters are supported as well as the option to separate different versions of LUM products.

A special version is available if you need to run JTB FlexReport on Windows 2000 or for some other reason cannot install .NET Framework 3.5.

See the Revision History for all details and download here.

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

Friday, October 24, 2008

AutoCAD Resource Center

Take a look at AutoCAD Resource Center and the new See the Difference videos.

There are also Customer Stories, White Papers and Tips and Tricks. You can even ask Lynn an AutoCAD question.

One thing that I noticed was that the notification was not that visible as the player control is hiding it.

Autodesk Softimage|XSI

I recently posted about Animusic and how they have been using Autodesk 3ds Max but now use SOFTIMAGE|XSI. How little did I know that now Softimage is to be acquired by Autodesk.

The press release: Autodesk Signs Agreement With Avid Technology to Acquire Softimage

Autodesk plans to acquire and continue developing the following Softimage products:

-- SOFTIMAGE|XSI: Including XSI Essentials, XSI Advanced, XSI Academic,
   XSI Mod Tool and the XSI software development kit. XSI is
   production-proven 3D animation software for games, film and
   television. It offers a complete 3D modeling, animation, rendering and
   development environment for visual effects and custom tools.
-- SOFTIMAGE|Face Robot: A complete software solution for easily rigging
   and animating 3D faces. Face Robot enables studios to create life-like
   facial animation at incredible speeds.
-- SOFTIMAGE|Cat: This advanced character animation system is a plug-in
   for Autodesk 3ds Max software. It is intended to be integrated into
   the 3ds Max product line.
-- SOFTIMAGE|Crosswalk: This interoperability solution is intended to be
   integrated with Autodesk's own interoperability technology.
Is it XSI that can be seen in this movie?

For further information visit http://www.autodesk.com/softimage.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

FLEXnet options file tip

I got the following question regarding the FLEXnet/FLEXlm OPT file and want to share the solution.

“I have a timeoutall statement in my options files but it does not record in the log file.”


Checking the debug log it says that it is using the options file but still it does not work.

11:43:46 (adskflex) Using options file: "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager\License\adskflex.opt"

In the end the solution was found. “I got the options file timeoutall to work. The file had to be forced to saveas ANSI format in Notepad. Somehow it wasn’t saving correctly.”

From the Save As dialog box

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Autodesk Certification Program in Northern Europe

Autodesk will be launching a Professional Certification program throughout Northern Europe to regions including UK, Ireland, Benelux and Scandinavia. Tests will be offered at over 200 selected Autodesk Authorized Training Centers where instructor led, hands on courses will also be available.

Certification will initially be available at two levels; Autodesk Certified Associate and Autodesk Certified Professional, with plans to launch an Autodesk Certified Expert certification in the near future.

Certification will be available across a range of Autodesk Software Solutions including the 2008 and 2009 versions of AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Revit Architecture, Civil 3D and Inventor.

Maybe I can update myself from ADT 2006 Certified Expert to ….

Via TenLinks

Monday, October 20, 2008

ACA 2009 Update 2 available

When I first wrote about it I was not able to get it and it was not available on the AutoCAD Architecture Services & Support>Updates & Service Packs site.

Get the update here: AutoCAD Architecture 2009 Product Update 2.

FYI. I got 5 dialog boxes like this one that I successfully was able to click Retry on.

Error 1321. The Installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Architecture 2009\AcQP.arx.
Error 1321. The Installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Architecture 2009\acgex17.dll.
Error 1321. The Installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Architecture 2009\Aec1stExperience.arx.
Error 1321. The Installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Architecture 2009\AecDbMigrationUtility.exe.
Error 1321. The Installer has insufficient privileges to modify this file: C:\Program Files\AutoCAD Architecture 2009\AecXProjectLoader.dll.

Not sure why I got them as I definitely have enough privileges and it seems like the installation worked fine anyway.

Product version or _vernum is: C.608.0 (UNICODE)

Product service pack shows as: AutoCAD Architecture 2009 Version 3

Update – I confirmed that the above files where updated to the correct version even though I got these errors.

FLEXnet 11.6 includes new lmadmin

Not much new in 11.6 (released in May 2008) but a couple of things. Add a comment below if you have started to use this new version and your experience of it.

