Monday, November 30, 2009

Errors and omissions

My least favorite part of the writing process. When someone sends me an email with an error they found and it turns out to be an actual error on my part... I hate those.

Got this email today:

Page 135: Toward the bottom of the page, there is a reference to Appendix X, but I can't find Appendix X in the book or on the DVD.
Page 136: I can\'t find the file "03 Residential - Walls.rvt" on the DVD.

That's because I goofed on both of those. Here was my reply to the email:

Thanks for the email. Boy do I hate when people find errors that were my fault... :-)

I am grateful when they alert me however. Thank you. I have posted the missing Chapter 3 files here:

As for the appendix, my apologies. That Appendix did not make the cut and the reference should have been eliminated. What I can offer you instead is this. I was planning to rework my paper from Autodesk University 2007 where I gave a class on Design Options and Phasing and make that the appendix. You can visit that class here:

You can download the paper that I wrote then. It is not up to date for 2010, but phasing has not changed at all, so the information should still be useful. Again, my apologies for the mistake in the book.

So, if anyone else reading this has found these errors, I hope that the above helps. As always thank you all for buying and reading my books and please keep the comments coming!

AU has arrived!

I leave today to fly to Vegas for Autodesk University 2009. Just a quick note before I go. All of the papers were uploaded to the respective class listings. You can go to your agenda, click on a class link and at the top right you will see a link for the class materials. Last night I added datasets to several of my classes. If you are signed up for one of my sessions and want to download, be sure to check these out. I also updated my papers (resaved the PDFs) apparently some folks were having trouble opening them.

If you are going to AU, please stop by one of my classes and say hello. If you are not signed up for any of my classes, you can read about my FIVE sessions here. I also blogged about them a few weeks ago here.

Hope to see you all there! Thanks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gregg is almost ready for AU

It is Friday night and I finally think I am almost ready for AU, not like waiting till the last minute. I am teaching 6 classes this year, a personal record for me, and can't wait for the 1st one to begin on Tuesday morning. (New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP if anyone is interested. If you attend because of this post, please let me know!!!!)
Our AutoCAD MEP book is finally shipped from the printer and will be available at AU!!! Woo Hoo!!! i am a published author and it is really cool. I can't wait to actually see the book in print.
We have 40% off coupons available at AU if you want to purchase a copy of the book. Please ask Paul, Darryl, Martin or me for a coupon.

Here are a couple of key AutoCAD MEP AU Classes:

AEC Mixer: Monday Night (7pm - 10pm) South Pacific Ballroom, Mandalay Bay Resort

Tuesday: MEP Classes (Gregg):
8am - 930am - MP104-1 New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP
3pm - 430pm - MP118-1 It finally flows downhill, Sloped Piping in AutoCAD MEP

5pm to 630pm Paul, Darryl, Martin and I have a Ask The Experts class on AutoCAD MEP. The class focuses on answering the burning questions you have with AutoCAD MEP, so bring your pressing questions as we will be looking for challenging issues.


Thurs: 8am – 930am MP-304-3 Parametric Fitting and Equipment Content Creation for AutoCAD® MEP

8:00 – 9:30 AM AB304-2 Breaking Free of the Plan: AutoCAD® Architecture Sections and Elevations

10am – 1130amMP-308-2 AutoCAD® MEP Tips and Tricks for Ductwork and Piping

3pm - 430pm MP-318-2 Display System for AutoCAD® MEP: A Detailed Dive Into Display Manager

If you are attending AU, please stop by the AEC QA Lounge located on the 2nd floor to meet the QA folks for all the AEC products (Civil 3D, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, Navisworks, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP, Revit Structure).

Please stop by and say hi,


Monday, November 23, 2009

Course|Notes X 3

Pick your flavor! Course|Notes for AutoCAD Architecture and AutoCAD MEP are now available! These are six page reference cards packed with tips and tricks for using each application. I now have them for Revit, AutoCAD Arch and MEP. Please contact me for details and if you would like to get a copy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


While we are all gearing up for our two-and-half day week and too much turkey, those of us (like me) who have procrastinated till now are panicking at the prospect that AU is just days away! Do I really have five classes to prepare???
Well, I happened to be rummaging through my closet the other day looking for something when I stumbled across a collection of old AU badges! There seem to be a few missing here unfortunately, but I have most of the last several years. What fun!
Back in 2001, (I think this is the first year I taught) I was signed up for a "VBA Primer for Architectural Desktop" and a couple "VIZ" classes. (Never did much with either of those unfortunately. What about 2002? Seems that was the year Revit came on the scene, because I was signed up for: "Autodesk Revit - Implementing Building Information Modeling in your Firm." Based on the number of holes in my schedule that year, I assume I taught three classes that year. For 2003, the theme was "See what's out there"... Hmmm... I don't know about that one. OK, let's see what we had....  I was teaching four classes: Curtain Walls, Schedules, Scale-dependent annotation and Project Navigator - all in ADT. I was still working at CFA at that time (at least for a little longer), so a few other badges slipped in there like the Autodesk One-Team Conference.

In 2004 I don't have my agenda anymore, but from the little booklet in the badge, I can see we were still at the MGM. In 2005 we went to Disney World! Most people complained about this AU, but I loved it. Mainly because we took the whole family the week before and the kids had a blast at Disney. They were the perfect ages then. My oldest was 9 and the twins were 7. What a nice time. Sure the Swan and Dolphin hotels are not the best place for an AU, but having AU in a spot where the kids could come too and have a great time was a nice switch for me. I will always remember that one fondly. This was also the time I was striking out on my own (March 2004 actually, but AU 2005 would have been my first AU as an "independent") As such, I found a bunch of old business cards in my AU 2005 badge.

