Friday, July 31, 2009

Training Room - A Couple Options

In this dark period of layoffs and declining work (for some anyway) one of the first things to go is a training budget. Lots of reasons why this isn't a good thing since you now actually have some time to sharpen the saw so to speak, but those reasons would also be different post.

I imagine most firms would love to have a dedicated space for training. Most manage with a conference room takeover now and then. The other issue is computers. A firm spends some serious money on workstations and now they need to drag them into a conference room for a training session. This assumes on-site training. Some training organizations have a mobile training setup where they ship computers (usually laptops) to the office and then the students use them. This isn't usually a free service but I suppose some might be giving it away these days.

For those firms who typical drag computers into a conference room here is an interesting solution. One firm I know has a small collection of older laptops and some new models that don't demand the high price of their workstations. These computers go in that conference room they hijack for a week. Heres the twist, the users login and launch a Remote Desktop session with their very own high end workstations back at their desks.

No need to install software on the training computer for class, they just need an OS and Remote Desktop...usually already part of the OS install anyway. If you are interested in more detail just let me know and I can put you in touch with Long Nyguyen with TKA in Harvard, MA. It's his technique and he said it was okay to share it here.

Thanks Long!!

For those interested in an off-site solution and near a Microtek center you may need to look no further. I've done some training at their Chicago location a few times over the last couple years and they've been really GREAT! In one instance the client forgot to book the training room!! I showed up to, "What training session Steve?!?" We'll they managed to turn around a room for Revit MEP training complete with server environment for worksharing or ten students in less than two hours. We started just ONE hour behind schedule. I couldn't believe it, Awesome service and attitude!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Classic UI - Revit 2009 Interface in 2010

It is possible, though with some quirky limitations, to enable Revit 2010 to use the 2009 interface. It was first displayed in a post by Phil Read on his blog. Then a post at AUGI revealed the steps required to do it. Then it was pulled by the person who posted it. Most recently it has been shared by an Autodesk staffer in THIS POST. This is the text that both describes and offers a disclaimer for using it.

Assuming an overwhelming response to this message doesn't hide it somewhere deep in the growing thread, you can now easily refer to a real live genuine Autodesk post for instructions to enable the Revit 2009 UI in Revit 2010.

1) Exit Revit.
2) Create a text file named "debug.ini" in \\Program\
3) In the new "debug.ini" file type:


4) Save the file.
5) Restart Revit.

The Revit 2009 UI has really, really, not been tested with Revit 2010, so if you call support and say you're having trouble with old UI, they're not going to be able to help. However, if you're having other issues, you won't be turned away if you have been using the old UI. If support can't reproduce your issue with the new UI, they'll be unable to help, because it remains unsupported with Revit 2010.

As you experiment, we're going to look into scouting out some of the pitfalls you might encounter in using the Revit 2009 UI in Revit 2010 and letting you know what we find.

We remain committed to the new Revit UI and its further development, building on the strengths that many users have found, while addressing the needs of a very large and diverse user community. Rest assured that the entire Revit team has been listening to all the customer feedback, negative and positive, concerning the new user interface and are working on addressing many expressed concerns and suggestions.

It was posted and signed by Anthony Hauck, BIM Design Product Line Manager, Autodesk.

[Edit: The Autodesk Knowledge Base web site article has been updated to reflect this new information as well as providing a DEBUG ini FILE to download. You can read the article too.]

On another note...Phil Read has created a Tee-Shirt in honor of his passion for the classic UI.

You can support it by purchasing it. Watch his blog for further announcements of The 1st Annual Meeting of "The Order of the Drunken Leprechaun" (aka "DLM" or "Drunken Leprechaun Mode").

For an ongoing discussion of quirky limitations stay tuned to this thread at AUGI.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Andekan Starter Packs

Andekan recently posted some Starter Packs. There are US and UK plumbing packs, an IKEA product pack and a Victaulic pipe fitting pack for metric and one for imperial.

Now before you pass out when you see the price for a pack do some math. For example the US Plumbing pack sells for $3999.00 and there are 67 families that represent 702 models/types. This works out to about $59 per family.

Consider what you normally charge per hour (billable work) for your most knowledgeable Revit user. If your user can build one of these in just one hour how does that stack up? If it compares well, then let them try...if they give up...give Andekan a call. If the pack doesn't thrill you then you can look at an ala carte approach instead.

I first read about this at Alan's blog. Thanks for the post!