  • New license server manager, lmadmin, which requires components with a minimum version of 9.2. Replaces LMTOOLS.EXE and LMGRD.EXE even if they are still available.
  • Support for multiple ethernet hostids on Linux platforms.

The lmadmin license server manager includes all the functionality of the previous lmgrd license server manager together with a web-based, administrative GUI. The new license server manger (lmadmin) supports a GUI client connection over either HTTP or HTTPS.

lmadmin support multiple vendor daemons with one lmadmin process.

The new lmadmin license server manager is compatible with license files and vendor daemons produced by FLEXnet Publisher back to version 9.2.

Includes the new Alert Configuration.

The license server installation includes an example of how to implement an email alerter service.

The currently most recent version of LMTOOLS.EXE, LMUTIL.EXE and LMGRD.EXE is v11.6.0.0. Notice though that there are nothing visibly changed except that it says Acresso instead of Macrovision.

The documentation

and exe files are available to be downloaded here.


Acresso recommends that you use the latest available version of the license server at all times as it includes bug fixes and enhancements, and assures the greatest level of compatibility with all of your licensed applications.

JTB FlexReport support FLEXnet 11.6.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Animusic makes amazing 3D animated music videos. On their downloads page you can download some of them in real high quality (200-280 MB). They also have a channel on YouTube. Some of the videos are also available in YouTube high quality, so make sure you click on the link below the videos to activate it.

Autodesk 3ds Max was used for some of the earlier videos, they use SoftImage XSI now. More on the software behind as well as the gear.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Here I want to explain why JTB World offers PayPal as a payment method among others.


  • It’s a secure online payment method.
  • It’s easy and quick to use both for the buyer and for the seller.
  • Every purchase confirmed with an email receipt.
  • The buyer can use credit card or debit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) and the buyer don’t need a PayPal account.
  • PayPal allow buyers to shop without sharing credit card or bank account information.
  • PayPal can be used to send and receive money worldwide.
  • PayPal accepts 19 currencies in 190 markets.
  • If the buyer have a PayPal account buyers can now shop using their bank accounts. With a simple bank transfer they can Top Up their PayPal accounts and manage their money and spending. PayPal does not charge users for the Top Up transfer.
  • There is no fee for the buyer and the transaction fee to receive the money is low.
  • PayPal is PCI compliant.

Here is what it look like if you do a payment via PayPal. This was using Firefox.


Or it might look like this. This was using Internet Explorer. Notice that you need to click on the Continue link above the credit card images if you want to use credit card.


JTB World have used PayPal successfully since 2005.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009.1 network licenses

  • AutoCAD Architecture included with the new AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009.1 uses a FLEXlm® feature code that is different from the stand-alone version of AutoCAD Architecture.
  • An installation of AutoCAD Architecture that was not installed from the new suite will not be able to use an AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite License.
  • To use network licensing with the new suite, you will need to obtain a new license file for your suite licenses to replace your existing suite licenses. Be sure to combine your license files correctly, by removing the old suite PLIST increment and replacing it with the new one.

Knowledge Base document describing it in more detail: Changes to network licensing for AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite 2009.1

  • You want to know why when you start two or more individual products that are installed from a suite of products on the same computer, multiple licenses are used instead of a single suite license.

The answer is in this Knowledge Base document: Two licenses are being used for products from the same suite

2.5 GB backup space for Free on Mozy

Usually you get 2 GB for free. Get an extra 256 MB 512 MB of backup space if you give Mozy online backup a try before October 31, 2008 using this link.

MozyHome Windows news – You can see a file's backup status in the latest MozyHome software version (1.8.14) with checkmarks next to each backed up file. Want to add a file to your backup? Right-click the file and select Add to MozyHome backups.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty

Consider what you as individual, company or organization can do to to make a change when it comes to poverty.

Here is an Autodesk customer story I found on the topic: Engineering a Path from Poverty to Potential

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

.NET for LISP Programmers tip

This news from Through the Interface might be something for you:
Free AutoCAD programming webcast: .NET for LISP Programmers.

for programmers

Here's a brief synopsis of the topic covered by this webcast (to be aired Thursday October 16th at 8am Pacific, 5pm CET):

You know that .NET is a modern and powerful programming environment. But, no matter how much you might want to start using it, you can't abandon all your old LISP code. We’ll show you how to write .NET code that can interoperate with your existing LISP code, with a special emphasis on user interface components.

