Monday, December 19, 2011

AutoCAD WS now available for the Kindle Fire

Image courtesy of
The AutoCAD WS blog announced today that AutoCAD WS is now available as an app for the Kindle Fire through the Amazon App Store.  It's the same as the "regular" AutoCAD WS Android app, but now you can get it through the Amazon App Store and it works on the Kindle Fire.  Good call Autodesk as the number of Kindle Fires in the wild will keep increasing.  Now, how about getting it on Barnes and Noble's Nook Color or Nook Tablet?  What?  Am I asking for too much?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CAD-a-Blog now on Google Currents

Google has released a new app for Android and iOS devices called Google Currents.  It is a full featured tool that will bring your favorite feeds directly to you in one place.  Essentially it's a visual RSS reader, but with pretty pictures and nice mobile interface.  Just swipe back and forth to browse through articles, news sites, and now

Download the app to your iOS or Android device.  Pick the ADD MORE button in your library and search for CAD-a-Blog.  We are in the Science and Technology category.

This is yet another way to keep up to date on what's new in  If you don't want to use Google Currents you can always follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, RSS feed or even sign up for old fashion email alerts.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Autodesk Design Review Mobile for Android Looking for Beta Testers

Autodesk Design Review is a great free program that can read, write, and mark up DWF files.  It can do many things.  It is meant as a digital markup tool for drawings.

A few months ago Autodesk released a mobile version of Design Review for the iPad on  Apple's iOS.  This was great  because it meant that marking up drawings in a mobile setting was very easy to do, but only on an iPad.  Fanboys!!  Upon its release, Autodesk did state that they were working on an Android version.   That was good news for real geeks like me that use Android.

All kidding aside, Autodesk is looking for some help testing Design Review Mobile on Android.  And for good reason.  Testing for the iPad  is easy. There are only two versions of the iPad to test (the iPad and the iPad 2).  Android on the other hand has several devices.  That means that Autodesk needs to make sure their app works on several pieces hardware, each having different hardware configurations and specs.

Autodesk is not guaranteeing that they will pick you for the program but if you have an Android device you have a shot at it.  Go to the sign up website and fill out the short form and wait.  That's it.  I signed up and hope to get in.

Good luck Android users!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

AUGI December 2011 Hotnews Now Posted

AUGI's monthly newsletter, Hotnews, is now available for reading.  I suggest you check it out.  

In this issue David Harrington, AUGI President, provides a great review of Autodesk University2011.  There is also a story on this years Top DAUG contest, how it was different this year, and the final results.

Mark Kiker has a good CAD Managers article discussing users workstations.

At AU, AUGI presented Autodesk with their wishlist items.  Check out what AUGI members want.

Don't forget the Tipniques column.  This month's article is written by Patrick Hughes and is titled "Dr. Who and the CAD Manager"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Autodesk SketchBook Mobile for Android $0.10

The Android Market is celebrating the downloading of Ten Billion apps with their 10 Days of Offers - Top Premium Apps for $0.10 per day sale!!  Yes it's a mouthful.  The bottom line is that today Android users can get Autodesk's SketchBook Mobile for $0.10!!!  It is normally priced at $1.00 I believe.  At that price it won't break the bank but at one tenth the normal cost you may want to try it out if you haven't already.

Right now the other nine apps for ten cents are:
Check them out.  I also use Paper Camera and SwiftKey in case you were wondering.

AUGI BOD Elections are up - Voting ends December 15th

AUGI is managed by its Board of Directors.  The board manages all long range planning, vision casting, management, and member interactions.  It is time to vote for the next AUGO BOD candidates.  There are three open positions on the BOD.  AUGI members are encouraged to vote.  Voters must be a member of AUGI in good standing for a minimum of 30 days prior to the close of BOD nominations (which was October 9th, 2011.)  Each voter gets three votes.  The thre candidates with the most votes at the end of voting will be elected as the newest members of the AUGI BOD.

Voting ends December 15, 2011 so please don't forget to vote.  Click here to become familiar with the candidates and vote.  Now go and VOTE!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Autodesk announces new features coming to AutoCAD WS

At the start of Autodesk University 2011 Autodesk announced the new features coming to the next release of AutoCAD WS. There are three new major features that they announced:

  • 3D Support 
  • GPS Integration 
  • Plot to Print from Mobile 

  • These three new features are very exciting from a user’s perspective, like me. The 3D support will allow users to view and share three dimensional objects in DWG files.

    The GPS integration is said to allow users to position themselves inside their designs when out on a site visit! That’s amazing if it really works that well. We will have to wait and field test it. This is a huge deal for all sorts of design professionals and DIY’ers. I can take a set of civil engineering drawings and visit a site. I could then, depending on the accuracy of your GPS unit in your mobile device, collect locations of existing fire hydrants, valves, sidewalks, trees, buildings, etc. I’m skeptical on this because I know how inaccurate mobile devices are with regards to GPS. However, it could be accurate enough for many field location tasks.

    The ability to print from a mobile device is not a game changer but a good feature to have especially when collaborating out of the office with a tablet and AutoCAD WS. I feel that the real use of this feature will be limited. If I am collaborating with an uploaded DWG file then printing it is not a problem once I return to my desk, where my printer is. If I am collaborating with another user then they already have access to the file. Since they have access they will be able to print the drawing as much as they want to. I can print to my mobile device to my home or work printer (Yes I’m a geek) but I have yet to need to use that feature. That being said, having the ability to print from AutoCAD WS if the need arises is a good thing.

      I am anxious to see these new features in place. There is no word (as of this writing) which, if not all, of these new features will be available on the Web Application (the website) or just on the mobile apps (for iOS and Android). I doubt that the GPS will be needed in the web app unless users plan on using it on a laptop, ok, so maybe the GPS but then the laptop would need a GPS radio. The Print from Mobile feature is rather obvious; besides, the Web App can already print. However, the 3D object abilities better be applied to both the mobile app and the web app. Then there is the stand alone Mac only version. I’m sure it will get whatever the Web App gets. By the way Autodesk, when is the Windows standalone version coming?

