The temperature has been very high this week and humid, but at least there are enough pools and cold refreshments to assist in my survival. I have been having a great time and have uploaded more images to the Florida photo blog on the left of this blog.
I have been in Orlando Florida for the past 2 days and am loving it. The weather is excellent and the Disney resorts are awesome. I am sure it is not just me but every animal including ducks, rabbits, birds, turtles, raccoons, and fish seem to be begging for food and have no fear of humans. Even the armadillos are not afraid of people.
I added a new photo gallery for this Florida trip.
Florida May-June 2004
Lee Ambrosius of hyperpics.com and his blog Beyond the UI obviously had taken a large amount of time and thought in order to compose this article. He explains the various ways of reporting and providing feedback to Autodesk.
Link to Article "Don't talk smack... instead give back"
Many will just expect a software company to know about a problem and it will magically be fixed in the next service pack but that is really not based in reality. We need to understand the problem and in many cases to reproduce it in order to determine the appropriate solution. That is why Autodesk has developed the Customer Error Reporting in our products. With the Customer Error Reporting the details if you choose to send them come back to us and we research them. This method is far better than asking a million and one questions of a customer. Also make sure to fill in the details so we can contact you if needed to get further details or a sample file. The Customer Error Reporting helps everyone and is definitely better than doing nothing or the default Windows error reporting which submits to Microsoft, which many applications use but what is Microsoft going to do about a problem with an application that is not theirs, well not much. Just like other businesses we rely on feedback from the customers. So if you find a problem or something you feel should be changed, please let us know.
Mark your calendar and save the dates for Autodesk University® 2004—the premier Autodesk learning and networking event.
When: Tuesday, November 30 - Friday, December 3
Where: MGM Grand Conference Center, Las Vegas
There's nothing like Autodesk University (AU). We're talking about the "you-gotta-go" user conference for everyone who uses Autodesk® solutions and services.
Go to the AU website at http://www.autodesk.com/au for more information. Then start making plans to upgrade your brain at AU in Las Vegas. Registration opens in August.
Can You Hack It?
Keeping up with changes in technology is a challenge. Your job, your career, the success of your company all depend on it. At AU, you'll get the easy low-down on the latest tips, tools, and industry contacts to help you learn and grow. Whatever industry you work in—Manufacturing, GIS/Mapping, Civil Engineering, Infrastructure Management, or Building solutions—you'll learn the most efficient ways to create, share, and manage data throughout the life cycle of your projects.
A Booster Shot for Your Brain
The CAD Gurus, GIS Junkies, and Design Elite all attend Autodesk University. It's the place where the good go to get better. At AU, you'll learn from the best, get on top of industry trends, and obtain the training you need to compete and win.
The 12th annual AU features more classes and hands-on labs, the latest solutions from Autodesk and partners, and fun ways to connect with peers. You'll find this and more in 4 all-inclusive days designed to revolutionize the other 361.
Autodesk University 2004 . . . Are You Going?
If you have a blog, thn you should really check out BlogJet. BlogJet allows you to post to your blog but simplifies everything and allows more abilties in formatting and content than the standard web blog page entries do. It runs on your local machine and I even installed and tested the 30 day trial on my TabletPC.
It works for most blog host providers such as:
Ellen Finkelstein (who sends me cookies) wrote an article about creating and customizing Tool Palettes for AutoCAD 2004 awhile back. I thought I would point it out again after receiving a few emails on the subject. The AutoCAD 2004 Tool Palettes extension adds even more abilities and the same abilities are included in AutoCAD 2005.
I will be headed to Orlando Florida this Friday and then headed to the beach on St. Pete Island located on the Gulf of Mexico for a week to soak up some sun and suds. I am taking the family to see the mouse at Disneyworld, so be ready for the funny pictures. I will be posting the photos to my "Daily Grind" image gallery.
I am also meeting with a few people and customers for some visits and chat like former AUGI President David Harrington, Inventor Maestro Sean Dotson, and architectural rendering wiz Lucio Da Silva who is down in Naples Florida. If you want to get together and discuss CAD or anything else, please email me. I am in Orlando from this Friday May 21st until the 28th and then over to St Pete Island until June 2nd.
Lynn Allen has published her second part of the Perfect Paper Space series. Last month it was part 1 link here and now the latest.
"LAST MONTH WE DIPPED our toes into paper space. This month let's wade deeper into this tricky subject. AutoCAD 2005 relies heavily on paper space layouts to maximize the Sheet Set Manager capabilities, so you'll want to be an expert in this topic."
The following three white papers on AutoCAD® 2005 Sheet Set Best Practices are being posted to the Autodesk web site any day, but you get them here first.
Best Practices Series
Sheet Set Manager:
Introduction to the Series
Lynn Allen, Cadalyst columnist
Wouldn't it be nice if an entire project consisted of just one drawing sheet, which we could simply create, plot, and hand over to our client? Unfortunately, in the real world, our projects consist of multiple drawing sheets: sometimes 10, 50, 100 or over 1,000 drawing files per project. How do most of us keep track of all those drawing files? We use Microsoft® Windows® Explorer.
