2007-09-12 AutoCAD Import Demo, by AI Design Studio: Transcript


Many thanks to Impalah Shenzhou for this transcript:

Keystone Bouchard: Thanks for coming! This is the weekly meeting of the Architecture Group! We usually meet every Thursday at 2:00pm. This week is an exception.
Brombo Alonzo: yes
Keoki Marama: Irish from Boston here….
Keystone Bouchard: To learn of upcoming events, join the ‘RL Architects in SL’ group.
Keystone Bouchard: You can also learn more about the architecture and design community in SL by reading The Arch blog –
Keystone Bouchard: As always, I encourage everyone in the community to submit content to The Arch – it is a community blog, and everyone is welcome to submit their essays, screenshots, machinima, etc.
Keystone Bouchard: I would like to thank arcspace and KK Jewell for letting us use this sim for this demonstration
Keystone Bouchard: If you are an architect or designer with an interest in architecture – contact KK Jewell, and consider customizing a cube here on arcspace. It has become quite a vibrant and popular community, and I encourage you all to pick out a cube.
Keystone Bouchard: arcpspace is an online architecture magazine, and can be found at
Keystone Bouchard: One last reminder, that there is still a very nice parcel remaining for rent on the new Architecture Sim. Renters must build work that is architectural in spirit, and rent is only 1.5 Lindens per 1 sqm per month. The parcel is about 4k sqm. IM me if you’re interested.
Keystone Bouchard: That’s all I have to say!
Emanuele Hax: \thank you 🙂
Keystone Bouchard: As you all know – importing models into Second Life has been one of the most hotly debated and widely discussed phenomenon for architects and designers in Second Life
Keystone Bouchard: There have been several attempts – through various methods, to make this possible
Keystone Bouchard: AI Design Studio has developed a method called the Henshin III
Keystone Bouchard: and I’ve invited Impalah and Asha – the creators of this tool, to give us a demonstration of how it works
Keystone Bouchard: so, thanks very much for the demo! this should be very interesting –
Keystone Bouchard: take it away!
You: thank you, keystone
Impalah Shenzhou: Thank you Keystone
You: Welcome to this demonstration about Henshin and the way to translate Autocad Designs into real buildings in second Life
You: We are Asha Eerie, architect, and Impalah Senzhou, programmer, and we are the founders, members and the only workers of AI Design Studio.
You: We are spanish so we hope you can excuse our english, sometimes is not as good as we want.
Impalah Shenzhou: First of all, we want to thank Keystone for inviting us to make this demo and to all af you four using your valuable time with us.
You: Henshin was born most of all because I, Asha, was fed up of building “by hand” in SL, fed up of aligning prims and curse the lag.
Impalah Shenzhou: And she convinced me (forced, threatened, coerced me) to find a method to make building easier.
Emanuele Hax: girls… 🙂
Iota Ultsch: haha
You: The decission for using autocad was quite fast because this is the program I use daily or what is used by the major part of architects all over the world.
You: We only had to resolve one litlle problem: how to link the SL primitives with “any” Autocad entity, “something”, “whatever”.
You: There was already some development for Blender and 3DMax but the “pure” 3D programs weren’t enough useful for us:
You: We had to all the work twice, first drawing in AutoCAD and measuring prims and later building them in-world using the SL interface.
You: So we decided: that “something” which linked Autocad with SL will be blocks.
You: By the way to design for Henshin is like building with Lego.
You: Although I bet almost every architect uses blocks every day, i.e. furniture objects.
Impalah Shenzhou: Linking blocks was quite easy, we had access to an ActiveX control from Autocad that gives us all the neccesary information about the drawing.
Impalah Shenzhou: We only had to define what kind of SL primitive will be each block.
Impalah Shenzhou: The next problem was to make it relatively easy to use.
Impalah Shenzhou: In the previous version of Henshin you had to edit text files manually to link prims and blocks and, furthermore, you had to install an Autocad plugin for every different version.
