Saturday, January 02, 2010

You'll Also Be Required To Purchase A Brown Corduroy Jacket With Patches On The Elbows

Brings back memories, like a particularly garlicky meal does.

I was the manager of a very young Project Manager a while back. Nice kid. He was fresh out of school, and he was a freaking pinball wizard with AutoCAD. AutoCAD is a drawing program used by architects now. Very powerful; the full version is incredibly daunting when you first look at it. He would work the mouse and keyboard like he was playing Halo, which he also liked to do. I was in awe of that kid.

His mother needed a bathroom addition, and he had never designed a residential anything. It was all commercial work in school and at our job. As a favor, I drew him a few pages of drawings that he needed to give to the building inspector to get the building permit. He sat there dumbfounded looking at them, because they were drawn by hand, in pencil, and he'd never seen such a thing. He thought I was freaking Merlin.

People still do things with their hands from time to time. Try it, it's fun.


Sam L. said...

You should have shown him a manual typewriter. Maybe even a really old one which lifts the platen for capital letters (I used to have a old Underwood--patent of 1913).

NKVD said...

I washed out of drafting in '63, due to bad lettering ability. I was 13, and got better later. In '79 I took my first CAD class and really liked how well text was handled, even on the early systems.

I use Autocad now, another brand of 3D solids modeling and toolpath generators, but might have missed all of that had I not seen the beauty of uniform text and dimensions that are possible with CAD.

I have heard, but don't know this for a fact, that there are some building inspection offices that only accept CAD drawings now. I can still draw by hand, still have a table and swing arm, but based on results, I will always use Autocad first.

Lord Wellbourne said...

I have two, yes, two corduroy jackets with the obligatory leather elbow patches in 'honey' and 'bronze' sized forty regular if anyone is in need. If you really want to freak a young'un out--count out change to them without a calculator!! It boggles their minds.

TmjUtah said...

There are a lot of unplanned events that can happen any given day in my line of work.

Sudden word that the underground crew pooched the grade on that storm drain line? I can deal with that.

The originating survey and topographic map show the Amalgamated Bank Tower three inches east of where it really is? I can make our connections work.

The architect shows up on site with his assistant, and they have a plan roll with them...

I clear at least the next four hours of my schedule, and make sure that my project engineer has lines open to both our structural engineer and materials detailer.

Architects. Oh my.

Deborah said...

I'm an old school draftsman---cartographic and civil. I could Leroy letter as fast as most people could hand-letter.

One company I worked for had a bastard IBM Engineering typewriter with a 40" wide carriage and proportional spacing in all uppercase lettering. M and W took up four spaces, I and the number 1 took up one space, all other letters had two or three spaces.

Everything was dandy if you only typed forward, but woe unto you if you needed to backspace to center some text or correct a mistake!

When the engineers found out I could use this typewriter, they made me the Crown Princess of the Office and begged me to use it on their drawings, because they thought it made them look more modern!

tao9 (Not an RPI guy) said...

My all-time favorite:

At a relatively prominent engineering college, an ECAC hockey powerhouse, in upstate NY, in a darling St. Lawrence County village; that shall go nameless -- the relatively prominent engineering college fathers' built a new rink/athletic center/student union.

I attended a game there while home for Christmas.

The main entrance to the rink, under an "interesting" roof line and eave system, was yellow-taped-off herding fans into only one of the several doors. Signs were posted which said: "Caution. Falling Ice Danger."

bwebster said...

In 7th grade (1965-66), I took a 'mechanical drawing' class. I loved it because (a) the hand lettering I did looked a whole lot better than my wretched script handwriting, and (b) I loved figuring out and drawing exploded 3-d drawings of complex shapes. I got a pretty good grade in the class (B+ or so) because I could crank out drawings faster than anyone else; what kept me from an A was that I tended to be a bit sloppy.

I might have gone into architecture, but the next year I took Shop and nearly flunked the class, having absolutely no aptitude for actually working with physical materials.

This pattern would be played out again in college. I started out as a microbiology major; in first year chemistry, I did brilliantly on the tests, but I tended to be sloppy and inconsistent in the labs. So I switched over to computer science, where it was far easier to throw out/reverse mistakes. Been an IT geek ever since. ..bruce..