Best Practices Series - Part 1
Sheet Set Manager:
Organize Your Drawings
Dieter Schlaepfer, Autodesk, Inc.
You may have heard that the new Sheet Set Manager in AutoCAD® 2005 software can manage, publish, and transmit an entire group of project files. But did you know that you can use the Sheet Set Manager simply to organize and access your existing drawings much more effectively?
There is almost no effort required, and you do not have to change the way you work!
Best Practices Series Part 2
Sheet Set Manager:
Create a List of Sheets Instantly
Heidi Hewett, Autodesk, Inc.
Most sets of drawings include a cover sheet or title sheet that has a list of all the sheets in the set. This list enables people to find design data throughout the set of drawings, so it must always be accurate. As you add, remove, or reorganize sheets, you continually modify the list of sheets to ensure that it is up to date.
In AutoCAD® 2005, you can easily create a sheet list table with data that is extracted directly from the Sheet Set Manager. If you make changes to the sheet set, you can instantly update the sheet list table to reflect the changes.
All products on subscription are pre-registered to the Contract Manager named at the time the Subscription order is processed. When installing your product you will be required to obtain an activation code. When requesting an activation code for product installations and reinstallations, please be sure to have your Serial/Group ID number available (found on your product package).
Group—A subscription contract may contain one or more groups. A company may choose to have several groups. Groups can be used to organize a subscription contract in different ways—for example, by product, office location, or department. Groups may also be organized by deployment—one group with stand-alone versions of a product and another group with a network version. (It is not possible to combine stand-alone and network versions in the same group). Each group is assigned a Software Coordinator. All products within a group share the same serial, or Group ID, number.
Group ID Number— A group ID is the unique numerical identifier that is part of the overall group name. It is derived from the serial number used to validate the first subscription put into the group. Each product added to that group subsequently assumes the group number when upgrades are shipped.
Note: The contract number for the company is derived from the first group put on the contract.
A group name can be any 20 alphanumeric characters, designated by the Contract Manager, to provide a unique label for a group.
Group ID: 339-11235813 San Rafael
The Group ID should be used when requesting an activation code for any products shipped under subscription. The Group ID is referenced on the product package as Serial/Group ID.
IMPORTANT: Autodesk software may be installed as a network, stand-alone, or multiseat stand-alone deployment. There are some variations to the process that depend on the type of installation you have:
For more information on subscritipon, please go to http://www.autodesk.com/subscription
I just wanted to write a short article on using DWF and a workflow with markup. The DWF format is very small compared to PDF and other formats for transmitting to others. You can also use the free Autodesk DWF Writer 2 to publish from other applications such as Bentley MicroStation, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel or most any other application that can use a Windows System printer driver. You can publish in one click the entire Sheet Set in AutoCAD 2005 to DWF or a plotter. You can view DWF using the free Autodesk DWF Viewer or the $99 Autodesk DWF Composer as I show in this tutorial. The DWF is a open format and anyone can use the available DWF 6 Toolkit to write or view them.
In AutoCAD 2005 you can use the Sheet Set Manager to publish your entire Sheet Set in one click to a multi-sheet DWF.
You can use the free Autodesk DWF Writer 2 to publish a drawing sheet from Bentley MicroStation just as I did in the above image.
I simply dragged and dropped the DWF produced from the free Autodesk DWF Writer 2 into my multi-sheet DWF. I was also able to mark up (redline) the DWF in Autodesk DWF Composer which is only $99 or $49 to upgrade from the Volo View 2. You could also just view the resulting DWF files with the free Autodesk DWF Viewer but this does not have measure, mark-up and DWG viewing like Autodesk DWF Composer.
In this image you can see I can even mark-up the Bentley MicroStation produced DWF and even snap to the geometry for measurements or comments in the Autodesk DWF Composer.
Here you can see my mark up comments in a sheet in the multi-sheet DWF file on the sheet created from Bentley MicroStation. I can even indicate the markup status.
You can see the mark-up on an AutoCAD 2005 sheet in the DWF I can call out the question for another person. I can change the mark-up with snaps. After I make the mark up I can then send it back to the person with AutoCAD 2005 who created or who has the Sheet Set in AutoCAD 2005.
Using the Markup Set Manager in AutoCAD 2005, I can import the mark up and automatically navigate in the sheet set to the areas with the mark-up. I can also indicate the comments have been resolved and republish with the revisions.
I can even use the free Autodesk DWF Writer to publish Microsoft Word or Excel files to supplement the sheets or as a reference. I can even drag and drop raster images into the DWF such as a rendering or site photo. Best thing is that the documents when in the DWF format are not as easy to copy the data out to another document like a PDF and many do not want reviewers to get the data out. I can even have the reviewers indicate their mark-ups on the other documents in the DWF such as marking up the spreadsheet or the Bentley MicroStation sheet with my comment for the MicroStation user to “buy AutoCAD 2005" ;-) .
Helpful Links Relevant to this Tutorial
I just found out that the map at: http://www.sacairports.org/int/terminal/airport.html was actually cretaed using AutoCAD and then a few labels added in Adobe Photoshop. It just goes to show that AutoCAD is used almost everywhere. The credit for the map goes to Donald Wilson of the Sacramento International Airport planning department.
