Dialog Box May 200515 May, 2005 By: Cadalyst Staff Cadalyst
Our readers respond.
I have to agree with Sheldon Schmidt. It's a welcome break to sit back and read Cadalyst or a program manual without having to stare at the computer screen. Particularly with program manuals I am one who bounces back and forth during my search for a particular solution. This can be next to impossible with online manuals, what with figuring out when and where and how to set the bookmarks. Once I find something in a hardcopy manual and need to get back to it at a later date, I can usually thumb close from memory. My most common experience with online manuals is that I get fed up and search out a warm body who can give me the answer.
1-2-3 Revit Column
In your February 2005 Spatial Technology column, Online Maps for the Masses, you missed the best one!
I read with interest the column "1-2-3 Revit: Parametric Building Modeling, Part 2" and was struck by specific Autodesk marketing language, for example "purpose-built BIM applications" as well as expressions of opinions and assumptions that appear unfounded. Curious, I followed the author information link and found out that the author is "senior manager of product marketing for architectural and structural engineering solutions at Autodesk." While this information is not actually hidden, it is virtually so.
In my opinion, the more appropriate approach would be to identify Rick Rundell as an Autodesk employee either at the first identification of the author at the top of the report, or as an item of disclosure in the reports initial paragraphs. This would identify this report as what it is: not a neutral review of Autodesk's Revit product by a fellow AIA member, but an Autodesk advertisement disguised as a neutral review. I thought that Cadalyst had moved past such techniques into real CAD reporting as claimed in the "About Cadalyst" information where it states Cadalyst is the "most complete source for essential information about CAD and related CAM/CAE/PLM technologies" which does not disclose that Cadalyst might be partial to a specific software vendor.
This is disappointing and certainly causes this member of your "elite audience of 60,000" subscribers" to reconsider the value of his time spent reading your publication.
Editor's Responds: Unlike all of the content in the print issue, Cadalyst's product specific online columns, including 1-2-3 Revit, Productivity Corner (MicroStation), Solid Thinking (SolidWorks), Inventor In-Depth and Alibre Options, are written by representatives of the company that develops the particular product. As you can see, we are not partial to a particular program. We ask the authors to write "how-to" articles and to stay away from marketing-speak. Our goal is to offer tutorial information that you cannot find anywhere else.
For product reviews, look under the Cadalyst Labs Reviews section in the left-hand navigation bar. You can find our most recent Revit review here, and we will cover the new release, Revit 8, in a few months.
Turn the tables
I just finished reading Lynn Allen's column about tables and would like to comment on the ability to import Excel data.
I'm surprised that Autodesk has done so little to incorporate Excel spreadsheets into AutoCAD. This new feature is a step in the right direction, but doesn't even come close to the functionality of that well-known little program Spanner. Although Spanner has not been updated in years and is not compatible with the latest versions of Excel, it's still our tool of choice. We've actually avoided upgrading Excel so that we can continue to use Spanner.
It's amazing to me that an architectural firm managed to create a tool like this several years ago that still works better than anything Autodesk has come up with.
Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!