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NinjaZX7R

Help is on the way!

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Oki-day... As Jar-Jar Binks would have said...

Seriously though, this past week had the National AIA Convention here in Denver and we had an extensive chance to meet with the crew from Nemetschek North America, at the show, at a user group reception, and at dinner at a local restaurant nearby...

Now, if anybody has been following my posts, or more likely, swapping e-mails with me, I am the first to say that there have been dire problems with our upgrading to Vectorworks Architect 9 and Renderworks 9. As to be expected, I think most of us knew that there would be issues, as any update, especially as extensive as 9, there would be bugs... However, not hearing back from the NNA tech support led us to make assumptions and 'fear the worst'...

I however have decent and postive news to report from the convention...

As we all know, this has been quite the time for the Minicad team, as they have quickly transformed from the old company, to the new, and along the way encompassing a new internal rendering app, Renderworks, that has allowed us to lessen the financial implications that Artlantis, once held us to. In addition to this, a new marketing direction with the name change, sincere development of app plugins that focus on individual trades (Spotlight, Landmark, Architect, etc.), in addition to the 'slight' redirection associated with a merger/buyout, which of course has all its good and bad, along with the uneasiness of all those on the inside, as well as the outside...

Then along comes a couple of 'small' issues, namely Apple finalizing development of perhaps the most important operating system update, regardless of hardware and personal preferences, OS X (ten) - the new Unix-platformed operating system designed for the Macintosh fleet of computers.

AND OF COURSE, last but not least... Vectorworks 9...

After expressing sincere disappointment with many of those at the helm, I had the pleasure of spending many hours with various people (yes, they are people and not just e-mail addresses or voice mailboxes...) from NNA, and have regained my previous trust in the product and those behind its everyday use and productivity...

First off, all wanted to apologize for the lack of feedback to our posts at this site. Honest embarassment was highly evident, but at the same time, I completely understand that there are only so many hours in a day, and the rolling priority has been to fix the problems and make sure that all the newest applications from NNA are to the best of our expectations.

Apparently this and a couple other reasons are behind their visible absence, as of late... Most prominently due to the buyout, questions abound of job security led to much 'shuffling' and even those at the call centers seeking employment elsewhere... However the biggest item was moving those most knowledgeable in these areas to other department to help shore-up areas in this time of great development and growth, some to actual tech development, engineering, sales, marketing, etc. - All told, the best way I was able to comprehend, was that "cross-training" has become a key asset, of late, and all hands available have been tending to the wheel most recently, unfortunately leaving the boards a bit bare on the 'official' NNA response side...

Again, I pass you all their apologies, and want to let you know that their embarrassment and these apologies were of the utmost sincerity, and not just surface level...

Ishmael, Charles, Michael, myself and one of my assistants, sat through much time going over issues that we have been digging through. Having strapped my Ti/PB to my Ninja (motorcycle), I made my way to the convention with problems literally, in-hand... We were able to reproduce many of the problems, or at least discuss (i.e. printing) some of the others.

Overall, most of the issues are known, some are just user inexperience (as in, our mess...) or new release changes and differences. In fact, there has been an issue regarding realtime panning, rotating, movement, etc., of rendered items in Open GL... In Renderworks 8.x, if you were in Quickdraw 3D and began screen movement, all items went to wireframe, before returning to the rendered element, upon finishing one's pan, rotation, etc. In Open GL, it was to allow one to make these movements, all the while still being able to see the entire rendered object(s) without losing the screen back to wireframe.

This apparently has been an issue, and as Michael was working with my file on my Powerbook, he was befuddled by the fact that he was able to move about my drawing, fully rendered in Open GL, something that NNA have been working on...

Murphy's law...

Ishmael really helped us with explanations on improved automation features of VWA9 and its setup assistant and how it automatically sets up sheets that are specifically for referencing when cutting sections and pulling details from, specifically how the automatic layer linking feature works and how is goes about assisting in further standardizing layouts, especially amongst an office where projects are shared with multiple people.

Overall, the NNA Vectorworks team is honestly on top of (more-than-likely) all of our issues, and I promised to get on the boards as a portion of their voice, to let everybody know that help is on its way, VERY soon... I would repeat the date that was uttered during our meetings and discussions, but as long as we know it is coming, let's just leave it at that; it is a date that is very near, and even I can muddle through most of the bugs right now, knowing with assurance (I physically sat in front of both Mac and Windows machines running the latest Beta...) that many of those bugs will be swatted in the first update; Vectorworks 9.1 (or 9.0.1).

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions that you may or may not have, as I will do my best (no way in hell that I could ever fully fill-in for the true masters of the craft...) to give highlights of our conversations, issues and the fixesd that I saw or did not see, etc.

In addition to trying to help the Vectorworks guys (and gals, Hi Deidre) out, a sincere thanks for a well presented AIA booth, wonderful reception cocktail, and thank you Stuart for your generous hospitality from myself, Brandy, Matt and Bryan, at the Denver Buffalo Company - it was a great evening, one that will be remembered and hopefully returned in gracis, somewhere down the road.

Oh, and next time, don't wait so long before using your 'On-Star' button! smile.gif

Hang in there everybody, the calvary is on its way!

------------------

C M Harada

Perspectives Design

Group, ink

Denver, CO

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