21 December 2009

Preparing for launch

Hi - Here at Autodesk, the marketing group is busy preparing for the launch of Revit 2011. There's always a web component to our launch plan but this year I want to expand our activity in the blogosphere, on YouTube, and several other areas within social media. To help inform that process, I've built a survey and would appreciate your input. I'm specifically looking for input from Revit Architecture users and buyers in the US. If you've got 15 minutes to spare, please take the survey so that I know where to spend this portion of our marketing resources. Thanks in advance. Here's the link and 'official' blurb. 


Autodesk is conducting research to understand how Revit® Architecture users and buyers engage in online social media, how social behavior is evolving in your business, and where business buyers choose to participate in online communities. 

This 15 minute survey will not ask for any personally identifying information. We will use your responses in aggregate only and will not attribute any responses back to you. 

10 December 2009

AUGIWorld 2009 Issue 6

The latest issue of AUGIWorld is now available.

08 December 2009

AU 2009 Classes Online Soon

Starting Friday, December 11, AU Online will have all of the class handouts, presentation materials, data sets, and screencasts of more than 500 AU 2009 conference and AU Virtual sessions, so you can access them anytime, anywhere, all year long.

05 December 2009

Vote for AUGI 2010 Board of Directors

The polling has begun, click here to go vote for the AUGI 2010 Board of Directors.

28 November 2009

AUGI Board Candidates Discussion Forum Open

Those that know me, know that Autodesk User Group International has been a big part of my professional career since 1994. I served on the Board of Directors (BoD) for 7 years and even spent one year as President. Since then I have remained on the sideline dutifully working on AUGIWorld and providing input when asked.

Well I'm trying to get into the game once again. AUGI has had a tough time since Sep 2008. It parted ways with SolidVapor (management company) and has struggled in this economy just as others have done. I believe I have the experience and vision to aid AUGI get back it's footing so I am running for the Board of Directors, for the 2010-2011 term.

This time around is again typical AUGI, full of power plays, politics, and drama galore. It is quite amazing how once you put on the volunteer hat that your passion for a given issue is magnified tenfold. The cool part is that I've been there and I think I can handle it once again.

This time around there are 8 open seats on the BoD with 2 returning, the new Board will be like a new football team, brimming with energy and drive. The potential is truly amazing! Unlike recent BoD elections, the ballot will not be a slate of names just up for a yes/no vote but rather a ranked ballot with 9 names for 8 slots. Someone will not make it, which is quite a shame because there are some great candidates (myself included of course)!

Joining AUGI is free, and becoming informed about the upcoming election is easy. Read about the candidates here! Then after Autodesk University, AUGI will hold the election and which you can return to the website and cast your votes! Vote for me, or not, but if you read this blog I very much hope you vote. Only with a high voter turnout will the newly elected BoD have the confidence in themselves that they have the complete backing of the membership, to do whatever it takes, and to steer AUGI in even better directions.

Catch me at Autodesk University and say "HI". Live long and prosper!

Just saw Star Trek 2009 - it rocks!

20 November 2009

AU Discussion Forum - "Embedding Learning into the Product"

The AutoCAD User Assistance Team would like to invite you to a special event during Autodesk University this year!

On Tuesday, December 1st and Wednesday, December 2nd, we will be hosting a User Assistance Discussion Forum. We hope you will be able to join us for one of the sessions if you are planning to attend AU this year!

Discussion Forum: “Embedding Learning into the Product"

We will present our proposed changes to user assistance (help system, tutorials, animations etc.) for future releases of AutoCAD and other Autodesk products. The goal is to move more assistance into the product so it is available when you need it.

Help shape the future of Autodesk products. We would appreciate your opinions.

Who Should Participate?
Autodesk users who use the help system and training.

When Are the Focus Group Meetings?
Date Session Time Duration

Forum: “Embedding Learning into the Product"
Tuesday, December 1 5:00 –6:30 pm 90 minutes
Wednesday, December 2 3:00 –4:30 pm 90 minutes

All events will take place in the conference area in the Mandalay Bay hotel. Participants will receive a gift for their time.

How Do I Sign Up?
To sign up, fill out this brief survey:

Please indicate which session you are available to attend. The confirmation will include specific location, and an NDA will be required for all who attend.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, email to:

Space is limited so sign up today! Please fill out the survey by Monday, November 23.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!

Best Regards,
The User Assistance Team

19 November 2009

Twitter? I might be a twit...

I've waited it out and this tweeter thing isn't going away yet. So I might as well have a go at that form of communication as well. I suspect since the "bar" is a bit lower it might be easier than blogging about intelligent topics.

So my twit handle? @caddhelp of course... ;)

04 November 2009

AUGIWorld Issue 5

The latest edition of AUGIWorld has been released.

