Friday, November 11, 2016

Microsoft Word 2016 Can Suck My Dick

Bonjour Le Skullfuckers!!!

I figured with Revit out of the picture, I should probably turn my ire to my second least favorite software company - Microsoft.  They've obviously sucked a lot of dick for a lot of years, and don't seem to be showing any signs of slowing down (if anything, they are doubling down on it).

This became especially obvious when my wife recently started a Doctorate program, which seems to mostly revolve around writing fucktons of papers. Fortunately for her she is an excellent writer, but technology seems to fucking hate her - exacerbated by the fact that most of it is designed by half-wit morons whose idea of 'user friendly' is hiding extremely important functionality behind a wall of ribbons (sound familiar?)

For her, if something can go wrong with a computer, piece of software, or printer - it will, and at the worst possible time. I could use the exact same shit all day long without fail, but the second she sits down, it's a goddamned miracle when it doesn't catch on fire. She's highly intelligent, and isn't a technophobe, but her experience has left her without a lot of confidence that she won't get screwed over somehow.

The format they have to use for their papers is different than what she is used to, and despite being given a template (that doesn't seem to work correctly - probably because it was made in an older version of Word) and having a book that shows how everything is supposed to look, it still took over an hour last night to get everything formatted correctly - while every strange fucking thing that could come out of the woodwork seemed to be conspiring against her.

Now that we've done it all, I'm going to make this paper into a 'template' (not one to be applied, just one to open up and start a new paper - with all of the headers, numbering, spacing, etc. already in place and ready for editing/writing). Now, I'm no 'Word Guru' (I prefer OpenOffice - both due to it being free - and not a Microsoft product) but I've used it for as long as it has existed - and while I don't tend to use a lot of the formatting functions (preferring to stick to manually formatting) I have had to delve into them more than once.

The first thing we ran into was that she had several sources that were hyperlinks, and they wouldn't break where she wanted them to (they would jump down to the next line - and only THEN would they wrap). They didn't have to stay hyperlinks, but even after turning it off, it would not allow me to break it where I wanted to - forcing me to manually type the part that I wanted to stay on the first line, then delete what I had typed from the rest of the 'link'.

Then - lo and behold, the line spacing was fucked up because it was taking it upon itself to insert a paragraph symbol, and deleting it would cause it to go back to wrapping incorrectly (a little fiddling around and I found that I could put an extra space at the end to make it stay put and keep the line spacing the same.

After I fixed the first link, I figured I would go online and see if anyone had a better way to do it - the first one I ran across was to insert a special character called an 'no width optional break' and it... didn't fucking work.  At all.  I went ahead and fixed the rest manually - and later I ran across a suggestion to use a no-width empty character (I'll try that the next time I get pulled in to assist).

Next was setting up the header(s).  I had actually gone through the process once, so I was fairly confident I could do it again.  Started by using the header that showed up at the top of the page, but of course that's wrong.  Went into 'Insert' and 'Header', and was off to the races.  Right up until I accidentally held down 'shift' for too long and the stupid 'sticky keys' menu popped up - then disappeared and left me unable to type (it would just 'tick tick') requiring a reboot (and then a quick search on how to make that shit go away permanently).

Each issue that I had to fix was stupider than the last (constantly having to fix line spacing and other 'auto-formatting' that needed to take a fucking hike), but I finally beat it - because the one indispensable tool I have is the fact that I'm goddamned relentless when it comes to figuring shit out, which was one of the reasons Revit left such a bad taste in my mouth.  People would get the incorrect impression that I just didn't want to learn something 'different'.  The reality was that it wasn't just 'different' it was FUCKED.

At least with Microsoft products like Windows and Word I can go online and find where other people have had the same problems (and have a 50/50 chance of finding a solution that actually works).  With Revit it was a wasteland of nothingness - especially at first.  But even years later, I would try searching for a solution to an issue and the vast majority of the hits were either out of date (and/or didn't address the problem) or were for places offering 'Revit training' (i.e. - pay us money to show you the useless tutorials that are already available for free online.

