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Posts posted by Diamond

  1. Oh yeah.

    The other thing I have been looking at is the LiveScribe intelligent pen (www.livescribe.com) that records meeting conversations as well as being able to search later what you are typing as the meeting happened.

    With an app to take care of that...I would be absolutely set.

  2. I am finding more and more with multi-core processor the divide between laptops and desktops is expanding, kind of like the divide between G4 & G5 chips, and all I need is something that is a diary, journal, presentation and sketch device, and that is more usable than an iphone. At home and at work I have iMacs that are, for documentation and rendering are so much faster than Macbook Pros.

    I think the iPad will be wonderful. I have been holding off getting an iPhone, due to the larger telco contracts that I just don't use, as well as the limited ability to view attachments. This device, and with a sketch app, and a slimmed down version of photoshop this would be perfect.

    Basically this could get rid of any need for a laptop, a diary (which on my Nokia e66 is kind of clunky but fine at a pinch) and my Moleskine. As Steve says in his keynote, with the right sketch app, it would do everything I currently need to do, better than what I have at the moment.

    I hope Nemetschek or Maxon (Cinema 4D which I am currently learning to use proficiently) will do something, but if not then I am sure I will have to learn something like Sketchup, because I am sure Google will do something.

    Bring it on!!

    PS Now I have just looked at Autodesk Sketchbook and it looks great. Darn!! I really don't like Autodesk! Now I am going to have to get over that! ;)

  3. Working with the public education system in Western Australia, the architect is required at the end of each project to supply both the tender set of drawings and the as-builts in the DWGv14 format of their choosing (this was is 2005!) using their layering system which they enforced religiously. This was no small task.

    Unfortunately bureaucracy can be a huge monolith that likes to do things their own way, even if they have forgotten the reason why they do them.

  4. I do what Gmm18 does as well. For soffit I use the floor tool. I find it is maybe the most useful 2D/3D hybrid object along with walls, as they display great in 2D and 3D. Also it gives accurate Z heights, unlike extrudes. I use it for everything (well not everything, but certainly extensively)

    This really is the rub with ever expanding requirements of CAD apps isn't it. People seem to have an idea that designing a house in 3D is easy, and many seem to think they don't need an architect to do it, except to get them through council. But designing a beautifully detailed house is like designing a car, and yet most would never consider thinking they could build one of those. And for the bog standard house, it is different the world over, which can mess with the usefulness of a PIO.

    I find it is that the more we require of our CAD apps, the higher expertise we need to get the results, to the chagrin of many! I love the WinDoor tool by Julian Carr and yet even that took some learning the nonclemature at the beginning.

    (What!!! Can't the computer do it for me?!! That is like saying that a person throws a film script in one end and a computer spits a full feature out the other. It ain't going to happen people! ;)

    That said PIO's could be much better. I would like to know what Apple would do if it were to design a CAD app. And how far Sketchup Pro will go to bite off the space many other CAD apps sit in now?

  5. Hi Vincent. The only pity might be the processor speed or the video card. But for real portability it is a winner. My wife has a 12" PowerBook, and loves it. The thing that amazes me is the 13" MBP is lighter than her PB, so I might have her convinced that there is something that can replace her pride and joy.

    With the 17' setup, I just used to have it on a stand with a USB keyboard for ergonomics and extra number keys. Also the great thing with having the laptop with the same resolution as the external monitor, is that all of the VW palettes are in the same place, and a drawings script palettes are in the same place on both and need no time to resize when switching between both that comes from having VW working environments with different screen resolutions.

  6. Yep...a 24' iMac is my daily drive (both at work and home), but I would really like MacBook Pro 13' for the in between times. If it had a little more grunt to cope with what I do, I might be inclined to buy it and an external display, and do away with everything else. Certainly the price point allow for this. A 13' and a 24' Apple Display. Nice. For the average user (not doing too much rendering or video editing), I think that it would be more than enough (which is pretty much everyone these days).

    I used to have a 17" and a 15" Powerbook, loved the size and resolution of 17" (the current MacBook Pro 17" resolution is about the same as a 24" iMac - superfine and lovely). I didn't like the 15" size. If I had a 17", it would be my main machine, but a 13" is more of a backup for the 24" iMac.

    Of all the refurbs I have seen, I have never been able to see the difference between it and a new model, so go for it. What ever you do go for though, I would encourage you to go for something with Firewire. If you ever have to back up a hard drive, you will know what I mean. Firewire is great for future proofing. I am glad Apple put it back on the MacBook Pro 13".