    Inventor Fusion coming to Mac First Quarter 2012

    Autodesk’s Inventor Fusion is coming to Apple’s Mac computer. Not surprised. Autodesk has been slowly recreating some of their most popular design programs to be used on the Mac. And I do mean recreate. Like it or not Autodesk is going Mac. Regardless of what it means for Windows users, Autodesk is doing things the right way. Starting with AutoCAD for Mac, then AutoCAD LT for Mac and then with Inventor Fusion for Mac, Autodesk started over. They did not create a port to Mac from Windows. They reused what code they could but made Inventor Fusion (and the others) a native Mac program. That’s good. Now I wish they would rewrite the Windows versions!

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile Android app available for free today through Amazon App Store

    The Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile Android app is free today (only) through the Amazon App Store (only in the U.S.A.)  It is normally priced at $1.99 (quit being cheap and purchase it) but not today!  If you just picked up an Amazon Kindle Fire download this app right now!!!!!  If you have any Android device and have access to the Amazon App Store download this app right now!!  It is a great app and has been voted as one of the best mobile apps for Android (and iOS) many times by several different groups.  Including CAD-a-Blog.
     If you don't have access to the Amazon App store but live in the U.S.A and have an Android device, you can get access to the store.  Go to and visit the App Store Page.  There will be directions on how to download and install the App Store App.  Or click HERE for directions.

    Once installed you will have access to many Android Apps.  The big deal is that Amazon has a free app of the day every day.  Most of the time is just a simple two dollar (U.S.) game.  Other times it is a really great app like Sketchbook Mobile or Office Suite (which typically retails for $14.99 U.S.D.)

    Check it out.  You may find something you like.

    If your Android device doesn't have a mobile number, or you are having

    issues using their proposed method as shown, try visiting this website:

    It will help you install the app store. Enjoy.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    I wish I was this awesome!

    Nothing important here just a video that all geeks should watch.

    You are welcome.

    Star Wars, A new Hope in four minutes set to AC/DC's Thunderstruck!

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Learning AutoCAD LT 2012 - the Training Video is now available

    Do you want to learn how to use Autodesk's AutoCAD LT 2012 CAD software?  You are in luck.  Infinite Skills has just published my latest training video, Learning AutoCAD LT 2012.

    This training video has 108 lessons lasting a total of 12.5 hours long!!!  Each lesson is designed to teach you how to use AutoCAD LT.  The lessons are thorough, and deliberate.  They build upon each other.  Many of the chapters have a final project at the end where you will apply what you have learned.  These projects build upon each other too.  The video ends in a final project where you will create the plans for a small movie house.  It's a simple design, but through it you will learn AutoCAD LT 2012.

    These training classes use broadcast quality audio and video to deliver concise and informative training right to your desktop.  You can watch the videos on a Mac or a PC.  The lessons are self paced and repeatable.  Go back as many times as you need to to make certain you understand the material.   Pause the video while you work in AutoCAD LT.  All example files are provided for your use.  Many of the examples and projects have a completed version for your review as well.  That way you can compare your work and to verify that you have been working correctly.  

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    TurboCAD Pro and Platinum Update now available

    The version 18.2 update for TurboCAD Pro and TurboCAD Pro Platinum is now available.

    Download it here:  TurboCAD 18 Updates

    A full list of fixes is available here:  TurboCAD 18.2 Update List

    Some of the items fixed are:

    • UI. Many icons-buttons are missing in 3D objects fly-out toolbar in Drawing tools toolbar.
    • Config. House Wizard toolbar is missing in Customize/Toolbar page for 1024x768pro and 1024x768pro_pre18 configurations.
    • Markers missing from the Architectural toolbar and menu in the default desktop.
    • Angular Ray, Horizontal Ray and Vertical Ray are missing in the Construction toolbar.
    • Purge. It is necessary to forbid using Purge tool in Edit Block Content mode. It can lead to Unhandled exception.
    • Viewports in Quality render mode are printed incorrectly from TurboCAD v18.
    • Slab not able to scale brush patterns
    • Dimension Leader disappears.
    • Revision Cloud tool missing from Both the Pro and Deluxe default desktops.
    • Markers Tools are missing from the Architectural Pulldown Menu in Default Desktop configuration
    • Markers Toolbar missing from Toolbars dialog list.
    • Objects in the "uvnurbsboth.3ds" file are invisible in Wireframe render mode.
    • Dialog messaging needs to be changed related to CR#8067
    • TCW file crashes when saving to DWG/DXF.
    • Unhandled exception at TCW export of DWG drawing from ACAD with mesh objects
    • Crash TurboCad when switch to Model Space in "Mechanic with drafting.tcw"
    • CGM. Unhandled Exception message appears when saving the file with raster Image to CGM format, if the raster Image is located on the large area.
    • DWG Double-Line Width not saving properly after edit and close.
    • mirror copy of groups produces incorrect reference point
    • Multiple Crash System Reported Bug Fixes

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    AutoCAD Isometrics WS Technology Preview Now Available

    Autodesk Labs is at it again!!  Today they released yet another Labs Technology Preview called AutoCAD Isometrics WS.

    This Technology Preview is a cloud based service for creating, sharing, storing and viewing isometric drawings. It has the ability to design and collaborate across desktop, web, and mobile devices with full DWG file type compatibility.  There is a catch, you need a PCF file to upload.  A PCF file can be created from Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Plant 3D and other 3d parry applications.  Upload the file and let the cloud do the processing for you.  That's the idea anyway.

    To get started, go to the AutoCAD Isometrics WS login page.  Sign in (or sign up then sign in) and get started. Once in the process is quite simple.  Select your PCF file to upload, establish your Isometric styles, and create.  Once complete you will have a DWG file to play with.  Your files can be saved in Autodesk Cloud or you can download them.

    AutoCAD Isometrics WS is a simple tool to use that can save you much time and effort.  Since it's in the cloud it will save you on resources and effort.  If you don't have access to a PCF file, Labs will supply you with one to try it out.  Ursula Sadiq has put together a video preview for you to look at.

    Autodesk Labs is looking for feedback on this preview.  Try it out, kick the tires and let them know what you think.  If it's garbage let them know.  If's it fantastic, let them know.  Just follow the feedback links from the labs.

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    New Training Video on the Way - AutoCAD LT

    This weekend I'm recording the last chapters of my next training video published by Infinite Skills. This one is on AutoCAD LT, one of Autodesk's best selling titles.  If you want to learn, or know somebody that wants to learn AutoCAD LT stay tuned.

