Northern Nevada CADD Association NEWSLETTER February, 1997
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Member E-mail Addresses
Stuff For Sale
Help Wanted ! ! !
A Note From The President
A Note from the Editor
Frequently Asked Questions, A Guide to Internet Etiquette
Coming Seminars by NNCA
CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS
Monthly meeting is on the SECOND Wednesday of each month ! ! !
If you know of an event that is coming up and you think others would
be interested in, call Glen Sullivan, at Hershenow + Klippenstein Architects,
There is going to lots of "Discovery" segments as our new president calls
them. Jim Burke will discuss choosing and installing a CPU Overdrive chip.
Our new Vice President, Mr. James Scott will provide a Tip or Trick on
Windows 95/NT. Finally Malcolm Myles, the unrivaled plot master will tell
us all about "Autospool". There will also be time for all of your questions,
so be sure to bring them with you. See you at the meeting.
1997 NNCA OFFICERS
Thanks for your service!
President Tom Black of Airport Authority 328-6464
Vice-President Jim Scott of Jammit Animation 359-2753
Secr/Newsletter Editor Glen Sullivan of Hershenow + Klippenstein
Treasurer Jerome Waldman of Clarkson Company 359-4100
NAAUG Rep Malcolm Myles of Dinter Engineering 826-4044
System/BBS Operator Art O'Connor of O C Engineering 851-7335
Membership Chairperson Art O'Connor of O C Engineering 851-7335
What's your E-mail address?
Name Company E-mail address
Art O'Connor OC Engineering firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan O'Connor email@example.com
Dave Aguilar Toxic Frog firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Eckes TMCC - Plant Facilities email@example.com
Denise Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Ferrari & Associates email@example.com
Glen Sullivan Hershenow + Klippenstien Architects 10343,774@CompuServe.com
Jerold McCarty firstname.lastname@example.org
Malcolm Myles Malcolm Myles Consulting Malcolm@renocadd.com
Mike DeMartini email@example.com
Richard Johnson Hydro-Search, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert A Ellet Sierra CAD Technology Robert@sierra.carson-city.nv.us
Steve King Structures Unlimited Steve@renocadd.com
Tom Black Datatech Tom@renocadd.com
Wayne Fu email@example.com
Jim Scott Jammit Animation firstname.lastname@example.org
Summa Sketch 12"x18" Digitizer with Drivers. Excellent Condition
only a year old. Call Cheryl at the Washoe County Utility Division at 829-7300.
E. J. Mahoney Construction has some items for sale as follows:
Houston Instruments DMP 62, 8 pen Plotter (E size): $1000.00
HP 7475A Graphics Plotter, 6 pen: $250.00
Each plotter comes with several pens. If you are interested call Ed Mahoney
at (800) 918-1964. Any of these products can be demonstrated in
Gardenerville by appointment.
WANTED ! ! !
Survey Technician/CAD Draftsman: Arnet & Associates Land Surveyors
is looking for a full or part time person. You will need experience with
AutoCAD release 11/12 and must have a Civil/Survey drafting background.
Experience with sofdesk/DCA applications is preferred but not required.
Please fax resume/response to (702) 831-8524.
Civil Technician: Pacific Response in Sacramento, California is
looking for someone with 5 years experience with AutoCAD and Civil
drafting. If interested call (916) 635-8008.
AutoCAD operator: needed in Reno. Qualified candidates must have
a vo-tech AutoCAD certificate or equivalent experience on AutoCAD Release
13 and MicroStation '95. GIS/Civil experience preferred. Must be highly
organized, efficient, quality conscios, self starter, able to work from
hand and/or existing drawings, follow standards, and possess good communication
skills. Candidates should have examples of work available. This is a full-time,
benefited position with a 1 year term of employment and 1 year renewal
option. Please send resume to: CAD OPERATOR, 1475 Terminal Way, Suite B,
Reno, NV 89502 or fax to (702) 785-8899.
