Monday, November 30, 2015

AU2015, the day before: Freshman Orientation

I arrived today, the afternoon before AU2015, to complete my Registration, get my access badges, get into my hotel room, and as all new "university" attendees, show up for the Freshman Orientation class held this afternoon.

Las Vegas Airport is a little confusing, looks more like a casino than airport, and depending on where you land you may need to take a train to the main terminal. I just followed everyone off of my plane and was led to where I needed to be to leave the airport.

Ride to Hotel
Getting here you have to decide if you want convenience (Uber or Lyft cars are my first choice), or if like me you want to see a little bit of "the Strip" by taking an airport shuttle ($9 one way), or you want to take an old school taxi cab and pay way much more, or splurge and get a Limo to your hotel (starts at $45/person). I enjoyed the Shuttle ride.

I opted to stay at one of the two recommended hotels, The Venetian (The Palazzo is next door and equally close to the action). You can stay anywhere you want, but you'll have to figure out transportation if you're not into walking over. The place was packed with many AU attendees checking in but this hotel had a great system that moved the process quickly. I got a nice non-smoking room on floor 14 overlooking the pool area.

AU Registration
First thing to do after you drop your baggage in the room is to hop down to AU Registration to get your access badge. Autodesk emailed me a QR Code a couple of days ago and this automated the process: I don't think it took more than 5-minutes to scan my code walk over to get the print-out and lanyard (they required a photo ID to prove I was me first), then walk over to the 'merch" desk and pick up the complimentary AU2015 backpack.

11904 - AU Freshman Orientation 2015
Lynn Allen and others point out events and gatherings that should not be missed, plus get a preview of what’s in store for AU 2015. Well, that's what the intro to the class noted. This is slated to be 90-minutes long with a social/networking gathering afterwards. Lynn Allen was amazing, explained how this huge place works, how to use the AU2015 app, how  to find every event and function scheduled, and generally made us Freshman most welcome. Best 25-minutes of my time here so far.

A guest speaker got up and started talking about VUCA and managed to take a hall full of 500+ attendees to play the Marshmallow Challenge for 20-minutes, their enthusiasm fanned by the allure of $100 gift card for use at the at the Autodesk store. What is VUCA? What is the Marshmallow Challenge? Sadly I tuned out and felt this was a total waste of my time, but the winning team of the Marshmallow Challenge did construct the most amazing 39" tall structure that remained upright for the 15-minutes that I observed it: 3-engineers and 1-construction specialist were part of the team. Bravo!

A heart-warming videotaped story about training prison inmates with Autodesk software for careers when they get out was a nice touching story that closed out the event.

Expert Elite (EE) Welcome Reception
I ducked out 10-minutes before the Freshman Orientation class ended to visit with and attend a gathering of my fellow EE contributors (many are teaching or are participating in events at AU2015) at the Autodesk Forums and our Autodesk Liaison staff. It was good to see some familiar faces and meet new ones. If you are here at AU2015, look for us EEs wherever you are, we all have Expert Elite tags attached to the bottom of our ID cards.
Thanks to the Autodesk team for arranging it all.

It's time to get ready for a long day tomorrow. If you are interested, my FitBit logged 8703 steps today from the moment I stepped off the plane here in Las Vegas.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Autodesk University 2015 (AU2015): why am I going now?

Autodesk University (AU) is the premier learning destination for Autodesk customers worldwide. Learn more about us. Learn from experts and follow industry thought leaders.

That's the tag line you will see when you Google search Autodesk University (AU): clear, concise, and, well, self explanatory. This event used to be held only in Las Vegas but has fortunately been gaining world wide demand that this year AU was held in quite a few other cities around the globe ahead of the "big one" in Las Vegas. Read about it all HERE.
So what if you can't go to any of these events around the world, for whatever reason, what are your options for getting in on some of these premier teaching opportunities? You are in luck since Autodesk posts all the classes soon after the AU event online for you to access at your convenience, for free, anytime you want it. Just get started HERE.

So why am I going after all these years? First, I feel like I'm stuck in rut trying to cater to the new needs of my office users of AutoCAD/LT/Architecture 2016 for customizations and overall drafting production speeds, and partly because my curiosity about AU has reached a level that needs to be satisfied. I hope I get my money's worth out of it, it's not cheap attending AU2015.

AU2015 will run from December 1 through December 3 this year, and I signed up for many classes on each day. I plan on blogging (and Tweeting) on my daily classes, experiences, events plus my overall Freshman experience at AU.

