Friday, May 22, 2015

Revit Tip

I saw the following blog post:
http://whatrevitwants.blogspot.com/2011/07/find-all-instances-of-detail-object-and.html
This is a great tip. I can't say how many times I wanted to clean up duplicate names of families imported from various projects. This tip would have saved hours!

Step 1: select all
Step 2: try to group
Step 3: export the list of instances




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leaving Writer Beat

  • It is after much e-mail and lots of time reading articles that I have decided to leave the http://www.writerbeat.com/ website. Here are my posts...

  • Obama Tax Cut

    Added Jan 19, 2014 - 10:20pm

    The cost to administer this complex code is unbearably high. Our government must retain high wage lawyers and accountants to administer it. There are millions of people and companies paying the tax and 40 million that pay nothing or don't file, so we have no idea if they should be paying or not. Our government can run just fine on excises taxes which have a much lower compliance cost. 
  • Delete comment
    The Robertson Clan, A&E and Hypocrisy

    Added Dec 21, 2013 - 1:36am

    A&E have no power over any of us. Phil Robertson is not forcing his beliefs on anyone. How is this news? I live in an "at will" state. I can be relieved from my place of work at any time for any reason or non-reason.

    We have a group of people that can FORCE their beliefs on the rest of us. They act in secret making "regulations" that have the force of "law".

    Overnight the entire flying population goes from being able to board flights without removing shoes to needing to remove shoes. These people committed no crime. They made no threats.

    Without any notice, the NSA begins collecting information about everyone that uses a phone - and lies about it to the people's representatives.

    We don't need to go too far back and we have the hero of the people declaring a "bank holiday" and prohibitions of private gold ownership.

    I am much more disturbed by the actions of the millions of government employees and contractors to enforce their opinions than in the speech, TV shows and magazines of fellow residents trying to make a living.
  • Delete comment
    what would happen if our rules for campaigne contributions changed?

    Added Dec 21, 2013 - 1:07am

    What would happen? The same thing that always happens - people find a way around the "law".
     
  • Delete comment
    What is the Purpose of Taxation?

    Added Dec 18, 2013 - 11:58pm

    "general welfare" is something that benefits everyone - like a postal system, judicial system, or money system. Specific welfare is what the federal government spends most of its time doing - payouts to individuals, grants to individual states, congressional districts...
  • Delete comment

    Added Dec 31, 1969 - 7:00pm

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    The Case for Market Socialism

    Added Dec 17, 2013 - 11:55pm

    So in this new Market Socialism, how are people motivated to participate?

    Who gets to decide whether iPhones or Android phones deserve consumer dollars?

    How is Market Socialism going to treat religious or other belief systems?

    Who decides what size home a person is allowed to buy? Is there any private home ownership? Will universities be allowed to have "student" or "professor" housing?

    What about entertainment? Does theater get production resources or cinema? How about games - mobile or desktop, console or board?

    Does Market Socialism have anything to say about interpersonal relationships? National Socialism had restrictions on family relationships.

    Our present economy is filled with millions of actors. Who decides who should get what resources and for which projects? Is there a penalty for inaction (cue Obamacare rif)?

    Markets are what they are. A place where people can exchange one thing for another. Regulated markets put barriers on exchanges between the producers and consumers. Fascist markets have government directed monopolies and cartels.

    A pure market is like the socialist society from the book "Utopia" - an ideal that will never exist. Pure markets have regulations to enforce contracts, prohibit violence, and punish fraud. 
  • Delete comment
    Fast Food Workers strike 2013, Winning or losing game?

    Added Dec 17, 2013 - 11:33pm

    I think that people are taking the recession way to seriously. Certainly many people have lost homes, but there is other less expensive housing available. There are a net fewer number of jobs, but there is more leisure time.

    Our streets are not filled with starving masses. In fact, many of the people working the minimum wage jobs are overweight. We have hundreds of programs at the federal level to assist those with low incomes. On top of the federal programs there are state and local ones as well.

