Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Root of All...

I just reviewed an Autodesk document that reminders/warns users that after applying Service Pack 3 for Civil 3D 2007, four of the Templates (.dwts) that ship with the product will now contain 6 errors that will be found with an AUDIT command. The templates are:

_Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Classic
_Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS Extended
_Autodesk Civil 3D (Metric) NCS Classic
_Autodesk Civil 3D (Metric) NCS Extended

This is a good time to point out that running the AUDIT command in Civil 3D drawings, or our custom templates, is ALWAYS a good idea. We should get into the habit of running this command often. Some companies have even automated the use of this command upon the opening of every file. Drawings with Gradings and Parcels are particularly sensitive to corruption and should be kept clean.

The AUDIT command is similar to visiting a doctor for a check-up. Preventative actions should contribute to the avoidance of Fatal Errors.

Monday, January 29, 2007

DWF Service Pack 1

I often create 3D DWFs with the 3DDWFPUBLISH command. I like the ability of making items (in the case of the image one of the two surfaces) transparent or perhaps hidden. I also like the small size for transmitting electronically.

I Am Moving

No, I am not changing employment. Nor is this blog changing address. But, I am relocating to a new home, which will likely impact this blog for a period of time. So, if you have noticed less activity than usual. or you do in the near future, I hope you will understand why.

I am moving exactly...

0 degrees, 00'54.78" of latitude south and...
0 degrees 00'08.35" of longitude to the west

Translation: about a mile south.

Civil 3D 2007 & Window Vista

There have already been some users that have asked the question "Can Civil 3D 2007 run on Window Vista?" Some have even gone so far as to attempted it.

The answer is, No, NONE of Autodesk's 2007 family of products run on Windows Vista.

As it becomes necessary to replace new computers the issue of operating systems must be addressed. But, everyone should be well aware that Window Vista is currently (January 29, 2007) not an option for Autodesk's production applications.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Blog??

Here is a link to a new (what I think is a..) blog. It is on WordPress and seems to be about Civil 3D. The last post is about Civil 3D Point Groups.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Read the Labels

I have now been able to provide "labels" for the majority of the almost 400 posts of this blog.

You will notice at the bottom of most posts what Blogger terms "labels". Other applications might use the term tags. If you pick on a "label" all blog posts that have similar "labels" will be displayed. I accomplished this relatively quickly and not with a fine-tooth comb. So there may be some posts that are not perfectly "label"ed.

This was worth the effort because this can be a good method to find all posts that have to do with a particular subject, such as Vault or Profiles etc.

Give it a try, see if it helps. Feel free to comment about any posts or "labels".

I will add some of the current "labels" to this post, to kick start the process.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A.C.E.S. BIIIG Turn Out

I wish to thank everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend yesterday evening's A.C.E.S. User Group meeting. The turn out was awesome. About 75 attendees! One person timed a trip to Southern California from Colorado to be able to attend.

The feedback regarding the technical presentations (Raster Design, Map, Civil 3D Grading) was very positive.

I wish to additionally thank everyone who SHARED their knowledge and expertise, and those that contributed by asking good questions during the evening. It very much fulfilled the spirit of what a user group can be, and the three guiding principle of this group: Share, Network, Learn.

Last but not least, I wish to thank Eric Galvan, Autodesk, ISD-Business Development Executive-Western Region (Civil CAD Dude, inside joke) who was able to join us and provide input.

I am happy with how this group has gotten off the ground (pun), and I look forward to it's future. Based on some of the buzz this group should soar!

The next meeting is currently scheduled for Thursday, April 12, 2007. Please mark your calendars. I will keep you updated.

New Blogger Interface!

I have been waiting to be able to use the NEW Blogger site. I had not been able to until now because of the size of this blog (almost 400 posts over 2 plus years).

The new Blogger allows many additional capabilities with blogs like this (ie. tags, easier formatting). I hope to be able to revise all old post to take advantage of the new abilities and make this blog better.

With the start of 2007 this blog can enter a new era. Cool.

If you have any suggestion, of course they are all welcome.

Lets start.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The A.C.E.S. Squadron Blocks Out The Sun

It is possible that there may be over 100 signups for tomorrow evening's Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions (A.C.E.S.) User Group of Southern California meeting.

The runway is clear, A.C.E.S. is on final approach, and the hanger will be nice and full.

