Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Blog Tag! What the... ?

OMG, how do I get roped into these things? Blog Tag? The latest craze in internet spam? If I didn't have enormous respect for McEachron I'd summarily file this chain mail (chain blog?) with all the rest of them.

First, an explanation: You've likely noticed that I haven't posted in a while now. The reason: I'm back in production! Yes that's right, after 11 years of the cush job of CAD Services Administration, one of our managers decided it was time for me to earn my money the old fashioned way; by producing drawings. I'm doing industrial process piping (which I know nothing about), using Bentley's AutoPLANT (which I know little about) on top of AutoCAD (which I maintain the fiction of knowing quite a bit about). So, is this an excuse for not posting, you ask yourself? Yes. I'm working 12 hour plus days away from home and I'm not up for it right now.

So, on to the 5 CAD related things you didn't know about me (and likely don't really care to know):

1. I've been in the AEC business since I wandered into an Architect's office in 1981 at the tender age of 20 looking for work. In 1987, after thoroughly enjoying board drafting, I was asked to produced some site plans using AutoCAD v2.18. Bear in mind that I had never sat at a computer, and frankly distrusted them. I used to check the math on my pocket calculator. Needless to say I hated it. I worked at it for a month before I realized that DOS and AutoCAD were two different things!

2. About 9 months of AutoCAD later (I know, this is so pitiful) I discover scripts. Wow! No more typing in Layer names from my hand drawn layer matrix to change from the site plan, to the grading plan, to the utility plan! Hey, this is pretty cool after all!

3. Another year passes, I'm using AutoCAD 2.6, and discovering AutoLISP. I learned LISP from the reference manual (back in the days when you got all manner of printed documentation with your three 5 1/2" floppies), and two guys in our firm who were way smarter than I'll ever be. By the way, I don't recommend the reference manual as a tutorial. It's only good for looking up syntax. There was a small tutorial inside called "Down the Garden Path" that was just too aptly named.

4. Years pass. I'm to the point where I'm answering more of my colleagues' questions than I'm asking. One lady in our firm used to come to me on a daily basis with a handful of questions that I dutifully answered, only later to discover that she was teaching AutoCAD at the local community college and I was augmenting her curriculum.

5. I've been the CAD Services Admin at my firm for some 11 years now, 5 for the OKC division and 6 in corporate. I love helping users. I love turning someone on to something new and cool that they didn't know before. I fancy myself a good instructor, because I know what it's like to be overwhelmed by technology. No one was worse at it than I was, so I'm very patient with newbies and those struggling to latch hold of a new concept.

There Scott I hope you're happy! Now I have the abominable task of passing this on to someone else. Of course, I'm going to do it to a dear friend and not some jerk who really needs it. So, Mr. Durkee tag, you're it.