Video – Misheard lyrics

This blog is supposed to a strange mix of AutoCAD, music, image manipulation and video, but so far it has been a bit light on in the latter three categories. This post will redress the balance a little. This is a silly video I made based on the song Ghost of Perdition from the album Ghost Reveries by Swedish metal band Opeth. I’m sure the music won’t be to the liking of many of you, particularly as the vocals are partly in the “death grunt” style. If you’ve never heard a death grunt, just try to imagine Cookie Monster singing …

AutoCAD 2009 – How do you use the Ribbon?

It would appear from comments made on the Autodesk newsgroups that a lot of AutoCAD 2009 users have their Ribbons turned off. That’s actually one of eight possible states for the Ribbon to be in. Is it really the most popular configuration? Does it apply to 12.5% of you or is it more than that? I’ve added a poll to find out. Please vote only if you’re an active AutoCAD 2009 user, as I want to see what people use in production.

AutoCAD 2009 – The Reaction Part 3

I’ve closed the poll asking for your initial reactions to the shipping release of AutoCAD 2009. It’s interesting to compare it with your reactions when asked to speculate prior to the release date. It seems your collective opinion of AutoCAD 2009 has taken a sharp drop now you’ve actually had a chance to use it. In the speculative poll, the average opinion was “OK”; in the first reactions poll, the average opinion has slipped two levels to “Bad”. In the speculative poll, 39% of voters used the “bad” half of the poll; in the first reactions poll, that number has …

Gaahl’s Tr00 Life Adventures Week 5

In this week’s adventure, Gaahl goes shopping. No, it’s not your eyes, the background image is fuzzy. A couple of things may need explaining. According to his mother, Gaahl is vegetarian (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Also, Gorgoroth was his band. They have now split up and ownership of the name is in dispute. Maybe the other band members objected to what he brought back from the supermarket? After all, he eats absolutely no innards. The original Gaahl photograph is by Peter Beste.

Autodesk University is moving!

No, I don’t mean it’s a deeply emotional experience, however true that may be for certain CAD geeks (who will remain nameless to protect the dorky). What I mean is that it’s moving in the fourth dimension, and possibly the other three too. This will be no news for several hundred of you, but it might be handy to know for those of us who need to plan things like this well in advance. A couple of months ago, when I was pondering the possibility of speaking at Autodesk University 2008, I registered using the on-line form and was intrigued …

AutoCAD 2009 – Drawing integrity tip – urgent!

AutoCAD 2009 users, I strongly suggest you go and set the new system variable OPENPARTIAL to 0. Now. Why? Because if it’s set to the default value of 1, purging can be harmful to your drawings. I’ll fill in the details in a future Bug Watch column, but for now I suggest you just go and fix up that variable. It’s stored in the Registry, so you should only need to do it once unless you use multiple profiles, in which case you should do it once per profile.

AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to normal revisited

I see Lynn Allen has written a post explaining how to restore the “classic” interface. I commend Lynn for doing this in response to the requests she’s been receiving. It must be pretty painful for some people at Autodesk to see their Technical Evangelist showing people how to turn off AutoCAD 2009’s Big New Feature, but it’s absolutely the right thing for her to do. The worst thing Autodesk can do right now is go into denial mode, which has happened more than once in the past when users have reacted negatively to various things. This post from Lynn gives …

AutoCAD 2009 – The Reaction Part 2

I won’t beat about the bush, AutoCAD 2009 is getting a pretty hostile reaction out there. Have a look at Autodesk’s AutoCAD 2009 newsgroup, for example. It’s true that many releases receive a hostile welcome, but this year it looks particularly bleak. Frankly, AutoCAD 2009 is taking a hammering. I think it’s possible to gauge the general AutoCAD user reaction reasonably well by looking at what is said in places like this, but adjustments do need to be made. There are always some people who are resistant to any change, some who are habitually hostile to Autodesk, some who dislike …

Where have all the developers gone?

I noticed in Ralph Grabowski’s latest upFront.eZine that Autodesk has announced that 100 developers have 200 add-ons working with its 2009 series of software. I hope I’m not supposed to be impressed by those numbers. I remember when Autodesk boasted about having over 3500 third-party developers. What happened to the other 3400-odd? This is a serious question; if anybody knows where they all went, and why, I’d love to know. Of those two hundred 2009-ready applications, how many of them take advantage of 2009’s Big New Feature, the Ribbon? My guess would be close to zero. Why? Because the AutoCAD …

Autodesk University Session Voting

This year, the Autodesk University people are allowing you to vote on the various sessions (classes). Here’s the link: AU 2008: Help Us Select the Sessions If I can sort out a few practical details, I am hoping to attend this year as a speaker. I have submitted four session proposals. These are: Customization and Programming Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Introduction Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Intermediate Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Advanced Business How to make a great CAD blog for next to nothing If you …

The _XREF_XREF killer

If you’re an AutoCAD 2008 user you probably already know what the title refers to. If not, you probably don’t need to know. If your drawings are afflicted, I suggest you hop over to Between the Lines, grab the scale list cleanup utility and start cleaning up. Although I’ve found that this utility works very well, paranoia is usually wise in computing so make sure you back up everything before you start! The utility is installed into the AutoCAD 2008 or 2009 main installation folder, and you can make a shortcut to the CleanupScales.exe file on your desktop if you …

Do you do any AutoCAD development?

Yes, that includes hacking about (or producing beautifully elegant code) in LISP. If so, you may wish to go here and fill in the appropriate API survey, which is probably the AutoCAD one. This year, Autodesk is opening up this survey, which used to be confined to Autodesk Developer Network members. I approve. ADN represents a tiny (but important) minority of fee-paying developers approved by Autodesk. I expect the results will be rather different if a significant number of “normal” AutoCAD developers notice this survey and fill it in. If you are, say, a LISP or VBA user and are feeling neglected, please go and …

Wiki for AutoLISP

Greg Robinson, who I had the pleasure of meeting at Autodesk some 11 years ago in the run-up to Release 14, has started a Wiki for AutoLISP and other AutoCAD-based source code. I’m a big fan of LISP in AutoCAD, so I’m happy to see this resource available for users. It’s in its infancy right now, but if you pick the All Pages link you’ll see that there already dozens of routines available, one of which may help you with something you need to do. Here’s the link to the main page: http://lispwiki.com/

AutoCAD Migration – continued

I have added two more polls (see right) about this subject making a total of four. I have an inkling that the people most dissatisfied with Migration are those with many users to support, and I’m interested to know how accurate that impression is. If you voted that you were totally or generally dissatisfied with Migration, please use the top poll, otherwise use the second poll. If you haven’t voted yet in the satisfied/dissatisfied poll, please do! I’ll keep these polls open for a while. Feel free to add your comments here to expand on what you have selected in …

Which AutoCAD release is the best when compared with its predecessor?

After a month and 204 votes, I have now closed the poll that asks the above question, but it can still be found in the polls archive. There were 20 choices, so you might expect an “average” release to attract 5% of the votes. You might also expect there to be relatively few votes for the older releases, because the newer the release, the more likely it is to be within a voter’s experience. All releases being equal, you might therefore expect the oldest releases to have about 0% and the newest about 10%, with a gradually rising straight line …