My Bricsys 2018 – getting there

Last month I attended my third annual Bricsys conference. Following on from Munich and Paris, this year’s event was held in London. (For those who remember M’s cheesy hit Pop Musik from 1979, you will notice that Bricsys is holding these events in reverse order, and the next event should therefore be held in New York). Before we get to the conference itself, I should point out that I preceded it by pinging around Europe doing other Bricsys-related things. I had a couple of days in Berlin with BLADE creator Torsten Moses, preparing our upcoming presentation on BricsCAD’s VLIDE-beating IDE. …

Other views on the Hexagon/Bricsys acquisition

I’ve made a couple of posts on this subject, but so have several others who might have different perspectives. This post is merely an accumulation of links to those other sources. R.K. McSwain, CAD Panacea – Bricsys 2018 Conference – London Jimmy Bergmark, JTB World Blog – Bricsys and BricsCAD now in the big Hexagon family of companies Cyrena Respini-Irwin, Cadalyst – Backed by a New Big Brother, Bricsys Eyes a Bigger Piece of the Pie Paul Wilkinson, Extranet Evolution – Hexagon acquires Bricsys Paul Wilkinson, Extranet Evolution – Hexagon on Bricsys 24/7: “Watch this space” Anthony Frausto-Robledo, architosh – …

Hexagon acquiring Bricsys – what does it mean for the future?

As reported earlier, Swedish Hexagon AB has acquired Bricsys. It goes without saying that this was the big talking point among everyone at Bricsys 2018. Surprise! This announcement was a big surprise to almost everyone at the conference. Hexagon has been working very closely with Bricsys for nearly two years, so if someone was going to buy Bricsys then Hexagon would have been my first guess, but the fact that it was happening at all came straight out of the blue. Most Bricsys employees in London only found out about the acquisition at a meeting in the hotel on the …

Video – Steve on BricsCAD Unplugged

Following on from Lynn Allen and Robert Green’s guest appearances on the BricsCAD Unplugged webcast a couple of weeks ago, this time it was my turn. Last night (my time) I was the special guest on the episode BricsCAD Unplugged – Steve Johnson 5 surprises moving to BricsCAD. I’m introduced at 2:12 and appear at 3:30. Here’s the full video: In this week’s episode, you’ll witness: Me discussing the five biggest things that pleasantly surprised me about BricsCAD. (I have more than five, but time was limited). Don Strimbu bribing me with drinks containers. An actual printed copy of Cadalyst …

Where on Earth is Lynn Allen going?

Well, this is a fun video for CAD geeks. The third in the BricsCAD Unplugged series of weekly webcasts, this one promotes the Bricsys 2018 conference which will be held on 23 and 24 October in London. These live broadcasts run on the Bricsys Facebook page and are then quickly transferred to YouTube. This one is interesting because of the people in it and some interesting news. It features Bricsys regulars Don Strimbu, Heidi Hewett, Vince Aman and Matt Olding, but also a couple of special guests. First on the scene is Robert Green (see 4:57) but the real surprise …

IPoC interview – Heidi Hewett – part 3

Welcome to the first in this new series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). First up, Heidi Hewett. Heidi has a long CAD history and is well known for being outstandingly good at her job. She made big news recently by shifting camps from Autodesk to Bricsys. Here is the third and final part of Heidi’s interview. Steve: Did you go to Gent? What were your impressions of the people at Bricsys? Heidi: Yes. After my initial discussion with Don Strimbu, he invited me to Gent to visit Bricsys headquarters and meet the team. While I wasn’t yet …

IPoC interview – Heidi Hewett – part 2

Welcome to the first in this new series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). First up, Heidi Hewett. Heidi has a long CAD history and is well known for being outstandingly good at her job. She made big news recently by shifting camps from Autodesk to Bricsys. Here is the second part of Heidi’s interview. Steve: Did you have much involvement with AUGI? Heidi: I haven’t had a lot of involvement with AUGI aside from presenting at CAD Camps they hosted almost a decade ago. I thought they were great events and was sorry to see them fade …

BricsCAD V18 – showing Autodesk how to do DWG CAD

For years now, Autodesk has done very little worthwhile with AutoCAD. There have been a few small but welcome improvements, but it’s really just tinkering at the edges. The product as a whole continues to stagnate and yet blimp out. It’s getting bigger and slower with each new release. The downloads get bigger. The install times get longer. The startup times drag out. The responsiveness suffers. And for what? Pretty much the same old thing, every time. Sometimes you don’t even get a new desktop icon. Don’t get me started on value for money. It’s as if Autodesk considers DWG-based …

Selfie contest – we have a winner!

Congratulations to Ed Martin, who won the selfie contest with this entry:

1. This is Don Strimbu – a tricky angle on the picture, but his smile gives it away
2. He’s famous for the drawing of a nozzle – a fire hose nozzle to be precise – that he drew in 1984
3. Don used block scaling to simulate a 3D effect on the text, knurling, and fins
4. Autodesk used the drawing in its promotional material starting with an ad in the September 1984 issue of Scientific American
5. Don is now promoting products from Bricsys, notably their BricsCAD product
6. Wow, I really don’t know how long it took him, and it would be cheating to ask him … so I’ll guess. 18 hours?

Some clarifications:

1. Indeed it is Don. It was a privilege to meet him at the recent Bricsys International Conference in Munich, among other notables.

2. Correct, NOZZLE.DWG (we were all upper case 8.3 filenames at the time) which is quite possibly the most famous AutoCAD drawing of all time. It was the first complicated drawing ever done with AutoCAD, and was done in 1983 (not 1984), according to John Walker. See The Autodesk File for more information.

nozzle

3. Yes, it was block scaling. In addition to the 3D effect, the thing Don came up with that amazed John Walker was using negative scale factors to achieve the equivalent of the MIRROR command. That command didn’t exist at the time, along with object snap and a bunch of other things it would be difficult to imagine life without these days.

4. Yes, it was also on Autodesk’s Task Force Tips’ letterhead for a while…

5. Yes, Don and former Autodesk Senior Vice President Dr. Malcolm Davies (also at Munich) are important figures at Techevate, enthusiastic promoters of BricsCAD in the USA.

6. 18 hours is a bit off. How about 400 40?

I remember using NOZZLE.DWG as a benchmark for comparing AutoCAD hardware back in the 80s. Open the drawing, enter REGEN and see how long it takes to get a command prompt back again. As every single zoom or pan required a regeneration back then, regen time was very important. I remember an HP Vectra taking 17 seconds and an NEC APC III taking 19. An IBM PC without math co-processor took much longer; 2 minutes 39 rings a bell, but I’m not certain. These days, it’s so fast it’s hardly measurable.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing what Ed has to say in this blog’s first ever guest posting. Could be anything!