One side-effect of moving home base closer to a city is the likelihood that one will have to commute, perhaps using public transport on a day-to-day basis. This means potentially having two hours a day in which you are sitting on a bus or a train. How to spend the time? Invariably, you will be surrounded by people with screens of all different shapes and sizes…

So, I began looking for my next device, something that would tick all the boxes for me. My Lumia 820 (a Windows Phone 8 device) is great, but leaves a few things to be desired due to the closed ecosystem – a plight shared by ios users, I’m sure. I considered getting a tablet – but I didn’t feel that Android would satisfy my needs, and iPads were out as I am essentially an anti-Apple guy (not for any real reason other than that we all have likes and dislikes, and I want to be an individual 🙂

I have a large library of PDFs, some Revit-related and others not, so I thought it would be good to find a way to read and potentially markup and cross-reference these during my time to and from work. I found out about a free Linux program called Okular – it stores markups in XML files, so the original PDF is unchanged. This idea appealed to me – with large PDFs, I would only need to transport or synchonize a small set of XML files between devices. Of course, iAnnotate PDF was out of the question (due to the aforementioned), and I didn’t like the fact that the Mendeley research tool required a pretty solid connection to the cloud.

Additionally I am, for-better-or-worse, a blogger, so it would be good to be able to type easily and quickly on whatever device I choose. So, drumroll please … what did I end up with?

It is a 4 year old piece of technology called a netbook. Haha, even *I* am laughing at myself. I’m sitting on the bus with a Lenovo Ideapad S10, which I found on Gumtree and bought for $100. It has 2.5gb of RAM and a 250gb hard drive. After purchasing it, I removed Windows 7 Pro and installed Linux Mint 15 Olivia, XFCE edition. It runs smooth and fast, the battery lasts (after a few Linux commands which I will include below), and I have installed Okular and copied my PDF library directly to the hard drive.

I can easily watch videos, listen to music, connect to wifi and bluetooth devices, work with documents and other files – but the real “killer app” for me is Okular. Its easy to use, has cool features like the ability to invert colours, and just generally makes it a joy to markup PDF files. As I’m running Linux, I have a huge library of open source software at my fingertips.

And who knows – the way things are going, if 3g/4g internet becomes super affordable, and Revit-in-the-cloud becomes globally accessible, this little netbook here could become my next workstation (joking, really).

Here is where you can find Linux Mint – I’m running 64bit Cinnamon on my main laptop, and 32bit XFCE on my “bus” netbook.

To get some simple power management happening, use these commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:linrunner/tlp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tlp tlp-rdw smartmontools ethtool
sudo tlp start

After you have marked up a few pdf files, can find the XML files for these Okular markups here (copy paste into File Manager):

Painfully, Architectural Walls in a Host model often occlude the Cut Pattern settings for Structural Columns in a Linked Model.  You may be able to see the edges of the Structural Columns, but any View overrides to the Revit Links tab, and even Filters, do not show the Structural Column cut pattern.

Essentially, the Walls in the host model are hiding them (like taking view order precedence or something).  Structural Columns should have Cut Dominance, but this does not seem to work where links are involved.

So, here is how to fix it – just override the Transparency of Walls to 1:

The Cut Pattern, including any overrides, instantly display:

Obviously, you can do this in a View Template for easy application to multiple views.

Helping search index:
structural column in revit link cut pattern

Make your Label aligned to Top and Left.  Add a long line of Invisible Lines type a little bit further Left than the label itself.

Your leader will now attach at the midpoint of the Invisible Line, provided the Label element does not become bigger (too many carriage returns) than the Line itself.

This works for any kind of basic annotation tag – Keynote Tags etc.

Revit – Multi-line Workaround for Generic Annotations – Autodesk – Video Tutorial

We are seeing this error on a received Structural model:
Analytical model edge cannot have a length of zero (0)

Revit does not offer a solution – you can’t Delete Checked, and you can’t press OK.  It just keeps coming back.

Unticking the “Structural” instance parameter for the hosting floor will work (it just gets rid of the problematic Analytical Floor), even if unticking the “Enable Analytical Model” box in the Properties Palette won’t…

However, I think this is a bug or at least an undocumented problem that needs a better fix.

Some forums mention the issue, but there is no real solution yet:
Analytical model edge cannot have a length of zero… – Autodesk Community
Analytical Model Edge Warning

If you want your entire geographically separated team to have access to the same linked files, you need to upload them to Revit Server. This also goes for CAD / DWG files, which will need to be imported into an RVT if you want to save them directly to RS.  2D DWG files can be referenced by Linked View in the host project if necessary.

Here is a bit of a workflow that may help:

1 Open the consultant model in appropriate version of Revit
2 Enable Worksharing (if it isn’t already)
3 Save As … 
a) if this is the first “save” of the consultant model to Revit Server, use a generic name like link-Structural.rvt and save onto Revit Server in the appropriate folder (if you have one for links)
b) if this is an updated model, overwrite the existing consultant model, using current name in the Revit Server Link folder
4 Use Reload on this new Consultant model in Manage Links of Architectural (our) host model
5 Close the Shared Levels and Grids workset for the Consultant Model, like this:
6 Sync with Central.  The Consultant model has now been imported / updated onto Revit Server, and other team members should be able to access it.

More info:
Help: Linking Server-Based Workshared Models

Other links and info:
This RFO post details what some firms are doing with Revit Server and links:
Revit Server & Linked Consultant Files

Revit Server Administrator 2013 displays “Server Error” upon loading the GUI

10 Things to Know About Revit Server – The Revit Clinic

Removing and Replacing Models on Revit Server – The Revit Clinic

Most of you know that in Revit 2014, you can stack Project Browser, Properties Palette and other “panes” on top of each other, resulting in a tabbed dialog.

But did you know you can also drop them beside each other, resulting in a Split Pane view?  Like this:

Note: you can also do this with panes stacked on top of each other.  And, it is not limited to two panes vertically or horizontal, you can do a mixture, like this: