Author Topic: Lessons learned.  (Read 37912 times)

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jpostlewait

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2006, 08:14:09 PM »
Let's finish up the Hardware discussion.
If you want to roll out this product to your staff and invest in the training and implementation process THE LAST THING you want is a hardware deficiency syndrome.
So here you go, what does it really take to rock this monster?
RAM.... 2G minimum.
Currently if you are running Vault this will not be enough.
Next month that will probably no longer be true.
Next year who knows?
Processor?
Athlon X2 or Core 2 Duo.
Don't need the best BUT don't get the least.
Right now say Core 2 Duo 6600 and a cheaper option the Athlon 4600 or 4800 chips.
Currently Intel is back in front with motherboard bus and ram speeds
Dual monitors a must.
Great Video cards maybe not depending on what you do.
My personal favorite upgrade is a 10 K RPM hard drive.
Another 150 bucks but they do really perform.
So you are looking at deploying 2K minimum to 2.5K systems before you get started.
A 3K machine MAY be better but any more than that is over-kill.
Life expectancy?
Maybe a couple years as a front-line production system.
And whomever gets it next will love it.
Vista may change the video card game, but I can't imagine that much.
AND DON'T buy anything that is not 64-bit capable.
Who knows when that's going to hit but it might not be long.

sinc

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2006, 12:12:43 PM »
AND DON'T buy anything that is not 64-bit capable.
Who knows when that's going to hit but it might not be long.

As near as I can tell, that isn't much of a priority for Autodesk.  Or if it is a priority, it's a hush-hush one.  Right now, Autocad can't even make good use of dual-core processors...  Considering Autodesk's apparent lack of interest in high-end performance, I don't know why they'd be interested in 64-bit Windows, until they're forced to migrate by the transition to Vista...

But then again, I may have unreasonable expectations created by companies like Twelve Tone Software.  I use their Sonar program quite a lot for music production.  That program is almost completely bug-free, makes awesome use of dual-core processors, and has had a version for 64-bit Windows for the last year-and-a-half.  True, Sonar is not quite the behemoth that AutoCAD is, but it's a pretty hefty piece of software in its own right, and the nature of what it does (real-time high-end audio and video processing) means that hardware issues are a bitch to deal with.  Despite that, the software works almost flawlessly.  But then again, that's from a company that actually views customer happiness as the most important aspect of their business...   ;-)

Maverick«

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2006, 12:28:38 PM »
  In the forum for the Cad software I use there has been some discussion on 64-bit.  There were more than a few that jumped on the "latest and greatest" bandwagon only to learn there are a lot of printers/plotters/scanners that don't have drivers.  Some programs will not run or will run with serious glitches.

  Personally I will wait for quite a while.  There will be programs set up for 64 bit that will run on 32 for a long time. Opinion of course.

jpostlewait

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2006, 07:15:51 PM »
I would agree that running a windows XP 64 operating system is not for the faint of heart.
I was just talking hardware, and IMHO you may not be wise buying a system that is not 64-bit capable. The computers life expectancy was what I was considering and the ones that are incapable of running a 64-bit o/s will die first.
The question of when there will be a 64-bit version of C3D is probably so far off the radar screen in Manchester as to be undetectable. [ just my opinion, no pretense of knowledge.]

How bout next topic "So what is my pilot project?"
Or " How to manage expectations?"
Or " What to do when the sh*t hits the fan."
Or " How to explain to management why my pilot project is over-budget and not done yet?"
Or " Is it time I pursue a career in Real Estate?"
Or " How I watch Cristy Brinkley and Chuck Norris and still think about work?"

Dinosaur

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2006, 07:28:40 PM »
64 bit computing?  Chew on this . . .
Our server is running 64 bit Ubuntu Linux as I write.  Drivers were readily available for every printer/plotter in our office and all plotting is via the server thus relieving any strain on the workstations at plot time.  The drivers may not all be there for workstation devices, but that could turn at any time - I would wager sometime in the next two years which is just about the longevity of a workstation in our office and ours are ready just in case.  Even if it is past this timeframe, these stations will have a longer useful life after production retirement than if they couldn't use the same software as the production machines.
John, Have you examined the new perpendicular writing hard drives?  We have started using these instead of the Raptors.  Even at 7200 rpm, they seem to perform better and quieter than the Raptors.

and I vote for what to do when the well known substance hits the modern electrical convenience
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 07:30:32 PM by Diněsaur »

jpostlewait

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2006, 08:41:31 PM »
>>John, Have you examined the new perpendicular writing hard drives?  We have started using these instead of the Raptors.  Even at 7200 rpm, they seem to perform better and quieter than the Raptors.

and I vote for what to do when the well known substance hits the modern electrical convenience<<

So how did I not know anything about perpendicular write hard drives?
No don't answer that.
I check a lot of sites in a day and have not heard that term.
And I really haven't noticed a Raptor noise problem.
And I have one.

The short answer on what to do when in that circumstance?
Old lesson I learned in the Marines.
Always know where the nearest foxhole is.
Has served me well since then.

Give me a day or two to come up with that one.

Dinosaur

  • Guest
Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2006, 11:04:03 PM »
I am not to concerned about the Raptors' noise either but these new perpendiculars are a bit more quiet.  I am still on my old Raptor at work or I might have a better review . . . it was a close call though when my Civil 3D went south yesterday - the new perp. writer was sitting on the table ready to install.  They are supposed to be quiter, faster and cheaper than the Raptors - guess we will find out.  I will try to find a product page for them to post.

