Thursday, May 9, 2013

AutoCAD C3D 2014 Installed

C3D Splash Screen
Installing a program as complex as any of the Autodesk series is always filled with at least a little bit of anxiety.  It's not uncommon for something to go a little haywire... maybe a driver is missing or incompatible, maybe there was an error in the download, maybe something else went south.  Think space launch.  There are millions of lines of code just like parts in a rocket engine, and every single one has to work perfectly or there's an explosion on the launch pad.  I've had these scenarios in the past and they're no fun.

Think AutoCAD 2013.  For whatever reason it never did install and work correctly on my computer and in the end I just ignored that release for a year until 2014 came out a few months ago.

So it was with more than just a little trepidation today that I went forward with the installation of Civil 3D... fingers crossed.  It's a fairly lengthy process to get this all done, and it's not really done yet.  First, there's the unpacking of a zip file nearly 4 GB in size.  That alone will take 15-20 minutes.  Then you start the installation... serial numbers and activation codes, etc, at the ready.  Another 15-20 minutes later and you're ready for "first light"... give it a shot.

Usually it's a good idea to restart/reboot the computer just to be sure that anything critical that might have been put into the registry is available.  And it's just generally good to start with a fresh machine.  Programs often "leak" things into memory you don't know about and any one of them could be the wrench fouling the gears of your new software.  You just never know.  Best to start fresh.

Long story short, this installation went like a champ.  The splash screen above and the interface that followed (after a brief detour online to verify activation) is proof enough.

Now begins the long slog of setting up default templates, workspace configuration(s), and tweaking all the various and sundry Options (default file paths, system, user, and other program settings) to get everything as efficient as possible.  Don't get me wrong... this is actually fun!  But it's not for the faint of heart.  You not only need to know what to do but often why.

Programs as complex as AutoCAD is in general are tough enough.  Users often spend years learning them and still don't find every feature or shortcut.  They're complex.  Vertical AutoCAD applications like Civil 3D, Revit, and Inventor are even tougher.  This is probably why it's so satisfying when they install and work correctly.  So it's "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy", Day 2 here!

The instructional manual I want to use is published by Ascent.  All of their materials are Autodesk Official Training Guides (AOTG), so you can't go wrong.  I found their booth at Autodesk University (AU) a few years ago and grabbed a couple of their books for home study, and I really can't recommend them highly enough.  If you're on, or want to put yourself on, a path to certification for any of the Autodesk products, you need to get one of Ascent's study guides.  They're superb.  The one I need for C3D 2014 will be published in June of this year... just about perfect timing.  Later in the year they will publish two additional books, one for surveyors working with C3D 2014 and one specifically addressing earthwork (grading) project work.  You can find a publishing roadmap and full listing of their current titles >Here<.

It's a long road ahead to certification in this version for sure.  But every journey starts with a single step... and I've taken mine.  Good fun ahead!

Always a pleasure to see this screen!

1 comment:

  1. Don't tell me you did this before getting the new desk ready! I sure hope those two are compatible! :-) You amaze me Dave, I sure hope that the powers that be are as amazed and appreciate you as much as they should! Always good to have a little luck but intelligence is always good also! May you have many many more more happy happy joy joy days!