Impalah Shenzhou: We have replaced this now by the SLTools, an application that analyzes any autocad design, allows to define visually the used primitives and even the textures to apply to the prims of each layer.
Impalah Shenzhou: On the display you can see the main window of SLTools
Impalah Shenzhou: these “application” will connect with acad and get the drawing data
Impalah Shenzhou: This*
Impalah Shenzhou: Next we use the “Primitive editor” to link Autocad Blocks with SL primitives
Impalah Shenzhou: We can enter even cuts and modifications and the prims will be rezzed with them
Impalah Shenzhou: Then we generate the data to build… the “famous” notecards to put into the generator
Impalah Shenzhou: An we can define the textures for every prim
Impalah Shenzhou: Once the exportation worked we decided the utilities for SL:
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Impalah Shenzhou: use of layers, prim visibility, phantom/solid and reposition, of course (in fact the last was a demand).
You: So here is Henshin III.
Emanuele Hax: good!
You: The system is composed by a generator, which contains the notecards exported from Autocad, and a HUD to control the building.
Impalah Shenzhou: In this example we will use the Standard Generator.
Impalah Shenzhou: There is a new type of generator that avoid you the working of copying notecards, Net Generator, which is controlled (remotelly) by an “application” included with SLTools.
You: Now Impalah will launch a simple building to show you all basic primitives of SL.
Impalah Shenzhou: Look at your right
You: You can see that prims are “rezzed”, then dimensioned and they are “launched” to its position.
Henshin Generator 3.0.8 (Tutor SLARCH 1): Layer finished…
Impalah Shenzhou: (Don’t worry about errors, I will explain now)
P8: Couldn’t find texture 47520aa8-7bce-3e8b-58b2-dade10909
Henshin HUD 2.1: All layers builded
You: The last optional step is applying textures.
You: Henshin texturizes by layer, that is, we define the textures to apply to EVERY prim of each layer, no matter their shape.
Impalah Shenzhou: In the texturing step we are having “strange” problems with SL.
Impalah Shenzhou: Depending on lag sometimes it shows an “script error” but it texturizes the prims right.
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Impalah Shenzhou: With the Net Generator it doesn’t happens, so we think that could be because, for some obscure reason, SL is overloaded of messages and doesn’t launch the “correct error”… it launches the one it likes…
Impalah Shenzhou: Anyway this error is harmless and we are working to eliminate it.
You: Once the building is finished we can handle the primitives to make the verifications and adjusts we need, or just to have a first impression of how the building will be in SL.
You: For example Impalah is going to hide now the prims in Layer 1
You: Later we will see that in a complete building this function is more than comfortable
You: We can turn phantom the prims of a layer…
You: let’s test they are phantom
You: Phantom can serve us to access to buildings while we are checking them, furnishing or scripting some parts.
You: One of the “top” functions of Henshin is the reposition.
You: Changing the position and/or rotation of the generator we can reposition all the building
You: Now we will reposition ALL the building
Emanuele Hax: good! like rez faux.
Impalah Shenzhou: Of course we can clear layers one by one
Impalah Shenzhou: And when we have finished the building we can use “DONE” to delete the scripts from the primitives.
Impalah Shenzhou: In Henshin III we have added the possibility of generating predefined objects too, not only prims.
Impalah Shenzhou: We can define a block in Autocad and then link in the “Primitive editor” as type OBJECT and it will be generated and positioned like any other prim.
Cafmboss Vig: this is excellent work! i applaud you. When can we ask questions?
You: (please, wait untill we finish)
Impalah Shenzhou: (wait a seccond Cafmboss)
Impalah Shenzhou: By now there is the limitation that these objects must have MOD permission, but we are working for allowing the use of every “commercial” object.
Emanuele Hax: i want it :-)))
