Power’s Out, Can’t Get To The Cloud

We had a freak storm crash through central virginia on friday night with an 80 mile an hour winds .  Since then  we’ve had temperatures over 100 and mostly in the ninety’s and no air conditioning. So this is my excuse for not writing a real blog post. I’m writing this by dictating to my phone , which is fraught with all sorts of errors  and kind of difficult to edit . They say we’ll have power by saturday , which is very thoughtful I guess  but if I needed a week off I would have just taken the week off.  so if I’m a little sparse around here this week at least you’ll know why. I’ll be back at full strength when my power gets turned  on. Thanks for keeping the comments going until then .

14 Replies to “Power’s Out, Can’t Get To The Cloud”

  1. Ok, power’s back on, and life will be on its way back to normal here shortly. We were without electricity from Friday night until Thursday afternoon. In the mean time we had a couple of 100F days (~38 C). It all started with some weather phenomenon they called a “ derecho“, Spanish for both right and straight, which probably explains why I can never give or understand directions in Spanish.  We were partying along side the road at a “Cruise In” (http://www.starcitymotormadness.com/), where every body gets out their old cars and hot rods and whatever they’ve got and just cruise it down the road – low and slow as it were. Just as the sun was setting on a day that saw 104F (In Virginia, not Texas), the wind started blowing like crazy. Our tables and all the stuff just blew away. Sand and pebbles were blowing in our faces. It was crazy and came out of nowhere. 15 seconds before the wind hit someone with a cell phone yelled out “80 mph winds in Blacksburg!”, and that was all the warning we had.

    It only lasted a couple of minutes, but it blew down whole trees, roots and all. We were lucky, in a way, there are some people who are not going to have power for a few more days.

    Inside the house, the temp has been getting up to 86-87 every day. My tropical fish all lived through it, but they weren’t happy. It’s going to take a couple days to get the interior of the house cooled back down again, and we are going to have to restock the refrigerator. We did have places to ride it out with air conditioning, but my home office isn’t something I can just move for a couple of days. You’d like to think you can do it with a laptop and a tethered 4g cell phone, but it doesn’t really work that way in real life.

    Anyway, I’m back on-line now, but it will take a day or so to get my feet under me again. The heat and humidity just sapped the life out of me.

    Anybody else out there get clobbered by this thing? It went from Chicago to DC.

    1. Matt, my brother in-law and his family came to visit us in Iowa from just East of Columbus, Oh. They left Ohio the evening of the 29th just after the storm. They were without electricity till the evening of the 6th and they returned on the 7th. The good news was Iowa wasn’t affected so we were nice and cool on those 100+ days…

      1. Iowa’s problem is lack of rain. The corn is past curled leaves and now in wilt mode. Trees are starting to drop leaves too. If the midwest doesn’t get rain soon, expect food prices to jump and the Ag industry to drop…

  2. I imagine from the ongoing silence Matt has had nothing but cold baked beans to eat the last few days. Surely the power outage cant last that much longer?

    So what are we going to talk about in the meantime?

    Dan Staples, what about letting Matt use ST5 for his project? Any objections to giving folks an early peek at it? officially its not that far away anyway. I’m quite interested to know  the finer details of how you have implemented multi bodies. I guess this has been in the development pipeline for a while but its nice that is arriving now. It gives SW refugees/orphans some comfort to see key capabilities they are familiar with and will want to make continuing use of showing up.

    Would you care to comment at all on how far you intend to go with surfacing tools in the future? Are you for instance going to bring a few general enhancements into SE to round out the  usefulness of the program for your regular mechanical users or will you be trying to pick up a significant number of ID users by making that another SE mission focus?

    1. Dan does know better than anybody else, and maybe he can give you some more details, but what I can tell you is that you cannot expect SE multi-bodies to behave just like in SW. The philosophies of both softwares are different and so are the approaches to the multi-body implementation. Anyway, in a few weeks you will have the feedback from the SE community and also from Matt and he will point out the differences between SE and SW in this area.

      Regarding surfacing, I can tell you that in Portugal we have two ID companies that use Solid Edge and are true design references with several international prizes on their behalf. These companies are Larus (www.larus.pt), an urban furniture design company, and Grandesign (www.grandesign.pt), an industrial design company. Solid Edge is their only 3D solid modeler, so it already has good surfacing capabilities. Of course, they (and we) are very curious with what ST6 has to offer, and we expect SE to excel once again on this area. But if you want to test the current SE capabilities on surfacing, I believe you won’t be disappointed.


