Upgrading to MAP 3D 2006!!! Alternative Energy Sources and The Big Presentation

To summarize my recent Map 3D install:

You know the drill, Turn off all of the little things IT has in my tray.

Install (I really wish the 'insert disk 2' notification would come with a sound effect, to grab my attention as I'm keeping myself occupied with the latest issue of AUGIWorld magazine... who knows HOW long I was sitting there) goes pretty smoothly. It's nice that there's an option to install the express tools at the same time, so, hopefully there will be a lot of less of the ~scratches head~ 'hey, I can't access the flatten command anymore', sort of thing.

So, I fire up MAP, choose to migrate all of my settings. Hmm, white background. What is up with that?
It got the color of my command line background correct, why not my model space color?

Soooo, no MAP menu, and no Express Menu??? Type expresstools at the command line... no dice... go to customize (right-click on your toolbars, or type CUI).
For some reason, I can't load the acmap.cui through the menuload command, but, I can load the acetmain.cui, which then shows the express menu.

I do some reading on the Autodesk Discussion groups, as I knew I'd seen this come up recently.
Here are some more 2006 posts from that group. There are only a few posts so far on AUGI.

So, I take the advice of a user on the Autodesk forums, and uninstall/reinstall WITHOUT the Migration Assistance tools. When you install, select 'custom install' and deselect 'migrate custom settings' (about 2/3 of the way down the list).

I go through the install again, and pull up the program. DANG... now the model space background is bright blue. Blech! Wazzup wit dat!?!?
So, I right-click on a toolbar to access the menu for turning on/off toolbars, and I turn on the toolbar that says 'workspaces' > select 'Map Classic' and voila' there are all of the menus, etc you are used to (including the Express menu).

As a matter of trivia. I also have vanilla 2002 and map 2005sp2 installed side-by-side. I had vanilla 2006 installed for a while, too, with no problems. I'm running Win XP pro sp2.

Okay, so, what do I do to get ready to roll?
First things first, I change up my Options and make sure they're all just as I like them:

First of all, I'd like to state that the shadows on the text are ANNOYING to say the least. Makes me wonder what my coffee had in it.

***Display Tab
change ms bg to #9
change command line background to maroon and text to white (hey, I gotta be me)

***Open and Save Tab
Uncheck = Display Digital Signatures
Uncheck = Show Proxy Info Dialog Box

***Plot and Publish
adjust plot stamp settings to only include filename/path and make the text size smaller

***Systems /User Preferences/Drafting Tabs
no changes

Selection preview set to 'Thicken'
Effect Opacity bumped up to 45 (I'm blind, OK)
Exclude Hatches as well as X-refs from rollover highlighting > A MUST 
Enable grips within blocks 
Use Shift to Add Selection > how many times have I forgotten that till I'd messed up a selection?

*** After changing options, I set up my communication center preferences. Almost as an afterthought, I remembered to rename my profile, and export the .arg to the server for safekeeping. 

I typically turn off all of the toolbars, and just keep one up with the 30 or so buttons that I need most often. 

All in all, it wasn't too painful of an upgrade, I've had worse. The thing about the MAP menu going missing was a bit of a pain, and reinstalling was a HUGE pain..

Another thing on my mind was the discussion of 'Peak Oil' by David Kingsley 'On the Back Page' of AUGIworld. There are a couple of on-going discussions about energy in the CWC and Out There forums on AUGI (please note, you must be logged in to see the off-topic forums).

I'd like it if some people chimed in to give their opinions on how the average Joe/Jane can be a driving force behind alternative energy sources to get us away from dependence on fossil fuels.

I did my 'Past/Present/Future of FM' presentation last Thursday. I'm really trying to be a driving force to get some more staff around here. We have an annual conference where the different engineering/planning/maintenance groups can share progress on their goals as well as visions of the future.

Of course, during the break I get a bunch of, 'you know what we could do!?!!?' approaches. ~chuckles~ 
The point was that I was able to demonstrate all of the areas where we are now lacking, and it will take the involvement of all of these departments being clear about what they need/what they are willing to pay for/what they are willing to stop demanding.
I really feel that this was a really good exchange for all parties present.

I will be getting together soon with the Director of my department to go over in detail a staffing/services recommendation report that I put together last year. It will be really interesting to get the advice and opinions of someone in management, as his perspective will surely differ greatly from mine.

Wish me luck on getting something going with that!

Oh, all of my furniture is now put together! I am still unpacking, but, ~shrug~ am sure that will never quite end (edit from 2008: I was right. After my move this summer, I found things that I'd never unpacked from my previous three moves).

Happy CADding


Rambling about CAD and the Weekend...

Okay, I know, I have been MIA, I am 95% settled in our new place, and hope to finish up a few things this weekend and unpack a little more. The fabulous news is that my air conditioning has been installed! WOOT! Programmable thermostat, so when I get home, my pad has been cooling for half an hour already. Niiiiice.

I have been slacking with my users group, and I do hope they will understand and forgive me. The ICC newsletter went out a little late due to my move/getting things ready at home, and a big project here at work... but, as I also handle the ICC's [now defunct] disbursement to my group, I have to write an article for local news to tack on before I send it out.
Well, our esteemed president pinged me on that... d'oh... I didn't forget you guys... well, yeah, okay, I actually did.
Rest assured, the article will be written and the newsletter will be distributed next week.

