Monday, February 28, 2011

Revit Schmevit - Go See Steve Shell at RTCUSA 2011

If you aren't sure about attending RTCUSA 2011 in Huntington Beach, CA this June...maybe getting to see Steve Shell (the Rock-n-Roll Revit Architect) and Shell Shock will help make up your mind?? Just something else to look forward to!


Stay tuned, Registration opens soon!

btw, Steve's the one on the right, holding the guitar, I think he's actually playing too! *-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dept. of Subtle - Connectors and Diameter

Sorry about missing a post on Monday, just ran out of day and evening too quickly.

If you haven't created a Revit Family using connectors then this might not be interesting, till later. If you have then you're probably already nodding your head and thinking, "I know where this is going".

Revit Connectors for pipe (round duct too) offer us the ability to map their dimensions to a parameter so the user can adjust them easily in the project environment. It also allows Revit to resize pipe that is connected to a connector. Hmmm, I think I'm going to be using that word (connector) a lot.

Pipe sizes (duct too) are usually thought of using inches, such as 1-1/2" or 4" diameter. Those of you that work in the metric system are shaking your heads now. They told me back in fifth grade that we are going to change to the metric system. That was more than a couple years ago unfortunately.

Ironically we can't just create a radial dimension for diameter. It is technically possible to control the size of a circle with a aligned dimension (and Reference Planes etc.) for diameter but it isn't as obvious as the radial dimension tool. You'll find a lot of content therefore has a user parameter for diameter and then a calculated parameter for half the diameter to drive the radius of the host surface and its related connector size.

Another consideration is the unit that a user enters. It is quite handy to create a parameter using the sneaky little Associate Family Parameter button found in the Family Types dialog. If we use it we don't get a say in which kind of parameter is created, it defaults to Common (discipline) and Length (data type). If you want to let the user enter inches then you need to make the parameter in advance so you can choose the parameter from the list offered in the Associate Family Parameter dialog instead. When you make the parameter in advance you get to choose Piping (discipline) and Pipe Size (data type). This is a separate Project Unit that can be configured for inches, it is configured this way as a default setting in the Imperial templates.

Same thing happens if you use the Options Bar Label: Add Parameter approach. The only reliable way to get the discipline/datatype you really want is to make the parameter in advance. It would be quite nice if we could create a radial parameter for diameter an use it to manage connectors directly without the little "half-the-diameter" dance. Here's a Video to Watch.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revit Technology Conference - Australasia Registration is Now Open

It's been awhile since I mentioned the RTC conferences, here's the latest!


Experience the Power of BIM with Autodesk REVIT


Registering now qualifies for Earlybird pricing (from 14 Feb 2011 to 31 March 2011)

SEVENTH INTERNATIONAL
Revit Technology Conference

Jupiters Gold Coast, Australia
Thursday – Saturday, 26 – 28 May 2011

RTC is a unique, independent conference covering all things Revit / BIM and the whole ecosystem that supports it and that goes to ensuring your success in the marketplace. No other event brings so many opportunities and benefits together in a single location. As a 'by users, for users' event, RTC is the best place to get unvarnished advice from the people who use the technologies to drive their businesses, and the industry as a whole, forward. Business leaders, thought leaders, innovators and implementers; they are all here, and all ready to give away their secrets to aid in the quest for a better, smarter industry, and a stronger, more sustainable environment.

Check out the conference WEBSITE for more details.

Hope to see you there!!

RTCUSA 2011 registration will open in the near future...stay tuned!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Autodesk and Computational Fluid Dynamics

Read today that Autodesk intends to purchase Blue Ridge Numerics. Then BIM Apps posted some more information about it with a link to their site that offers some videos that describe a Revit plug-in.

One of the topics that came up during presentations at the BIMForum last week was, "When will BIM move/transition to simulation, not just modeling/building virtually but testing/validating a design by simulating conditions. So this is interesting timing. I've also traded emails with a couple people with Blue Ridge Numerics in conjunction with the upcoming Revit Technology Conference in Australia and the USA this year. Looks like our future conversations might change a little?

The Autodesk press release includes this
...snip
“Simulation represents a significant growth area for Autodesk, and we are focused on strengthening our portfolio in this area both organically and through acquisitions,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president of the Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “The acquisition of Blue Ridge Numerics will add important new simulation capabilities to virtually test and predict how a product or building design will work, allowing our customers to compete more effectively at every step of the design process.”

