Tipping Our Hats to the Best (Editor's Window)1 Dec, 2007 By: Amy Stankiewicz
Cadalyst honors some of the most impressive technologies to come across our desks during the second half of 2007.
Cadalyst is using the last of this year's issues to salute some of the most outstanding products that found their way to our reviewers' offices throughout 2007. And what better time than now to reflect on the technologies that helped to advance MCAD and AEC ingenuity and productivity during the past 12 months? December seems to be the most natural time to reflect on our industry's innovations, as well as anticipate the new solutions that lie ahead.
This is Cadalyst's second All-Stars issue of 2007; the first was published in June and highlighted those products that our reviewers gave Highly Recommended ratings throughout the first six months of the year. The December issue honors those Highly Recommended products we published during the last half of 2007. In 2008, Cadalyst will honor Highly Recommended products only in December.
Given the wide range of products our reviewers thought worthy enough to receive the Highly Recommended rating, this particular round of All-Stars seems to feature something for everyone. Take, for example, some of the newest products from Adobe. From Acrobat 3D v8 — which features the ability to convert 3D designs from major CAD applications to PDF and export precise geometry from PDF to STEP, IGES, and Parasolid — to Photoshop CS3 Extended — which boasts support for such 3D file formats as U3D, 3DS, OBJ, Collada, and Google KMZ — Adobe continues to make remarkable advances into the 3D CAD market.
On the hardware side, reviewer Ron LaFon bestowed Highly Recommended ratings to two mobile workstations, the Xi PowerGo 2Duo XT mobile workstation and the Dell Precision M90 mobile workstation. Based on LaFon's testing, both systems appear ideally suited to those engineers, animators, and other design professionals who want to take CAD or digital-content creation work on the road and need a powerful system to do so.
Six flat-panel monitors also made it into our December All-Stars issue, all of which earned Highly Recommended ratings thanks to their impressive display qualities and overall innovative construction.
I'm expecting that Cadalyst's 2008 product reviews will highlight even more exciting advancements in the design and engineering arena. Hewlett-Packard's latest eight-core workstations — the HP xw6600 and HP xw8600 — are powered by Intel Xeon processors and are expected to start shipping in mid-December. Announced at an HP/Intel event that took place in San Francisco in November, the systems are said to successfully tackle even the most computing-intensive applications. We at Cadalyst are looking forward to getting our hands on these and other workstations and sharing our findings with you once we've put the systems to work in our testing labs.
I hope you enjoy our December recap of some of the best technologies of 2007. And remember, you can access the full-length review for each of the products that made it into this All-Stars issue by visiting www.cadalyst.com.
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!