Autodesk University 2003
reprinted by permission of Ralph Grabowski, editor
December 10, 2003
Autodesk University 2003 - a weblog covering the events
day by day, with photos, Shaan Hurley, Between the
Lines/AutoCAD Weblog, December 2003
Bass Delivers Autodesk University Keynote - Hal Reid,
Directions Magazine, December 10, 2003
Special Autodesk University Issue - Adena Schutzberg,
GIS Monitor, December 4, 2003
Meeting in Las Vegas - Autodesk University Attracts 3,300
- highlights of this years's meeting, Susan Smith, AECCafe, December 8, 2003
Autodesk Reading Room - by
Autodesk University, held once again in Las Vegas,
was a mix of exciting news and some uninformative speeches.
Monday was set aside by Autodesk to fly in and brief members of
the CAD media on its future plans. Wednesday was the keynote
addresses to 3,300 attendees. In between, Tuesday, I rode five
hours by bus to see the Grand Canyon.
Although some of the news revealed I cannot discuss - because
of a non-disclosure agreement - here's what I can report.
In contrast to Architectural Desktop, Autodesk calls Revit
"the future," but I don't get the feeling customers are buying
in vast quantities - otherwise Autodesk would be touting license
numbers, as they do for Inventor. And maybe that's the mistake:
if Revit is the Future, then it isn't for now.
To make the not-DWG-based Revit more palatable to potential
customers, Autodesk is bundling v5.1 with AutoCAD, a package
called "AutoCAD Revit Series." Does this make sense to you?
Price not announced.
Revit v6 is due to ship Dec 16, with multi-element borrowing,
split-level plans, enhanced stairs, detail views and repeating
details, curved column grids, schedule formulae and filters,
integrated spell checker, and phase-aware rooms.
In the future, Revit will get IFCs (industry foundation
classes for sharing drawing elements between different
architectural CAD programs) and a structural design component.
Autodesk is barreling ahead making DWF (design Web format)
its all-encompassing sharing-file format. In a few months,
expect DWF Composer, a new piece of software. DWF Composer is
not free (like Express Viewer), but allows redline markups and
manipulation of pages. Of significant competition to PDF,
Composer will handle any kind of document -- JPEGs,
spreadsheets, and so on -- as well as drawings from non-Autodesk
CAD packages, such as SolidWorks and ArchiCAD. Once Autodesk
gets the merge-in feature working, it'll be interesting to check
the quality of the DWF representation.
Some graphical software packages already handle DWF, such as
TurboCAD and Visio. Others do not, but the "universal" DWF
writer allows DWF output from any software package. Indeed, Tony
Peach would like to hear from users of non-Autodesk CAD packages
who would like to test DWFwriter, which you can download from
Keynotes & Exhibition
After the detail presented on Media Day, the keynote
addresses felt void of data. In the exhibit hall, Matrox's Liv
Stewart showed me the new HR256 graphics board that handles
9.2-megapixel LCD monitors -- a resolution of 3840x2400, about
7x the resolution of today's typical 1280x1024 monitor. She
explained to me that these monitors are made of 4 LCD panels
fused together. Looking closely, I couldn't see the splices.
To handle such high resolution, the monitor needs to receive
data from the board over multiple channels -- i.e., two to four
cables. The board sits in a PCI bus, and can coexist with other
Matrox graphics boards in the same computer. HR256 is short for
"high resolution" and "256MB RAM."
I think the problem with the Grand Canyon is that it's too
big. Incomprehensibly deep, wide, and long: more than a mile
deep (7 miles when hiking down), 18 miles wide (at its widest
point), and 277 miles long. It takes three days to hike from the
South Rim to the North Rim (down one side, and up the other).
And here's curiosity: the North Rim is 1,0000 feet higher in
elevation than the South Rim (roughly 7,000 feet above sea
level, and 5,000 feet above Las Vegas).
Sitting next to me on the bus was a software engineer from
St. Louis, originally from Nepal. He told me professionals leave
Nepal, because there is little future for them there. This was
his second attempt at reaching the Grand Canyon; a snow storm
scuttled his earlier planned trip.
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