20 February 2009

TurboTax even cheaper

I came across a TurboTax for the web link via Bank of America that offers a 35% discount on services (but not for state filing).

19 February 2009

Here comes the Ribbon

As you probably have seen, many of the latest applications coming out are now based on a user interface with a MS Office ribbon look. While the issue of "is it better" will never be put to rest, the history of how this came to be is rather interesting (to me anyway).

So I did a little digging and found a video just about this vary issue. It is big at 146meg but shows where we were and how the ribbon idea came into existance. Here is the link to the file and below is a snippet description.

Title: Beneath the Surface: The Natural Experience
VisionSpeaker(s): Daniel Makoski

Description: Come hear how the Surface User Experience team is focusing on design and user experience as a key driver for creating more natural, intuitive and emotional products. Learn how Surface shifts the approach that has been used for more than thirty years of making users learn the language of computers and products to an entirely new approach where technology, computers, and products learn the language of people: touch, voice, and gesture.

Mastering Revit Structure Partie Deux

Wiley publishing, an imprint of Sybex, has agreed to aquire a book called Mastering Revit Structure 2010. This will be a revision to the 2009 version which came out late last year. This go around the authors are Tom Weir, Jamie Richardson, and myself. Technical editing will be handled by Steve Stafford.

Dinner wth a friend

As you may recall in a previous post, Lynn Allen of Autodesk, came into Tampa for a Autodesk event sponsored by Avatech Solutions. So being a native of sorts, asked Lynn to join me and a few others for dinner. I choose the Columbia in Ybor (e-bor) for its great Spanish menu and fun atmosphere. Dinner was lovely and the converation even more so. I have known lynn for about 14 years and been to many meetings and dozens of events where she was the MC. I even joked with her that I choose the Columbia so she could see a stage but not have to get on it. This restaurant has a nightly flamenco dance performance which is very entertaining.

Overall a wonderful evening. It was great seeing Lynn again and having a chance to share a bit of tiny Tampa town.

18 February 2009

Get ready to rock

As just posted on "Between the Lines" by Shaan Hurley, Autodesk has announced that *most* Autodesk 2010 products will ship on March 24. Now I don't think anyone is shocked by the date, Autodesk has traditionally had the new AutoCAD hit the streets by the end of the 1st quarter. But I am rather surprised at the actual date being announced. I don't recall ever seeing that before with another release.

What else can I determine by this? Well it depends on what you consider "most" to mean. If most of the Autodesk 2010 products are based on AutoCAD then I would wager that means the apps based on AutoCAD will be ready then. That also means by definition that non-AutoCAD products won't ship then. Again, no big deal really but this is an interesting tact by Autodesk to drive interest before the program is out.

I personally have a lot to do when AutoCAD 2010 is out. The custom menuing system I use has both toolbars/pull-down menus/ribbon tabs. We have decided to fully support the ribbon interface and nix the older menu bar and tools method for accessing commands. I';m sure a number of people will be lost but there is no time like the present to adopt the latest user interface trend. I say trend because we all know it will change again, some day. ;)

12 February 2009

Blogs en français

Mon bon ami, Daniel Hurtubise m'a suggéré d'écrire des articles en français. Vous devez commencer quelque part, il pourrait aussi bien être ici.

Software Publication Styles

I’m curious, do people care what display theme is used in publications? Users of Autodesk products could be using one of many versions of MS Windows/Vista and soon & v7. Now throw on top of that desktop themes, the screen captures for dialogs and user interfaces could look very different from book to book and potentially within chapters of multiple author works.

But does anyone care? Do you care if the figures you see on paper match your system exactly? What would expect the authors to use? The default? Or what looks and reads best on paper? Care to comment on this issue? Please do so!

Comment here on the blog or here on the AUGI forums.

09 February 2009

Missed the 2010 show?

You can get the Autodesk 2010 software release media launch here.

06 February 2009

What's coming in Revit Structure 2010?

Lots! Check this out. I got this from the web presentation material today.

