Welcome!

The traditional print publishing industry requires long production cycles before any book or publication can see print. This situation has become more acute for authors like myself who publish books on annual software releases. I hope to use this blog to publish information, updates, addenda, ruminations, and other "mid-cycle" missives. I hope you enjoy it.

Please be sure to also visit my website.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hotfix for AutoCAD MEP

On page 445 of Mastering AutoCAD MEP, step 36 doesn't work right because of a problem with Service Pack 1. There is a Hotfix for this available at:


http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=14298012&linkID=9240938

Happy New Year all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Another MEP typo

Another typo spotted by a reader in Mastering AutoCAD MEP:

Page: 59

There is a reference to locating the Options dialog: "(Access the Options dialog from the Application menu as shown in Figure 1.14 above.)" However, the referenced image of the Application menu is actually found in Figure 1.4 on page 50.

Thanks and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Minor correction in Mastering AutoCAD MEP

In the Quick Start chapter, there is a typographical error at the beginning. The book mentions finding Quick Start files in the: C:\MasterMEP 2010\Quick Start folder (see Page 2 item 4).

The folder is actually located at C:\MasterMEP 2010\Chapter00\Quick Start.

Our appologies for any confusion. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh well, time for moderation

I had to delete the last post because of a comment with material that I would rather not have on the blog page. Unfortunately, this means I had to turn on comment moderation. I appologise ahead of time for the inconvenience. Please don't let this deter you from commenting. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time to start again

believe it or not, it is already time to start the new editions... (I am not sure I am ready...)

I just got "extracted Word docs" from the publisher. After we submit our files, they go through several hands and changes before becoming printed pages. There is a compositor who does the paste-up of the final pages. The artwork must be processed into the required format. There is a proofreading pass, the index is compiled, the table of contents finalized and built and probably a few other steps I forgot. Much of this work is performed in Microsoft Word, but the final steps occur outside Word. So, when it comes time to repeat the entire process and start over again for the new release, we need to get Word documents back. So they "extract" them from the page layout files. This is not completely automated from what I understand and someone must manually check each document before making them available to us.

This year we get a new Word template, so style names are changing and some other subtleties. (Never a dull moment). Our task now, as the authors, is to:

1. Decide WHEN to start writing. Factors influencing this are the current state of the beta release of the software, how likely that whatever we want to start writing about will change in the next build and of course our own schedules.
2. Setup folders, files, SnagIt profiles, schedule time, and plan tasks with co-authors.
3. And most important, become familiar with the new version of the software.

Every year it is the same. This time a year comes around and we say:
"this year we will get the manuscript out earlier..."

"Hey Paul, how's that working out for ya?"

Let's see how that goes this year... Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snowing in Chicago

So it's official. Winter is here. We got the cold, wet, sticky, wind-blown type snow going on right now. Burrrr.... Think I'll stay inside.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Master the Family Editor Series available on DVD


Upon my return from AU, I was very pleased to find the proofs for the Mastering the Family Editor Series DVDs sitting on my desk.

Earlier this summer I conducted this five-part course online using GoToMeeting and presenting to a live audience. I have since used the recordings of those sessions to produce a high-quality five DVD series. You can buy each individually if there are only certain topics you wish to see, or buy all five to view the entire course. A download link to a PDF course handout and a collection of Revit files is included with the purchase of the DVDs and includes complete step-by-step instructions accompanying the video lessons.

The videos are distributed via Amazon CreateSpace and will also be available on Amazon's Video On Demand service as well. Stay tuned for further details on availability. I have other courses in production and hope to have them ready soon. Please be sure to let me know how you like the Family Editor Series and post any questions or requests for future sessions.

You can learn more about the titles and find links to order here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hot off the presses


I am here at AU and preparing for today's sessions. I teach five classes here this year and the first one is this afternoon. Every year, my publisher generously provides copies of my latest books for me to give away at the conference. This year I have three new books including the first edition of Mastering AutoCAD MEP hot off the presses! I have not even received my author copies yet, but I have one copy in  my hands that was drop-shipped from the publisher. One lucky winner in my Mastering AutoCAD MEP: Ask the Experts class today will go home with it! (sorry for the poor photo, my cell phone does not do a nice picture...). I will be teaching the class today with my three co-authors: Darryl McClelland, Martin Schmid and Gregg Stanley. We will also have some copies of MEP Course|Notes to give away. Hope to see you there.