Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cut! Take Two!

Due to unforeseen and unimagined circumstances - the Revit/Universal Studios/Project Phoenix...has been nixed by NBC/Universal powersthatbe. Very sad about it. News made for a very poor start to a week two Monday's ago.

So now what? Well - a bit of scrambling. I'm going to refocus the session on the use of Revit in the film and stage industry. Slightly different flavor, same creamy goodness.

This will be an **major** update to the AU 2006 presentation with industry veteran Jack G. Taylor that presented some extraordinary examples of Revit being used in major motion picture production, while highlighting industry specific challenges of level of detail, work flow and speed of delivery.

Full update course description here: Autodesk® Revit® for Film and Stage.

We'll also be showcasing far more recent examples of major motion picture set designs in Revit. Brilliant stuff that I'm very excited about! For example?

Seriously. Revit. FTW.

Extra huge and gigantic props to Joseph Wurcher (Twitter feed here) and his crack team of hyper-text editors. Seriously - getting class titles and description stuffs edited this close to AU nearly requires a Papal decree. But they managed to jump through hoops to make the necessary changes. Nothing but net! Thanks Joseph!

So the economy is a squishy. You know what? There's industries that would love to have your mad Revit skills besides Architecture.

See you at AU!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some Happy

Today has not been a good day. Sometimes I need a pick-me-up. Help me help you to help me. For that, I share a story:

I was at a baby shower for a friend the other day. He was telling me that he's been trying to come up with crazy ideas and then trying to Google them to see if they exist. So far, they all have. The one he was telling me about was a helmet that you would wear to bed and it would block out sound. Apparently they sell one online.....

The internet is a strange and wonderful place. A place where you can find so many, many things. Like a site devoted to professional cakes gone wrong. It's a bit like cloud busting. Someone can look and see a turkey...........


Monday, October 26, 2009

LEED Rant #17

You know at some point I actually have to finish documentation on LEED and be done with this process.

My biggest problem with LEED for Homes to date: It's not a progressive process.
No, like fighting for equal rights progressive but that it hall has to happen at once. It works for commercial, but it doesn't fit home owners. You get ONE chance at getting your rating. How many home owners do you know who are actually 'done' with their homes in one round???

The process should be set up where you could build upon past performance. If in 3 years I put up a wind turbine, why can't I tack those points on to my score? Instead, the process caters to having more $$ to gain more points which makes it inaccessible to many.

LEED for Homes.
Star Date 276.
That's how many days I've been filling out paperwork.
Gas bill last month: $25 | Electric bill: $60

Saturday, October 24, 2009


You know that thing I've been talking about where people can unlock their iPhones to install totally non-Steveness blessed applications? Like Google Voice Mobile - great sound quality - available only via Cydia (once you jailbreak your iPhone). Like T-Mobile - so far, really great customer service - available only via Dev-Team (once you unlocked your iPhone). Like Cycorder - great video quality (ditto on the jailbrake part). Cycorder has been around for quite some time on the iPhone.

Well - this same kind-o-effort to unlock and distinguish software from hardware is being leveled at Apple's hardware and their OS. And it's a really big deal to Apple because it'll allow people to bypass purchasing Apple hardware in order to run OSX. And I suspect it's at least on the radar of Uncle Ballmer too because it'll show cracks in the dam. Balmer can laugh, monkey dance and dismiss the Cult of Linux. But not so with the Cult of Mac. Because while MSFT's stock price has been flat-lining for the past ten years or so, Apple has increased nearly 1000% (10x):

Apple 2008 Revenue / Profit? $ 32.5 billion / $ 4.8 billion
Microsoft 2008 Revenue / Profit? $ 60.4 billion/ $ 17.7 billion

Apple is 1/2 the size of Microsoft. Who'd a thunk? Their profit is proportionally only half (15% compared to 29%). But Apple also makes hardware - where the margins are much lower compared to software. So who has the most to lose if people start using OS X without buying Apple hardware? Who has the most to gain?

