Friday, December 01, 2006

Vegas... the sunset strip...

More like the frost set strip. I was very disappointed in the weather this past week in Vegas. I attended Autodesk's big event of the year, Autodesk University (AU). I learned numerous things and had a great time. It was my first AU. Though there were minor issues with the organization of the event (like not telling me the pick up location for the shuttle after moving it) I think the organizors did a FANTASTIC job; from meals, events, and simply getting people to where they needed to be.

I was very disappointed in numerous courses. My main concern was software that crashed in presentations and in labs. In one case we came to AU with knowledge of a bug in the software. When we presented the issue in the Exhibition hall to Autodesk their response seemed mixed, perhaps not surprised. But the kicker was during one of the courses when the presenter wanted to use this component--the software bug was displayed for all to see. Okay, I can understand Autodesk missing it (though it is a very big bug rendering a major component useless), but the presenter didn't even try it before the presentation.

Presenters with indepth knowledge of the products that I was interested in was not available. In fact, when I asked Autodesk and other publishing groups about books and training in these areas I was told that there wasn't enough demand for it... not yet. Hmmmm.

One Autodesk employee, based out of London, England said he would take my technical questions and concerns back to the office and reply back. Good stuff. BTW, Angela, this employee said he graduated from Kingston University--and wishes you the best of luck there.

As a first timer to Vegas I found the strip exciting and fun. I just had to visit and do a bit of gambling in all the big hotels from the Venetian to the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The Venetian is where AU was held and the Mandalay Bay is where I stayed.

In summary here is my ranking...

5. MGM Grand
4. Venetian - grand hotel... loved the Venice theme.
3. Mandalay Bay
2. Caesar's Palace - wow... grand place.
1. Belagio - In a word... Class.