Monday, August 25, 2014
Friday, July 19, 2013
Good morning everyone. I hope the week has gone well and those of you that attended RTC North America are recovering from being in beautiful Vancouver. For those of you unable to attend this year please start planning for next year's conference in Chicago. Among all the other highlights likely to occur at the 2014 conference, I offer two words:
Mark Schmieding. :)
This is a brief post to let you all know I've recently resigned from M-SIX. The VEO™ technology is amazing and I look forward to implementing Revit, VEO and other elegant technologies with you and your teams.
I've since started Read | Thomas, LLC - an AEC consulting group focused on connecting designers, builders and owners through BIM - Building Information Modeling - technologies.
Our core philosophy is that we lose sight when technology becomes an end in itself. The highest and most proper use of technology connects people:
- Training, Implementation and Support
- Content Creation and Production Services
- BIM | VDC | FM Integration
- Software and Courseware Development
- Business Process and Change Management
- Career Services
If we learn how to save time we've made money. If we learn how to improve people's lives we've made a difference. Striking the right balance between these two goals is what Read | Thomas is about - embracing and celebrating the social aspect of technology.
Friday, June 14, 2013
- Dramatically Improved Performance
- Enhanced User Management
- Enhanced control over shared projects
- Improved filtering and searching capabilities in Archive
- Improved UI to view and edit document links, labels and files
- Know which user added a document
- Know when a document was last modified
- Sectioning Tools
- Faster Data Syncs
- Improved Project History for moving back and forth in time
- Dramatically Faster Graphics
- Notifications when revisions are available
- Navigation Enhancements
Monday, June 10, 2013
Audio only FaceTime calls in iOS7. You know how text messages automatically switch over to your data plan or WiFi in iMessage? Imagine the same thing happening when you make a call. Result: a cell phone that comes with free / free-ish calls. While AT&T and others continue charge three different rates for calls, text and data Apple is making the distinction obsolete.
Apple is going after the cellular market.
Make no mistake - if Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were teenagers today - they'd be on the short list at Department of Homeland Security and labeled "terrorists" and "extreamists".
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Greetings everyone! The 3rd North American conference is well ahead of last year in terms of sponsorship and booth selections. As a result we've slightly re-configured the exhibition area so that it's open and facing the large gallery and salon area (p. 32). This will also allow us to add a few more exhibition booths. Here are a few of the statistics for RTC 2013 so far:
- 1/3 of booths already reserved or on hold- 3 Silver Sponsors are taken- We received over 250 abstracts from around the world- 70 Speakers / 90 Classes- Projecting 440 attendees and delegates
Phil Read and Jim Balding
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Dear Friends and Associates -
Two weeks ago today, VEO™ shipped at the end of January (January 37th, to be exact) and like any proud parent I'd like take a moment and reflect on the long strange trip and say "Thank You" to you all.
The first time I saw Revit in the spring of 2001, I walked out of the presentation and thought, "Wow, I wonder what's going to be next?". Revit 1.0 was certainly rough around the edges but the importance of integrated design was a foregone conclusion. Excited by the potential of Revit, I began using version 1.0. Less than a year later I went to work for Revit Technology and a year later for Autodesk.
Wonderful, heady times. But I still wondered, "What's next?"
"What's next?" accidentally tapped me on the shoulder at Autodesk University 2008. Seeing VEO™ for the first time immediately recalled my question from 2001. "Now I know what's next!" I thought - and laughed. :)
What I saw in VEO™ was the potential of integrated Design, Building and Operations. In other words, integrated BIM. An elegant platform where designers, engineers, fabricators, builders and owners could truly collaborate. And after four very long years, VEO has shipped.
Thank you all:
• UNCC College of Architecture for so many challenges
• Fellow Architects and Engineers for so much mentoring
• Revit founders and associates for planting the seeds
• Autodesk for growing the vision
• Autodesk (again!) for funding M-SIX
• The M-SIX team for digging in and exceeding expectations
Thank you all for the patience and guidance.
I'm so excited for the next decade with VEO™. And so excited to see what's next!
All the best -
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
A new iPad app was announced by Autodesk at AU this week. This time, it’s a conceptual design application called FormIt. The app reminds me of SketchUp in that you can edit forms through direct manipulation and by sketching lines to divide surfaces, thus creating new extrusions. This interaction feels pretty fluid and intuitive. I was up and running with some conceptual forms within minutes.