    AutoCAD LT 2012 has many new features that really add to its toolset in a fantastic way.  It has most of the 2D tools in it that were added to AutoCAD 2012 like associative array, array to path, nudge, and AutoCAD WS integration. This version has also added Sheet Set integration! That's right, now AutoCAD LT has sheet sets!  That's a huge deal!

    If you are new to AutoCAD LT or are going to be, check back soon.  If you want to get up to date in what's new in AutoCAD LT 2012 there is a chapter covering the new features.

    I will be posting more info later on and will let you know when the video is available.

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    AutoCAD WS Mobile App now available on Amazon App Store - Ready for the Kindle Fire

    AutoCAD WS, Autodesk’s mobile (and/or browser based) version of AutoCAD (or at least a CAD like program that can open and edit DWG files) is now available for download (for free) on Android devices from the Amazon App Store. AutoCAD WS has already been available through the Android Market for some time now as well as on iOS through the Apple App Store. So who cares? It’s the same thing just from a different place. Kindle Fire owners. I know, the Kindle Fire from Amazon will not be available until November 15th and the Amazon App Store is only available to customers in the United States. But the Kindle Fire has already pre-sold over a million units through preorders and will sell even more. The Kindle is an Android device that has been heavily customized by Amazon. Even though it is Android based it will not have access to the Android Market. It has apps but only through the Amazon App Store. That’s why this is a big deal. The Kindle Fire is going to double the amount of Android based tablets in the wild (that’s my prediction based on my own opinion). So if you have an Android App and you want Kindle Fire owners to use it, buy it, or recommend it to their friends then you really need to get your app on the Amazon App Store. It seems that Autodesk understands this.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Mobi Systems Office Suite Pro 5 FREE on Amazon App Store - Today

    The Amazon App Store has a free Android based App every day.  Today's app is Office Suite Pro 5 from Mobi Systems.  I already have an Office Suite for my Android hardware but I downloaded it anyway.  Why you ask?  Because (according to Mrs. CAD-a-Blog) I am an "App Hoarder"  She's not wrong.  I love me some apps, especially when they are free!  Amazon's Free App a day program is typically made up of stupid little games running anywhere from $0.99 and up.  Typically not a huge savings and typically apps I would never get, even when free.  But once every two to three weeks it seems Amazon throws in a golden nugget that keeps me coming back every day to see what's available.  I have gleaned some good stuff; CAM Scanner, Cut the Rope, Swift Key, Paper Camera, Printer Share Mobile (I can print from my phone/tablet), Thumb Keyboard, Wifi File Explorer and more.

    The Amazon Android App Store is significant for two reasons: the free app a day program and the Kindle Fire (Coming November 15th.)  If you already have an Android device then getting free apps is a good thing.  If you plan on getting the Amazon Kindle then the only access you have to Android Apps will be through the Amazon App Store.  So if it's not there then your Kindle can't get it.  That's why I got this app today.  I didn't need it but there is a chance that I will be getting a Kindle Fire.  If so then I will want an office suite on it.  Now I don't have to buy one because the Amazon App Store knows which apps you purchased and you can reload them on all of your android devices, up to 5 I believe.  I just saved $15, if I get a Kindle Fire that is.  Yes I am an app hoarder.  If you don't like it then cast me in a reality show.

    Office Suite Pro 5 is a pretty good mobile office suite.  It can open and edit Word, Excel, and Power Point files.  It can also open (not edit) PDF files.  But then most mobile office suites these days can.  It can handle these file types:
    • Text formats - Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 text documents - DOC and DOCX, RTF, TXT, LOG
    • Spreadsheets -Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 spreadsheets -XLS, XLSX andCSV
    • Presentations - Microsoft Office 97 to 2010 presentations -PPT, PPTX, PPSand PPSX
    • Other formats -PDF, EML, ZIP
    Not bad, especially the ZIP format.  The App really shines when run on Honeycomb where it has a multi-pane view ability.  Another nice feature is the dictionary integration in the word processor.  Select a word and pick the Look Up option in the menu.  You have to have one of Mobi Systems Dictionary apps loaded to use this feature of course but maybe one day Amazon will give one of those away for free too!

    One thing that I don't like about Office Suite Pro 5 is that it can only open/save files on the device or to your Google Docs account.  It can not integrate with other cloud based applications like MobileMe, Dropbox, Sugar Sync, Box, etc.  If you use Google Docs and the others then it's fine.  Or you can download your file from Dropbox to your device then open it through Office Suite Pro 5.  I use Dropbox a lot so for me it's an issue.  But I got the app for free!

    Overall Mobi Systems Office Suite Pro 5 is a good mobile Office viewing/editing application.  It's worth the regular price of $15 in the Amazon App store but it's a steal for free.  Get it.  Right now. Before it's too late!

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011

    When a FREE Trip to Autodesk University 2011 and a SpacePilot PRO 3D!

    One of my favorite peripherals manufacturers is having a contest to give away a free trip to Autodesk University 2011 and a SpacePilot Pro 3D Mouse!  3Dconnexion is offering this trip (and mouse) that will include airfare and accommodations!  What a prize!

    To enter this drawing complete the required form that can be found at  Submissions will be accepted through midnight U.S. PDT on November 7th, 2011.  Make sure to check out the terms and conditions page before you fill out the forms.  The winner will be contacted by email or phone on November 8th, 2011 and will have 3 days to claim there prize.

    Good luck.

    CADspeed article: Tips on Buying Wide-Format Printers for CAD, Part 3 of 3: Setting It Up

    Are you or your company about to get a new printer? Before you do, check out my latest article for CADspeed. It's part three of a three part series.

    In this series, I discussed ways to determine your needs and the different types of wide-format printers. Now let’s talk about setting it up.
    Check it out!

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    AutoCAD - What not to do

    Here at CAD-a-Blog a typical post will contain tips, tricks, and other techniques. This time I want to provide an example of what not to do. 

    Typically a drawing set will require a set of notes.  AutoCAD has a multiline text feature. Do not create a set of notes out of single lined text, especially when there are 17 different notes, many of which require more than one line.  Also do not create a wipeout object for each line. Yes. It is a waste of time to create a wipeout object for each line of text.

