Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Snagit 11 released

Are you a Snagit user or like to be one? Version 11 is released today.

I’ve been using it for some time and is happy with how it works even though the Editor still need more performance improvements.

News in this release are:

Video Capture: Using MPEG-4 video format you can now create screen videos for demos or quick reviews, and share them instantly to YouTube, Facebook, and more!

New Stamps: New and improved stamps.



More Zoom Options: Snagit now shrinks your large captures so they immediately fit on your canvas and offers more zoom proportions for you to edit your images to the perfect size.

Spell Check: Spell checking for text in callouts.

Easier Resizing: Easier than ever to edit the size of your capture.

Paste from Clipboard: Copy and paste from within Snagit and it will automatically make the canvas the right size for your capture.

Centered Canvas: When your capture pops up in the Snagit editor the canvas now automatically creates a border around your image, giving you plenty of room to add annotations, arrows, and other effects.

And a more complete list of news including removed features.

  • Improved video capture.
  • Added MP4 support for video output.
  • Added spell checking to callouts and text capture.
  • Added Camtasia Studio output, Screencast.com output, and YouTube output to the default install.
  • Improved scrolling capture support for Google Chrome.
  • Added more increments to the zoom slider in editor.
  • Added support for working in natural units (inches and centimeters) for image sizing.
  • Restricted the use of GIF and 256-color image files to only during opening and saving.
  • Added an option to prevent automatically saving captures.
  • Improved Snagit's performance, particularly for images with transparency.
  • Removed support for several file formats including .msp, .cal, .pcx, .raw, etc.
  • Removed the ability to capture full screen DOS windows.
  • Removed the ability to capture icons from .exe and .dll files.
  • Removed the "Create Web Page" feature.
  • Removed the Web Capture mode.
  • Removed the ability to capture from DirectX applications.
  • Removed various region capture options including capturing triangle region, a rounded rectangle region, an ellipse region, etc.
  • Fixed several problems where security software interfered with Snagit's installation and functionality.
  • Fixed a bug where upgrading to a new version of Snagit required restarting Internet Explorer.
  • Fixed a bug where moving saved .snag files to new directories caused the files to become corrupted.
  • Fixed a crash bug that would occur when using the perspective/shear effect.

If you’re still on version 10 and plan to stay using it, 17 January, 2012 Snagit v10.0.2 was released with some bug fixes. Go get it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

AutoCAD 2013 news

News about the next AutoCAD that is AutoCAD 2013 are available publicly earlier than expected and usual. That’s because AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013 have officially launched in Japan.

One thing that was expected this time was a new AutoCAD 2013 Drawing file format for DWG and DXF files.

One of the first things you will notice is the Command Line Enhancements.

Autodesk to cease support for Windows Vista as mentioned earlier and that includes AutoCAD 2013.

Some of the news are Strike-through Text, In-Canvas Property Preview, Surface Curve Extraction, Import Inventor Files, Offset Preview, Cloud connect and more.

There are several enhancements for Hatch Editor, Array, PressPull, Reverse Polyline Widths, Point Clouds, Model Documentation, TextToFront, Wipeouts and more.

In future posts and on the AutoCAD 2013 page more will be posted.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

AutoLISP reverse problem

Here is a AutoLISP reverse problem. It is reverse problem as I don’t ask you for the solution but rather like to see if you instead can find what problem this is a solution for.

(defun h (n / c)
  (cons n (reverse (cons 1 
  (while (/= 1 (setq n (if (= (rem n 2) 0) 
  (/ n 2) (+ (* 3 n) 1)))) 
  (setq c (cons n c))))))

The exercise is to tell me what this function does and possibly refactor it. Leave a comment (comments with solutions will be posted later on).


The Collatz conjecture is a conjecture in mathematics named after Lothar Collatz, who first proposed it in 1937. The conjecture is also known as the 3n + 1 conjecture, the Ulam conjecture (after Stanisław Ulam), Kakutani's problem (after Shizuo Kakutani), the Thwaites conjecture (after Sir Bryan Thwaites), Hasse's algorithm (after Helmut Hasse), or the Syracuse problem; the sequence of numbers involved is referred to as the hailstone sequence or hailstone numbers, or as wondrous numbers.

Take any natural number n. If n is even, divide it by 2 to get n / 2. If n is odd, multiply it by 3 and add 1 to obtain 3n + 1. Repeat the process (which has been called "Half Or Triple Plus One", or HOTPO) indefinitely. The conjecture is that no matter what number you start with, you will always eventually reach 1. The property has also been called oneness.

