Thursday, 20 December 2012

CWC Calendar 2013

In keeping the tradition, the CWC Calendar can be once again available here

[Note: You must be logged into the AUGI Forums to view this the calendar]

thanks to all at #AU2012 who participated in "wearing" the "official AUGI hat"

Monday, 12 November 2012

Project Chronicle - A great tech support tool...

A few weeks ago, "Project Chronicle" came of age and has gone live after being after spending time in the Autodesk Labs area.

What is Project Chronicle, you say - well its an extremely useful tool that allows users to easily capture, share and learn from software workflows.  It allows users to to record and capture information from within Autodesk software thereby creating excitedly useful and interactive video tutorials.

I can see that this technology will be a valuable tool when dealing with technical support issues...

 Check out the Project Chronicles website for some great videos already uploaded...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

need luggage tags???

In keeping with previous years', those AUGI members who wish to distinguish their luggage other AU attendees - behold your very own luggage tags - designed to fit on 4.25" x 2.5" laminated luggage tags

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Counting down to #AU2012!

With just over 30 days until #AU2012, the excitement and anticipation is well and truly building up....

Apart from the regular things to do, there are some musts IMHO that all good CAD geeks should participate and attend...

must do Exhibit Hall activities, namely
  • stop by the AUGI booth in the International Community Pavilion area
  • participate in the 2012 AUGI Scavenger Hunt - sounds like an absolute blast!
  • AUGI Annual Meeting and Beer Bust - Wednesday Nov 28
  • one of my favourite exhibitors - stop by the #IMAGINiT booth for hands on fun & prizes

Counting down to AU 2012 - hope to see you there, for the most intensely insanely busy & geeky week of the year...  

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Sharing Files Between Macs...

OK so a number of people recently have asked me, how do I share files between my macs?

There are a variety of different ways to transfer or share files between Macs... here's a few I regularly use...

The Traditional tried n' true way...

AFP (Appletalk Filing Protocol) is the traditional route to share files between Macs, and though it takes a moment or two to setup it has some major advantages like being able to map network drives for constant access and to transfer files between Macs and Windows PC’s as well as across Macs running any version of OS X, whether it’s 10.1 or 10.8.1.
File Sharing needs to be enabled on all Macs that you want to use the feature on, here’s how:
  • Open System Preferences from the  Apple Menu, and click on “Sharing” panel, located under the "Internet & Wireless" panel
  • Check to enable “File Sharing” on all Macs you want to share files between
  • From the OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+K and then click “Browse” to find and connect to the desired Mac
  • Enter login credentials to connect, and now you can use the other Mac like any other folder in OS X, drag and drop files to copy

  • If you’re going to move very large files between Macs the traditional File Sharing approach is probably the best method of transfer. It’s highly reliable, and has the greatest range of compatibility between all Macs and versions of OS X.

Using Air Drop...

By far the easiest method is to use AirDrop, and so long as both Macs are running OS X Lion or later you can use the feature. 
 You don’t even need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, as long as your computers are within range of one another an ad-hoc network will be created between the two Macs to send the file. 
AirDrop is the fastest way to send files between Macs hands down and there’s virtually no configuration required to use it.
From the Finder:
  • Select Finder > Go > AirDrop or hit Command+Shift+R to open AirDrop 
  • Wait for the other Mac to appear, then drag and drop the file(s) to the Mac to transfer the files to...
  • On the receiving Mac, accept the file transfer
Using iMessage...

Want to send a file to your friends Mac in another location? Providing both of you are running OS X Mountain Lion, then Messages is the easiest way to go. From Mountain Lion’s Messages app onward, all you need to do is:
  • Open a new Message to the recipient
  • Drag and drop the file into the iMessage window and hit return to send
  • When finished transferring, the recipient can just double-click the file to open it or right-click to save it
iMessages makes transferring files between remote Macs extremely easy, and Messages will accept just about any file type, whether it’s images, documents, movies, zips, you name it. iMessage will also lets you send the same files to iOS devices like iPhones, iPods, and iPads, so long as iMessage is set up properly in iOS 5 or later.  Cool huh :)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Autodesk University 2012

Whilst registrations are still ongoing for AU2012, as of October 15, they will set up back a further $US500 - the discounted honeymoon period has ended.