Dept. of Wishes - Continue a Command in a Separate View

People familiar with AutoCAD are probably used to being able to split a view into more than one viewport. This permits you to zoom in on different parts of the model space and start a command at one end of a building and finish the command at the other end by making the appropriate part of the view active. Revit can provide another window and you can tile it but you can't start, for example, the wall tool and place the first point in one view and then place the second point in the other view. This would be quite handy!!

You can use the Trim tool however, pick one wall in one view and pick another wall in another view. Same for the Align tool.

Similar weakness for the dimension tool and lines, can't start the dimension tool in one view and pick another to finish it up. Same for lines.

Speaking of Walls or lines you CAN, in one view, start a wall at one end, Zoom to Fit, Zoom in Region and place the second point. Not nearly as fast or efficient as a second focused viewport perhaps but it'll get you there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dept. of Subtle - Design Ribbon

I don't know about you but I'm having a tough time purging the language I've been using for many years now. Two in particular...Design Bar and Save to Central. In class I keep catching myself saying "Design Bar". When I'm doing better I catch it before I say it but there is still, occasionally, a pause where I intentionally avoid saying it which results in a slower more deliberate ...Riiibbbbbaaaahn. The switch from Save to Central to Synchronize with Central isn't a huge departure but it seems just a little harder to say and I find myself struggling, at times, to say it instead.

I may just starting calling the Ribbon the "Design Ribbon" instead of the Design Bar...since that's what it really is? A compromise? If I can say "Design" it may help or at least I'll feel better 8-). Overanout!

Getting What We Ask For - API

I recall in 2002 that I was against the idea of any sort of API (Application Programming Interface) being part of Revit. Why? I was tired of managing a pile of LISP, ARX applications for AutoCAD/ADT etc. I was tired of making and maintaining them too. The "promise" was if the application needed it, it would get put in the application...Revit that is. I was worried about Revit in the future becoming the "present" (the present back then) AutoCAD situation.

As I understand it, initially the rationale for excluding an API was for control and speed-to-market. No API meant that the code was isolated and safe from outside interlopers and no distractions from providing features. This meant that they could focus and do what was needed to be done without worrying about what someone outside might try to do with the code. I'm making some sweeping generalizations here and may be sweeping some facts into corners.

When Autodesk acquired Revit developing the API became a priority and it has been ongoing since. Each release has seen large strides forward in what can be done externally. Ultimately the scope of the API is much larger than the founders had in mind.

Getting back to my bias against doing this and my selfishness. I liked the simplicity of "one" application doing so much. I hated the idea that I'd have to buy this or that from one vendor and hunt for another tool from yet another vendor. I hated the idea that I'd have to beg someone to make me a "free" utility or worse learn how to do it myself.

Yet the development of Revit can't seem to keep up with our needs and dreams. My personal dissatisfaction (yes I am not satisfied) with 2010 has little to do with the new interface than the lack of substantial tools and finishing existing features. No insult intended to the new massing tools because they represent a significant shift.

There are so many other things that are needed NOW, not in another 12 months. They were needed 12 months, 24 months ago. To name just two...Railings and Stairs. They have not been "touched" since release 7.0. Release 7.0 came out in December 2004 and there have been roughly ten releases since then including "point" releases. That's almost FIVE years ago now without so much as a "look" or "tweak" at stairs/railings. That so much effort was applied to the user interface at their expense is extremely frustrating.

Enter the API. For many things we can contact a developer and pay them to make something we need now. We'll get it faster than Autodesk will "give" it to us too. It will (hopefully) work exactly the way we want it to. Except that the "future" I was afraid of is here. My user interface now includes tools from many different vendors. In 2009 it is a real mess of menus and toolbars. In 2010, they are at least clustered under "add-ins" on the Ribbon, so far.

Here we are in that "future" I was dreading where I can get 3rd party applications from more than a dozen places and spend anywhere from $35 to $thousands. Some applications are charging as much as 25% of of the purchase price of Revit for their tools. Considering how much Revit does for its price and how little by comparison some tools do that seems a bit aggressive and it can make it harder for a firm to seriously consider them. Price is a difficult thing to figure out. Price it light and sell a lot. Now you've got a lot of customers and the difficulties that brings. Price it high and you sell less but you have a smaller pool of customers to please.

The future is here. There are quite a lot of cool tools available now and the API has made MORE possible. I just wish that more of it could be part of Revit itself.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

3rd Party Applications - Eagle Point and Tools4Revit

There are a growing number of companies creating specific products intended to expand or enhance working with Revit.

