Friday, September 28, 2012


Over the decade plus that I have been doing Electrical Design, Engineering, Drafting, (and beating information out of people who seem bound and determined to fuck me over - despite it being in both of our best interests if they share it), I have done dozens of different types of projects, totaling in excess of 500  -just in the 8 years I have been at my present firm.

While most of the Construction Documents I issue are alike in many ways - they vary widely in scope and complexity.  Every single attempt I have ever seen someone make at grabbing a project 'similar' to the one they are currently working on fails miserably.

They will say 'oh - we did one just like this', and pull out something that bears little to no resemblance to what the end result of their current project will be, and in many cases, this false 'leg up' will be worse than useless, as it allows a lot of assumptions to be made in the similarity to questions that were asked during the old projects design (not to mention designs that are no longer viable due to code changes or local ordinances).

We do a modicum of 'protypical' work that involves doing an initial design and then reusing it (hopefully as many times as possible), however this can also turn into a nightmare as the first one gets built, they come back with some field changes that they want to incorporate into the half a dozen jobs that have been issued since then (and that's before they start tweaking them endlessly).

Sometimes you end up doing as much work on each individual instance of a 'prototypical' job than you would if they were just totally separate projects (this works in the owners favor because they are only paying us a small re-use fee for our prototype and nobody has the sackage to demand that they pay for substantial changes - whether they be all at once or stretched out over the course of several years), although we occasionally get hired to do a 'new' prototype when even the owner has to admit that things are changing too radically for it to just be another (basically free) 'tweak'.

Now - I'm all about saving time, mental effort, and most importantly - maximizing profit, and I will always take a minute to assess whether or not I would be better served by attempting to shoehorn something in versus starting from 'scratch'.  I might, at the very least, bring in the old drawings and strip out some useful details, schedules, layouts, etc. to make sure all my bases are covered.

Combined with the tools that I drop into every new project (which really prevent me from ever really starting from scratch - although I kind of regret not creating a set of job-specific tools - although I could at any time), I have a system for taking a project through design development, construction documents, and beyond.  The real 'from scratch' comes when you attempt to switch up to Revit.  No matter how detailed your template, there are always going to be things that require individual attention on every job, no matter how many times you have done them before.

Speaking of my toolbox, it has gone through several iterations.  It started off a simple set of blocks that made it more convenient when starting a new project than having to load them individually (the Revit template can be set up similarly - with commonly used fixtures/equipment), but it soon became much more than that.

I have mentioned before how I can have basic tools set up on a machine with freshly loaded vanilla ACAD in a matter of minutes (even if I don't dump them off a USB stick or download them), but my extended 'Ubertools' (Copyrighted 2012 - Copy it, and Get Beaten to Death), has everything from typical lighting spacing (based on different ceiling heights), fire alarm a/v device sizing and spacing, typical schedules, legends, notes, and details - including highlighted sections for information to be verified.

It works from a 'put everything in there and then delete what you don't need' mentality.  Nearly every situation that might come up is addressed, and if something unique comes up - it can go in there for future reference.  The 'Revit Is God' argument will occasionally take into account the fact that ACAD users had LISP routines and other ways of doing things that limit the increased amount of productivity they should expect to see in Revit, but none can argue with the fact that you are basically starting from scratch every time you go into a new Revit file, no matter how much work you put into that template.

 Now - with all of that said, cutting and pasting shit (especially old shit) into drawings is one of the fastest ways to fuck yourself over royally.  My tools make use of a couple of elaborate techniques to make sure that misleading information doesn't make it's way into my projects - the first is called 'putting a circle around it', the next is 'changing the color of the text'.  I often have multiple options already entered, and simply delete the ones that don't apply.  If there are circles or off-colored text - then I know there is still information that needs to be verified so they can be updated or removed.

Again - using ACAD to design a set of drawings is not limited to the drawing itself.  You can leave copious notes to yourself, sketch out multiple options for consideration (or so you can simply slap in the one that they end up choosing - and they didn't take a week each, so you can justify it).  Lets say I have half a building worth of lights laid out, and they decide they want 2' x 2' fixtures instad of 2' x 4' - in Revit, I would basically be stuck deleting everything and putting the larger fixtures in (since you can't just do a 1 for 1 swap and still have an actual design).