      1. I hate to ruin the vibe but SE isnt something I would use for ID work by choice atm. After SW it is ‘disappointing’ but  thats understandable because surfacing hasnt been its focus. There is much to be done to make it as useful as it needs to be. My big fear is that  Siemens will persist with this same bold belief as you have that it is better than it is and not listen to what people have to tell them about how it actually needs to be. Really I think Matt is being considerate if a little superficial in his appraisal here. Sure SE has some capability and no doubt people do produce decent stuff with it but from where I’m looking on  its a bit like wearing your shoes on the wrong feet and expecting to run freely, sorry 😉

        1. We know the limitations of SE regarding surfaces, and Siemens already knows our claims. We had some meetings with development regarding ST6 and we know exactly what needs to be done on the surfaces sector. We are integrated on a group of companies on the mold making business, so surfaces are crucial when talking about plastic parts molds. We have complete faith on Dan’s vision for SE and we believe ST6 will make SE able to compete on surfacing capabilities with any other mid-market CAD.

          The ID companies I referred also use some 3D surface software, like Rhino or Alias, complementing SE in this matter. Even with ST6, I believe neither SE or other mid-market CAD system can compete with Alias or Rhino or other surface modeler, so I think it’s a good approach to have both types of solutions complementing each other.

          You can email me if you want some more details regarding surfacing in SE (cDOTmeloATcadflowDOTpt)

          1. Realistically I think somewhere about ST8 or 9 it will might be getting there. Well see. Obviously Siemens have their product in hand but comments that they know exactly what needs to be done already are a little concerning because a) I dont think they have awareness of the ID mindset presently so the innovation they embark on might be an extension of their existing niche rather than a gentle realignment of purpose, and b) it comes across as a little closed as far as people outside the programming team influencing development.  Well intentioned gifts from above have been a trap in delivering well sorted functionality in SW as well. A lack of critical thinking and feedback in the concept phase often delivers something that unfortunately just misses the mark such that users will have to live with a suboptimal tool that can then only get minor tweaks, if they are lucky.  I am kind of hoping Dan might pull Matt and a few others into the loop early on to at least verify their intentions. Ex Sw users will have a useful perspective and lot of experience to contribute. I guess too we have a vested interest in sticking our oar in here and there…. 😉

          2. Neil,

            Way before 8 or 9. SolidWorks users are already in the loop and are influencing the outcome of the SE developement team that is always listening to users. They do have a plan however and the 90% plus of the market which is involved in MCAD was the segment they chose to address first. Afterall when you do listen to users you have to attack the problems in the order of importance to the most users and work down from there. I have seen Dan asking questions on SW forums about surfacing and I bet he is not there to idly waste his time. I don’t see anyone from SW asking SE users what they want so I should say that the company that is not listening to users is SW. I assume you are an SW user and I can understand your cynicism considering how SW has been treating its users and all I can say is time will prove your apprehensions about SE to be wrong.

            In the loop with people like Matt? You are aware of who sponsors this forum and I know, not guess, that Matt is not the only SW refugee who is quite involved with SE and they are being listened to by the developers. I have no fears for the direction and capabilities of SE in any area. This is the only major midrange MCAD company in the world today that has a combination of stability, no clouds forthcoming, no kernal changes upcoming, no hostile management wishing to destroy existing programs users have relied on with the added advantage of best in class direct editing and these guys WANT geometry creation to improve and are making it happen.  Have you tried SE yet? 45 day free trial and with ST5 around the corner it will be time for you to try SE and lay some of those fears to rest. If you don’t wish to there are a number of SW users who are though and they will fill you in on what they see I am sure.

            Here is an article that talks about SE you might find of interest.



          3. ok advert over… 😉 yes I have tried it and thats why I said 8 or 9 and I’m sticking with that. After looking in here for a few more weeks to see how Matts modelling project goes I wont be spending any more time looking at SE again until ST6 is out. If Siemens want to impress me with their commitment to surfacing that would be the time to do it.

    2. As far as ST5 and Matt, I have no problem at all giving him a pre-release. But we are less than 2 weeks away from release anyhow, so I’ll leave it to Matt whether he wants to pursue pre-release or released ST5. I am fine either way.

      As far as surfacing and ST6 and direction, I think “SolidWorks Refugees,” and in particular those surfacing-heavy ones who frequent Matt’s blog, will be pleasantly surprised by by what ST6 has to offer.You will definitely see some innovation beyond what exists today. Even when we did our original foray into Surfacing in V14, we were granted 3 patents in an previously area considered “done,” so expect at least one or two things you may not have seen before.

  3. So, what is an enterprising future cloud user to do? Of course the youth of America are leading the way to a better healthier productive and more fullfilling lifestyle centered around the cloud and I for one intend to go there as soon as I can for CAD to. Power failures did not stop this kid so what was your problem Matt?




    1. Our next generation doing what they do best on the cloud! Guess my retirement age just went to 92+ Someone is going to have support them!

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