31 Aug, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong

Behind the Scenes in the World of CAD.

No More Chips on Their Shoulders

Nonprofit One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) has recently gained a new partner — Intel. OLPC and the chip giant have been advancing their own separate initiatives to provide low-cost PCs to children in developing countries. Intel's Classmate model (reported to be selling for $250–$400) made its debut in Nigeria. In July, OLPC declared it has "authorized mass production of the XO laptop," with a target price of $100, but it may debut at $175.

Their competing goodwill hit a sour note when Intel's board chairman Craig Barrett reportedly called OLPC's model a "$100 gadget," prompting OLPC's founder Nicholas Negroponte to say in a 60 Minutes interview that "Intel should be ashamed of itself" for dumping the Classmate model in the same regions OLPC was aiming to serve. One possible reason for Intel's disdain of the XO? The laptop is powered by chips from rival AMD.

Now that Intel and OLPC have shaken hands and made up, will the XO carry the "Intel Inside" sticker? The Intel announcement doesn't specify. In vague terms, it describes how the chip maker will work with OLPC to "explore collaborations involving technology and educational content." AMD graciously greeted the news by stating, "Intel has apparently had a change of heart, and we welcome them to the table."

Does your Office Use a Wide-Format Printer for CAD Files?
Does your Office Use a Wide-Format Printer for CAD Files?

Camera-Friendly CAD

It's not exactly CNN for CAD, but you might find CCNtv (CADCAMNETtv) to be an informative distraction. Produced by Ashbridge Media and Alkemedia Productions, the biweekly Webcast offers CAD industry tidbits in an entertainment-show format. In the debut episode, host Amy Adams covered the recent job cuts at PTC and dispelled rumors about the reshuffling of SolidWorks value-added resellers.

The show mostly offers news previously reported by other CAD-related blogs, Web sites, and publications, but the video-feed format does make the information easily digestible.

Free AliasStudio

Following its Inventor giveaway (see "Autodesk Inventor LT Free for One Year," "CAD Central," Cadalyst, June 2007), Autodesk recently announced the free download of AliasStudio Personal Learning Edition ( The product is described as "a special version . . . which provides users with free access to AliasStudio for noncommercial use."

Along with sketching, surface modeling, rendering, and animation tools, the learning edition comes with tutorials and a Rhino Transition Guide. The rendered images contain a watermark to prevent users from deploying the software for profit. Furthermore, the files created in the learning edition cannot be read by the commercial version.

Google's Edge on E-Commerce

Google is "the most important e-commerce development in the last 10 years," according to Ken Wasch, president of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), a trade association for the software and digital information industry. The association recently published its "Top 10 Most Significant eCommerce Developments of the Last 10 Years." According to the association, Google did more to fundamentally change the way we use the Internet than any other event in the last 10 years.

The list also credits broadband penetration to U.S. Internet users, open standards, Wi-Fi, and user-generated content. SIIA reveals that the list is compiled by "policy and industry experts from a wider list of developments chosen by SIIA staff."

As a freelance writer, Kenneth Wong explores the innovative use of technology.

About the Author: Kenneth Wong

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