    If I ever hear of any of my readers doing this on purpose I may block you!  I know, idle threats.

    This is how it should have been done.  One multiline text object with the background mask option turned on.  See, now it wasn't that difficult now was it?

    Use the tools in AutoCAD that are there to help you.  Don't do things the hard way.

    I will be Co-Authoring Wiley's next edition of Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT

    It is officially official.  I will be working with the legendary AutoCAD author George Omura.  That’s right “The George Omura”, author of dozens of books about AutoCAD and other Autodesk products.  I will be collaborating with Mr. Omura on the next release of Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. 

    I am very excited to be working on this project.  I will be concentrating on the chapters that pertain to the 3D aspects of AutoCAD.  This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I cannot wait to get started. 

    Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT is a great series from Wiley Publishing.  Mastering AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT is an Autodesk Official Training guide.  It features step-by-step instructions in conjunction with hands-on projects.  It is a recommended certification preparation study guide for AutoCAD Associate and Professional exams.

    As I get more and more into the writing process and we get closer to the publication date I will post more information.  

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    CADspeed article: Tips on Buying Wide-Format Printers for CAD, Part 2 of 3: Choosing the Right One

    Are you or your company about to get a new printer? Before you do, check out my latest article for CADspeed. It's part two of a three part series. In it I look at your needs, wants, and help you to come up with a plan to make sure you get the printer that's right for you.

    Check it out!

    If you missed the first article of the series, click here.  It will be better to start at the beginning anyway.

    A Status Bar Icon I've Never Seen Before

    Today I was working along, diligently as ever when I glanced at my status bar.  I glanced because a balloon notification popped up informing me that a coworker had updated a file I had referenced. While glancing I saw an icon in the status bar that I didn't recognize.

    Here it is circled in red:

    Turns out it's a notification that there are viewport layer overrides! I use viewport layer overrides all of the time so why haven't I seen this before? I don't know why but I bet that now that I am aware if its existance I will see it all if the time.

    To test it out, activate a viewport. If the icon pops up there are overrides.  If not, then chances are you haven't messed with anything yet. 

    Click the icon and the layer manager will open up set to a Viewport Overrides filter. Nice!

    I love AutoCAD.

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    CADspeed article: Tips on Buying Wide-Format Printers for CAD, Part 1: Determine Your Needs

    Are you or your company about to get a new printer?  Before you do, check out my latest article for CADspeed.  It's part One of a three part series.  In it I look at your needs, wants, and help you to come up with a plan to make sure you get the printer that's right for you.

    Check it out!

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Learning AutoCAD 2012 and Advanced AutoCAD 2012 Training Videos

    Obviously you want to learn more about AutoCAD because you came to   If you are interested in more in-depth AutoCAD training then take a look at my AutoCAD 2012 training Videos;
    Learning AutoCAD 2012 and Advanced AutoCAD 2012.

    Each video contains about thirteen hours of training sessions and come with hands on files to use during each session.  Many of the chapters end with a project that will incorporate what you learned.   The Learning AutoCAD title has a final project that incorporates several chapter projects.  These projects build on top of each other and naturally progress through the training sessions.  This helps to demonstrate the development process of making drawings in AutoCAD.  The Advanced title ends with a discussion and example of Best AutoCAD Practices.

    If you’ve never used AutoCAD before and want to learn or it has been a long time then check out the Learning AutoCAD 2012 video.  If you have been using AutoCAD and want to know it better, check out the Advanced AutoCAD 2012 video.  Each vide comes on a DVD that can be played on a PC or on a MAC.

    Don’t want to wait for the DVD to ship?  There is an instant download version available for each title.

    Can’t decide which title to get?  Get both!  Don’t pay full price for each title.  Save some money and get the AutoCAD Bundle.  There are two; one fore AutoCAD 2011 and one for AutoCAD 2012.

    Do you have an iPad?  The publisher of these videos, Infinite Skills, has a free iPad app that allows access to some of the AutoCAD training videos as well as a many other training titles produced by Infinite Skills.

    Have an iPhone or an iPod Touch and want AutoCAD training?  There’s an app for that.  Check out the Learn AutoCAD 2011 Quickly and Easily app from Infinite Skills.  It takes my training videos and allows you to watch them on your iOS based device.  This app is available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.  They are AirPlay enabled to allow you to view your videos on your television if you are set up to do so.  They also include the working files so you can watch the video on your iPad while you use AutoCAD on your computer.
    Screen shot of iPhone App

    Regardless of which video your purchase or on which platform you watch them on, you will be receive quality training.  Each video was scripted, prepared and taught by me, Brian Benton.  I have been working with AutoCAD professionally since the early 1990’s in many different design fields.  I write for Cadalyst magazine and am active with AUGI, writing for their publications and also serve as the Hotnews Manager.   You aren’t purchasing generic, low quality YouTube videos.  These are high quality screen recordings and voice overs.  Each lesson provides in-depth insight on the various AutoCAD tools.  I don’t just tell you about the command and where to click to start it.  I go into detail on why you want to use specific tools and when to use them.  I share with you my decades of experience in using AutoCAD in real life situations.  I show you what to do and what not to do!
    Screen Shot of App running a training video

    If you are in the market for high quality AutoCAD training you have come to the best place.  Check out the videos and purchase the one that is right for you.  Don’t forget about the bundles.  If you are getting the beginners videos then spend just a little more for a full training session that will take you from an AutoCAD noob to an AutoCAD expert!  Well, close anyway!  If you are not yet using AutoCAD 2012 there are also AutoCAD 2011 versions available.  We also have an AutoCAD 2010 video for beginners.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    Get a Sneak Peek at Upcoming AutoCAD Features!

    Want to get a sneak peak at what's coming in future releases of AutoCAD?  Autodesk is putting together an event and they want you to attend.  Here is the announcement:

    Get a Sneak Peek at Upcoming AutoCAD Features!

    The AutoCAD User Experience Team is hosting its annual AutoCAD Sneak Peek events in late September. These are free half-day events held in a few different locations, and they’re a great way to get hands-on experience with in-progress features and give your suggestions and feedback directly to the team designing those features. This year the team is running two events that focus on different functionality. To sign up, click one of the survey links below.