I came to the conclusion last night that the only reason that these people get away with putting out shit software with shitty 'features' is that they are safely esconced somewhere that I can't get hold of them and slam their fucking hands into a drawer repeatedly.  It's pretty much the same with everything else - faceless corporations who don't give a fuck about who they screw over, and a populous willing to shrug and say 'it is what it is'.

Fuck that.

And if you think like that - then FUCK YOU.


Next Time: Getting Down To Business

Monday, November 7, 2016

No Wonder This Revit Shit Fucking Eats Itself

Yo Fuckheads,

I was going to waste my time talking about this bullshit election - but that's depressing, plus I'm working on my third massive High School project in the last few months, and this thing was Revited to the goddamned gills before being sent to me as a CAD file.  A lot of the exterior windows/storefront have so much fucking detail (cross-sections of extrusions, fasteners, brackets, glass, etc.) that just to change everything to my background layer (without losing linetype information) required grabbing dozens and dozens of little bites.

I'm sure whoever modeled it was busy sucking their own dick over how awesome it was that they could grab views of all of the various connections to use as details and just note them up, and probably set their larger views to lower detail, but when I get the thing it's just black blobs as far as the eye can see, (and literal fucktons of extra linework - ONE GODDAMNED corner joint has 2456 lines).

Hell - one 52' wall (that has an exploded hexagonal grid hatching in it for some reason - possibly some kind of insulated glass?) contained nearly 80,000 lines.  Obviously Revit handles objects differently than what I'm seeing in the exported file, but as many people have pointed out, EVERY SINGLE PERSON using a Revit model has to be aware of how much shit their families are bringing to the table (even if you are just linking a file) to keep it from turning into a bloated clusterfuck that crashes every time you look at it wrong.

I'm sure if the person who exported this file gave a shit (instead of most likely opining why anyone wouldn't just do everything in Revit) they could have set up a background specifically for export that didn't have 4 trillion extra lines that add zero value to the plan to anyone who isn't an Architect (and questionable value for those who are).  Even then, there are always fucked up view problems, overlapping shit due to multiple disciplines.  Overlapping (or more amusingly - slightly offset) architectural + mechanical families for toilets/sinks/etc. is a common one - I deleted a couple from this plan as well.

A stylized plan with a little extra detail is cool - and I will leave one alone (other than a little tidying up) if it isn't horribly bloated.  I can remember a time when I could select an entire floor plan (sometimes even multiple floors of a building) and change layer all at once from properties.  I'm not sure what the upward limit is - but it's in excess of what is necessary to depict a floor plan, that's for damn sure.  I've talked (at great length) about how I get a little OCD when I start cleaning one up - but there is nothing quite like having a super-clean background to work on.

Keeping the file size reasonable also guarantees that the file will open/save quickly - change views quickly (not sure why, but the last one would take forever to switch paper space views - and I'm making damn sure this one doesn't go the same route).  Someone else set that one up (and had started this one) and while I did some cleanup on the other one, I'm going to beat every last bit of unnecessary shit out of this one.  There were a few other systems that the other guy was going to leave in just in case we pick them up later, but I'm ditching them (we can always bring them back in from the original drawings we received).

What's great is that even though I like to complain about the garbage files I receive - I can slap on my headphones, crank up some death metal, and fix any stupid fucked up piece of shit that some moron sent me with ACAD.  Nobody is going to build anything off of my drawings, so as long as I'm accurately representing what the people installing my systems need to see, then I've got a lot of leeway.  Even if it takes the majority of a day to get it ready to go forward - I used to spend the majority of a day trying to get one stupid fucking thing to work in Revit (on an annoyingly regular basis) and that didn't guarantee I wouldn't actually be further into a fucking hole than when I started.

I was highly amused by a recent response to a post I did back in December of 2013 while I was still under the Revit bootheel.  Some idiotic fucking glitch (that came out of nowhere) was making it to where I suddenly couldn't add light fixtures to a circuit.  Apparently, despite multiple new releases of Revit since then, they were running into exactly the same issue.  It seems like it was limited to one file (could have been one of the thousands and thousands of unnecessary settings - but both I and others went through it repeatedly with no success, leaving me having to fake it in).

But hey - at least they've got 'sketchy lines' now (oh, and the ability to make stuff in the foreground stand out better).