Editor: If you are looking for work, call me, Glen Sullivan at 323-3808
and I will put your name, experience, phone number and address in the newsletter
to let others know that your available.
THE NEW PRESIDENT
Floods, drowned equipment, deadlines, enough already! I hope this new year
is off to a better start for all of you. I'll start by recapping
the January meeting. We held the annual elections at Round Table Pizza.
Turnout was moderate to light, see the election results elsewhere in this
newsletter. We held an interesting discussion on philosophical issues dealing
with Autodesk, AutoCAD, hardware, and upgrading one's own CAD skills. I
outlined for all in attendance my priorities as president of NNCA for the
coming year. To relay the short version of that discussion, I would characterize
this coming year as "a return to the basics".
We have a ton of CAD talent in our group, and we need to start using it
more. The monthly features at our meetings will be an agenda that includes
many 10 to 15 min. "Discovery" segments on Autodesk products, Windows 95,
Windows NT, Tips and Tricks, hardware upgrades and more. Another of our
return to basics goals is to make all members and visitors feel more welcome
with plenty of time for "questions and answers". No one should leave without
asking a question. That's what we are here for!
The February meeting will have Discovery segments by Jim Burke on choosing
and installing a CPU Overdrive chip, a Windows 95/NT Tip or Trick from
the new Vice President, Mr. James Scott, and a segment outlining all you
ever wanted to know about "Autospool" by the unrivaled plot master, Malcolm
Myles. And remember! If you leave with a question you didn't ask.
Finally, I would welcome you to send your comments about our meetings,
newsletter, web page, and goals to me via e-mail or fax. My e-mail address
is Tom@renocadd.com and my personal fax number is 853-2988.
See you at the meeting!
With the January meeting came elections for the new year. The annual pizza
feed was a hit even though very few people showed. We know that with the
flood and the weather probably many people decided not to show, but you
definitely missed out. The pizza was great and the conversation was even
better. Much of the conversation was on AutoCAD's purchase of Softdesk
but we also discussed the practicality of AutoCAD Lite and why is there
no in between version for those who want AutoCAD with all the power, but
not necessarily all the baggage that tends to come with it. Now for the
real reason for this tid bit, the Election Results.
The Envelope Please!!! Well, if you already did not notice
the change in the list of officers on page two here is the low down on
who took the offices
President Tom Black of Airport Authority
Vice President Jim Scott of Jammit Animation
Secr/Newsletter Editor Glen Sullivan of Hershenow + Klippenstein
Treasurer Jerome Waldman of Clarkson Company
NAAUG Rep Malcolm Myles of Dinter Engineering
Web Master Art O'Connor of O C Engineering
Membership Chairperson *Art O'Connor of O C Engineering
*There were no volunteers (nor any one we could pin) the position
of Membership Chairperson. Hopefully we will be getting someone to fill
this position in the future, but until then Art has graciously offered
his service in providing for these duties.
Well those are the results, not much different from last year. What happened
to getting some new blood in the officers positions. Well, I think things
are going to definitely improve for the new year. I hope everyone will
make a point of at least attending one meeting this year, it might surprise
you. I think Tom has some great ideas for this coming year and I will try
and let you know what happens.
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
With the new year came a harsh winter and the harshest upgrade I have ever
experienced. At the end of the year my bosses decided to spend some of
their hard earned money on upgrading our systems and AutoCAD. Well great
I thought, I will finally get a chance to see the new AutoCAD and test
out some of the new feature. Forward in to the storm we wandered with out
quite knowing the devastation that awaited us ahead.
We spent much time deciding exactly what this little upgrade would take
us. Deciding that since AutoCAD was designed for a 32 bit operating system,
we would upgrade our operating system to a 32 bit system. We looked at
articles from Cadence magazine, the Net and other sources. We came to the
conclusion that the Windows NT would be our system of choice. This we felt
meant that we needed more computer speed and performance. We had two Pentium
66's and one Pentium 90, so we upgraded these to two 133's and one 166.