Don’t miss this post on F# (a functional programming language):
An interview with Don Syme

DotNetBar for Windows Forms 7.6

imageDotNetBar for Windows Forms is a great package of controls that I’m using. Recently in SSMPropEditor and in the the coming JTB FlexReport version 5 where also the Ribbon will be used.

DevComponents support is great and responsive and the components are robust and useful. If you’re a developer I can highly recommend them.

Via DevComponents Blog where you can read about the new ComboTree and TextBoxDropDown control.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Determine Access Runtime version

The version cannot be seen from within Access Runtime.

To find the version of your Access Runtime you need to go to Windows Control Panel>Programs and Features and look up the Access Runtime or in Windows Vista you can access it from Windows Explorer (ÿ+E) when the Computer is opened via Uninstall or change a program.

You might need to show the Details Pane to see it at the bottom.


Version 2 is having Product version 12.0.6237.1003

Version 1 is having Product version 12.0.4518.1049

Another method is that when it is running look up the process MSACCESS.EXE in Process Explorer and check Properties>Image.

Download to Microsoft Office Access Runtime Version 2.

Friday, October 10, 2008

AutoCAD Architecture 2009 Update 2

The following defects related to ACA 2009 have been fixed in AutoCAD Architecture 2009 Update 2

Annotation scaling

  • Multi-view blocks inserted from user created tools did not scale properly when used in subsequent drawings or sessions.

Drawing management

  • Projects created from project templates did not inherit the correct sheet storage location property.
  • Projects created from project templates did not inherit sheet subset storage location information.
  • The application would occasionally crash when creating project details.


  • Surfaces belonging to different walls would export with the same CadObjectId.


  • Spaces, railings, footings, and column objects might be exported with an incorrect object type identifier in some localized releases.
  • Half spaces would be imported as large modifiers.
  • Slab fascias and soffits would not properly export in some localized releases.
  • Level and elevation info would be created in reverse order when an IFC file was imported into a project.
  • Material sets applied to walls of type "Shared" would not export correctly.


  • The schedule quantity column evaluated property values without first applying the property data format.

Wall objects and opening endcaps

  • Certain endcap configurations might cause walls to disappear in 3d isometric views.
  • Some walls might not draw completely at a locked z elevation.
  • Using "Add selected" for anchored doors, openings, and windows could cause an application crash in some circumstances.
  • Walls might fail to clean up properly across xrefs if the host drawing used different drawing units than the xref.


  • Tooltips would appear for AutoCAD entities even when ROLLOVERTIPS was set to zero.
  • Saving a drawing to the 2004 file format would take an exccessive amount of time.
  • Export to AutoCAD might cause an application crash in some circumstances.

ACA 2009 Update 1 and AutoCAD 2009 Update 1 & 2 are included.
Complete details in the Readme.

Download Size: 26633 KB

At this point I got error when I tried to download it. Could be because of IE8 B2…

Get the update here: AutoCAD Architecture 2009 Product Update 2.

Via The Architect's Desktop post Update 2 Available for AutoCAD® Architecture 2009

Maximize AutoCAD for better performance

Minimize all (ÿ+M) applications then maximize the application you want to work with to improve the performance. This is a tip that works for most any application. It could be for example AutoCAD Architecture, Revit or Inventor.

Remember to maximize

This post explains it: Why do maximized windows lose their title bar translucency?

See also AutoCAD 2009 slow performance tips

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ACI to RGB color inconsistency explanation


You noticed that the RGB values used to represent ACI colors are not consistent across different computers or AutoCAD® installations.


AutoCAD® uses two different sets of RGB values for a given ACI color, depending on the current drawing background color.

If the background color in AutoCAD is set to black, the RGB color used to represent the ACI color will be slightly lighter. For all other background colors, a slightly darker RGB color is used.

Using two different RGB color sets increases the contrast of the drawing geometry, enhancing display quality.

Knowledge Base document: RGB values used to represent ACI colors vary

VBA code to convert RGB to ACI.

AutoLISP code to convert back and forth.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

AutoCAD Architecture Styles downloads

Several free Styles are available to download at Autodesk site.

  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Endcaps
  • AEC Polygon
  • Curtain Walls
  • Walls
  • Multi-View Block Definitions
  • Roof Slab Edges
  • Structural Members
  • Window Assemblies
  • Miscellaneous

    It’s a pity that it has not been updated for a while with more content. It even still refers to Architectural Desktop.


  • Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    JTB FlexReport 4.3.1 released

    JTB FlexReport 4.3.1 is now released and fixes a few minor issues some customers have run into. If you have downloaded 4.3.0 already make sure to uninstall and install this version.

    Notice that .NET Framework 3.5 or newer is required.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    JTB FlexReport 4.3 released

    JTB FlexReport 4.3 makes it easier to free up borrowed licenses that possibly should be returned to the license pool. This is a great help for license administrators to further optimize the license usage.

    The new setting is available in JTB FlexReport Config>Properties>Advanced.

    See the report below that is created by pinging the hosts.

    Click to enlarge

    Several new types and settings for notifications are added.

    License usage snapshots now goes quicker than before because of optimization in how data is saved to the database.

    This HTML fix has also been added to this type of HTML report.

    For full details visit the JTB FlexReport site and see the revision history.

    Download and install it or request your free trial right now and give it a try.

    Notice that you need .NET Framework 3.5.

    PS. I plan to email this information within 24 hours to all customers and others that have requested trials. If you have not got an email contact me as it might be some company spam filter or the like stopping them or you need to update me with your new email address.

    Invest in Education when purchasing Autodesk 3D software

    Invest in Education is worth knowing about.

    Commercial companies that spend $25,000 or more purchasing new seats, cross-grades, or upgrades of qualifying Autodesk 3D software gain the right to grant the same Autodesk software to a post-secondary educational institution of their choice, based in United States, Latin America and Canada.

    Reno C. Negrin Architects - Revit Architecture Qualifying Software
    • Autodesk® Inventor® Professional 
    • Autodesk® Inventor® Suite 
    • AutoCAD® Electrical 
    • Autodesk Revit® Architecture 
    • Autodesk Revit® Structure 
    • AutoCAD Revit® MEP Suite 
    • AutoCAD® Civil 3D 
    • Autodesk 3ds Max® Design

    What about the rest of the world? No incentive to learn AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, NavisWorks or process plant applications either. But still a very good initiative. Remember it next time you’re spending money on Autodesk.

    Via CADD Centers BIM boom blog

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    Mensa IQ test

    Here is an IQ test the Swedish Mensa set up together with Expressen. You don’t need to know Swedish to do the test. Here is the test site. You have 10 minutes to use. Click on “Starta testet!” to start the test or click here to start and don’t cheat.

    Decide what figure is missing. That’s all.

    When you are done click on “Beräkna resultatet” to calculate the result. On next page click on “Till resultatet”.

    Here is my result.

    It says that I got 24 correct answers of 24. A result that is better than at least 96% of the population. The performance is equivalent with an IQ of at least 126.

    A result of 131 (IQ in the top 2% of the population) is required to qualify for Mensa so a more difficult test is needed for that.

    Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) made easier

    The Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is a software security assurance process that will be shared publicly in November and hopefully help to make applications more secure.


    Microsoft will release three new programs in November to share security best practices broadly with the industry. Based on the company’s Security Development Lifecycle, the programs are as follows:

    • SDL Optimization Model. The Optimization Model facilitates implementation of the SDL in development organizations outside of Microsoft. The model, which will be freely available for download, is based on the Microsoft IT Infrastructure and Application Platform Optimization models, which focus on leveraging IT as a driver of business value.
    • SDL Pro Network. The Network is a group of nine industry-leading consultancies that specialize in application security and have been specially trained by Microsoft. These providers will guide and support organizations in implementing the SDL in their environments. Currently in its build-out phase, the one-year pilot of the program will begin in November.
    • Microsoft SDL Threat Modeling Tool. This tool allows for structured analysis, tracking and mitigation of potential security and privacy issues, based on a methodology that any software architect can lead effectively. The tool has been used extensively within Microsoft, and will become freely available in November via the MSDN Download Center. More information about the tool, including a short demonstration, can be found on the SDL portal.

    Read more on the SDL portal and the Q&A with Steve Lipner.

    Saturday, October 4, 2008

    Review of SpiderOak online backup and storage and open source

    SpiderOak has (and will have) some unique features that other solutions I have used like Mozy and Carbonite does not have.

