A Christmas Hellelujah


Everyone has heard a version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at some point in time. Thanks to Shrek, even my daughters have heard it. And from what I’ve read, Mr. Cohen wrote approximately 80 verses over the course of a day. I can only imagine what some of them may have said. What we do know is the popular version goes like this:

I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing HallelujahHallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, HallelujahYour faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

But did you know of all the cover versions out there, there is a recent cover that re-wrote all of the verses?

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Civil3D Zero Screen–No Vault Option


Just a quick note… For those that might be using Vault already, this will not be news. For those contemplating / testing Vault for your firms, this will help you past a stumbling block.

image

First, the issue… Some firms like to have Civil3D startup at what’s called the zero screen as shown above. It’s a clean place to start your work effort. You’ve got a list of Recent Documents front and center. You’ve got templates available to start new drawings, and so on. What you don’t have is:

  • Open File from Vault
  • Open Sheet Set from Vault

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Working with Civil 3D templates


[Update: Civil 3D 2015 Service Pack 2 has been released (11-24-2014) and resolves the issues related to using acad.dwt as a basis for a new Civil 3D template. Currently, this update is apparently only availble through the Autodesk Application Manager. I would suspect that will change over the next few weeks.]

How do you start creating a new Civil3D template? As most people know, Civil3D ships with a few templates as shown below:

Default Templates

Default Templates

Basically, the choice boils down to either “acad.dwt” OR “Civil 3D NCS.dwt.” Of course, acad.dwt is completely empty of any style or setting including no layers, text styles, etc. While Civil 3D NCS.dwt contains the national cad standards with several styles and settings pre-defined.

If you use the national cad standard layers, then that template would be a great starting point. But what if you don’t use those cad standards? Do you start with the blank acad.dwt and add all of your content? Do you start with the NCS template?

The answer you chose could very well create undesirable results down the road. Let’s take a look at your options after the break…

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Infraworks Model Location


Just a quick tip to keep track of the roller coaster that is Infraworks 360.  When you use Model Builder to generate a quick model OR are using the collaboration aspects of Infraworks, the application will download a model to a default location on your hard drive.

Infraworks download model

Infraworks download model

For most people this default location (C:\Users\\Documents\Autodesk InfraWorks Models) might be satisfactory. For me, I need to manage the location and subsquent models without having to dig too deep on my hard drive. I prefer to use my secondary drive and a specific folder, in this case D:\Autodesk InfraWorks Models. That defines the requirement. You might prefer to use a folder in the root of your hard drive as well. How do you set a new location?

Update: Infraworks360 2016 now has the ability to save/store the model on a network shared drive. When Infraworks360 opens the model, it creates a local cache of the model for performance reasons. The model still resides on the network.

Again, this post was intended to show how to enforce a specific location other than the default. You could previously browse to any local hard drive folder; but you had to do this every time.  By hacking the registry, the desired destination would become permanent.

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Maryland Considering Digital Signatures


Maryland Digital Signature

Hey… I just read (i got it almost 3 months ago in the mail…) the quarterly newsletter from the Maryland State Board of Engineers. An article in this newsletter caught my eye simply because every firm and government agency I visit is talking about how to streamline plan delivery and recording of said plans.

Here’s a snippet of the newsletter:

Regulations Allowing Digital Signatures to be Published
For several years, the Board for Professional Engineers has been discussing how to implement the use of digital signatures on engineering documents that are submitted to clients and public authorities for permit purposes. This spring, a set of proposed regulations has been formulated, and the Board intends to have them published in the Maryland Register shortly.The regulations are intended to allow for, but not require, the use of digital signatures by professional engineers. They do so by clarifying the definition the definition of “original signature” in Md. Code Ann., Bus. Occ. And Prof. §14-4A-02(a)(1). If a professional engineer opts to sign and seal documents with digital signature instead of a handwritten one, the digital signature will be acceptable in Maryland as long as it satisfies the following four requirements:

  1. It contains identification unique to a licensee using it, such as the licensee’s name and license number;
  2. It is under the exclusive control of the licensee using it;
  3. It cannot be repudiated and is independently verifiable; and
  4. It is linked to the document in such a manner that the digital signature is invalidated if any data in the document is modified.

After the proposed regulations are published, there will be a comment period for the public to respond, followed by final action to adopt them at the next open meeting of the Board.

The question is more around defining authenticity it seems. We all like to DIGITIZE our signatures for letters and other transmissions. In this case, it seems the Board is looking more for a DIGITAL signature. What’s the difference? Wikipedia says…

digital signature is a mathematical scheme for demonstrating the authenticity of a digital message or document.

What do think, is this a digital signature?

MDpeseal

Me thinks this would meet three of the four requirements mentioned above. The difference is the fourth requirement – invalidating the signature if the file is modified. To get that level of authenticity, we can create our own PKI or self signed certificate. But this can be duplicated by anyone. What may be a solution is for a firm to create a Coporate PKI. Many states already have a requirement that the firm maintain a Certificate of Authenticity to practice Surveying/Engineering in a given state. Interestingly, Maryland is also implementing this requirement in October 2015. They are terming it a FIRM PERMIT.

So, it seems that the onus of authenticity may shift from the individual to the firm in order to manage the digital stamps. What say you community?

Profile Abbreviations broken?


I know everyone is well aware of drawing settings in Civil 3D. And in those settings is a tab for various abbreviations used throughout Civil3D. That dialog box looks like this:

Default Drawing Settings

Default Drawing Settings

If you collapse all of the headings, the very last group is for profile label abbreviations. Yeah, yeah, get to the point.

They don’t work.

See, be careful of what you wish for.  All other properties work in each group except for PROFILE.  Wait a minute… Civil 3D has been out awhile and so has abbreviations. This can’t be right, could it? So here’s the details….

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Automatically Adjust Pipe Labels for Pipe Length


Brian nails this… Always good to see tiny user workflows that pay huge dividends!

Civil 3D Plus

So you have some short pipes and you have some long pipes. Labeling the long pipes is just fine but when you label the short pipes, the text is longer than the pipe so you have to manually edit the label and put those line breaks in or you have to change the style the label is using for one that stacks the different pieces of data. Well NO MORE! Come on now! This is CIVIL 3D we’re talking about!

As long as you have Civil 3D 2012 that is…

Anyways, in Civil 3D 2012 there is a new option in the label style to set a maximum length to a text component. We can use this to specify how long we want the label to be. Now, the trick here is to use an expression for the maximum label length. We have to do this because the length of…

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