ACAD also requires deleting the old fixtures and putting the new ones in, but besides being able to do this almost comically faster in ACAD than in Revit, I can also copy the old layout to the side, or save it into a separate file - that way when they decide 'oh - we actually wanted 2' x 2' fixtures after all' and  <BANG> the old layout is back, baby.  (Oh, and this shit happens - All. The. Fucking. Time - no matter how hard you try to keep your boot on the neck of the people making the decision - or passing on this information).

At any rate - I usually (just for my own amusement if for no other reason) start projects off and crank them as far along as I can without actually looking at any other projects (especially the ones that I was told to use as a 'go by').  This guarantees that I will have my head in the game, and not thinking about stuff that may not even apply.  I will eventually go back and look at the older project(s), but I'm usually quite pleased with how much I can remember (or use my tools to keep from having to remember).

Besides being able to sketch things out and start floating ideas for stuff (without having all of it popping up in 3d for other people to mistakenly take as 'gospel' and attempt to coordinate with it), I am guaranteed that no matter what kind of project I am faced with (even if I haven't done anything remotely like it before) I am armed to the teeth, and ready to tear its fucking head off.

Revit just doesn't give me that kind of confidence - and it's not my attitude or skill level with it, it's just not fucking there.  I've been told that in order to use it my approach would have to change, but none of the people telling me that know what my approach currently is, and most couldn't comprehend it even if they did.

So in the meantime - fuck them, and fuck it.

'Project Upgrade'

What in the fuck is the matter with these people?

Attempting to open an older file - even just for viewing shouldn't require me to either: a) go open an older version of the software, or b) wait for half a fucking an hour while the project is 'upgraded to the latest file format'.

I shouldn't have to 'be patient', and the only question that I'm contacting Autodesk support about is whose testicles are getting crushed first.

One of my long-time beefs with the Revit is the inability the thing seems to have to actually open a file sometime this decade (let alone the program itself).  In earlier versions (on older computers - albeit state-of-the-art at the time and loaded with more RAM than WIN XP even knew what to do with out of the box), I was 'hesitant' to open multiple files at the same time because one was already about all it could handle. 

I have opened multiple files on newer versions (on newer machines) without incident - which is probably more of a testament to how little I use the stupid piece of shit, however even if a file isn't attempting to 'upgrade' for 15 minutes (without asking first), it still takes a good chunk of time, during which time my concentration is thoroughly broken.

For some people, this may seem like a non-issue, because they come in to work in the morning, open their Revit model, work on it all day (saving locally and to central occasionally, updating the model - maybe closing out of it at lunch) and turn it off when they leave.  They might have a question come up on another project that requires jumping into it for a few minutes, but then it's back to project #1.

I have, on occasion, been into as many as two-dozen different projects within the course of an hour - made in too many versions of ACAD and Revit to even name, spanning over a decade.  I literally never know what I might need to access at any point in time.  Our archive directories were made kind of hack-and-slash, and apparently not everybody knew about XREF relative path back in the day.

I am confident knowing that if I open ACAD, and go on a search (for anything other than files I know are in Revit) I can have 24 files open in the time it takes for Revit to open even a single, relatively small model, and 'convert' the stupid thing.  My drawings take an extra second - but as I have mentioned previously, I've got the whole damn project right there in model space where I can wrap my head completely around the scope of the project - even if I haven't seen the fucking thing in a year and a half, instead of fumbling with the idiotic 'project manager' in Revit that nobody seems to give a fuck how buried in shit it gets (especially if I share an Architectural or MEP model).

Someone calls with a question? <BANG> the whole fucking project is on my screen, and I'm ready to answer, clarify, tell them I have to research it further, or tell them to fuck off and stop bothering me with stupid shit.  I can zoom to any part of it instantly, or use Viewports to zoom to four points at the same time - I don't have to make idle chit-chat with them while it loads and waste additional time on top of already having been pulled out of whatever three projects I was juggling at that particular moment.