    I think SpiderOak works pretty well and is easy to use. I’ve had a few issues and some of them will most probably be fixed within a few months. With the combined functionality they call it a ‘SuperCloud’.

    Here are some details about SpiderOak:
    With some comments on my questions by SpiderOak CEO Ethan R. Oberman.

    • File names and folder names are encrypted as well as the actual content of the files. Some systems transfer the file and folder names as clear text or that information is saved in clear text on their systems and you might not want that. SpiderOak employees don’t know anything about what you have backed up on their servers.
    • Windows, Mac and/or Linux computers are supported and with cross-platform management and access.
    • External and network drives are supported.
    • Versioning – multiple versions of files are stored and easily accessible. Great when you make changes to files a lot.
    • Older versions or deleted documents are never discarded.
    • Create password-protected 'ShareRooms' for your friends, family members or co-workers. RSS feeds available to keep up-to-date with changes.
    • No limitation on number of computers to install on. It is just how much you backup that counts.
    • Data de-duplication speed up subsequent backups so just changes are uploaded. In their competitive chart they list Mozy and Carbonite to now have this but I know both of them have some kind of functionality so that not everything is backuped each time. Not sure how correct that is or what the definition for it is. Mozy has for example “Block-level incremental backup”.
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • Yes - they both do some basic de-duplication. For example, when one file is changed they can detect which parts changed from this version to the previous version. That has been a standard feature of back up software for probably 15 years so it would be really quite amazing if they omitted that functionality. When we talk about major de-duplication, we mean across a user's entire SpiderOak network - including all files from all computers. For example, if you have a document on one machine that was 50% the same as a document you had already backed up with SpiderOak on another machine. SpiderOak will only back up and store the 50% difference between the files which means the back up is faster the total amount of storage is less - by 25% in this case. 
    • The competitive chart also mentions Information on Backup Progress but both the other products has some kind of progress indication.
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • Yes - after further review we agree that they do show some information on the back up process - although we don't feel as informative as SpiderOak's 'Status' tab. We will give them a partial bubble for this feature.
    • For geeks there is a command line interface.
    • How is the data stored on SpiderOak? Does SpiderOak have data on multiple locations? Say one location goes down totally, can I still access my data?
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • The data stored in SpiderOak data centers is done so in an internally redundant format with several points of replication. Further, the data is also mirrored at different locations such that even if one data center where to go offline for any reason, users would still have access to their data.
        We do offer real-time geographic redundancy but the cost is significantly increased due to the additional overhead involved.
    • How is SpiderOak’s Remote Data Access unique compared to others?
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • As it relates to Mozy and Carbonite, they don't offer the ability to access the stored data remotely. Through our website at the 'My Login' prompt, a user can easily access and download any file from across their SpiderOak network anytime. Some other back up services do offer this service but they are not as publically done.

    You might not think that the program is Windows-like in look and functionality. The reason for this is according to SpiderOak  “given that one of our top priorities from the beginning was to be completely cross platform, we wanted to provide a consistent look and feel within the application regardless of platform. Therefore, if you are on a Mac, a Windows machine, or working in Linux, the SpiderOak application will look and feel the exact same”. I could live with that.

    Things I miss:

    • It’s not possible to cancel a download.
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • We agree that this should possible and have it on our list for our SpiderOak 2.2 release. Additionally we plan on improving the information SpiderOak provides to the user through more intuitive progress bars. Another area we will focus on is greatly improving the performance of downloads in general. Right now if you download a folder that has more than roughly 10,000 files contained within it the process can be slow. For folders with a smaller amount there is no slow-down noted. In general, 2.0 changed our process architecture (multiprocess) which has about 1/4th the overhead of using the previous approach of integrating the GUI event loop with the worker event loop into a single process. All this results in a major speedup and provides grounds for a lot of important future changes.
      • In 2.1 and 2.2, which will be released much more quickly than the 2.0 release, we will add a number of new capabilities and speed improvements such as the ones mentioned above.
    • Ability to set how much of the bandwidth to use when backing up.
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • We will be launching the ability to curb the bandwidth SpiderOak uses in our 2.1 release which will include the Preferences section. Preferences will also allow you to define how long to retain historical versions, deleted files, how SpiderOak should behave at Startup, and several other useful functions.

