Editor's Window

30 Nov, 2005 By: Sara Ferris

Coming attractions: What's new for Cadalyst in 2006

As another year draws to a close, I’d like to preview some of the things we have planned for 2006. January will mark the launch of our new and improved Hot Tip Harry Top Tip contest. Each month, tipmaster Bill Kramer will select a top tip, and its author will earn a $100 prize. Authors of all published tips will be entered into the end-of-year grand prize drawing for some excellent prizes. We’ll have more details about the contest and those prizes in coming months.

To help you with your programming, we’ll also launch the Hot Tip Harry forum at (select Discussion Forums). Moderated by Kramer, the forum will feature an area to seek programming help and another for those looking for particular routines. I encourage you to check it out and contribute your questions or your expertise. There are also forums for CAD Questions and CAD Managers, ably moderated by Paul Aubin and Robert Green, respectively. You’ll need to register for the discussion groups, if you haven’t already.

Also on the drawing board is a daily e-mail newsletter to be launched on February 1, 2006. The Cadalyst Daily will bring you a different item each workday, ranging from reviews to news analysis to event reports, along with top headlines from the world of CAD. Reviews will cover not only new products but also books, training aids, Web sites and anything else that may help you do your job better. Sign up at

While you’re there, be sure to check out our other e-mail options and Web-exclusive columns, including tutorials for AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Inventor, MicroStation, Solid Edge and more. Every month Cadalyst covers much more than you find here in the magazine.

I anticipate an exciting year ahead, with new releases on the horizon (or just released) from virtually all major CAD vendors. We’ll do our best to keep pace with the latest and greatest versions of both hardware and software. But I also realize that for many, the latest and greatest is not an option. Only the brave upgrade to new software versions right away, even those who subscribe to automatic updates. Unless there’s a compelling new feature, most companies wait to see how the new release fares for a few months. Upgrades to new operating systems can stretch out even longer.

Several readers have requested that Cadalyst Labs review computers in the $1,000–$2,000 range, including the monitor—that’s all their companies are willing to spend. Please take a minute to complete this month’s online survey (again at to help us gauge the typical budget for a CAD workstation. We can certainly arrange a review of more moderately priced systems if warranted. We may also look at changing the weighting we give to performance in the Cadalyst Labs report card, as it seems that price is now the top priority among purchasers.

If you have thoughts on this topic, or any others, please e-mail us at Incidentally, we’re also working on an update to the Cadalyst Labs C2001 benchmark to bring it up to speed with the latest releases of AutoCAD.

About the Author: Sara Ferris