This is not really an AutoBit. It was a serious proposal which never came to fruition at the time, possibly because it was confused with an AutoBit. In March of 1988, the Autodesk Technology Forum was inaugurated, which essentially implemented this idea. This was one of the first programs created by the newly-founded Autodesk Research Lab. Speakers at the Technology Forum included in-house developers demonstrating products, vendors showing their wares, and luminaries from within the industry and outside including Timothy Leary, Stuart Brand, Alvy Ray Smith, Hans Moravec, Rudy Rucker, Jaron Lanier, Todd Rundgren, ancient DNA expert Svante Paabo, astronaut Michael Lampton, and Indianapolis 500 driver Randy Lewis. The Autodesk Advanced Technologies Department, successor to the Autodesk Research Lab, was disbanded on August 18, 1992, bringing to an end the weekly Technology Forum.
Proposal by John Walker
Revision 3 -- February 12, 1986
We all wish that more people in the company saw the big picture, took an interest in the operation of all facets of the company, and were able to help out wherever help was needed. Let's do something active in this regard rather than just moaning. I propose we establish weekly technical seminars, commencing at 17:30 each Thursday, in which somebody from Autodesk will hold forth for an hour to 90 minutes on some topic known in depth to the speaker. A list of suggested topics follows (in no particular order). I'm sure you can think of speakers who'd love to blither on them.
Introductory LISP programming
Implications of antitrust law on Autodesk
Stock options--what they mean, how they work
How to close a sale
Digital electronics in one hour
What it's like to be a computer dealer
How bugs are fixed (and how to report them)
Fundamentals of plane geometry
What does an architect do?
What is CAD/camera good for?
Project management with PERT
What is the board of directors?
How to use Knowledge Man
Principles of quality control
How Autodesk's products are manufactured
What is a spreadsheet and why you should use one
International shipping: strange customs in faraway places
RS-232: How to make it work
Getting the most from Compu-Serve
How national accounts select products
Technical analysis of stock charts
What is an expert system?
How accounting works
The Smalltalk paradigm--user interfaces
How to write a contract
Creating printed material--concept to press
I'm sure that this list will serve as a springboard for many additional ideas. If we decide to do this, I intend to circulate a list to everybody of these topics and allow people to volunteer for any topic they think of. Presumably we can fill up the calendar rapidly.
Editor: John Walker