AutoCAD 2009 – Do your old drawings need recovery?

I’ve seen quite a few complaints that AutoCAD 2009 refuses to open some drawings saved in 2000 or 2004 format unless the Recover command has been used on them. Autodesk has now issued a Knowledge Base item about this issue. There’s no real fix in AutoCAD 2009 yet, just an external workaround. You will have to fix up the drawings in AutoCAD 2008 or TrueView. Either save the drawings in 2007 format or set the system variable 3DCONVERSIONMODE to 0 and then save them in the old format.

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Video – Misheard lyrics

This blog is supposed to a strange mix of AutoCAD, music, image manipulation and video, but so far it has been a bit light on in the latter three categories. This post will redress the balance a little. This is a silly video I made based on the song Ghost of Perdition from the album Ghost Reveries by Swedish metal band Opeth. I’m sure the music won’t be to the liking of many of you, particularly as the vocals are partly in the “death grunt” style. If you’ve never heard a death grunt, just try to imagine Cookie Monster singing while he’s really, really angry about something. For the record, I prefer my vocals “clean” but this style is easy to mishear, leading to general amusement (hopefully). Parental guidance: contains very mild nudity, very slightly offensive language and an oblique drug reference. You’ll have to be quick to spot them, though. I consider this safe to show to kids (as long as you think the vocals won’t give them nightmares), but some of you may not agree. YouTube link.

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AutoCAD 2009 – How do you use the Ribbon?

It would appear from comments made on the Autodesk newsgroups that a lot of AutoCAD 2009 users have their Ribbons turned off. That’s actually one of eight possible states for the Ribbon to be in. Is it really the most popular configuration? Does it apply to 12.5% of you or is it more than that? I’ve added a poll to find out. Please vote only if you’re an active AutoCAD 2009 user, as I want to see what people use in production.

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AutoCAD 2009 – The Reaction Part 3

I’ve closed the poll asking for your initial reactions to the shipping release of AutoCAD 2009. It’s interesting to compare it with your reactions when asked to speculate prior to the release date. It seems your collective opinion of AutoCAD 2009 has taken a sharp drop now you’ve actually had a chance to use it. In the speculative poll, the average opinion was “OK”; in the first reactions poll, the average opinion has slipped two levels to “Bad”. In the speculative poll, 39% of voters used the “bad” half of the poll; in the first reactions poll, that number has increased to 61%. Bear in mind that the numbers in this poll are relatively small and I am not claiming that this is a scientific study. However, it is completely neutral, open and transparent, which is one thing I demand whenever anybody tries to use statistics to support a particular viewpoint. See the Polls Archive page for the full details.

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Gaahl’s Tr00 Life Adventures Week 5

In this week’s adventure, Gaahl goes shopping. No, it’s not your eyes, the background image is fuzzy. A couple of things may need explaining. According to his mother, Gaahl is vegetarian (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Also, Gorgoroth was his band. They have now split up and ownership of the name is in dispute. Maybe the other band members objected to what he brought back from the supermarket? After all, he eats absolutely no innards. The original Gaahl photograph is by Peter Beste.

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Autodesk University is moving!

No, I don’t mean it’s a deeply emotional experience, however true that may be for certain CAD geeks (who will remain nameless to protect the dorky). What I mean is that it’s moving in the fourth dimension, and possibly the other three too. This will be no news for several hundred of you, but it might be handy to know for those of us who need to plan things like this well in advance. A couple of months ago, when I was pondering the possibility of speaking at Autodesk University 2008, I registered using the on-line form and was intrigued to see that there was a question that revealed that AU 2009 is planned for late June 2009, rather than the usual November/December timeframe. The location was TBA, rather than Las Vegas. Although anybody could fill in that form and obtain that information, and although I can’t recall any secrecy provisions in the form-filling process, I decided to keep this inside information to myself anyway. That probably makes me a pretty weak investigative journalist, but I can live with that. Anyway, I have since seen it discussed in public, which makes it fair game to reveal here. How does holding AU 2009 in late June work for you? Do you think it will be held in Las Vegas again? Bear in mind that the sheer size of this event limits the number of suitable locations. Where would you like it to be held? In related news for the long-term planners among us, the schedule outline of AU 2008 has been posted here.

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AutoCAD 2009 – Drawing integrity tip – urgent!

AutoCAD 2009 users, I strongly suggest you go and set the new system variable OPENPARTIAL to 0. Now. Why? Because if it’s set to the default value of 1, purging can be harmful to your drawings. I’ll fill in the details in a future Bug Watch column, but for now I suggest you just go and fix up that variable. It’s stored in the Registry, so you should only need to do it once unless you use multiple profiles, in which case you should do it once per profile.

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AutoCAD 2009 – Putting things back to normal revisited

I see Lynn Allen has written a post explaining how to restore the “classic” interface. I commend Lynn for doing this in response to the requests she’s been receiving. It must be pretty painful for some people at Autodesk to see their Technical Evangelist showing people how to turn off AutoCAD 2009’s Big New Feature, but it’s absolutely the right thing for her to do. The worst thing Autodesk can do right now is go into denial mode, which has happened more than once in the past when users have reacted negatively to various things. This post from Lynn gives me hope that maybe we don’t have to go through that stage this time. Anyway, if you want more detail about putting things back to normal, have a look at my earlier post on the subject.  I’ll add one more tip here that you might otherwise miss: if you want the old layer interface to be invoked by the Layer command rather than the new pallette, set the undocumented system variable LAYERDLGMODE to 0.

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AutoCAD 2009 – The Reaction Part 2

I won’t beat about the bush, AutoCAD 2009 is getting a pretty hostile reaction out there. Have a look at Autodesk’s AutoCAD 2009 newsgroup, for example. It’s true that many releases receive a hostile welcome, but this year it looks particularly bleak. Frankly, AutoCAD 2009 is taking a hammering. I think it’s possible to gauge the general AutoCAD user reaction reasonably well by looking at what is said in places like this, but adjustments do need to be made. There are always some people who are resistant to any change, some who are habitually hostile to Autodesk, some who dislike parts of the new release without fully understanding them, and so on. The percentage of the comments you read that can be attributed to that kind of thing is open to debate, and there is always a point to be made that people tend to complain about things they don’t like and keep quiet about the things they do. To try to take a more objective approach, I’ve added a poll to the right. This has exactly the same options as my earlier poll from before the release date where I asked for your speculation on how good the product was going to be. It will be interesting to see how that compares with your initial reactions to the shipping product. I’ll repeat this poll later in the life of the product to see if there is any change after people have had a chance to use AutoCAD 2009 over an extended period.

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