Saturday, February 21, 2015

Living With a Chromebook - 8

I have been without a Chromebook for several months now, but I bought one of the new HP ones yesterday. They have two models, so I made sure that I got one of the latest ones with the longer battery life. So today is my first day back with it. When I logged in, the new Chromebook had all my settings from the previous one, and all of the apps and extensions as well.
OK, i agree that the Chromebook is cheaply made, but then it is less than half the price of some other 11” laptops.
I believe that if you use google for your calendar, contacts and email, you will find the chromebook very easy to get used to. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Living With a Chromebook 7

More manufacturers are getting into the Chromebook market now and Samsung have dramatically improved the battery life. I am very interested in the HP Chromebook, it has a claimed 9 hr battery. This is now enough for a student to last all day at school, without recharging it. My previous Samsung chromebook did not last that well, it would only get 4-5 hours before it needed recharging. 

Vectorworks Tip #216 - Site Modelling - Grid Entry Method

For some users, this is the default way of recording information on site. If you are going to use the grid entry method, it is very important that you survey the site using the same strict grid on site.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #215 - Plant Tool

There are two ways to add plants to your plans. The first (and easiest) way to do this is to use the Plant tool. This tool is specifically designed to place plants and it offers 5 different ways to place plants. These different modes should suit most situations. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #214 - Stories and Levels - Default Levels

Vectorworks comes with standard design layer and level settings. These design layers and levels can be used in your building projects to control the elevations of the building elements, especially walls and wall components.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #213 - Attributes - Editing Hatches

If you want to change the scale of your hatches, use the technique to change the local mapping, then save the locally mapped hatch as a new hatch. If you want to change change the background fill, line colors or line weights, use the Resource Browser to edit the hatch. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Podcast 215 - Test Yourself Exercise - 7

Chapter 7 is an introduction to 3-D modeling. 3-D modeling is important in Vectorworks (as you will notice from chapter 2). Chapter 7 covered techniques like extrusions, add solid, subtract solid and so on. You can use those techniques to create the bracket showing here.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Living With a Chromebook - 6

I finally sold my chromebook, because i didn’t see a need to keep it. I got a good price for it. I still think that for students at high school (that do not need to do any CAD work) the Chromebook is very useful. 

Living With a Chromebook 5

I have been reading a blog from ( They are betting that the chromebook will make a lasting and substantial impact in the classroom, unlike interactive whiteboards. The difference is that chromebooks are affordable for most parents (unlike a MacBook Air), but they will give most students the tools and applications that they need to work in the classroom. My daughter’s school required all the year 12 and 13 students to have a laptop computer. The recommendation was for a windows laptop (except the battery life sdoen not meet the required duration) or a MacBook. The MacBook Air greatly exceeds the required battery life, and so most students ended up with one. I’m disappointed that the chromebook was never one of the recommended options. Its a shame because it would easily fulfill my daughter’s requirements.

She needs to be able to write reports with images and photos, search the internet, and share the reports with the teacher. She also wants to watch online TV and movies. She could do all of this on a chromebook. 

Living with a Chromebook 4

When I bought this chromebook, the seller said that it had been his wife’s computer, but they were selling it because it didn’t completely replace the tablet they were using. I can see this now. I have an iPad mini. It has loads of storage, it’s connected to the internet, I can do everything that this chromebook does, and much more. The only thing that this chromebook does better than the ipad is typing, because it has a full size keyboard, and you can attach a mouse to the chromebook.

For writing reports and proposals the chromebook is better than my ipad. But for checking email, the ipad is much more capable, because it allows you to check multiple accounts in one place. The chromebook has the same problem as the android smartphones, it is great if you only want to use Gmail, but it’s a pain if you want to use Gmail and iCloud at the same time. 

iPhone 6+ as a Replacement for an iPad Mini

I've had an iPad Mini for over two years now, and i love the size and flexibility of it.  But lately i have been thinking about being able to repalce it. I wondered if i got a bigger phone, if I could stop carrying my iPad. 

I have just bought an iPhone 6+ and i thought is would be a great replacement for my ipad. In hte past i have thought about getting rid of my ipad, but the phone never seemed quite big enough. I think the iPhone 6+ is about the size where you could get rid of the ipad and just have a phone. 

I an very surprised at the size of the 6+. I knew it would be big, but it's only when you start to carry it around that you realise just how big it will be. 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #211 - What is a Plant?

A plant in Vectorworks is a special object that has a plan representation, a model (or 3D) representation, and plant data. All these parts are bound together inside the object called a plant. When you place a plant, Vectorworks places all of these parts together in the drawing. This allows you to see the plan view, see the 3D, or create a report that shows the data.

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #210 - Stories and Levels

Design layers might be the container for holding all of the building elements, but levels control the elevation of these elements.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #209 - Attribute palette - Patterns and Printing

There is a check box that you have to choose if you want to print the patterns as they appear on-screen. If you don't choose this option, the patterns will not print the way you want them too. Even when you do choose this option, the sizes of the patterns are a bit hit-and-miss relative to what you see on the screen.

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Podcast 214 - Test Yourself Exercise - 6

The purpose of chapter 6 is to have an exercise that brings together many of the drawing tools and techniques that you need into one exercise. This exercise is designed to reinforce the flow of tools from start to finish. It will use techniques that you have learned in chapters 1-5.
The object shown here is a picnic table, and is just drawn using 2-D techniques. You can use the sizes shown on this image or you can make up your own sizes. In this exercise you will start with a blank file, check the units, check the layer scale, then draw the the table. Remember to use all the techniques you have learned to speed up your work.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #208 - Site Modeling - 2D Polys to 3D Contours

image032If you have a set of 2D polygons that represent contours, you can use the command 2D Polys to 3D Contours from the Landmark or AEC menu. This command will take your set of 2D polygons and convert them into 3D polygons at the appropriate heights. Then you can use these polygons to create your site model. Use this command with polygons that have regular elevation spacings.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #207 - Working Planes with Dimensions

image030Sometimes when you place a dimension, the dimension snaps to objects that you are not intending it to. In this image you can see how the dimension has snapped to the front of one object and to the rear of the other giving me a measurement of the distance between the two objects, but not the one I want. If you set your Active Plane to Screen Plane, you can measure the distance between the two objects on the screen plane, which might be the dimension you are looking for.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vectorworks Tip #206 - Stories and Design Layers

image031Stories are the collection of settings for each floor; Design Layers are where you draw the information. You could think of Design Layers as being the container that you store all your design work in.

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