Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tips for Lively Conversation at Autodesk University

Registration opens Monday for Autodesk University!
Register Here

You can sign up and choose your classes. Last year, you didn't have to pay right away, I am not sure if that works this year as well. So you can sign up, get the classes you want and you might have a few more weeks to talk the boss into footing the bill.

If you are looking for some free entertainment at AU, try sidling up to a happy group of CADDers in the cocktail lounge and try one of these conversation starters:

"I really prefer a UCS rotation to a dview twist. Especially for Civil projects."
The UCS vs Dview twist argument rages on. Both camps have their reasons. Neither is letting go. This one has started at least one barfight every AU since 2000i.

"Mtext is far superior to Dtext"

Both dtext and Mtext have their place in this world. Nothing has that solid snappy insertion point quite like dtext, but if you have ever faced a 2000 word specs and notes sheet in dtext you know true pain. I think each one has their place, but every firm I have ever worked for or with wants to "pick one" for universal use. All that winds up happening is fist-to-cuffs over the CAD management lunch, followed by angry silence, and everyone going back to their desks and using whatever they feel like- just for spite.

or my personal favorite:

"Civil 3D isn't unstable. The Problem is Between the Seat and the Keyboard "
If you feel the need to say this, bring body armour or be sure to be carrying a puppy, cause otherwise you will have the literal crap kicked out of you. Trust me, I know. I made a lame attempt at some dry humor on the Civil 3D discussion group a few months ago and any day now the doctor should be able to take the wires out of my jaw.

While many errors and problems in Civil 3D can be mitigated by a good understanding of what the program expects from you from a data and input perspective, there is never an excuse for a program to kick you out with no explanation.

My take on it- I wouldn't do work any other way. I am currently working on a few 100+ lot subdivisions. I spent the weekend designing roads, making corridors and pipe networks. I have had minimal problems because I know how to keep my drawings clean and create things that Civil 3d likes.

Is it perfect? No.

Is it bad enough for me to go back to LDT (which for me was about 60% LDT tools and 40% manual text, dimensioning, etc) NO WAY.

In about 25 hours of work, I have 15 roads just about fully designed. And even if we find things that need adjustment due to SWM issues, etc. now I just feed my model the new grades instead of erasing everything and starting over or trying to keep track of what changed and what didn't.

Come to Autodesk University and fill your brain with knowledge that will help get you there.

Topics that no longer get the color up (I hope):
"Paper Space is Useless"

Once the biggest bench clearing comment that could be made in an room full of CADDers, folks these days have calmed down a bit and figured things out. Now that the cryptic "1/100 xp" rigormorole is not necessary, things have gotten easier. Every once in awhile I run into someone who has be inadvertently been working in floating model space for two years, but it is rare.

"Only idiots don't use full sized crosshairs"

I actually had someone say something along these lines to me this winter while I was teaching a class. I don't think I have had my crosshairs bigger than a peach pit since I took my first AutoCAD class in Winter 1996 on a SPARC station. But I don't think I have ever noticed nor cared what anyone else uses until this comment. Regardless, most of realize this argument is about as pointless as a pink command line. To each his own, I say. User preferences are just that- user preferences.


Anonymous said...

Dana I wasn't refering to your chair and your keyboard.
It was a subtle rip at the people who write this code.
Sorry if you took it personal, I have a lot of respect for who sits between your keyboard and chair.
I may be a &%*#@! but your panny's mommy, and I wouldn't wire your jaw.

Mistress of the Dorkness said...

the crosshair comment is pretty funny to me. Just the other day on AUGI someone posted a poll,
seems over 60% of respondents set them to full size.
(mine are set at default of 5)

erm... but, really, I just had to respond because of the comment about pink command lines being pointless :-/ We can have words about that at AU though. ~cracks knuckles~ ;)

Anonymous said...

Pink Command lines? That is good but not as good as the Cad Manager I recently worked with who told me (and I quote) "use magenta for the wall layer in ADT because it's cute." Did I mention CAD Manager?

It is 98% between the Keyboard and Chair out there.

Anonymous said...

I like my crosshairs at 100%, that way I know when I'm within a viewport because they stop at the border. If they were set to peach pit size I wouldn't be able to tell easily.

UCS is the way to go, dview twist is as relevant as base rotation :)