Friday, February 13, 2015

In memory

So much of this blog and my youtube channel have been focused on the Autocad Architecture Roof Object that it seems appropriate to share my sadness and pay my respects here.

Obituary placed in the German newspaper
Sergej Alexandrow, the clever programmer & mathematician who created the ADT/ACA roof object has passed away.  My friendship with Sergej was only online, having hatched a plot to discover who he was and possibly get in touch with him (after a tip off) with the intention of discovering more about the roof object. I'm in Australia! Far away from where all things happen. Sergej was Russian born and moved to Germany as a programmer and was then contracted to Autodesk in the U.S. where he worked on the very first version of Autocad Architecture, then known as Architectural Desktop, specifically engaged to create the Roof Object tool. He may have even worked on it's predecessor which was some basic tools for Architectural work within Autocad.

Flexibility of Spirit's Roof Object tool
After working on the initial release of ADT1, creating the Roof Object, he seems to have been released and returned back to Germany where he worked for Softtech on Spirit, another architectural package where he repeated his creation anew and improved it's versatility. Indeed he revealed to me that there is extra code (in his ACA version) that is turned off (at the last minute due to concerns about stability) that allows dormer windows and 2 roof objects to interact.  Autodesk had turned it's back on the idea of improving the tool after ADT1 and instead created Roof Slabs which are singular objects for each plane of a roof and no relationship to other Roof Slabs. Such a pity that such a poor decision was taken. The RO is a very clever tool and invaluable for architectural work automatically solving hips and valleys.  Roof Slabs on the other hand are awkward and without any inter-relational ability but they do have some flexibility.  The RO has never been developed further since ADT1.

Sergej was a proud father of the roof object. I had unknowingly conversed with him earlier on news groups about the RO where he anonymously posted on comments about the tool. He was only too glad to add to my knowledge of the tool and excited about the prospect of updating and improving it for a future release.  I'd given him my long list of what it would look like.  He was very appreciative of my video series on youtube that allowed people to see it was actually much more capable that is at first evident.  I even discovered several tricks that he did not know of.  He even then created his own blog to demonstrate his new tool's flexibility.

We were on polar ends of faith and had some vigorous, robust discussions about the existence of God and the meaning of life.

Around 6 months after my last email conversation with Sergej, a programmer from Autodesk emailed me to say he had heard some news.  Sergej seemed to have suffered a heart attack alone in his home after having gone out dancing.  I know he enjoyed dancing and travel, having sent me many photo's on cruise ships and European cityscapes.  No family were known so his employer, Softtech Gmbh were kind enough to take care of his funeral.  "The burial was held on September 15, 2014 in Neustadt an der Weinstra├če. He was placed to rest underneath a beautiful tree in the cemetery, and a headstone has been placed to honor him as an individual. Following his death, an obituary was placed in the newspaper" (picture above).

RIP my friend.

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