2007-11-28

Mid-week report

Today's post won't be really in-depth and I'll have to post pictures later, but, I did want to check in.

Monday was a great day with lots of fabulous people. I popped by the AUGI Local Chapters Leadership Conference just to say hello to some friends and then it was back to my room for a little while to work on the Salary Survey a bit more. Then Mike and I decided to take 5 and meet up with the MyFeedBack (beta) guys and some others down at La Scena. We ended up heading out to dinner fairly late and walked far too much.

Yesterday was excellent. I had some AWESOME classes.
The opening session blew me away with these 360 screens and surround sound. WOW is all I can say about that.
I went to a subscription breakfast right before that that showed some pretty cool developments with the products, such as Autodesk's recent acquisition of Robobot and how it works with Revit Structure (something I'd spoken with Peter Jamtgaard about the previous evening during dinner. Sitting next to him and Shaan Hurley was fascinating, great discussions).

My next session was 'Using FMDesktop for Space Management on a Shoestring Budget'. Great stuff, and the presenter gave some good resources and perspective that will come in handy for me later on, I'm sure.

Next I had the opportunity to be in the class 'A Survey of BIM Programs at US Federal Government Agencies'. That was very interesting stuff, and also provided some resources that I'll be delving into more later.

My last class was 'Building an ROI (return on investment report) Case for Autodesk FMDesktop. Again, something I'll be saving for future reference. This was a smaller class and there was a lot of good discussion. I got to meet some guys I'd spoken to on the phone, or whose work I had read.

Afterwards was the AUGI Annual Meeting with the official turnover of the wishlists to Autodesk, which is always exciting. The new AUGI President was announced as Chris Lindner. He gave a great talk. The sponsors were thanked, the new Top DAUG t-shirt design was shown and the winner introduced. We were told about the new Country Chapters around the world. As always, I took plenty of photos, so I'll post them somewhere soon.

THEN, of course... the Beer Bust. I hung around the AUGI booth and met all sorts of friends and colleagues. FINALLY got to meet my friend and fellow blogger, Robin Capper, from New Zealand. We've always managed to miss one another before.
The exhibit hall was truly impressive, the AUGI booth had a new and fabulous international corner, and the Top DAUG and Stump the Chump areas were hopping all night.

This morning started out with a breakfast reception for AUGI writers (AUGIWorld magazine and AUGI HotNews eNewsletter). So, turns out HotNews has a subscribership of over 95,000 people so far!!! That should probably increase as the articles are starting to be translated into other languages for the new country chapters. It was really good to get together with and meet face to face the other people who do such a great job either as the production staff or the volunteer writers.

My next class is the Facility Manager Handbook. I have taken this course before, but, appreciate a recap and learning about any new resources available.

I'd love to do a list of all of the great people I've run into like I did for Sunday, but, there are just too many... I think Matt Stachoni wants to see his name here though, so I'll say 'hi' to him just so he feels appreciated.

2007-11-26

Getting off to a good start at AU

*yawn*stretch*

Well, yesterday was, of course, a pretty busy travel day. We left early in the morning and had a fairly uneventful flight, no major holdups in the security lines. We did have some fun flight attendants slipping some entertaining commentary into the announcements which was pretty enjoyable.

After a brief stop in Phoenix, we were heading into Vegas and passed over the Grand Cany
on and Hoover Dam. I don't normally fly over those in my path from St. Louis (for some reason I've been routed a most times to Minneapolis for my layover, but, whatever). Unfortunately, the Dam was only visible from the other side of the plane, but, I got some lovely views and good shots of lake mead.We landed just ahead of Bill Adams (AUGI Board Secretary) from Australia. He was accompanied by Christine and Earl. Earl is an AUGI CWC'er, but, Bill met Christine on the flight when she saw his AU pin on his bag. They both happen to be from the same town but didn't know one another (she works for Imaginit on manufacturing products, whereas Bill is in Architecture).

We headed to the hotel, checked in and got comfortabl
e. The suites here are really nice, as I mentioned last year. We've moved up from the older tv's to have LCD's flatpanels in every room... yes, that's one in the bedroom, one in the sitting area and one in the bathroom with a clear view from the bathtub. I love the view from my room. Some green... AND some hvac equipment. Yeah, baby. Mike and I grabbed a snack with Bill and Christine and I also ran into another friend, Owen Wengerd. We caught up a bit and he ate with us until it was time for him to meet up with some business contacts. Now was time to schlep on down to AU registration. I got my bag, some of my class handouts and some nifty little pins that describe me. Very cool. We ran into many AUGI friends down there: The Raster Design Queen, Jane Smith. CADKitty (Jen Leamy) and her better half, Roy. My AutoCAD Community cohorts Greg Silva and Craig Black.
ADT/ACA guru David Koch, AUGI member Paul Jordan and Larry Swinea President of the DFWAUG (Dallas/Fort Worth Autodesk User Group) and his lovely wife.
I also finally got to meet David Kingsley in person. He was the Forum Manager who made me a moderator on AUGI. You can find his column 'On the Back Page' of AUGIWorld magazine.

It was dinner time by now and we met up with Donnia Tabor-Hanson, Mark Kiker and Chris Lindner. I think about 13 of us ended up heading over to the Treasure Island buffet. Note for those who love to eat there... the cost almost doubles on a holiday weekend. And no, that didn't mesh with the price given during an email inquiry. Bogus.
We had a great time, ate some good food and headed back to the Venetian in enough time to watch the volcano erupt at the Mirage.
After some more great chatting with our brilliant and amusing friends, we all headed to bed.