In the past someone needed to make a really binary decision to use Apple over Microsoft. And the friction of having to jump both hardware and software hurdles has probably kept a lot of people from moving to Apple. This on the other hand this will allow someone to jump over one hurdle now - and maybe another later. Maybe. If you're cool enough. /s

Rebel EFI software will allow users to easily boot and install Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and even Mac OS X on their machines and is available for download at The full version comes with the Darwin Universal Boot Loader, which allows for the installation of up to 6 different operating systems on a single machine.

What does this mean? Got a computer sitting around the house that's constipated on spyware, crapware, auto-porn-pop-ups and who knows what else? Got a teenager with a mild geeky streak? Well - for starters, it'll cost you $100: $50 for OSX and $50 for Rebel EFI. Well - maybe only $50. Because Apple users don't have to bother with OEMs when they install their OS. So if you know someone that has an Apple computer they'll probably let you "borrow" their OSX install disk.

So here's the big question: are people really going to risk playing cat and mouse with with their data and Apple in order to run OSX on non-Steveness approved hardware?

Well - judging by the number of people playing dodge ball with Apple/AT&T/iPhone/iTunes just to run non-approved apps and non-approved carriers on their iPhone - then the answer is "yes".

And then like it or not, Apple will have increased their customer base without those customers passing through the eye of John Ive's hyper-elevated, meticulously well-designed and brushed aluminum iNeedle. At least at first. Because when it's time to upgrade - I suspect they'll consider Apple hardware as well.

Sorry John. Sorry Steve.

Thanks Psystar.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dude, Where's My Tool?

What? can't find your tools in the new UI?
Apparently neither can someone else. So, they made what I thought was a very handy little tool.

What out - it resizes your browser window.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Infinity Tower

One of my favorite recent SOM projects is currently featured in The Architect’s Newspaper. The Infinity Tower is a spiraling luxury residential building reaching 1,038 feet over the Dubai waterfront.  Designed by structural wizard Bill Baker and former New Yorker, Ross Wimer, the elegant structure was designed with the help of the brilliant Victor Gane (Stanford CIFE, etc.) in Digital Project.

“We try to take something that’s complex and make it simple. Simple for the exterior guys, simple for the concrete guys, simple for the sales agent. It’s the same floor plate because every floor rotates around the central column.”


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Go Carol, It’s Your Birthday…

Yahoo triples profits, beats expectations

It’s good to see Carol Bartz (former Autodesk CEO) making headway with her new gig; however, it’s this kind of blurb which gets me excited:

"Most of the benefit that they are seeing is because the economy is improving -- a rising tide -- not because of all the changes they've made," said JMP Securities analyst Sameet Sinha.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

All for One, One for All

Pardon the cliche quote, but I can’t begin to explain how happy I am to join my partners in crime in their blogging adventures. Phil did a pretty nice job in summarizing my likes, dislikes, general demeanor and opinion of major appliances. Did you know I was the top-rated new speaker at AU 2004? Good times…

AU2005 033-1sm

And yes, I have had the experience of meeting Gene Simmons at our local fire house. He was taping an episode of Family Jewels and was the honorary host of our Fire Safety Day…


Meeting Howard Stern is a story for another post…hmmm, stay tuned.

Anyway, Phil and I are still waiting for our chance to share a drink atop the completed One World Trade Center and reflect on many fun years of implementing BIM.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Circle is Now Complete...

The third member of the BIM Alliance is now in place. ;)

As you know, Eddy Krygiel joined this Arch | Tech experiment in early August 2009 and began posting in earnest. Now after equal amounts of begging, pleading, prodding and plying - Eddy and I are honored to have James Vandezande round out this key cast of players.