My boss shouts that he has someone on the phone and needs this that or the other thing?  <BANG>  it's open and printing or .pdf(ing?) whatever he needs to see/send.  I don't have to stall or worry that if I do something else while it loads that I won't notice when it finally does.  A dimension?  I can have it in seconds - even if it was from a project I did seven years and seven releases ago.  A panel demand load? Same.  Anything, and it's all right there at my fingertips.

And that's before we even get to the re-usability of portions of projects that I have completed in the past - but we'll save that for next time.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Opening Shit In Revit

Okay, so Revit is slow as shit, and makes massive bloated files.

Besides putting massive amounts of stress on servers, networks, and computers (much of which was never considered by the average firm that took the Revit dick full in their eyesocket), it also manages to waste untold amounts of time opening a project - often throwing up idiotic messages, and sometimes even just refusing to open a file because... well just because.

Our Revit-Faggots have spent ungodly amounts of time trying to unfuck projects that have become corrupted, refuse to open, screw up links, and this all leads to even more of a clusterfuck for everyone involved (even if they have wisely chosen to stay the fuck away from Revit).

On top of this, trying to find workarounds for what should be simple stuff, finding out that it doesn't actually do a lot of the stuff it was advertised to do, and then figuring out what the fuck you are going to do about it in the meantime (only to waste even more time trying to get everyone else 'coordinated' with your half-ass fucked up workarounds.

Jesus Fucking Christ - it never ends.

So you open a Revit file.  You can either sit there and watch it open, or you can go do something else while it opens (only to come back and find that it has stopped on some stupid message) or sort of half-babysit it until you've got your file open.

Whether its the first time you've been in the file, or the hundredth, then you get to try to track down where in the fuck everything is at.  The 'project browser' acts sort of like windows explorer, giving you a run down of all of the floor plans, ceiling plans, etc. - including the sheets that the drawings will end up being laid out on (speaking of which - every time you add a new sheet, you have to go through the same fucking process).

The problem is - no two Reviteers use it the same way, and even if they do, the ONE GODDAMNED THING you are trying to find is buried under two metric fucktons of useless bullshit, dozens of views that they had to make in order to even be able to see what the fuck is going on (without having to export to Navisworks), and just... shit.  Everywhere.

A simple solution would be to have the 'project browser' be the GODDAMNED BUILDING.  If you want to see ceiling plans - you click on a ceiling and select 'reflected ceiling plan', if you want a floor, roof, elevation, etc. - you click on it, and go there.  I can't remember if I have addressed this before, but out of the THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of 3D design programs, games, etc. - CERTAINLY these fucking Autodesk retards could have figured out an interface that let you easily maneuver through a project, manipulate objects, and get something done this fucking decade.

I guess fucking not though - so instead we're stuck with a sack overflowing with shit covered dicks.

(Or we continue to use ACAD like an good, intelligent, and productive people).

More SkullFuckery Involving Printing & Documents

That last clusterfuck was just one example of how the dickless morons at Autodesk that 'developed' Revit made it next to impossible to actually get anything useful out of their goddamned program without having to first export it to CAD.

From day one, I was amazed how brain damaged and fucked up just getting a simple piece of paper out of the fucking thing was.  I was equally amazed by how the 'batch plot' could manage to bury our plotter in a pile of shit.

A Reviteer would send their project to the plotter, run the fucking thing clean out of paper, and because they never bother to actually check and see what the result of sending several dozen sheets of paper to the plotter might be - the results were usually FUBAR.

Some of it had to do with the plotters - almost every one I have ever used has to be babysat in order to keep from jamming up when it gets too many plots stacked up on it.  In order to keep 24", 30" & 36" rolls in our plotter, a setting had to be disabled that would force it to stop plotting if it ran out of a particular roll.

The result was that when it ran out of whatever paper size you were using, it would make its best effort to keep on plotting (despite it being more important that the sheets get plotted on the correct size of paper/orientation than to just 'get plotted').