AUGI membership is required to view it, but that's free!

Click HERE


The latest edition of AUGI AEC EDGE has been released. Pretty good stuff in it, including an article by me. ;)

Click here to access it.

20 October 2009

Revit 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack

Another new and cool feature is that now the Draw panel on the ribbon, the tools contained it to draw lines, arc, etc, will all have keyboard shortcut access.

New Keyboard Shortcut editor

There are a number of new features coming in this Revit 2010 enhancement but a really cool one is a Keyboard Shortcut editor. As you can see in this image it provides a clean dialog for adjusting your preferences.

Coming soon...

Revit Platform 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack!

Stay tuned for more info...

15 October 2009

Windows 7 cometh

As many others, for my personal machine I am going to upgrade to Windows 7. This machine is about 3 years old (Dell 9150) and runs XP pretty good - but I have to stay on top of virus blocking. Now when Vista came out I upgraded to that, but within a matter of months I reverted back to XP. My biggest gripe was the driver availability and the machine was kinda sluggish.

Well with Win7 I hope to do better and actually enjoy the new features and interface without complaint. I ordered Windows 7 Home Premium via Sams Club for $128 delivered to the door when it ships.

08 October 2009

Something annoying you? Just delete it!

A technique I use a lot is the DELETE and DO and then PASTE what I deleted back. This works for me both in AutoCAD and Revit.

For example, I need to draw or select something and a solid hatch is blocking my view. Well the standard method would be to freeze the annoying layer, do what you need, and then unfreeze. But depending on the condition it might be quicker to just erase it. In AutoCAD I can delete stuff, do whatever, and then OOPS and what I deleted last will be restored. Pretty cool!

Now for Revit, that takes using the CTRL+X to erase and put it into the clipboard. Then do what I need, and PASTE SAME PLACE to put it back.

The caveat to this technique is dimensions associated to the deleted objects will be tossed in the garbage, so you need to be on top of your CADD game to use this.

30 September 2009

WPM is #6!

Even in this economy some companies are still managing to get work done, do it right, and keep their staff generally happy. I was pleased to see my company of 22 years once again get recognized.


It is interesting that so many of the best firms have less than 50 people.

Congrats to all!

28 September 2009

Awww, that's pretty

A project I did in little ol' Tampa town is nearly completion. The Tampa Museum of Art isn't huge but it was an interesting project in Revit and looks very nice along the river.

Bye, Bye Migration part 2

Blog reader Gregorw asked regarding my previous "Bye, Bye Migration" post that he could not find the location to shut off the migration. It is found during the deployment build within the Custom install area as shown in this image.

15 September 2009

Mastering Revit Structure 2010 shipping!

A CADDHELP reader named Scott asked when the new book will be out. As it happens I just heard yesterday from the production editor that he had his copy of the book and it was being released 9/14. Soooo, it's out there and on the way...

Here is the link on Amazon if you need. Again, I get $0 for each copy sold (unless the publication is a real hot item) so this is just me saving time on the search.


09 September 2009

Looking to help out?

I recently started a new Linkedin.com group called CADDHELP. The primary goal of the group is to help connect publishers with authors of CADD related materials. At this time the main focus is AUGI magazines AECEDGE and AUGIWorld but it will branch out into books and perhaps even video training.

If you are a member of Linkedin and willing to help on occasion, consider joining the CADDHELP group. As opportunities pop up you will be notified accordingly.


28 August 2009

RST2009 Dialog of the Day

I love dialogs like this. Someone had to code it up, right? He/she knew there was a problem, and it was with the software, but really didn't know what else to say about it. Sigh...

13 August 2009

Revit Wish

A tool to identify reference planes that are not being referenced by anything...so they can be deleted without messing up the model!

07 August 2009

Using Architectural Walls

An frequent problem is that you get an architectural model with walls you need to use in your model. Except that their wall is full of layers you don't need and can't show in your documents. to top it off you want to use copy monitor to bring them in, but then will be breaking the connection.

So the fundamental issue is keeping the core element within the wall in the same place as you change the wall types. The key to this is the location line.

Within an architectural model I have only ever seen two location settings, exterior face and core centerline. The problem is both of these settings will have to be changed.

So what I do is open up the arch model (yes, for editing) and change all wall location lines to wall centerline. Then close the model.

Then open my model. Use transfer project standards and bring in all architectural wall types.

After this I fire up import link and bring in the arch model. Then use copy monitor, but before bringing in objects adjust the options to do one to one arch model wall type to struct model wall type. We need to get the wall in first, in the right place, then we can fix it.

Once ready then I copy monitor the walls as I need. RST should create wall instances matching the arch wall exactly.

Once that is done exit the copy monitor tool and then I can select all walls and change the location line to core exterior face. I use that to handle any CMU walls in the best method.