If you haven't yet registered, you can do so here... 

If you are attending, are you an AU seasoned veteran or a first timer? 
Either way, check out these great resources... 

A must attend class for newcomers, would have to be the AU Freshman Orientation class

And no AU can ever be complete without visiting the AUGI Booth located in the International Pavilion area, \ attending the AUGI Annual General Meeting and participating along with other AUGI friends at AUGI events, like Top DAUG and AUGI Day

I'm attending... see you there!!!

One week after the big slice...

Wow it's amazing what one week can do...
Over the last three years, I have been slowly losing weight - no special diets or weight loss programs, just eating sensibly, cutting carbs and exercising a whole lot more.  I have lost a lot of weight, possibly in excess of 60kgs (approx 132lbs).  I don't really know the exact amount, but its a heck of a lot and I feel all the better for it.

One thing I couldn't lose however was the excess skin and fat that dominated the area around my middle to lower abdomen... To do this, I needed what is known as Abdominoplasty surgery, or as its commonly known as a "tummy tuck".

This time, at least readers will be spared photos of the surgery... I may post images later of the before and after, if I can obtain copies from my amazing surgeon, Dr Margaret Anderson.

This time last week, I was being prepped for this procedure and the end result is absolutely amazing.  The procedure removed approximately 6.5 kgs. Yes, I'm still a little sore and probably will be for some time yet but it has well and truly been worthwhile.  

Highly recommend for anyone else who find themselves in this situation.

Monday, 10 September 2012

MacBook Pro unboxing ceremony

I'm so excited as I have been waiting for this day which seems like forever... Here are a few unboxing ceremony photos of my new MacBook Pro Retina Display  – 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i7  processor, 16GB RAM,  768GB flash storage and now fitted with a custom designed GelaSkins cover...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Ostectomy Surgery

OK for sometime I've had some issues with my left foot and severe pain when standing and at times walking... It was first thought this was caused by a dislocation of my little toe. Whilst the dislocation has caused some grief, the culprit turned out to be a bony prominence located between my 4th and 5th toes which had to be removed surgerically. Ostectomy surgery as it is known, involves removal of the offending skin/tissue/bony prominence and a shaving of the bone structure underneath, in order to "free up" the problem joints in the toes. The surgery was performed yesterday at Ashford Community Hospital, by Dr G. Dracopoulos and his team of skilled assistants. Many thanks go to my anesthesiologist, Dr G. Rudkin who also photograph the event for me.  Thanks everyone you did a great job...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Happy Birthday "Between The Lines"

This Tuesday, 21 August 2012 without doubt one of my favourite blogs celebrates its 9th Birthday. Shaan regardless whether you're on holidays, in hospital or just kissing the locals you keep blogging on... it would be totally remiss of me not to provide another "cake" to celebrate this great blog…

Thank you Shaan for providing great articles, photos and informative and amusing articles

Enjoy your virtual "cake" Shaan 
& Happy 9th Birthday 

May you have many many more :)

Friday, 29 June 2012

Ascent eBooks

As a trainer in CAD software, you are always on a journey updating your skills and technical expertise, usually its via printed materials, i.e. training guides, books, etc and other sources.

In fact, my merge little collection of IMAGINiT Training Guides is starting to pile up...

I am now thoroughly overjoyed that I have access to all my training guides in Ascent's eBook format.  

The eBooks contain the exact same content as their printed versions, with one major exception - they are in full colour and so much easier to read.  The books are installed utilising the VitalSource Bookshelf system to download and view your collection.  They can be installed on Mac or Windows computers and on iPads and smartphones.