The AUGI Board is meeting today, so I breakfasted by myself in the main food court and enjoyed people-watching of all of the nerds. I've never seen so many women with laptops working over their coffee in my life. ~draining my own cup of joe~


My personal philosophy is to always find something in common with everyone I meet to better connect and empathize with them. But, there's a special kind of feeling here at AU, when a slightly oddball like myself can find so many people with so many many things in common with me. From love of computers, technology and engineering, to favorite types of music and movies, favorite vacation spots, friends and colleagues in common. Not that we all look totally alike or laugh at all of the same jokes, but, we all do share quite a few commonalities, not least of which is our love for learning and trying new things. Which is pretty much why we're all here at Autodesk University again.

2007-11-20

Learn in any language

Okay, you regular readers might be wondering why I am posting in languages other than English...

As a moderator on the AUGI forums and a frequent reader of the Autodesk Discussion Groups, I see questions posted in other languages or questions posted in English where someone would prefer to use their own native language.

Once the International forums were created and expanded, I realized that many people didn't know about them, so I asked my resourceful husband to help me find translators for the paragraph that I just posted in four different languages...
Did you know that AUGI has discussion forums for seven (yes 7) other languages/geographic regions in addition to English (do we count American and British English separately?)?

Italian
Japanese
German
Spanish
French
Nordic
Portuguese

Wow... that 'I' in AUGI really does stand for something, doesn't it?

Check out the AUGI Country Chapter's page over on BLAUGI for a current list of Country Chapter websites.

Now, I'm going to repeat the paragraph I just posted, but, the Italian and Japanese will have to come from Babelfish... and I've pasted in the Nordic forum descriptions from the AUGI forums.

State cercando le risposte alle vostre domande circa AutoCAD, adattamento, Revit o altri prodotti di Autodesk in vostra propria lingua? Il gruppo di utenti di Autodesk internazionale ha una zona nelle loro tribune di discussione per fare e rispondere alle vostre domande in vostra lingua madre. Segua il collegamento per osservare intorno e leggere le domande e le risposte inviate da altri utenti, o uniscasi come membro per nessun pagamento e faccia le vostre proprie domande.
Italiano

あなた自身の言語のAutoCAD 、カスタム化、Revit またはAutodesk 他のプロダクトについてのあなたの質問に答えを捜しているか。国際Autodesk のユーザ・グループにあなたの自国語のあなたの質問をすることおよび答える為のディスカッション・フォーラムで区域がある。見、他のユーザーが掲示する質 疑応答を読むためにリンクに続きか、または支払のためのメンバーとして結合し、そしてあなた自身の質問をしなさい。
日本語/Japanese

Nordic Nordiskbaseret diskussions / support forums.
"Nordic - Sofahjørnet" er stedet hvor du kan chit-chat med andre AUGI venner, slappe og have det sjovt, og glemme alt om CAD.
Stil dine AutoCAD Architecture (tidligere ADT) spørgsmål her !
Stil dine AutoCAD MEP (tidligere ABS) spørgsmål her !
Stil dine Revit Architecture spørgsmål her !
Stil dine Inventor spørgsmål her !




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2007-11-14

We're all thinking about university

Yeah, it's Autodesk University time again. Thinking about all of the new classes, the after events, the AUGI (Autodesk User Group International) events, booth and prizes. Even the beta guys are having their own booth this year. I look forward to stopping by to bug all of them and play with their dough.

So, in honor of trying to arrange childcare while both dear hubby and I are at nerd-central for six days and other general distractedness, I'll just offer up some tips and reminisces for AU.

I posted a video slideshow (no music or sound) from last year's Grand Canyon trip, Venetian hotel highlights, conference registration, some classes, one shot of the opening session, the AUGI Annual Meeting and the turnover of the product Wishlists, the AUGI Volunteer appreciation before seeing the Blue Man Group, Lynn Allen and Don McMillan, the showroom floor from left to right... ALL sorts of good stuff.
If you weren't there last year and want to know what to expect... look no further... and yes, that is, in fact, a tiered suite you'll be staying in at the Venetian. (you can also find a few of my photos scattered around in Shaan Hurley's AU2006 collection on Flickr)
Enjoy.

I also posted about arrival and check-in to the hotel and registration for AU, if you'd like to read it here.

And just a quick summary of the survival tips I posted last year...
Wear comfortable shoes
Carry as little as possible with you to class
Take copious notes!
Bring business cards (maybe make personal networking cards)
Stay hydrated! (Grab water and drinks whenever you see them)
Wear comfortable shoes
Go to the AUGI Annual Meeting and Bash afterwards even if you're not a member, it's a good time and you'll find out a lot about what's going on in the world of drafting and design
Sign up for usability studies
Go to the industry parties
Last, and most important, wear comfortable shoes!

So, I look forward to seeing everyone that I've met before and meeting new cool people. Taking more pictures of the cool Vegas architecture and decor.

2007-11-05

Poll: Mike Perry's Blog

Alright, friends and readers... some feedback, Por favor.

You may know that my husband is a regular contributor to news items, etc over on BLAUGI (the official blog of the Autodesk User's Group International).

He reads a lot, always keeping up on current events, technology, developments, etc. Many of the items he passes along to me aren't really CAD/Design news, so he doesn't post them on BLAUGI often. BUT, he does talk about starting his own blog to post about a wider variety of things.

So!

Poll question #1... Should Mike Perry start a blog?

Poll question #2... What should he call it?

We all get a little creative from time to time, but, when it comes to naming things, Mike (you can recognize him on any and every forum as Mike.Perry) can be a little less than imaginative.
I, of course, suggested he call his weblog 'Master of the Dorkness', but, he was, shall we say, less than enthused about that idea. But, wouldn't it be cooler than 'Mike Perry's blog'?

Please, cast your vote and make your suggestions in the comment area to give him some more creative ideas.