As long as you were aware of the necessity to keep an eye on it, then it was usually no problem - but along came Revit, (Revit Users), & batch-plotting, and you could occasionally walk into the room with the plotter to find it had run off dozens (if not hundreds) of plots on the wrong size paper, and was continuing to crank them out despite the tray in the back being so full that it was crumpling up sheets and jamming the plotter.

This problem was obviously partially the plotter, partially the way our firm was using the plotter - but was exacerbated considerably by Revit and it's idiot users.  We have since replaced the old plotter with a new (albeit quite shitty) one.  I could probably write a whole blog on that topic alone (in fact I might).

Now, despite the pipe-dream that crack-smoking BIM loving pedophile cocksuckers have of 'a magical time where we just hand the Revit model over to the contractor who puts it on a tablet PC and wanders around a dirty and hazardous job site and builds it without any paper drawings', there is the reality that a lot of people want to see the actual drawings, with actual *wet* signatures, to prevent some dickless fuckstick from slapping some half-ass bullshit on a drawing and making a .pdf of it.

These people include fire marshall's offices, electrical inspectors, not to mention many owners/developers, and almost every single contractor that I have ever dealt with WANTS THAT SHIT ON PAPER - even if they have electronic copies, the physical piece of paper is a guarantee to them that this is EXACTLY what was handed off to them, and that's EXACTLY what they are going to base their work on.

Since most of the Revit-Dick-Sucking-Fuckheads that I know have rarely (if ever) seen an actual job site, then I am aware that they have probably never seen the set of drawings that a contractor compiles during construction.  They are immense - combining original drawings, revised drawings, cut sheets, notes, changes, unforeseen problems, etc. - and when it is all over, that stack of paper (which in some cases we get hired to do an 'as built' set from) is the real record of what happened - not some douchbags Revit model.

I do know people that have gone 'paperless' in their offices - Engineers that review, mark-up, and sign/seal drawings on iPad, but even they aren't of the delusion that once the drawings leave their department or office, that they aren't going on paper.  It does save them considerable time in printing, handling, and scanning large-scale plots, but even they are occasionally forced back into the old-school way because of the requirement for 'wet' signed drawings by some states, counties, or jurisdictions.

Okay - even once you've gotten past the problems of getting Revit to plot an actual piece of fucking paper, now you've got the fact that the developers never seemed to consider that you might want something that doesn't look like total shit on that sheet.

ACAD is to blame for some of that - it was so easy to get whatever you wanted, whenever you needed it, that it set the bar extremely high for Revit.  There was obviously some initial line-weight setup, but once you had that figured out, and had layers/colors that allowed you to be able to see what the fuck was going on in your drawing AND have it come out looking sweet, then you were totally rocking.

It took a long time before anyone even seemed to consider that the drawings that Revit vomited forth needed some help - and even now I never know what the hell it's going to puke up next.  It has a massive amount of control in 'Visibility Graphics', filters, etc., but still pretty much gives you whatever it wants - which is total shit.

Snaps & 256ths???

Why the fuck does Revit want to snap to every goddamned thing?

Why in the fuck does it creep along 1', 2', 3', and then when I get close to the correct location of something it jumps into 137/256ths???


Fuck Revit, fuck its developers and users - and fuck their mothers, their mothers mothers, their fathers, grandfathers, wives/husbands, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends, and any else they hold dear.

They have knowingly, willingly, and gleefully fucked me over - so fuck them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Printing Shit from Cocksucking Revit God Damn It.

I don't even know why I bother to break down Revit into individual problems anymore - it's like trying to figure out why one of the cabin doors on the Titanic doesn't close smoothly while the whole fucking thing is upending and being sucked down into the freezing fucking ocean.

At any rate - I'm not even using the goddamn thing, but somebody asks me about a project, I go into where it is supposed to be located, and what do you fucking know - there is nothing there.  I find a Revit architectural model, so I figure 'what the hell - I need to waste some fucking time' and open it.

Voila - there are the Electrical sheets in the Architectural model (not an altogether bad idea, since it keeps you from having to use an Electrical or MEP template and then chase your dick in a circle).  I just want to print out three fucking sheets - so I open the first one, change a few settings, and BANG it's on the printer - just the way I wanted it.

