August 2013 | Mining University

Masked Cowards Attack Gogebic Taconite Drill Site

I just saw the video today and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Militant eco-terrorists march out of the woods and attack an exploration drill site in Wisconsin. This would seem to be as far away from the middle east as you could get but it’s very clear that masked men proudly march out of the woods and verbally attack a drilling crew. Sadly, the person who took the brunt of the attack was a middle aged woman. I hope it makes these masked men feel big to be fighting with a woman over a camera.

The company, Gogebic Taconite, later hired armed guards to protect their drill sites. I can’t say I’m surprised. This isn’t Gotham city. People wearing masks aren’t the heroes. The only groups in the real world who wear masks to make demands are the KKK and Al-Qaeda… and now eco-terrorists in Wisconsin.

I would have said that America is one of the few places where we can have an open discussion about mining and what to do with the land. This is a place where people understand that we need mining (good luck filming your attack on unarmed laborers without the plastic and metals in your camera) and we want to do it in a responsible and respectful manner. I would have said this before seeing how residents of Wisconsin treat free enterprise.

What Happened to Maptek Vulcan 8.2.2

Back on June 26th Maptek announced the release of Vulcan 8.2.2. This release came less than two months after 8.2.1 was introduced to the market and seemed to indicate an effort by Maptek to bring releases to Vulcan users on a more frequent basis. The 8.2.2 release prompted me to write an evaluation of some of the upgrades (see:  Maptek Vulcan 8.2.2 Release).

Vulcan users had two weeks to enjoy the new release before some bad news came down. On July 11th an email came out stating that version 8.2.2 was flawed. If users were attempting to select block model blocks using bounding surfaces Vulcan was returning incorrect results. This is a pretty big deal to anyone who uses the effected tools but I never select blocks using bounding surfaces so I wasn’t too worried about it.

Little did I know that this error prompted Maptek to pull release 8.2.2 from the market completely. I was helping  a co-worker download the most current service pack for Vulcan when I discovered that releases are no longer on the open side of Maptek’s website. Users must now use the password protected side of Maptek to download any service packs. Once we jumped through the appropriate hoops we discovered that release 8.2.2 had been removed completely.

Maptek doesn’t like to admit that they were wrong. They don’t like to admit that their software has bugs until they are fixed. I was shocked to learn that Maptek was willing to admit that they were so wrong about the release of a Vulcan version that they were willing to pull it from the market.

Maptek Vulcan 8.2.3 is due out soon. Let’s hope that it lasts a little longer than two weeks on the market.

Convert Text to Object in Maptek Vulcan

It’s interesting how you think you know something inside and out and then along comes a simple tool that you had no idea existed. I have been using Vulcan software for seven years and would rank myself as a highly skilled user which is why I was surprised to learn about a Vulcan menu option that does exactly what I have wished Vulcan would do for years: converting text to an object.

Vulcan text can be converted to an object using the menu option: File > Underlays > Convert to Object

Vulcan text is often a very complex portion of the software. It comes in three distinct varieties: Screen, 2D and 3D (not sure why a 3D software package needs anything other than 3D text, but there you go). Some of the varieties can be used is section view, others cannot. Some can have true type fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, etc…) applied to them, others cannot.

One of the more annoying things about Vulcan text is that it is not a standard CAD object. I can’t tell you how many times I have received the error message: “Vulcan can’t complete whatever editing option you wanted because some of the things you selected aren't real objects.” I’m pretty sure that error message is almost verbatim, almost.

For a long time I was frustrated by Maptek’s inability to treat text as a regular CAD object. It was also frustrating that the right click context menu didn't have an option to convert to object like the triangulation menu had. Finally, I emailed Maptek support and they set me straight. Thanks, guys for all the help.

Although, to give me credit, who thinks to look under the ‘Underlays’ area in the ‘File’ menu to find out how to edit text?