AutoCAD 2019 rollout disaster

If you’re an AutoCAD user, you may have been intrigued by the news about the new way Autodesk is bundling up AutoCAD 2019 with various verticals (perpetual license owners need not apply). This is Autodesk’s latest attempt to promote its subscription model and raise prices again. 7% this time, but much more to come. But never mind that, the main point is that you’re getting a whole lot of stuff, and who could say that’s not a good thing? So it’s most unfortunate for Autodesk that the AutoCAD 2019 rollout has been an unmitigated disaster. My own experiences in trying …

How to get your Wacom Graphire 4 tablet working in Windows 10

I’ve been setting up a new PC at home and one of the things I struggled with was getting my Wacom Graphire 4 tablet working. This isn’t a CAD tablet (remember those?); instead, I use its pressure-sensitive stylus for image creation and editing. Press harder and you get more ink. Turn the pen over and you automatically erase instead of drawing. Press the eraser harder and you get more erasing. I use PaintShop Pro for my image work, by the way, not Photoshop. You can still buy and optionally upgrade PaintShop Pro perpetual licenses, which is how it should be. …

Video – 3Dconnexion fine tuning in BricsCAD and BricsCAD Shape

The second video in the cad nauseam YouTube channel is more typical than the first in that it’s a tips and tricks video. In this case it only applies to BricsCAD and Shape users, but future videos will provide information for AutoCAD and other DWG-based CAD applications.

Bricsys 2018 comes to London

I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Bricsys Conference in 2016 (Munich) and 2017 (Paris). This year’s conference will be in another great European city, London, on 23 and 24 October. Other details have not yet been revealed, but will be posted on the Bricsys Conference page as time goes on. You can sign up on that page for email notifications. This is a great opportunity for British companies looking at reducing costs and improving efficiency in their CAD and BIM operations to get an idea of what BricsCAD and related applications can do. If you’re further afield, it’s still …

Rock on, Robert Green!

I’d like to offer my congratulations to Robert Green on his landmark of 400 issues of the CAD Manager’s Newsletter. There’s a interview with Robert here.

As a fellow CAD Manager and Cadalyst contributor, I’ve admired Robert’s work for many years. I finally got to meet Robert last year at the Bricsys Conference 2017 in Paris, and it was a pleasure.

Some of you will already be aware that Robert is a seriously good guitarist, and he did not disappoint at the after-conference party. I look forward to seeing Robert again, and to reading many more of his insightful articles.

CAD Panacea tip – startup files in BricsCAD

One of the things that might initially baffle a CAD Manager or power user when investigating switching from AutoCAD to BricsCAD is how to set up the startup routines. Head over to CAD Panacea for R.K. McSwain’s concise, handy description of how to do it. Due to BricsCAD’s high level of compatibility, you can maintain a common folder or set of folders containing LISP and other custom files for both applications. That way, you don’t need to do double maintenance during the transition period. I’ve done this successfully in a highly complex custom environment. Some code and other adjustments were …

BLADE – putting things back to “normal”

Disclaimer: I’m making money using BLADE. I’m using it on a paying project right now (well, not while I’m typing this, but you get the idea). I’m developing a routine to automate a massively repetitive task for one of my AutoCAD-using clients, and I’m developing it in BricsCAD and BLADE rather than AutoCAD and VLIDE. I can simply develop faster in the more modern environment, and BricsCAD’s significantly quicker start-up time helps with that. So does the fact that the routine runs several times faster in BricsCAD, making testing the large data sets much more efficient. I’m getting paid on …

Autodesk contemplates Bentley-style licensing

Some of you may have received an invitation from Autodesk to provide survey feedback. This hints at a possible move towards time based licensing (e.g. hourly), and asks what kind of tools you will need to handle that. Sometimes these questions lead to nothing, other times they are a precursor to inevitable change (desirable or not). If it’s the latter, I can only surmise that Autodesk is concerned that its customers haven’t been thoroughly peed off by anything new in a while and is investigating novel and interesting ways to annoy them. Ask a Bentley customer what annoys them most …

Discarded Autodesk employees – how old were you when you were let go?

Some things have been mentioned to me privately that have made me curious. Curiosity is like an itch for me, I just have to scratch it. So here goes. If you have been let go, fired, made redundant, discarded, dumped, sacked, had your office closed, encouraged to take a termination offer, sidelined into an untenable position, failed to have your contract renewed or otherwise ceased your employment at Autodesk in a not-entirely-voluntary manner in the last ten years, I’d like to know how old you were at the time. There’s a poll in this post and in the left sidebar. …

Guest post (BlackBox) – Why every click counts

With a bit of tongue in cheek, “This is not only my first guest post on [blog nauseam], it’s also my first guest post on any blog.” Thanks, Steve! I get to write about one of my favorite AutoCAD features, and share a short personal story. Yesterday I read Frank Mayfield’s article on time-sensitive Right Click, which made me recall an opportunity to help a new user on a design task the other day. I led them through an approach to mitigate a design issue, noticed they weren’t using time-sensitive Right Click, and asked them why? User: Why not? Me: Fair …

CAD Nostalgia Video

For the first video in the new cad nauseam YouTube channel, I’ve had a bit of fun. I unearthed a bunch of my old stuff to show you. Does any of this take you back? Enjoy!