I think the business card my designer made for me and that I use now is much nicer. What do you think?
In 2006, we were "Agents of Change". We were back in Vegas at the Venetian. I liked the Venetian better than the MGM. The rooms are nicer, and the conference center much closer. I think this was the year we had Blue Man Group at the party. Pretty cool except I couldn't get a seat it was SOOO crouded. But great show anyhow. I was teaching both ADT and Revit at this point and from my agenda, I appear to have been taking many classes on both as well.
Well, I appear to have misplaced the 2007 and 2008 badges. Last year I taught five classes! 3 ACA and 2 Revit. Probably similar in 2007. This year I have five as well. I have a previous post here on what I am teaching this year.
This was a nice little trip down memory lane. While attendance is sure to be lower this year at AU, we are in a new venue at the Mandalay Bay so it is sure to be exciting as new places often are. I'll get another badge for my collection and hopefully we'll all come away a little smarter. Hope to see many of you there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mastering AutoCAD Architecture has arrived!

Got a box of latest edition of Mastering AutoCAD Architecture 2010 today! My apologies for skipping the 2009 release, but MACA is back and better than ever in its 2010 edition.

Still weighing in at nearly 1000 pages, however the trim size is larger. Take at look at the image here to compare its new size to the 2008 edition. I could not have completed this edition without the invaluable assistance of David Koch. David helped on several chapters and maintains his own blog here. Drop on by and see what he has to say. Thanks David!

Naturally, the ribbon was a big part of what's new in this edition. So nearly every screen capture is new. AutoCAD Architecture has a new file format in this release, so all the files were updated as well. We have also covered the new enhancements to Walls, Wall Cleanup and Endcaps. You will also find coverage of all the Project Navigator enhancements from both 2009 and 2010. If you woudl like to see a complete table of contents and learn how to order, please visit my website here.

And now for a little contest
As many of you may know, Autodesk University is right around the corner. Every year in each of my classes, I have a give-away of a copy (or sometimes two) of my book. This year is no exception. In the past I have done the business card draw thing, and raffle tickets, and last year I placed stickers on the back of people's handouts. I am looking to do something different this year. If anyone has a suggestion, please send it to me. If I pick your suggestion for AU, I'll send you one of the copies of Mastering AutoCAD Architecture 2010 you see here! I am looking for a fun and different way to do the give-away, so please any suggestion welcome. You can post it as a comment here if you like, but if you want to be eligable for the book, please visit the contact form on my site and send me an email with your suggestion and your email address. If you're idea is chosen, I will email you for your address to mail the book. Thanks very much! hope to see you at AU.

Friday, November 6, 2009

View Range

We could also call this post "me too..."

Seems like everyone is talking about View Range these days. Last week I was working on my AU class presentations and also had the need to prepare a video for a client. So, since I always like to "kill two birds with one stone" so to speak, I decided to record one of the portions of my Revit Tips and Tricks class. Wouldn't you know, it was on View Range!

Turns out the same day I was reading my daily blog posts and Steve Stafford posted on his blog about View Range and commented on how he was following up on another blog post (at Design ReForm) on View Range! So everyone has View Range on the mind it seems.

So, not to be outdone... and since I recorded this already anyhow... here is my View Range video. :-)

Paul F. Aubin's View Range Video

I hope you enjoy the video.

Turns out it came out WAY too long for both the client purpose and AU. It's 20 minutes! I have to get it down to about 10 for AU. So it is nice to have the video to send people to that still have questions after the session.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Extracted Word Files

Hard as it is to believe, it is almost time to start 2011 round of books... Wait, didn't I just finish the 2010 editions? Well... uh yeah, but they got finished WAY too late this year. Maybe if we write on beta this year we can.... (I know where this is going).

A couple weeks ago, I received my first batch of "extracted Word documents." I am not sure if I written about these before, (and I am much too lazy to reread the old posts). Basically, it works like this: manuscript is written in Microsoft Word. Now this is not your run-of-the-mill Word, we have a special "authoring template." This baby's got special styles, formatting and some macros for numbering images. Great stuff. So work progresses in Word, one file per chapter. These get sent to the next person in the chain (either a co-author or technical editor). That person uses the track changes feature and makes their corrections. They come back to me, I approve/reject, then send on to the next person and so on.

All this time (usually a few months at least), the Word docs bear little resemblance to final pages. Sure they have headings and numbered steps, but all the final graphical flourish and formatting occurs outside of Word in a page layout program. When the documents finally get to this page layout stage, the compositor imports the Word files into their software (one of these days I will think to ask them what they use. I am uncetain). They do their layout and from then on, I review pages in PDF files.

However, before we can start the next edition, they have "extract" the text and images from the page layout software and create a new Word document. I have no idea what process they use for this, but I like to image little elves sitting in front of two computer screens manually transcribing from one program to the other...

When the new "extracted Word Docs" get back to me, they have been processed and formatted in the new template. This is the theory anyhow. It does not always work so smoothly. We are getting a new template this year and some of the formatting is changing. We had a meeting about it the other day. I don't know, it always seems to me like "improvements" designed to take time off the back end, always add more time for me. So while most of the new changes in the template do not concern me, I remain skeptical. Now if I could just get the silly macros to run without pulling out the incense and performing the ritual dance.

Oh, and I REALLY hate the way that macro toolbars are presented in Word 2007... but don't even get me started with that.

Well, back to work. But as noted at the beginning of the post, this year we have a lot of projects on tap and I think I need to get a lot more serious about writing on the beta... (or maybe the alpha... )

Cheers for now.


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.

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