bienvenue au québec

by Nate Hekman on February 25, 2008

I’ll keep this short. I’m in Québec City today, as the resident GEO-SLOPE francophone for a workshop we were invited to put on. 

The Québec branch of the CGS invited us here to put on a two-day course on SLOPE/W and SEEP/W, and although the course is in English and all the participants know English, still French is the language they use day-to-day.

I grew up in Québec so I was more than happy to oblige when they asked if we could send someone who knew French!

What I love most about helping out at workshops is watching people.  Especially new people, who haven’t used our software much, or haven’t used the current version.

I love the way their faces light up when they see something new, like the new meshing controls in v7.  It gives me confidence we’re doing something right.

I love hearing their questions.  This workshop is a bit quieter than most because people seem a bit shy to speak up in a second language, but those who do teach us something.  Their questions show us if they have the same mental model as we did when we wrote the software.

But even more I love seeing looks of frustration.  Greg is explaining how to pick locations to graph, and the guy in the back is frowning so I go over to him and it turns out he’s in Define instead of Contour so can’t even find the Draw Graph command.

Frustrations challenge me to improve the software.

We can’t fix every rough edge, because what’s easy for one person is hard for another, but seeing how people use our software outside of our own office bubble gives me a fresh perspective.

Today one course attendee was talking with Greg about his (the other guy’s) master’s thesis he’d just finished, asking if TEMP/W could do such-and-such.  Greg started off slowly, “no, it can’t quite do that, but…” and then you could see him getting excited as the pieces went together in his brain and by the end it was “we could probably make it work!”

And lo and behold, one young engineer could end up getting his pet feature incorporated in some future version of GeoStudio, or at least get help from Greg implenting an Add-In.

So feedback is important.  We do listen.  You send us an email, call us, leave a comment on this blog, and it’s real people on this end receiving those comments.  We talk about them in our boardroom and group meetings.  They shape the direction of our software.

Don’t be shy!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


goksel 10.23.17 at 1:34 am

Hello Nate
How can I draw a square opening in a geostudio model ?


Nate Hekman 10.25.17 at 4:24 pm

Hello goksel. The best answer will depend a bit on what version of GeoStudio you’re using.

The approach that will work for all versions is to organize your regions such that there is a square hole in the middle.

Beginning with the August 2015 Release of GeoStudio 2012, that’s easier to do than it was in the past. For example, you can simply use Draw Regions to draw a region in the middle of another existing region, and the existing region will be split up as necessary to accommodate the new one. Just don’t give the new region any material, and it will act as a hole.

Another option is to draw a polygonal floating region: Draw – Regions, then under Floating Region, choose Polygon. That will draw a region that can be moved around independent of other regions in the domain.

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