Two real highlights for me were TechShop and Tinkerbox.
First TechShop isn't Autodesk at all except that they are being very supportive of the company's entrepreneurial effort. Imagine yourself a frustrated "idea" guy/gal or inventor. Frustrated because you'd love to tinker with stuff but you can't afford that steel mill, CNC mill, 3D printer, router or lathe and on. That and your significant other really doesn't want you to make all that noise in the garage or basement anyway.
Well these guys, founded by Jim Newton four years ago on big dreams and no funds, are your answer. For now the answer is only in Menlo Park, CA and Raleigh, NC. They have plans for eight more locations in the coming 24 months or sooner though. The next location is in San Francisco near the Moscone Center. They have a full blown inventor's dream shop and you just rent your time there for around $100/month. You could spend a lot of time there and still not spend more than you would on one serious piece of equipment. The very brief examples of their subscribers work was inspiring, bringing the spirit of invention back to the "average" guy, much like the Internet is affecting music, media, publishing and more.
Where does Autodesk enter into this? They are providing all the software you could need to make the stuff you dream up there. You can spend time there learning the software and tinker/inventing your way to financial success or just make some quirky Christmas presents. I wish one was nearby, I'd be there with my kids enough to create marital stress, sorry honey.
A new experiment from Autodesk is Tinker Box. It's for "kids" of all ages...even old ones like me. It is intended to help make science and technology fun and interesting for the coming generations who perceive it as important but too hard to pursue (according to Autodesk's own study). It's derived from various existing software technology, like Inventor and others. Here's a You Tube video posted by Deelip Menenzes
I kept thinking of virtual Lego or those others that I had when I was a kid. I've managed to forget when this will be available. Check it out when it is though.
I wandered over to Shaan Hurley's blogger social after the media session wrapped up. Hung out with a few Bpals but was a bit too tired to actually mingle properly and I'm too tired now to try to name drop again. Next up was the AEC Mixer. Bummer. Hard to mix in the mixer. The House of Blues is a great venue to watch a band and a group of Autodesk'rs formed AEC/DC and played some old standards. Great little venue, nice sound, stage and lighting.
It was just too hard to find anyone...to mix (not the sound guy parlance).
I must admit every time I see this stuff I drift back to my old days when I'd be up on those lighting trusses focusing the lights. These days a goodly number of the fixtures are computer controlled which reduces the need for such antics but there nothing quite like a good old Par 64. Here's a shot of the band. You can see the ladder a lighting tech uses to get up to the trusses just behind the monitor stack (and Guillermo Melantoni Cortabarria on bass) on Stage Right, thin wire rope ladder (think trapeze artists).
As a drummer I couldn't help thinking about asking to sit in on a song but I let the thought go.
I headed off to catch up with HOK folks having their BIMie Award dinner. I was a "proud professor" when I saw three of the four winning teams were CDV and Mr. OpEd alumni! GO team! Cool projects and they gave me a copy of their very nice awards booklet. Dinner too!! Thanks to Lee, Ken, James, Zoog, Jyoti, Kevin, David, Roberto, Don, Victor, Irena, Greg and many others!
As for Tuesday, AU's general sessions officially kicked off today. My day was laid out thusly:
- Breakfast (missed it)
- Autodesk Keynote (made it)
- Lab Assistant: Family Counseling (Donnia Tabor-Hanson)
- Parametrics Laid Bare (Robert Manna & Zach Kron, left early to make next one)
- AEC Luncheon (Phil Bernstein and Paul Williams)
- Presenter: Teaching the Reviteers (Me, Harlan Brumm, Tobias Hathorn, Jeff Hanson and David Fano)
- All Cloud (Chris Price and Dan
- Exhibit Hall (everybody or nearly so)
I'll get into more detail in the next post otherwise this one will get outrageously long.