Translation:There will be plenty of opportunity to Share, Network, Learn.

I hope to see you there.

Tag I'm It

OK, so you have probably seen that a virtual game of tag has been under way with several of the bloggers lately. Not wishing to be the one that ignores this (I understand that either my great-grandchildren would pay the price for this or I will develop an incurable ailment after the next full moon) I will contribute.

5 CAD related things that you may not know about me.

1. Actually, some may be aware that I was taught AutoCAD Release 9 by THE Lynn Allen back in October of 1987. (It is not easy taking classes from a kindergartener).

2. I taught AutoCAD to John Rodriguez (a current KETIV co-worker) back in 1990 where we worked together for the 1st time (KETIV is our 3rd different company working together. Clearly, one of us is stalking the other).

3. I wrote profile creation lisp routines that somehow were in more wide use among engineering companies in southern California than I had worked at. How does that happen? Why didn't I have a copyright or something?

4. While learning CAD, during one particular class, I created a drawing of a spider web and spider. I then modified the drawing so that when I did an undo the spider moved around the web and ate a fly. (Don't ask me why? Hey, the instructor said he had never seen that before!)

5. Creating 3D models in CAD completely correlates with my life-long fascination with miniatures.

I am going to join Anthony and tag Dan & Dave

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Congratulations Abound

As I attempt to get caught up from being away there are a few pats on the back that I would like to share.

First to the group over at, for very quickly receiving their 100,000th page view. Few groups have contributed to advancing our collective industry as has Engineered Efficiency, Inc, and for achieving this milestone I congratulate them.

Next, to the following Autodesk University 2006 instuctors. They received the highest ratings from their class attendees for the specified categories:

Louis Marcoux "Animation Rigging concepts for Advanced 3ds MAX"

John Beltran "Introduction to Dynamic Blocks"

Jay Tedeschi and Derrick Smith "Using Autodesk Inventor for Simulation"

Matt Murphy "The Do and Donts of Dynamic Blocks Revealed"

Kevin Robinson "Power Tools of AutoCAD Mechanical"

Great Job to you all!

Lastly, I congratulate all bloggers, users of YouTube, Amazon reviewers, Wiki contributors, posters to flickr, the MySpace community, bidders and sellers on eBay, iTunes downloaders, discussion group'ers, open source developers, and everyone else that helps define Web 2.0.


Because in their December 25, 2006 / January 1, 2007 edition Time Magazine made us all "Persons of the Year" for controlling the Information Age, along with all of the good and bad (spelling & grammar) that that entails.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Data Shortcuts Tip

I was discussing with a friend the use of Data Shortcuts. In an effort to minimize potential loss of shortcuts I mentioned the following VERY IMPORTANT steps:

1. Create your Data Shortcut.
2. Load the XML file into which you wish to save your Data Shortcuts.
3. Export Data Shortcuts to intended XML file.
4. Press "Yes" when prompted to overwrite existing file.

Steps 1 & 2 are interchangeable. Step 2 is critical, IT MUST BE DONE! Why, because if we do not load the shortcut file prior to exporting to it we will overwrite the file with only the shortcuts in the current DWG. Let me re-phrase that. Currently (Civil 3D 2007 w/SP3), exporting Data Shortcuts only writes the shortcuts in the current drawing to the XML file overwriting it with only those shortcuts present. It DOES NOT append to the shortcut file. That is how it functions TODAY (January 3, 2007).

There are other methods of shortcut management, such as maintaining multiple XML files (not currently recommended because of how shortcuts accumulate). These steps are critical for the K.I.S.S. method of all project shortcuts in one file.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year... New Blogs!

Well, here we are in 2007. I am back at the office attempting to get caught up.

I have recently become aware of some new blogs about Civil 3D. Here are the links:

"From the Ground Up" by Autodesk's Chris Berends, Ove Cervin, and Jack Strongitharm. (They are all based in Europe)
"the civil chick" by Sarah Cunningham (yes, it is all lowercase)
"billneu's Civil 3D wish list site" by Bill Neuhauser
"Avid User of Civil 3D" by Wendy Lim
"Civil 3D for Beginners" by Sami ????

Note: My aggregator now contains over 35 Civil 3D related blog feeds. Some are more active than others. Although, it all helps.

SubNote: My New Years resolution is to... "Be Better!"