Then I can use the families list and edit wall types to remove all non-core layers, and simply delete wall types (and walls) I don't need. The wall where I remove layers from the type should not move around since they are located by the core face.

24 July 2009

Autodesk API surveys (more)

Autodesk is deep in development of the next releases of our products. We need your help setting API development priorities. Choose the product(s) you prefer, and place your ADN vote for API enhancements.

Autodesk Inventor
AutoCAD Civil 3D

Since starting these API wish lists seven years ago, ADN has consistently lobbied Autodesk’s various engineering teams for the enhancements you request. And your voice is being heard. Across our products, API enhancements requested by ADN members are delivered, release after release.

Your vote is important, but to be counted, we have to hear from you! The deadline for entries is Friday July 31, 2009. Each survey is short and should take around five minutes to complete.

When the surveys have ended, and the results have been compiled, we will publish the final API Wish list that our engineering teams will use to prioritize API development.

Thank you in advance for all your help. Autodesk values your input.

23 July 2009

Awesome Dialog

Just happened to me, using WSFTP software. It is ironic as I have never seen this error before.

22 July 2009

Mess with a RST user by

renaming his project model scope box to None. Then hide the display of scope boxes in all views.

16 July 2009

Revit API Wishlist Survey

Revit API Wishlist Survey, Summer 2009


How best to learn?

No one will deny that learning a new software application is a challenge. but the real challenge is how best to teach it? Most users start with a X day full time class on the subject, coming away with a ton of info in a short amount of time. They then know the basics, have seen the software do amazing things, but in a scant weeks time will have forgotten the steps to do most anything.

So how should that person regain that skill? Pick up a book? Grab a fellow employee? Open up help? Call a reseller for technical help? Ask in a forum? Check out youtube videos? Watch in-house training?

What do you think? It had just been trained and then a month later forgot how to use the software, what method would you use? Which method offers the best and most reliable source of information in a consistant and reliable fashion?

14 July 2009

Mastering Revit Structure 2010 is soooo close

For the most part all the work on the Mastering Revit Structure 2010 book is done. It is over to production and I hope to see it hit the pavement in about 45 days. As before, the list price is $69.99 (as if the extra cent would make a difference) but Amazon has it listed pretty cheap at $44.09.

Before you think poorly of me, I get zilch from book sales (unless sales are really, really good) but the book is really a great resource for those using RST and myself and the other authors are very proud of our work.


Hey! I'm back!

You knew it was too quiet around here, yea... I was on vacation! But alas, that is over, back to work. A recent project of mine was issued for permit so I hope to get back to this little blog more often. So I have been very busy in spite of this economy.

01 July 2009

The AUGI Board of Directors Ballot is OPEN - 2009 Special Election

The AUGI Board of Directors Ballot is OPEN - 2009 Special Election

The AUGI 2009 Special Election is underway...

We have four candidates on the slate. Only two seats are open for the Board.

Each candidate should be considered individually. A candidate is elected based on total Yes votes counted. You may vote on all four candidates, but you may only vote Yes on a total of two candidates. The two candidates receiving the largest number of Yes votes will be elected.

The process of narrowing down the number of qualified nominees to the four candidates included on this year's ballot was a difficult one. The candidates that are elected will serve the remainder of a two year period that continues through December, 2010.

We commend all the nominees and candidates for their willingness to serve and be part of this process. Their credentials and dedicated service are one of the reasons that AUGI is such a strong organization. It is through members such as these that we continue to expand the offerings, programs, events, and training to AUGI members.

NOTE: You must have been a member of AUGI for at least 30 days prior to the close of nominations (May 24, 2009) to be able to vote in this year's Board of Directors election.

Your Vote Counts!

28 June 2009

24 June 2009


AUGI has produced another magazine, AEC Edge, focused on the AEC industry. It is chock full of articles for architects, engineers, and MEP types, and primarily related to Revit use.


19 June 2009

RST: Did you know?

Revit Structure, did you know that you can attach a framing elevation to a reference plane that has been given a name?
Most everyone knows that framing elevations *want* to attach to a grid. And you can create a copy of a framing elevation and lose the 'datum' attachment, thus requiring assigning a workplane if you try certain things like putting in a brace.
But placing a framing elevation based on a named reference plane could be the trick to use in some circumstances... like a framing elevation not based on a grid!

18 June 2009

AutoCAD: Materials Editor Palette Survey

We Need Your Help!
AutoCAD Product Design&Usability Group will greatly appreciate your input on the use of certain features of the Materials Editor Palette.

Who Could Participate?
Any user of AutoCAD application involved in preparing models and materials for rendering.

If you are ready to participate- please access this Survey (Survey has 7 questions only!):


This Survey will be active: June 17-27, 2009.
AutoCAD Product Design&Usability Group

Thanks for your participation!