Impalah Shenzhou: In this example we will generate a serie of polygons and we will position a predefined object, a flower, over them.
Impalah Shenzhou: You can see it replying to “reposition” command
Henshin HUD 2.1: All layers builded
Impalah Shenzhou: Well, the most of us are Architects, or at least we are interested in using SL to experiment with architecture.
Impalah Shenzhou: The better will be to take a look to a complete building we have behind us.
Impalah Shenzhou: The primitives are good for demos but we want walls, beams, and roofs.
Impalah Shenzhou: Now we will build the layers to complete the construction so you can see Henshin in action with something “big”
Impalah Shenzhou: If you are curious about the time it takes to build we have calculated 1-1.5 second per prim with moderated lag.
Impalah Shenzhou: This building has 200 prims aprox. and we need about 40 to get it completed so let’s wait a minute while it finishes.
Giancarlo Philbin: this is mind blowing!
Maximilian Milosz: neat
Shade Brennon: I am just curius isnt the point of building with anything other than sl tools to provide less use of prims not just easier
Corto Infinity: sorry
Keystone Bouchard: we’ll have a Q&A session at the end
Rez Menoptra: well, it makes offline building possible, and there are many more designs that have already been created in cad
Rez Menoptra: also, the layers feature is pretty slick
You: Well, we are going to make the doors phantom so you can enter the building, but after
You: if you have any question, now it is the time
You: (and please remember we are not English!!)
Emanuele Hax: is there a limit for prims?
Giancarlo Philbin: is it possible to work with organic forms imported from 3dmax into autocad as dwg’s?
Shade Brennon: isnt the point ofusing anythign other than sl tools to save prims as well as time
Rez Menoptra: prim limit for parcel, i’d bet
Esmayeeli Delphin: wher are the limits ,notecard sice ect
Cafmboss Vig: your website refers to 2 different versions of the software, what is the difference?
Rez Menoptra: Shade, did you see my answer?
Cid Ducatillon: does it work backwards.. take SL designs into Autocad?
Impalah Shenzhou: Ok, by order.
You: please, one question at a time 🙂
Rez Menoptra: no, Cid, I’d bet not
Impalah Shenzhou: Limit of prims: none for Henshin… only the one the parcel has
Rez Menoptra: you’d have to rip the geometry from your graphics card, i think
Cid Ducatillon: 😉
Impalah Shenzhou: The read the notecards and builds “at fly”
Impalah Shenzhou: The only problem we found was with textures
Loydin Tripp: Is a headroom fo primss needed, in other words, more prims than in final build?
Impalah Shenzhou: and we are improving the way henshin manages them
Esmayeeli Delphin: how many notecard it can handel ?
You: you’ll have the same number of prims in your building than autocad blocks in your drawing
Rez Menoptra: Loyden — I’d bet that you’d want = to the number of prims in the final build
Loydin Tripp: thanks
You: this building handles 22 notecards
You: it has 22 layers
Rez Menoptra: Asha, how many layers can Henshin handle?
Impalah Shenzhou: Notecard limit: the one every object has in their inventory… 255 “objects” in it
Emanuele Hax: i dont understad…if me make strange prims…Henshin will build them?
Impalah Shenzhou: so.. there are 2 scripts, and one prim base… 250 notecards
Loydin Tripp: I never met a prim that was not ‘strange’ 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou: lol Loydin
Rez Menoptra: Emanuele — I would think that you’d need to make sure that the prims were makeable in SL
You: If you make a prim, with cuts and modifiers
You: and you assign that prim to a autocad block, henshin will generate that prim
Emanuele Hax: ok
Rez Menoptra: nice, that’s a cool feature
You: the method to make that is in our manuals
Loydin Tripp: Could you comapre your methodoogy with the way Skulpties work? Similar?
Giancarlo Philbin: how does it handle curved surfaces|?
Impalah Shenzhou: Well… the modifiers and the cuts aren’t “visual”
Impalah Shenzhou: by now… we are trying to make “something” like the prim editor of sl
Cafmboss Vig: your website refers to an Online version. How is that different to the basic one?
Rez Menoptra: “something” = a menu kind of item in cad?
Rez Menoptra: Loydin, scultpies are way different from what this is doing
You: cafmboss, the only difference
Loydin Tripp: ahhh
You: between online and standard version
Giancarlo Philbin: curved surfaces?
You: is that in the online version you don’t have
You: to copy notecards into the generator
Cafmboss Vig: so it is easier to use
You: about scupties, henshin is different from sculpties
Impalah Shenzhou: Is slower because it has to “put” the data into SL using xmlrpc
Loydin Tripp: image map versus scripting?
You: yes, kind of that
Esmayeeli Delphin: so its a import and buiding tool not a conversation tool off existing CAD work ?
You: to work with henshin you have to accept and learn
You: how it works
You: you cant use boolean operations
You: or cuts
You: or extrude a region
Rez Menoptra: or hollows?
You: you have to work with blocks
Rez Menoptra: or taper?
You: blocks that are specially made to use with henshin
You: you can use taper, if you assign it to a block
You: look at this
You: this is a prism
Rez Menoptra: ah okay
Impalah Shenzhou: (remember the “Lego blocks”)
You: and the default taper for a prism is 1
You: Both in X and Y
You: this piece has tapper =0
Rez Menoptra: also, Loydin, yes, sculpts are image maps that are applied to a spherical prim
Rez Menoptra: displacement maps rather
You: any more question?
Maximilian Milosz: Mac version also, or PC only?
Impalah Shenzhou: PC only…
Keystone Bouchard: why the name Henshin?
You: Henshin means “transformation” in Japanese.
Loydin Tripp: Thanks for all your efforts
Impalah Shenzhou: Welll, about Mac/PC/Linux
Rez Menoptra: yes, this is a great tool, Ahsa and Impalah
Iota Ultsch: these meetings should come with a disclaimer then
Cid Ducatillon: Dxf, dwg, what is the extension ?
Impalah Shenzhou: or Windows/Linux/Mac
Loydin Tripp: do you honor .obj?
You: It handles dwg
Impalah Shenzhou: The first version of henshin uses a VBA script as a plugin of Autocad
Rez Menoptra: which version of Autocad?
Impalah Shenzhou: Autocad versions: 2005 and higher
You: no.
Giancarlo Philbin: would it handle dwg from 3dmax?
You: henshin needs its own blocks
You: you have to make a block specially
Impalah Shenzhou: Autocad versions: 2005 and higher
Rez Menoptra: cool
Cid Ducatillon: ding.. i get it.
You: because we need 3 more paramethers than the ones that autocad has as deffault for blocks
Rez Menoptra: aha
Rez Menoptra: what are those parameters?
You: 1 parameter per each rotation
Rez Menoptra: ah okay
Impalah Shenzhou: ROTATION
Rez Menoptra: x y z rot
You: x rotation, y rotation, z rotation
You: 🙂
Loydin Tripp: ahhh, axis
Impalah Shenzhou: Autocad only defines 1 parameters as rotation
You: z rotation, in fact
Impalah Shenzhou: well 1 attribute, or property
Rez Menoptra: interesting
Loydin Tripp: well its not animating tool
Impalah Shenzhou: Yes… is a tool for CAD users
You: yes
Loydin Tripp: z is more than good enough for that
You: if you can handle autocad, you can handle henshin
You: remember the lego blocks
Cid Ducatillon: SL has size limitations of 10 meters.. blocks larger must be what? made smaller?
Rez Menoptra: ooh good q
Cid Ducatillon: hehe..
You: the same limits for prims here
Impalah Shenzhou: One thing to improve… the block size: today is possible to have files with blocks larger than 10 meters but when generated into SL… they will preserve the 10 m limit
Rez Menoptra: ah okay
Rez Menoptra: so do you have a preset library of prims / blocks for henshin that are easily downloaded?
Cid Ducatillon: if not.. lets make some.
Rez Menoptra: srsly
You: yes, rez we have blocks and you all can make your own blocks
Rez Menoptra: cool
Rez Menoptra: and must build in metric in autocad, then yes?
You: mmmm we work in metric
Rez Menoptra: 🙂
You: 🙂
Giancarlo Philbin: thank god for that!
Rez Menoptra: all the smart parts of the world do
Cid Ducatillon: have you boundry tested decimal placements?
Cid Ducatillon: ie.. 6.3434034054054 m?
Rez Menoptra: SL only handles 5 decimal places
Loydin Tripp: thats a great question, rolloff error
You: henshin handles 3 decimals
Rez Menoptra: and that’s only in scripts
Giancarlo Philbin: so should we set autocad to 5 decimal place accuracy?
Loydin Tripp: in edit window, 3
Rez Menoptra: three will do better
Cid Ducatillon: no.. 3
Giancarlo Philbin: ok
Rez Menoptra: yes, in edit window only three place
Rez Menoptra: s