I am taking a 3-day weekend to spend some QT with a certain someone... (and, also to enlist his help in assembling the rest of my furniture. Shhhhh, don't tell him I said that). I will be out of the office on Monday, and I will be at our Annual Planning Conference on Thursday and Friday.

AutoCAD Express Cool!
Today, I'd like to remind everyone to check out their Express Tools.
We can get in the habit of using a certain set of tools and never explore what else is out there. I encourage you to flip around and check things out... (oh, and don't forget, the Express Tools V1-9 are a separate install from ACAD. Although, in r2006, you can now choose to have them installed at the same time, aaaaand, express tools, are LSP files (lisp), so they cannot be used in LT)

I'm going to point out one command that I like from each section in the drop-down, and list it's respective command line call:

Layers > Layer Isolate (layiso)
Blocks > Explode Attributes to Text (burst)
Text > Enclose Text with Object (tcircle)
Layout Tools > Change Space (chspace)
Dimension > honestly, I don't dimension, so, I couldn't really care less ;)
Selection Tools > Fast Select (fs - selects objects that touch a specified object)
Modify > Delete Duplicate Objects (overkill)
Draw > Break-line Symbol (breakline)
File Tools > Save All Drawings (saveall)
Web Tools > Change URL's (churls)
Tools > System Variable Editor (sysvdlg
> honestly, all of the tools under this one are super-cool... a must-check
Express Tools FAQ > no flyout here, just remember that it's there
Help > same as the above

An item of note is that all of the layer Express Tools were brought into core AutoCAD in R2007. But, the Layer Merge (LAYMRG) command, which is currently grouped under CAD Manager tools, is still not available in AutoCAD LT, which has none of the CAD Manager tools.
Change Space (CHSPACE) is also now a part of AutoCAD.

Don't forget to keep an eye on that little gray area below the command line... if you hover over one of these tools in the menu, you can check down there for a description of the tool, as well as the key combination to invoke it from the command line.

Take care and have a great weekend... I'll be back with more of the same next week.


Still Slackin

CAD Tips!!!

qselect - use it and love it... I always forget about it myself, and so many people don't even know it exists...

- you guys who aren't cutting edge with 06, don't forget to check out the cal command... 
M2P - midpoint object snap, introduced in 2005

I am in the midst of moving... woo-hoo. I have gotten a bit of stuff moved/unpacked. We're not going very far, so, I can do it in bit and pieces. I won't be able to take the pc with me :( so, yesterday, I uninstalled all of my important software. ~sniff, sob~ so, there they sit in a box, waiting for a new pc. ~shrug~ Actually, it's probably for the best. More excuses not to work on the weekend

Needless to say, the electric company still hasn't turned my power on yet. That's always nice. I won't really be moved in till about Tuesday or so, but, first, they turned on the power to the wrong unit (the one below me, currently being renovated and having no tenants), then, when I call them about it 'oh, you're right, we'll have someone out there by the end of the day'... yeah, next time one of those people comes to my hospital, I'm gonna be like, oh, you need a heart transplant, huh? I'll have a surgeon in here by the end of the day, I swear.

I have finished the outline and slideshow for my big presentation later this month. I'm a bit nervous about being in front of the higher-ups and being the one teaching them something, for a change. ~shaking in my shoes~ Everyone send good vibes my way... I'll need all of the help that I can get.

Let's see, I've mentioned, software/work/electricity/my presentation... yep, that all ties in quite nicely, right?

Anyway, it's been a long couple of weeks, and I am soo looking forward to the weekend... ciao...



I've been SUCH a slacker lately... well, actually I haven't. I've been precisely the opposite, in fact. But, to some people it might appear that I'm neglecting my poor little blog.

I finally signed the lease on the new apartment (I will miss some parts of being a homeowner, but, for now, I am totally happy to turn over most concerns to my landlord). I'll be taking a couple of days off of work early next week to get things moved in and set up.
Amazingly enough, this place has a larger/nicer backyard for my son to romp around in than my old house did.

So, while I was out putting some things in the truck, the neighbor approached me and started asking me about AutoCAD (yeah! I know, how often does THAT happen? lol). He inquired as to what versions I was familiar with. It seems that his son has just started working as a drafter (I think designing electronics), and asked if there was any way for him to get access to software now that he's no longer a student.

I told him, 'Man, I wish you'd have mentioned this a couple of days ago, we just had our LUG meeting and gave away a seat of AutoCAD and a seat of Inventor... but, we still have a couple of packages left, so, tell him to come to some meetings this year and try to win one.'

So, he runs and gets his son. We spent a good while talking about what software he is using at work, what they're thinking about upgrading to, what else he'd like to learn, new things he's just discovered (hint for the beginners... this phase never ends, I've been using AutoCAD for 10 or 11 years and STILL find things I didn't know about). I told him about the AUGI forums as well as a little more about the LUG. He said he'd pop up to the forums and check them out, so I hope he's found some more information from the great users over there.

I have to admit that this was sort of weird for me... I have known the neighbor for 3 years now and he's suddenly all impressed with me, what a trip. Seriously, it was cool talking about CAD to someone who is so new to actually using it at work and is still very excited about the technology. I have to confess, I really sounded pathetic talking about all of the things that I do that are CAD-related... including this blog... I really need to get out more.

I am sending out my newsletter a little late this month, apologies to my readers and distributors. Trying to work while moving is a challenge... Unfortunately, after my move is complete, I will no longer have a PC or an internet connection at home.

I'm really looking forward to a nice, fun, relaxing weekend after I move in and get settled.