Mac OSX Mountain Lion and Software Compatibility for Architects

Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

has released the latest version of their operating system: Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Over 200 new features have been integrated into Lion with the intent to streamline your work and life. Some of the highlighted features include the built in iCloud that keeps all your content updated and in-sync with your Apple products, a unified notification center to help you stay updated on everything, and ready-to-go dictation that makes typing optional.

Although this all sounds great, what about software we architects use on a daily basis?

A word of advice before you upgrade:

Can Your 4 Year Old Make Google SketchUp Masterpieces?

4 year-old Jed's Masterpieces. via bleuscape.

According to his Architect Dad, Anthony Rigg, 4-year old Jed is no prodigy. He just really likes playing with blocks.

So when he showed his son how to use Google SketchUp (3D) for the first time, he wasn’t expecting much. He figured that his son, like any 4 year-old, would quickly lose focus and start doing something else.

Half an hour later, Jed was still happily designing away, coming up with these 6 block “mansions.” Dad was “absolutely staggered.” In his words, “I think it is incredible what the unadulterated minds of children can produce.”

Of course, you could take the position that Google SketchUp makes design so easy that even a 4 year-old can do it, but we prefer to think of it as a tool that breaks the barriers making Architecture inaccessible, that lets creativity trump technique, and lets you tap into your inner Jed.

As Picasso once said, “Every child is born an artist. The trouble is remaining an artist when you grow up.”

Thanks to Anthony Rigg of Bleuscape and his precocious son Jed for the tip! 

Mac OSX Lion and CAD software

Mac OSX Lion screen capture

Yesterday Apple released the latest version of their operative system: Mac OS X Lion. I started using it yesterday and it works like a charm on my Macbook. At a first glance, there’s a lot of focus on handling all  your applications thanks to features like Mission Control (an improved view of everything running on your computer) and Launchpad (a new way to organize your apps). Other interesting feature is Airdrop, which will allow you to easily share files with your co-workers. There is also a lot of focus on security, back up, system recovery and versions of files, that I know will be very useful for architects.

But what about the software we architects use on a daily basis? A word of advice before you upgrade:

Disclaimer: Graphisoft is the sponsor of our Software section.

Ponoko 3D Printing Challenge

Ponoko is an online marketplace for everyone to click to make real things. They host tens of thousands of user generated product designs, ready to be customized and made into real things.

To coincide with the launch of their new Personal Factory 4 services, Google SketchUp is announcing the 3D Printing Challenge. Basically, the challenge is to produce a piece of instructional content that’s equal parts enlightening and entertaining. Each entry must be titled “How to use for 3D printing,” but aside from that, the format is pretty open. Text, images and video (or some combination of the three) are all fair game.

All three winners will each receive SketchUp Pro 8, a 12-month Prime subscription to Personal Factory 4 and a voucher for having something made. The prizes for first place alone are worth $1500. The competition deadline is four weeks from now; all entries are due December 17, 2010. Visit the official announcement page for all the details.