You: three places
Impalah Shenzhou: Yes… Henshin handles the same decimals as edit window
Giancarlo Philbin: does it deal with the change in scale?
Giancarlo Philbin: the 1:1 issue in SL?
You: if you are asking if you can use a block and later
You: copy that block and make this copy smaller,
You: yes you can
You: and henshin will generate it
Giancarlo Philbin: nice
You: but at this moment you have to change the scale in autocad
Rez Menoptra: ah
Rez Menoptra: thanks for the presentation guys
Keystone Bouchard: This is great guys – thanks so much for the demo!
Rez Menoptra: very nice work 🙂
You: (let’s wrhite it down 🙂 )
Loydin Tripp: tremendous achievment
Mason Kingsford: congratulations on a great accomplishment!
Keystone Bouchard: a library of free Henshin compatable blocks would be widely successful I think
Impalah Shenzhou: We haven’t developed a Demo for Henshin III but…
Rez Menoptra: yes, key, i agree
Impalah Shenzhou: (in previous version there was a demo)
Rez Menoptra: that would go like hotcakes
Rez Menoptra: they said they hvae a library
Rez Menoptra: not sure where it is
Loydin Tripp: Now, when are you going to make tool for my Cinema 4D ? 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou: It is in the box near asha… you can get it if you want
You: we have a small library but i say you can make your own blocks, because it is not difficult
Christopher Prudhomme: Have you used this to import CAD drawings that were made for real world buildings or do you just us it to design for SL?
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Mason Kingsford: 3ds Max would be nice too 😉
Loydin Tripp: or SketchUp?
Giancarlo Philbin: damn right!
Giancarlo Philbin: uuuugh sketchup
You: you can’t take a RL building
You: and use henshin
You: to export it directly
You: so
You: if you want to replicate RL buildings
You: in SL
You: you have to take the henshin blocks
Cid Ducatillon: Chief Architect v10 makes blocks more similar to SLTools.
You: and use it to build the building in henshin blocks
Giancarlo Philbin: like lego! 🙂
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You: and this building was a kind of RL building
Giancarlo Philbin: lol
You: lego blocks are the key
You: 😛
Christopher Prudhomme: So, in your experience, how much time does this save you in your design and build process for SL?
Giancarlo Philbin: lego lego lego!
You: A lot!!!
Giancarlo Philbin: let’s build legoland
Impalah Shenzhou: shhhhhh Mr Lego could be hearing us… you know … copyright…
Cid Ducatillon: next week: Mr. Potato Head
You: i am an architect and i can draw in Autocad very very fast
Giancarlo Philbin: lol
You: 80% less time
Giancarlo Philbin: wow!
Christopher Prudhomme: %80 wow
You: remember you are not lagged in Autocad
Christopher Prudhomme: thats great
Giancarlo Philbin: u mean draw in 3d right?
You: and that is very important
You: yes, of course, 3d drawing
Impalah Shenzhou: Just think how many time you are into SL aligning or calculationg distnaces…
Giancarlo Philbin: ah… i use autocad only for 2d technical drawings
Giancarlo Philbin: 😦
You: but, giancarlo, you can play with lego, don’t youi???
You: 🙂
Giancarlo Philbin: i hade the space station set! 🙂
You: then you can use henshin
Keystone Bouchard: would it work in Architectural Desktop? It has the AutoCAD functionality at its base – would it work the same?
You: mmmm i bet it can
Christopher Prudhomme: So if SL had an offline building environment, that would be about the same efficiency as Henshin?
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Impalah Shenzhou: One thing… please… “a programmer point of view”
Impalah Shenzhou: (my point of view)
Impalah Shenzhou: Autocad was initially for 2D designs
Emanuele Hax: sorry i ihave to go. the last question for me. can we have a copy (no mod/no trans) to show to the other architets?
You: a copy of henshin demo???
Emanuele Hax: yes
Impalah Shenzhou: Henshin II Demo is free
You: ahhhh it is on our studio
You: it can be get there
Emanuele Hax: is it possible?
Emanuele Hax: ok 🙂 can i have a land mark?
Asha Henshin Generator 3.0.7 – Ecohouse 10: Layer finished…
Impalah Shenzhou: but you need to use the old Autocad Plugin
You: yes, it is there and you have the landmark inside the box
Impalah Shenzhou: The one which uses the new SLTools is Henshin III