No sequence has been found so far that does not reach the number 1.

The code above (not formatted to make it harder for you to read) will return the hailstone sequence for any given number.

See Collatz conjecture for more on the topic.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Software Vendor Audits are Increasing

Gartner has recently published the study “The Software Vendors That Are Auditing Now and What to Do About It”.

At Gartner's IT Financial, Procurement and Asset Management Summits in September 2011, they asked 228 attendees about software vendor audits. That survey revealed that 65% of respondents reported at least one software vendor audit in the previous 12 months, up from 61% the year before. Back in 2007 only 35% of respondents had been audited.

The vendors doing most audits were IBM, Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP and during recent years the audits has increased. Other vendors mentioned were McAfee, Attachmate, HP, Autodesk and VMware. Even WinZip Computing was included (if you can’t afford or want to pay for WinZip there is the 7-Zip open source).

Gartner recommends that CIOs and IT managers should proactively look at SAM and license compliance as ongoing disciplines, to manage audits and improve financial responsibility and accountability, rather than leaving them as audit-driven projects when it may be a case of too little, too late. There is also the recommendation to identify the significant financial risks facing from software license compliance issues to help justify investment in the software asset management (SAM) discipline.

One solution that can help with companies SAM is JTB World’s JTB FlexReport.

JTB FlexReport is a report tool for applications using the FlexNet / FLEXlm (flexlm license manager), IBM LUM (IBM License Use Management), SPLM (Intergraph SmartPlant License Manager), SLM/Sentinel LM/Sentinel RMS, LM-X, Solidworks SNL License Manager, T-Systems license manager product LICMAN, Primavera from Oracle or 12D software licensing.

See also our free JTB FlexReport LT that can easily be distributed within your company to anyone that needs to see current usage of FlexNet/FLEXlm based products.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to Use an AutoLisp Routine in AutoCAD

Here’s a video showing both of to load and use an AutoLISP program in AutoCAD as well as how to modify it.

Thanks Bill for featuring my AreaText.lsp code in this video. Check also out Bill’s other AutoCAD videos.

How to Customize AreaText.LSP for AutoCAD to use other formats.

How to Customize AreaText.LSP to change the text justification.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Volvo Concept You

Autodesk Alias and Autodesk Showcase was used for the design of Volvo Concept You from the Swedish Volvo Car Corporation.

Volvo Concept You

Volvo Concept You

Autodesk Alias Software Helps Volvo Car Corporation’s Vision of Luxury and Good Design

Software played a key part in creation of much acclaimed Concept You

FARNBOROUGH, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Volvo Car Corporation (Volvo) one of the global car industry’s strongest brands, has revealed that Autodesk design and visualisation software was key to the successful design of its Concept You car. The fully-functional concept model was unveiled to great critical acclaim at the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn.

Following the earlier success of Volvo’s Concept Universe at the Shanghai Motor Show in April 2011, the Volvo design team was under extreme pressure to further refine its ideas and produce a working model with full interior in a matter of months, in time for Frankfurt. Both concepts were created to demonstrate Volvo’s vision for the future of luxury cars under its new ownership.

Using Autodesk Alias software, the concept modelling team was able to quickly create digital prototypes from the designer’s initial sketches. This enabled the team to quickly hone and test the design on screen, helping to save time and maintain the original design integrity behind the concept. As a result, designers were able to get to the best option with the technical surfacing and visualisation of the car as quickly as possible without having to start from scratch with every iteration.

Although the Volvo team was working under a particularly tight deadline, timescales such as this are becoming typical in such a competitive industry. Cars are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated with a high technical content, yet manufacturers are under pressure to design them faster, while incurring lower costs. Like Volvo, a growing number of manufacturers are using Autodesk Alias to accelerate the entire design process from concept to class A modelling.

As part of the design workflow, Volvo also used Autodesk Showcase software for advanced visualisation of its ideas. This enabled the concept to be quickly communicated to the design management team and board so that they could easily understand what was being created. Despite the punishing time-frame, Volvo’s new concept was ready in time to create a real talking point at the show. The automotive press was full of accolades, describing the car as, “beautifully done”, “a much-needed tonic” and simply “stunning”.

A long-term user of Autodesk software, Volvo has recently become a Platinum Support customer which gives it direct access to Autodesk experts, promoting a two-way dialogue to help influence future development of Alias and other products.