“Since 1992, Blue Ridge Numerics’ comprehensive CFD tools have helped engineers improve quality, accelerate time-to-market and drive profitability,” said Ed Williams, president and co-founder of Blue Ridge Numerics. “Autodesk is a valued business partner, and the combination of both companies’ proven Digital Prototyping technologies will help customers worldwide tackle complex engineering challenges and ultimately be more successful with their designs.”

...snip

You can watch some videos at the Blue Ridge Numerics site.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dept. of Redundancy Department and other BIMmyness

During the BIMForum James Vandezande (Arch|Tech Blog contributor and Revit Author) tweeted about people saying, "BIM Model" and joked about needing to run by the ATM machine.

Since BIM stands for Building Information Model or Modeling and ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine (unless you are referring to Asynchronous Transfer Mode)...adding the extra model and machine are a bit redundant. Similar to saying or writing irregardless when regardless is sufficient. Since, the opportunities to have such "fun" at the expense of others is probably endless and I live in a "glass house", I'll stop there.

For what it is worth, I've never really liked the acronym "BIM", in particular having to say it. I just don't like the sound of it, a personal quirk. The idea of getting a title like BIM Manager, or BIM guy etc...shudder. I'm not saying I'm not of fan of the concept or philosophy of Building Information Modeling or Models, obviously I'm a believer...I just don't care for the acronym. Since criticism can be offset by providing a solution, a better choice, I'm not doing well there either because I don't have a better one to offer. I do prefer those that use the word Virtual, like VDC (Virtual Design/Construction) or VPD (Virtual Project Delivery). I like Digital Design Manager or Digital Design Coordinator better too.

I just can't get past the looks I get when I use the term BIM with anyone outside the "bidness".

More seriously, lately I've been hearing people referring to a building model as the aggregate files compiled into software like Navisworks. I've even seen a couple contracts where the final model deliverable is a "model" comprised of .nwc files (Navisworks cache files), not even a .nwd or .nwf (Navisworks published or working file formats).

In my mind I tend to think of the "authoring" side of the equation as defining a model as opposed to the "viewing/reviewing" side. That means a "real" model (according to me) is what we find in Revit or some other software used to create the entities that provide the virtual building. I think this is true because the viewing/reviewing software is not able to make or change anything.

Being removed from the modeling/authoring process makes the "viewing" model static. That's good for a variety of reasons but for the sake of future uses (intended or unintended/unanticipated) a viewer format does not make a good final deliverable (alone), in my mind. It's reasonable to require it as part of the final deliverable but it seems a bit short of the finish line to not also ask for the model(s).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

AUGIWorld and AUGI | AEC EDGE

BLAUGI recently posted some news about the two eZines that AUGI produces. The short story is that AUGI | AEC EDGE (AAE) is "no more". It will be combined with AUGIWorld (AW). As the editor for AAE you might think that I'm sad or shocked that I'm suddenly out of work. I actually started the ball rolling by asking some questions and making some suggestions. The end result is that AW will become a monthly eZine and take on some of the formatting that AAE used. For the near future I'll be the Editor-in-Chief. The next issue of AW will explain things in a bit more detail.

Going forward we will be seeking authors and articles for the broad spectrum of products that AUGI members use and we'll be working on a monthly basis so more and more often!! Stay tuned!

...snip (text from BLAUGI post)
In 2009 Autodesk User Group International launched a new publication – AUGI | AEC Edge. Devoted to the AEC market, it was started so that AEC articles could be published on a regular basis. The magazine was published on a seasonal basis but had no set release schedule.

In late 2010 the AUGI Board began a review of all current publications and entered into 2011 with the goal of increasing content and increasing regularity on issue dates. As such, the AUGI Board has made the following adjustments, starting with a new February 2011 AUGIWorld issue.

  • AUGI | AEC EDGE will be rebranded as AUGIWorld.
  • The A/E/C content will remain, the articles and columns that have been embraced by our subscribers and the industry will continue.
  • New industry content such as Civil and Manufacturing will be added.
  • AUGIWorld will increase publication to monthly.
  • AUGI | AEC Edge will cease title publication however all past issues will remain available online.
Everything that was great about AUGI | AEC Edge will continue, just under the AUGIWorld masthead. Feature content topics will be expanded in the future to include regular Civil and Manufacturing sections. Distribution via email notification to all opt-in subscribers will be increaseing from the 90,000 AUGI | AEC EDGE subscribers to 130,000 AUGIWorld subscribers.