09 June 2009

Stadium Roof Collapse

I'm just in awe of the destruction...the big part with the end buttresses is on the ground and bowl now.

21 May 2009

Been a little quiet

Posting to a blog is a little like a river, with ebbs and flows.

There, did you like that little adage? Good!

Anyway, the latest news is that AUGI has just entered the nomination period for a special election to be held to fill empty Board of Director seats.


Keep on eye on www.augi.com and vote when the time comes!

18 May 2009

RST 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts

I have posted my latest version of RST2010 KeyboardShortcuts.txt to here on AUGI.com.

05 May 2009

Vote for Sessions for AU 2009

Dear Autodesk User,

Last year, for the first time, we (Autodesk) asked the AU Community to help us select the best 600-plus sessions for AU 2008, and the response was invaluable. This year we'd like to do it again.

If you are considering attending AU 2009, please take a few minutes to vote for those sessions that you absolutely want to see. Your votes will help us select not only the best sessions, but will also give us some insight into the most popular ones to help us schedule them at the best times and locations.

How to Vote
To vote for sessions, go to the Autodesk University Session Selection page and log in using your AU Online username and password. If you do not have an AU Online account, it only takes 15 seconds to register as an AU Online member.

Topics can be looked up by product, speaker, or industry. You will be able to read the entire submission (unedited) and vote on several criteria. Please limit your votes to approximately 20 sessions.

The voting deadline is Friday, May 8 at midnight PDT.

What's Next?

Over the next few weeks, the AU team will review all of the class proposals. Final class selection will be made based on your input, that of industry experts, and speaker feedback that we received from past AU conferences. We expect class selection to be completed by mid-June and hope to publish AU 2009 class selection by late July.

Registration for AU will start on August 12, and one week earlier for AU members. Class schedules will be available for review by late July.

Thank you in advance for helping us select the most interesting and relevant classes. Be sure to vote before May 8.

The AU Team

03 May 2009

Revit 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts Development via excel

I have posted on AUGI forums 3 versions of the this excel to cover the 3 flavors of Revit ribbons. Each has the out-of-the-box settings, removing duplicates, and allows for reduced effort customization.

Revit Architecture 2010

Revit Structure 2010

Revit MEP 2010

01 May 2009

RST Keyboard Shortcuts Development via Excel

Since I'm too lasy to figure out how to attach XLS files to my blog, I posted over on AUGI.com in the Revit Structure forums. Join to read - it's free!


30 April 2009

RST Keyboard Shortcut Philosophy

So I'm working on the RST 2010 keyboard shortcuts - it is work believe me. Every ribbon has its own chunk in the file, and many commands repeat over and over. To begin to develop a plan I had to first beg an Excel expert to lend a hand. He customized a xls to do automatic placement of shortcuts based on the ribbon verbage. In a nutshell, when Refence Plane is defined as RP in one row, all other Reference Plane entries on other ribbons get an RP as well.

So I went through the file in whole, assigning shortcuts. What is my philosophy on it?

Commands that I use a lot (like beam) get 2 letter shortcut and will be moved to the top. So BM will start Beam but also B will as well.

Commands that I use a little less but when used, are used repeatedly, get double letter shortcut if available. For example, Align is AA. It could have been AL and then put at the top so that A fires it - I personally think that isn't needed for double letter commands.

Commands that are used daily but not frequently, two letters based on the wording hopefully. So like Reference Plane being RP. Not the best placement on the keyboard but not a killer. Depending on more frequent commands, it may be moved to the top so that R fires.

Then infrequent commands that by the nature of the lack of use will be hard to remember - first letter shortcuts. For example, Dimension Radial is DRA.

After this it gets sketchy - some commands won't get assigned a shortcut since remembering them will be next to impossible. While others will get assigned and hopefully be intelligently named so as to remember them.

27 April 2009

RST2010 Missing Commands

Just noting a few commands are no longer in RST. Big deal? I don’t know but that isn’t typically what software is supposed to do…least not CAD software.

Edit-Select Previous

Tools-Split Walls with Gap (formally turned on with an INI switch)

A whole group of commands related to views…gone. Now the word is you can use the view cube. But that doesn’t make it a great replacement for a shortcut.

View-Orient-To Other View
View-Orient-By Plane
View-Orient-Save View

Know of more? I have not finished my own look so there may be more, send me comment so I can update this list.

Something very cool in Revit 2010

I don’t think it has been well promoted but a really cool feature in Revit platform 2010 is the ability to Open a central file and in that sequence make a local copy instead. Whenever you use the Open dialog to browse to a Revit central file, the Open dialog will sense the status and give you the option of creating a new local file. The newly created local file will be store according to a setting in your options. I believe the default is under My Documents but it looks like it could be anywhere. Not only do you get a new local file but it also appends your username to it.

