Minutes of October 2005 General Meeting



Victoria Associations Incorporation Act 1981(as at 01 July 1998) Registered No. A 13467)
Postal Address: PO Box 466, ELSTERNWICK VIC 3185 


Apologies were received from Branko Gligorov and John Butler.

As recorded on the Attendance sheet.

The President, Mark Miller, welcomed everyone attending, requested them to ensure that they had registered on the Attendance sheet, and opened the October 2005 General Meeting at 6.30 pm. 

Minutes of Previous Meeting (1st. August 2005):

The Minutes of the previous General Meeting held on the 1st. August 2005 as circulated with the Notice Paper in the “Newsletter” were received, adopted and approved. There was no business from the Minutes of the previous Meeting. 

The President’s Opening Address (the Prez Sez): 

The President advised that this is almost last meeting of VICAUG’s 19th. Year as we reach 20 years this evening (the Anniversary will be celebrated at the General meeting to be held on 5th. December 2005. This meeting may (have to) vary from the usual “first Monday” (“of the even month/s”) as it may have to be moved “right” either one day to Tuesday 6th. or Wednesday 7th. December 2005 depending on the availability of noted and esteemed guest/s which we hope to have attend the meeting and celebration of VICAUG’s 20th. year. 

Members and “Newsletter” addressees are requested to look out for notice/s of the final date. This date may well be amended several times and the final date advised at only a day or so notice. 

The President also advised that this evening we would be favoured by three excellent presentations:
a. Caroline Blackburn from RMIT (TAFE) who will present the topics and subject provided by the “Short Course” facility at RMIT (TAFE) of which she is the Commercial Manager;
b. Zoltan Toth, one of our resident computer and AutoCAD gurus who will present the little known but very powerful (in the right hands) “Wild Card” availability in AutoCAD; and
c. Peter Godfrey, Vice President of VICAUG and another of the excellent resident VICAUG computer and AutoCAD gurus who will present the undocumented “XT type” “System Restore” utility in and from within Windows 2000 Pro (aka W2000 and w2k).


1. CAD Training

Ms. Caroline Blackburn, Commercial Manager, RMIT (TAFE) Short Course Facility: RMIT(TAFE) “Short Course” availability:
Caroline Blackburn is a very experienced AutoCAD and Autodesk products presenter with an excellent industry work and presentations back-ground.

She is the Commercial Manager for RMIT(TAFE) Short course facility at RMIT which is situated in Melbourne Victoria. The web sire/page address is:

The “Short Course” “page” is at:
It is highly recommended that readers visit these web sites as they have a vast array of very pertinent, focussed and industry-related/approved course and subjects.
Caroline delivered a first-class presentation on the course contents and options available in a vast range of topics and subjects. These can be delivered during “office hours”, in the evening or at weekends – depending upon demand and attendances.
There was a very good interaction with the audience on a “question and answer” format.
It was very evident that everybody was very satisfied with the presentation and the presenter.

2. Zoltan Toth: “Wild Cards for and within AutoCAD”:

Zoltan is a long-time and acknowledged “guru” in things: computers; AutoCAD; AutoLisp; and the “dark(er)” side of computing. He is a repository of a seemingly endless and bottomless pit of knowledge on undocumented features of many software products as well as computer infection and protection etc.
Zoltan addressed the topic of the use and capabilities of “wild cards” in AutoCAD.
Many in the audience were surprised that there were any at all. Some thought it was limited to the DOS “wild cards” of *(star) and ? (“question mark”) – these were often (but not only) those from the “DOS” and “pre-Windows” computer operating system environment/s.
The “wild cards” are listed on the AutoCAD on-line “help” facility. Use the “index” to “find” “wild-card”.

The following information (between the blue lines) was “copied and pasted” from the AutoCAD “on-line ” “help>index>”wild-card” search.
You can use the wild-card characters in the table to sort layers by name
Character Definition
# (Pound) Matches any numeric digit
@ (At) Matches any alphabetic character
. (Period) Matches any nonalphanumeric character
* (Asterisk) Matches any string and can be used anywhere in the search string
? (Question mark) Matches any single character; for example, ?BC matches ABC, 3BC, and so on
~ (Tilde) Matches anything but the pattern, for example; ~*AB*matches all strings that don’t contain AB
[ ] Matches any one of the characters enclosed; for example, [AB]C matches AC and BC
[~] Matches any character not enclosed; for example, [~AB]C matches XC but not AC
[-] Specifies a range for a single character; for example, [A-G]C matches AC, BC, and so on to GC, but not HC
` (Reverse quote) Reads the next character literally; for example, `*AB matches *AB

Note If you use wild-card characters in named object names, precede the character with a reverse quote (`) so AutoCAD does not interpret the character as a wild-card character.
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Zoltan used the “Layer” panel to demonstrate how the wild-cards can and should be used alone and in combination as well as included in an AutoLisp program which he wrote “on the fly”. Using the “layer” panel within AutoCAD allowed the user to check the formatting, application and results of use of the wild-cards in their various configurations “on the fly” (i.e. instantly) without any risk or damage to the layer properties.
This really was “excellent stuff” demonstrated by an expert and a “dab hand” of some of the lesser know capabilities of AutoCAD and the resultant improvement in efficiency.
There was a continuous “to and from” and “question and answer” format with the audience who now have a lot of thinking and revision of their knowledge of AutoCAD to do.

3. Peter Godfrey: “System Restore” in Windows 2000 Pro (W2000/w2k):

Peter like Zoltan, is (also) a long-time and acknowledged “guru” in things: computers; AutoCAD; AutoLisp; and particularly with regard to applications in the “Architectural” field. He too is a repository of a seemingly endless and bottomless pit of knowledge on undocumented features of many software products as well as computer infection and protection etc.
Peter demonstrated the use of an established feature of the Windows 2000 Pro (W2k/W2000) operating system just to show that “system restore” is not only applicable to Windows XT and not to W2k as many (incorrectly) think.
“System Restore”, which saves and “backs-up” the operating system “system” files, IS in W2k under “Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Back-up Wizard” – then away you go.
It is highly recommended that you use this facility if and when installing any software that may corrupt your system file or registry as in a case of disaster, the system files and registry will be restored to the “as was” state before the event which caused the disaster.
This presentation too attracted a vigorous and very informative “question and answer” session with even more queries clarified and answers and perhaps some more looking at features either not known or forgotten in the operating system.

“Thank You’s”:

The President thanked the presenters for excellent presentations. He also thanked members who had attended and participated in the presentations.
Reporting of technical aspects of presentation/s: Due to the competence constraints of the writer, these minutes are of a general(ised) nature only.
A more focussed, technical and topic-specific report by “others/another” will appear in the December 2005 “Newsletter”/”News Bulletin”. 

Next Meeting: 

As advised previously in these Minutes, the next General meeting at which VICAUG’s 20th. anniversary is to be celebrated is intended to be held on Monday 5th. December 2005, but may be moved to Tuesday 6th. or Wednesday 7th. December 2005. Please watch your email and the December 2005 “Newsletter” (now called the “News Bulletin”) for details.
The venue will remain the same – at the Conference Room, 1st. Floor, 55 Walsh Street, North Melbourne. 


 There being no further business, the President thanked all for attending, and closed the meeting at 9.30 pm.

Secretary and Public Officer.


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