Okay, so here we were are at SolidWorks World 2009 general session. "Back in Black" is screaming in my ears. But no live blogging, since Internet access isn't generally available.
Jeff Ray begins with his "state of the community" talk, covering many topics lightly. "What gives?" is his starting line. "Don't you know there is a recession?" 4,313 in attendance. (Left unsaid: down about 200 from last year.) "For the next three days, we won't read the newspaper, we won't watch tv."
(How true, that the recession is overblown by media and politicians. The current unemployment rates are calm in comparison to the Great Recession of the early 1980s -- a time of which anyone under 40 would be unfamiliar. Both legs of my airplane flight Vancouver-Chicago-Orlando were packed full.)
Mr Ray says that SolidWorks and Dassault Systemes are working on making their software work better together. But no Charles Bernard here, unlike the press event last fall in Barcelona. And no details on how they are doing this, other than listing the names of all of Dassault's non-Catia-branded software as being in attendance at this event.
Jeff Ray interviews Richard Branson.
Has formed 360 companies, of which about 250 run today. He is the rare guest speaker who is actually interested in what CAD is capable of. Ray invited him to take along the 3D-printed model of a new type vertical, cylindrical windmill invented by a SolidWorks user -- a user looking for investors.
He began Virgin records when a 15-year-old played a tape of instrumental music. Seven record companies had turned him down, so Branson started the record company. Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield.
"Working on a new kind of [baby] incubator is more important than getting drunk every night." He was fascinated by the SolidWorks-designed incubator built from spare car parts designed for third-world countries too be cheap (around $1000) and easily repairs. For example, the heaters are made from headlights, and the alarm light from a taillight.
"Listen, listen, listen all the time to what customers want." His airline was the first to have seatback video systems (which I dislike, unfortunately), and angled business-class seating that allow seats to be longer and wider.
More later today.