There are numerous aspects of this app that set it apart from other mobile design tools. First, FormIt gives you pretty reasonable dimensional accuracy and feedback as you place, move, and edit forms. You can even use a direct measurement tool. Another really cool feature is the ability to define a target gross area for your proposed design. As you build up a form, the app gives you feedback in the upper left of the screen, as to how the form is achieving the area. You set some options such as typical floor height and the app automatically adds levels as the form gets taller, thus calculating the gross area.
You can also locate the proposed form on a site using a connection to Apple Maps (I think). From there, you can simulate shadows directly in the app. The model can then be transferred to Vasari or Revit for further development or analysis.
I’m pretty excited about this new app, but the real test will be putting it in the hands of some real designers. Let’s see what happens…
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
to talk of many things.
And other fancy things.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Harrison's best friend Christopher (mentioned here) loves designing buildings. He talks of studying architecture and becoming an architect. He and Harrison are also avid fans of Minecraft. Once homework is done they'll often log on Minecraft with their friends from school (one of the guys even hosts Minecraft on his private server). They also log into Skype for VoIP. Together, this group of 8-10 high school students collaborate in real-time to discuss, design, plan and build the most fantastic of ideas.
However, a few weeks ago I found myself having to convince Christopher not to give up on his dreams to become an architect.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Some very important announcements!
1. Mastering Revit 2013 ships internationally as of today in 6 languages! Thanks to Willem (fearless editor) and the entire team at Wiley / Sybex for making this happen! Link here.
2. We're jumping on the iBookstore bandwagon. The "Mastering Revit Architectural Series" are intended to be specialized and focus around single topics. Think of these as the Mastering Revit "singles" based on the Mastering Revit "LP". And priced accordingly. It's available as of today in 32 countries!
The first effort is "Architecture Daylighting Analysis" (link) for $1.99 for 38 pages of goodness. We really hope you'll check back as we add more topics to the Mastering Revit Series!
And now….the moment you've all been waiting for (drumroll please)...
3. David Light has agreed to join the Mastering Revit team!
Mr. David Light (pictured above) or affectionately referred to by the authoring team as "D-ROC". He'll be creating the mix-tapes and wearing the gold chains in the his new role of "Technical Editor". Check out his LinkedIn profile. We're really glad to have Dave join the team for a number of reasons.
First of all David is a Revit guru. And in addition to his blogging and twittering - he has a way better accent and even raises his eyebrows a lot when he talks. Revit/Accent/Eyebrow combination gives him an air of authority and royalty that quite frankly, James, Eddy and I lack.
Second, he doesn't mix his drinks. So after a few unlucky souls apparently turned to moonshine during RTC 2012 and ended up doing dive bombs into the pool - David could be seen calmly collecting wallets, watches and iPhones all the while mumbling something about how "Uncle Fagin would be ever so proud."
And finally, although David doesn't like to admit it - his second cousin twice removed from his great uncle's ex-mistresses niece's brother's first wife's great granddaughter's godmother is none other than Kate Middleton. Yes - that Kate Middleton.
The points of this last facinating detail is two-part:
1) The Middleton family was happily allowed to settle a long-standing gambling debt by allowing the Light family to crash…errr…attend Kate's wedding. And while you couldn't hear it if you watched the ceremony on TV, David's son Elliot dropped a whole box of LEGO right in the middle of the vows (although truth told, it was David's box of LEGO). Note Dave in the distance photo-bomping the nuptials:
But most importantly?
2) As soon as Kate picks up the cell phone (keep trying Dave!) the Mastering Revit authoring team is quite certain she'll pleasantly agree to write the Forward to next years Mastering book! All the more timely considering the U.K. march toward all things BIM. At least that's what David assures our editor, Willem.
And speaking of our editor Willem - one word of advice for Dave: the contracts are for USD$ - not British Pounds. The difference? Big Mac vs. MacBook Pro!
So please join us in welcoming David Light, Technical Editor to the Mastering Revit 2014 team!
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Not only is today Friday - or better yet - Saturday (Hi Australia!).
Not only is there a cold beverage of your choice waiting for you at the end of another long week spent hunched over a hot processor.
You are all about to have access to the finest, most useful, most glorious kick-ass-ness of a Revit Add-In in the history of Building Information Modeling:
Zoom To Awesome
Testing is complete. This add-in kicks an infinity of ass. If Chuck Norris used Revit - this would be his favorite tool. Caution: you may smack your forehead with your open palm after using this amazing tool just one time. You will wonder why you didn't think of this. You will wonder why no one at the Revit factory has thought of this.