Dinosaur

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2006, 09:35:32 AM »
HERE is a link to Seagate's product page for the perpendicular drive.  From what I understand, one builder around here has found a higher than expected failure rate for the Raptors he put in his machines, hence the interest in these units.

jpostlewait

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2006, 08:12:25 PM »
Thanks for the Link.
Been thinking a little bit about what to say about when the stuff hits the fan.
It will.
Pilot projects will come in over budget.
Not just ours.
How to deal with it?
Crap I don't know.
You have to convince Management that in the end it will all be worth it.
Will it?
Again " Crap I don't know."
I think you can make the argument that if you implement now, you will gain competitive advantage in relation to your competitors.
I think you can make the argument that next project will be more cost effective.
I think the argument can be made Evolve or Die.
And now that the NDA has been sorta waived SP3 should be on the street by the end of the month, maybe. It's quite a bit better than sp2.
My end users are requesting Beta sp3 be installed on their machines in order to move forward.
And that is to move forward on a live for money and deadlines project.
I will tell you this, I think Autodesk knows what the stakes are here.
They are willing to put resources into seeing this product succeed.
I wish it was easier, but it's not.
Good friend of mine said " It is what it is."
Think I'm going to leave it here.

Sorta like, going back to the military analogy, I have heard the incoming, next time how to find the foxhole.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2006, 08:18:27 PM by jpostlewait »

Dinosaur

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2006, 08:33:11 PM »
That brings back "fond" memories of my first almost Civil 3D project almost two years ago now.  R2005 and zero training . . . the plug was mercifully pulled after 6 weeks and use of the program was banned at our office for the first time.  I was able to spend the next six months setting up some styles and contracting my own training.  It took a few more false starts with '06 before it finally took root for us last month.
I know you don't stray out of Land Lubber very often, but you might enjoy some of the comments toward the end of THIS POLL over in CAD General.

jpostlewait

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2006, 07:30:43 PM »
Did enjoy reading the Poll thread.
Good evening Dino and others.

Spent a very interesting half hour today in my foxhole.
The CEO's office.
My partner in this implementation and I were in there to discuss a related matter.
I don't think I can emphasize enough how this product implementation is MUCH more a political exercise as compared to any other aspect of it.
We have had successes and failures on that front.
But the BEST thing that we did is convince the CEO that this needed to be done and when he decided to do it, he stood behind us.
We do try to be judicious when we call upon him to swing a hammer on our behalf. But when we have asked he swings.
To blow my own horn, but as I have heard "If you don't blow your own horn there may not be any music", The CEO has been impressed with the quality of assistance I have been able to assemble.
We have been at it for a while and still not at the point yet to show demonstrable results, but that's not that far away.
It's a long slow expensive process.
Can it be avoided? I don't think so.
Will you benefit from our experiences? I'm guessing yes.
Is it in your best interest to do it now?
BIG question.
If you haven't started, you are behind.
If you are reading this you are not all that far behind.
A lot of resources are available. Research, prepare, establish connections, work the problem.
Of course if this all goes to h*ll in a hand basket the CEO will still be the CEO and I'll be sharing a culvert with some of the people I hang out with.

sinc

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2006, 07:40:58 PM »
We have been at it for a while and still not at the point yet to show demonstrable results, but that's not that far away.
It's a long slow expensive process.
Can it be avoided? I don't think so.

Has anyone been following that Autodesk Sitelines thing?  They've been trying to show a company's transition to Civil-3D in real-time, over a period of roughly 6 months.  They've had web broadcasts at the end of each month, and are now on the final month.

I've been meaning to watch the archived webcasts, but haven't had a chance.  However, they've been running a blog, and I notice that they STILL only have a single engineer, trying to figure out Civil-3D.  They keep saying that once she's comfortable, they'll start adding more people.  Doesn't sound like they've gotten very far at all with the project, and that's with the full resources of Autodesk helping them out.

Dinosaur

  • Guest
Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2006, 07:55:58 PM »
I read the first two blog entries and reached the same conclusion about their rate of progress.  I know there at least a couple more success stories out besides John's recent submittal but there are a lot of projects just rolling back into LDT because the company and or the client just can't absorb any more delays or invoices.  John has been the first one to really come forth in a public forum and really talk about the battle from right on the front lines and I thank him for choosing to do so.
There is one thing I am very curious about though John; when we met I noticed that you were able to both sit and walk about quite naturally and I have wondered how you managed that while wearing those armour plated scivies. :evil:

jpostlewait

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Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2006, 09:01:06 PM »
My real armor plate is provided by a gentleman in Dallas, of all places.
Or rather one of the Dallas suburbs.
And some friends of his from Alabama, and Delaware and Who knows where, transitioning to Manchester.
And of course some current residents of New Hampshire.
I have had a lot of help.
Just so they know I have appreciated ALL of it. Even when it didn't feel good.
Don't forget to check 3D rocks for my Chili recipe.

Dinosaur

  • Guest
Re: Lessons learned.
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2006, 09:19:13 PM »
My real armor plate is provided by a gentleman in Dallas, of all places.
Mine is a bit further West, but I know what you mean. 

Don't forget to check 3D rocks for my Chili recipe.
A daily stop that is always a pleasant break.  There is also another daily stop I have been intending to mention again that has been putting some great information out free for any who take the time to visit.  Civil3D dot com has taken flight in recent weeks with a collection of ongoing articles from Dana, Jason and James tackling hot potatoes like Vault and advice on working with survey functions, corridors, parcels and workflow.  Anyone who is trying to tame this software that doesn't keep current with James Wedding's site is missing a tremendous resource.