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MCAD Tech News (#338)

14 Feb, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff


Windows 8: Is It the Right Call for CAD?

Microsoft's new OS, with its radically redesigned touchscreen interface, could face an uphill climb toward professional adoption.

By Joe Dysart

Sporting a radical redesign that's expected to charm some and disappoint others, Microsoft's new Windows 8 faces a tough slog ahead, including a slow adoption rate, analysts say.

"The challenges of a new user interface, a complex set of processor choices, and a long ramp to a compelling set of app offerings in the Microsoft Store will translate to a slower-than-usual Windows upgrade cycle," says Frank E. Gillett, an analyst with Forrester.

Gillett is lead author of the Forrester report, Windows: The Next Five Years. The study predicts a grim forecast for Windows 8 in 2013, but concluded that with the right moves, Microsoft could stabilize long-term market acceptance of the product line.

Microsoft is betting big on its OS, which for the first time is driven by touchscreen controls. The change makes Windows much easier to use on smartphones and tablets, but on traditional desktops, the new interface comes across as clunky and inefficient, say many early adopters.

Compared with previous versions, the Windows 8 user interface is a significant departure for Microsoft and could present a challenging transition for many users — in particular those whose applications are not optimized for the touchscreen.
Compared with previous versions, the Windows 8 user interface is a significant departure for Microsoft and could present a challenging transition for many users — in particular those whose applications are not optimized for the touchscreen.

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Joe Dysart is an Internet speaker and business consultant.

Understanding AutoCAD Mechanical Object Snap Settings

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Do you ever feel like your object snaps are possessed? If they exhibit odd behavior when you use them, this tip can help.

By John Hackney

AutoCAD Mechanical has a truly wonderful set of commands and settings that make it a superior tool for CAD work. There are times when some of these settings can baffle the best of us, however, unless we understand the option settings in the program. In the image below, you can see I do not have object snaps turned on, and do not have any selected.

Compared with previous versions, the Windows 8 user interface is a significant departure for Microsoft and could present a challenging transition for many users — in particular those whose applications are not optimized for the touchscreen.

When I start the Line command, and move by objects on the screen, I see object snap markers. At this point two possible thoughts arise, "I have done something wrong in the program configuration," or "The program is malfunctioning."

AutoCAD Mechanical has two methods of assigning object snaps: System Settings and User Settings. If you are experiencing odd behavior while using object snaps, the system is probably set to the System Settings method. The Line command is configured in this method by the program to automatically impose certain object snaps. The good news is that you can configure these system object snap controls, and you can switch back to total user control if you desire. Once you understand them, you will probably configure them to your taste and leave the System Settings on.

Read more »

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John Hackney is a senior mechanical application engineer for IMAGINiT Technologies.

       

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

 

NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference 2013
March 18–21, 2013
San Jose, California
NVIDIA's annual GPU Technology Conference is intended to increase global awareness of GPU computing, computer graphics, game development, mobile computing, and cloud computing through educational opportunities including technical sessions, panel discussions, tutorials, and roundtables. Read more »

EASTEC
May 14–16, 2013
West Springfield, Massachusetts
New features at this year's manufacturing exposition and conference will include a panel discussion about workforce development, a competitive manufacturing event for regional high school students, and area plant tours. Read more »

RAPID Additive Manufacturing Solutions Event
June 10–13, 2013
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Produced by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, this conference and exposition features 3D imaging and 3D printing technologies. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Cadalyst.com. Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to news@cadalyst.com.

       

What’s New at Cadalyst.com

 

Take Time to Think Big
CAD Manager's Toolbox: Developing techniques that can dramatically improve productivity often starts with a look at the big picture. Read more »

Improve CAD Production Quality by Annoying Your Users, Part 3
Transferring the burden of problem solving to the users who cause the problems is a great strategy — but only if you can take yourself out of the process. Read more »

Add Transparency to Your AutoCAD Drawings
Have you ever wished you could see through a solid fill to the objects beneath? Transparency will let you do just that, like magic — and it can add a professional edge to your drawings, too. Join Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen as she takes you through the ins and outs of transparency. Watch the video »

Cyon Research Wants to Know About Your CAD Use
Cyon Research, organizer of the Congress on the Future of Engineering Software (COFES), has launched its 2013 Survey of Users of Engineering Software. The 40-minute survey aims to gauge your current use of and criteria for CAD and other engineering software. Read more »

Do You Really Need ECC Memory for CAD Workstation Computing?
I recently read an article by an Intel product manager on the need for "ECC" (error correction code) memory in CAD workstations. From the article: "Corrupted data can impact every aspect of your business, and worse yet you may not even realize your data has become corrupted." Read the CADspeed blog post »


About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
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