And all content will be available online via the new AUGI Library. We look forward to the expanded reach of AUGI membership content.

...snip

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BIM Quotable - BIMForum Winter 2011

Short and sweet tonight!

My favorite "quotable moment" from BIMForum, Thursday's sessions after lunch, Dace Campbell with BNBuilders said, "The only time you shouldn't do BIM is if you aren't interested in saving time or money" (I think that's close to what he said, the sentiment is accurate).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tekla BIMsight - Free divided by Free is still Free!

Another item that came from attending BIMForum Winter 2011, Tekla BIMsight. I admit that my first reaction to hearing the name was, "Oh, a cloud sharing/viewing solution?" Then I saw the spelling of the name.


Using price alone, if we compare Autodesk's Navisworks Manage and Tekla BIMsight:

Navisworks Manage: $10k-ish (USD) $1.5k yearly subscription
Tekla BIMsight: $0.0k (USD) aka FREE (no subscription)

Okay, if BIMsight doesn't do everything that Navisworks does how fair is that?
Consider this comparison then:


I spoke to Andy Dickey (Business Manager - Construction North America) for a couple minutes and he said that it is Tekla's "bully pulpit" for IFC. The files that are supported by BIMsight are: .ifc, .ifcxml, .ifczip, .dwg, .dgn, .xml. That is a lot less than Navisworks but the price is a lot less too eh? Seems to me, between price and features, that Tekla is throwing down the IFC and price gauntlet? Here's a screen capture of their sample "model" which is comprised of 8 IFC files and 1 dwg file.


As for IFC, if people want to use the viewer and their IFC export data doesn't live up to expectations then it will put more pressure on each software developer to improve it. That's the assumption/expectation anyway. Revit will have some issues I'm sure as others will too. If they are successful applying pressure and it working then perhaps my concerns about IFC will be unfounded.

Triva department: The download is 46 MB. Revit's early releases were about the same size, been a long time since though. Interesting to me that a "viewer" tool is the same size download as early Revit. Though download file size is hardly a real measuring stick.

[Update 03/16/2011: 64bit Version now Available]

Acoustic Dimensions - AIM Workbench

While attending the BIMForum Winter 2011 sessions last week I heard two people speak regarding acoustics, Craig Janssen and Andrew Mitchell. During dinner a month ago a HVAC engineer expressed frustration that Revit didn't already provide a way to calculate "noise" or acoustical rating for a space based on the HVAC equipment that relates to it. As it turns out Craig and Andrew's work with Acoustic Dimensions and Revit MEP prompted the same feeling from them. However Andrew decided to create an application to help resolve that using Revit's API. The result is AIM Workbench.



From their Overview page:

...snip
The AIM Workbench, short for Acoustic Information Model, is designed to fully integrate acoustical calculations and design information into the BIM environment. Like any other piece of information stored within a building information model, acoustic information can be exchanged and used freely, providing valuable information across all disciplines of the design team.
...snip

They said that we usually need three levels of tools:
  • Macro Decision Making Tools
  • Stand Alone Design Tools
  • BIM Reporting Tools
They started out with a tool that worked inside Revit but soon discovered that the models they received often were "broken" from their standpoint. This means that the acoustical information either didn't exist or that systems were not well connected. Since they used the API to trace connected networks to see how they might impact spaces it is important to build the systems well. Adding the information to the parts wasn't really the hard part. They also realized that it is often necessary to allow for analysis apart from the model either for the early decisions (Macro Decisions) or to establish design criteria/mockups or the lack of a 3D model at all perhaps.

Back to the software... I didn't see it run, just screen shots but conceptually it looks promising. You can download a demo version and the site says to contact them about pricing. What I was told directly is that it is a Beta right now so the commercial aspect of AIM Workbench is still in flux.

Give it a "listen"?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Revit MEP - Creating Circuits

Got an email a few days ago and was slow to respond so I thought I'd make a quick video to describe the process too.

There is a parent child relationship between electrical "stuff" and it repeats itself as you work "up" the power relationship from receptacle to panel to transformer to panel to switch to...

At the bottom of the relationship:
  • Select a receptacle
  • Click Power Circuit button on the ribbon
  • (one doesn't appear if the receptacle is already part of a circuit)
  • Assign a Panel
  • Click Edit Circuit if you need to add/remove receptacles
  • Finish
Repeat the process for a panel to transformer or panel to panel relationship.

