Thursday, January 13, 2011

Autodesk Memories

I was having a chat with a co-worker today about "the old days" of some of the software we used back in the 1990's and up to now. 

Somehow, we got on to the subject of how Autodesk, their business, and their products have evolved (or devolved, in some respects) since those glorifed wild-west days:


  • AutoCAD LT used to come with network licensing, and was barely over $1000 per license.
  • The updates for AutoCAD Rx versions were c1, c2, c3, c4 and out-of-band updates were c4a, c4b, etc.
  • R10 was when the public started paying attention
  • R11 was a significant evolutionary upgrade
  • It was all DOS until R13 for most customers (yes, they released Windows and UNIX versions earlier, but nobody paid any attention until R13)
  • R13 sucked ass
  • R14 was when AutoCAD took off on the highest trajectory
  • AutoCAD 2000 pissed off everyone with the changes to plotting
  • AutoCAD 2000i was one of the stupidest Carol Bartz ideas.
  • The transitition from MDT to Inventor for A.D.N. folks was about as smooth as two blind cats trying to have sex on a frozen lake.
  • ADT folks saw the same oafish transition coming their way with Revit.
  • Today's pricing for AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT are in the same mushroom-swilling, crack-inhaling rodeo circus as Adobe's products.  Even pricing for converting a standalone license to network has been tied-off and injected with free-based marketing juice.
  • The early days were dominated with developer dreams, designer ideals, and customer wishlists.  Today is dominated by shareholder value.
  • Their biggest competitor was once Bentley.
  • Anyone remember Actrix?  Stop laughing.  The best way to tell that story is like this:  There was once this fast-running, smart-mouthed little kid in the neighborhood named Visio.  Autodesk decided to go beat the shit out of him and chased him with a feeble Actrix beating stick all the way up to when the little Visio kid knocked on the door to big-brother Microsoft. As soon as the door opened, the Actrix stick disintegrated into thin air.  (note: it actually lives on in crap like EDSA, which is now Paladin DesignSpace)
  • Remember Volo?  AME?  ADE?
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