On Land

Environment Information
At Rill Architects we run ArchiCAD on Mac OS X. If you work at Rill, this is your stuff. If you don't, but you work in ArchiCAD, you may find something interesting. Anybody else, I don't know.
August 2006 Archive

Which is short for DisableCrossPlatformMountingFeatures.

Where to start. Let's just say, do this fix. It's a preferences modification which turns off a feature which, though of questionable value, causes a lot of problems. In other words, I don't know what it's supposed to fix, but it sure breaks a lot of stuff. The feature breaks stuff, that is. Not the fix, the fix is good. The fix that turns the feature off. Where to start.

These are the big issues that the fix fixes:

• In AC9, the infamous 'Connection Failed bla bla bla' warning, which pops up frequently while updating drawings in PM.

• In AC10, a long hang (rainbow ball) at startup, and various mysterious hangs here and there. (In an early beta of 10, this issue manifested itself as a two-minute hang every time I switched away from AC and then back. Awful.)

The issue has been implicated in many other intermittent problems. And the 'feature' which the fix turns off is of dubious value. In an office with no PCs, it's completely worthless. It should be off by default, but it's not, so we're going to turn it off.

How to:

• Close Archicad. Open Terminal. It's in Applications / Utilities.

• In Terminal, copy and paste the following:

defaults write com.graphisoft.AC\ 10.0.0\ USA\ v1 InputOutput -dict "DisableCrossPlatformMountingFeatures" "<true/>"

...and hit Return. It will appear that nothing has happened. This is a good thing. (If you get any message that something didn't work or doesn't exist, try it again, or try typing it manually. The thing to note about the typing is that there is a space after each backslash (\).)

• Close Terminal and relaunch AC.

That's the Terminal command for AC10. You can fix AC9 the same way, changing 10.0.0 to 9.0.0:

defaults write com.graphisoft.AC\ 9.0.0\ USA\ v1 InputOutput -dict "DisableCrossPlatformMountingFeatures" "<true/>"

And PM9 too:

defaults write com.graphisoft.PM\ 9.0.0\ USA\ v1 InputOutput -dict "DisableCrossPlatformMountingFeatures" "<true/>"

And you'll probably need it in 1112:

defaults write com.graphisoft.AC\ 12.0.0\ USA\ v1 InputOutput -dict "DisableCrossPlatformMountingFeatures" "<true/>"

Rest assured that this fix has no effect on project files; they are still cross-platform. The feature has to do with AC automatically mounting Windows servers in a cross-platform network.

Pluto & Charon
Pluto & Charon
Nothing against the little guy, but as time goes on it becomes more evident that Pluto isn't a planet-type thing.

In 1930, when it was discovered, it was called a planet because they thought it was a big (big) thing in the Saturn and Neptune style. As more observations were made, the estimate of its size dwindled, until today, when we know that it is in fact smaller than Earth's moon.

Further, at the time, Pluto was the only thing out there. So it's tiny, and has a weird orbit, but what else are you going to call it?

Today, we know it's not a tiny weird planet. It's a completely normal example of a different kind of thing. Pluto inhabits a region of space that is crawling with Pluto-type things. We already know of one that is as large as Pluto, and several that are at least half its size.

This situation will only get 'worse'. The designers of the New Horizons mission to Pluto estimate that there are 1000 Pluto-sized objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. They just can't all be planets.

I like this story because it illustrates that knowledge is always in flux. There is a lot of sentimentality about Pluto. Children like it because it's small and different. Adults want there to be nine planets because there were nine when they were in school. Many casual observers seem to believe that the solar system is basically worked out. "They'll have to rewrite the textbooks!" In fact, solar system astronomy is a very dynamic field, and they should probably rewrite the books every year anyway.


1. Duplicate the zTemplate 10 folder and rename it with the project name. To duplicate a folder, drag and drop it within the same window while holding down the Option key. Name the folder after the client. If this is a second, or later, project, add a number. (Please don't use roman numerals, they are hard to read.) If it's a sub-project or related project, add a descriptive term. Examples: Stevens. Kernan3. Salamander Garage.

2. Within the fresh project folder, open the project file template for new home or addition. The template names end in .tpl. The new template, 'NewHome10.tpl', is at the top of the project folder. The existing conditions template, 'Addition10.tpl', is in the '4 Site & Existing Conditions' folder.

3. In the library manager, make sure you have the following libraries loaded:

• From your local Applications / Graphisoft / Archicad 10 folder, 'Archicad Library 10'. (Note: Load this whole folder. This is different from AC9, where we would load only the 'Archicad 9 Library.pla'.)

• From the carrot (2 Resources), '1 Rill & Decker LIB10'. Don't load the entire '2 Project LIB10' folder. Click 'OK' and 'Done'. (Much more on libraries here and here.)

4. Once the libraries load, Save As. Format: Archicad Project File. For the name use the client name, similar to the folder name. If the folder is named 'Box Elder', the project should be 'Box Elder.PLN'. For an existing house use 'Existing Box Elder.PLN'.

5. Go to the Finder and delete the project templates from your project folder. They are no longer needed. If by some weird chance you need a template again, you can always get it from the zTemplate folder.

6. Back in the project, fill in the Project Info (File -> Info -> Project Info). The relevant fields are Client, Project Name (Residence, Addition, Renovation), Street, City, State/Country (State), Postal Code (Zip).

7. Set up the stories. Story elevations are floor-to-floor. Important: In AC10, we no longer set the roof story to the height of the top occupied story (Attic, 2nd floor, etc.). In order to interact properly with the Floor Plan Cut Plane, the roof story should be set well above, perhaps even higher than you think. (12'?)

The templates contain an attic story by default. If your project doesn't have an attic, delete this story. You should also delete the attic-related layouts.

8. Build the model until it's done or someone tells you to stop.

Once the model is to-a-point, it's time to prepare the layouts for the model and vice versa.

Location: 01 General : 1 Graphic Symbols

Replaces Elev Marker JM9. It's been bi-axially flipped around to make it more standard. The circle gadget is on the left, where it belongs, and the description is on the top, where it belongs.

Elev Marker
Editing hotspots

First spot: beginning of bend. Second spot: End and depth of bend. End spot: depth of bend and length of object.

The length can be input directly with the Length (Paper) parameter. 2" is standard.

Archicad 10 provides automatic story levels in section, but you'll still need this object to call out other levels.