Always start with the child and work "up" to the parent. You can't create a circuit for a panel and add receptacles. Revit expects you to assign the parent (think where the power is coming from) when you create a circuit. If you select a panel first then you have to tell Revit what panel the power is coming from, not where the power is going to.

Hope it helps!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BIM Forum Winter 2011 - San Diego

It's been a long day, driving down to San Diego attending the first day of the forum and then driving back home! So I'll just mention three things for now.

Scenario Virtual Project Delivery - If you haven't seen this at all yet, check it out.

Dupont Design Studio - I heard about this, maybe a year ago? It was discussed today along with three others I'll get to in another post when I have more time.

Virtual Mockups - Not a link but a theme, nearly every presentation had examples of how virtual mockups of design information had helped the construction process. If it isn't part of your process now it probably will soon or should be.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Dept. of Codes/Laws - Things to Consider

If you are working on a hotel project in Dubuque, Iowa: "Any Hotel in the city limits must have a water bucket and hitching post in front of the building."

In Mount Vernon, Iowa: "One must obtain written permission from the City Council before throwing bricks into a highway."
Nogales, Arizona: "An ordinance prohibits the wearing of suspenders."

In Fort Madison, Iowa: "The fire department is required to practice fire fighting for fifteen minutes before attending a fire."

Marshalltown, Iowa: "Horsed are forbidden to eat fire hydrants"

Related to Ice Cream (my favorite food)
Indianola, Iowa: The "Ice Cream Man" and his truck are banned.
Carmel, CA: "Ice cream may not be eaten while standing on the sidewalk. (Repealed when Clint Eastwood was mayor)"
Alabama: "You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time."
Georgia: "No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday."
Lexington, Kentucky: "No one may carry an ice cream cone in their back pocket if it is Sunday."

This seriously "harshes-my-mellow", since I usually like to carry my ice cream in my back pocket, don't you?? I'll have to be careful when I visit those states!

Last one (in Alabama): "Boogers may not be flicked into the wind."

Just sayin'... as you were.

[Source: http://www.dumblaws.com]

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

BIM 360 - Online Virtual Conference

If you can't attend the BIM Forum in San Diego this week maybe the event that Rand/IMAGINiT Technologies is hosting on February 17th can help you not dwell on that?


Free, Full-Day Online Event Offers User and Manager Tracks for Architecture, Engineering and Facilities Management Professionals (Available for free to anyone in North America)

BIM 360 is a virtual conference. Attendees will learn about implementing BIM best practices and be shown the latest tools and software, such as Scan to BIM. They will also be able to network with peers and ask questions in the virtual exhibit hall and lounge area.

Event Details
February 17, 2011 (Thursday)
9am to 5pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Session Details - Software Users
All software user focused sessions are 60 minutes and include demonstrations of various software platforms.
  • Design Models
  • Analysis Models
  • Documentation Models
  • Virtual Construction Models
  • Facilities Models
Session Details - Managers
All manager focused sessions are 30 minutes and focus on the related business issues for each area.
  • Design Models
  • Analysis Models
  • Documentation Models
  • Virtual Construction Models
  • Facilities Models
  • Model Sharing (bonus track for managers)
Registration
Registration is free, but advanced registration is required. Register now by visiting imaginit.com/BIM360Register.

Need more?
Watch a video describing five reasons for software users to attend.
Watch a video describing five reasons for managers to attend.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Dept. of Echo - Sync with Central is Complete Acknowledgement

Rod Howarth posted a free Add-in that will pop up a dialog and put a flashing icon on your taskbar when your Synchronize with Central finishes. For more details and how to download/install it I'll let you read all about it on his blog.

Keep in mind that if you have Worksharing Monitor installed you can tell it to tell you that it knows that you want to know that your Sync with Central is done too. It's done via the Options here:


I've checked the two settings I prefer but you can check them all so you'll also know when something fails. The notifications do expire on their own so you could miss them. The advantage Rod's app has is that it will require your action to dismiss it. Unless you change the following setting in Worksharing Monitor too.


This is your message to go get messages!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Project Coordination - Early Days

This post attempts to outline how a project will develop (understanding there are exceptions) when considering multiple firms/models and attempting to keep each model aligned both in Revit's model environment and relative to the site location and survey information. It differs from previous explanations I've offered here because the separation of models tends to challenge the traditional Publish and Acquire Coordinates tools. These tools work more readily when all the models co-exist on the same network, shared among the team. Less so when that isn't possible.