The VitalSource BookShelf browser enables the user to search the contents of the books, or with their eBook library.  You can zoom in and out, a handy feature when using an iPad, Tablet or smartphone, when viewing images that contain dimensions or other details.  There is also a highlighter tool, that enable users to accentuate specific text or parts of the eBook for later reference, and you can also add notes which can be referenced at a later date.  Just perfect for identifying specific things to bring to your students attention.

I'm finding more and more that I prefer to read and view books via my iPad than in printed format - its a complete bonus when travelling as I know longer have to lug around volumes of printed material...

ASCENT is an Authorised Author, Publisher and Developer of Autodesk curriculum. All of the ASCENT Autodesk courseware titles carry the Autodesk Official Training Guide designation. All of the company’s training guides are available to educational institutions, individuals, and corporations and can be purchased directly from the online store:

Monday, 25 June 2012

Wow, its been a while since I posted anything... my bad.  So a brief summary what's been happening since...

BDA National Conference 2012

Held in april at the national maritime museum, darling harbour, nsw whilst numbers were a bit down, it was great to catch up with "old" friends from around the country. this year the conference featured pecha kucha styled presentations, that is a format that is based on 20 images x 20 seconds per image - its a format that makes presentations concise and keeps things moving... there was even one from yours truly on all things - bladams wine cellar :)

Revit Technology Conference, aka RTC AUS 2012
Held in May at the Novotel Resort, Wollongong. What a great conference, this time participating as a Sponsor. I had the privilege to go and represent IMAGINiT Technologies on their trade booth and as principle sponsor of the gala dinner on Saturday evening.  

Some interesting snippets of information learnt during the conference…
1.  It was here I learnt about how Archi-CAD came into play
2. Jim Balding gave an excellent presentation on mobile apps, where he did the whole presentation on his iPad - great work Jim!
3. Definitely on of the highlights of the RTC events is the session named "Glorious Gadgets" where Wesley Benn, Chris Needham & Jim Balding demo'd some interesting "gadgets" like the 3D scanners and optocopter - great stuff guys… very entertaining

Certainly of one the strangest things overheard at RTCAUS trade display area…
"we don't have Revit on our laptops to show you that product..."

In 2013, RTC Australasia departs from its home shores of oz to the bustling metropolis of downtown Auckland, New Zealand.

Two great colleagues at IMAGINiT, Andrew Cooper & Evan Dalziel

Monday, 2 April 2012

News this week - the beloved AUGI Forums has had a long awaited upgrade of the forum software to vBulletin 4.1.11  and its looking pretty slick but don't take my word for it - go Visit the AUGI Forums

Whilst this version of software has many new features, at this time, AUGI are only implementing the ones we already have active. Others will be implemented as they are tested and they become Board approved. I can tell you though, that there is a new mobile skin for the site that is implemented automatically if you browse to the website using a supported mobile device.  :)
I hope your experience with this upgrade goes as smooth as possible, as mine did...

Late last week, the March edition of AUGIWorld was released. This edition featured Tips, Tricks & Techniques including some great Jay Z's Revit Tips n' Tricks and Mark Kiker's Mac Apps

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

AU is coming to AU

Yes it's on again…  a Vegas-styled Australian Autodesk University summit…
     The Summit is a series of events held throughout Australia, which starts in Sydney on March 13, will be in Adelaide and Melbourne on March 16 and March 21 respectively, before concluding in Brisbane on March 23. 
      The full-day program offers elective options throughout so that attendees can focus on topics specific to their job.  The two IMAGINiT speakers who will be presenting at the Summit from the United States are Carl Smith and Alex McCarthy. Carl Smith, an Autodesk certified instructor, sought after speaker and blogger, will deliver the manufacturing focused sessions, whilst Alex McCarthy, a Revit platform, sustainability and BIM expert, will deliver the Autodesk Revit and BIM related sessions. Some of the topics that they will cover include collaboration, design automation, green design, Revit MEP simulation and visualisation.
     To wrap-up the day, the Las Vegas themed event will include a professional networking opportunity with a cocktail party and Las Vegas casino table games.
There is no cost for this exciting event - it is fully funded by IMAGINiT Technologies, ADA CAD Partners and Autodesk Australia.  Advanced registration is required for each of the four cities. There is no charge for these events. Register now by visiting
     IMAGINiT is pleased to partner with 3D Printing Systems who are supporting the event and will give away a new UP! Plus 3D Printer valued at approximately $3500.  To enter the draw, register online at and attend one of these events in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Saperavi… seriously great wine