    As all of the MacBook Pro's are pretty powerful these days, it might be better to for a cheaper MacBook Pro, and invest in a new version of VW. With the new selection tools, it would speed up your work far more than a slightly faster MBP, and that positions you nicely for the Snow Leopard OS update coming soon (at least the next version of VW should take care of this - VW 2010 due out around September)

  7. In short I want multiple windows, or maybe some really innovative way to manipulate viewports so that the plans and elevations can be updated in real time and side by side. I want to be able to move windows and doors in elevation, and see the changes happen in plan all at the same time.

    Also, an ingenious hidden line rendering option for elevations that uses different line thickness to show depth of field. (I believe ArchiCAD has this). It would sure make it easier than tracing over 3D elevations in annotation layer. Also while there, It would be great to be able to able to apply hatches to a 3D elevation face by simply clicking on it in in the viewport.

  8. Yes I agree that the usability of VW architectural 3D could be improved. I have even been exploring ways of creating multiple view windows on multiple monitors by referencing plans and having the 3D elevs in another windows so I don't have to constantly close down windows.

    I have found that to be very good in VW architectural 3D, that is accurate, and can be used for documentation, one has to be very good at visualising the whole building whilst in plan view. This is fine for the very few that have learnt to work like this, but most do not, and as most can't, or are not hungry enough to learn, it continually road blocks movement to 3D and smarter working environments. Unfortunately in this regard the strength of VW 2D drafting mostly has it's way, and the path of least resistance is followed.

  9. And now that new Macbook Pro's have been released. There are a lot of positive reviews appearing, especially the new 13'. I have certainly been thinking about that as a complement to the 24' iMac. A tad small screen, but very small, capable, light, and relatively cheap. With Firewire 800 and being able to hold 8GB of RAM, it should do very nicely for years to come.

  10. Yes, I love the architectural desktop pictures. Aside from the eye candy, there are a treasure trove of speed-ups and little navigation items that just make it that much easier to get things done which is the main point. Well done Microsoft. I really would recommend this for daily use. I know it is a beta, so be warned, but I really is that good.

    This new injection of confidence for Microsoft is needed with Linux and all the other OS's that are out there breathing down their neck, and of course the next Mac OS to be released shortly. That said, I won't moan as loudly if I have to use a PC anymore. Especially on my Mac. I really do think it is hardware dependant. So before upgrading, get the hardware that is proven reliable as much possible, because I think it will make life a great deal easier.


  11. Just to let you all know. I have been using Windows 7 RC for a couple, and I have to say, on my iMac, I am impressed. Works wonderfully. Looks beautiful. Feels quicker than Vista, and more stable than Vista or XP. Finally I am impressed with a Windows OS (and for a Mac lover such as myself that is saying something). I actually like the thought of booting into Windows 7. As I said in my earlier post, I suspect that the integreted hardware is helping greatly. So if you want to get a great experience from Windows, buy a Mac! (I think it was Walt Mosberg that said that the best laptop to run Vista on was a Macbook Pro - well this is a similar suggestion).

    Oh yeah...Vectorworks runs great.

  12. Yes. Briefly I have tried XP via Bootcamp on my iMac, it has seemed more reliable with the more integrated hardware (Versus an OEM by a small computer store that we use at work. Maybe a Dell or some other bigger band would be more reliable). Anyway, tomorrow morning I will download Windows 7 and see how it goes.

  13. Yes I was aware of the memory limitations of Vista / 32bit OS's. Maybe it is the way I am using Windows. It's jumpiness reminds me of Mac OS 9. Maybe I just need to close some windows and not have as many things running as I tend to do on the Mac.

    Anyway I don't want to get into another Mac vs PC flame war. Mac just suits my way of working better, and I know a little more about them. If something is jumpy, I know what not to step on. On a PC I have no clue.

    Anyway, I will be looking forward to downloading Windows 7 this week.

  14. Maybe it is more the way Windows handles memory. On the Mac I flick between many apps at rapid speed and most of the time, it doesn't feel like they are affecting each other (although I have found older versions of Office to make things jumpy), but I don't seem to be able to do this in Windows without them affecting each other.

    It seems memory gets eaten up very quickly in Vista, but in 10.5 not much seems to hinder it. Also I believe that Vista 32bit realistically uses only about 2.5GB of my 4GB RAM, so maybe that is the problem I am running into.

    In know that 64bit can be a problem, and in our office our 64bit machine cannot do many things due to lack of drivers, but will it allow me to access all of that memory that is currently unused?

  15. With Vista Ultimate, I have noticed the same closing VW files. It can just sit there for a log time. But if I log out VW closes straight away. Bizarre.

