Thursday, October 30, 2008

Going Green

It seems like everyone is jumping on the green bandwagon these days. U.S. CAD has displayed their own desire to go greener in what they do as a company. To spearhead this movement, they even made a little graphic to highlight our desire towards this effort. Here is a little blurb on their thoughts as a company.

To help with the whole issue on going green I've spent the last 3 days taking the train and Subway from where I live in south Orange County to Los Angeles, CA. I don't normally work in LA so this was a first time for me. Now that I've done this for a few days I'm really scratching my head why I haven't done this before. For those that know me closely they know how much I love to drive and how much I detest traffic. I've commuted on and off to LA for random jobs for the last 3 years and now I'm killing myself for not having done this sooner. Well, not really going to kill myself, but you get the idea. I now get home happy, relaxed and full of energy. I feel like I still have a soul when I get home and don't feel like I'm ready to rip someones head off.

For $19.25, I leave at 6:25am and get to LA at 7:50. This more than offsets the toll road, gas and parking fees I normally would pay. A quick 5 min subway (price included in ticket bought for Metrolink train. ride drops me off by our office there which lets me get a little walking in and can stop by Starbucks to take care of my addiction before going to the office. It doesn't take any longer than a normal drive with traffic, but its so much better. I take the 5:40pm train back and I'm home before the time I normally get home if I drive. I know mass transit won't work for everyone because of routes or locations, but if you live near a route you HAVE to look into this. For those in Southern California, check out Metrolink and MTA for info on these routes. They have toll free numbers on their sites too if you have trouble figuring out the route you want. You can even take Metrolink to LA Union Station and catch a shuttle to LAX if you are really looking to get a mass transit to the airport.

BTW, I wrote this post while riding the train. I suddenly have more time for other things than driving!

Can't get to AU?

Well, Autodesk is having a promotion that starts in just a few days - Nov. 5th - go mark your calendar if you are trying to think of ways to get there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seek and you shall find...

For those that haven't used this yet, it looks to be rather promising. There is a new (relatively speaking) Autodesk site called Autodesk Seek. It Seeks out digital design content.

:/ Sorry - couldn't resist. Check it out here: While they don't have much in the way of 3ds MAX files, they have a ton of Revit families, IES files, etc. What you can put in Revit you can transfer to 3ds MAX via FBX, so technically you have a bunch of 3ds MAX files to, just in a round about sort of way.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Autodesk + Softimage XSI = Big News!

Holy smokes Batman! Yet another acquisition by Autodesk. Visit here for the full scoop. In a nutshell though this is big news. XSI seemed to be one of the last few programs out there to truly be able to stand up to 3ds MAX and Maya. It will continue except now be under the same roof as the other leading applications used in films, games and TV. My hope is that this will spread enhancements to the other existing applications in this area as it intergrated at Autodesk. This is especially promising since they directly stated that they plan to add increased functionality to the FBX format to acheive greater interoperability between these applications. They also mentioned that a plugin previously offered by Softimage for use in 3ds MAX will be incorporated into the program. Quote:
"SOFTIMAGE|Cat: This advanced character animation system is a plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max software. It is intended to be integrated into the 3ds Max product line."

This is looking to be rather promising especially since the biped system in 3ds MAX hasn't received a whole lot of tweaking over the years.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

RegApp IDs - What are they and what do I do with them?

RegApps are explained beautifully in this knowledge base article. In a nutshell, they have a tendency to multiply in drawings like rabbits - especially when one drawing is externally referenced into another. This causes drawings to become bloated and potentially unstable. In the past you were always able to purge them manually one drawing at a time or write a script to run on multiple drawings. For lazy folks like myself, we wished for Autodesk to release something themselves to fix this problem en-mass on multiple drawings. Well, this latest utility they have posted does just that for you. You will want to view the Readme file as it contians instructions on how to run this utility via a batch file on multiple files. A great thing to run overnight to clean your drawings!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

AU 2008 - CAD Management Class

I will be delivering a class at AU this year titled: Implementation Tools and Techniques That No CAD Manager Can Live Without (class code CM211-2). Here is a link to the AU Online page for the class that you will want to check out if you are attending. Extra content will be posted to it that cannot fit in the handout for the class. Also, its a great place for you to ask questions on the class if you have them. I'm currently putting the finishing touches on the handout and realized that everything I want to cover in it will not fit within the 14 page limit.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

SCCS Class Handouts

If you haven't found where to look for these yet, they can all be downloaded from this page: Handout Link

The lunch session that myself and Eddie participated in does not have the handout posted yet. Its done, I'm just currently waiting for my web host to get it posted.

Friday, October 10, 2008

20k and Counting

Well, I find it remarkable that enough people have been reading this blog to make it over 20,000 hits. I wanted to take a quick moment to thank everyone that takes the time out of their busy schedule to read my blog. The face lift I just gave my blog made life so much easier to control what goes on the side bar as well as posts I make. U.S. CAD had previously wrapped my blog to have it match other company blogs, but I found it too limited. When they get the chance to re-wrap using Bloggers new tools then it will likely get updated then. I've added RSS feed icons to the side bar on the left and bottom of the page, added enhanced functionality to the archived post list along with a couple other things.

With SCCS behind me, I'm deep into preparing for my class I'm teaching at Autodesk University 2008. I would like to thank in advance the 200 individuals who have already signed up for the class "Implementation Tools and Techniques That No CAD Manager Can Live Without" and filled it to the brim. I look forward to presenting to you.