Sounds easy, right?
Upgrading the computers was not as easy as it seemed. With a CD-ROM going
bad and the fact that because of the configuration of the new board we
had to purchase a new network card. But the fun really started with the
installation of Windows NT. Pouring over the book of compatible hardware
components and trying to prepare for a hopefully smooth transition, NOT.
Even though I checked for compatibility with all the components of our
computers, the installation of Windows NT was far from smooth.
With the new network card not working and finding out that one of our CD-ROM's
was not on the compatibility list like I thought, we stumbled through the
installation only to find some items lacking. The biggest thing was that
this program eat up an additional 150 MB of disk space. Two of our computers
barley had the room for Windows NT, and no room for our new AutoCAD r13.
New hard drives were the only option. Plus we thought we would be getting
better space use out of our disks because of NT's new NTFS file system,
wrong. If you are loading onto a computer with windows already, the option
to convert your hard drive to the NTFS system is just not an option.
With doubling our entire disk space capacity and formatting all but one
hard drive to the new NTFS files system we managed to struggle onto our
new Operating system. It is still a struggle to setup the system to work
some what like our original system we trudge on with the winds of change
in our face. I'm sure there is no earth shattering news here for most and
for others it is probably a familiar story. I hope at least it was a little
amusing for most and I am sure I will get all the sympathy I need for a
long time from this. Sometime it is better to leave alone the stuff that
already works instead of trying to improve on them.
ASKED QUESTIONS (A GUIDE TO INTERNET ETIQUETTE)
by Ed Bott
Hi. My name's Ed, and I'm a newbie. (Hi, Ed!) Welcome to this month's meeting
of Newbies Anonymous, an informal self-help group for those of us who feel
lost, bewildered, and completely overwhelmed by the Internet. If you've
ever traveled in an exotic foreign land--like Nepal or Tierra del Fuego
or Southern California--you know the feeling. Connecting to the Internet
offers more opportunities for public humiliation than a Friars Club roast
or a high school prom. And there's nothing like a Usenet newsgroup--with
3 million people looking on--to show off our lack of technical knowledge
and our underdeveloped social skills. Hey, we're all newbies once. Here's
how to get over it.
For starters, learn the language. The folks at Berlitz pioneered the total
immersion technique, and it works just as well with Netspeak as it does
with Norwegian. Read a few hundred newsgroup postings. Pay attention to
how the regulars talk. You don't download a file, you FTP it. It's not
a forum, it's a newsgroup. Don't forget the acronyms, either. Like IMHO
(in my humble opinion), RTFM (read the, uh, manual), and LJBF (let's just
be friends--useful in the alt. sex hierarchy).
But total immersion doesn't mean full participation. Resist the urge to
post until you're sure you know how a particular newsgroup works. If Mark
Twain had had a modem, he might have said: "It's better to lurk quietly
and be thought a fool than to post a stupid question to 30,000 newsgroup
servers and remove all doubt." Besides, every stupid question has already
been asked and answered. Anyone determined to become a Net expert reads
the FAQs--the lists of Frequently Asked Questions designed to keep us newbies
from gobbling up bandwidth by repeatedly asking the same questions. One
of the best is Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet, found
in news.announce.newusers. Like most FAQs, it's cross- posted in news.answers,
which is a great place to look for Net wisdom. And every FAQ can be FTP'd
FAQs aren't the only source of wisdom on the Net. Some of the most entertaining
and instructive reading in cyberspace can be found in documents written
just for us newbies. Emily Postnews, for example, is the foremost authority
on proper Net behavior. Check out her occasionally caustic advice on how
not to act on the Net. ("Q: What does foobar stand for? A: It stands for
you, dear.") For the latest edition of Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions
on Netiquette, look in news.announce.newusers.
