Author: <span>Steve Johnson</span>

More coverage of the Australasia BricsCAD Conference 2019

As I described earlier, on 19 March I attended and presented at the Australasia BricsCAD Conference 2019 (ABC2019) at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre. Here is some further coverage of this event: Bricsys Blog ABC 2019 – Australasia BricsCAD Conference I’d like to point out that despite what it says on the Bricsys Blog, I covered a lot more about what’s new in BricsCAD V19 than just BLADE! I’d also like to thank Heidi Hewett for going at breakneck speed to ensure her presentation finished on time, which allowed me to do the same for Michael Smith’s all-important closing …

What happened at the Australasia BricsCAD Conference 2019

Yesterday (19 March 2019) I attended the Australasia BricsCAD Conference 2019 (ABC2019) at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre. The presenters were Michael Smith, Heidi Hewett, Pieter Clarysse, Damian Harkin, Jason Bourhill, Ralph Grabowski, Jonathan Taylor and myself. I wasn’t entirely happy with my own presentation, which I shared with Heidi Hewett. It started with an uncooperative PowerPoint wasting too much of the short time I had available. This led to me abandoning my painstaking preparations and winging it in order to finish in time for the closing address. I hope my talk was informative nevertheless. To see what went …

Australasia BricsCAD Conference 2019

I will be presenting alongside Heidi Hewett at the Australasia BricsCAD Conference 2019 (ABC2019), to be held at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre on 19 March 2019.

Presenters will be arriving from USA, Canada, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. These include Ralph Grabowski, Michael Smith, Pieter Clarysse, Damian Harkin and Jason Bourhill.

If you’re using BricsCAD or contemplating moving to it, I believe the day of your time and the $100 ticket will be a sound investment. Among the subjects covered will be the business case for BricsCAD, parametric constraints, mechanical design, BIM, structural steel and site design. Heidi and I will be demonstrating some of the new features in V19. Third-party products will also be on display.

Last year there was no Autodesk University Australia and I don’t expect we’ll see one in 2019 either. So if you’re in Australasia and interested in attending a CAD or BIM conference this year, you should give this one serious consideration.

Disclosure: Sofoco will be covering my flight and accommodation expenses and providing a per diem payment.

The BLADE video watchlist

I did my third and final (for now) BricsCAD Unplugged webcast about BLADE last Wednesday. Here’s the video:

Before I dig into DCL, I start with a brief description of an absolutely brilliant feature that was added to BLADE in V19. If you code in LISP, you’ll love this feature.

Then I move on to some ancient history. Did you know that we can thank the far-sightedness of some slightly renegade Autodesk OS/2 developers in the early 1990s for the dialog boxes we use today? Did you know that you could program dialog boxes for AutoCAD for Mac in 1993 but you can’t today? Can you spot the items of interest in the background?

The rest of the video is dedicated to describing DCL programming and debugging, and I explain how BLADE is the best tool for that job using examples.

If you want to watch all three of the BLADE videos in a row (that’s 1 hour 49 minutes of viewing), Matt Olding has created a YouTube playlist for this series.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Bricsys people in putting this series together. Torsten Moses has informed me about yet another bunch of enhancements that are coming very soon to BLADE, so maybe you haven’t heard the last from me on this subject on BricsCAD Unplugged.

Robert Green gets a new job

Robert Green recently made this announcement in his CAD Managers Unite Facebook group: On March 1 I’ll be joining Bricsys (the BricsCAD company) as their Director of Implementation. That’s a fancy way of saying it’ll be my responsibility to make sure BricsCAD customers are technically and financially successful as they migrate to BricsCAD. This will involve managing everything that impacts implementation including installs, customization, best practices development and product requirements analysis. It’s going to be a different challenge for me – one I’m looking forward to.   “Why Bricsys?” you may ask?   Because I like the company, their products …

More BLADE videos

As mentioned previously, In December I made a guest appearance on the BricsCAD Unplugged webcast series to discuss the LISP development environment, BLADE (YouTube link).

I made another appearance last week describing debugging using BLADE (YouTube link):

If you’re dealing with LISP code for AutoCAD and/or BricsCAD, you really should be doing it in BLADE. It’s the best development environment for AutoLISP/Visual LISP that you’re ever going to get.

I have another appearance scheduled for later today (13 February) in which among other LISPy things, I will be discussing using BLADE for DCL programming. Again, even if you’re AutoCAD-only, I believe this is worth a watch. BLADE is better for DCL programming, too.

Even if you’re AutoCAD-only and not a programmer, you might find my brief ancient history lesson of interest. Did you know that BricsCAD for Mac users can thank a far-sighted early 90s Autodesk OS/2 team for the dialog boxes they use today?

The BricsCAD Unplugged webcast broadcasts run on the Bricsys Facebook page and are then quickly transferred to YouTube. Today’s session will start at about UTC 14:15 (2:15 PM) on Wednesday, 13 February 2019 (click here for your local time)

Real World BricsCAD series continues

My Real World BricsCAD series of posts on the Bricsys blog continues with more from the in-depth interview at Schrack Seconet.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6


I hope when people read these things they can see that I’m probing for problems, issues, difficulties, and so on. That’s the sort of thing that those people who are considering switching to BricsCAD are going to want to know about before diving in.

