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 February, 2006
   I N   T H I S   I S S U E
Destination CAD - Where Users want to be

BAD CAD - Part Three -
Wrapping up the series

January Survey Says -
What are your #1 problems

Book Review - A Revit Book Review

  A R T I C L E S

Destination CAD

I have worked for Architectural firms that design Destination Architecture.  Theme Parks, Restaurants, Resorts, Hospitality, Hotels, etc.  The term is associated with places where people would like to go.

I have embraced this concept and want to apply it to CAD.  So consider this an introduction to Destination CAD.  Destination CAD is an environment where people want to be.  It creates a buzz in your industry about your firm.  It develops a place where people want to work. 

Read more about making your site a Destination CAD site...

BAD CAD - Part Three

For the last 2 months we looked at BAD CAD and what to do about it. We continue this month with the next item on my list.  I look in five areas for my troubleshooting:

The Files - We looked at this last month.

The Machine - After I check out the files, I look to the persons PC.

The User - This months topic - see below.

BAD CAD - The Server and the Network

I have seen many problems that arise from the network or the server.

Here is a quick listing of things to check when drawings get weird:

  1. The XREF paths are a mixture of Relative Paths and Hard Coded Paths.
  2. Someone changed the permissions of the server folders.
  3. The Network licensing software is acting up.
  4. Users are opening files over the WAN.
  5. File locking on the server.

Checking on these items will most likely give you some clues as to why your files may not be working correctly.

BAD CAD - The Software

I have always wondered how software companies get any software out there at all since we all have differing setups, hardware, OS and software mixtures.  Getting anything certified is a long process. 

If you search the Autodesk site you will find items like the tested graphics cards with software releases like ADT 2006 and other products.  This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting your software to work with your hardware.

I have spent many hours trying to figure out just what is wrong with my file or system just to give up and search the newsgroups, discussion groups or AUGI forums and find that it is a bug in the software.

I have to give the first credit to Steve Johnson who is a contributing editor for Cadalyst, owner of cad nauseam, and a vice-president of CADLock, Inc. He authors the long running Bug Watch column that is one of the best places to find bug info about Autodesk products.

If you find a bug you can report it on the Autodesk site.

Updates and Service Packs are located on the Autodesk site.

Whatever way you find out about bugs, you will need to do some searching. 

Check out the Autodesk Support page and do a search for your trouble.  I searched in the AutoCAD product area for "Fatal Error" and got 115 returns. 

I searched the AUGI forums in the AutoCAD forum and found 77 results.  You can save yourself some headaches by reading up on the AUGI site.

January 2006 - Survey Says

We asked about your top problems and got a good glimpse into your troubles.    

Over 40% of you said the biggest problem with users is that they do not follow the standards.  It looks like the problems are created by just flat out not following the standard and no enforcement.

As far as software problems are concerned 29% claimed that it was too complicated.  only eclipsed by the 38% that did not even give an answer (does that mean they are satisfied?)

Training was a top issue also with 45% of you saying the biggest pain is just finding the time for training. 

Your Hardware seems to be satisfactory with a few complaints about power (don't we all want more power?)

And finally - the overall most troublesome areas is people.  People give you the most troubles over Software, Training, Standards and Hardware.  This seems to reinforce what I tell most CAD Managers.  Sharpen your people skills!

See the full results Jan. Results

February Survey - Are you testing your new hires on CAD capabilities?

Introducing and Implementing Autodesk Revit Building
- Lay Christopher Fox and James J. Balding, AIA

I just finished reading a great book about Revit Building by two of the cream of the crop in the Revit arena.  Jim Balding and Chris Fox put together an impressive collection of information, tutorials and things to think about. 

I enjoyed "The Very Basics" chapter where the book begins.  It does not assume that you know what the terms are, or how the tools are used.  It covers the basics quickly but effectively.  Don't skip this chapter (or the Preface).

It quickly marches through a succession of chapters that are tutorial based sprinkled with Author Notes and Tips.  You will go through the complete design and creation of a multi-building, multi-phased project.  And this is not just some cheap square box, this is a contemporary design that pushes beyond the mundane.  All along the way you get real world perspectives, such as filling out the Title Block and generating views of the design.

One area that I enjoyed most was Jim Balding's Appendix A in which he outlines the implementation process.  He takes a high level view that he calls "Pointers, not Prescriptions".  By that he means that there is no one-size-fits-all for every firm.  I agree with his perspective and he then navigates the reader toward areas to consider like Firm size, Project size, Project type and many more.

So overall it is a solid investment for those who are moving to Revit Building.

C M J  Rating - 4.5 out of 5 TRON Light Cycles

Buy the Book


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CADD Manager Journal is a publication of the Core Technology Group
Editor: Mark W. Kiker
mark.kiker@caddmanager.com 2006 by CTG.


This time around... 

Destination CAD is where users want to be.  It may be an environment that is tough to create, but it is a joy to work in. 

What! more about BAD CAD?  

This will be the last in the series on the subject.  Now we take a look at what can cause your files to go bad as it relates to the server or the software.

Mark W. Kiker, Editor


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