Fucking Fuckwits.

Fuck Autodesk, Fuck Revit, Fuck anyone forcing good, hardworking individuals into using Revit, and if you don't like it - GET FUCKED.


Next Time - I go after Motherfucking Microsoft Word (it will make more sense when you read it).

Friday, November 4, 2016

On Your Mark, Get Set, Achieve 'Real Speed-to-Market Success?'

Guten Tag Skullfriends!

I can't remember what I was doing the other day - but I ran across this 'design-build' company's website:,_get_set,_achieve&utm_campaign=strongconnections_stm&db=acuity--native--on_your_mark,_get_set,_achieve--strongconnections--stm

Their incessant use of buzzwords/phrases ('employing collaborative upfront design', 'integrated 'project delivery', etc.) immediately made me think of the B.S. generator a reader had brought to my attention:

Despite this, they actually make a few good points when it comes to how projects go from poorly thought out concept to horribly implemented design.

They start off with some 'Preliminary Questions to Consider':

1) Do you have the right decision makers at the table?

The answer to this question is almost always 'not only no - but fuck no'.  The people you ARE guaranteed to have are 'The Dreamer' (who has grandiose ideas - but doesn't have any concept of things like budget, schedule, etc.), 'The Unrealist' (who really should know better - but still thinks that everything is going to be much cheaper than it demonstrably will be), 'The Dabbler' (who shouldn't fucking be there, but has inserted himself into the process, and if not carefully monitored, will throw the whole thing off course - also known as 'The Interloper'), and if you are really really lucky - you might get 'The Guy With The Purse Strings' (really the only guy you should ever actually pay attention to).

2) Are they a collaborative team that can work together seamlessly and simultaneously or are the linearly dependent following a step-by-step, on track path?

I'm assuming they meant 'are *they* linearly dependent' but were too busy cramming in buzzwords to worry about spelling/grammar. At any rate - it's almost a given in every case that people are going to be working simultaneously at both the design and construction level - the only 'step-by-step' you run into is when the aforementioned interlopers and other fuckups won't stop changing shit, causing the 'seamless' approach to turn into a long,  drug out clusterfuck.  Note - this happens regardless of how much work you do on the front end to prevent it.

3) Do your construction suppliers have the 'optimal value chain' to deliver a 'lean project cycle time' (whew)?

With any experienced firm, there is considerable attention paid to long lead-time items and coordinating their arrival on-site to where they won't hold up work (or be in the way/require storage). Again, this goes to shit due to the lack of understanding on the part of people who just will not stop fucking with the design WAY after the point where they needed to fuck right off.

I've been in so many meetings where people keep coming up with 'brilliant' ideas about how to 'improve' a design (typically with the aim of saving money) that get shot down once we force them to wrap their heads around 1) The fact that you can't just go pick up some of this shit at a Home Depot, and 2) The correct shit is already on-site (if not installed or in the process of being installed.

The assumption that you can swap out 'apples for apples' with different systems is another classic mistake. We regularly run into situations where there might only be one source for a device that will do what we need it to do. There might be other solutions, but they quickly become untenable due to the need for extra pieces/parts/etc. to interface a competitors devices with any given system.

The simplest solution is (almost) always best - but people want to layer on unnecessary bullshit to make themselves feel 'part of the project'. A firm can talk all day about how adept they are at coordinating a project - but I have yet to run across even a single one where one or more (if not all) of the people I described above to come crashing through at the most inopportune moment and drag a project off schedule.

I completed a massive warehouse/production facility a while back, and then we got the contract to do security equipment.  No big deal - I knocked it out in short order, but we didn't receive a cad site plan - which was fortunate, because it turned out to have changed (and despite having requested it two weeks ago - the owner won't stop making changes for long enough for me to get it.

Hilariously, they keep operating under the delusion that the delivery date is still firm, even though they are the ones holding up our ability to complete it. That's pretty standard though - as is everyone's lack of willingness to confront yet another out of control client.

As always - if you stand in the way of my ability to do my goddamned job, you can take a long fucking hike to 'Gofuckyourselfville'.

Sinsquarely,  SF

Next time: No Fucking Wonder This Shit Eats Itself