 This beautiful old  historic building located in Williamstown, South Australia is home to Domain Day cellar door which has some unique wines from its cool climate vineyards.  

A particular wine favourite of mine, Saperavi, has proved difficult to find in SA until now and Domain Day's version is simply gorgeous… Highly Recommended :)  On arrival, we were greeted by their cellar door manager, Jimmy Day - his passion for his wines was infectcious and we treated to not only delicious Saperavi tastings but other styles as well. 

For the uninitiated Saperavi is a red wine grape variety that is a native of Georgia in the former Soviet Union where the grapes are known for their dark pink flesh and very dark skins, from which they get their name.  It makes a intensely deep purple coloured wine with great tannins to give outstanding cellaring potential.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Free (or Low Cost) Apps for Mac OSX

The best thing I ever did was switch from PC to Mac OSX which seems like eons ago now…  
Since then, many other friends and relatives have also switched and have asked me for a list of my favourite free (or low cost) "tools" or "apps" for the Mac that will make their lives easier…

This is what I've come up with so far (in no particular order)...

Not an App but an extremely useful website wiki to check compatibility for Mac OSX Lion and now iOS 5.  Exceeding useful if you're thinking of upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion


Everyone knows Dropbox for their amazing file-sharing service. Drag any file into the Dropbox folder and it automatically gets shared.
Sign up for a free account and you automatically get 2GB to share with your friends. Set up shared folders and anything you drop will be instantly downloaded by others.
Need mobile access to your files? There’s an iPhone app just for that.

The Unarchiver

With emphasis on the “The”. This little app – that comes without a user interface – can probably unpack just about any file you throw at it. Once installed, it will replace Mac’s native unarchiving utility, BOMArchiveHelper.

To mention a few, it supports and unarchives RAR, ZIP, Tar, 7-Zip, Stuffit, CAB, MSI and even EXE files. The only format it cannot unpack is ACE. But that’s hardly a worry.

Besides being clever, The Unarchiver is also efficient. You can click on as many RAR or ZIP files for it to unpack but it will never overwork your system. Instead, it will queue the files and unpacks them individually.
Bean is lean, fast, and uncluttered. If you get depressed at the thought of firing up MS Word or OpenOffice, try Bean.  
(Note: At time of writing, according to their site, "Bean has not yet been tested on OS X 10.7 Lion).

I use TextWrangler for different purposes, mainly for what lacks in TextEdit (Mac's native application) — a word counter. It also supports coding and HTML, which is helpful on occasion.

SnagIt for Mac (Low Cost)
More than just simple screen capture, Snagit empowers you to communicate faster, clearly explain concepts, and archive digital information. All with point and click convenience. You can easily capture, edit, and share a screenshot of exactly what you see on your screen. The more you use Snagit, the more ways you'll find to use it

Skype lets you make voice calls, as well as video conferencing online to anyone else with this free app installed. You can also make conference calls effortlessly, as well as participate in text chats and file transfers. With Skype To Go, you can make calls from your mobile phone and from your computer, you can dial international landlines and to cell phones with prepaid minutes.

