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The things you should "just know" - IESF Detroit and Capital

Aren’t we just all happy people to be living in the information golden age? Maybe it just seems good now, and in a couple of centuries this will be seen as the iron age of information technology, one step on from the hunter-gatherers’ life of gleaning scraps of wisdom from the library shelves.

At our disposal is a mighty array of data sources, and still, it sometimes is very significant not what you know, but who you know and what the people who you know will tell you. So, I have a dollop of disclosure from an influential friend in the event planning and marketing management function at Mentor Graphics. I want to pass it on to you.  

It is one of the things you should know, if you are considering coming to the Integrated Electrical Solutions Forum (IESF) at the Dearborn Hyatt in Detroit on June 2nd this year.  The guest keynote speaker will be John McElroy. He is a well known personality in the Detroit area, and Mentor Graphics has been attempting for years to organize an appearance at the event by him. John McElroy hosts an authoritative and popular online webcast about the automotive industry at  and everyone concerned with the IESF arrangements is delighted to have him on board for the forum. If you visit the site you will see it is a vibrant multi-media source of all kinds of information about the automotive scene, packaged attractively. If you were wondering “what’s in it for me?” about IESF  – John’s presentation will be one of the highlights as far as I’m concerned.

An aim to have very few things you should just know in because documentation is lacking.


In the Capital product suite, there are also things I’d place in the category of you should “just know”. Enterprise software applications are catching up with journalism, information science and online magazine resources in the techniques of presenting the information so you feel comfortable with the powerfool tool at your hands. It’s a different sort of “just know”  – there isn’t another source of information on it apart from your memory but it is valuable to you.

At the top level audio-visual walk throughs of application capability exist in the IESD Academy where you can learn, practice and watch video clips of the functionality from the application launcher after you have installed the software. That’s a great way to prepare for the formal training sessions Mentor’s Educational Services people offer. With your company’s support contract comes access to Mentor Supportnet  www.supportnet.mentor.comfor deep technical detail, and you can participate in the forums for best practice discussion, software function extensibility examples through your customer support login at  Also there’s a collaborative mechanism for proposing functional enhancements to the Capital tool suite and for supporting other people’s ideas called IDEAS through your user login to the customer support site.

Plenty of different ways you can learn more about the application for designing your electrical systems and harnesses. And I haven’t even mentioned yet the on-line help, which for the electrical component library piece – Capital Library is a comfortably informative 300 pages approximately of A4 or Letter size paper if you wanted to print out the whole thing.

And with all these things, occasionally there is a thing you should just know. Capital Library also has a test drive on the Academy, plenty of technical notes on the Customer Support site, is a popular subject for users to contribute sketches of how new features might extend their delight in the product. However last week, I discovered something which has slipped through all the documentation so far, and now is in the queue for updating. If you use CHS before 2010.2 you were able to create a part number, say for a terminal in the library which had a space as a first character. At 2010.2 and later it is disallowed. So if you are a user of the system at an earlier version than 2010.2 and you have some parts which start with a space then you have to make plans to address this before migrating to the latest CHS version.

That’s one of the things you should “just know” because it has not been included in any of the information resources. These occurrences have been fewer and fewer as time passes. I think this is the first undocumented issue I’ve seen in over six months. Not bad for a system as expansive as CHS. And I don’t expect to see a crop of similar things I should “just know” in the near future.

IESF, Detroit, Mentor Communities, automotive wiring harness, Capital, Automotive Electrical and Electronic Systems Design, CHS, Customer Support, Capital Harness Systems, Capital Library

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About Paul Johnston

Paul JohnstonI help Mentor Graphics customers to be successful, accomplish a more rapid return on investment. My professonal focus is on the Capital product line. Customers need a good technical and commercial understanding when making software system purchasing and adopting decisions and in addressing issues through to best resolution. I am one of the team of experts Mentor employs to support the Capital worldwide. I was born just outside of Manchester England, am now resident in the metro Detroit area of Michigan USA. I have worked for Mentor Graphics for more than 15 years. Visit Paul Johnston's Blog

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FYI Registration for IESF Detroit is now open at

James Price
11:44 PM Apr 5, 2011

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