With apologies to Robert Fulghum, everything we need to know about newsgroups
we probably learned in kindergarten. Like these simple lessons:
Be nice. Newsgroups bring out the worst in some people. Faced with a rational
argument, they respond with abuse and invective. In Netspeak, a posting
that crosses the line into personal attack is called a flame. We newbies
are often horrified the first time we see a flame, especially if it's directed
at us. Relax. Get over it. That's what kill files are for.
Clean up after yourself. Every posting that goes out to a newsgroup gets
routed through a few thousand servers (at least), and potentially stored
on hundreds of thousands of hard drives. Some newsgroup readers let you
attach complex signatures to the end of each posting. If your signature
file is longer than four lines, you might as well hang a sign on your back
saying, "Flame me!" Another bandwidth-wasting breach of netiquette:
Littering a newsgroup with meaningless messages ("I agree." "Thisis a test.")
and simple thank yous that are better sent by e- mail.
Don't be a bore. There are a few ancient stories that simply won't vanish
from the Net. Like the one about the dying kid who wanted to set a record
for receiving the most get well cards. Or the rumor that the FCC wants
to impose a tax on modems. The kid set the record and doesn't want any
more get well cards. The FCC doesn't raise taxes. Every so often some newbie
resurrects one of these tired old yarns. But it won't be one of us.
And then there's semi-criminal behavior. Want to get lots of vicious, intensely
personal mail aimed straight at you? Then try spamming the Net--sending
identical copies of one posting to dozens, even hundreds of newsgroups.
I won't name the two bozos who posted ads for their law firm's services
on 6,000 Usenet newsgroups, because they don't deserve any more free publicity.
They broke two cardinal rules of the Internet: Send advertising only to
those who want it, and post only where it's appropriate. Sadly, they weren't
even newbies--they knew exactly what they were doing.
Wanna be a good Net citizen? Just learn the basic ground rules. You'll
dodge the wrath of the Net's elders. And maybe you'll get a chance to help
some poor newbie.
Just a couple of tidbits to start off the New Year...
First, A HOT NEWS FLASH! AutoDesk has purchased SoftDesk! On the Internet
visit "http://www.softdesk.com" for the latest stuff! Those of you who
came to the November meeting saw a demo of SoftDesk's ARX programing. It
was some nifty parametric-like stuff! The addition of SoftDesk should make
AutoCAD real competitive with much more expensive workstation-based CAD
systems. This has got to make the Eagle Point guys REAL happy?
Next, another update on the large hard disk partition problem. As you may
be aware, large hard disks partitioned under DOS using the FAT (File Allocation
Table) system or Windows 95 using the VFAT (Virtual FAT) can waste a lot
of space. For a complete discussion of the FAT problems, visit "http://www.renocadd.com/oceng/art3.html"
on the Internet. I bring this up again because, in October of this year,
a new version of Windows 95 began shipping as the pre-installed operating
system on new PC systems. You cannot buy this new version of Windows 95
nor is there an upgrade path. The major change in this new OS, which I
will dub Win96, is the new file system, which Microsoft has called FAT32.
Unlike the old plain FAT and VFAT, FAT32 does not have a limit on the number
of clusters (65,536 under old FAT or VFAT) that can be in a partition.
This allows FAT32 to use a 4,096-byte allocation unit for partitions up
to 8G in size. To check the allocation unit size on your partition under
Win95, open a DOS window and type CHKDSK and hit return. You will get a
response like this:
As you can see from this example, the allocation unit size is 8,192 bytes,
which means that each file stored on this partition wastes an average of
4,096 bytes. Since there are 4,855 files and directories on this partition,
there is about 4,855 X 4,092 = 19.9Mb of wasted space on this partition.
An indication of the efficiency of this partition is that the total number
of allocations units (65,225) is very close to the maximum (65,536) permitted
under old FAT/VFAT. You can also see that Win95 recommends using SCANDISK.
