Archive for December, 2006

Minutes of the December 2006 Meeting

17 December 2006

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

As per Attendance Book.

Apologies were received from Andrew J, Miro K, Zoltan T and Chris N.

The President, Mark Miller, welcomed everyone attending, requested them to ensure that they had registered on the Attendance sheet, and opened the December 2006 General Meeting at 7.00 pm.

Minutes of Previous Meeting (October 2006):
The Minutes of the previous General Meeting held on the 2nd. October 2006 as circulated in “Vicaug News” – (weblog – aka “blog”) 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 in his opening address, welcomed all in attendance to this our final meeting for 2006. He wished all members all the very best for the Festive Season.
He advised that:
– we have an excellent presentation this evening in which Peter Godfrey will demonstrate the “Dynamic Blocks” feature in “AutoCAD”;
– the web VIcaug web page is in the process of being updated;
– there were still some questions on the Vicaug “Vicaug News” web log (aka “blog”) and questions were taken and answered;
– new members are required for the 2007/08 Committee – to be elected at the 2007 AGM in August 2007;
– members are requested to advise as to what they would like to see presented at General meetings;
Keeping up to date with VICAUG news and any other matters:
The President advised that members should regularly “log on” to the VICAUG Weblog (“blog”) site at and VICAUG’s web page at – both of which are (to be) regularly updated – to keep themselves aware of items of interest.

AutoCAD “Dynamic Blocks”
by Peter Godfrey, Vice President of Vicaug Inc.
Peter, the resident and long time and acknowledged guru (of the guru’s as well) on all things AutoCAD, Autodesk and Computers gave an excellent explanation and demonstration of the “dynamic blocks” feature of “AutoCAD”.
Peter conducted a very much appreciated “question and answer” session as required – to the satisfaction of all in attendance.
These “dynamic blocks” are in addition to the traditional blocks and external references (ie “exrefs”) that have been in previous “Releases” of AutoCAD as well. Their use requires some reading in the “Help” files but is very well worth the effort.
The features are quite easy to use and are well worth learning and using. The “learning curve” will be short, easy and very much worth the minor effort involved.
The President thanked Peter for his excellent, informative and instructive presentation.

Reporting on Technical Aspects relating to Technical Aspects of Presentations Etc:
These minutes are of a general(ised) and “précis” nature only.
A more focussed, technical and topic-specific report by “others/another” will appear in the VICAUG Weblog (i.e. “blog”) – which is published on a “continuing/ongoing” basis at:
The “blog” report/s will also include all links relating to the subject matter of these Minutes.

“Thank You’s”:
The President thanked the presenters for their excellent presentations. He also thanked members who had attended and participated in the presentations.

Next Meeting:
The next General meeting is intended to be held on Monday 5th. February 2007 at this venue i.e. RMIT Building 94, 5th. Floor at 23-27 Cardigan Street, CARLTON – commencing at 6.30 pm.

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

Secretary and Public Officer.


Land Desktop Service Pack Released

13 December 2006

SP2a has been released for Land Desktop 2007 and Land Desktop 2007 Companion. This service pack includes all the fixes from SP1 and SP2, and can be installed on top of an unpatched version or on top of SP1 or SP2.

More info from

Notes on the December 2006 Meeting

13 December 2006

As befitting the final meeting of the year, Mark commenced with a review, not just of the past year, but of the “golden days of drafting,” before CAD. We all had a good old time reminiscing when a mouse was filled with vinyl dust, you controlled lineweights by adjusting the screw on your dip-in pen and when you washed out old linen drawings to make excellent irish linen handkerchiefs.

The main presentation for the evening was yours truly, Peter Godfrey, who presented a session on dynamic blocks. These are a recent arrival in AutoCAD and it is worth exploring their benefits.

As you might expect, dynamic blocks are a form of the ordinary blocks which we have been using for years. So, before we get to dynamic blocks, we need to understand regular blocks. We started by recapping the basics of making and using ordinary blocks.

As a form of reusable linework and other content, blocks have been around since the very early days of AutoCAD. We looked at making and using blocks, attributes, defining the insertion point. Also, more advanced issues such as the effects of drawing entities in blocks on layer 0, with properties BYLAYER or with properties BYBLOCK

We looked at an example of a furniture block (chair). See what happens when you alter the properties of the entities which make up the block.

The DIVIDE and MEASURE commands can be used to space out blocks along a line or polyline. The BATTMAN command is used to update changed attribute definitions in a block.

So, we come at last to Dynamic Blocks. Would you believe that early versions of dynamic blocks actually were in old AutoCADs. They appeared as associative dimensioning and hatching. Dynamic blocks are basically an extension of these concepts, to include graphical data that can change appearance in different insertions of the same block.

An example of aquarium plinth detail was shown to illustrate a dynamic block application. This is a detail which repeats but with different sizes and dimensions and is ideal for this. There are problems in using associative hatching and dimensions, which may be the result of the way that dynamic blocks are implemented in AutoCAD and that they can “fight” with each other. We heard about some techniques you can use to minimise these problems.

Finally, we looked at how to actually go about creating a simple dynamic block: in this case a table that can stretch. The table can grow and shrink in preset sizes and can even be driven through a catalogue-like pulldown to select the model of table.

Next month, we’ll revise the main points and look at some more uses and capabilities of dynamic blocks.

AutoCAD Beta Code Names

7 December 2006

For the trivia buffs amongst us, here is a list of the code names that Autodesk has given their beta versions of AutoCAD.

R14 – Sedona
R14.01 – Pinetop
2000 – Tahoe
2000i – Banff
2002 – Kirkland
2004 – Red Deer
2005 – Neo
2006 – Rio
2007 – Postrio
2008 – Spago