Yep, I know it has been couple weeks since I last posted. I went all the way to Singapore and back - and a trip like that really eats into my energy. You might think - as my boss does - that 20 hours on a plane (each way) and I would get a lot of work done, but for some reason that is never the case. I did read all 731 pages of Dan Simmons' Ilium, which was rather good but would have been better if I had actually read Homer's Illiad. (His Hyperion was better IMHO.) But I did not get a chance to blog. I couldn't think of anything to say that didn't involve whining about how long the flight was or marveling at the quality of service offered by Singapore Airlines, even in coach. I was in Singapore for just a short four day trip. I did some P&ID training for a customer and also trained some folks from a reseller we have there.
I'm back now, and recovered. Things are moving quickly on the Plant Team. We released AutoCAD P&ID 2009 Beta 2 back around February 10th, but we aren't stopping for a breather. We are, as always, moving ahead with new designs on all product lines. Building software here goes through several phases: a research phase when customer and business requirements are defined and understood, a design phase when software specifications are created, and a development phase when the software is coded to the specifications. My features are all in the development phase right now - it's nice to watch a plan come together!
I expect to be showing some early betas to "the real world" in the upcoming months. If you are interested in becoming part of usability studies, definitely let us know! (I'd be especially interested if you are an Isogen user.) Usability studies involve meeting with us (either live or virtually) and working though a loose script with beta software. We observe your efforts and listen to your feedback - this gives us a good idea of what works and what doesn't. As a designer, I find it unbelievably frustrating to watch these sort of studies, but they certainly do point out the strengths and weaknesses in any design. Anyway, if you are interested, please let us know by signing up at the Autodesk Usability site. You can indicate interest in testing any Autodesk product, but for Plant purposes, please pick AutoCAD P&ID or AutoCAD Plant 3D. Or, if you prefer, you can just email me (email@example.com)
Next week, I'm off to Las Vegas for One Team Conference (OTC), Autodesk's annual event that brings together thousands of sales employees and channel partners for several days of intensive business planning, networking and skill building. No, I'm not joining sales - I'm quite happy in design thank you. I am participating at OTC by providing training on new AutoCAD P&ID features. That reminds me. . . I need to go install the latest P&ID build.