Interviewing the creator of BLADE – CAD’s best LISP IDE – part 2

This post continues my interview with Torsten Moses about BLADE, the new LISP IDE that arrived with BricsCAD V18.2. See here for post 1. Steve: I’ve noted before that BricsCAD execution of AutoLISP and Visual LISP is several times faster than AutoCAD’s. How does the new technology affect that performance? Torsten: All the new BLADE-related stuff doesn’t really affect normal LISP execution outside the IDE and debugger. The connection is made by a few callbacks, which take zero time in normal processing. Therefore there is also no chance of breaking things. The BLADE implementation is very safe, and performance remains …

The day my dog went viral

I’ve been on Twitter for nine years and currently have 903 followers. Sometimes a post strikes a particular chord and it might get a handful of likes. One post, however, has received 1424 likes so far. It’s this one: When I posted that photo, I was expecting maybe a handful of likes. Then my phone started going mad with notifications. What happened was that the popular Twitter account WeRateDogs (@dog_rates, which I had tagged) noticed my post and liked it. That was all it took. 100 likes, 200 likes, as more people liked it, it appeared on more people’s feeds …

Interviewing the creator of BLADE – CAD’s best LISP IDE – part 1

Easily the most impressive new feature of BricsCAD V18.2 is the new Visual LISP IDE, BLADE (BricsCAD LISP Advanced Development Environment). The lack of any LISP IDE has been a BricsCAD stumbling block for a while, dissuading CAD Managers from adopting BricsCAD to replace their stagnant and increasingly expensive AutoCADs. As I will relate elsewhere, Bricsys has not just caught up with Autodesk here, but has shot so far ahead it’s unlikely to ever be caught. BricsCAD’s BLADE is so superior to AutoCAD’s VLIDE in so many ways there’s really no comparison. Yet it remains highly compatible. I have personal …

Bricsys shows Autodesk how to do mid-term updates – again!

BricsCAD V18.2 for Windows is out. The new stuff in this mid-term update is again showing up Autodesk’s lack of progress with its once-flagship product, AutoCAD. I’m sure Autodesk would love customers to accept that there’s only so much anyone can do with a DWG-based CAD product once it reaches a certain level of maturity. Customers should get used to nothing of significance being added year after year. Diminishing returns, and all that. Pay to continue using the product, but don’t expect it to get better. What a shame for Autodesk, then, that Bricsys exists. By consistently providing a raft …

That awkward moment when I just failed to create BIM

I recently updated my resume, and I thought it might be relevant to include an episode from my early career. This post is an expansion on what I had to say about that episode. I was managing a tiny CAD training and development company, Educad. Much of my time there was spent developing software called NIDIS (originally called NEEDS), a project that was started in 1987 or 1988 with Nixdorf Computer as the client. It was intended to take over the market among first the home building companies of Western Australia, then Australia, then the World! What’s special about NIDIS …

Are your drawings SHOUTING?

This post was inspired by a question raised by Jamie Myers in the CAD Managers Unite! Facebook group. Long ago, before CAD was in common use, I was taught technical drawing at school. One of the things I was taught was to follow drafting standards, BS308 at the time. Later, I was expected to follow AS1100. One of the things I was taught was to always use capital letters in text on drawings, using the approved ISO font. Without a machine, without a template. This stuck to me to such an extent that even today I use all caps when …

How to sign your LISP files

This post follows on from Why digitally sign your LISP files? and How to obtain a digital signature to sign your LISP files. In the first post, I explained why you might want to digitally sign your LISP files. In the second, I explained how to obtain and install a digital signature. This third and final post in the series assumes you have done all that and now want to sign your files. There are two methods available to you, using a dialog box or command-line interface. Signing LISP using the AcSignApply.exe dialog box Autodesk has provided a utility called …

Gallery – Gent visit 2017 – Sights

Here are some pictures of some sights I saw in Gent (Ghent) and Brussels during my visit attending the Bricsys Insights press event in April 2017. I published some of these photos at the time but had to remove the post due to technical difficulties I was having with WordPress galleries.

I agree with Serge Jonnaert in Why every Architect should Visit Gent, except I wouldn’t limit it to architects. It’s a very lovely place, well worth a visit by anyone.