    Some things that are not so good:

    • Support for backup of open Outlook PST files is not that good so I can use it for this purpose. It sometimes hangs when building the backup and uses too much CPU.
      Here is the comment on this by SpiderOak:
      • This is a known problem and we are working on addressing it. To give some background, I need to explain how SpiderOak de-duplicates data. To make our pricing structure more competitive, SpiderOak does intense compression and de-duplication within a backup set (even across multiple computers). Whenever new data is stored, SpiderOak tries hard to store it in terms of references to existing data blocks. Therefore, SpiderOak is able to retain all previous versions of files using very little extra space. Thus, any duplicated data between any number of computers you backup with SpiderOak will never take up any extra space.  We have customers who have stored hundreds of gigabytes of user data within a 100 GB SpiderOak account.
      • There are a few specific types of files (such as those that have very sparse changes) that SpiderOak takes a long time to calculate the differences between the old version an the new version.  Occasionally outlook produces such files. We'll be greatly improving the performance of this in one of the next SpiderOak versions. 
      • In the 2.0 version, SpiderOak will notice if a file is likely to take a long time to build the additional (3rd) version of that file and use a different storage strategy. This is the best approach we have for the moment. We know this can take a very long time in some rare circumstances and fixing it is one of our top priorities.
      • Another possibility is that Outlook is changing the file underneath SpiderOak (i.e. as we build, the file changes before we finish). In this situation, SpiderOak will try up to 3 times to get consistently build the file and then quarantine that file for sometime before trying later.  Usually this strategy will work for eventually getting a consistent build.  It will also work much better once the builds happen faster - as described above.
    • I find the application to use a lot of memory and CPU at times. There should be a way to set the CPU priority lower. After the initial backup the memory usage is more normal.
      Comment by SpiderOak support:
      • After more investigation, we've found that this is pretty typical for shortly after startup, but soon it reduces to a more reasonable level.  Seems to be something involving the QT libraries.  We'll work on improving that in 2.0 and 2.1.

    Release the 2.0 version of SpiderOak is coming soon and hopefully improves this great product even more.

    Sync will be included in SpiderOak 2.2 and is scheduled later this year.

    See also SpiderOak’s blog on the problems to find investors because of open source.

    “In seeking funding for SpiderOak, many of the investors we interacted with had a pervasive hostility to open source. Their attitude might be summerized as: "Your acquirers will mostly be interested in you for your software, to combine with their existing sales channels. You will have destroyed the value of your company. You do this at your own peril." As we continued to display OSS enthusiam, what investment interest they might have had visually disappated. Even more mild open source scenarios, such as an open source commerical license, were unpalletable (and sometimes incomprehensible.)”

    Everyone is offered a free 2 GB account. Price is $10 dollars for the first 100 gigabytes and $10 for each addition 100 gigabyte increment. One open question here is if it is the actual space on SpiderOak’s servers that counts. (The answer is that in worst case 100 versions of a file will take a bit from your account depending on how much difference it is between each version)

    PS and disclaimer. I did get a free 20 GB account to be able to test SpiderOak.

    Friday, October 3, 2008

    Unlicensed error using SAMreport Lite with remote desktop

    It is not possible to run SAMreport Lite remotely using an application such as Remote Desktop Share or Terminal Server. But a workaround is describe in this Knowledge Base document: Running SAMreport™ Lite on computer other than the license server

    If you want more than SAMreport Lite offers take a look at JTB FlexReport. One limitation with SAMreport Lite that comes with your Autodesk product for free is that it cannot report on other vendor products.

    Thursday, October 2, 2008

    Lazy Drafter on Sheet Set Manager

    The Lazy Drafter blog has some useful posts about SSM like Getting Started With Sheet Set Manager and Custom Fields.