Some AutoCAD Express Tools are covered in Michael's online article:
You really should consider subscribing to his newsletter ‘The AutoCAD Toolbelt’.
We added a little known feature in AutoCAD 2004 which is also in AutoCAD 2005. I figured I would explain this after reading a post in a newsgroup with a customer trying to figure out this discovery. You must have AutoCAD 2004 or higher installed and on Microsoft Windows 2000/XP. Edge panning is when you are panning the display by mouse in the AutoCAD window, and then you reach the edge of the maximized AutoCAD window and the display pans while you continue to move the mouse towards the edge. Pretty cool, give it a try. It comes in pretty handy when in large drawings as you do not have to reposition your mouse to be able to pan more of the drawing.
Click on the GIF image to see a larger Animated GIF of the difference from AutoCAD 2002 without Edge Panning and AutoCAD 2005 with Edge Panning.
The AutoCAD Team is always looking for customer sites to visit for future feature discussions and to make sure we understand the problems you face in your AutoCAD design use. I am also interested in those that Bentley Microstation to understand their pain points as well.
We are always engaging customers in discussions in many ways such as personal visits, local user groups, email survey, phone interviews, web presentations, discussion groups, AutoCAD Feedback emails, and many other ways. I would like to have a list of candidates who would be willing to have an Autodesk employee personal visit and discussion.
I am looking immediately to visit more customers in addition to those that I have already, to discuss their use of blocks and discuss the workflow and suggestions. I am also really interested in San Francisco Bay Area located customers as those are the easiest to visit as it is a quick drive but am willing to visit a customer almost anywhere.
Spread the word around and at your user group meetings.
If you are interested, please complete the survey to be a candidate.
Autodesk Visit Candidates Survey
Technical Marketing Mgr. / Beta Mgr.
This is a follow up to the DWF Precision article by Brian Mathews of the DWF Team Link to Article
By default, DWFs are plotted from AutoCAD at 400 DPI—but this is far below the limit for DWF (up to 60 million DPI!). In fact, as Brian’s article points out, with the resolution that DWF supports, “DWF can measure the continental USA with a precision of +/- 2.4 millimeters when using the maximum DPI and paper size settings.”
To change the resolution (DPI) at which DWFs are published in AutoCAD based products:
- Select the “DWF 6 ePlot” driver in the AutoCAD Plot dialog
- Select Properties
- Select the Custom Properties icon (in the Device and Document Settings tab)
- Select the Custom Properties button
- Change the vector resolution—e.g., to 1200 or 2400 DPI
- Select OK
- Select OK
- Optionally save the changes to a different pc3 configuration file—e.g. with a 2400dpi suffix
- Select an output filename
- Select OK to plot to DWF
You could also just select ‘Custom’ in the dropdown list to set the resolution higher than 2400 DPI
For comparison I plotted a DWF and a PDF both at 2400 DPI:
DWF File Size on disk = 1.00 MB
PDF File Size on Disk = 5.23 MB
After opening the DWF in DWF Composer ($99) and taking a measurement with snaps and grabbing the geometry, I can see the section of interest is reported as 958' 8.94". Of course I could also just view the DWF in the free viewer. With DWF Composer I get redline markup, measurements, snaps, round trip the markup back to AutoCAD 2005 based products, and also a DWG viewer.
Checking the same section of interest in Adobe Acrobat Pro 6 (~$600), I had no real intuitive snaps and the distance was 8.11". I guess this is a miniature city ;-). "PDF: the right choice for itsy-bitsy cities and large hard drives".
With a higher DWF DPI setting, the advantages in terms of precision in the DWF files should become very clear when comparing DWF vs. PDF.
While 2400 DPI is sufficient for most needs, those using maps and GIS may need a higher DPI. AutoCAD allows for a Custom setting increasiong the DPI up to 60 million DPI.
Autodesk User Group International has posted a nice article of tips on AutoCAD Switches written by and AutoCAD Guru and also one of the most experienced and feedback providing AutoCAD customers Lee Ambrosius.
Lee also has a blog for many great tips on AutoCAD titled "Beyond the UI".
"Last month, I finished the second installment of using and creating scripts for use with AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. Here, I’ll turn the attention from customizing inside of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT to the desktop shortcut. There are many options to get AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT start up. You have seen one of these options or switches in the previous articles about scripts. That switch was the /b switch, which allowed for the loading of a script when the desktop shortcut was used. This article investigates the many other switches available to you." Read More
It was nice meeting the 38+ people in attendance last night at the San Francisco AutoCAD Users Group to see the presentation of AutoCAD 2005 by Shawn Gilmour of Autodesk. Congratulations to the winners of the drawings for the AutoCAD 2005 and the books. I have placed a few photos from the meeting in my daily grind photoblog.
Part II of the series on digital cameras by Joe Marney thetechlounge.com. Part I was posted last week and busted the "8 megapixel cameras are better" myth.
This is a very informative series for anyone using or looking at buying a new digital camera.
See some of my new daily grind images taken with my new Canon S1. I love this camera!