The Autodesk File chronicles the history of Autodesk, Inc. and its principal product, AutoCAD, through contemporary documents edited and annotated by Autodesk founder and former CEO John Walker. The book traces the company from the first glimmer of an idea in the minds of the founders, through start-up, initial public stock offering, and growth from a loose confederation of moonlighting individuals to a leader in the industry of computer aided design. The book is available in several different editions, suited for on- or off-line reading with various tools. Click on the titles of the section describing the edition you select to view it or download to your computer.
If you have a fancy browser which supports frames, this
edition allows easy navigation through the book with
a panel which lets you click chapter titles and go
directly to that chapter. If, in addition, your browser
footnote icon, like this one:
will pop up a window containing the footnote. Moving the
mouse over other footnotes displays them in the auxiliary window.
the main document window by clicking the footnote icon,
then use their browser's "Back" button to return to the
Users with browsers which do not support frames, or those
who prefer a more linear presentation in a single
window, may access a no-frame edition of The Autodesk
File with identical content to the frame-based book.
The no-frame edition includes the pop-up footnotes present
in the frame edition, but since few browsers which lack
on the footnote icon to display it, then use the
"Back" button or keystroke to return to the text containing
If you prefer to read the book off-line, you can download a PDF edition (5.8 Mb, ZIP compressed) which you can read with the Adobe Acrobat Reader utility, available for most personal computers and Unix workstations, which may be downloaded free of charge directly from the Adobe Systems Web site. The Acrobat PDF edition preserves all the formatting of the original book, much of which was lost in creating the Web editions, and permits point-and-click navigation among chapters and to follow cross-references in the text.
Adobe is one of the most consistently irritating companies
on Earth with which to do business. I'd like to give you
a nice button for downloading your own copy of Acrobat Reader,
but they won't let me use the image without "registering"
and "licensing" it, which I'm certainly not going to do
in order to promote their product and its file format.
The Autodesk File was originally typeset using TeX with the LaTeX macro package. Camera-ready copy was generated from PostScript created by the dvips utility. The PostScript edition is a single monolithic file, more than 16 megabytes, containing the entire book as originally typeset. You can read it on-line with a PostScript viewing program such as GhostScript (which is free), or print it on any PostScript-compatible printer. Before sending this file to a printer, consider that the book is almost 900 pages long! This is a big print job, which will consume lots of paper, toner, and, potentially, good will of any colleagues with whom you share the printer. The PostScript edition may be downloaded as either a ZIPped archive or a gzip compressed Unix tar file; both are 4.9 Mb in length and uncompress to a 16 Mb PostScript file.