You will demand this functionality be included with Revit.
Don't say we didn't warn you.
- End User License Agreement (EULA) -
By installing the "Zoom To Awesome" Revit Add-in, you agree to be bound by the following Terms of Service (TOS):
1. You agree to #FF Don Bokmiller (@dbokmiller), Elier Ramirez (@TBD - Sheesh!) and yours truly (@philread) on Twitter.
2. You agree to provide at least one of us with an adult beverage during AU2012.
3. You agree to Twitter/email/Facebook/crosspost/etc the download link to your fellow Reviteers in order to give them a sense of childlike joy and wonder (#ZoomToAwesome).
4. You agree not to pester us if you install this add-in and something goes horribly, inexplicably wrong (even though Don and Elier assure me this is completely unlikely to happen).
Okay, ready? Hyperventilating? Tunnel vision? Here we go!
Steps to success:
1. Download, unzip and install "Zoom To Awesome":
2. Open your favorite Revit project and look around - like the floor plan in this sample project. There sure is a lot of stuff. Hey - there's a tiny toilet in the distance. Pick the object:
3. Go to the Add-Ins panel, select External Tools and Select "Zoom To Awesome":
4. You will be immediately transported to the selected object(s) that remain selected for your convienence:
But wait - there's more!
- Works in 2D and 3D!
- Works on geometry, tags, text, detail components and more!
- You can even map a keyboard shortcut ("ZX" rocks!)
Why waste your time innaccurately zooming in and out with a scroll wheel?
Why use the Zoom In Region tool in order to select something when you can zoom to it by selecting!
Happy Friday! And a very special shout out to Noah Beach for his much appreciated programming assistance!
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
If you're using OSX Mountain Lion (10.8), you'll know that Dictation and Speech had a nice upgrade. Now it actually works most of the time!
First of all - you can quickly customize enabling via Preferences. There's a couple of preset shortcuts to switch it on via a double keystroke. Tapping the selected key twice will bring up the dictation icon at your cursor location. After you finish speaking simply press the return key. If you want to cancel - just press the ESC key.
Dictation and Speech isn't useful for whole message dictation. On the other hand - dictating an IM or single sentence works really well.
So what's really to like? Spelling and Searching.
For spelling, imagine you're happily typing a message and get to a word that you're stuck on to the point that your hopefully-close-enough effort still isn't close enough. When this happens, get unstuck by tapping the shortcut key twice and simply speak the word. Speech and Dictation does a really great job of filling in the blank and you're on your way.
For searching, simply place your icon in the search bar of your preferred web browser, double-tab the shortcut and ask your question. Then tap the return key to initiate the search once the translation is complete.
Overall, Dictation and Speech often seems like an answer to an infrequently asked question. But when it's useful - it's really pretty cool!
Monday, August 27, 2012
We’ve started a new little (unofficial) adventure on YouTube we’re calling “Mastering Mondays!” What is it and how does it relate to the books? Allow me to explain…
Here is last week’s installment about creating custom wall constraints:
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The addition of Hulu Plus to AppleTV is an interesting addition to what Tim Cook simply referred to a "hobby" during the last investor call. Especially considering when Apple has sold 4million units so far this year alone.
So what's next?
Imagine this: "Siri - Please play that episode of South Park where Eric Cartman wants to go to Stan's birthday party at Casa Bonita."
Apple is creating ecosystems and going where customers have been long underserved and there is significant demand for a better way. But while everyone is focused on mobile, I think there's quite a bit slight of hand ("...nothing to see here folks…just a $400million hobby…move right along...") going on with regard to Cable TV. I'll put it this way (click here for a larger version):
IMO Apple is quickly and quietly going after Cable TV providers with better delivery methods, a la carte selection and on demand viewing. Don't be surprised as premium content creators begin signing agreements with Apple: HBO, ESPN, Disney, BBC as well as other international creators (maybe even TVNZ - Shortland Street for everyone! :)
AppleTV then quickly becomes a vastly improved distribution medium and of course they'll extract a modest toll in the process. And with a world wide revenue opportunity it'll mean $billions more for Apple - funded in part by the giant sucking sound as viewers cut the cable for broadcast TV and keep it for internet access only. Heck - for only two months cable TV cost ($50/month) you can buy an AppleTV. And the difference can fund subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu Plus and more.
Or imagine this: after NBC's mis-handling of the Olympic games, can an Olympics app for the AppleTV be very far behind?
