CAD Manager's Newsletter (#223)

12 Aug, 2009 By: Robert Green

CAD Management in a Continuing Recession, Part 3

In Australia and New Zealand, where the recession isn't hitting so hard, CAD managers are taking the opportunity to optimize technology and do more with less.

In the last two editions of the CAD Manager's Newsletter, I shared some of the economic bad news that CAD managers have been dealing with and published interviews with industry experts. The reader feedback I've received, unfortunately, has corroborated my findings.

Most of the questions I'm receiving from readers focus on how to weather the economic storm and emerge in a good position to take advantage of economic recovery when it begins. To that end, I'm embarking upon a specialized CAD manager survey, and I invite you to participate. In addition, I interviewed CAD manager and blogger Robin Capper to get a New Zealander's take on the current situation.

Survey on the Economy
The mini-survey won't take you long to complete, and will only focus on key financial and business questions designed to determine how the economic downturn is affecting CAD managers. I will break the findings down by country, as well as by region for the United States market. Take the survey at:

Read more »

:: CAD Manager's Toolbox:
New Backup Strategies

Mobile methods for backing up your key CAD management data can enhance accessibility — and save money too.

I've always been a big fan of timely data backups, both at the server level and on my individual workstations. After all, nobody is ever sorry they have good backups, right?

Over the last year or so I've been redefining my backup strategies and would like to share a few methods I've come to rely on as new mobile technologies like smartphones have become a bigger part of how I work.

No More Hardware!
I no longer purchase portable drives every 18 months to perform my backups. I'm now using a totally online backup solution called Carbonite to backup all my office machines and my travel laptop. I've found the application's automatic incremental backups to be very convenient, and the fact that all data is stored online saves me the trouble of storing media at an offsite safe-deposit box. The other great benefit of Carbonite is that I can access my backup data via any Internet-connected PC — that feature came in really handy during my European trips last year! And at roughly $50 per machine per year, Carbonite costs me less than what I used to spend on portable hard drives. (Note: There are other applications similar to Carbonite on the market, so explore those possibilities as well.)

Read more »

Expert CAD Manager book by Robert Green

:: Resources

Clarizen Users Forum Launched

Clarizen, a project management software provider, has announced the launch of Clarizen User Forums where users can exchange ideas, find answers to questions, and become a more active members of the Clarizen Community. Active topics include keyboard shortcuts, template improvements, sharing reports, the drag-and-drop feature, and more. The site also features a training center where users can access Clarizen tutorials.

3DVIA Debuts Support for COLLADA's .DAE Format

Dassault Systemes, a 3D and product lifecycle management software provider, announced that 3D models hosted on the library, including those created using the company's free 3DVIA Shape modeling application, will now be automatically converted to both Dassault Systemes' 3DXML format and the COLLADA open 3D format (.DAE format) created by the Khronos Group.

:: Events

Revit Architecture Test Drive

August 20, 2009
Portland, Oregon
Ideate is hosting a free Revit Architecture test drive, designed as a first look at this program. If you are considering moving to Revit, this is your chance for a hands-on experience with the software. Read more »

Autodesk University 2009

December 1–3, 2009
Las Vegas, Nevada
Early registration opens August 12 and general registration begins August 19 for Autodesk University 2009. Autodesk Subscription members, AUGI members, and AU Online members are eligible to register early. The annual AU User Conference and Exhibition brings together thousands of Autodesk users, instructors, and partners to learn and network. Read more »

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

:: What's New at

Learning Curve AutoCAD Tutorial: Going for the Record!
AutoCAD's Action Recorder lets you bring your macros to life. Read more »

Q&A Series: Autodesk Subscription, Part 1
This Q&A is part of a series from Cadalyst and Autodesk in which the company answers readers' questions about its software subscription policies. Read more »

Bentley's Be Connected Draws 9,000 Registrants — and Counting
New online seminar series offers live and on-demand events for building and infrastructure professionals. Read more »

Social Networking and Product Development
Web 2.0 technologies bring advantages, disadvantages, and applicability to the product engineering processes. Read more »

About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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