For example,

This is the project name - central.rvt

will become

This is the project name - central_username.rvt

Anyway, cool new feature. Good job guys...

16 April 2009

RST2010 is available for download

Even if you don’t have an Autodesk Subscription account you can still download and use RST2010 for 30 days. Here is the link to the product web site.


Ribbon or Bust!

I mentioned before that I now have ACAD2010 and just downloaded RST2010. Regarding RST, I hope you like the ribbon interface in AutoCAD or MS Word for that is your only choice in RST. Now is that a bad thing? I personally don't think so but it will take time to get used to it for sure.

But what about AutoCAD? You do have the option of menu bar/toolbars as in the past. But should you? I don't think so. If you have MS Word and other applications along with RST all with a ribbon, why would you use AutoCAD with one?

Personally I feel strongly enough that even for the corporate AutoCAD menu WPM uses for the Structural Services group (my area) that I have removed the menu bar and toolbar elements so that the menu is only a ribbon format. The logic is that it will aid in people getting used to the ribbon for RST if that is all they ever see and they can't fall back to the menu bar format. Now I just have to wait to see if the logic pans out.

15 April 2009

Revit Structure 2010 shipping!

Those on Autodesk Subscription can go to the web site and download the new version directly. Others will have to wait for delivery of the DVD.

WOOHOO! Another beta cycle bites the dust.

13 April 2009

Time flies when your CADDing

The premier blogger on all that is Autodesk, Shaan Hurley, is also a photo enthusiast. Similarly he has a penchant for old versions of AutoCAD. Well he just posted an image capturing AutoCAD Release 14. What I found interesting is that he used a drawing I submitted to Autodesk on behalf of Steve Hegyesi in the Houston office of WPM. This drawing was in the installation package as part of the sample drawings.

This project has some very cool geometry. Basically a chopped off cone, then tilted at an angle. And being that it houses butterflies, special care had to be taken regarding the internal structure of the building.

09 April 2009

Bye, Bye Migration

If you work in an office and have networked AutoCAD licenses you probably do software distribution via a software deployment. A deployment is a great and easy way to get a new version rolled out to the staff.

Now the next concern is your customization (I hope you have something at least). In my case WPM has a fairly large set of tools and accompaning menu that serves it all up for the user. But here is the rub. When you roll to a new version, AutoCAD be default wants to migrate the users settings.

What then happens is annoying if not problematic. If they previously used, say 2009, and then install the new 2010 deployement, when they go to launch 2010 the software will offer the user a chance to migrate their settings. This then copies, not points to, the various files such as PAT, LIN, etc. files to their location system. Whereas you did a great job sharing all your standards and customization on a network drive - instantly all that stuff is copied to the individual system.

Oh sure, you can tell people to hit CANCEL but you know some will blow that simple instruction. Well, all is better now.

With 2010, during the deployement creation the admin guy can turn off that 'feature'. In fact they can turn off a number of annoying things done previously for your 'benefit'.

I don't know about you, but so far 2010 is a great update just for that ability. I'm sure I will have more later...

07 April 2009

Want to write?

AUGIWorld has gone digital! And as such now has more space in which to publish work from more users. As the technical editor for the magazine, one of my tasks is to find good authors and help so-so ones get better! So if you are interested in writing, getting your name in lights if you will, email me at david.harrington(at)augiworld.com. When you do email me, please tell me what application you most want to cover. Being a jack-of-all-trades may be good for your work, but for this stuff you need to specialize.

02 April 2009

Larry Griffis award

Walter P. Moore's own Larry Griffis was presented with the American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) highest individual honor, the J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award. This award is named after AISC’s first president and is not given annually – only when a deserving individual, such as Larry, is selected. This award is reserved for those engineers who are “…pre-eminent steel designers of their era,” and is on top of Larry’s T. R. Higgins and Lifetime Achievement awards from AISC.

I have been fortunate in my 22 years at Walter P. Moore to work with Larry directly a number of times. A consummate professional, his graciousness is only surpassed by his engineering prowess and his desire to help others do great work. Congrats Larry!

This news is so fresh it hasn't made it to the AISC web site yet, but here is the list of winners anyway. http://www.aisc.org/content.aspx?id=544

01 April 2009

ADT no more?

A friend forwarded this to me. After reading the first line I was in shock. I know Autodesk would like to sell fewer software titles (while selling more of other ones), but killing anything is a very difficult process and hard to get users to buy into.


After getting to the bottom of the post, alas, an April fool's joke. I then verified that Autodesk had released nothing of the sort. Funny guys, really funny...

AutoCAD 2010 is here!

