Top 20 posts of 2016

According to Jetpack site statistics, these were the most viewed posts on this blog of 2016. Many of them are from previous years. Note that these stats began being collected in May when the blog became active again so the list doesn’t cover the entire year.

  • AutoCAD 2012 – Putting things back to “normal” (April 2011)
  • AutoCAD 2011 – Putting things back to “normal” (March 2010)
  • Disaster in progress – Autodesk’s all-rental plans are failing (June 2016)
  • Why AutoCAD for Mac is a bad idea (May 2009)
  • AutoCAD 2017 – Putting things back to “normal” (July 2016)
  • What is loaded at AutoCAD startup, and when? (September 2008)
  • Olympic Fencing – Mythbusting the Shin v Heidemann Controversy (August 2012)
  • Autodesk perpetual license owners to get screwed big-time (December 2016)
  • Autodesk desktop app. Worst. Name. Ever. Is the product better than …

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  • Callan Carpenter interview 1 – Autodesk and social media

    A couple of weeks ago, Angela Simoes from the Autodesk Corporate PR team invited me to interview Callan Carpenter, Autodesk’s Vice President of Global Subscription and Support. Callan is responsible for the sales, marketing operations and product support associated with Subscription. He is also Vice President in charge of Jim Quanci’s Autodesk Developer Network. This morning, we had a very extensive discussion about Subscription and other topics that I intend to publish in several parts over the next few days. Deelip has already published a Callan interview, but mine is quite different.

    In this post, I will let Callan introduce himself and then move into some questions about social media that I asked at the end of the interview. In this post, both Callan Carpenter (CC) and Angela Simoes (AS) responded to my questions.

    SJ: Callan, can you give me some background on yourself?

    CC: I’ve been at …

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    Some meaningless AutoCAD 2011 numbers

    According to David Cohn, at yesterday’s blogger event in San Fransisco prior to the 2011 launch, Autodesk provided the following figures:

    • 76,000 man hours spent on Q/A of the new release
    • 6,000 total code reviews of new release
    • 2,000 commands tested
    • 4,600 Beta customers involved in AutoCAD 2011
    • 1.4M lines of old code were removed

    Well, that’s all very nice, but those numbers are completely meaningless without context. Autodesk may as well have just published the equivalent numbers for Release 13; I’m sure they would have looked impressive in isolation.

    Did anybody in the blogger audience ask the obvious question?

    How do these numbers compare with previous releases?

    If so, I’d be interested to see the answer.

    If not, why not? I’d like to think that I would have asked such a question rather than sitting there unquestionably accepting whatever was being presented.

    I’d like to think …

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    AutoCAD 2011 launch on 25 March

    Just announced by Shaan Hurley via Twitter and Facebook:

    Busy on the final details for a special Autodesk event next week in San Francisco with some bloggers.

    Follow the link and you will find this:

    Autodesk Webcast

    Date: 3/25/10
    Start Time: 9:00 SF/12:00 New York/16:00 UK/17:00 CET

    Register today to join Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and Senior Vice President Amar Hanspal for an exclusive live webcast to learn about updates to Autodesk’s portfolio of design software for the AEC, manufacturing and general design industries.

    In Autodeskspeak, “general design” means AutoCAD (AEC = Revit, manufacturing = Inventor), so you can expect this to be the same kind of thing as the AutoCAD 2010 launch I attended last year. (Note: ‘launch’ does not mean ‘release’). At this event, selected bloggers will probably get to see the big production effort that goes into the launch webcast (no, it’s …

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    Not another SpacePilot PRO review

    This post is not about the new SpacePilot PRO 3D controller from 3Dconnexion (a division of Logitech). This post is about the Internet coverage of the launch of that new device, journalism, blogging, freebies and ethics.

    It has long been common practice for companies to give out free stuff to journalists. Free gadgets, free transport and other expenses for attending events, free beer, free lunch… oh, wait, there’s no such thing. As blogging has risen in prominence, that practice has been extended to providing free stuff for bloggers. It was traditional in the past for such freebies to go unmentioned in reports about the products of such companies. I think the first time I saw this kind of thing disclosed was by Ralph Grabowski, and I was impressed. Maybe it’s just the sites I read, but I see more of that kind of disclosure in blogs than …

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    A gaggle of geeks

    Time to lighten things up a bit, I think. While attending the AutoCAD 2010 product launch in San Francisco on 5 February 2009, I conducted a series of micro-interviews with a collection of AutoCAD bloggers and Autodesk employees. One geek asks 14 other geeks if they are geeks; nothing too serious here. I hope Shaan enjoys my tabloid journalist editing job right at the end.

    YouTube link.

    Thanks to all the interviewees:

    Heidi Hewett, Autodesk blogger
    Lynn Allen, Autodesk blogger
    Melanie Perry, blogger
    Robin Capper, blogger
    Brian Benton, blogger
    Todd Shackelford, blogger
    Jon Page, Autodesk person
    Matt Stein, Autodesk person and personal blogger
    Shaan Hurley, Autodesk blogger
    Donnie Gladfelter, blogger
    Ellen Finklestein, blogger
    David Cohn, blogger
    Mark Douglas, blogger
    Guillermo Melantoni, Autodesk …

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    Autodesk University Session Voting

    This year, the Autodesk University people are allowing you to vote on the various sessions (classes). Here’s the link:

    AU 2008: Help Us Select the Sessions

    If I can sort out a few practical details, I am hoping to attend this year as a speaker. I have submitted four session proposals. These are:

    Customization and Programming

    Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Introduction
    Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Intermediate
    Be unfashionable in style with LISP and DCL – Advanced


    How to make a great CAD blog for next to nothing

    If you intend attending AU this year, I encourage you to vote for the sessions you would like to see presented.

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    Blogger? Journalist? Whatever!

    Roopinder Tara has raised an interesting point about how different CAD vendors treat journalists and bloggers. Ralph Grabowski has responded with a “Who cares“. Now you have more CAD blogger navel gazing to put up with as I have my say on the matter.

    As a traditional magazine journalist (Cadalyst, 1995 – present) and now as a blogger, I’d like to say I agree with Ralph. The label shouldn’t matter, content should be king. From a reader’s point of view, that is.

    Where it does matter is from a vendor’s point of view. How to dish out the freebies? Should Autodesk fly every blogger out to San Francisco, put them all up at Nob Hill hotels and shower them all with gifts? Or just the traditional journalists? Or journalists and major bloggers? If so, what’s a major blog and what isn’t? Is is based on how active the blog …

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