Building and Urban Design Links:
Starbusters. Energy Efficiency Assessment by Brad & Partners.
Australian Greenhouse Office. Environmentally responsible design in Australia -
covers all climate types.
Smart Housing Queensland. Sustainable Design resource -
Department of Housing.
Affordable Housing Queensland. Affordable housing issues -
Department of Housing.
The HIA/PATHE Greensmart Program. (I am an Accredited Greensmart Professional.)
UDF Urban Design Forum
Architecture: International Websites &
Resources University of Auckland Library
Cyburbia University of Buffalo Planning Resources
AIUS Australian Institute of Urban Studies
Townsville House" by Townsville architect Felix Riedweg. Excellent but
inexpensive resource for the design of houses in the Townsville region.
ISBN 0-646-4335-4, or purchase direct via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life and Death of the Australian Backyard" by Tony Hall, Adjunct
Professor, Urban Research Program, Griffith University. Examines
the disappearance of the traditional substantial Australian backyard,
and discusses the health, wellbeing and ecological implications of
this trend. CSIRO Publishing, ISBN 9780643098169. (I get a credit in the book.)
The Counter Consensus" by Professor Robert Carter, James Cook University
NQ. ISBN: 978 1 906768 294. As someone who has experience of
statistical modelling, I have long been a sceptic
concerning anthropogenic global warming, and the deterministic models
that are claimed to demonstrate it. This book confirms my
scepticism. I believe that AGW may well turn out to be the greatest scam ever perpetrated on the human race.
CAD Software & Hardware
is the most widely used CAD software, but it is expensive, and if you
are contemplating learning CAD there is a steep learning curve. So what is the alternative?
have tried a number of these. I used to have a copy of IntelliCAD
Professional, but have found that current versions do not yet extend to
64 bit. They are 32 bit that will install on 64 bit systems, and there
is no immediate sign that a 64 bit version will be available. This may
not matter if you are starting out, but if you end up crunching some
serious numbers, eg millions of vectors and/or AMG (Australian Map
Grid) coordinates, the difference in speed is likely to be annoying.
recent arrival on the scene are retail CAD programs employing the
Graebert ARES CAD engine, eg Draftsight and CorelCAD, and Graebert has
its own retail package, ARES Commander. ARES has most of the functions
of full-blown AutCAD and nearly the same commands and
synax, but not the same code base. AutoCAD add-ins will
not necessarily work in
basic versions, but some functionality is available in
retail paid-for versions, such as LISP routines and VSTA
(Microsoft® Visual Studio Tools for Applications). The list of add-ins
is small but growing.
recommendation for anyone learning CAD is to start by downloading a
copy of DraftSight. Once you are up to speed, get CorelCAD.
Six-figure turnover dependent on CAD? Get AutoCAD.
Production version available for Windows (XP
onwards), 32 and full 64 bit. There are versions for Mac OS X and Linux (DEB and RPM
installers). Free with registration. IMHO likely to be the best
alternative to full AutoCAD/IntelliCAD, and the only
CAD package worth considering on Linux. Will load/save standard DWG
& DXF, AutoCAD 2.5 to 2010, loads AutoCAD 2011. I have Windows 32
& 64bit and Linux versions, but have little experience running the
Linux versions as I am only currently using Puppy Linux booting from a
beyond the basic version is only available as Draftsight Premium, which
costs around $A2000 for minimum 5 licences renewable annually. Too rich
for my needs and budget, so I am now using CorelCAD 2013, while
retaining Draftsight basic on backup machines.
is no free version. The full version is around $A600 - 700 for
a single licence. I have the full version running on two PCs
- main workstation and backup. Both activated without problems.
CorelCAD has the additional ARES enhancements plus a few
more provided by Corel. Versions for Windows and Mac, but not Linux. Support documents available from Graebert.
I have been attempting to trial AutoCAD WS, now AutoCAD 360 (beta) on an Android tablet. 360 will load files
produced in DraftSight and CorelCAD. This not full-blown CAD, but allows
editing of AutoCAD-format files.
I gave up on tablets. Here
at 19°S the light is so intense that outside it is hard to see the screen
unless maybe if you have an IPad, which I don't have. Bit too
expensive, and unlikely to happily run all my ancient work-related
Netbooks and laptops might be ok, but needing 19 volts
and 3.5 amps, keeping them charged in the field is a problem. Without
massive expenditure, a 12 volt inverter and keeping the vehicle running
appears to be the best option.
Web-based 360 runs surprisingly well on a desktop.
"Dedicated CAD workstations" are expensive - because they are supposed to be expensive?
Buy a gaming machine via EBay. You don't have to buy one with flames or
dragons on the cabinet. It is still the case that gaming and
entertainment is the cutting edge. Back in the Cold War days, the
Russians built their missile control systems using video game
machines, imported from the west, and not classified as military
hardware :-) Decent rig can be obtained for $A600, even including
a few extras (excluding monitor).
2. Get all the memory that
the model will hold. Get a decent graphics card if the machine only has
on-board display. 24" LCD monitors can be had for around $A150.
Don't go along with all the disparaging comments; get Win 8 Pro
upgrade. You might need to get activation over the phone if you set
this up on a new machine with no operating system on it, but this
wasn't a problem for me. You might want to fix up all the Win 8
annoyances, restore the start button etc. Win 8 loads faster, uses
memory more efficiently. You can restore the classic desktop; you don't
have to use the Metro screen - looks like blocks of Lego Duplo. Good
idea to disable these as "live" applications, otherwise they will chew
4. If you are only ever going to be printing to
A3, get a Brother MFC - J6510DW. Prints to A3 borderless, is
economical with ink, and has a full A3 scanner. This produces very
sharp prints, so you may need to modify line-weight settings. I print
direct from CAD, and print to pdf. Using direct printing or
Fineprint's PDFFactory, I can't tell the difference in print quality
between the two apart from the time-stamp.
If you need imaging, get a good digital camera. If you have experience
with 35mm SLR cameras, go the extra and get a Canon or Nikon DSLR.
Once you venture outside the "auto" settings, you will find that inside
the viewfinder or screen, the camera is talking about things you
Also, don't believe all the flim-flam about
image density. You don't need 24 megapixels unless you are printing
signs the size of a house. 10 - 12 megapixels is more than enough.
Last updated 31/05/2013