    While the goals of the programs are lofty, the net result for the vast majority of recipients is that their minimum wage job is good enough for them to live at an acceptable level of comfort. Minimum wage workers enjoy food stamps, leisure time, housing subsidies, energy subsidies, health care subsidies and minimum responsibility.

    While, boosting the minimum wage does nothing to lift people out of poverty, it does boost union contract negotiation leverage. Minimum wages let corporations avoid the responsibility to set wages - they just follow the government recommendation.

    I've said before that the "safety" net is more like a "net" than people know. Once in the net, you may find it easier to stay than to leave.
  • Delete comment
    So What if 45,000 Americans Die Each Year From Lack of Medical Coverage?

    Added Dec 5, 2013 - 12:12am

    Unfortunately more than double the "uninsured" 45,000 people die in the care of medical professionals. Medical insurance is what it is - another way to pay for a service. It is not a guarantee of successful treatment.
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    Added Dec 31, 1969 - 7:00pm

  • Delete comment
    Obamacare collapse continues

    Added Nov 15, 2013 - 12:21am

    @Al Logiodice 
    I don't pay for television, so I am certain you watch more Glen Beck and Sean Hannity than I do.


    1. If socialism is not money transfers from one group of people to another group through government, what is socialism?
    2. Yes, health care providers are FORCED by law to give their services away to some people and overcharge everyone else or beg for tax dollars. Will that change under Obamacare? - I doubt it. 


    NAZI is a short name for a specific, historical political party. It was a socialist movement that included ideas about smoking cessation and all sorts of other warm and fuzzy ideas. Only after they came to power were they able to use the force of law to carry out their agenda - it turned out to be not so warm or fuzzy.


    I think you should re-read my response - socialism and fascism are two names for the same thing. In one, the people in power force you to pay for things for your own good and in the other you are forced to pay if you know what is good for you. Or as I have heard once: in socialism man oppresses man and in democracy it is the other way around. ;-)


    I actually met one of the people you mentioned. His name is Karl. He had to have an operation and stay in the hospital. The final bill was $200,000. I think he is still paying for it. Think of the non-insured as people that want their service up front and they'll pay for it later. The experiment called "Obamacare" is on the ropes. It was passed in an appeal to anecdotes: people that couldn't get covered because of medical history or lost their stuff to pay to keep themselves alive. Now it will have to face criticisms from the anecdotes: people losing coverage or sky high rates or losing First Amendment rights or coverage of things they don't want or doctors not accepting any insurance or the loss of medical privacy.


    Think about Obamacare and all the legislation to "fix" it critically, who has access to the law makers? Will the law be written in their favor or in the favor of millions of people that use the "contact me" page of politicians? 

    I spent more time reading the PPACA and the Supreme Court Ruling that cemented its place in history than nearly all of Congress. After decades of Congress messing with the Doctor-Patient relationship the results are in! The more government gets involved, the more expensive health care gets. 
    • Obamacare collapse continues

      Added Nov 14, 2013 - 3:07pm

      Obamacare is a tax and welfare scheme - nothing more nothing less. Some people get subsidies based on their federal tax returns, others don't. In that sense it is socialism - it robs from the people to give to the favored classes (people already sick, elderly, low income, people that lie about their income). However it also has elements of fascism since it tightly controls what products may be offered legally in the marketplace/exchange, and whom may offer them.

      The ramifications are that everyone must pay out of pocket for insurance (or pay a "tax") and get their subsidy at the end of the year when or  if they file a tax return. Once April 15 rolls around it will be a nightmare for the 40 million that do not file tax returns. They will have to file or not get the subsidy.

