SolidWorks World 2011 Wrapup

Posted on January 26th, 2011. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Where to begin? Let’s rewind to last night and the “special event” at The Cowboy Dance Hall. I use quotation marks because it really should be called what it is, a bash. Party is too tame of a word. The bash was simply incredible. Kerri Dunne, and her team, hit a grand slam with this one. The location was the perfect size, and there were plenty of bars and serving stations so that lines were never discouragingly long. Aside from the time I spent playing Texas Hold ’em (with play money), I spent the evening with friends, old and new. The band was excellent, and had the whole place hopping, playing cover tunes from the 1980’s. Lots of great rock, none of that wimpy pop crap. There was also a bull riding show that I hear was very entertaining as well. I don’t think it was a coincident that the music volume seemed a bit lower this morning when we entered the conference hall for the general session.
I’m not going to get into too much detail about this morning’s session. I’m quite sure it’s been written about quite a bit already. Let me just summarize it: SolidWorks 2012 sneak peek, cop cliches, SolidWorks AEC, fast modelers, Dell, 13 year old flute playing lock picker and Kevin Bacon. That should paint a clear picture.
I’m now on my way back to Seattle, and the real world. Though it’s more than a year away, I’m looking forward to SWW 2012 in San Diego.
I have a few interviews I need to transcribe, and will be posting those in the next few weeks.

Just a few more weeks until spring training. GO RED SOX!

SolidWorks World Day 1

Posted on January 24th, 2011. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Wow. I don’t know that I can say anything more intelligent than that. It’s been a pretty incredible day today. I woke up way too early to start with. How early? Starbucks wasn’t even open. I had to wait for that to happen.
Things started to pick up around 8:00 when we all started amassing for the stampede into the hall for today’s general session. It was while standing around that Alex Ruiz showed up wearing this absolutely awesome shirt:

Jeff Ray opened the day, as he has for the past 7 years. This year, however, was his final one. As most know, Jeff is moving on up into Dassaut corporate and Bertrand Sicot is taking over as CEO of SolidWorks. Jeff talked about how SolidWorks was involved with the Chilean mine rescue. Schramm Incorporated drill rigs were used for both holes drilled, while the drill bits came from Center Rock. When the first drill bit broke, a new one was designed on site, in Chile, in three days. Pretty incredible stuff, there. Oh, remember how Oakley provided sunglasses to all the rescued miners? Yeah, designed in SolidWorks.

Bertrand spoke for a bit with the most important thing being his assuring all that SolidWorks would always be available as a local install. It would never be an either/or sort of thing with regards to the cloud.He made mention of how well Draftsight has taken off, with over 300,000 downloads and 66,o00 activations.

However, nothing Jeff or Bertrand said was as awe inspiring, or as captivating, as the next two speakers. Gene Kranz and Jim Lovell of Apollo 13. We’ve all heard the story and/or seen the movie, but to hear the story from two of the men who lived it was incredible. Up until Gene started speaking, Twitter was rolling with tweets with the #SWW11 tag on them. By the time Jim joined Gene onstage, the Twitter stream for SolidWorks World had all but dried up.

Those two are incredible men, reminders of a time gone by. When Gene spoke, you could just tell he was a no bullshit kind of guy. To think that the lives of the crew were saved by duct tape, a sock and a manual box is just mind blowing. Even though I kept picturing Tom Hanks, Jim’s recounting was mesmerizing. No PowerPoint for him, either; 3×5 cards were his only media. I really don’t think I can adequately express what it was like to be so close to two bona fide heroes. Wow doesn’t even come close.

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