    Sheet Set Manager performance tips

    A slow Sheet Set Manager (SSM) makes no one happy. So these tips are welcome both for AutoCAD users as well as the verticals like AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP that has the Project Navigator.Sheet Set Manager
    • Increase the network speed.
    • Limit the number of sheets in the sheet set.
    • Limit the number of users on the network that are accessing the same sheet set
    • Increase the SSMPOLLTIME system variable to lengthen the time between refreshes. The default refresh time is 60 seconds, but you can increase it to a maximum of 600 seconds (10 minutes). Note: The system variable, SSMSHEETSTATUS must be set to 2 for the timer to operate.
    • Turn off automatic refreshing of sheet sets completely by setting SSMSHEETSTATUS to 0 (in this case, refreshing must be done manually). Making this (or the previous) change for all the users on a network may help minimize the amount of traffic to and from a DST file.
    • Turn off the Offline Files setting if it is enabled on your Windows operating system. If this setting is active, the Sheet Set Manager may include offline folders when polling for information during a file search. Note: The SSM does not explicitly poll offline folders; this is a result of the Windows functions called when a file search is performed. To turn off Offline Files, follow these steps:
      • In Windows Explorer, click Tools menu.
      • In the Folder Options dialog box, click the Offline Files tab, and clear the Offline Files check box.
    • Check how frequently fields are refreshed. If your sheets contain a lot of fields and they are refreshed often, this will negatively impact sheet set performance. Check the FIELDEVAL system variable or the Options dialog box (User Preferences > Field Update Settings) and adjust how often the fields are evaluated.
    • Close the DST file if you are not using it. This is different from simply closing the Sheet Set Manager. You need to right-click the sheet set name at the root of the SSM tree and select Close Sheet Set from the shortcut menu.
    • Disable background publishing.
    • Turn off SSMAUTOOPEN to prevent the automatic opening of a DST file when you load an associated drawing.
    • Try to temporarily disable your Antivirus software to see if it is causing the problem or not.
    Knowledge Base document: Improving performance of Sheet Set Manager
    Previous post on SSM performance.

    If you further want to enhance the speed of working with SSM take a look at SSMPropEditor.

    Microsoft’s new operating system - Windows Cloud

    Steve Ballmer have announced a new operating system designed for the cloud. At the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, which takes place at the end of October we all will know more.

    Windows Cloud

    “Just like Windows Server looked a lot like Windows but with new properties, new characteristics and new features, so will Windows Cloud look a lot like Windows Server.”

    “If you talk to Google they’ll say it's thin client computing but then they’ll issue a new browser that’s basically a big fat operating system designed to compete with Windows but running on top of it,” Steve Ballmer said.

    Via The Register

    Reset AutoCAD settings without creating a new user account

    When it comes to investigate AutoCAD or other software problems it can be a good idea to try creating a new Windows user account and see if the problem can be reproduced. If it works fine for the new user or if you think that it is related to your current user this tip can be useful. Notice that all your settings well be gone, just like when you first installed AutoCAD but you save the time and work to totally reinstall.

    I’ve used this method several times and it works on most any version or vertical you just need to correct some of the paths.

    You need to delete the roaming user folder.

    For AutoCAD 2009:
    %APPDATA%\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2009\R17.2
    For AutoCAD Architecture 2009:
    %APPDATA%\Autodesk\ACD-A 2009

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

    It might also be useful to delete the local user folder.

    For AutoCAD 2009:
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2009\R17.2
    For AutoCAD Architecture 2009:
    %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Autodesk\ACD-A 2009

    Then delete the following keys from the registry using REGEDIT.EXE.

    For AutoCAD 2009:
    For AutoCAD Architecture 2009:

    Now start with a fresh AutoCAD and your problems hopefully are gone.

    See the post Reset your AutoCAD / Faire un reset de votre AutoCAD on Consult SKC blog for more details.

    If you completely want to remove most traces of an AutoCAD installation see this post.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Disable Information Bar on web files on your computer

    Say you have a HTML file on your PC and don’t want the Information Bar warning you about “To help protect your security, Internet Explorer has restricted this webpage from running scripts or ActiveX controls that could access your computer. Click here for options…”.


    One example of this is the HTML report file JTB FlexReport produces and that contains JavaScript to allow to expand and collapse as well as hide and show details.

    If you are a programmer you might also run into this when working with HTML files.


    If you know the local web page on your local computer is safe you can solve this in different ways.

    1. Click on the Information Bar and select “Allow Blocked Content…”. But this is just a temporary solution.

    2. Place the HTML file on a Web server and access it with an URL.

    3. Make the page run in the Internet Zone. Details here.
    Either of these works to add after <html>:
    <!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet -->
    <!-- saved from url=(0022)http://www.domain.com/ –>
    I will add this to JTB FlexReport’s HTML file in the coming update.

    4. Make the change in IE using Internet Options>Advanced under the Security sub-section by selecting “Allow active content to run in file on My Computer”


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