Tips & Tools Weekly (Vol. 12, No. 29)12 Aug, 2007
CAD Manager's Q&A Archives Online
Software Support Horror Stories?
Cadalyst Daily Update
Luxology TV Offers Access to High-Resolution Videos
This Week's Software Tips
Send us your tip, code or shortcut for your favorite CAD software. If we publish your tip, we'll send you a "Cadalyst: CAD the Way You Want It" T-shirt, and each month Cadalyst editors will randomly select one published tip and send a $100 gift card to its author. Please submit only code and other tips that are your original work (or provide the original source so we can include proper credit) and tell us which software version you use. By submitting code, you grant Cadalyst the right to print and distribute your code in print, digitally and by other means. Cadalyst and individual authors retain all rights to the code; published code is not to be used for commercial purposes.
Congratulations July Winner!
"You should see the Tool palette on top and the Properties palette just beneath it, lined up and connected. If you want to add a few more, go for it. The first two adjust their sizes so you can stack them. Once you get used to where they are, you'll have plenty of screen real estate. You can even right-click on the minimized palette and select icons only if you like, but I like to see the labels and just get used to sliding my crosshairs over to a part of the screen and know what's going to pop up. You can also do the same on the right side of the screen with whatever palettes you want to use."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This is a helpful function indeed, introduced in AutoCAD 2006. The Patrol reminds users that you also can perform the dock and minimize step by right-clicking on the palette and choosing Anchor Left or Anchor Right.
Data Safety Net
"To set this up, type Movebak and then the path to the directory on your USB. I use E:\New Folder, which I rename every day to the current date and then create another new folder for the day's work. On a 2GB USB, I can keep nearly five months of BAK files; of course, the amount of data you can keep will depend on how big your files are. If I need to recover a drawing from the day before or from a week ago, it's right there. I also keep my copy of Hurricane software [a batch script generator for AutoCAD] on my USB. (I wish more software allowed data to reside on a USB rather than being tied directly to an operating system.)
"One thing to keep in mind is the danger of storing what might be considered proprietary information. If the USB stays on your computer or you lock it up at night, there shouldn't be a problem. Also, most of the good USB drives can be password protected."
NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: Our Patrol agrees that this is a good tip. Backing up every day might be too much work for some users, so adjust the routine as desired and depending on the number and size of your files.
Note that the location for the BAK files can also be changed through the Options settings under the Files tab. Confirm with your supervisor or IT department that what you are doing is OK -- some companies do have a policy against it. Finally, for those interested, be on the lookout for software offered in a special version that runs from a USB drive -- the Firefox browser is one example.
Perp is All You Need
Follow-up: Keep Files Clean -- Audit
MicroStation Tip: Create Personal Workspace
Axiom offers many MicroStation Tips on its MicroStationTips.com Web site.
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Opportunities & Honors
SolidWorks, NASA Tech Briefs Sponsor Design Contest
The Week's New CAD and Related Products
General Software: CINEBENCH v10
Visualization: Gelato v2.2
Visualization: RTT DeltaGen v7 and RTT Portal v3
MCAD: Visual Studio Plugin
MCAD: MEDUSA4 Suite v3
CAE: Airpak v3
CAM: Delcam Designer
Mark Your Calendar
COADE Discover Tour
Southern California CAD Summit
Autodesk AEC DevCamp
Autodesk Manufacturing DevCamp