If you are attending, please seek me out and introduce yourself: in between classes you will most likely find me at the Expert Elites (EE) area of the Autodesk Booth where I and my fellow EEs will be on hand to answer those nagging Autodesk software usage questions you may have or need resolved.

Friday, November 20, 2015

AutoCAD/LT 2016 for Mac (aka Mandalore) is here!

After a very long wait, Autodesk has finally released AutoCAD/LT for Mac version 2016 to the world. Autodesk continues to play catch-up with the Windows version when it comes to program features, and this 2016 version is no exception.

System Requirements

LT remains a resource hog on the Mac, and it's best run on the PRO series of hardware offered by Apple, if you own an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac Mini or any Mac after the year 2010 (not 2009 in my opinion as they list) it might just work with the correct OS:
  • Mac Pro
  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display
And with the following Apple Operating Systems:
  • Mac OS X El Capitan v10.11 (or later)
  • Mac OS X Yosemite v10.10 (or later)
  • Mac OS X Mavericks v10.9 (or later)

New AutoCAD/LT 2016 for Mac Features

Core AutoCAD/LT for Windows tools added to the MAC versions
  • CHSPACE - Change objects from model space to paper space or vice versa.
  • PASTEORIG - Paste objects using original coordinates.
  • PASTEBLOCK - Paste objects as block.
Xref Server Path Mapping
  • References stored on Windows server can be found.
  • XREFPATHMAPPING command has been added.
  • Supports reference of DWG, PDF, Image, and datalink.
  • Path mapping edit after creation.
  • Supports all types of disk drives.
  • For new reference, path saves in Windows path pattern if a path mapping is defined.
Properties Inspector Enhancement
  • Add/Remove your favorite properties to "My Properties" tab basing on object type.
PDF Output Enhancement
  • Output PDF size reduced.
  • Truetype font text is recognizable in output PDF.
TrueType Font Performance Improvement In Canvas
  • Zoom/Pan performance improved.
  • Turn on/off this feature with "DTTEXT" system variable.
Revision Clouds
  • More options: Rectangular, Polygonal, Freehand, Modify (similar to Windows versions).
  • Better grip edit experience.
  • Dim command now can add multiple types of dimensions conveniently. One command to do it all.
  • Text wrap in dimensions.
  • Preset the layer of new dimensions by system variable DIMLAYER.
  • New "match property" button on Text Editor visor.
  • New toggle button on Text Editor visor to turn on/off the ruler.
  • New property "Text frame" has been added to enable you to create a border around Mtext objects.
Geometric Center Object Snap
  • Snap to Pline center.
  • Settings available in Draft Settings dialog and OSNAP system variable.
Command Preview
  • Preview the result during a command.
  • Extended to the BLEND, ERASE, STRETCH, ROTATE, and SCALE commands.
Commandline Enhancement
  • Mid-string command search.
  • Autocorrect command input.
  • Turn on/off this feature from commandline context menu.
Graphics Engine (and why non-Pro and older hardware will choke)
  • OpenGL Core Profile is enhanced and now enabled by default on capable graphics card. Improves overall performance, especially in 3D.
Xref Enhancements
  • Able to control the properties of objects in DWG underlay. XREFOVERRIDE system variable to turn it on/off.
  • Xref layers show in grey in Layer palette.
Line Smoothing
  • Anti-aliasing in 2D visual style.
  • Turn on/off line smoothing with system variable LINESMOOTHING.
Selection and Pre-Selection Effect Enhancement
  • More visible selection and pre-selection effect.
Notification Setting
  • Turn on/off receiving AutoCAD messages(except Update notifications) in Notification Center.
Support File Path
  • Clean up the list, some paths removed/hidden from the list.
Cloud Service
  • Cloud Storage Usage is now showing in the Application Preferences dialog Online page.
Multiple Language UI
  • No new Language versions added. Not sure why.
  • Switch UI language(English and French) via Preference dialog.
Express Tools Added (not in LT)

  • Convert Text to Mtext(TXT2MTXT)
  • Break-line Symbol (BREAKLINE)
  • Explode Attributes to Text(BURST)
  • Move/Copy/Rotate (MOCORO)
  • Replace Block…(BLOCKREPLACE)
  • Super Hatch (SUPERHATCH)

Section Objects Added (not in LT)

  • New "slice" option for sectionplane command.
Render Enhancements (not in LT)
  • Provide Cloud Rendering options. RENDERONLINE command.
  • Provide feedback channel for Rendering feature.