In the beginning..."You" (an architecture firm) start your project without a reliable survey. Sometimes the survey is a hand drawn document from a "couple years ago" or it's just a legal deed description. Maybe it is just from a survey you don't trust? Regardless you are less than excited about relying on it completely. Someone arranges for a survey or less convincingly...one is being promised.

Using a new project template (your killer office template of course), start your Revit project at (near) the origin in Revit (project basepoint). Don't even worry about the survey information for the moment. Draw the concept so it is easy to put on paper, on a printed sheet. Doesn't matter if it is angled or new fangled, just orient it so it is "easy" to draw.

When the survey comes in or you are forced to do some site documentation (guessing) create a new Revit project file (for example call it: Site Master or Master Site) and create whatever information you intend to use in this file. The presiding reason to create this separate file is to minimize the pain and suffering should the building location change or if there is more than one building involved. Work in this file, orienting everything with North as the top of the view, North is "UP" (like World Coordinates "WCS" in AutoCAD).

You also need to match the coordinate system of the Master Site Revit project to the survey. The most reliable way to do this is to agree on a benchmark location in the survey and use those values with the Specify Coordinates at Point tool to define that same spot in Revit. The reason it is most reliable is that large coordinate values do not get extracted properly using the Acquire Coordinates tool. Safer to use the one that "always" works, I think. When the survey is imported into Revit use Auto-Center to Center so that it is near Revit's own origin. Then the Specify Coordinate at Point tool will adjust the Survey Point to indicate where the survey 0,0,0 (origin) is. If you "un-clip" the Survey Point first you can use it to mark the benchmark and it won't shift to mark the survey origin.

Now that this file exists you have some understanding of the site and hopefully have an idea about where the building ought to go. Import your building model using Manual at Origin and "plop" your building somewhere on the site. Move it into position, align/rotate it and raise it to the ideal ground floor elevation (literally move it up/down in a section or elevation view). Once the building is where you believe it should go you can define the important site information to share with everyone else. Contrary to typical convention don't bother with Publish Coordinates. More on this in a bit, hang in there.

Let's pause, back up and insert some stuff between the building model and the site model coming into being, before you get reliable site information (or faking it).

Let's assume you decide to hire a structural engineer (and MEP) and they use Revit too. You send them a copy of your model (remember, before any notion of real site position information). They import your model Auto-Origin to Origin. The reason for this is that the extent of your model is likely to be different than the extent of their template. Using Auto-Center to Center will not guarantee that your origin and their origin are at the same place. You want the Project Base Point (Revit's project origin) to be the same in both files. The MEP consultant does the same. The engineers match up their levels and grids to yours using Copy/Monitor (most likely...or probably should).

At this point everybody has models that are at the same location from one Revit file to another. Importing any file into another will end up at the same spot in each other's file. If you never deal with site you are all good to go.

If we assume that you and the engineers have traded files a few times we can reconcile the site conditions when they become available. When a real survey exists (or even a fake, good enough for now one does) you add it to the site master file and use it to define (as described earlier) the actual coordinates so the master site model and the civil information are in sync. Assuming you have to adjust the building you do it here, in the Site Master file. Move it, align/rotate and raise/lower it but as I mentioned before, DON'T bother using Publish Coordinates.

When you are passing models back and forth the process (FTP/Uploading/Downloading) of publishing coordinates breaks down if/when your architecture model has to be moved on the site. The relationship between the site and your model is easy. Not so easy for the other models and your model to say in sync. The goal should be to keep the project origin intact between files. Instead of Publish Coordinates, we will use the Specify Coordinates at Point tool to tell each project file what the site information is. This is done by determining what the necessary information is in the Site Master file and passing it along to each team/model. It's a simple list: East/West & North/South Coordinate for a established location like Grid intersection A1, Elevation at that location and the building Rotation relative to East or West. It looks like this when you've got it entered into a building/structure/mep model.


You extract this information from the Site Master file by using the Report Shared Coordinates tool at Grid Intersection A1 (or something agreed upon). This gives you the E/W and N/S coordinates and the Elevation. Rotation is determined by finding the angle between True North and the Grid (or something) that represents Project North.

As mentioned above, you don't actually publish coordinates or acquire them. You use Specify Coordinates at Point in each model to tell Revit what the real world coordinates are at that point (Grid A1), what the elevation of the project is and what the rotation of the project is. As soon as you enter the information Revit "adjusts" the project but it never really moves. All the project views are intact. The only time that major changes are required by everyone are when the model itself is redesigned to different angles or shapes. It's hard to avoid that kind of rework. Repositioning the building on the site however is updated with much less trouble or downstream heartache.