Building Framing and other Utilities:
Recently Tools4Revit made their work available to me and I've been slowly working through their pretty comprehensive set of tools. I plan to post about some of their tools as soon as I feel competent to do so.

Site and Land Development:
I hope to get a chance to see the latest development from Eagle Point Software called LANDCADD for Revit. LANDCADD is hardly new but support for Revit is brand new, new enough that there isn't much information on their site yet. The release is tentatively scheduled for October 2009. You can read their press release HERE.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blogger Tip - Wider Editor

Beau Turner posted a very nice tip that he picked up elsewhere. If you blog and use Blogger you may have been frustrated at how narrow the editor section is in the UI. I suppose they keep it that narrow so that we get a sense of when our text will wrap but it can be quite tedious. Bottom line...using Firefox, Greasemonkey (scripting add-on) and a free script you too can edit in a wider whiter space. To add the script to Greasemonkey just try to browse to the script link in a Tab within Firefox (after installing Greasemonkey naturally) and Greasemonkey will "catch" it to give you a chance to add the script. Once that's done you can edit in Blogger in a nice wide format.

Thanks to Beau for posting about it and to the Fat Knowledge blog for posting it too. The script was built on the work of Jasper de Vries.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Revit Content - Turbo Squid

I met Michele Bousquet at Autodesk University 2008 and she was full of energy when it comes to making Revit Content available. She wrote to tell me that its been six months since they kicked their Revit Market off and they have over 2500 families now (they call them "assets").

What I found interesting is that the items in most demand are "entourage"...people etc. The biggest sellers have been furniture, plants and decorative accessories. That makes some sense to me. Do we really want to model that stuff to add to a scene so we can get a better sense of realism?

She also mentioned that the greatest concern expressed by customers/users thus far has been "reliability". It is one thing to download a family for free and see it "break" when you flex it. It is another thing entirely if you are paying for it. She said that their Revit Market has done very well because of their Revit Certified Content process.

I really appreciated the "60's era free-Revit-family" vibe we've had for many years but also recognize that many firms and users are really reluctant to share many hours work so freely anymore. So Turbo Squid is providing a solution, you don't have to "give away" your content anymore and you can download something you can count on with a bit more certainty.

[Edit: Fixed the link > Revit Market]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Modeling Serendipity

In the debate about should we or shouldn't we use Revit (or 3D etc.) people overlook the intangible stuff that is hard to quantify until you encounter it, the title of the post. I'm writing about that "thing" that happens when you create a 3D model of something you "understand". I'm not trying to be insulting because I know that I've created models of things that I thought I understood and then found I didn't fully appreciate the impact it had on other related items later on.

Once upon a time I worked for a theatrical contractor that specializes in stage curtains, rigging and lighting systems. One of the things I did back then was shop drawing for our projects. We were careful to show how our equipment interacted with the building. Yes...these were drawing done by hand on vellum/mylar and with technical pens/pencils. We eventually used AutoCAD too.

All too often a site visit would find sprinklers and their pipes suspended from "our" rigging steel, ducts in the path of travel of curtains and lighting, drains and other sundry items in the way of our other equipment. Not that we didn't try to coordinate this stuff. Things like this need some room!

Usually when I'd talk to a contractor the story was, "Never saw those shop drawings, wish we had! Well, our stuffs in, work around it!!".

This is where I'd get to be "theatrical" and be a "Prima don". In a job trailer full of angry contractors who have just been told that much of their work would need to be redone I calmly explained that the reason the building is getting built is so that the equipment we are supposed to install actually works. If "our" stuff doesn't work then we can save the client a lot of money and stop building the building, won't need it after all.

As you can see in the image above there isn't a lot of real estate available to just put stuff any old place you want in a stage area. Once supplied with the "bigger" picture, sighs all around and a few "who's going to pay for this?" and they worked it out so we could do it right the second time. This happened more than a couple times over eleven years unfortunately.

Fast forward to Revit and modeling buildings...if our submittal was 3D and their submittal was 3D and everyone's was...we could evaluate this coordination much more efficiently than sitting in a job trailer and arguing about who was right. The sad truth is that too often the 2D drawings in the field don't get in the right hands at the right time. There are great projects and teams and then there are takes all kinds.

Serendipity is when you realize that you didn't fully understand something. It comes when a collection of models means a dozen players solve a problem in an hour instead of spending several hours just trying figure out if there IS a problem. Consider that this usually meant flipping sheets and asking questions like, "What's the bottom elevation of the beam again?" "What's the duct size again?" "It says Top of Steel is 28'-0" but the finish floor is "27'-8", what gives?"