Just got my hands on the next release DVD! Forst step is upgrading the LMTOOLS installed on the server to v11.5.0. Then I can load the new LIC file from Autodesk. Then I can build the install package. And then it will actually work... ;)

26 March 2009

Announcement: Visual Styles Survey

AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group would appreciate your feedback and input on using Visual Styles in AutoCAD and other applications.

Who Should Participate?
Any AutoCAD user who uses Visual Styles, custom styles or effects in AutoCAD and is familiar with similar features in other applications.

What Are We Looking For?
The Goal of this survey is to gather usage-specific data and user-specific preferences for Visual Styles, effects, and for the Adaptive Degradation features.

Visual Styles in AutoCAD Survey:

Survey will be active: March 26- April 3, 2009.

AutoCAD Product Design&Usability Team

24 March 2009

Still so quiet...

I know, I know, it is awfully quiet on this little blog. I’m sorry, I can’t help it at the moment. I’m very busy with work and as noted there are new versions of software just over the horizon. Once those hit, THEN, there will be lots to talk about. So have patience, all will be revealed soon.

18 March 2009

AUGI Election Process Survey

There is a survey over at AUGI regarding the method to conduct an election. It may seem like a strange survey, but believe me, they need to pin this down. In the past AUGI has had open ranked ballot (x open seats, y names to choose from), but of late they have switched to affirmation ballot (x open seats, x names to choose from). Personally I prefer a ranked ballot. Make your opinion count using the link below: (must be an AUGI member)


13 March 2009

Pics from DC

I took nearly 300 pictures while in DC. Any chance I had I went out playing tourist. Luckily the WPM DC office is a scant 3 blocks from the White House so finding opportunities were easy.
I have a habit of taking a picture of something recognizable with my head in the shot as well. DC proved to be no exception. Enjoy!


Sorry everyone, I was working my tail off on a huge deadline the week prior and then this week I was in Washington DC doing some RST training for some WPM staff. I just got in last night and my feet were killing me. I don't know how tourists do it.

Anyway, I will post a pic or two here just for giggles and then try to get back to proper blogging next week.

02 March 2009

AUGIWorld lives!

The first issue of 2009 is out – in digital form only. It’s the same stuff as before, just now a lot lighter and totally green!

20 February 2009

TurboTax even cheaper

I came across a TurboTax for the web link via Bank of America that offers a 35% discount on services (but not for state filing).

19 February 2009

Here comes the Ribbon

As you probably have seen, many of the latest applications coming out are now based on a user interface with a MS Office ribbon look. While the issue of "is it better" will never be put to rest, the history of how this came to be is rather interesting (to me anyway).

So I did a little digging and found a video just about this vary issue. It is big at 146meg but shows where we were and how the ribbon idea came into existance. Here is the link to the file and below is a snippet description.

Title: Beneath the Surface: The Natural Experience
VisionSpeaker(s): Daniel Makoski

Description: Come hear how the Surface User Experience team is focusing on design and user experience as a key driver for creating more natural, intuitive and emotional products. Learn how Surface shifts the approach that has been used for more than thirty years of making users learn the language of computers and products to an entirely new approach where technology, computers, and products learn the language of people: touch, voice, and gesture.

Mastering Revit Structure Partie Deux

Wiley publishing, an imprint of Sybex, has agreed to aquire a book called Mastering Revit Structure 2010. This will be a revision to the 2009 version which came out late last year. This go around the authors are Tom Weir, Jamie Richardson, and myself. Technical editing will be handled by Steve Stafford.

Dinner wth a friend

As you may recall in a previous post, Lynn Allen of Autodesk, came into Tampa for a Autodesk event sponsored by Avatech Solutions. So being a native of sorts, asked Lynn to join me and a few others for dinner. I choose the Columbia in Ybor (e-bor) for its great Spanish menu and fun atmosphere. Dinner was lovely and the converation even more so. I have known lynn for about 14 years and been to many meetings and dozens of events where she was the MC. I even joked with her that I choose the Columbia so she could see a stage but not have to get on it. This restaurant has a nightly flamenco dance performance which is very entertaining.

Overall a wonderful evening. It was great seeing Lynn again and having a chance to share a bit of tiny Tampa town.

18 February 2009

Get ready to rock

As just posted on "Between the Lines" by Shaan Hurley, Autodesk has announced that *most* Autodesk 2010 products will ship on March 24. Now I don't think anyone is shocked by the date, Autodesk has traditionally had the new AutoCAD hit the streets by the end of the 1st quarter. But I am rather surprised at the actual date being announced. I don't recall ever seeing that before with another release.

What else can I determine by this? Well it depends on what you consider "most" to mean. If most of the Autodesk 2010 products are based on AutoCAD then I would wager that means the apps based on AutoCAD will be ready then. That also means by definition that non-AutoCAD products won't ship then. Again, no big deal really but this is an interesting tact by Autodesk to drive interest before the program is out.

