Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A big thanks to an Attendee in my class.

I didn't catch the persons name that gave me a few cough drops during my presentation this morning but I really appreciate it. It helped tremendously. 

Thanks again.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Viva Las Vegas (Autodesk University)

I am sitting here in the Speaker Ready room in Las Vegas getting ready for my 3 classes I am presenting this year. I am doing well with them. Making some final adjustments to the classes then time to practice, practice and practice some more.

For the time being, I took a short break now that I have two of the 3 exactly how I want them. If I don't draw the line somewhere I will keep adding more stuff. Not a bad thing, but when you have three classes on similar subjects you can easily get them confused.

Well off to grab some dinner and maybe hit the roulette table.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Parade

I just got back from the Thanksgiving Day Parade in the Detroit. I started a tradition with my son (only 1 of them wanted to go) by going to the parade. My dad also came with us which was fun. My only complaint (of course I have to have a complaint) is that we found a perfect spot. Right on the corner of Mack and Woodward. It was perfect literally right on the corner. We got there about 1.5 hours before the Parade started which was nice also. The problem came in with all of the people that came at the last minute, and of course they decided to stand in the street in front of us. Then the police was telling everyone to back up and of course those people did not remember they pushed there way through us to the front. So my son, dad and msyelf ended up getting pushed to the back. Oh well, I am just thankful that I got time to spend with my son and dad which was great.

I hope everyone has a great thanksgiving with their families and for today forget about all the bad things going on in the world and just enjoy the time with family and friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How it's Made Part 2

So tonight I got to see part of another one of the How It's Made show on Discovery. The only part I saw was how they make canned corn. You know, the Delmonte or Meijer brand of whole kernal corn. Anyway, it was a very cool process.

It starts off with a machine to remove the husks and other things from the outside of the corn ear. Then it goes on to a machine that strips off the kernals, then moves on to a machine to put it in the can with some liquid mix (of course top secret.) Then it get's sealed, and shipped out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The New Macbook...

Last year around Christmas time I purchased my first Apple computer, a Macbook, then about a month later, I purchased my second Apple computer, a 20 inch iMac. Needless to say, I love the Apple computers and I am using my iMac as I type. Let's get one thing straight, I still use Windows Software and probably always will as I need them for work, and I truly believe that there is a purpose for Windows and a purpose for MAC OS. 

Over the past few weeks Apple announced yet another great line of Apple computers. The new Macbook and Macbook Pro's were announced and they are amazing. I think one of the coolest things is the new Aluminum Unibody enclosure. This was one of the biggest things I noticed about the new macbook. With the Unibody design the enclosure it is now made from one solid piece of Aluminum instead of multiple pieces that add size, weight, complexity and more chances for failure. This single aluminum body is beautiful. 

A new LED backlight display was also another new feature in the new laptop. This allows for the same amount of light being produced for the display in much thinner space.

The new Macbook Pro has a new trackpad, that is a trackpad with no button. Why do we need a button, when we can use the trackpad as a button. The trackpad also has multi-touch which is great for using gestures to accomplish things without a mouse.

The new GeForce 9600M GT processor is extremely powerful. The great thing about this new technology is that you get both an integrated graphics processor and the graphics card mentioned above. This allows you to use the power when you need it, then when you are doing normal tasks you can switch it over to the integrated to save power.

With Apple designing both the hardware and the software, they can improve anything they want. They have total control and I think we will see many more great innovations in the years to come from Apple.

You can read more about this innovative new laptop design at Apple.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Interesting article....

Here is an interesting article I read today at lunch about Detroit and the auto industry. It is by Seth Godin.

Click Here

Seths Main Site

How it's Made...

One of my favorite things to do is spend time with my 4 and a half year old twin boys. Not suprisingly they are full of energy and rarley sit down to do watch anything on TV unless they don't feel good. However one thing the three of us can do together that doesn't involve running around playing power rangers or whichever cartoon character they have just seen is watching the Discovery Channels How It's Made tv show.

My son Hunter (older by 2 minutes than Zachary) loves learning about how anything and I mean anything works. He will watch papa working on the lawn mower, watch me on the computer, anything that involes learning what makes something work, he is normally right there involved in. So it finally hit me about 6 months to 1 year ago that one of my favorite tv shows might also be one of his. So I turned on the discovery channel instead of the Disney Channel, and low and behold they both sat down next to me on the couch and had ton's of questions.