I’m grateful that Bricsys is OK with me covering their products like this on the Bricsys blog. Some CAD companies only allow super-positive things to ever be uttered about their products from their corporate sites. Bricsys is different.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Or choose whatever you prefer as your greeting: Geseënde Kersfees Joyeux Noël Glædelig Jul Feliz Natal Crăciun Fericit සුබ නත්තලක් වේවා Puthuvalsara Aashamsakal Wesołych Świąt Nollick Ghennal Alassë a Hristomerendë Feliĉan Kristnaskon Среќен Божик Selamat Natal Joyeux Noël Christmas inte mangalaashamsakal Veselé Vánoce Suk sarn warn Christmas Vrolijk Kerstfeest メリークリスマス Cualli netlācatilizpan Meri Kirihimete Kirîsmes u ser sala we pîroz be Счастливого рождества! Христос се роди शुभ क्रिसमस عيد ميلاد مجيد Hyvää joulua toDwI’ma’ qoS yItIvqu’ Καλά Χριστούγεννα 聖誕快樂 Mutlu Noeller Izilokotho Ezihle Zamaholdeni Feliz Navidad חג מולד שמח Sretan Božić God Jul Schöni Wiehnachte 메리 크리스마스 Gledelig Jul መልካም …

Addendum – Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 1, fixing drawings

This post is an addendum to a post from June, Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 1, fixing drawings. This post provides new information about useful functionality added in V19 of BricsCAD that is useful for any CAD Manager or power user who ever has problem DWG files to deal with. Yes, even if your site is still purely AutoCAD-based. In this post I’ll describe the (inspector) LISP function. This was added in the V18 cycle but was significantly enhanced in V19. It’s probably the most useful LISP function you’ve never heard of. …

Video – who is that masked man?

Last night I made another guest appearance on the BricsCAD Unplugged webcast series. This time I was discussing the LISP development environment, BLADE. Here’s the video:

Bonus points will be awarded for identifying three items of interest in the background. No, not counting my dog Sunday asleep at lower left.

Despite going way over time, there was still nowhere near enough opportunity to describe the full LISPy awesomeness that BLADE represents. I am therefore scheduled to return for another two or three episodes beginning in February. In those, I’ll be doing more of a step-by-step demonstration rather than the overview and V19 new feature description I did in this episode. If you have any particular requests for what you want covered, please comment on this post.

I also showed how the tools in BLADE (e.g. the (inspector) function) are still worth having for any DWG-based CAD Manager or power user, even if you’re not a full-on LISP programmer. If you have to work out what’s going on with dodgy DWG files, you’ll want to have (inspector) in your set of tools.

The BricsCAD Unplugged webcast broadcasts run on the Bricsys Facebook page and are then quickly transferred to YouTube. This was the last episode for 2018 because of Christmas and New Year.

Wielding BLADE on BricsCAD Unplugged

In September I was the special guest on the BricsCAD Unplugged episode BricsCAD Unplugged – Steve Johnson 5 surprises moving to BricsCAD. Next Wednesday I will return, this time to wield BLADE, the best thing to happen to CAD LISP in nearly 20 years. I’ll be introducing it and demonstrating a few things, including the new features that came with V19. These live broadcasts are run on the Bricsys Facebook page and are then quickly transferred to YouTube. This broadcast will start at UTC 15:00 (3 PM) on Wednesday, 19 December 2018. Here’s that time in a few handy time zones: …

BricsCAD V19 promo pricing ends 15 December

I’ve previously explained the changes to BricsCAD pricing that came in with V19, and showed how the prices for new purchases would rise when the promotional period ends. Upgrading now requires All-In. Problem? One change I failed to point out, but which was mentioned by a commenter, was that for customers not already on the All-In Maintenance program, they needed to sign up for one year’s All-In in addition to paying the upgrade fee. This meant the upgrade fee was significantly greater than in previous years because customers were effectively paying for two upgrades (e.g. V18 to V19 as an …

DOSLib goes open source

What’s DOSLib? DOSLib is a free library of LISP functions that adds a lot of functionality to AutoLISP/Visual LISP/BricsCAD LISP. It makes a lot of programming tasks a lot easier, because instead of writing a bunch of code to do tricky stuff, you can just load the library and call a ready-made (dos_xxx) function. There are hundreds of functions that cover the following areas (taken from the McNeel Wiki): Drives – Check for drives, change between drives, and check available disk space. Paths – Manipulate path specifications. Folders – Create, rename, remove, select, and change folders. Return special operating system folders. Files – Copy, …

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

You may have noticed things being a little quiet around here lately. Don’t worry, things are going to ramp up again soon. I have had about a dozen things on the go and for various reasons, some to do with travelling and some technical, I haven’t quite finished any of them. But you should see a flurry of activity before too long. Here’s some of what I’ve was doing while I was travelling and hoping in vain to get some work done: Also, my daughter Emma capped off a great fencing year by competing for Australia for the first time, …

BricsCAD V19 – pricing changes explained

The BricsCAD V19 release has not only given us a new software release (an excellent one – and I’ll be writing about that later), it’s also given us a new Bricsys website and a new pricing structure. In some cases prices are actually slightly lower, but in the vast majority of cases the movement is up. The price movement varies by product, market and currency, and depends largely on whether you choose to opt for All-in Maintenance. The aim of this post is to clarify exactly what has happened to Bricsys prices. One significant change across the board is the …

BricsCAD price rise imminent

BricsCAD V19, which is expected to be released within days, will bring with it new, higher pricing. It still won’t be anything like Autodesk-level high, of course, but will be a bit higher than it was. Bricsys is currently offering new buyers of V18 an automatic upgrade to V19 (the serial number will just work for both). What this means is that you don’t need to pay for All-in Maintenance to keep up to date in the first year. You’re therefore saving twice: by avoiding the price hike and by not needing to add about US$220 for All-in. You can …

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 …