Friday, July 6, 2012
There's a lot of blogging going on post #RTCNA (formerly #RTCUSA) in Stone Mountain. I'm going to try to list all the blog posts but if I miss any please email / twitter a link.
And if you didn't get to go, be sure to print a few reviews and staple them together with your resignation letter before placing it on your bosses desk.
Ok - maybe not with a resignation letter. Maybe just as a list of the competition who was there.
You see, It's a bit chicken / egg: you're being told you couldn't make it because you don't have the budget…or is it that you don't have the budget because you couldn't make it?
Check back for updates!
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Let's start from the beginning...even before departing New York for Atlanta. At AU in November 2011, my good old friend Wes Benn says that I absolutely must submit a class proposal for RTC in June. I was supposed to give a presentation at the first RTC North America event earlier in 2011, but an important family event forced me to defer my presentation to an excellent colleague who did a bang-up job of Effective Coordination, avoiding an imminent #screwtastrophe.
So, I submitted a topic called "Building Smarter Models" that was accepted and I was on my way to Georgia. Fast forward to June 27 and I arrive with two others at Hartsfield Airport late that evening. We share a car out to the Evergreen Marriott Resort at Stone Mountain - a 40 minute drive. Along the way, Scott Davis receives a call from Jim Balding with the news that there are no rooms left for the three of us. Surely this is one of Jim's practical jokes, but it turned out to be true. After shuttling back and forth between two hotels in the area until 1 am, we had a plan - Bruce got a room, Scott shacked up with Jim for the night, and I stayed with Wes.
The next morning I may have been caught saying that I was due for a crappy conference because I've been to so many good ones in recent years. I was about to let fate take its course. Then it was underway...
We were first treated to a fascinating "fireside (albeit a virtual fire) chat" with the one and only Dick Morley - the father of such modern day innovations as the programmable logic controller, anti-lock brakes, and the picture keys on McDonalds restaurant registers. Dick was followed by Steve Stafford and a few folks from Autodesk talking about what's new in Revit 2013 and what's to come. Of course, Autodesk can't reveal details about what's coming without everyone being under NDA, so I felt that was an unnecessary addition to Steve's summary.
After lunch, we were off to the first round of classes. This is where the magic begins. Without a fully detailed summary of every session I attended, let me just say that you probably won't find a better assembly of speakers and topics covering Revit and related technologies than at an RTC event. I'd have to say that my favorite presenter was Marcello Sgambelluri. His passion, eloquence, enthusiasm, and overall knowledge of each topic was remarkable and inspiring.
<< EDIT: Sorry, had to remove the video snippet of Marcello's presentation by request >>
RTC is a multi-track event in which there are several simultaneous classes in regular time slots over three days. It is difficult to decide which class to attend in any given schedule slot and they don't yet record the proceedings. I hope they do in the future because I didn't hear anything but positive reviews from my colleagues attending other sessions.
One thing that seems to be receding from the itinerary of other industry conferences are the social events. This is where RTC certainly doesn't skimp. As event founder, Wes and his committee understand the immeasurable value of networking at these types of venues. It might make their event a little more costly, but I wouldn't even hesitate to keep coming if they keep up their high standard of excellence. On Friday night, we were treated to a paddle boat ride across the lake to the Stone Mountain Golf Clubhouse for a fine BBQ dinner and on Saturday, the gala dinner concluded the conference with the announcement of the contest winners and a bluegrass band.
Future conferences are scheduled for RTC North America - Vancouver in July 2013, RTC Europe - Delft, Netherlands in September 2013, and RTC Australasia - New Zealand in May 2013. I encourage you to visit www.revitconference.com to learn more about these upcoming events.
Hey everyone - if you've still got the tunes from Saturday night's Gala Dinner stuck in your head there is a cure! The Packway Handle Band is available on iTunes.
Please support these full-time musicians - we all know what it's like to be a passionate, driven artist. I'm digging the (Sinner) You'd Better Get Ready CD which features the wonderful rendition of Madonna's "Like A Prayer". Listen closely to the last 10 seconds or so for the cut in by the neighbor with insomnia. :)
Insert earbuds, press play and close eyes…I'm back at RTC!
Friday, June 22, 2012
And what could possibly make it better?
That's right! RTC North America is next week! We'll be indoors during 90 degree highs. But a few evening events will be outdoors in pleasant 70 degree lows. So feel free to pack your shorts and t-shirts. Start here for the latest / greatest registration info if you're still on the fence!
Could that possible be all the good new? What? No?
Wait! There's more!