I think the first thing we watched was How It's Made (Episode 4) where they made hearing aids, 3-D puzzles, rubber mats and toilets. Of course the 3D puzzles were the favorite of that episode, but they did enjoy the toilet making and got a big laugh out of it when they went to the bathroom before bed that night. They couldn't stop laughing for whatever reason.

Some of my favorite how it's made shows included the making of:

  • Rolls Royce (this was great, very well crafted vehicle and I now want to own one. Then again, I guess I have better things to spend $300,000 on, probably engineering school for at least 2 of my 3 kids.)
  • Springs (I come from a background of machine design where I used springs all the time in my designs. It was very cool to see the automated process of making a spring. I remember back in high school one of our machine shop exercises was to make a padlock and it involved making a spring manually. Much easier with the automated way.
  • Hellicopters (I think I blogged about heli's once before, that I have been into RC helli's for some time and always crash mine. Learning about how they are made and some of the technology behind it was amazing.
  • Billiard Tables (When I was growing up I spent a lot of time at the bowling alley while my parents were on a bowling league. It got very boring to watch them bowl so I played pool. I wasn't a pro but it was a lot of fun and when I got older I looked into buying one for my basement. For a nice one they can be $5,000 +, I have seen some upwards of $15,000. Again, better things to spend my money on. However at least by watching how it's made I understand a little more why they are so expensive.

By far, the Discovery channel is my favorite channel to watch and How It's Made is one of my favorite show's to watch.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Changes to my site...

You may have noticed a new look to my site. I have decided to try and combine many of my thoughts and sites into one location. I have recently went through and did an overhaul on my site to combine like categories, add new ones and update the look of the site. This is all in an effort to post more often to one location about many topics.

Keep checking back for more Mechanical Thinking.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

As I transition

As I transition into my new role within the ThyssenKrupp organization I have been thinking of how I can improve on some of the AutoCAD programs at the company. During my drive to and from work I have been thinking specifically about AutoCAD Electrical and how I can write custom programs to improve on things. I haven't had the opportunity at my new position to work to much with our controls department so I figured maybe you guys can give me some ideas.

Email your ideas to [email protected]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It has been a while..

It has been quite some time since I have made a post to this site.  I figured I would update you on what is new in my life as I try to get back into posting on a regular basis.

In late September / Early October I put in my resignation at INCAT and started a new job back in the industry not as a designer but more as a CAD manager / Support guy. I work for ThyssenKrupp System Engineering, Inc. as a Software Development Engineer for the engineering department. Basically I will be supporting the years of AutoCAD customization and creating new customization as required. There are also many other programming projects to work on to enhance processes.

Having said that, I have put in about two weeks at the new job and I am enjoying myself so far. I see a lot of opportunity for projects for me to work on and let my expertise help out. One other nice thing about the changing companies is that I went back to a company I had some background with so I already know quite a few people. One of the main guys I work with I have known for over 10 years and it is nice to start a new job and already have friends.

Also some upcoming news that you may be unaware of is that in May of 2009 my wife and I are expecting another child. We don't know much at this point other than we are both happy and very nervous with the addition to the family. In today's economic times it is scary to think of bringing a child into this world.

One last thing before I go for the day is that don't forget I am presenting at Autodesk University in Las Vegas. The conference (Autodesk University) kicks off with classes starting on Tuesday December 2, however there are customer events and registration Sunday and Monday of that week. The conference also ends on Friday. My classes are listed below.

  • EC205-1 ~ AutoCAD Electrical Power Tools for Power Users ~ December 3, 2008 ~ 10:15 AM (Similar to Last Years Class)

  • EC301-1L ~ Become a Circuit Ninja with AutoCAD Electrical 2009 ~ December 4, 2008 ~ 8:15 AM (Lab)

  • EC305-1 ~ Using AutoCAD Electrical Circuit Builder for Other Stuff ~ December 4, 2008 ~ 10:15 AM (New Lecture)
 This is the first year I have had more than one class to present so I am very excited about that. I plan to have a great time sharing what I have learned over the year, as well as learning from all of you.

As I try to finish getting ready for Autodesk University and get back in the habit of posting on my blog site, I ask you for any ideas please feel free to email me with ideas for the site at [email protected] 

Thanks for all of the support over the years and I look forward to seeing you at Autodesk University.
Rob Stein