Monday, April 21, 2008

Tech Camp 2008

I spent last week with more than 900 AutoCAD geeks in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. We were all there for the Americas Tech Camp 2008 to learn about the new 2009 Autodesk products and to improve our presentation skills. I truly had an enjoyable time!

First of all, I'm not at the level of society that frequently stays at Hilton Hotels, I live more on a Hotel 6 budget - so my room was a real treat!
I just love their beds and those soft feather pillows.

They had the best coffee maker in the room, too. You could make one or two servings, in either a big mug or a styrofoam cup with a lid if you wanted to take your coffee with you. What a good idea! Also, there was chamomile tea provided, which was lovely, and helped me unwind so I could sleep at night.

The hotel was a unique, beautiful building. The rooms are built around this giant atrium, with a translucent ceiling (glass I suppose), so the light changed inside depending on the weather and time of day. Inside the atrium was a full Mexican restaurant and a coffee shop, plus in the evenings there was a man playing the piano.

The only downside to the atrium was that from the conference rooms you had to walk all the way across that atrium to the opposite side to get to the elevators, to go up to the rooms. My room, of course, was near the conference rooms so I had to trek all the way back around. Was I ever glad I brought my walking shoes!
Maybe you're thinking all that has nothing to do with AutoCAD or Tech Camp, but it really was part of the whole experience.

I went to 2 classes to help me become a better instructor, something new that they didn't offer last year. Both of them were excellent! If any of you ever have the opportunity to attend training from DeFinis Communications, go! I learned so much from their "Presentation Skills Essentials" class that I want to hire them here to come to Boulder to train our entire staff.(Or we could go to California, now there's a thought...)

We all had to wear these badges, whenever you saw someone you knew right away whether they were there for AutoCAD training. The best part was there was a little map inside that booklet, I used it nearly every day to find my way around.

The next 3 days were all about learning to use the software. I signed up to learn about AutoCAD Map 3D. That wasn't too bad, I was able to do the exercises. But once we got to Mapguide Enterprise, I just got lost. I tried vainly to keep up with all the facts and methods they were showing me, and all the acronyms! They were throwing around so much alphabet soup I felt like I was drowning in capital letters - SDF and SQL and FDO and SHP and OMG get me out of here! But I am determined to learn it - I'll keep you posted on my progress.
On Monday night they had a picnic, all the free food and drink you wanted, it was delicious, tacos and fajitas and barbequed pork, plus the salads & desserts! It was so weird to be outdoors without a coat on - I had been in Minnesota visiting my parents , and they had just gotten a foot of snow only 2 days before. What a contrast!
Wednesday night they had a Pizza party, with the Autodesk team demonstrating the new features of AutoCAD 2009. It was fun; instead of dry lectures they were using a Jeopardy-type game, with prizes! I didn't get to play, there were too many people, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the party. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed it in my own way; I left early for some much-needed sleep!
One unexpected thing about the Anatole Hotel; there was a piece of the Berlin wall in the courtyard. We took pictures of it to show you all.

Last of all, for dessert - a little taste of the new look of AutoCAD 2009. I pasted together a few screen captures with some explanatory notes on them. My next few blog entrys will be covering the new features in depth - but here's a preview. See you next time!

Friday, April 4, 2008

AutoCAD 2009

Hi everyone!
I've been playing with the new AutoCAD 2009, and I have to admit I really like the new user interface. I'll be doing some posts on all the new features, eventually. I know that all the people who are on Subscription have already received their software in the mail. I thought it might be a good idea to put a few facts out there - just a couple questions I've already heard.

First of all, if you didn't specify differently, your software will come as a DVD. Your reseller can order it as a set of CDs if you don't have a computer on your network with a DVD drive. We all have to move forward with technology, even if some of you have to be dragged along kicking and screaming. I feel your pain.
Another thing you need to know before you try to install it is that AutoCAD 2009 will NOT install on Windows 2000. Microsoft has retired it, so the developers at Autodesk did not work with it.
Here are the system requirements, straight from the horse's mouth, ( so to speak). I got these from the official Autodesk website. Hopefully this will keep you from some of the pitfalls of upgrading, or maybe convince your boss that you really do need a brand new computer!
System Requirements

For 32-bit AutoCAD® 2009:
Pentium® 4 processor or AMD Athlon, 2.2 GHz or greater
Intel or AMD
Dual Core processor, 1.6 GHz or greater
Microsoft® Windows Vista™, Windows®
XP SP2 operating systems

For Microsoft Windows XP
· 1 GB RAM
· 750 MB free disk space for
· 1024x768 VGA
with True Color
· Microsoft®
Internet Explorer® 6.0 internet browser (SP1 or higher)

Microsoft Windows Vista™ or 3D modeling
· Intel® Pentium® 4
processor or AMD® Athlon, 3.0 GHz or greater

Intel or AMD Dual Core processor, 2.0 GHz or
· 2 GB RAM or greater
· 2 GB free hard disk
available not including installation
· 1280 x 1024 32-bit color
video display adapter (True Color) 128 MB or greater, OpenGL®, or Direct3D®
capable workstation class graphics card.
For Windows Vista, a Direct3D
capable workstation class graphics card with 128 MB or greater is

For 64-bit AutoCAD® 2009:
Windows XP Professional x64
Edition or Windows Vista 64-bit
AMD® 64 or Intel EM64T processor
750 MB free disk space for installation
AutoCAD 64-bit cannot be
installed on a 32-bit Windows Operating System

I hope this was helpful. I'll be posting more information about the newest version of AutoCAD as soon as I can. I'll be going to Tech Camp on April 14th, so probably after that. Talk to you soon!