Monday, January 26, 2015

Autodesk to close Subscription Center

Autodesk has announced their plan to close Subscription Center. Subscription Center is a web portal where users can go to manage their Autodesk product licenses, subscriptions and services. This site provides access to download files, tech support, and other services. Autodesk is closing that service on March 13th, 2015.

Fortunately they are replacing it with a new website called Autodesk Account.

http://www.autodesk.com/account

Autodesk Account will be a one-stop place where users can track and manage their licenses, subscriptions, products, services, and benefits. Maintenance subscription customers will be affected most by this change but all Autodesk customers will be directed here and will be able to use this service.

Autodesk says the interface and tools in Account will be simple to navigate and use. I found it much easier to navigate than Subscription Center.

Autodesk product users will not have to wait until March to start using Autodesk Account. It is available now and is fully functional.

Autodesk has supplied a video describing this change and the services available through Autodesk Account.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Autodesk Upgrade Pricing Ends January 31

Autodesk officially ends its upgrade pricing plans this month. After January 31, 2015, Autodesk customers will no longer be able to upgrade their licenses of Autodesk products to a newer version. This has been the practice of many Autodesk clients for decades. Company’s would purchase a license from Autodesk and sit on it for several years. When the need arose they would update to the latest version at a discounted price. This price was substantially cheaper than purchasing a brand new license and they only had to spend the money when they absolutely had to. The only other reason spend money was when a company needed an additional license.

Autodesk software isn’t cheap. A single license for one of their products could cost anywhere from $1000 to $7000 easy (US Dollars).  A single perpetual license of AutoCAD could cost around $4000 (estimated pricing) with the upgrade at half the price, depending on when you update and how old your version was. These upgrade prices changed throughout the years with the price slowly increasing as time went on.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

AutoCAD for Mac Shortcuts & Commands

Autodesk has created a keyboard shortcut guide for AutoCAD for Mac 2015. AutoCAD for Mac users will find this guide very useful especially if you often use keyboard commands in your workflow. The guide is free and available at this Autodesk website.

Friday, January 9, 2015

As a Standard, never use the word standard for your standard style names

AutoCAD has many styles. If you use Civil3D (and AutoCAD vertical) you have a plethora of styles. I have come across many instances where companies create a style, be it text, dimension, point label, etc., where they have named it “STANDARD”. It makes sense. You want a standard style to be used by everyone. Which text style should I use? Oh yeah, the one marked STANDARD. It is clear, concise, and easily understood by CAD users of all levels.

There is an issue though. If the naming convention of STANDARD is so simple to use, then many companies will be using it. The problem comes when your files intermingle with theirs. What if you need to insert or reference a third party’s files into yours. Or worse, what if a third party is referencing your files? Assume both companies are using STANDARD for their main text style. Your company uses ROMANS for your standard font. They use SCRIPT. They insert your file into theirs. AutoCAD then recognizes your text style of STANDARD but applies company B’s style settings and all of your text is now script.

Why does this happen? Well, AutoCAD reads a style and uses the style that is already in the file. If two different styles have the same name, it goes with the style it already knows in the open file.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Two universal events that guarantee printer failure.

Any design firm (engineering, architectural, etc.) will tell you that there are two events that, when they occur, will guarantee your printer will fail.  These events are:

1. A hard deadline.
2. The repair tech visited the day before.


You have all experienced these things. It never fails. You could use the printer all week and nothing happens. But when it comes time to print your drawing set for a submittal and there is a hard deadline it will jam, run out of toner, run out of paper, shred your paper, or catch fire. It always happens.  Always.

photo credit: jtyerse via photopin cc  

Many veterans have learned to dread the unsolicited visit of the printer repair tech; not because they smell of old toner, but because of the waft of destruction that typically comes in their wake. You know the drill; they show up to clean out the toner tray, perform a routine cleaning, or to get a counter read. The next day the printer seemingly dies. No reason given; no warning; it simply refuses to work properly. My personal favorite is when the tech comes to repair a broken printer, runs 50 gazillion prints (or your paper) and signs off as if everything was actually ok. Within minutes of them leaving the darn thing is now hiccupping where it was sneezing before.

In all fairness to the repair techs we work the snot out of these devices. We run them super hot and run print after print after print. Nobody would work in a consistent manner under these extreme circumstances. Not without breaking down. But at least now we don’t have to endure the wretched smell of ammonia these days! Oh the memories.


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