You just repeat those steps if the site conditions or something forces a change and pass the new coordinates, elevation and rotation information along to the engineers. They use Specify Coordinates at Point, enter the data...back in sync. If they don't update the information the models still stay in sync between Revit files. The failure to do so only becomes apparent when the model is exported to Navisworks or a cad file for Civil to use.

In a flow chart the concept looks like this.


The coordinate data in the dashed boxes could be as simple as four lines in an email, like this:

The new project coordinate information is a follows
  • E/W Bearing: 1,500,000
  • N/S Bearing: 1,250,000
  • Elevation: 142'-0"
  • Rotation: 25 degrees Relative to: West

If there are multiple buildings involved the process is the same except they'll each have their own unique coordinate information ultimately derived from the building model located in the Site Master file.

This is my first pass at documenting this...so if I've missed something or described it poorly...I'll be back. I'm also planning on a video capture or two...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Newforma Add-in for Autodesk Revit

Newforma announced the release of their eighth edition on January 18th (won't be released to customers till the beginning of the 2nd Quarter of 2011). Among the highlights was one that I thought was a nice development for Revit projects.


Building Information Management and Spatial Index activity centers
New Building Information Management and Spatial Index activity centers provide project teams with a spreadsheet interface for editing sheets, spaces and properties from a Revit building information model. Bi-directional synchronization is provided through the optional Newforma® Add-in for Autodesk® Revit®. (features of which are further described here below but via a link on their site)

...snip
Room and spatial data management
Connect room and space planning spreadsheets with live Revit models to enable programming and Revit modeling staff to work asynchronously on a coordinated project room and space program.

Punch list integration
Connect space and system elements in the model with the Spatial Index activity center in Newforma Project Center to provide a consistent, unambiguous framework for the location of punch list and site observation items throughout the facility.

Document control and revision management
Connect sheet planning worksheets with the live Revit models to manage the revision and distribution of all record document deliverables derived from the model.

Resolution of design problems
Link action items and markups created in Newforma Project Center to building elements in Revit to track and more efficiently resolve design challenges with other disciplines.

Discoverable design-process audit trail
A by-product of a Newforma-enabled BIM process is a discoverable project audit trail that links building elements in Revit to a decision trail of information, emails and documents that support the final outcome.
...snip

The room and spatial data connection sounds particularly interesting!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Dept. of Off Topic - Kewpie Dolls

You might wonder what Mr. OpEd could have in common with Kewpie Dolls? In 1992-93ish I played drums for a three piece group by the same name. Formed by Jamie Treker and Mary Notarthomas, they hired a drummer to record an album with them. I think it was Tony Carbone, but not positive after so many years. After they finished the album they auditioned drummers to play live gigs with them. Yours truly was one of them and I got the gig. We rehearsed faithfully for about a year and played just two live performances during the whole time. A little disappointing.

My wife took some black and white photos at one point thinking we needed some band shots but I don't recall ever actually using them. Proof that I had a pony tail years ago! I showed these pictures to my daughter and it was amusing to tell her, "Yeah, the girl has the short hair and the guys have the long hair!".


I enjoyed playing for them and the parts laid down for me to play were energetic and interesting. Shame it never turned into more gigs. The group kind of fizzled and we went our separate ways. Jamie is (was at the time too) a sports writer (soccer/futbol/football) and has garnered some notoriety over the years.


Search on the internet and ye shall find! I did and did... CD Universe actually has a copy or two of their CD still.


The trussed up clown might be a bit disturbing for some, sorry! All before my time so to speak. The album was done and getting pressed when I came on the scene. (if you can't tell, I'm not the clown but one of the clowns in the pictures above, I'm the one on the left in each)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Ribbon Tab Dance

I'm growing weary of the Ribbon Tab feature that allows you to cycle through the ribbon display options if you double click on a tab. I say weary because I've been using a Intous 4 for a few months now and I find that I occasionally double tap when I think the software is lagging or didn't accept my first tap. The result is a new ribbon format. During training it is annoying. During remote access of another pc it is even more frequent because of the inherent lag between my screen and theirs. I'd love it if there were a "switch" that let me disable that feature.

I recorded a little video of it if you haven't had the pleasure?