AU2013 Live (sort of) Blog

Originally Published 12/2/2013

MBS Airport Main Terminal

MONDAY:

MBS International airport.  First stop on my journey to Las Vegas for Autodesk’s ® annual gala of learning, networking and technology.  As this week progresses I will be posting my thoughts and experiences for whomever may care to follow along.  Wi-Fi is weak in this terminal so…. this is about it for now.  Short layover in Detroit won’t allow me any time to write so I’ll see you all in Vegas!

All right! Made it to Vegas, checked in and got my cool tote bag and a sharp looking Charlie Harperesque bowling shirt with the Expert Elite logo on it!  Now I’m preparing for one of the most important events of the week.  Freshman Orientation with Lynn Allen, Autodesk ® technical evangelist and all around nice person.  I’ve foolishly volunteered to be a mentor this year, so first years beware!  More to come as the night rolls on, and plenty more tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Freshman Orientation

This was part of the scene as over 1,000 Autodesk University freshman filed in for some words of wisdom.  155 mentors and several speakers shared tips and advice, and then Lynn Allen gave away a free pass to next years conference.  I didn’t win.  The t-shirt gun went off several times as well to a few lucky winners.

I’m back in my room at the Venetian now and recharging all of my devices.  Getting ready for the Blogger Social Media Meetup (BSM360) later this evening.  Maybe I’ll have some pictures from that later.

BSM360
BSM360
BSM360

TUESDAY:

Just a few of the shots I took at the Blogger Social Media Meetup last night.  Good times, lots of great people, free beer… but the pizza never showed up.  Hmmmm.  So after this I was pretty much ready for some sleep… still on Michigan time.

Then this morning:

The Dining Hall

Breakfast with 10,000 new friends!  This picture does no justice to the size and scope of the meal hall.  Super friendly staff help guide you to a buffet, and then you find a table to sit at.  I try to find new people at every meal, you never know where you’ll make a new friend, and that’s part of why we’re all here.

I’m currently finishing a coffee in one of the lounges, getting ready to find my first class.  I’ll check back in soon!

Waiting For Opening Keynote

This was the THRONG trying to file in for the keynote this morning!  A sea of humanity.  The theme of the keynote was “The Answer is Outside”.  Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski and CEO Carl Bass talked about changing our mindset and thinking outside of our normal ways if working.

Opening Keynote
Penn & Teller

Hard to see in these tiny iPod pics, but this is special guests Penn & Teller who opened the presentation with their usual wit and, of course a cool magic trick.  Sevearl companies were highlighted who exemplified thinking outside in their innovations.  For me, however, the star of the show was Iris.  Iris is a robotic camera dolly designed by Bot & Dolly using Autodesk ® tools.  Bot & Dolly created the robotic camera arms used in the recent hit movie “Gravity”.

IRIS

Pretty awesome morning so far!  Lunch in the hall was tasty, and accompanied by more networking opportunities.  The only battle I am fighting so far is the Wi-Fi!  If I want to live blog in the future I think I need  smart phone or tablet!  I am literally recharging and preparing for more classes this afternoon, so…. more later!

WEDNESDAY:

It’s Wednesday morning now and my dogs are barking.  A lot of walking, it makes me glad for all those hours on the treadmill.  Coffee time and a quick check in here before another long day of classes.  Last night was spent in the Exhibit Hall, visiting some of the vendor booths and hanging out in the Community Pavilion.  I wandered between AUGI and the Expert Elite kiosks and basically mingled.  Food, drinks and reggae music were the backdrop to several hundred exhibitors showing off the latest tech, giving away prizes or tossing toys to the crowd as they passed by.  There is something for everyone.  At our Community Pavilion we even have 6 classic arcade video games setup… no quarters needed!  So… upstairs now to find my first class and see what awaits me today!

My Big Prize!

THURSDAY:

I won big in Vegas!  OK, so it’s only a backpack, but I never win anything!  Thursday morning… the coffee is barely holding me up.  Long day of very good classes yesterday, time at the answer bar, and then the AUGI beer bust in the Exhibit Hall.  Spent most of the evening at the Community Pavilion with my fellow Expert Elites.  Almost forgot to mention my photo op at lunch with Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO.  We had a special lunch for to celebrate the first anniversary of the Expert Elite program, it was a good time with some new and old friends.  Not to mention the best meal I’ve had so far this week.  As soon as those pictures are available, I’ll add it here. (added 12/11)

Carl Bass and I
Expert Elite Lunch Group Photo

Breakfast this morning was decent, now getting ready for my first class.  I filled out my conference survey and got a “cool” AU t-shirt.  Big times on Vegas!  I haven’t taken many more pictures because yesterday and today will basically be focused on learning.  I haven’t taken my iPod to the Exhibit Hall because there is no Wi-Fi down there.  Definitely need a smart phone before next year.

I have a full day of classes today, all Autodesk ® Vault… all day.  Hoping to pick up a few tips and tricks.  As well as a sneak peak at the new release. 

FRIDAY:

Well, it’s over.  I’m sitting in my room writing because it’s way to early to head down and wait for my airport shuttle.  Yesterday was a very productive day of classes.  I learned a lot of great tips I need to incorporate when I get back to the office.

When classes were done, I attended the closing keynote address, which was followed by another performance by Penn & Teller.  They are very entertaining, there’s no other way to put it.  How lucky were we to get a “free” performance. I tried to get some pictures, but with this IPod, they just didn’t turn out.  I was too far back, and at an odd angle to the screen.  Also featured in the address was a private group building their own rocket and robotic lunar explorer, with the intent to be the first private entity to reach the moon.  They hope to launch sometime in 2015.  This could change the future of space exploration by putting it in the hands of private enterprise.  Fairly cool in my opinion.

Following the performance by Penn & Teller was the AU Customer Appreciation Party.  I stayed just long enough to eat some food and mingle with a few people I had met, and then turned in early.  Long travel day ahead and I wanted to pack and get a good night’s sleep. This may be the last paragraph I can write until I get to the airport so I’ll be back then.

MONDAY:

Back in the office… I’ve tweaked this blog a bit to clean up the mistakes my iPod made (blame it on the tech… not me).  Flights home were uneventful, thankfully.  I hope the handful of you who read this enjoyed it… I’ve never live blogged before so I know I can polish it up next time.  Thanks for reading!

Enjoy!

“Autodesk® screen shots reprinted with the permission of Autodesk, Inc.  Autodesk ® , AutoCAD ® , DWG, the DWG logo, Vault ®, Autocad Electrical ® and Inventor ® are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and other countries.”  Programs and programmers’ information used with permission.  Thanks guys!

 

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About

CAD Department Supervisor at Powell Fabrication & Manufacturing, Inc. CAD Designer & Detailer specializing in Inventor Tube & Pipe, Frame Generator, Content Center, Vault Professional. Autodesk Expert Elite member. Blogger. AU 2014 Speaker. Husband and father.

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