We've just found out that the FLAT TIRES entire discography has been accepted by Pandora:
It's not as easy as you'd think - and they don't just accept any / all music out there. So we're really pleased to have make the cut. Go here to get started! http://www.pandora.com/flat-tires
See you at RTC!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Thursday, August 9
Friday, August 10
The Iron Works
Saturday, August 11
The Grog Shop
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sunday, August 12
Buffalo, New York
Sunday, August 13
Tuesday, August 14
Wednesday, August 15
Thursday, August 16
The Dover Brickhouse
Dover, New Hampshire
Friday, August 17
Rocks On Concert Cruise
Saturday, August 18
Rocks Off Concert Cruise
New York, NY
- Bonus -
Here's a link to download a six song sample of FLAT TIRES music across their past three albums:
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Two weeks from today RTC North America gathers at Stone Mountain Resort for the 2nd annual conference. What better time to rattle off some interesting facts and figures for this year's event. This is a great opportunity to get kick started with the latest and greatest in the BIM ecosystem. We have a full schedule of events - but plenty of time to discuss best practices, cross discipline workflow and more - including:
- 24 Sponsors and Exhibitors (and climbing!)
- 95 Sessions
- 80 Speakers
- 13 Delegate Countries
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- 12 Published BIM Authors
- Scores of Bloggers and Industry Experts
- 2 Fully Operation Cloud-based BIM Labs
- Special Vasari goodness compliments of Matt Jezyk and Zack Kron
- Keynote Speaker Dick Morley
- Complimentary airport shuttle to Stone Mountain Resort
And in addition to being the premier North America BIM-centric conference, Stone Mountain Park is a wonderful, family friendly environment. Consider bringing your spouse and children for a relaxing getaway. Let them play while you work!
For registration start here.
There are still a few exhibition and sponsorship opportunities available. For the full prospectus start here.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Thanks to Mike Plotnick (@SomeChum) for tweeting this link. Different than entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg; intrapreneurs are people who have an entrepreneurial streak in their DNA, but choose to align their talents with a large organization in place of creating their own. I like to think I fall into this category, albeit on a much smaller scale than people mentioned in the article from Ford, Intel, Dell and others.
“Move Over Entrepreneurs, Here Come The Intrapreneurs”
By David Armano, executive VP, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman.
On a similar note, in my time with HOK, I have always been impressed with the somewhat low-profile business within the firm that designs their own products. HOK Product Design was founded in 2009 and is an “independent business that engages designers who use design thinking to create innovative products for the built environment.” It has the “unique ability to draw on the knowledge, research and evidence-based data available within HOK as well as the firm’s leadership in strategic planning, workplace consulting and sustainable design.”
Some of the innovative products that have come out of this group include Full Circle®, a continuously curved luminaire concept manufactured by Winona Lighting, Balance Beam, a grab bar with touch activated LED lights manufactured by Cooper Lighting IO division, and Gather, a collaborative furniture line manufactured by Allsteel.
There are many other products ranging from recycling systems, to coping, to wall/curb rain gardens – all designed by talented team members working on HOK projects! Please hop on over to their website and peruse the product offerings. You can even submit your own idea.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
- LEADERSHIP. RTC North America is attended by many of the most well known names in the BIM-universe! This is a unique ‘for users, by users’ event, where experts and leaders in the field of BIM share their knowledge and experience. You'll have plenty of time for one-on-one discussions with well known industry leaders.
- PROGRAM. RTC North America caters to a broad range of interests and skill levels with seven simultaneous streams - providing a comprehensive program for everyone. Detailed presentations, lab sessions, showcases and more create a lively mix of learning opportunities, while the expanded social functions allows for relaxation and an opportunity to keep up to date with industry peers.
- INSPIRATION. During the inaugural RTC in North America, over 90% of the attendees indicated that they would return for this years event. Register now! With limits on attendance numbers, each conference will continue to bring the relaxed and friendly RTC atmosphere to its attendees, with innovative, thought-provoking and informative presentations and discussions.
- ENTERTAINMENT. Following the Gala Dinner, the award winning alt-bluegrass Packway Handle Band (http://www.packwayhandle.com/) will be providing this year's entertainment! After three days of intense learning and knowledge sharing it's time to relax and enjoy some great music in the scenic Georgia outdoors!
- FAMILY. Stone Mountain Park (http://www.stonemountainpark.com/) is a wonderful, family friendly environment with numerous indoor and outdoor activities! If you're within driving distance of the conference bring the family! Children young and old will have fun-fill days and rest well at night.