Cadalyst Announces Winner of Hot Tip Harry Challenge 2007

13 Nov, 2007

Frequent tip contributor Leonid Nemirovsky receives trip to Autodesk University in Las Vegas.

Cadalyst has awarded a trip to Autodesk University 2007 to prolific AutoCAD tip contributor Leonid Nemirovsky. The trip is the grand prize in Cadalyst's year-long Hot Tip Harry Challenge 2007 contest, sponsored by Autodesk.

Leonid Nemirovsky
Leonid Nemirovsky
Nemirovsky was selected in a random drawing of all authors of tips published this year in Cadalyst's popular "Hot Tip Harry" column of AutoCAD customization tips. He received airfare, lodging, and a pass Autodesk University, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, November 27-30.

"Winning the trip was a huge and very pleasant surprise for me," Nemirovsky said.

Nemirovsky is a CAD technician in the Bellevue, Washington, office of Jacobs Engineering. He has nearly 30 years' experience working for engineering firms and has been using AutoCAD since 1985 -- "and I love it," he said. He launched into AutoLISP programming in 1990, and in 1997 began offering his code free via his Web site, BTN (Better Than Nothing) AutoCAD. Following are excerpts from an interview with this AutoCAD guru.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your path to the CAD world?
I was born in Harbin, China, then my family moved to the former Soviet Union, where I lived in Latvia for some 25 years. I graduated from Latvian State University with credentials to teach history, and I taught high school for a couple of years. In 1969, I began working as a technician in water treatment and fish facilities [to supplement my small teacher's salary] -- and I've been trying to stay in that field ever since. Eventually I was hired there full-time. I began taking engineering courses at night, but I never finished because I moved to the United States. I've been here since 1979 and have worked for HNTB, HDR, and Sverdrup (which became Jacobs Engineering), all in the Seattle area.

For many years I worked on thermal power stations, water supply and fish protection systems, highways, tunnels (Mt. Baker and Mercer Island in Seattle/Bellevue), and bridges of all kinds including a huge project in Penang, Malaysia. Today I work on fish facilities big and small for various agencies from public utility districts to fish and wildlife. What could be more rewarding than protecting wildlife?

How did you get into using AutoCAD and AutoLISP?
I started using AutoCAD in 1985 when I was working for HDR. AutoCAD is the most powerful tool to use at work. (I just wish the folks at Autodesk would slow down a bit with new releases to give us, the end users, a chance to learn and master each version before the next one comes out!)

I began learning AutoLISP in 1990. I studied two very simple and interesting books: AutoLISP in Plain English and 1000 AutoCAD Tips & Tricks, both by George O. Head. That is what triggered everything. No one at work was interested in customization or its productivity benefits, so in 1997 I decided to start my own Web site and share what I have with others. I made it all free because everybody else was charging, and I thought it was wrong. I think sharing is the only way to keep up with modern technology.

Do you have a favorite AutoLISP routine?
My very favorite LISP routine is Paper Space Utilities. It's on my Web site. I wrote it for AutoCAD R11, and I modify it with dialog boxes and add more to it almost constantly. The routine makes it easier to use paper space. While in model space, just set the Dimscale, pick the lower left corner near your detail, then upper right corner, then the routine will switch to paper space and you pick the location and everything else is done for you.

How long have you been contributing tips to Cadalyst Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and "Hot Tip Harry"?
Since the very beginning. The newsletter and "Harry" are the perfect tools for sharing. I send new tips as soon as I have them.

What are your plans for Autodesk University?
I will try to get as much as I can from AU, specially 3D in AutoCAD, and programming and customization, of course.

Editor's note: Fans of "Hot Tip Harry" will be happy to learn that the popular column will reappear in Cadalyst magazine and Cadalyst Digital Edition -- as well as on -- beginning in January 2008. And Hot Tip Harry Challenge 2008 will offer another round of prizes, including T-shirts, $100 monthly top tip awards, and a trip to Autodesk University 2008. Submit your AutoCAD tip today for a chance to win!