There are so many good reasons to do it...even some you haven't considered...yet. Climb down from the "fence"...

Credit is due for the images above:

The first image above is a custom winch assembly to lift a 22,000 lb. media screen at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The winch couldn't be mounted above so it "self-climbs" and had to be built to lift 34,000 lbs instead, its own weight plus the screen. An aside, I dealt with the sale of a similar winch and did the shop drawings for a project in Seoul when I worked for JR Clancy. The winch had to lift a prop, a small car, very very very fast so that it could arrive in the scene during a change and then disappear during a subsequent change. Oh and that's Rod Kaiser, an all around good guy. There is little he hasn't seen or done in his many years with JR Clancy.

The second image above is a capture from a magazine article featuring the Alden Theater in Maclean, Virginia. The magazine is Stage Directions. The article was written by Kathleen Burke and is called Revving Up. The theater contractor/consulting firm, Pook Diemont & Ohl was hired by the awarded contractor/consulting firm Barbizon Capitol. They used the equipment manufactured by my past employer JR Clancy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spot Dimension and Underlay

Hiroshi Jacobs brought this item to my attention the other day. He also shared with me that he's been accepted to the Masters of Architecture program at Harvard!! Attaboy Hiroshi!! He currently works at RTKL in DC. Here's the issue.

There is currently a “bug/issue” (2009/2010) when you combine the use of these two features. First of all when you use the underlay feature you get to choose which Level of the project you’d like to add to your view as an “underlay”. The spot dimension tool lets us identify a point elevation or point coordinates on an element in the model.

In the image above you can see that combined they can have an undesireable result. The conditions for this are using an Underlay of a Level ABOVE the level of your current view and having a floor above in the same area as the intended location of a Spot Elevation.

When you place the spot dimension in an area where this underlay doesn’t compete for attention you get normal results. However when you put the spot dimension in an area where the underlay and its floor are present Revit will identify the spot elevation of the underlay, not the floor that it "should be" paying attention too.

Does tabbing permit you to choose the correct element? No it doesn't. If you use the Underlay Orientation: Reflected Ceiling Plan the Spot Elevation tool works as "expected", it does not "see" the floor above, if that makes any sense at all since the floor should be more visibleish? I'm confused...

Since I brought it up what happens when you switch between Underlay Orientation: Plan and Reflected Ceiling Plan? Let's see, watch the Spot Elevation that displays both top and bottom values for the underlay floor above. First with Underlay Orientation set to Plan.

Notice the compare with Underlay Orientation: Reflected Ceiling Plan.

Does it matter if it is a floor or roof? Does the same thing for either. Interesting that the elevation values change depending on the Underlay orientation, increasing with the Reflected Ceiling Plan selection. Keep in mind that the floor is at Level 2 which is just 10'-0" above Level 1. I could understand the top vs. bottom display values switching places in the tag with the orientation change but not the elevation values becoming something they aren't.

Boiled down the underlay is “more important” than the current level’s elements when using the Spot Dimension tool. Keep this in mind when using the Spot Dimension tools and using an Underlay.

One more for the road: Spot Dimensions don't like Model Graphics Style: Wireframe. The tools won't "see" the surface unless you change to one of the other choices like Hidden Line. You can switch back to wireframe afterward and the values will stick. This is from an earlier "stump the chump" question and the answer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Split Button Memory

The web update recently indicated that several of the Split Buttons now remember the last tool that you used. Which tools am I referring too?


Room/Area Tag
Keynote Tag
Component/Repeat Detail/Legend Component.

For example the Room/Area tag looks like this when you use it.

Initially the Component Split Button didn't seem to remember to change the icon too but it has been fine since closing and starting over with a new session.
Thanks for the "memories"!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Autodesk Labs - Solar Radiation for Revit

This showed up on the Autodesk Labs site this morning and Scott Shepard blogged about it on their blog page. It is formally called "Solar Radiation Technology Preview for Revit Architecture and Revit MEP". A couple snippets from their site:

Use the Solar Radiation Technology Preview to analyze the effects of solar radiation on various surfaces of your conceptual building model...

The technology preview uses the geometry of conceptual massing elements from Revit and calculates the amount of solar radiation hitting the surfaces of the massing shapes, based on location and weather data... ...It is possible to display the distribution and availability of solar radiation over an entire building or even a city block...

The output of the technology preview can be saved as images in the Revit project that contains the massing elements... ...You can also export the images from Revit for use in presentations or for editing in external software applications...