    Web & Mobile Sneak Peek

    This sneak peek highlights features for people who work on AutoCAD from multiple computers or different locations -- such as using different workstations, or switching between the office, home, or working out in the field. CAD Managers and day-to-day AutoCAD users of all levels are welcome to attend.

    Locations & Dates: San Francisco (Sept 22), San Jose, CA (Sept 28), and Denver (Oct 4-5)

    Sign Up for the Web & Mobile Sneak Peek Here

    Model Documentation Sneak Peek

    This sneak peek is geared toward people in the Mechanical/Manufacturing industry who use AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, or/and Inventor , and who create and annotate model views (such as section, detail, and projected views) of 3D models (mechanical parts, components).

    Locations: San Francisco (Sept 23), Portland/Lake Oswego (Sept 29-30), and Fullerton, CA (Sept 29-30)

    Sign Up for the Model Documentation Sneak Peek Here

    Sunday, August 28, 2011

    IMSI Design announces TurboViewer Pro for iOS

    IMSI Design, developer of TurboCAD and the TurboViewer app for iOS announced today TurboViewer Pro also for iOS (for iPhone and iPad.)  TurboViewer is a free application for iOS that allows users to open and view native DWG files.  There is no editing but users can navigate freely in either a 2D or 3D file.  DWG and DXF files can be opened with TurboViewer.  Files can be share via email, FTP, Dropbox and WebDav systems.

    TurboViewer Pro has everything the free version has but with more features of course.  Visual styles support, Layer Manager support, support for 14 languages and no onscreen advertising.

    The Visual styles supported are:

    • Hidden line
    • X-ray
    • Shaded
    • Shaded with Edges
    • Grayscale
    • Adjust edge color range from white-gray-black
    • Adjust x-ray transparency factor
    • Option to use default or model lights (if any in drawing)
    • Option to render both inside and outside model (force two-sided rendering)

    The layer manager tool allows users to turn layer on or off, invert layers, or to turn all layers either on or off.

    Additional settings include the ability turn off or on the 2D/3D autosense navigation feature.  There is an option to use two fingers to rotate in 3D or to constrain an orbit view, and more.

    The languages supported are:  Chinese (simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

    TurboViewer Pro will be available Tuesday, August 30th in the App Store at an introductory price of $9.99.  For more information you can visit their website:

    Extra Scoop:
    Now for you Android lovers IMSI Design let me know that an Android version is in the works but no info on when it will be available, but it is in the works!

    For more information about IMSI Design and their products, visit their website:

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Autodesk Announces AutoCAD 2012 for Mac, AutoCAD LT for Mac, and AutoCAD WS for Mac

    Design 8.16 is finally here. Where you surprised? Wait, you haven’t heard what it is yet? Today, Autodesk is announcing the next version of AutoCAD, AutoCAD for Mac 2012. Disappointed? Well there are few more details to go with it. Autodesk is also announcing AutoCAD LT for Mac 2012.

    Also, Autodesk is announcing AutoCAD WS for Mac, standalone version. Now it’s interesting. If you are a Mac user or if you want to be a Mac user then this is great news. I am wondering, how many of you guessed it? I’ll bet you might have figured on AutoCAD 2012 for Mac and maybe even thought AutoCAD LT for Mac was the topic of Design 8.16, but I’ll guess that none of you considered that a standalone version of AutoCAD WS for Mac would be a part of it. 

    This announcement makes a lot of sense from Autodesk’s point of view. It’s also really great news for Mac users. AutoCAD for Mac 2012 and AutoCAD WS for Mac will be available worldwide on August 19th, 2011. AutoCAD LT for Mac will only be available in the U.S. and Canada on August 16th, 2011. Why? Because these two products will only be available through the Mac App Store.

    That last bit is disappointing to hear, but it is nice to see Autodesk try new things, like the Mac App Store as a product delivery method. Perhaps one day Uncle Carl and Cousin Steve can work it out so everyone can get AutoCAD LT for Mac and AutoCAD WS for Mac through the Mac App Store, but for now, it’s limited.

    AutoCAD WS for Mac is a free download (for those that can download it.) AutoCAD LT for Mac is a down load on the App Store and will be priced near $900. AutoCAD for Mac 2012 will be priced just under $4000. There will be a Free Student version of AutoCAD for Mac available. For a better price guide go to Autodesk’s website. 

    Since AutoCAD LT is a download, up to five machines can license it under the same username. That’s nice for those that have multiple Mac’s or Mac Books. Also, if you have a license for AutoCAD (for PC) you can choose to download the Mac version instead. Check with Autodesk’s website for exact details. AutoCAD for Mac 2012 will also feature network licensing and is available for subscription.

    The majority of the AutoCAD 2012 features have been brought over to AutoCAD for Mac 2012, but still no Sheet Set support and no tools to create dynamic blocks.

    Will you be updating your AutoCAD for Mac 2011 to 2012?  Will you be getting AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT for Mac now?  

    I think it's great for Mac users and for Autodesk to have more products, and updated products, on the Mac platform.  As a PC user I'm jealous of the standalone AutoCAD WS version, but maybe there will be one in the works soon enough??  Autodesk is slowly expanding their Mac portfolio.  Which Autodesk product will be next?  Which one would you like to see?

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Autodesk Announcement: DESIGN816

    Something is coming from Autodesk and my guess is that it is design related.  Many Autodeskers have been teasing an upcoming announcement from Autodesk that will be made on the 16th of August 2011.  They aren't saying what it is but they have been blogging and Tweeting about it.  (Kate Morrical's AutoCAD LT blog has a post.)  Several Autodesk Twitter feeds have been Tweeting with the hash-tag #design816

    AutoCAD's Facebook page has a banner on it that says, "The AutoCAD team is announcing something new.  Many would say it's long-awaited.  Even revolutionary.  Fans will rejoice..."

    If you are interested, Autodesk has set up a page so that AutoCAD users can upload images and or videos on how you use AutoCAD.  Go to the link on their Facebook page or click here.

    I don't know what it is.  Maybe AutoCAD is going to Linux!  Maybe Autodesk and their frequent partner HP are teaming up and putting AutoCAD on their mobile operating system WebOS?  (I have been begging for this.)

