Monday, May 25, 2009

More AutoCAD MEP 2010 Workspaces

The Piping Workspace for AutoCAD MEP 2010 chances the Home tab Build panel to piping tools.

The Annotate tab contains tags and schedules for piping.

Sloped piping is improved in AutoCAD MEP 2010 and besides using the Properties Palette, you will find tools under the Analyze tab.

The Manage tab will provide you with Piping Preferences as well as Style Manager, Piping System Definitions, and Routing Preference Definitions.

AutoCAD MEP 2010-Workspaces

The Workspaces in AutoCAD MEP 2010 are still available, but more robust. It may not be obvious where you see the list of workspaces since toolbars are not active when you start the program so you don't see the Workspaces Toolbar.

In the Status Bar, you will see the current workspace listed along with a drop down arrow beside it. This was there in 2009 as well, but you may not have noticed it.

In all workspaces, you will have a Tools Ribbon Panel. This is where you will find access to the Tool Palettes (only called Tools so you'll need to look at the icon), Content Browser, and the Properties Palette. The Parametric Part Wizard is also located here.

Workspaces control several Ribbon tabs and panels. Of course you can always create your own workspace and edit what is displayed with workspaces with the CUI Editor.

The Home tab has a Build Ribbon Panel that is workspace specific.

The Annotate tab has both tags and schedules. These can also be found on Tool Palettes as well, though you may find you are not using the tool palettes as much with everything on the ribbon.

The Analyze tab includes Interference Detection. I like that Distance and QuickCalc are there as well. Any engineering calculation tools are found under Analyze.

The Manage tab under each workspace has Style Manager with short-cuts to the appropriate system definitions and preferences per discipline.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Vote for upcoming AU Classes

As of today, you can now vote from all the classes submitted. There appear to be plenty of submissions in all areas. Some are submitted by those of us who have taught at previous AU's and some are from talented people who believe they have something of value to share with AU attendees.

Voting is only through May 8, 2009. Voting helps the AU Committee know what you'd like as well as the surveys at the end of each AU. The committee doesn't use just one method to determine what classes will be in the 2009 lineup, but use several for a fair and balanced decision.

If you'd like to see the proposed classes or vote, please visit Autodesk University to vote. Use your AU login or register to be able to vote or view class submissions.

You will note that some classes are listed in one of the following class types.
  • 90 minute class
  • 90 minute lab
  • 3.5 hour class
  • virtual
  • unplugged
Don't worry too much about the class type for voting as the class itself is really what you are voting for at this time. The planning committee may change the class type once the schedule is made.

You will note that this is the first year that virtual classes are offered. This is going to be a new venue for AU and I think it will be a good one.

Also, the unplugged unconference sessions are listed right along with the classes now so all can be planned together. In the past, the unplugged sessions were done separately later.

Final class selection should be complete and instructors notified by mid-June and the class list to go online around the end of July. Registration for AU 2009 will be about August 12.

You may also want to stay tuned to the Autodesk University Blog for more information on AU 2009.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Virtual Office Tools

Recently I read this article, 5 Ways to Build Your Virtual Office in Entrepreneur magazine. I found it interesting and wasn't aware that there were so many businesses out there that focus on the virtual office.

I was introduced to Skype well over a year ago when my son moved to China to live. He set it up for me and a webcam with microphone.

I never thought of myself as being an instant messenger type of person, but found that there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not using Skype. I rarely use the webcam or microphone, but it's there if I need it. Sometimes I just use the microphone like a telephone and we talk with no video when we have a lot to talk about and get tired of typing.

I was also pleasantly surprised that one of the customers that I work with the most use Skype for their main communication within their office. It prevents inbox clutter and conference calls are easy no matter where employees happen to be.

I've since found several Skype tools and am trying those out as well.

The above-mentioned article got me thinking about a virtual receptionist. I have a simple, pre-paid cell phone to use for calls when traveling. I may graduate to something more sophisticated, but I don't relish being tied to a cell phone and turn it off when I'm in a restaurant or doctor's office.

I discovered that one customer I have always tries the cell number first and since I keep it off when I am at home in my office he then has to leave a message and call my home office number. I was looking at a solution so that not only this customer, but any customer that wanted to reach me could call just one number and be forwarded to wherever I might be.

There are several different firms that offer this service. Some have plans that start out just for me in mind with low monthly costs, while others are aimed at big businesses and offer replacements for the standard PBX phone systems.

I spent a week researching and comparing and broke it down to two solutions. One being Onebox and the other being gotvmail, which I eventually went with.

As a backup, I also subscribed to a Skype-In number that could also be set to voicemail or forwarded to a phone.

I always thought I was up on technology, but now realize that there's a lot I don't know. I love learning new things!

5 Ways to Build Your Virtual Office -

5 Ways to Build Your Virtual Office -

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