      While I am no prophet, I can see some elements that have logical conclusions:
      -thousands of new IRS employees, more audits or strict review of the new tax credit based Obamacare subsidies
      -tens of thousands of pages of new rules, health care can't get cheaper when compliance costs go up and overhead expenses are limited by law
      -promises of adding millions of new patients to a health care system that is already at or near capacity, wait times will increase, a boom in building new facilities and refurbishing existing ones is already underway
      -keeping state borders closed to out-of-state competitors, will keep the near monopoly status of many large health care providers intact
      -thousands of new federal employees (IRS & HHS), government costs will increase

      Overall Obamacare won't be much worse than the VA (substandard care) or Medicare (way overpriced care) or Medicaid (lots of waiting) - all three are socialism, perhaps that Obamacare will eventually become socialist too.
    • Delete comment
      AGW (Human-Caused Global Warming)

      Added Oct 29, 2013 - 1:42pm

      Robert,


      Will the FINAL solution require the use of FORCE? 


      Since every person is a CO2 factory, will we be required to kill our neighbors that will not comply with whatever tax, restrictions or behavior modifications that are deemed necessary to stop or reverse AGW?
       
    • Delete comment
      Time to "Shut Down" the Craven, Irresponsible Republican Agents of Destruction

      Added Oct 4, 2013 - 1:31pm

      Let us be clear about the Orewllian named Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. It does not provide care. It does not take over the health care system. It provides new taxes and a new system for subsidizing insurance purchasing. It makes some health insurance plans illegal and requres reporting to review boards of treatments.

      Insurance companies LOVE the PPACA - it means they have access to new customers that do not have to pay the full price. Additionally it LIMITS competition buy reducing the ways that insurance comepanies may compete. It protects the oligarchies in each state by keeping the BAN on selling health plans across state lines.

      As for the "R" & "D" political parties, they are two sides of the same coin. The both vote to goto war, spend more money than they tax away and then borrow and spend on top of that!

      Few politicians look past their next election. In fact, this brinkmanship is only about who will win next year. The "D" party is firing up their flagged base with a shut down. The "R" party is grandstanding about how they stood up to the president and exacted a concession or two.

      The federal government has inserted itself illegally into many areas of life. The point of having a free people is that they have the ability to live their lives and find their individual solutions. Are the people of the USA ready to concede that they no longer are in control of their own lives and that only a tiny few have the gift to run their own lives and make decisions for 300 million others? Do we really need 2.4 million federal workers deciding with the force of law what the rest of us may buy, sell, eat, drink, smoke, drive, flush, dig, invest, insure, plant, or harvest? Really?
    • Delete comment
      Corporations as People?

      Added Oct 1, 2013 - 2:11pm

      No corporation can take any action without a human being initiating the action. No government kills a single person, it is the people within the governments that destroy crops, spread deadly gas, fire guns, launch missiles, plant bombs, restrict movement of food or medicine and such. Bad people cause harm whether they populate a government, a corporation or a religion. 
    • Delete comment
      Debt? A Simple and Confused Foreigner Speaks

      Added Oct 1, 2013 - 9:28am

      Unfortunately the R & D Parties have rigged the system. There are so many barriers to new parties that the others are relegated to only exerting influence on the one party or the other.

      Journalists have invested many hours in developing contacts in both the established parties since they are both in power. Sometimes as the minority and other times as the majority. Few journalists have more than a passing interest in the Libertarian Party since the amount of government power they wield is minuscule. 
    • Delete comment
      SEQUESTRATION AND THE FEDERAL BUDGET

      Added Sep 6, 2013 - 6:56pm

      The dirty little not-so-secret is that all spending is discretionary. Congress could pass any one of the Clinton budgets. The results are easy to predict; we would be in immediate balance and have a massive boom in the economy as all the government borrowing would leave money in the private sector where it can make new jobs, products, construction & services.
    • Delete comment
      SPENDING CUTS WOULD BE CONTRACTIONARY

      Added Aug 29, 2013 - 1:11am

      J Mackey - how right you are, the government has NO MONEY. Every dollar of spending must be taken from a tax payer. So the "multitude of officers" must TAKE before they can give, or print "money" or sell bonds to get real money to give it away and TAKE money from individuals later. People pay taxes not corporations. Corporations pass on taxes to customers.