Emanuele Hax: thank you! 🙂
You: 🙂
You: yw
Impalah Shenzhou: One more thing
Emanuele Hax: congratulation for all :-))))))
Impalah Shenzhou: you can go to our web page an use the forums… all the questions will be answered
Emanuele Hax: sure 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou:
Impalah Shenzhou: And if you have suggestions… we will take them in account
Asha Henshin Generator 3.0.7 – Ecohouse 10: Starting data reading & building…
Impalah Shenzhou: Think that Henshin wants to be easy to use for everybody (with CAD knowledge, of course)
Emanuele Hax: 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou: There’s more information in our web page: (both in english and spanish) and there are forums too where you can send your questions or suggestions.
You: As soon as it finish building, i will make the doors phantom
Enzo Aya: congratulations! we have been waiting for a piece of software like this
You: so you can enter
You: and touch and check the alignments
Loydin Tripp: its about time
Loydin Tripp: How long did it take you to create?
Keystone Bouchard: Thanks so much guys! I look forward to watching this evolve in SL! lots of potential!
Impalah Shenzhou: To create Henshin???
Loydin Tripp: Yes
Impalah Shenzhou: The first version… 1 month to be operative… the version II, almost 1 month more… but this 3rd version, almost 3 months
Brombo Alonzo: ty for all, nice work!! compliments
You: and we all know 3 months are a lot in SL!!!
Impalah Shenzhou: We started in March, I think
Loydin Tripp: its foreever 🙂
You: hehehe
Keystone Bouchard: can someone grab a transcript of everything said from here on – and drop it in my inventory?
Loydin Tripp: But still it takes what it takes
Keystone Bouchard: thanks!
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Loydin Tripp: to develop something like this in 6 months is actually quite fast
You: that’s because impa is the best scripter ever 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou: Programmer… not scripter
Loydin Tripp: he ahs a good partner 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou: 😛
You: yesssssssss
Loydin Tripp: it takes 2 to tango 🙂
Impalah Shenzhou: The house is ready
You: let’s make it phantom
Impalah Shenzhou: Phatomize it!!!
You: it says it is phantom
You: grrrrrrrrr
Loydin Tripp: don’t bump your nose 🙂
Loydin Tripp: In SL you must learn to love the lag 🙂
You: hehehehe
You: this one is phantom
Impalah Shenzhou shouts: Come here if you want
Sofie Burton: is there a function that deletes all scripts out of the prims later on?
Impalah Shenzhou: lag lag lag
You: yes sophie, there is that done function
Impalah Shenzhou: Yes… the DONE button on the HUD
Sofie Burton: great
Impalah Shenzhou: there is a chat listener into every prim.. for finished buildings it could be laggy
Sofie Burton: yes ok
Loydin Tripp: good to have cleanup at end
Loydin Tripp: I am off to work
Loydin Tripp: Thank you both for your time
You: ty for yours too
Impalah Shenzhou: ty Loydin
You: we are going to try a reposition
You: let’s pray!!
Impalah Shenzhou: yes… the last mad: repos ALL
Impalah Shenzhou: Be careful!!!
Enzo Aya: wow!
Impalah Shenzhou: Welll… is time to clean up
You: than you all for being with us today
Enzo Aya: Thanks for the presentation, really great stuff!
You: and See you
Impalah Shenzhou: See you everybody!!!

2 Comments so far
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[…] 2007-09-12 AutoCAD Import Demo, by AI Design Studio: Transcript […]

Pingback by AutoCAD Import Demonstration: Transcript Posted « The ARCH

If yor an architect with experience in autocad and dont have the patience to learn yet another modelling tool then this looks like it might be a solution to quickly modeling in SL.

I would like to see a similar plug for 3D Studio Max 9 that exports to SL and the other virtual worlds. One modelling software which exports to all, not 20 different virtual world platforms and 20 different methods of creating content.

anyone going to let me know IM – Enzo Aya in SL

I think one of the reasons why there were such a large attendance at the demonstration was the it was held at 8pm GMT. Its a sane hour for Europeans to Log in!

Slán from Dublin

Comment by Enzo Aya

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