    Whatever it is, Autodesk will make the announcement live on their AutoCAD Facebook page during a Facecast (That needs a different name.)  I don't know what it is but it seems to be AutoCAD related.  Well, what have I been waiting for from AutoCAD for a long time that I will rejoice about?  We will find out on the 16th.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    First Ever CAD-a-Blog CAD Swag Giveaway is Coming!

    I like contests.  I especialy like contests that are easy to play.  Well here at we have some CAD related things that we need to get rid of, or so I'm told.  Stay tuned for contest details.

    This contest will be easy.  It serves three purposes; clean my closet, increase this blogs exposure, and getsome great CAD training materials in the hands of our readers.

    So stay tuned...

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    AUGI HotNews Writers Wanted

    I have been writing for AUGI for a long time now. Recently I served as the AUGI World AutoCAD Content Manager. That torch has been passed on to Curt Moreno, and the Kung Fu Drafter. I am now the AUGI HotNews content manager. I am looking for potential writers. You must be a member AUGI and are willing to volunteer your time to write. If you are interested please contact me and we will figure out what to do next.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Autodesk wants your thoughts on the ribbon in AutoCAD

    The AutoCAD Team is looking for your feedback on Ribbon usage, customization, and satisfaction.
    You can help to shape the future of the Ribbon by filling out this online survey from Autodesk.  It took me about 5 minutes to fill out but it could take some as much as 10.  If you love or hate the Ribbon, or just parts of it, take the time to fill out the survey.

    Autodesk does care about its users and wants to know how you use its products.  This is a good chance to voice your opinion about the Ribbon.

    Do you think they will get rid of it in AutoCAD 2013?

     Please submit your requests for Ribbon enhancements to the AutoCAD team by taking this survey:

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible - Review

    New versions of AutoCAD mean new version of AutoCAD books.  Once again Wiley  Publishing, Inc.( ) has released an updated version of Ellen Finkelstein's AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT Bible.  This version, AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible, has been revised to reflect the additional features added to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT 2012.  Once again Ellen Finkelstein ( has given readers a comprehensive reference manual on AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. 

    The AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible starts with a Quick Start chapter that gives the reader in introduction to AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.  From there, the author provides an in-depth look at AutoCAD.  The book covers all of the basics needed to use AutoCAD.  It also contains enough advanced material to make an expert out of the reader.  The AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible is a complete reference and tutorial.  Beginners can use this book to learn AutoCAD from scratch.  Intermediate users can become advanced users.  Advanced users can use this book as a reference tool to find and know all of the ins and outs of AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT. 

    AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible has 1296 pages.  It is to be release in July of 2011.  Wiley and Ellen Finkelstein have published versions of this book since AutoCAD release 14 and every release since.  This release will not disappoint.  It covers the basics of using AutoCAD, the advanced additions to its 3D modeling tools, and the book even covers programming in LISP for AutoCAD and in VBA.  The paperback book comes with a DVD that contains before and after drawings for each tutorial.  The sections of the books are marked so that the reader will immediate know when a feature is new to release 2012.  There are also icons that mark when a feature is only found in AutoCAD and not in AutoCAD LT.  There are other icons throughout the book that provide other guidance in the use of AutoCAD.  Tips and tricks that the author has discover and developed throughout her carrier are provided making the lessons thorough, practical and valuable.

    AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible is available in paperback from Wiley Publishing.  At the time this review was written it did not appear Wiley was providing a digital version for publishing.  The book is available for purchase through many online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  Barnes and Noble does provide an e-book version for their e-reader the Nook, though the electronic version was priced higher than the paper back version.  Amazon did not have a version for their e-reader, the Kindle.

    I recommend purchasing the AutoCAD 2012 and AutoCAD LT 2012 for any AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT user, from anyone learning the program for the first time to the advanced CAD Manager.  The tutorials and examples make learning AutoCAD as simple as possible.  The cross references and appendices make it a fantastic reference book.  The content is thorough and complete.  Anything any user of any experience ever needs to know about AutoCAD can find it in this book.

    I would rate this book as a must have purchase for any AutoCAD user!

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    Learning AutoCAD 2012 - My new Training Video is HERE!!

    My latest AutoCAD training DVD, LEARNING AUTOCAD 2012 is out and ready for you to purchase, multiple times (to pass out as gifts to your friends of course.)  This new title has 111 lessons for a total training time of 13 hours!

    Learning AutoCAD 2012 starts off with a basic tour of AutoCAD.  Then we take a look at the new features that were added to AutoCAD 2012.  From there we of navigating the AutoCAD 2012 user interface.  Once the student has figured out how to navigate inside AutoCAD we move on and learn to create fantastic designs.

    The lessons are progressive, meaning that they build on top of each other.  Most chapters have a project at the end and several build on each other.  The title culminates with a final three part project using some of the chapter projects you created along the way.  Head over to the website to see some example videos from the title.

    Chapter List:

    01 Getting Started
    02 New Features in AutoCAD 2012
    03 Interfacing With AutoCAD
    04 Basic Operations
    05 Drawing & Drafting Tools
    06 Editing Tools
    07 Utilities: Tools To Know What's Going On
    08 Precision Tools: Tricks To Help You Draw Accurately
    09 AutoCAD: Using Layers
    10 Annotations
    11 Blocks
    12 Model Space And Paper Space
    13 Plot & Publish
    14 Final Project
    15 About The Author

    If you are interested in learning how to use AutoCAD 2012 on your own time in a well thought out presentation, then check out Learning AutoCAD 2012.  

    Need more in depth training?  My next title, Advanced AutoCAD 2012, will be available towards the end of the summer.  Stay tuned for details.  But in the meantime, you can check out Advanced AutoCAD 2011 Techniques now!

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Ideas for AutoCAD

    Has Autodesk has run out of ideas for improving AutoCAD?  Not likely.  However, they are interested in the ideas of their users.  They better be.  The users are the one's using the software.  Say what you will about Autodesk but they have made a great effort in trying to reach out to their clients for input.  Not a month goes by where I don't receive an email about a new survey they are conducting.  Not a day goes by where Autodesk hasn't reached out via social media in one way or another.  