      I'm not certain why cutting government spending is a negative. All the money spent by governments comes from the people anyway. If we minimize government then we are cutting out the middle-men and women.

      Think of the possibilities. Imagine, millions of government workers producing goods and services to add value to the economy as citizen business owners or employees.
    • Delete comment
      Most Common Misperception About Free Market and Minimal or No Government Advocates

      Added Aug 27, 2013 - 9:31am

      The pro-government cheerleaders often forget that governments are also composed of people. The exact same people that fill the corporate seats also fill the government seats, and sometimes at the same moment!

      The belief that there is no benevolence of your fellow man, naturally leads to the belief that governments and corporations are all oppressive and collude to enslave everyone.
    • Delete comment
      SPENDING CUTS WOULD BE CONTRACTIONARY

      Added Aug 27, 2013 - 9:24am

      Spending cuts by whom? Spending cuts by bureaucrats and politicians will and does actually have a positive effect on the economy. The political spenders tend to place money where it is most wasted. They build roads, buildings, bridges, waterworks, ect. where there is not enough tax base to sustain the projects. It is well documented that the government funded projects are over budget more often than not. There at least one case where the big government project worked out as a net benefit - the Sydney Opera House, finished more than eight years late, around ten times over the budget, but the increased tourism actually paid for the project. Remember that every dollar that governments spend must come from the people. Individuals tend to spend money where it benefits them the most. Politicians do the same - spend where it benefits them the most (not the economy most).
    • Delete comment
      Let Gays Marry

      Added Jun 30, 2013 - 4:30am

      Why do gays think that state approval of their relationships will be an improvement? Marriage was just fine before all the marriage laws. Why gays decided to eliminate their relationship freedom, I'll never know. Good luck navigating the mess that is marriage law.

Monday, April 20, 2015

SCRUG 4/17/15

I've been away from SCRUG meetings for a few months. I was asked to serve as an adult adviser in the local chapter of the Order of the Arrow.

However, my OA meetings did not fall on the April 2015 SCRUG meeting which featured Scott Davis showing off the Autodesk 2016 suite of offerings.

Scott started by showing off the new features of 3DS MAX. Most notably, it now has the ability to place cameras and may use Cloud Rendering.

Presently the Revit 2016 site is up and the new software is available for download. Most of the programming efforts were spent on performance enhancement, not new features. Consequently there was not much to show. Scott's quote was, "100 times faster". From the demo videos and the live demo, it does look noticeably faster. One killer new feature - when you print to PDF, you may have Revit build-in the hyperlinks. Click on a bubble, go to that detail! Nice.

On the collaboration side, Autodesk has A360. This idea has some real potential. The way most of the industry works is that small firms get together to design a project, it goes out to build and the construction firms take over. There is also a large segment of the industry that are conglomerates that have all the various disciplines in house which design and build projects - usually very large projects. Autodesk has catered well to the needs of the large conglomerates. Now they bring the capability to the small firms. The project central file resides in the cloud and as each person logs in the software handles the "IT" in the background (creating local files, server settings, ...). Any files that the team share can be viewed in a simple browser without any plugins (up to 200 file formats). Autodesk is taking a page from facebook and other social networking by keeping a timeline on the project with a news feed. You can see who did what, when. There is an option to go back to previous saves of the project without the messy version keeping that happens on every user's desktop.As the projects are cloud based, there are potential benefits. Autodesk may add other automated services. Services like rendering selected views between logins, running clash detection reports on the fly, calculating energy models in near real time, or anything else they may come up with in the future.

All in all, I left after the Revit bit, but I was glad I could go and stay up on what is happening at Autodesk. Thanks to the Sponsors and members of SCRUG.

See you next year.