If you want to watch or download a video (from the blog post):

To help get you started, there's a video that accompanies this release:


Friday, July 10, 2009

Autodesk AEC Marketing - Revit 2011 Customer Examples

I was contacted by Kyle Herring, he is a Solutions Marketing Manager with Autodesk. They have recently initiated a search for customer data sets that can be used to create marketing materials to support the 2011 release of Revit platform. He wanted to assure me, and you, that "we’re not selling anything here, we simply see this as a great opportunity for Revit users to display the work that they do to a large audience in the AEC community."

If you and your firm are interested in being part of this effort you can contact Kyle directly via EMAIL.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Detail Level Icons - Improved

I mentioned the 2010 Detail Level icons in an earlier post as being harder for me to tell them apart than in earlier releases. The new web update has changed them again. This time it is a combination of what it was in 2009 and what it was in the initial release of 2010. The Detail Level coarse icon is an empty white square again and the others, Medium and Fine are the "same" checker board patterns with fewer and more squares.

Looks like they shuffled the icons a bit. A new white square icon bumped Coarse to Medium. The first 2010 Coarse icon knocked Medium out of the game. Fine's icon managed to hang on to its spot. It is certainly easier to tell at-a-glance whether a view is using Coarse detail level again! It's a little thing but I appreciate little stuff too!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dept. of Subtle - Pan/Zoom Insensitivity

This is really very subtle but with 2010 if you should happen to start with the really "dumb" template called "none" the pan/zoom functions don't work unless you have something in the view. This might makes sense except I wanted to turn on the new Project Base Point and Survey Point graphics and then Zoom to Fit. Revit won't Zoom to Fit or pan for that matter if they are visible when nothing else exists in the view.

If you add some text, a wall segment, an elevation view, a line...something pan/zoom come back to life. Apparently the graphic icons for these aren't "real enough" elements that pan/zoom recognize. Fortunately most people won't encounter this because they'll be working with a template that has "stuff" in it!

This "condition" is also true for earlier releases but 2010 now has something that you might actually want to use Zoom to Fit to see even if other elements don't exist yet.

As you were...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Web Update for Revit 2010 - 20090612_2115 WU1

The new build is now available for download. This is a list of the items addressed in the web update pdf.

Dragging a ribbon panel near a view no longer causes the view to pan.
Improvements to color fill output when exporting to DWFx.
All reference callouts, sections, and elevations will mirror when project is mirrored.
When the sheet view is active, ribbon commands display the correct UI state.
“Is Reference” Instance Property is available for reference points.
Commands in Print Preview mode can now be accessed by keytips.

Improves stability when printing.
Decal image path is now saved.
Disables the “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” option when tool already exists on Quick Access Toolbar.
View Control Bar no longer shows old and new state of commands until the view is redrawn.

Improved detail level icons in the View Control Bar.
Improvements to form creation and editing of conceptual masses
Improvements to divided surfaces on conceptual masses.
Improved graphic performance when using View Cube® navigation tool.
Images will now display in print preview and print correctly.
Improved stability when printing to PDF.

Type Selector preview images update for types created by Duplicate Type command.
Type Selector will remain added to Quick Access Toolbar when opening a new Autodesk Revit Architecture session.
When multiple contextual tabs are available, the proper contextual tab will be displayed when clicking on the Options Bar.
Improved stability when multiple sessions of Autodesk Revit Architecture are running.
Duplicate icons from ribbon and application frame no longer appear in the Options Bar.

Improved stability when plotting or exporting.
Alt+Numeric keypad entries will create the expected special text character
Improved ribbon display issues.
TIFF images will display correctly in plan after project is reopened.
Relinquish all when closing a local file now works if there is a new view, family or workset in the project.
Selecting Boundary when creating a ramp or stair no longer reverts back to Run option.
Flip controls are now available in the Detail Component family editor.

ADSK file from Autodesk® Inventor® software no longer loses custom UCS information in Autodesk Revit Architecture.
Application frame size is saved between sessions.
Reveal Hidden Elements and select keyboard shortcut enabled in family environment
Select previous keyboard shortcut is now available.
Raster export to DWF™ format will follow quality settings.

On Quick Access Toolbar, moved Sync to Central command next to Save command.
Improved visibility of Tab highlights when in thin line mode.
Modified section and elevation command icons.
Room/Area Tag, Column, Keynote Tag, and Component/Repeat Detail/Legend Component drop-down buttons on the ribbon will now reflect the last-used command.
Improved precision of parameters in families using type catalogs.
Improved display of shadows.
Improvements to IFC export.

