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.

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.

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: …

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. …

My Real World BricsCAD series is coming soon on the Bricsys blog

In February, my first Bricsys blog post appeared: Inside Bricsys: Interviewing the creator of BLADE – the new Visual LISP IDE in BricsCAD V18.2 This was an amalgamation of my two similarly named posts on this blog where I interviewed BricsCAD’s Torsten Moses about BLADE, the LISP IDE that arrived with BricsCAD V18.2. Today marked my first original-material post on the Bricsys blog: Real World BricsCAD Series Coming Soon I encourage you to hop over to the Bricsys blog to check it out. I’ve been interviewing real people about their use of BricsCAD and will be reporting what they have to …

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 …

Mac users rejoice – at long last, a LISP IDE comes to OS X

CAD’s best LISP development environment has come to the best “AutoCAD for Mac”. It should come as no surprise to anyone that this has occurred without Autodesk’s involvement. What’s happened? With the release of BricsCAD (Mac) V18.2 (currently V18.2.23-1 to be precise), BLADE (BricsCAD’s much-superior equivalent to VLIDE) has been added to BricsCAD See here for the release notes and here to download. Make sure you select the Mac version: Significance This is pretty significant for anybody serious about using DWG-based CAD on the Mac. AutoCAD without LISP is hardly worthy of the name, which is why I’ve never been …

Why every AutoCAD CAD Manager should have a copy of BricsCAD – part 5, LISP

This is the fifth post in this series where I explain why this statement holds true: As a CAD Manager looking after AutoCAD users, or a power user looking after yourself, it’s worth your while to have a copy of BricsCAD handy. This post is about BricsCAD being better than AutoCAD at the one thing that made AutoCAD win the race against its competitors back in the 80s – LISP. That is, AutoLISP (added fully to AutoCAD in Version 2.18) and Visual LISP (fully integrated with AutoCAD 2000). If you’re a good AutoCAD CAD Manager, you’ll already know the reasons …

Steve’s BLADE presentation at the BricsCAD New Zealand and Australia Roadshow

Sofoco (Australia) and CAD Concepts (New Zealand) recently ran a series of seminars throughout Australasia demonstrating BricsCAD. I attended the last of these in Brisbane on April 19 and gave a presentation about BricsCAD’s LISP, with reference to AutoCAD compatibility and the tools available to CAD Managers and developers, including BLADE. The talk was aimed at anybody who is writing or maintaining LISP code for AutoCAD or BricsCAD. I had the just-before-lunch slot, which is never desirable for a presenter. People are dozing off and/or bursting to go to the toilet, and time adjustments have to be made if earlier …

Steve at the BricsCAD New Zealand and Australia Roadshow

Sofoco (Australia) and CAD Concepts (New Zealand) are currently running a series of seminars throughout Australasia demonstrating BricsCAD. Here are the dates and locations: Auckland – 9 April 2018, Jet Park Hotel and Conference Centre Christchurch – 11 April 2018, Christchurch Community House Melbourne – 17 April 2018, Airport Motel and Convention Centre Sydney – 18 April 2018, Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Brisbane – 19 April 2018, Royal on the Park Each seminar is in two parts. The morning session is for leaders and decision makers and the the afternoon is less structured and goes into more details, with informal discussions, questions and answers and …

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 …

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 …

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 …