    Autodesk has realized that the internet is a great tool for providing information to clients.  That's an easy discovery to make.  They have also discoverd that the internet is an even greater tool for collecting information.  Autodesk has asked for emails, beta testing, surveys, telephone calls and more in the past.  Now they have set up a website using Google Moderator called Ideas for AutoCAD.  Google Moderator is a site where people (or companies) can set up a way for readers to provide thoughts, feedback, and ideas.  

    How odes it work?  Google Moderator lets you set up a series about anything you want or are interested in.  It provides a means for other interested people to submit questions, ideas or suggestions.  Anyone can come to the site and submit a question or comment.  They can even vote on submissions.  You can set up multiple topics or go with a single topic.  

    Autodesk is trying this out.  They want your thoughts and ideas on AutoCAD, for MAC and Windows.  If you have a killer idea that will make AutoCAD better, stop on by and submit your idea.  If you have a question, stop on by.  While there, check out some other people's ideas and thoughts.  Vote on them, or not. Comment on them, or not.  It's up to you.

    Autodesk takes these things seriously.  I suggest you go and participate.  Even if you feel you don't have a great idea, vote on the ideas that are there.  

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Cadalyst to host TwitterChat

    Cadalyst Magazine is hosting their first ever TwitterChat.  What's a TwitterChat?  It's an organized event where twitter users are purposefully using the same HashTag to have a conversation with other Twitter users.  Cadalyst has put together a webpage (click this link) where they describe the ins and outs of their TwitterChat.

    This TwitterChat is scheduled to begin on Thursday, June 23 at 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST.  The Hashtag will be:


    This TwitterChat is sponsored by Dell and presented by Cadalyst  (@cadalyst_mag).  The chat will be hosted by Lynn Allen (@Lynn_Allen)

    The topic of conversation will be centered around collaboration, specifically using AutoCAD WS.  To join the conversation remember to search on twitter for the hashtag #DellCAD ! Everyone is invited! If you miss the chat, don't worry.  The hashtags shouldn't go anywhere, there just won't be anyone live tweeting.  I think Cadalyst is going to create a transcript of the chat for later.  Cadalyst is also planning to have more of these chats.  If you are on "the twitter", join in and ask some questions.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Autodesk Facecast today - June 13th

    Autodesk is going to make an announcement today live via Facecast.  They have had Facecasts before (see link)  but today's Facecast is to make a big announcement (I think I know what it is)

    A Facecast is a live video stream presented through Facebook.  Go to Autodesk's Facebook page to watch it.

    Or, if you don't have a Facebook account, or if your boss has blocked Facebook, you can watch the live video stream right here!!

    You're welcome.  Enjoy the news.

    Watch live streaming video from autocad at

    Make sure to watch the Facecast here on June 13th at 1 pm PST.

    Autodesk launches an AutoCAD Marketplace – the Apps Tab

    UPDATE: Autodesk has expanded the Autodesk Exchange App Store to include more than just AutoCAD.  Click the link for the new Autodesk Exchange App Store.

    Autodesk announces their June 13th release of the Autodesk Apps Tab that runs within AutoCAD 2012 (only.)  Initially, it will be available for AutoCAD 2012 only.  The Autodesk Apps Tab is an online marketplace where users can purchase, sell and rate apps from within AutoCAD 2012.  These “apps” are companion products for AutoCAD that have been created to provide additional functionality to AutoCAD.  At its launch, the Autodesk App Tab is expected have approximately 150 different apps to choose from ranging in price with several apps being free.
    The AutoCAD Apps Tab in AutoCAD 2012

    The Autodesk App Tab is an effort by Autodesk to centralize the distribution of AutoCAD add on applications.  It is also an attempt to provide a safe means of distribution for these apps.  It is also an opportunity for users to share and or sell the applications they have created.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    AutoCAD 2012 Fundamentals Training Video - Available in the coming weeks!!

    I have created two AutoCAD training videos; AutoCAD Fundamentals and Advanced AutoCAD. I am currently in the process of updating both titles for AutoCAD 2012. I literally just finished the one and only "redo" of an audio clip and sent it to the publishers. This is the last but of editing they need to perform. If you have been waiting for AutoCAD 2012 Training, the wait is nearly over.

    I will be updating everyone, and my blog, with new links and pricing when the video is complete and ready for purchase.

    For CAD-a-Blog news and updates, tips, tricks and links to other CAD related news (and tips) follow, subscribe to the RSS Feed, or follow us on Twitter ( or Facebook (

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    CAD - With my pants on this time!

    That's right! I had to CAD with my pants on today!! You guessed it! I am employed once again and started today. I am working for a Civil Engineering, Surveying, Planning and Landscape Architecture firm. A few years ago I was doing this type of work. Now I'm back and I get to use Civil3D!! I'm going to start off getting the Landscape Architecture department back on track then move over to engineering. I'll also be helping out the planning and surveying departments. I've done this type of work before (yes all of it and more) so I will be able to help out every department.

    So what do my pants have to do with CAD? Well, for the past month I've been laid off but working nearly everyday. I worked hard finishing my AutoCAD 2012 Fundamentals training video. It is in final editing and should be available in the coming weeks, just in time for summer.

    While working at home, i would lock myself in a room and record videos. I typically wore shorts and a T-shirt. I didn't have to wear pants. I didn't even wear shoes! Being a professional place of business (my new employer) I am required to wear pants, socks and shoes! What a concept!

    I'm very excited about my new employment. I enjoyed working out of my home, but it wasn't paying much. I didn't expect to find work, good work, this quickly. I am truly blessed.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Autodesk AutoCAD WS Facecast - Watch it here on CAD-a-Blog

    Autodesk has a great Free CAD application called AutoCAD WS.  It's a free web based AutoCAD based program that can read and write DWG files.  Autodesk is having a live "facecast" on Thursday May 26th at 9 am PST.  What's a "facecast"?  Well it's a webcast presented through Facebook.  You can see the AutoCAD WS Facecast on their Facebook page here.  Autodesk has had a few Facecasts so far and they have been successful.  One Facecast was about AutoCAD for MAC and it featured Matt Stein, one of the lead develoeprs of AutoCAD for MAC.

