Thursday, August 26, 2010

Network license finder dialog with 2010/2011 programs or license errors.

If you cannot communicate with the license manager (i.e. you receive an error or the license finder dialog when launching the program), but the license manager shows licenses are available there are a few common things that will cause this to happen.

1) In the programs folder (where the .exe is you run to open the program) there is a licpath.lic file. It could have an incorrect server name. Open it in notepad to verify it has the right server name in it.

2) Incorrect information in the registry. This one is not for the faint of heart. In the Registry editor expand out hklm->software->flexlm license manager and double click the ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE key. If the value is incorrect then this can also cause this issue. It should be "@servername" where "servername"= the name of the server that is running the license manager.

Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer/operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Use the Microsoft® Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as well as the system.dat and user.dat files as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base and in the related Autodesk solution, Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor.

3) Incorrect information in the Windows Environment variable for ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE in the System variables. It should also be formatted like the registry. @servername

4) This is the new one with 2010 and 2011. There is a file (hidden deep down in the system) that is called CascadeInfo.cas. This file can become corrupted. To replace it, rename the file and launch the program again, it will ask the license manager for a new one and will be created on the fly. On an XP machine look under C:\Documents & Settings\All Users\Autodesk\ADLM.

Warning: Do not delete or rename or open the ProductInformation.pit file.

Those are the four main causes for this issue, however, I've seen others but they're rare.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Render Us Speechless (again)

Marketing gal here...

Our Render Us Speechless contest is underway as of this morning. Submit your best rendering using Autodesk software to win. We have over $4,000 in prizes to give away.

If you're not rendering inclined have some fun checking out our gallery of last year's submittals and winners.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled informative blog.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Civil 3D Ribbons Explained

So, Autodesk has pretty much made their stance on the Ribbon interface clear - it's here to stay. We've had a lot of requests from people to turn off the Ribbons, to make the product look the way it did before. You can do that, but you'll be missing out on a lot of new functionality. While it takes some getting used to, those that take the time to understand and embrace the new interface will reap the benefits long-term.

One of our technical experts, Mick Reynolds, put this guide together for those who are starting out. It explains the Ribbon, and breaks down where you can find different tools.

Noted by our tech support team, you can go to Help inside of Civil 3D and there is an option on the Contents tab called "Where is my command?". If you can remember where the command was on the pulldown, it'll tell you where it is on the Ribbon. Combined, the paper and this tip should get you on your way to using Ribbons.

On a personal note, I transition to the new Windows interface - complete with Ribbons for Microsoft products - very soon. And yes, I'm a little scared. Thank goodness I've got great technical folk who'll help me out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's Magic! No, it's the Block Editor.

Have you ever had to change a block and every instance of it in your drawing? The old tried and true way to do this was to explode the block, modify what you needed, purge the block and recreate it. Then the block definition changed, but the blocks in the drawing still looked the same as they did before you updated the block.

There is a better way now. Well, with 2008 and newer anyway. Enter the Block Editor.
  1. Select the block and type BEDIT (or double click the block).
  2. Click OK on the dialog that comes up after you verify your block is selected.
  3. Modify your block, say you want all the objects to be on a different layer. Select all and select another layer from the Layer dropdown list. Or you need to add a line, draw a line.
  4. Click the "Close block editor" button.
  5. Click Yes to save.
Now the objects are now on a different layer or you've added lines. Note: You have to explode the block to see that it actually changed the objects layer.

Ok, so it is Magic! :)

Note: this does not work when you try to add attributes. I believe BATTMAN can help though.