Monday, April 23, 2007

Support Question of The Day

Q. I have a quick question about masking blocks. Can you mask them? I made a utility sheet legend in block form and I paste it on top of paper space and would like to mask out behind it. ??

A. Yup! You can add a "mask" to a block's definition. The command to use is WIPEOUT (this is a key-in). After starting the command you can choose an existing closed polyline that will fill in with the mask. There are a few quirks to this command however: Quirk 1)The wipeout's draw order is key to getting it to behave the way you want. Make sure it is behind the block but ahead of the objects you wish to mask. Quirk 2) Wipeouts work in paperspace too. When getting ready to print, make sure the wipeout has not obscured text you want to see in the layout.

For even more nuances look at this discussion thread:

Friday, April 20, 2007

Guess Who Part II

Some say this is a total gimme:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When Good Files Go Bad

There are still some clients out there that I have not convinced to go to Civil 3D. The following steps were used to fix a client's drawing who is still using Eagle Point, but we are their Autocad reseller. Eagle Point creates TINs on a layer (no shock) but users have the choice of creating a less dwg intense proprietary object, or true 3D faces. There are pros and cons to both. When in doubt, go with the 3D faces. That way, anyone can use your Eagle Point TIN after a little exploding and finagling (assuming you haven't done the right thing and used XML). However, the resulting block-like object tends to become corrupt.

In this case, the client has lotsa layouts she didn't want to loose. So I thought of the following solution.

This is what I e-mailed to the client this evening:

1) Make a backup copy of the “bad” drawing just in case!

2) Make sure all the layers for the “bad” drawing are not frozen and not turned off.

3) Type in W at the cad command line. This will start the Write Block command.

4) Leave the base point as 0,0,0. Select all the objects in the drawing with a crossing window.

5) Save the resulting block to a location on your computer you can find later on. Click OK.

6) Now take the original, bad drawing and go to File>Save As… Save it as a DWT file. (Template)

7) Make sure the resulting dwt remains open. Delete all model-space entities out of the dwt.

8) Type Purge at the cad command line. Purge everything you can. (There will be an option for Purge All)

9) Purge it again. (Sometimes Cad is not so good at getting rid of old layers and stuff.)

10) Audit, Save and close the dwt. Make sure to save it in a location you can find again!

11) Start a new drawing, using the dwt as the base. By going to File>New … it will ask which dwt to use.

12) At this point you should have a blank drawing, with nothing in it but the layouts.

13) While in model-space, type in I at the cad command line. This will start the Insert command.

14) Browse for the block you created back in step 5.

15) Leave the insertion point as 0,0,0

16) Make sure “Specify On-Screen” is unchecked for Insertion Point, Scale and Rotation.

17) Click the check mark next to Explode.

18) Click OK.

19) Save this drawing in the same folder, and with the same name as the old, “bad” drawing. We need to do that for Eagle Point’s sake – it needs the file name to find it’s support files. If it tells you that you already have a file by that name, say yes to overwrite it. (You have a backup at this point so its ok.)

20) If that doesn’t work go to File > eTransmit and send me the resulting Zip file!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Room 1926

Stop by...bring beer.

More HERE.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Party in My Room!

If you happen to be attending this year's Tech Camp, stop by for a night-cap and a saucy round of "Right-click and drag the C3D object" Roulette.

Americas Solution Tech Camp 2007
April 16-19, 2007
Buena Vista Palace
Orlando, Florida

Spot the PORN in the Screen Capture

OK, for the record, I blame this one on my Esteemed Colleague Russ.


(This isn't a tutorial, but network deployments are not for the feint of heart)

Greetings from Rapid City, South Dakota.

This week I'm doing a good, old-fashioned network install of Civil3D2006. Yes. 2006. And the hardest part was getting the license file from Autodesk. If you purchase 2007, but want to install 2006 (say, because your architecture department is on ADT2006) you need to fill out a request to do so. Even after the request is approved, expect to be on the phone with the fine people at Autodesk registrations. It won't register automatically.

In 2006 you first install the Deployment Wizard. Even in 2007 I recommend installing the wizard to a share location. That way you can be bopping all over and not need to return to the computer where you first installed it...or drag CDs with you. Yes, I know in '07 you can install from the media browser but I still like the Wizard out there waiting for me...just in case I need to check something.

Run the deployment Wizard and make the installer do your bidding. Sadly, and I'm not sure why, the 2006 deployment "forgot" all my custom support file search paths. Harrumph. I have to fix that after class today.

Then install the Network License Manager. You need to be looking at the server at this point. Today I remote-ed into a server in Sioux City - but used the local user's machine as my CD drive. I just shared the CD drive over the network and like magic I could get to the media browser and install remotely. Cool, huh?

So, drumroll please...installing the Activation thingy.
Like I said, I needed to call the Registration people.

They wanted the hardware address (aka MAC address, aka Physical Address) and name of the server. No problemo.
To get to the hardware address they needed you:

  1. Get to a command prompt (Start > Run, then type CMD)
  2. Type in ipconfig /all
  3. Jot down the number then email it to wherever they want you to. In my case customer service.
Several hours later, after verifying group numbers and all that fun stuff I got my license file. I strongly recommend putting it in the default location. Now configure the paths to log file, licence and the service executable. Don't forget to start the service!

Last but not least, at the workstations, add the environment variable to let Windows know where to look for the license.

Whalla. You should have licenses. Luckily I had no firewall problems -didn't need to open port 2080.

And the people of South Dakota rejoiced!