I like CHKDSK because, if you are not fixing errors, it is much faster
than SCANDISK. Probably the main reason for implementing FAT32 was not
to correct the large allocation unit problem, but to correct the limitation
under Windows 95 VFAT of a maximum partition size of 2G. Visit "http://www.microsoft.com.:80/windows/pr/fat32.htm"
on the Internet to learn more about FAT32. I have had calls from people
who purchased new IDE hard drives larger than 2G and tried to partition
them as one large partition, receiving an error message. Boy! Aren't we
getting spoiled! It wasn't that long ago that the largest permitted DOS
partition was 30Mb! O.K., so why doesn't Microsoft just make FAT32 available
for everybody? Probably because there are a lot of old routines and utilities
which will not work under FAT32, such as CHKDSK, SCANDISK, DEFRAG, Partition
Magic 2.0, Norton Utilities for Windows 95 1.0, etc. The potential for
destroying a hard disk is enormous. Which brings us to the crust of the
biscuit for this item: IF YOU GET A NEW COMPUTER WITH WINDOWS 95, DO NOT
TRY TO USE AN OLD UTILITY ON IT! If you have an old emergency startup disk,
do NOT use it to boot your new computer. Instead, create a new emergency
disk using the routine in the Windows 95 operating system on the new computer.
Note that the current version of Partition Magic is 3.02. If you have version
2.0, you can upgrade to 2.03, which supports FAT32, for free by visiting
"http://www.powerquest.com/download/update2.html" on the Internet. The
major improvement in version 3.0 of Partition Magic was the ability to
create NTFS partitions, but version 3.02 is needed to correct an error
in the NTFS routine in version 3.0. Symantec has a new version of Norton
Utilities and Norton Antivirus for Windows 95 (versions 2.0) to which you
can upgrade by contacting Symantec at (800) 441-7234.
One way to minimize wasted disk space under Windows 95, is to use DriveSpace
3, a disk compression utility included on the Plus! CD. What DriveSpace
essentially does is create a large file into which you save subfiles. Think
of it as a single file containing a publishing document in which the chapters
represent subdirectories and the subchapters represent individual files
in those subdirectories. In fact, the correct name for a "compressed drive"
is compressed volume file (CVF). The name misnomer occurs because a CVF
is assigned a drive letter, just like a real drive, and the CVF can be
accessed just like any physical drive. The differences between the standard
DriveSpace included with Win95 and the DriveSpace 3 on the Plus! CD is
that DS has a limit of 512Mb for the CVF while DS3 will go up to 2G. Also,
DS3 has a "No Compression" option, which allows much faster reads and writes.
In fact, on multiple file reads, such as AutoCAD drawings with XREFs, it
may actually be faster than an uncompressed drive. You may also notice
a speed increase if you load a lot of LISP routines with AutoCAD. So, if
you are running out of hard disk space, give DriveSpace 3 a try while you
save up for that new drive!
For more information on files systems, see "http://www.renocadd.com/oceng/art.html".
I have obtained a copy of the new AutoCAD Internet Publisher and will be
reviewing it for next month's newsletter. If you would like to see the
results as I experiment, send me an e-mail message at "email@example.com".
Tell me which browser you are using and include your prefered e-mail address.
SEMINARS BY NNCA
NNCA is working on presenting a series of seminars. The seminars are scheduled
to be held Saturday morning from 8:30 to 11:30. The seminars will be held
at the Glen Hare Technology Center. The prices for the seminar will cost
you only $39. We are currently planning on presenting three seminar during
1997. The first seminar that will be presented sometime in April: USING
AUTOCAD IN A WINDOWS ENVIRONMENT. The second seminar will be presented
sometime around the summer: PLOTTING IN AUTOCAD. The third
seminar will be presented sometime around the fall: STANDARDS IN
AUTOCAD. Continued to check newsletters and the Internet site for
more information on each of these seminars that will be coming soon to
classroom near you.
Recap: Seminars for only $39 each and they will be on the following:
USING AUTOCAD IN A WINDOWS ENVIRONMENT
PLOTTING IN AUTOCAD
STANDARDS IN AUTOCAD