Life imitating art

Just a quick note about life imitating science fiction movies.  It seems that some bad guys in another country way back in like 2007, spread some mal-ware to redirect urls to their servers in order to collect user information.

Well, the FBI have corrected the situation, but are warning people that they may still be infected.

Once the FBI got around to fixing the problem in 2011, it realized it couldn’t simply shut down the rogue servers because infected computers would be left without a functioning DNS, leaving them virtually Internet-less. So it set up temporary servers to give malware-infected Internet users time to fix their computers.

And time runs out on Monday, July 9.

To verify the health of your computer, go to this address:

This site will verify if your computer is looking up websites properly.

IF IT IS NOT, then you need to clean your machine. Below are recommendations for various Malware Removal Tools:

• Microsoft’s Security Scanner,

• MalwareBytes’ Anti-Malware,

The FBI’s document that explains how to detect and fix the DNS Changer issues:

Read more: DNS Changer Malware: 300,000 People Worldwide Will Lose Internet Monday – and They Don’t Even Know It – ABC News

How to do anything well

I’m working on a post that is taking more time than I want and should be an opinion piece in the local paper, but I digress.  Through doing that and other things that interest me, I’ve been reading a book entitled, “Writing Better Lyrics.” And there, in chapter one is probably the best advise for doing anything well – and that advise is written like this; TEN and ONLY TEN minutes.

Read more of this post

Midsummer Classic 2011

I usually don’t write about life stories, but I thought that should change today. This week, my family is away from home. So that leaves me “free” to work late, eat whatever I want, watch sports for as long as I want. Generally getting my own peace of mind back.  Last night was the 2012 MLB all-star game. For those that don’t follow baseball, Wikipedia has a great breakdown on the game and how the managers and players are chosen. In all, 34 players make up each team for a total of 68 all-stars.  This year however, there were 84 total all-stars due to 2 factors; pitchers who were selected to the team but pitched on the Sunday prior cannot pitch in the game, and players who take the all-star “break (3 days in total)” to heal from injuries. The story is not about those whose injuries are documented by being on the disabled list, but those who are banged up by simply playing the game we all love.

The pinnacle of that “injury” backout plan came from Derek Jeter, whom many consider the current “Ambassador of Baseball”, Cal Ripken being the previous ambassador.  Jeter hit his 3,000 hit on Saturday. That’s something only 27 other players have done in the history of the sport. He was then supposed to attend his 12th classic but decided to take the time off because of mental and physical exhaustion dealing with the media attention around his 3,000th hit.  OK. Read more of this post

True convergence

Behold, the real world meets the entertainment world meets the nerd herd. Yes, On the “Buy More” website, there are real ads; one of them being our beloved Autodesk.  What’s a Buy More? Well, you’ll have to tune into Chuck on NBC Monday nights…

Calming my excitement down, Chuck really is a good light-hearted show about tech, spys and geeks. Check it out…

Design Software = Commodity?

Over the past 3 or 4 months, I’ve spent my time working with the plumbing department on a large project using Revit.  Incidentally, I hear the same complaints about Revit as I do about civil 3d.  🙂

But what often comes up is that while each application has reached a certain stability and functionality, they may not work or function as we expect. Often times, I’ll hear a comment like “thank goodness the steering wheel in my car knows what to do when I turn it to the right…” or “would you buy a car with no rear wheels?”

Those comments are often in response to some aspect in the software that doesn’t do what it should or is missing what we deem a typical “part of the model.” So, I usually reply with something to effect that we have to take that blank car and customize it to how we work, kind of like trucks for instance. Mack trucks make the cab and frame and then supply them to many types of users who put all sorts of equipment on the back for their use.

But, then thinking to myself, is design software really to that point?  I think in some industries that may be the case, like auto manufacturing.  But in the AEC world, design software still has a bit of boutique feel.  Why do I think this?  Primarily 2 things.  First, the user base of Revit or Civil 3D is actually quite small compared to something like Photoshop.  That would explain the price difference . Second, because the funding of development is limited, design software often requires users to develop their own processes to generate a final product.  Think of the software used on the shuttle. I can only imagine that those apps are probably built from scratch or re-use & tweaking of existing modules to define a certain measurement or experiment in space.

So, are our expectations out of whack with reality? It seems so in this case.  More so to the point, do we have an expectation in today’s workforce that every tool should function like a commodity? Even MS Word needs a custom template for your office right? Unless, of course, your company name really is Northwind Traders.  🙂

Working with other firms

OK, I gotta say something. When two firms realize they are both working in Civil 3D…

For the love of clean & accurate models, please don’t let your Project Managers accept anything but LandXML export files of each other’s design objects. Of course, sharing DWG files that are simply lines and text does not change.  But having to rebuild someone else’s data reference structure to get the end result of an FG or EG surface or even different utilities is just painful let alone confusing.

OK, back to work…  🙂

Urgent – Major virus is sweeping thru working class males!

Its’ called March Madness!

Check out the fun…

First Round March 19, 20
Second Round March 21, 22
NCAA Sweet Sixteen March 26, 27
Elite Eight® March 28, 29
Final Four® April 4
National Championship April 6

Click Here for CBS Sports On Demand Video

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