image With my 3-week vacation over, this week has been all about returning to reality.  As with almost any vacation, this week has mostly been about getting caught up on everything I missed while on vacation.  Thankfully it seems many of my coworkers took some vacation time as well, so my return hasn’t been as daunting as one may imagine. Among the things I have been meaning to do is offer a special thanks to a few incredibly generous companies who recently supported my Local User Group’s (Richmond AutoCAD Manifest) end-of-year dinner.

As we planned this years dinner among our goals was to gather some door prizes which our members could actually use. Yes we know every office worker needs a special coffee mug, and even red stapler, but we wanted something a little more useful than that.  We were incredibly fortunate to have the following companies support our LUG Dinner.

Wiley/Sybex

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The more titles I read from Wiley/Sybex the more I come to respect and perhaps more importantly, trust the information packed within each and every title they publish.  This year the good people at Wiley/Sybex was kind enough to send many of their most popular titles for us to give away at our dinner.  Some of the excellent titles Wiley/Sybex publishes includes;

As a Civil 3D user I can’t necessarily vouch for the Revit titles, but judging from the Civil 3D and AutoCAD titles, you can expect nothing less than the best with any one of these titles.

MindJet MindManager

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Second only to AutoCAD, MindManager has become a program I absolutely cannot live without.  I’ve written about it a few times here on The CAD Geek. Robin Capper over at RobiNZ CAD Blog has written a little more about MindManager on his blog. The folks at MindJet were kind enough to donate a copy of MindManager to our RAM Dinner.

I think the thing I love most about MindManager is there’s no wrong way to use it.  At first glance the program may seem to be little more than a glorified way to make org charts, but after downloading and using it you’ll likely find it the perfect solution for all sorts of tasks. That said, my suggestion to anyone curious about exploring the world of mind mapping is to head over to MindJet and download the free 30 Day Trial of MindManager. If you choose to buy MindManager, it’s just as simple as going to their website and getting a license key. No need to uninstall/reinstall. Just input your serial number, and you’re good to go!

3DConnexion 3D Mouse

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If you’ve never heard of a 3D mouse don’t worry.  In my experience few people have.  A 3D mouse is designed to compliment your “normal” mouse and help you better navigate and interact with your 3D designs.  3DConnexion is actually a Logitech company, so that by itself is a testament of the quality of their products.  For users of 3D products such as Inventor, SketchUp, 3D Studio, etc, using a 3D mouse is nearly a no brainer.  Even if you don’t use those products, the 3DConnexion mice tightly integrate with products such as AutoCAD, Civil 3D, even Design Review.

Resellers

Last but not least are the resellers who helped us not only with our dinner, but also throughout the year.  Avatech Solutions and Inlet Technology are the two who have helped us the most over the last year.  A special thank you to each for their continued support.