    Imagine having the chance to hear from a lead developer on your favorite program!  Autodesk is doing this again but for AutoCAD WS.  This Facecast will feature the co-creator of AutoCAD WS Tal Weiss.  During the facecast you will be able to log on and ask questions.  Not every question will be answered but many of them will be.  Maybe you want to learn what AutoCAD WS is.  Maybe you've been using it but have a few questions.  Come to the facecast and fine out.

    If you aren't using Facebook that's ok.  Aotudesk has provided me with a link so that the facecast will also be broadcast here on CAD-a-Blog!!  That's right!  If your boss has blocked Facebook you can watch the facecast here.

    Watch live streaming video from autocad at

    Make sure to watch the Facecast here on May 26th at 9 am PST.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Upgrade to an Autodesk Design Suite, for FREE*

    Autodesk is making it possible for current Subscription customers to upgrade to one of their new Design Suites for free, sort of.  The criteria for upgrade eligibility is simple enough, you have to request an upgrade for current, one year active subscriptions.  Simply go to their request form web page and fill out the form.  The upgrade is free, but limited to the Standard Suites.  There are three versions of each suite; Standard, Premium, and Ultimate.  The standard suites don't pack the same punch as the ultimate suites of course, but you will be getting more software.

    *The upgrade is free, meaning that you will not have to pay the additional cost for the new license, but you will have to pay for the new subscription fee when your contract is up.  That being said, it is not a completely free upgrade, but it will only cost you if you want to keep the subscription.  I suggest that you talk with your Autodesk reseller to get an idea of what the new subscription fee will be before you upgrade.  I suggest that you consider it.  Yes your software coast will go up, but it might not be as much of an increase as you think.  Plus you will be getting more tools at your disposal.

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    My Services Are Available

    Yesterday afternoon my employer had to let me go due to a lack of work.  After just over two years I find my self unemployed.  So, if you need CAD work done, a white paper written, a CAD Standards Manual, training, or content for your blog (and you are able to provide renumeration) please feel free to contact me.

    I will consider full time employment, part time employment, contract or freelance work.  I will take on one time projects.

    In the meantime, if you have immediate AutoCAD Training needs I can help out.  I have two fantastic videos on using AutoCAD 2011:  AutoCAD Fundamentals and Advanced AutoCAD Techniques.  There is also a bundle package providing a great discount price for both titles.  Check out my store page for details.

    If you like CAD related Shirts, hats, shoes, and even iPhone covers, check out my CAD Store.  There are several items available and we will be expanding.  All items are customizable to better fit your needs as well.

    Help shape the direction of AutoCAD and win (possibly) $30!

    Autodesk has released a survey asking about your AutoCAD drawing comparison needs.  Take about 5 to 10 minutes to fill out this survey.  Once completed your name will be dropped into a proverbial "hat".  A winner will be selected in about 5 days time.

    Try it out.  it only takes about 5 minutes and you could win $30 (USD.)  Plus your answers will be used to help influence Autodesk!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    AutoCAD WS available for Android and now with Anywhere Storage

    Autodesk released their latest OS version of AutoCAD WS today. AutoCAD WS is now available (click here) for free on the Android operating system.  Autodesk's AutoCAD WS mobile platform has been available for Apple's iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) for a while now, but this new version brings some Mobile CAD love to the Android Fanboys (and Fangirls.)

    If you are new to AutoCAD WS Mobile, don't worry.  Autodesk has provided a nice little tutorial on how to use it on your Android device.

    AutoCAD WS on Android is not the only new item on the list, the browser based version (the full version) has some new add functionality to it.  (from the AutoCAD WS Website)

    • Plot-to-PDF/DWFx -- You can now create PDF or DWFx files from your DWG files for plotting or sharing with others. 
    • PDF Support -- You are now able to open markup and share a PDF in AutoCAD WS in the same way as a DWG file.
      AutoCAD WS already had the ability to save files in the cloud, its own cloud.  This new "Anywhere Storage" functionality means that you will always have access to your files, even if you can't get to AutoCAD WS, or if you loose connection to the internet.  Log in to your AutoCAD WS account and open the Drawings Tab (it's on the left side of the screen.)  Click the CONNECT button.  This opens the "Connect to Service" window.  Click the down arrow icon next to the URL field to populate a list of typical cloud based systems.  Pick the service you plan on using (Buzzsaw,, Dropbox, and more) and fill out your username/password, etc.

      If you are going to use Dropbox with AutoCAD WS, you will need to set up an account with DropDAV.  Once you've done that you can use Dropbox.

      Sunday, April 3, 2011

      3Dconnexion releases drivers for 3D Mice for any application

      3Dconnexion has just released a new driver for its line of 3D Mice. According to their press release and website, this new driver will let users use their 3D Mouse ( SpaceNavigator, SpaceNavigator for Notebooks, SpaceExplorer USB and SpacePilot PRO) with any application they are running! That's an interesting concept.

      I downloaded the driver (108 mb) for Windows 64 bit and installed it on my Windows 7 laptop.  That was easy and painless.  I plugged my Navigator and later my Space Pilot PRO into my laptop and started opening programs.  The left button could not be altered, but I can change the function of the right.  Out of the box it acts like a left-click of the mouse (a regular mouse.)  The Space Pilot Pro already had so much integration with it (RSS feeds on the display, Outlook Integration, etc) that at first it didn't seem like much, but it's there.

      In Chrome (and other browsers) I could scroll up and down web pages.  It gave the scroll wheel on my non-3D mouse a break.  In Adobe PDF Reader I could zoom in and out of my document and scroll through pages.  The same thing with Microsoft Word 2010.

      So what does this mean?  For most people not much.  But for users it means that these 3D mice will (should) work out of the box with all applications.  No need to wait for the driver.  However, being able to use these 3D mice with "everything" is not that big of a deal.  It's not because it doesn't add much more functionality to the programs.  But if you already have one then use it.  If you were concerned about getting one (face it they aren't cheap) because you weren't sure if they would work with your program or maybe you wanted more bang for your buck, then now, maybe you don't have to worry about it.

      There are drivers for Mac OS, 32 bit Windows, 63 bit Windows, Siemens (3DxMagellanProxy), and a few others.  I didn't see any Linux support.  These drivers are still in Beta and are not officially supported.  If you have any issues with them, well, use them at your own risk, they are beta.


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