CRG

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SCRUG 11/20/14

The maturity of SCRUG has become a recurring topic at recent meetings. The South Coast Revit User Group was founded and had its first meeting in December 2000. At that time the meetings were held quarterly and nearly every presentation was given by one guy, Jim Balding. Autodesk was the sole sponsor, thank you Chuck Healy. SCRUG was the second Revit User Group formed and it has lasted. The one group that was formed earlier has since disbanded.The meeting this month was a sort of celebration of usergroups and what this particular group has become.

Autodesk demonstrated the Point Layout system using a Total Station, Prism and Ipad. The main benefit being that one can now create points in the Revit software or in the field. One can use the real world to create layout points. Revit now has the ability to embed layout points inside families. One may authorize users to create or control points. Thus a group could divide the work and record site conditions or create a layout for walls, or grids. The information could be combined with project Glue

Part of the meeting included extolling the benefits of user groups and user conferences. 

Nicholas Kramer presented Tips and Tricks and Jokes from the Revit Technology Conference North America. The RTC events are like trying to present four years of user group meetings over three days. Some highlights included SCAN to BIM tip to keep your section box small to increase performance, adding required clearances in families to a sub category (and standardizing on the naming of the subcategory company wide, i.e. "clearance", "Clearance" and "CLEARANCE" are all considered different in the software), shared coordinates, combining model with drafting patterns, using components with tags to do detailing vs lines and notes, organizing your groups with prefixes, locking the profiles in your mass families, using sub parameters for formulas (like a mini spreadsheet), an override summary for Revit object visibility, adding notes to your Revit Template to help users remember how to use what, linking parameters to host families and too many other tips to mention.


Carla Edwards presented the benefits of the BIM Workshops. Some of the tips from their events include: Steve Stafford's library analogy, definitions of survey point vs project base point, supernudge (hold down shift while nudging), reference planes have a direction, and using Bluebeam to compare documents (PDF the old and the new and Bluebeam highlights the differences). 

Vendors presented their wares. Notably there were two "collaborate in the cloud" companies. They offered great solutions for those working live across multiple offices. 

Knowledge Trax presented their system for evaluating the Revit knowledge of users. They have pre assessment testing, recommendations of training to fill knowledge gaps, and post training assessment. It looks very effective. Nick brought up that it is very good at flagging people that do not follow written directions. Purchasers of their services can use pre-baked questions and training or create their own. It is much more cost effective and consistent than having someone in house create an evaluation/assessment/training system.

Also of note, Solibri  played a short video and shared their marketing strategy. Solibri software is a model review software. There are two steps, decide what rules to use and check the model against those rules. The software uses embedded information the model to conduct the review. One example is a door and its required clearance based on accessible requirements in the International Building Code.  However, one can write one's own rules. Does the client want rooms named "office" to have specific dimensions? Solibri can check the model and report violations. Solibri is marketing this functionality toward jurisdictions that need to check plans. Building departments worldwide could accelerate plan checks. The review the violations part of the software is well developed. One can make a series of "slides" into an HTML document with live links to views of the model. The views of the model are automatically marked with visual references to the clearance available and the required clearance. Powerful.

Perkowitz+Ruth Architects provided four laptops with Revit 1.0 installed for a design challenge. Revit 1.0 was FAST on those laptops. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention DOOR PRIZES. Thousands of dollars changed hands (when you count the drinks, gift cards, electronics and software). Thanks to Newport Rib Company, US CAD, Kelar Pacific, Microdesk and the other vendors. 

While I did not stay past 9pm, the portion of the meeting I attended was intense fast paced and amazing. I plan to stay a member of this group and attend future meetings. 

Recent Architectural Projects

  • 2013-14 Facilities Support Center LEED submittals, NASA AFRC
  • 2013-14 Maguire Aviation Hanger, Van Nuys, BASCON
  • 2013-14 Fullerton Municipal Airport Terminal Remodel, City of Fullerton
  • 2014 DEA Fire Alarm, GSA Los Angeles
  • 2013-14 Fuel Farm, NASA DAOF