Improved display of color fills in elevation views
In Export to AutoCAD® Civil 3D® software dialog, location tab now lists the correct setting for angle of rotation measured from.
When exporting to TIFF or PNG, the sky alpha channel will now properly drop out.
Improved wall-by-face creation on imported masses.
Wall wraps will display correctly in detail views.

When exporting wall joins into DWG with shared coordinates, all collinear lines are now merged.
Improved stability when using parallel wall join cleaning switch described in the
Revit Performance Technical Note.

Autodesk Revit API Enhancments
Suppressed Revit inaccuracies warnings during transaction when generating geometries using massing API
Associated LinearArray's NumMembers property with Family parameter.
Dissociated FamilyParameter from Label property of BaseArray and Dimension
Provided a tool to update reference path of RevitAPI.dll for samples.
Provided an update to DistanceToPanels sample.
Improved stability when creating NewReferencePoint with PointOnEdge that references a ModelCurve.
Floating point values are no longer reset when crossing from managed code to unmanaged code.
In the Print API, ViewSheetSetting.Save() no longer raises an InvalidOperationException when the user removes all views.
A meaningful exception will be raised when incorrect sketchPlane is used in NewSweep(,,SketchPlane,,,).
FamilyManager.Set() can now assign ElementId value to parameter
Improved stability when using DocumentOpened event and linked files.
Improved stability of VSTA.

[Added emphasis for a few items]

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Virtual Memory

Quick items to share/remind...

Set Minimum and Maximum to the same value between 2-3 times the available RAM on your PC. Making them the same means that Windows does not adjust the amount that is available on the fly.

Dedicated "drive" for Virtual Memory - If possible use a second drive and dedicate it to Virtual Memory, easier for a workstation.

Vista Users - USB memory stick can provide extra RAM via Vista Ready Boost feature. Thanks to Ed Tallmadge for making me aware of this feature though I have yet to take the time to install Vista myself since somewhere along the way I found that I really don't enjoy rebuilding my computers anymore?!?

One general comment on RAM - resist the urge to install a 64 bit OS and "under-power" it by only providing 4gb of RAM. You will likely get poorer performance. You need at least 6gb of RAM, ideally more like 8. I'm not "geeky" enough to explain why in technical terms adequately but the folks I trust on these matters assure me that we shouldn't do it.

Last, keep in mind...your hardware and software combinations are different from mine and others so your mileage will vary! 8-)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

AUGI 2009 Special Election is underway - please vote!

I am echoing the BLAUGI post and various other blog posts on this subject with the hope that we will have a much improved voter turnout compared with the last election in December 2008.

The AUGI Board of Directors Ballot is OPEN - 2009 Special Election

The AUGI 2009 Special Election is underway...

We have four candidates on the slate. Only two seats are open for the Board.

Each candidate should be considered individually. A candidate is elected based on total Yes votes counted. You may vote on all four candidates, but you may only vote Yes on a total of two candidates. The two candidates receiving the largest number of Yes votes will be elected.

The process of narrowing down the number of qualified nominees to the four candidates included on this year's ballot was a difficult one. The candidates that are elected will serve the remainder of a two year period that continues through December, 2010.

We commend all the nominees and candidates for their willingness to serve and be part of this process. Their credentials and dedicated service are one of the reasons that AUGI is such a strong organization. It is through members such as these that we continue to expand the offerings, programs, events, and training to AUGI members.

NOTE: You must have been a member of AUGI for at least 30 days prior to the close of nominations (May 24, 2009) to be able to vote in this year's Board of Directors election.

Your Vote Counts!


The Order of Parameters - Revisited

This seems to come up now and again so I've decided to post what I wrote at AUGI this evening here too...echo echo. Regarding the eternal question, "Can I change the order of the parameters in the Family Editor?"

I wrote THIS POST in November 2007. Scott Hopkins shared a tip at AUGI and the post includes a link for that thread at AUGI.

Parameters are "stacked" as you create them, the "oldest" goes on the bottom, in the group you assign it to. It doesn't matter whether you use alpha or numeric etc...oldest goes on the bottom. If you create several "placeholders" like XXXX, XXX, XX, XX you can create them and then rename them so they appear in the desired order. This assumes that you know what you need and how many as you start out, easier said than done.

Scott's technique will help after the fact. None of these will help when you use shared parameters however...for those you have to "live" with where they land. Naming parameters with common names first followed by differentiators will help keep related parameters together.

Wish it were as easy as "move up/ move down"...or drag to should be