Northern Nevada CADD Association NEWSLETTER February, 1997


Calendar of Upcoming Events

NNCA Officers

Member E-mail Addresses

Stuff For Sale

Help Wanted ! ! !

A Note From The President

Election Results

A Note from the Editor

Frequently Asked Questions, A Guide to Internet Etiquette

SysOP Slatherings

Coming Seminars by NNCA


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, 323-3808.

February Meeting

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.


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 323-3808

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

Dan O'Connor

Dave Aguilar Toxic Frog

Dave Eckes TMCC - Plant Facilities

Denise Davis

Ferrari & Associates

Glen Sullivan Hershenow + Klippenstien Architects 10343,

Jerold McCarty

Malcolm Myles Malcolm Myles Consulting

Mike DeMartini

Richard Johnson Hydro-Search, Inc.

Robert A Ellet Sierra CAD Technology

Steve King Structures Unlimited

Tom Black Datatech

Wayne Fu

Jim Scott Jammit Animation


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 from

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 "" 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 "" 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 "" 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 "" 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 "".

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 "". Tell me which browser you are using and include your prefered e-mail address.


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: