Wednesday, November 30, 2005

AU 2005 Class

I taught my first Autodesk University class yesterday evening. The subject was creating Knuckles and Cul-de-Sacs. There were approximately 200 attendees.

I had been under the weather in the days prior. So I was a little concerned.

The class went well. The attendees asked great questions, and they seemed very engaged. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It could not have asked for more out of my first class.

Thank you to all attendees and speakers for your encouragement and comments.

Maybe next year, I will get the opportunity to do more than one class.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

More Web Milestones

This week was one of a couple of milestones.

Early in the week, the visitor from the 130th country checked this blog.

Within the last day or two, the 30,000th visitor since January 1st dropped by.

Thank you all for visiting and/or commenting.

Live from Orlando

Well, I have arrived in Orlando for Autodesk University 2005. I am checked in, and about to go exploring.

My class is Tuesday evening and currently has just under 200 registered attendees.

I'll be back soon.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Discussion Groups

For those of you that may not be aware, online Discussion Groups allow participants to "discuss" the topic of that particular "group". Autodesk has for many years hosted discussion groups for many of their products.

This allows users of these products to post question or problems, provide answers to others, present wish list items for consideration, and the ability to network.

There are a couple of ways that one can view the discussion groups. The first method is to use an internet browser. The title of this post is linked to the online discussion group for Autodesk's Civil 3D. Another method is to use a news reader such as Outlook Express. This method allows you to find, view and download for offline viewing, conversations (threads). It also allows you to mark those that are of particular interest.

The most important aspect of discussion groups is that they bring together users from around the world. We can either gain by their answers to our questions or learn from the issues that they may be having. Oh, and of course that all of this information can be searched to address our needs.

The Civil 3D discussion group is a FANTASTIC way to keep abreast of the product. The increased volume of discussion within this group is a clear indicator of the increased interest and use of Civil 3D. Best of all it is FREE.

Note: After monitoring these discussion groups for a period of time you may notice that some post'ers comments are more useful than others. Look for Autodesk'ers like Dave Simeone - Civil 3D Product Manager, and Dan Philbrick - Civil 3D Engineering Manager. James Wedding's comments, among many other's, are also very helpful.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all who contribute their knowledge, and time, and by doing so, make the entire user community BETTER!

Out of Town. What again?

I will be away for most of the next three weeks. I will first be attending a family reunion in Mexico. I will then be at Autodesk University (my class is approaching 200 attendees). Lastly, I will be spending a week at Autodesk (San Rafael) to learn more.

I will attempt to post as I have time and access.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Knowledge Sources

Where does one go to learn about Autodesk Civil 3D 2006? Here is a quickly generated list in no particular order.

In the Box
1. Civil 3D 2006 Help (free in the box)
2. Civil 3D 2006 Tutorials (free in the box)
3. Civil 3D 2006 Getting Started Guide (free in the box in PDF form)

1. Civil 3D 2006 Autodesk Official Training Courseware (AOTC) (SRP $75)
2. Digging Into Autodesk Civil 3D 2006 book - by Rick Ellis (SRP $75)
3. Harnessing Autodesk Civil 3D 2006 book - by Phillip J. Zimmerman (SRP $64.95)

1. Autodesk Civil 3D Products Page (free website)
2. Autodesk Civil 3D White Papers (free)
3. Weekly webcasts (free)
4. Subscription site e-Learning (20 lessons)
5. AUGI Forums (free website)
6. AUGI Training Program (ATP) (free website)
7. Autodesk University handouts previous years (from AUGI website)
8. Autodesk University handouts (current AU atendees)
9. Cad Digest Civil 3D Reading Room (free website)
10. Angel's Civil 3D Thoughts (This Blog)
11. Civil 3D - Paving the Way (Blog by Scott McEachron)
12. Online Discussion Groups

1. Infrastructure Solutions Webcast DVD I (free)
2. Infrastructure Solutions Webcast DVD II (free)(subscription exclusive)
3. Civil 3D 2005 in a Nutshell, the Movie, Volume One - The Fundamentals (SRP $99)

1. Autodesk University 2005 (Nov. 28-Dec. 1 Orlando, Florida)
2. Reseller provided training (some consider this to be most effective)

Note: If I left anything out please let me know.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Civil 3D Webcasts DVD Part Deux

Today, Autodesk made available the second Civil 3D Webcasts DVD exclusively for subscription owners.

If you have any Autodesk product on subscription, you should visit the subscription center to place your order for the new DVD.

This DVD contains over 20, approximately 60 minute, webcast sessions. These sessions were recorded from February (where the last DVD left off) through July of 2005.

This is an exclusive offer to subscription customers valid until January 15, 2006.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hot Fix 2 Available!

Hot Fix 2 is now available. It fixes a few items related to:

Pipe networks
grading to Surfaces from shortcuts
labeling Alignments from shortcuts

Select the title of this post to get to download page.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

DWG TrueConvert

Released yesterday this NEW utility allows users to convert any previous DWG format to AutoCAD release 14, 2000, or 2004 DWG formats.

The primary difference between DWG TrueConvert and the previous batch drawing converters is that you no longer have to have an AutoCAD based software installed on your computer in order to do the conversion.

Because DWG TrueConvert uses the same DWG engine as AutoCAD it creates the same results as the SAVEAS command.

Special consideration should be taken for drawings that contain custom objects (read Civil 3D drawings) when they are converted to older versions. If no preparation is done custom objects will be represented by proxy graphics (assuming proxygraphics was turned on originally).

It may be desireable to use the EXPORTTOAUTOCAD2004 or EXPORTTOAUTOCAD2000 commands in Civil 3D 2006 to produce a drawing that contains only AutoCAD objects before conversion.

Note: DWG TrueConvert should not be used to convert older drawings with custom objects to a newer version. Because custom objects are NOT addressed by DWG TrueConvert unexpected results may occur when this scenario is persued.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Stating the Obvious

Everywhere one looks nowadays civil engineering companies are looking to hire staff to fulfill the demand in the industry. As a matter of fact many companies are finding that the quickest way to fill the shortage of employees is to buy another firm. Which obviously does not solve the problem for the industry.

In general, civil engineering positions are readily available and companies are competing to attract new hires.

Sadly, the shortage of new hires appears that it will only get worse. As baby boomers begin to reach retirement age this will further stress the industry.

Why do I mention this? It has certainly been a lot on my mind lately as we have been getting more and more clients that inquire if we know of any available prospects. While at the same time we have job openings and are attempting to hire also.

Back to my point. Companies are finding that they have to do more with their existing staffs. This is being addressed with increased user training and the use of "NEW" tools like Civil 3D.

Properly applied Civil 3D can provide companies the ability to accomplish more, better, with less.

The title of this post is linked to a site that offers information to new graduates in civil engineering. While some of the information is slightly dated. It is no less relevent.