I personally have a lot to do when AutoCAD 2010 is out. The custom menuing system I use has both toolbars/pull-down menus/ribbon tabs. We have decided to fully support the ribbon interface and nix the older menu bar and tools method for accessing commands. I';m sure a number of people will be lost but there is no time like the present to adopt the latest user interface trend. I say trend because we all know it will change again, some day. ;)

12 February 2009

Blogs en français

Mon bon ami, Daniel Hurtubise m'a suggéré d'écrire des articles en français. Vous devez commencer quelque part, il pourrait aussi bien être ici.

Software Publication Styles

I’m curious, do people care what display theme is used in publications? Users of Autodesk products could be using one of many versions of MS Windows/Vista and soon & v7. Now throw on top of that desktop themes, the screen captures for dialogs and user interfaces could look very different from book to book and potentially within chapters of multiple author works.

But does anyone care? Do you care if the figures you see on paper match your system exactly? What would expect the authors to use? The default? Or what looks and reads best on paper? Care to comment on this issue? Please do so!

Comment here on the blog or here on the AUGI forums.

09 February 2009

Missed the 2010 show?

You can get the Autodesk 2010 software release media launch here.

06 February 2009

What's coming in Revit Structure 2010?

Lots! Check this out. I got this from the web presentation material today.

Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2010

Autodesk Revit Structure 2010 software offers building information modeling (BIM) to structural engineering firms, delivering a better coordinated and more reliable model for more efficient and accurate design and documentation. Help improve multidiscipline coordination by using crucial information from architectural and engineering files, whether from Revit-based product models or from 2D file formats. Incorporate analysis through bidirectional linking to popular structural analysis software, including Autodesk® Robot™ Structural Analysis Professional software. Powerful parametric change management technology assists in coordinating modifications and updates across the model and documentation. Utilize a comprehensive set of drafting tools to help complete your construction drawings in Revit Structure, and share your design data with project teams for more efficient collaboration.

What’s New

Enhanced Conceptual Design, Modeling and Analysis
 An improved conceptual design workspace for flexible form-making and direct
manipulation allows users to sketch in 3D levels, and reference planes give users
access to all aspects of the model without relying on multiple views. All conceptual
designs are parametrically linked to the BIM model.
 Engineers and drafters can now create slanted columns using the same column
families used for vertical columns, which also include analytical characteristics.
 Autodesk® Subscription customers can benefit from a new extension that helps enable
preliminary analysis on complex architectural forms.
 Autodesk Subscription customers can also receive enhanced tools for bridge
modeling, allowing bridge engineers and designers to more quickly and efficiently
model parametric bridge structures.
 Another extension available for Autodesk Subscription customers is a tool for modeling
typical 3D steel connections, allowing drafters and engineers to define components
required for beam-column end plate connections, or column base connections, and the
extension creates the connection using 3D components.

Improved User Interface

• New customizable ribbon toolbar is task-oriented with redesigned, intuitive icons.
• Customizable Quick Access Toolbar allows one-click access to an individual user’s
favorite and most frequently used tools.
• Enhanced integration with Autodesk® Seek web service lets designers search a vast
library of 2D and 3D building products and publish customized designs to the service.
• New “Options Bar,” navigation toolbar and enhanced Tooltips help improve productivity
and user experience.

Performance and Interoperability

 Native 64-bit support.
 Expanded API (application programming interface) support.

Have some time?

Catch a webcast about the new 2010 product line via your computer!

It's today at 12pm ET.


05 February 2009

AutoCAD 2010 is coming

I'm sure it is no big secret but you know how Autodesk is. There is a new AutoCAD coming in for a landing very soon. It is another evolution of the product and the average AutoCAD should be very comfortable. There are a number of new features, most notably some awesome 3D modeling tools for doing crazy stuff. Think Rhino-like in AutoCAD.

Look for more information on the web and here as I have time. Great work Autodesk!



Dear User of the AutoCAD 2010 (Beta) or AutoCAD 2010- based vertical product!

In AutoCAD 2010, some improvements were made to the Hatch feature. We need your help in determining the importance of additional hatch improvements.

AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group is running a research study on the Hatch Ranking and the Use of Hatch experience.

Who Should Participate?
Users who create and apply hatches to objects and models in AutoCAD 2010 (Beta).
(Please don't participate if you have not used Hatch in AutoCAD 2010).

How To Participate?
If you think you are qualified, please help us to rank the importance of Hatch improvements by submitting the Hatch Ranking Survey.

Hatch Ranking Survey could be accessed via this link:

This Survey is available : February 3-18, 2009

We greatly appreciate your input and help!- AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group.