Via press release

Monday, February 6, 2012

SSMPropEditor 4.4.2 released

SSMPropEditor is a Sheet Set Manager (SSM) Properties Editor. With SSMPropEditor you can edit  Sheet Properties and Sheet Custom Properties on multiple sheets belonging to AutoCAD's Sheet Set Manager (SSM) or AutoCAD Architecture's Project Navigator (PN) Sheet Set View. AutoCAD is not even needed needed to use SSMPropEditor.

Tip: Do you have a sheet set with a bunch of custom properties and another sheet set that you want them in too? SSMPropEditor will create the needed properties when using the Paste Properties button. No need to manually recreate all properties within SSM.

The upgrade is free for customers that purchased any earlier version.

Contact us to get a time limited license file for free.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Autodesk to cease support of Windows Vista

Still using Windows Vista? If you plan on using Autodesk 2013 products on Vista read this:

Microsoft Windows Vista Support FAQ by Autodesk

Beginning January 1, 2012, Autodesk will have formally ceased support of the Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System for all new (and upgraded versions) of its products and services released in 2012.

Currently shipping versions and previous versions of our software (delivered prior to January 1, 2012) will continue to be supported on this operating system.

Why is Autodesk ending support for Windows Vista in 2012?

Microsoft ended sales support for Vista in 2011, and will end mainstream support in 2012. Our research and customer engagement on this topic has shown that an overwhelming majority of our installed base has already moved off of this operating system. Customers looking to upgrade their hardware and operating system have indicated Microsoft Vista is not a viable option given the availability of Windows 7.

UPDATE: A week after this post Microsoft extended support for Vista. ref Will Autodesk follow?

Where can I find information on Microsoft’s planned support for its Operating Systems?

You can find information on Microsoft’s Windows lifecycle (both sales and support) here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Why are you ending support for Windows Vista when XP, an older operating system, is still supported?

Through Autodesk’s research and customer engagement, there is still a large population of customers utilizing this Operating System in their work environments. We will work with our customers in the coming 12-24 months to understand their transition plans and make a support decision about Windows XP when it is appropriate to do so.

If I upgrade my Windows Vista computer to Windows 7, will my existing 2012 licensed products still work?

If you are intending to upgrade your Operating System, it is recommended that you reinstall your Autodesk products once that upgrade is complete. Your existing product license is still a valid, but the product will need a new authorization code to work with the new operating system once installed.

If I choose to buy a new computer with Windows 7, can I reinstall my 2012 products on the new computer or will I have to buy new licenses?

Yes, you can continue to use your current Autodesk products with this new operating system. Once installed, you will have to obtain a new authorization code.

How do I migrate my older licensed Autodesk products to a Windows 7 computer? I lost the install discs and serial numbers a while ago.

Please contact the reseller or company where you originally purchased the Autodesk software for a copy of the product and your original serial number. If you are on Autodesk Subscription you can just go to the Subscription website and access the previous three versions of the product.

When will Autodesk support Windows 8?

Depending on Microsoft’s own release schedule for this new operating system, Autodesk will test its product line with Windows 8 and release a support statement when it is appropriate to do so.

Will the Autodesk software/application I recently purchased (i.e. 2012 version) work on Windows Vista even though Autodesk is ceasing support for this Operating System?

Yes, the current Autodesk product line (version 2012) will continue to be supported on Microsoft Vista. Support will cease for new versions of Autodesk products released beginning January 1, 2012.

How does this ‘ending support’ affect me and the products that I currently own (version 2012 and earlier)? I am still on Windows Vista and do not have the ability to migrate to other Windows OS.

Autodesk will continue to support you and your existing, purchased products on Windows Vista in alignment with our current product support policies.

What do I do if I run into issues with Autodesk products on Windows Vista? Who do I contact for support?

You can continue to utilize your existing Autodesk support channels for Windows Vista issues for Autodesk products/versions which have shipped prior to January 1, 2012. For new versions of Autodesk software shipping after this date, please refer to the Autodesk Discussion Forums for peer-to-peer support if you decide to install these Autodesk products on the Windows Vista operating system.

I’m running Microsoft Vista with my Autodesk Products – can I still purchase apps and plug-in’s from Autodesk Exchange beyond January 1, 2012?

If you are installing apps from Autodesk Exchange, please check with the supplier/developer of the app for system and product requirements pertaining to Microsoft Vista support for your particular Autodesk product(s).

Via Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Vista Compatibility

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