I knew something was up - but I figured, okay two more sheets, no big deal right?

Fucking WRONG.

I try to print the second sheet, and it won't let me preview it.  Some setting had changed between the first time I printed and the second time I printed (view based?), and so I was like 'fuck it' - all the settings look the same, so it should come out relatively correct, and if not, I'll give it another shot.

I click 'print' (which - by the way, why in the fuck does clicking 'print' from the 'preview' screen take you back to the print settings screen instead of just fucking printing?  Were they specifically going out of their way to make it *just* different enough from ACAD to make someone want to hunt them down and beat them to fucking death???), and my screen starts to flip out as it opens EVERY SINGLE DETAIL FROM EVERY SINGLE SHEET IN THE ENTIRE GODDAMNED PROJECT AND STARTS DUMPING THEM ONTO THE PRINTER.

Seriously - WHAT THE FUCK???

It's not just the sheets - it's every single detail on its own sheet.  I run to the printer, try to cancel it, but they are dumping and overrunning it.  I run back to my comptuer, there are almost TWO HUNDRED FUCKING ITEMS GOING TO THE GODDAMNED PRINTER.  I cancel them, run back to the printer, and clear out the rest.  30-40 pages of wasted paper and toner.  Thanks fuckfaces! 

Maybe a 'are you sure you want to print every goddamned detail on its own sheet of paper' from the program that loves to throw up confusing and meaningless error messages and other bullshit every time you click on or move anything.

I figure out what changed, and print the other two sheets.  Now I'm 20 minutes of time wasted finding a file, opening it, printing 3 goddamned sheets, and so pissed off that I nearly punch a bookshelf in half and kick a vending machine into next century.  FOR A PROJECT THAT ISN'T EVEN MINE TO BEGIN WITH but that I figured 'I'll do somebody a favor'.  I can't even see straight, and sure as hell am not getting anything done on the projects that I should be working on.

This may seem like a minor gripe - or something that I should have known about if I had jumped on the Revit bandwagon from the get-go, but I've stopped caring.  And guess what?  Fuck doing anyone any favors from this point on.  Especially if it's in Revit - then fuck them.

If they ask me to do anything in Revit - fuck them.

In fact, any mention of Revit around me ever again will probably result in that person having something (possibly heavy and/or sharp) thrown at them at a high velocity.  I'm done putting lights in their models, I'm done exporting shit out of it - if they want a project done, they will treat me like an outside fucking consultant who has to have files issued to them and regularly updated - or I will not work on them anymore.

If they ask me 'how's that project coming' I will say 'Are there up-to-date ACAD background(s) and a titleblock in the folder?' and if the answer is anything other than 'yes' then I will tell them to get fucked.  If they try to tell me that I should be working on it in Revit, I will punch them in the fucking throat (especially if they try to go over my head again - which still has one guy *this* close to being strung up by his nutsack and his face belt-sanded).

The Revit Skullfuck is BACK BABY!!!!


I think it's time we ratchet up the tension again - I've been getting a little bit too metaphysical, and losing the focus of why I started writing this.

Seriously - FUCK EVERY SINGLE PERSON that has anything to do with this program - developers, salespeople, end users, cheerleaders, and kool-aid drinkers.

Fuck them, fuck their mothers, fuck their mothers mothers.  Fuck their children, fuck their wives, fuck their brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

I tend to be a fairly rational person - but I also tend to know when I am being bullshitted - and this sack of shit-eating cocksuckery called 'Revit' is bullshit, and every single person propagating it is a shit-eating bullshitter.

Fuck it, and fuck them.

This program seems to only exist to fuck people in the ass (but only after it is done fucking their eyesockets into oblivion).  Nothing works the way it is supposed to.  It is an empty shell of a promise made by limp-dick motherfuckers who need to have their heads blown off, their throats shit down, and every drop of blood drained from their goddamned corpses.

I honestly can't overstate this enough - FUCK THIS PROGRAM.

That is all for now.