Important news...later

I've got some juicy stuff but I have to wait till this evening at 8pm ET. I hate waiting...

03 February 2009

Materials Survey


Dear User of the Autodesk Products!

AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group is running a research study on the materials and rendering user experience.

Who Should Participate?
Users who create and apply materials & textures for rendering models in AutoCAD or other applications. Some questions are AutoCAD-specific but input from experience with other applications is welcome.

How To Participate?
If you think you are qualified, you could significantly contribute by filling out the Materials Survey.

Materials Survey:

This Survey is available : February 2-15, 2009

Please feel free to pass this survey to your colleagues!

We greatly appreciate your input and help!-
AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group.

02 February 2009

Sis does good!

My sister wrote a book! She now joins myself and our dad as authors of
what we know. I am very proud. Here is the Amazon link if you are interested.

29 January 2009

Creating 2D Views from a 3D Model in AutoCAD

There is a survey from Autodesk asking for input on AutoCAD for creating
2D views from a 3D model. Have some ideas on this? Share them!

27 January 2009

My latest RST technique

I'm working on a stadium project that seems to be changing every day or so. It is a steel project so there are a lot of members to keep track of. And since it is a stadium, there is a good deal of members being unique and varying in length as the building 'curves' around the field.

So I'm having a go at using a schedule to isolate and then change beams en masse. Imagine knowing that the beams that are 9' off grid E are 29'-3 3/4" long, on each level. If you know that you can use a schedule to 'edit' that beam size, camber, studs, etc. and edit it pretty quickly. Depending on how you build the schedule, each beam can be listed individually. Or you can adjust the schedule to bundle beams by size, level and length. Doing that gets you the access to that specific beam(s) so one schedule change, changes all that match it.

Now this isn't earth shattering but it is the first I have really put it to use and I must say I have found it very helpful.

Lynn Allen to visit Tampa 2009-Feb-17

Join Autodesk Technical Evangelist and Cadalyst columnist Lynn Allen as she takes you through a tour of the latest features and puts you on the road to instant productivity! Knowing Lynn, she’s sure to throw in some tips and tricks you can use regardless of the release you are using.

Date and Time: 2009-Feb-17
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Eastern Standard Time (North America)
Deadline: 2009-Feb-16
Location: Tampa, Florida, United States
Hosted By: Avatech Solutions Subsidiary, Inc. (East)
Cost: FREE

Click here:

15 January 2009

AUGI issues in the forums

There are a number of issues related the management and organization of AUGI going on in their forums. I have been quite vocal there, that interferes with posting here (my apologies).

If you read this, perhaps you are interested in seeing all the drama unfolding at AUGI? Membership is free (and required) to use this link to get the forum.

USA - It's close to TAX TIME

Personally I use TurboTax so I have problem recommending it. Here is a link to a discount to using it for your taxes via State Farm.

12 January 2009

Not related to CAD but still techy

I hope to get back to CAD related postings this week but I feel compelled to sing (literally) the praises for Rock Band on whatever platform you so choose. Over the holidays I bought the family a Nintendo Wii and the games have been moderately entertaining for the kiddies. They have lots of other things to do so it doesn’t get a ton of use. Well something possessed me and I picked up Rock Band 2 after seeing people playing it during Autodesk University. It is quite amazing how a game with purpose-built technology can bridge all ages. This weekend was the first since getting it and although not yet past the EASY setting on drums or guitar, the game play is quite enjoyable. Saturday the whole family spent more than just a minute or two in the same room – shocking! It managed to attract my 17y old daughter out of her cave, and the 7 & 8y old kids didn’t argue (as much) during this time. I even managed to shred some tunes both on vocals and guitar. I’m sure some long dead rockers are now on their stomachs. Anyway, a big thumbs up! For a good time try it out yourself.

07 January 2009

WOOHOO! The site is back up...

www.augi.com is back up. Boy, that was weird…


The Autodesk User Group International website is offline. Hmmm…

05 January 2009

Cool, I got quoted!

I was quoted in the December 2008 issue of Structural Engineer magazine (http://www.gostructural.com/article.asp?id=3349) in an article titled Integrated project delivery in practice: New concepts of improving value for structural engineers.


According to David J. Harrington, senior associate at Walter P Moore and Associates, Inc., in Tampa, Fla., “The concept of IPD in action is something that I think most people involved want from the outset. We all want fully coordinated structures, rooms, terrains, and even [to know] how to build the project. But the nature of the industry is ‘Me first; you and everyone else later.’ This one for one attitude blocks the fundamental goal of data sharing, collaboration, and streamlined project construction.”


I know, kinda fluffy in context…but still kinda neat.

Happy New Year!

The title says it all. After 2008, it wouldn't take much to make 2009 a roaring success! On a side note, I've added another blog to my Fav list.