    Yes I know that t sounds absurd, but the tech people I have been listening to are saying it is quicker, and in many cases more stable. Microsoft are trying to make a big statement with this release, as they have Google, Linux and Apple breathing down their necks. Obviously, the usual caveats apply. Don't use it for your everyday work computer, although some are.

    Yes, I will be downloaded the RC. I will check back to say how I have gone as well.

  16. Hi,

    Has anyone had any experience with VW 2008 on a machine running Windows 7 Beta (or 7 RC, which is soon to be released)? From what I have been reading, it is more stable than Vista, but I have not been able to find any Vw users on 7.

    I was going to try Windows 7 RC on my iMac running Bootcamp as a bit of an experiment, and to see if it is better than Vista Ultimate (which is jumpier than a cat on my work machine).

  17. It brought a smile to my dial this morning to see the latest PodCAD podcast (the first for 2009) being downloaded by iTunes. Way to go Pat + Dan.

    If you don't listen to this podcast, please do. It will make you a better VW user, even those that have been around for a while, and think they know what they are doing.

  18. Sometimes there is no getting around the multiple CAD apps. It is my theory that people can only do 2 apps really well. Any more and productivity really hurts. There has been a certain thinking that says that computers make our lives easier, but in my experience, especially with what clients expect from us these days (montages, fly-throughs etc.), apps get ever more complicated, and harder to be knowledgeable. Hence why I think to be a real pro, I would only choose about 2-3 apps to really know well.

    I think CAD apps on the same OS would be far easier to get around than different apps on different OS's. I used to use AutoCAD years ago, and was trying to learn VW on the Mac at same time. Hard going. But on one OS, the keys are pretty much in the same position in each app, so that helps (esp the Shift, Alt- key combinations).

    I have nothing against ArchiCAD - Esp now it is part of the Nemetschek family. Great program from what I hear (even if on the expensive side), but I am thankful for VW. Suits me fine. Also my wife is in the theatre + film world, so there is great crossover there.

    Anyway, it will be good to hear how you get on.

  19. I can dream! ;)

    But seriously, what ever you choose, get married when you do! The only way I ever got anywhere with VW was to not use any other for a good while, and give it a proper chance. Same with Mac or PC. Get immersed, otherwise there will be always something on the other that you will miss, and that will totally ruin the whole experience. There is nothing worse than being in a place, and wishing you were somewhere else the whole time.

    Some are afraid they may miss out if they lessen their options, but in reality totally new doors are opened up (and using the example of marriage) that are more fulfilling because there is no half measure, far less wasted time or heart space, and total freedom from the haunting what-ifs of mediocrity.


  20. Well I have been drooling over the new Aston Martin 'One-77'. And at the price (about a million pounds), I couldn't afford to crash it! That said it is a piece of pure engineering artistry! (That, to be honest, probably would spend a bit of time in the workshop). Check it out! This is what design is! http://www.one-77.com/

    As far as crashing, I have selected not to include my signature, as I use one thing at work - that has crashed all day, and another at home. Running both OS's via Bootcamp at home, I definitely find VW runs better, on one (not mentioned) variety of OS since it can give Vectorworks more memory, and runs it's PDF abstraction layer natively (that VW relies on), which I find improves pan and zoom redraw times, and makes for a more stable environment. Also I find that OS key shortcuts make getting around said unmentioned OS quicker to navigate for someone like myself who scoots around at speed. Having worked in both environments, I can say in my experience, that I estimate at least a 10%, if not 20% hit in productivity for those not running unmentioned OS. Although, I suspect at least half of this productivity loss has been to do with skimping on hardware budget. Which kind of make the cheaper argument void. Unfortunately things cost money.

    Then there are other issues that are non-OS, but purely VW idiosyncrasies, like preferences suddenly changing. That said, those have gotten much better in the later releases.

    So it is all swings and round-a-bout's, but I know what I would choose to get things done.

    Also I do find it a tad bizarre that architects can get all flustered about thinking that it could be outrageous that a person should pay a premium for an item that has been beautifully designed (on either platform). We charge for our designs, and expect people to pay for our time. If I create something that adds so much value beyond the raw materials, that it greatly improves a persons life, and that people are prepared to pay for, then why not charge. That is brilliant design, versus what is mundane and ordinary, and should be paid a premium for. (As far as my wife's penchant for Louis Vuitton luggage is concerned - that is certainly in the eye of the beholder, as I don't see the value - not that I can afford it).

    And maybe that is it...

    It is all in the eye of the beholder. That is why I married my wife, and not someone else. And that is why I choose what I choose. Have we finished this now?


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