Monday, December 20, 2004

CAD Mgmt: Tax Advantages

First the disclaimer: I am not a tax professional.
Next the exclaimer: Call your tax professional NOW!
While you're waiting for them to answer the phone, enjoy the muzak and read this...
It may be to your advantage to make major purchases before the end of the year. Did you budget some new software for next year? Are you putting off those upgrades from AutoCAD 2000i until the last minute? Section 179 includes depreciation advantages for off the shelf software purchases and several other expenses during 2004. This means that you could receive an immediate 50% write-off during this tax year (up from 30% last year). See Tax Law Changes for Businesses: "Depreciation and Section 179 Expense" for more information.
Have they answered yet? Leave a message and call your reseller for an updated quote or buy online from Autodesk:

Buy Online from Autodesk

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

5 Excuses for Missing Autodesk University 2004

I didn't make it to Autodesk University 2004. Did you miss it too? Why? Here are some excuses to choose from and some action items to help you get there in 2005:

  1. Is it December already?
    Get a calendar. Treat Autodesk University like a project. Determine the latest date you can get cheap airfare and work backwards from there. Make a plan.

  2. My _______ (insert boss/spouse/kids/pet etc.) wouldn't let me go.
    Tell them now that you want to attend AU in 2005 and you need their help to get there. Communicate to your boss the advantages of the education. Communicate to your spouse the future opportunities. Communicate to your kids the goodies you'll bring back from the show. Feed your pet - they don't care where you go as long as you come back and feed them again. Actually, that may be what your boss/spouse/kids want too. Make a plan.

  3. Too much work to do.
    Really? Were the 4,000 plus people at AU 2004 just a bunch of loafers? Maybe you need to brush up on some time management skills so you can be prepared to take off for a week in 2005. Make a plan.

  4. It's too expensive.
    Reality check. $1295 for conference and lodging for 4 days - that's a bargain hunter's dream. If you think you'll get that objection next year then start "Plan B" right now to save up so you can pay for it yourself. Make a plan.

  5. I didn't plan.
    Ah, there it is. A bit of honesty. Well, learn from your mistake. Put it behind you. Make a plan.

Make plans now to attend Autodesk University 2005 in Orlando!

P.S. Lynn Allen also has some great advice on negotiating with management at Autodesk - Autodesk University 2004. Check it out before the AU 2004 site is removed.

Monday, December 06, 2004

AutoCAD Right-Click-Everywhere

You already know that you must continually educate yourself as a CAD Manager. You read everything you can get your hands on (or your mouse on) so you can stay up-to-date. One other tip to help you stay informed is to "Right-Click-Everywhere." When you are in AutoCAD, right-click something to see what options are available. The right-click menu is context sensitive, so you will see commands that are relevant to what you are doing. Right-click tool palettes. Right-click the command line. Right-click objects.


And for those of you who learned AutoCAD before AutoCAD 2000, AutoCAD 2004 and 2005 have a time sensitive right-click setting so you can right-click for an [Enter] or hold it a fraction of a second longer to get the menu. This is one of my favorite AutoCAD 2004 enhancements. I had too many years of right-click = return (that's what we used to call the [Enter] key) ingrained in my neural pathways. The instructions for setting it up are on the Autodesk web site here: Autodesk - AutoCAD - Time Sensitive Right-click

Friday, December 03, 2004

Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004

Merriam-Webster's list of top ten lookups can be found at Merriam-Webster 's Words of the Year 2004. "Blog" was the most frequently requested term.

All I want for Christmas is...

What does a CAD Manager want for Christmas? How about a 108Mbps wireless network? Maybe the upgrades you budgeted for last year? How about a memory stick - I got one of those for my brother this year - he said he couldn't remember where he put his.

Just imagine that Santa Claus or Oprah Winfrey were going to fill your CAD stocking this year. What would be the best present to help you in your CAD Management career? Leave a comment or send me an email and let me know.

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