Tuxera NTFS for Mac (Low Cost)

Mac OS X does not support writing to Microsoft Windows formatted NTFS volumes out-of-the box. Tuxera NTFS for Mac is a commercial NTFS driver and read/write NTFS software for Mac users developed from the popular open source NTFS-3G driver, which is a natural part of all major Linux distributions, and also has lots of users on Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris and NetBSD.

GIMP is an image editor (raster), which is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. It has tons of cool features, and is a great free alternative to other software 

[Note: According to Roaringapps website, "Gimp has some problems on OS X 10.7 Lion].

Photoshop Elements 10 (Low Cost)
Whilst you can get an free Photoshop alternative, as a Lion user, and now long time user of Photoshop Elements, this application just keeps getting better & better. Simply awesome! Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 photo-editing software delivers powerful options that make it easy to create extraordinary photos, quickly share your memories in Online Albums and unique print creations.

Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, Freehand, CorelDraw, or Xara X using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. Inkscape also supports Creative Commons meta-data, node editing, layers, complex path operations, bitmap tracing, text-on-path, flowed text, direct XML editing, and more. It imports formats such as JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and others and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats.


Scribus is an Open Source program that brings professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design. Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and Spot Color support, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation. [Note: According to Roaringapps website, "Scribus" has some problems on OS X 10.7 Lion].

Swift Publisher (Low Cost)
Swift Publisher is a page layout application for designing and printing colorful flyers, newsletters, brochures, letterheads, booklets, etc. A great selection of 130 professionally designed templates inspires your creativity and a variety of editing tools lets you quickly apply it.

iClip  (Low Cost)

Clip is the premier multiple clipboard & scrapbook tool that enables you to keep a history of almost anything you copy, instead of only the last thing.

Evernote (Free & Premium options)
Evernote helps millions worldwide remember anything and everything that happens in their lives. Use Evernote to take notes, save interesting web pages, create to-dos and shopping lists, attach images and PDFs, and so much more. Then, watch as it all instantly synchronizes from your Mac to your smartphone, tablet, and the Web, allowing you to find your memories at any time from anywhere 

Media utilities and applications for Mac 

Switch is one of the most stable and comprehensive multi format audio file converters available, is very easy to use, and is completely free.

VLC is an application that lets you view any type of video file without hassle. Features like handling subtitles, DVDs, CDs, web streams, VLC is a powerful media player.

Growl (Lion update - Low Cost)
Growl is a notification system for Mac that lets supported applications send you notices in an unobtrusive way.

Macs are not prone to getting infected with viruses, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t transmit them to a machine that can be. ClamXAV is a free virus scanner that checks for files that can infect other operating systems as well.

Time Machine Editor is software that lets you change the default one-hour backup interval of Time Machine.  You can change the interval or create a more sophisticated scheduling.  This is useful if you don’t need to backup every hour and don’t want the performance penalty. This is also especially useful if you manipulate lots of data within one hour, as you would spend the whole day backing up.

AppCleaner is a small application, which allows you to thoroughly uninstall unwanted apps. Installing an application distributes many files throughout your System using space of your Hard Drive unnecessarily.
 AppCleaner finds all these small files and safely deletes them.

Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.

OnyX is a multifunction utility for Mac OS X which allows you to verify the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance, to configure some hidden parameters of the Finder, Dock, QuickTime, Safari, Mail, iTunes, Login window, Spotlight and many Apple’s applications, to delete caches, to remove a certain number of files and folders that may become cumbersome and more.

If you're still required to run Windows applications… then there are choices and it's easier than you might think to run Windows on a Mac; all you need is virtualization (also know as virtual machine) software.

The top three applications for running Windows on an Intel-based Mac are Boot Camp (included with Mac OSX), Parallels (Low Cost) and Fusion (Low Cost). All three work well, and are easy to use. Determining which one performs best, provides the best value, and best meets your needs can be difficult.

Whilst I would prefer to run native Mac OSX apps, in the meantime I prefer to use Parallel's (v7) - I find it exceedingly easy to use and configure.