For those of you that haven't had the pleasure to meet or work or hear James speak at AU, I'll start with my own personal experience and impressions:
  • Digital Design Manager and Associate at SOM NYC
  • Early BIM | Technology adopter
  • University Lecturer
  • An extremely significant Force of Will(TM) that kept the WTC project on track in spite of much fan-hitting action
  • Dedicated, hardworking - sharp-minded as well as sharp-tongued
  • Focused on Programming, Standards, Very Large Projects as well as Multi-Platform BIM as a process - not a platform Environments
  • Patient yet only suffers fools to a point
  • Hands like a brick-mason, mind of poet
  • Favorite beer: Chimay
  • Has met Howard Stern and Gene Simmons
  • In spite of his love of technology, very poor personal experience with home appliances. Offer him one of the above adult beverages at AU, sit back and enjoy the stories. ;)

His blog in it's native format is here.

Welcome aboard James. Don't be a "wooden tongue":

Couldn't find a reasonable glamor shot like this. Be patient. In the mean time the image above will have to do. More details to follow.

It's about to get very, very interesting.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Something's Amiss in the Factory!

Details here. Or select the image above!

Happy Halloween everyone! Smile! Loosen up!

AU2009 is just around the corner!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Above image links to story here.

I'm going to suggest there only one of two options:

1. Carol approved this. Which I sincerely doubt. But if true, I'll be incredibly and deeply disappointed.

2. Carol didn't approve of this. In which case someone - or some people - somewhere is (or are) going to be in an extraordinary world of hurt.

Put it this way. You'd all be better off taking that all-expenses-paid holiday on the coast of Cuba you've been hearing about.

Seriously. Just grab your passport, buy your tickets, pack your toothbrush and leave a note on the fridge for the wives and kids.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wha Wha What!!!

I'm sorry Eddy. Normally I'd let a new post settle for a day or two. And the image of Fozzy Bear's head mounted to a bright aqua blue plaque is brilliant. Really. But I've just returned from the west coast, started to eat microwaved leftovers (being married to a chef RULES!) and begun to read news/Twitter/Facebook - lo and behold! A shiny new episode of South Park is online!

Click the image above to launch the episode at South Park Studios! NSFW! Seriously! You have been warned.

And I realize that everybody was all pissed off at George Jr and now everybody is apparently in love with Barry. But the next time you wonder what's the US done for the world? Two words: South Park.

I even flew through Denver this week and once again...missed out on eating at Casa Bonita. One day I'll pay tribute to the Mexican Mecca.

Coincidentally I live in a suburb of Charlotte, NC known as Southpark.

Anyone up for "Zombieland" this weekend? Do yourslf a favor and check out "Shaun of the Dead" first. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Friday Reprieve

Etsy is a great place to find stuff made by artists and others who want to create. There is some beautiful things out there. I bought this sugar skull from Esty for my wife as a housewarming gift. It reads "Bacon is like a little hug from God" and hangs in the kitchen in an awesome orange color.

Today I happened across DataMafia who also has an Esty site. They sell all kinds of wares, but I do like these. Now I just need to build a den.

Friday, October 2, 2009

How Green Is That??

Greenbuild is the annual expo for everything sustainable. This year, it’s being held in Phoenix, Arizona. This year, even with the economic decline, they hope to pull in 18,000 people with opening speakers such as former president elect Al Gore and artist Sheryl Crow.

While I envy anyone who gets to hear Al Gore speak, or Sheryl Crow perform, some of it is getting a bit creepy. I can let go of the Birdwatching and the Salon (yes, a 'green' salon), but there’s a ‘Cowboy Ride-n-Dine’ and a ‘Easy Sunrise Hike’. The hike meanders to the ‘Hole in the Rock’ to watch the sun rise where the early inhabitants, the Hohokam, recorded the position of the sun.

Ok, we’re getting a little too hippie even for me. But it gets better:

On the 14th is the first annual GreenBuild Golf Tournament. In Arizona.

In other news, Apple resigns from the Chamber of Commerce due to their backward policy on climate change. rock on, Apple.

Apple + Autodesk = Cool

Life is all about balance, so it's time to say something nice about ADSK development.

ADSK has come out with an Alias-esque sketch app that is pretty stinkin' cool for the iphone. Check the video here, but I have to say, it's impressive. It's called SketchBook.