Autodesk® Revit® Structure 2010

Autodesk Revit Structure 2010 software offers building information modeling (BIM) to structural engineering firms, delivering a better coordinated and more reliable model for more efficient and accurate design and documentation. Help improve multidiscipline coordination by using crucial information from architectural and engineering files, whether from Revit-based product models or from 2D file formats. Incorporate analysis through bidirectional linking to popular structural analysis software, including Autodesk® Robot™ Structural Analysis Professional software. Powerful parametric change management technology assists in coordinating modifications and updates across the model and documentation. Utilize a comprehensive set of drafting tools to help complete your construction drawings in Revit Structure, and share your design data with project teams for more efficient collaboration.

What’s New

Enhanced Conceptual Design, Modeling and Analysis
 An improved conceptual design workspace for flexible form-making and direct
manipulation allows users to sketch in 3D levels, and reference planes give users
access to all aspects of the model without relying on multiple views. All conceptual
designs are parametrically linked to the BIM model.
 Engineers and drafters can now create slanted columns using the same column
families used for vertical columns, which also include analytical characteristics.
 Autodesk® Subscription customers can benefit from a new extension that helps enable
preliminary analysis on complex architectural forms.
 Autodesk Subscription customers can also receive enhanced tools for bridge
modeling, allowing bridge engineers and designers to more quickly and efficiently
model parametric bridge structures.
 Another extension available for Autodesk Subscription customers is a tool for modeling
typical 3D steel connections, allowing drafters and engineers to define components
required for beam-column end plate connections, or column base connections, and the
extension creates the connection using 3D components.

Improved User Interface

• New customizable ribbon toolbar is task-oriented with redesigned, intuitive icons.
• Customizable Quick Access Toolbar allows one-click access to an individual user’s
favorite and most frequently used tools.
• Enhanced integration with Autodesk® Seek web service lets designers search a vast
library of 2D and 3D building products and publish customized designs to the service.
• New “Options Bar,” navigation toolbar and enhanced Tooltips help improve productivity
and user experience.

Performance and Interoperability

 Native 64-bit support.
 Expanded API (application programming interface) support.

Have some time?

Catch a webcast about the new 2010 product line via your computer!

It's today at 12pm ET.


05 February 2009

AutoCAD 2010 is coming

I'm sure it is no big secret but you know how Autodesk is. There is a new AutoCAD coming in for a landing very soon. It is another evolution of the product and the average AutoCAD should be very comfortable. There are a number of new features, most notably some awesome 3D modeling tools for doing crazy stuff. Think Rhino-like in AutoCAD.

Look for more information on the web and here as I have time. Great work Autodesk!



Dear User of the AutoCAD 2010 (Beta) or AutoCAD 2010- based vertical product!

In AutoCAD 2010, some improvements were made to the Hatch feature. We need your help in determining the importance of additional hatch improvements.

AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group is running a research study on the Hatch Ranking and the Use of Hatch experience.

Who Should Participate?
Users who create and apply hatches to objects and models in AutoCAD 2010 (Beta).
(Please don't participate if you have not used Hatch in AutoCAD 2010).

How To Participate?
If you think you are qualified, please help us to rank the importance of Hatch improvements by submitting the Hatch Ranking Survey.

Hatch Ranking Survey could be accessed via this link:

This Survey is available : February 3-18, 2009

We greatly appreciate your input and help!- AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group.

Important news...later

I've got some juicy stuff but I have to wait till this evening at 8pm ET. I hate waiting...

03 February 2009

Materials Survey


Dear User of the Autodesk Products!

AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group is running a research study on the materials and rendering user experience.

Who Should Participate?
Users who create and apply materials & textures for rendering models in AutoCAD or other applications. Some questions are AutoCAD-specific but input from experience with other applications is welcome.

How To Participate?
If you think you are qualified, you could significantly contribute by filling out the Materials Survey.

Materials Survey:

This Survey is available : February 2-15, 2009

Please feel free to pass this survey to your colleagues!

We greatly appreciate your input and help!-
AutoCAD Product Design and Usability Group.

02 February 2009

Sis does good!

My sister wrote a book! She now joins myself and our dad as authors of
what we know. I am very proud. Here is the Amazon link if you are interested.